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Showing posts from July, 2014

Cease fire for now in Gaza

Fox News:
Israel and Hamas agreed Thursday to an unconditional, 72-hour humanitarian cease-fire in the Gaza conflict, set to begin Friday, the United States and United Nations said.

The cease-fire was scheduled to commence at 8 am local time on Friday, and is expected to last for a period of 72 hours unless it's extended, the State Department said in a statement. Military forces will be expected to stay in place during the cease-fire.

"This is not a time for congratulations or joy or anything except a serious determination — a focus by everybody to try to figure out the road ahead," Secretary of State John Kerry said in New Delhi, where he was meeting with Indian officials. "This is a respite. It is a moment of opportunity, not an end."

The U.S. and U.N. said they had gotten assurances that all parties to the conflict had agreed to an unconditional cease-fire during which there would be negotiations on a more durable truce.

Israeli and Palestinian delegations will …

These people are going to get more civilians killed

Guardian:
Gaza: British MPs demand tougher action over Israeli bombardment  Senior MPs and advisers call on Cameron and Miliband to speak out more forcefully against killing of Palestinian civilians Where these guys are wrong is their actions are rewarding Hamas perfidity.  They will make it more likely that Hamas will continue to use human shields.  They should be attacking Hamas for these deaths and not Israel if they want to stop this kind of conduct.  Israel has the right to self defense even with the enemy is engaged in war crimes like using human shields.

Women rejecting 'war on women' rhetoric

Washington Times:
The Democrats’ “war on women” strategy may resonate with liberals, but it’s losing ground with crucial female swing voters in Colorado, said a poll released this week.

A whopping 77 percent of women voters surveyed agree that they “clearly see through the so-called Democrat ‘War on Women’ messaging strategy,” according to Magellan Strategies in Louisville, Colo.

The poll also found that 67 percent of those surveyed “do not fear a government bureaucrat taking birth control away from them, but what they fear are politicians using the issue of ‘access to birth control’ as a political tactic to scare them into voting a certain way.’”

The survey was conducted on behalf of the right-leaning Colorado Women’s Alliance, but those polled weren’t dedicated Republicans. The June 3-4 poll contacted 500 women identified as registered independents, Republican-leaning independents, and “soft” Republican voters.
... It would be nice to have an honest debate on these issues, but Democrats…

Underfunding defense spending

Bill Gertz:
DEFENSE PANEL: OBAMA ADMINISTRATION DEFENSE STRATEGY ‘DANGEROUSLY’ UNDERFUNDED This is becoming inarguable and both parties have contributed to the funding cut, but it is mainly due to Obama's intransigence on spending in general that we are in this fix.

NBC gets it wrong in strike blamed on Israel. Will it correct the record?

Not in this video it will not.

There was collusion between Democrats and the IRS in attacks on Tea Party groups

Cleta Mitchell who represents some of those who were subjected to the abuse says she see evidence of collusion to silence Tea Party groups.

Wisconsin court reject unions corrupt bargain with Democrats

NY Times:
Union Limits and Voter ID Rule Upheld in Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld a law that effectively ended collective bargaining for most public workers. This is a good deal for most of Wisconsin.  Taxpayers will no longer be paying for union dues which are used to elect Democrats who then vote to increase the pay and benefits of the unions who got them elected.  It was a corrupt system with a built in conflict of interest and no one looking out for the taxpayer.   The state is still being fought by the Democrats on the voter ID issue with claims that Democrat voters are not competent to get and use an ID.  They are really upset about the law making it harder for them to cheat.

Tunnel war goes high tech in Gaza

Fox News:
Israel deploys robots to clear Hamas tunnels The 20 pound robots have multiple cameras and a laser on board to examine the tunnel system and warn troops of danger.

Immigration becomes a difficult issue for Democrats

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Guy Benson:
A new national survey conducted by the Associated Press suggests that illegal immigration and the border crisis could be morphing into major political liabilities for Democrats ahead of the midterm elections. Key take-aways: (1) President Obama's approval/disapproval rating on the issue (considered "extremely" or "very" serious by 67 percent of voters) is underwater by...37 points:
(2) Republicans are now more trusted on handling immigration policy, a 10-point swing since mid-May:

(3) By a nine-point margin (44/53), Americans say the United States government does not have a "moral obligation to offer asylum" to people who come here to "escape violence or political persecution in their home country." The public is split on whether minors who say they're "fleeing gang violence" should be treated as refugees -- with a small majority (46/52) saying "no." A similar majority (51 percent) agree with Republican effo…

Israel intelligence discovers Hamas plans for terror attacks using tunnels

Bill Gertz:
Israeli military intelligence is facing criticism for failing to comprehend the network of tunnels and other underground facilities built by Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

Dan Pollak, co-director of government relations for the Zionist Organization of America, said early estimates of Israel’s operation to root out Hamas rockets has diminished the terrorist group’s arsenal.

Hamas’ 10,000-rocket arsenal is now believed to be half that number.

“We’ll see when the war was over,” Mr. Pollak said in an interview, “but it is clear that the underground tunnel complex was far more extensive than Israeli military intelligence understood.”

Information that Israel Defense Forces reportedly obtained from captured Hamas fighters revealed that the group was planning to use several Gaza tunnels that extend under Israeli territory for a major attack timed with the beginning of the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashanah, on Sept. 24.

The plan called for Hamas fighters to surface from the tunnels in…

The Hamas way of war

Washington Post:
For Hamas, hospitals, mosques and schools are also armories They are not just armories but also launch sites and defensive positions.  It is why so many of these facilities are under attack by Israel.  Radical Islamist used the same tactics against the US and we tended to let them get away with it more than Israel does.

Air Force looks to change procurement policies

NY Times:
Air Force Plans Shift to Obtain High-Tech Weapon Systems The Air Force called for a shift away from big-ticket weapons systems to a move toward high-technology armaments that can be quickly adapted to meet a range of emerging threats. They are trying to deal with the high cost and long wait time of the current practice.  They need to learn to take off the shelf tech and adapt it instead of trying to invent their own systems.

No cease fire in Gaza that does not allow Israel to complete the destruction of Hamas tunnels

Haaretz:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that Israel was determined, regardless of ceasefire efforts, to complete the destruction of tunnels that Palestinian militants have built under the Gaza-Israel border.

"We are determined to complete this mission with or without a cease-fire," Netanyahu said in public remarks at the start of a cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv. "I won't agree to any proposal that will not enable the Israeli military to complete this important task for the sake of Israel's security."

"Hamas' capabilities would have enabled it to abduct and murder civilians and IDF soldiers while simultaneously attacking from the tunnels penetrating our territory," Netanyahu said. "We are destroying that capability now. There are no 100 percent guarantees, just as the Iron Dome does not give a complete response, but the IDF's operations in the field are impressive and they are continuing at full force."

"We ha…

Why the Democrats are so desperate about Obamacare

David Freddoso:
If Democrats don't like what Obamacare says, they need to find the votes to change it Their problem is they know they don't have the votes to make the changes they want without having to compromise on other aspects of the monstroscity.   They got this mess in the first place because they jammed this law through rather than compromise to begin with.  They have been trying to hold it together with questionable administrative patches ever since.

Mexico to be major purchaser of US natural gas

Bloomberg/Fuel Fix:
Mexico’s state oil company struck a deal to import U.S. natural gas from a Swiss trading house, a step that would help the nation secure a cheaper long-term alternative to fuel oil for its power plants.

A subsidiary of Petroleos Mexicanos will form a joint venture with Geneva-based Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. to handle the gas and will aim to be one of the five largest participants in the North American natural gas market, the company said Wednesday in an e-mailed statement.

Pemex, as the world’s ninth-largest oil producer is known, burns fuel oil for most of the power plants in Mexico and is seeking to cut its energy costs. The gas would be delivered to Mexico by pipeline from the U.S., where hydraulic fracturing technology has released abundant new supplies.

The joint venture will begin operations in the fourth quarter to coincide with the opening of the Los Ramones pipeline, a 1,200-kilometer project that will import gas to central Mexico from south Texas.

Legisl…

Democrats with short term memory problems

Hamas is showing signs of weakness

Jerusalem Post:
In recent days, Hamas members seized UN food coupons and prevented Gazan civilians from receiving the aid, in order to try and keep field cell members fed. The Islamist regime refuses to publish most of the names of its members who were killed fighting the IDF, and disposes of their bodies quickly, to avoid harming morale. It has tried to ban Gazan civilians from giving interviews to the foreign press during humanitarian truces.

The IDF has seen Hamas tunnel fighters surrender because they have run out of food. To be sure, this does not mean Hamas is near the breaking point.

Its terrorist army is composed of 15,000 trained members, and Hamas is mobilizing battalions from across Gaza to replace the hundreds of guerrillas killed in combat.

The dominant view in the Israeli defense establishment is that Hamas is managing the war from a position of weakness, which has become more acute in recent days. An audio recording of Hamas’s military wing commander, Muhammad Deif, relea…

House discovers more Lerner hostile emails about Tea Party groups

Ways and Means:
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In the letter to DOJ, Chairman Camp revealed:

Lerner had a bias against conservatives:

A newly discovered email exchange from Ms. Lerner’s official IRS email account, dated November 9, 2012, directly demonstrates Ms. Lerner’s deep animus towards conservatives, which she refers to as “---holes.” Lerner further illustrates her disgust with conservatives, even suggesting they will ruin the country. In her email, Lerner states: “So we don't need to worry about alien teRrorists. (sic) It's our own crazies that will take us down.” This email shows that Ms. Lerner’s mistreatment of conservative groups was driven by her personal hostility toward conservatives.

Lerner used her personal email for official business, including taxpayer information:

The Committee also found that Lerner used her personal email for official business, including confidential return information. The Committee believed that further investigation, using resources available to the Department of…

Hamas is losing Arab support

NY Times:
Arab Leaders Silent, Viewing Israel as Better Than Hamas
Led by Egypt, a coalition of Arab states has effectively lined up with Israel in its fight against Hamas, posing new obstacles to efforts to end the Gaza conflict. I don't think it is an obstacle to peace that Arab states are acting more rationally than in the past.  The best hope for peace in the Middle East is for radical Islamist like Hamas to be defeated and destroyed.  It is more than passing strange to see President Obama and his administration trying to help Hamas survive despite its war crimes.  The Hamas death cult is a danger to more than Israel and their destruction is a key to the survival of civilization in the Middle East.

The ethnic hatred of Jews in Europe

Amir Taheri looks at commentary in the Muslim world and finds little sympathy for Hamas, but finds real hatred of Israel in Europe.

Why Hamas is called a death cult

Times of Israel:
Our fighters are eager for death, Hamas military chief says  In recorded message, Mohammed Deif says his group will not stop attacks until Israel lifts its blockage of Gaza I doubt the actual fighters are as eager for death as the leadership says.  Certainly the leaders are not eager for death or they would not be hiding underground and living the life of luxury in Qatar.  If they were really eager for death, they would not be using human shields to avoid it.

Gaza infrastructure under assault

Time:

Israeli officials have said in the past week that their main goal in the war against Hamas in Gaza is to destroy as many of what it calls “terror tunnels,” the underground passages built by the militant group that have repeatedly been used to infiltrate Israel. But following a day in which Hamas militants managed to kill 10 Israeli soldiers, Israel responded early Tuesday with massive air strikes that seemed aimed at both major infrastructure as well as the visible symbols of Hamas’s power in the Gaza Strip.

In overnight strikes by aircraft, tanks and navy gunboats, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) attacked 150 targets in Gaza during the night, including the home and office of Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh’s home, the influential Shujaiyeh battalion commander’s home and the Ministry of Finance, as well as Al-Aqsa Radio and Al-Aqsa Television, two media outlets operated by Hamas. The IDF also said it attacked two Hamas command centers and four weapons storage sites hidden …

Illegal immigration imposing a high cost on Texas border counties

Daily Caller:
The influx of illegal immigrants into southern Texas is depleting law enforcement resources and causing heavy amounts of damage in the area, said several sheriffs gathered for the annual Sheriff’s Association of Texas convention.

“The damage is constant,” Brooks County chief deputy Benny Martinez told News 4 San Antonio at the conference, held in San Antonio on Monday and Tuesday.

Martinez estimated that 85 percent of cases he handles are related to immigration issues and that his rural county is not equipped to handle the workload. (RELATED: Border Meltdown: Obama Delivering 290,000 Illegals To U.S. Homes)

According to News 4, ranches just north of the border are facing ripped fences, broken water pipes and a spate of stolen, wrecked and abandoned vehicles.

“When you have to focus on the rush of undocumented immigrants coming through your county, what does that do to your staffing? Of course it kinda takes some of our staffing from being out on patrol,” Karnes County sherif…

We should take Iran's intention at their own words

Red States:
Iranian General Wants to Annihilate Israel as Obama Works on Nuclear Deal You can't appease a bunch of genocidal religious bigots.  The Ayatollah is calling on Muslims from around the world to arm the Hamas death cult.

Obama policies very costly to middle class

Dan Spencer:
EPA head Gina McCarthy claims the Obama administration is not engaged in a “war on coal.” Nevertheless, the mounting evidence is fairly conclusive: Not only is there a war on coal, but the Obama administration is winning . . . and the collateral damage includes middle and working-class families throughout the country.A brutal story last week in the Washington Post (of all publications) introduced readers to victims of federal and state policies that have shuttered coal burning power plants:Sharon Garcia is stumbling around her dining room in the dark, trying to find Post-It notes.As she has for years, Garcia wants to affix the notes, marked with dollar signs, to light switches all around her house. The message to her five kids: Light is expensive.“Why do you need to turn the lights off?” she asks her son, Mariano.“Because otherwise there’s no money,” he answers, dutifully.“And when there’s no money?”“You can’t feed us or take us anywhere.”Bingo, again.Remember when Barack …

Obama's ridiculous support of Hamas in the face of a terror plot of gigantic proportions

Carolyn Glick:
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No ministers were recommending that Israel end its operations in Gaza completely. The longer our soldiers fight, the more we learn about the vast dimensions of the Hamas’s terror arsenal, and about the Muslim Brotherhood group’s plans and strategy for using it to destabilize, demoralize and ultimately destroy Israeli society.

The IDF’s discovery of Hamas’s Rosh Hashana plot was the last straw for any Israeli leftists still harboring fantasies about picking up our marbles and going home. Hamas’s plan to use its tunnels to send hundreds of terrorists into multiple Israeli border communities simultaneously and carry out a massacre of unprecedented scope, replete with the abduction of hostages to Gaza, was the rude awakening the Left had avoided since it pushed for Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from Gaza.

In other words, in their discussion Sunday night, Netanyahu and his ministers were without illusions about the gravity of the situation and the imperative of winning – however…

Congress removed subsidies for federal exchanges in Obamacare before it passed

Leon Wolf:
Partisan hack and Washington Post writer Greg Sargent has allegedly found a silver bullet that proves that the Halbig decision is erroneous and that the Halbig plaintiffs don’t have a leg to stand on. The gist of Sargent’s point is that an earlier version of the Obamacare bill had language that explicitly provided for subsidies for beneficiaries on Federal exchanges, even though the final version of the bill did not include such language: The first Senate version of the health law to be passed in 2009 — by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee — explicitly stated that subsides would go to people on the federally-established exchange. A committee memo describing the bill circulated at the time spelled this out with total clarity.
***
The disputed language ended up in the final bill because the two versions — both of which intended subsidies in all 50 states, albeit by varying structures — were merged.
Unfortunately for Greg Sargent, anyone who is either a lawyer o…

US should permit increased production of oil and gas

William O'Keefe:
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Additional crude oil exports put downward pressure on prices. That has three effects. It lowers the cost of diesel and gasoline prices here. It complicates Russia’s decision to curtail oil exports to Europe since its main source of revenue is oil and natural gas sales. Third, additional production here would further reduce our imports, keeping more investment dollars here instead of sending them to oil exporting nations.

Expanding our ability to export LNG would strengthen our relations with EU nations, which are in need of repair. While Europe complains about US leadership, it has depended on it since the end of World War II but it isn’t getting it. More and more, leading from behind looks like retreat. The EU has been trying to get the US to include a specific energy component in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership that is being negotiated. But again, the Obama Administration is slow walking.
... It makes so much sense that only the Obama…

Democrats on wrong side of border security issue

AP/Houston Chronicle:
Americans are wary of granting refugee status to children crossing the U.S. border to flee strife-torn countries in Central America, and most in an Associated Press-GfK poll say the U.S. does not have a moral obligation to accept asylum seekers generally.

The new poll found 53 percent of Americans believe the United States has no moral obligation to offer asylum to people who escape violence or political persecution, while 44 percent believe it has that responsibility.

And more than half, 52 percent, say children who say they are fleeing gang violence in Central America should not be treated as refugees, while 46 percent say they should.
... The Democrats view these people as potential Democrat voters and as replacements for all the babies they have been aborting.

Islamist government stealing the joy of women

International Business Times:
Turkey: 'Women Shall Not Laugh in Public' says Erdogan's Deputy Erdogan is not a good leader.  Turkey would be better off with a new leader who is not an Islamic religious bigot.

The New Mexico oil boom

Watchdog.org:
Oil boom may be just starting in Permian Basin The Permian Basin is primarily in West Texas, but parts of it are in New Mexico and the oil boom is increasing production there too as horizontal drilling and fracking are used.

The Z-Street conspiracy

Thomas Lifson:
Revealed: IRS and State Department conspired in targeting pro-Israel group This shows the conspiracy to use the IRS to attack Obama's political enemies was not limited to the tax agency and that the State Department was actively pushing the IRS to attack Z-Street.  This could be very damaging for the government in the suit brought by Z-Street.

The shrinking of Hamas's battle space

Daily Beast:
Israel Creates ‘No Man’s Land’ in Gaza, Shrinking Strip by 40 Percent To protect itself from Hamas rockets and tunnels, Israel is forcing tens of thousands of people out of their homes, turning their old neighborhoods into a no-man’s land. It si the tunnels that are responsible for the attacks in the so called buffer.  Hamas built this tunnel system underneath much of the infrastructure in the destroyed towns and to destroy the tunnels, the infrastructure is crumbled too.

Europe subsidizing the enemy

NY Times:
Qaeda Coffers Swell as Europe Pays Millions in Quiet Ransoms
While some countries, including the United States, refuse to pay ransoms, European ones do — inadvertently helping to bankroll Al Qaeda’s global operations. This is not smart.  It is misplaced compassion that makes things worse for their own citizens who become potential targets of terrorist.  It is one of the reasons there was a substantial opposition to Obama's deal for the alleged deserter.

Open borders advocates a shrinking minority

Washington Times:
After two years of playing offense, immigrant rights groups suddenly and unexpectedly find themselves playing political defense, pushing back against proposals to speed up deportations of people surging across the border illegally even while advocates plead with the White House to take politically risky executive action to halt deportations in the interior.

The advocates say they have “an audience of one” — President Obama, who for his career in Washington, stretching back to his days as a senator, has tantalized them with promises of action and even delivered some victories, but at times has seemed a reluctant partner.

“Right now his legacy is at stake and he has the opportunity to redefine what it means to be President Obama,” said Lorella Praeli, policy director for United We Dream, an advocacy group that pressured Mr. Obama two years ago to grant tentative legal status to illegal immigrant young adults and now wants that policy expanded to include most illegal immi…

The Obama team is just not too smart when it comes the the Gaza war

Bret Stephens:
Of all the inane things that have been said about the war between Israel and Hamas, surely one dishonorable mention belongs to comments made over the weekend by Benjamin J. Rhodes, deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.

Interviewed by CNN's Candy Crowley, Mr. Rhodes offered the now-standard administration line that Israel has a right to defend itself but needs to do more to avoid civilian casualties. Ms. Crowley interjected that, according to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Jewish state was already doing everything it could to avoid such casualties.

"I think you can always do more," Mr. Rhodes replied. "The U.S. military does that in Afghanistan."

How inapt is this comparison? The list of Afghan civilians accidentally killed by U.S. or NATO strikes is not short. Little of the fighting in Afghanistan took place in the dense urban environments that make the current warfare in Gaza so difficult. The last time the …

Kerry's big blunder

David Ignatius:
Secretary of State John Kerry has made a significant mistake in how he’s pursuing a Gaza cease-fire — and it’s not surprising that he has upset both the Israelis and some moderate Palestinians.

Kerry’s error has been to put so much emphasis on achieving a quick halt to the bloodshed that he has solidified the role of Hamas, the intractable, unpopular Islamist group that leads Gaza, along with the two hard-line Islamist nations that are its key supporters, Qatar and Turkey. In the process, he has undercut not simply the Israelis but also the Egyptians and the Fatah movement that runs the Palestinian Authority, all of which want to see an end to Hamas rule in Gaza.

A wiser course, which Kerry rejected in his hunt for a quick diplomatic solution, would have been to negotiate the cease-fire through the Palestinian Authority, as part of its future role as the government of Gaza. Hamas agreed last April to bring the authority back to Gaza as part of a unity agreement with Fat…

Palestinians elect war criminals and are shocked at the consequences

Andrew McCarthy:
The Hamas charter proudly proclaims that the organization exists for the single purpose of destroying Israel, claiming all territory therein for Palestinians as part of the global Islamic-supremacist movement. Manifestly, Palestinians knew this when they voted to be led by this notorious Muslim Brotherhood franchise, which has ruled Gaza for nearly a decade.

They also knew that Hamas operatives wage war through barbaric jihadist methods: intentionally targeting civilians for mass-murder attacks; refraining from wearing uniforms or otherwise distinguishing themselves as military combatants; blending in among the non-combatant population, and using civilian infrastructure — schools, hospitals, mosques, homes, etc. — as the launch-pad for rocket attacks, the storage depot for their arsenal, and the safe-haven for jihadist training and plotting.

These tactics are gross violations of the centuries-old laws and customs of war, long codified in modern international law. Yet, a…

When 'pro choice' is not ambiguous enough to win

NY Times:
Advocates Shun ‘Pro-Choice’ to Expand Message In this midterm election season, women’s groups like Planned Parenthood are shifting their language to reflect a range of health and economic issues that include abortion. Their problem is that "Pro Choice" has become synonymous with "Pro Abortion."   If they talk about abortion they turn off a lot of voters so they have taken to hiding their agenda with bogus claims about women's health as an excuse for abortion.  The fact is that most abortions have little to nothing to do with the woman's health and a lot to do with the inconvenience of having a baby.  They have also made disingenuous claims about "access" to birth control.  They seem to be willing to say almost anything to avoid having a honest conversation about their agenda.   If they did they fear they would lose support.

That would be a scary thought if true

The Hill:
White House: Israel has ‘no stronger defender’ than John Kerry
Actually I think I could find many stronger defenders of Israel who would not be pushing them into harmful agreements with a genocidal death cult.

Administration defends Kerry's failed efforts in Israel

Fox News:
The State Department publicly battled a barrage of Israeli criticism on Monday over Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to secure a cease-fire with Hamas, in the latest signs of strain between the Obama administration and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

Administration officials spoke in unusually blunt terms in defending Kerry, accusing some in Israel of launching a "misinformation campaign" against the top American diplomat.

"It's simply not the way partners and allies treat each other," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Other branches of the administration also leapt to Kerry’s defense. National Security Adviser Susan Rice said they were “dismayed” by reports “mischaracterizing” Kerry’s efforts.

Her deputy, Tony Blinken, said "Israel has no better friend, no stronger defender than John Kerry."

By late in the day, both sides appeared to be trying to move forward, with Psaki saying the U.S. is working toward…

What are the consequences of Russian non compliance with treaties?

NY Times:
U.S. Says Russia Tested Cruise Missile, Violating Treaty
The United States has concluded that Russia violated a landmark arms control treaty by testing a prohibited ground-launched cruise missile, according to senior American officials. It is not the only violation of arms treaties by the Russians, but to my knowledge nothing has been done about the earlier violations which only encourages Putin to ignore the commitments of his predecessors.  He certainly had no problem ignoring the commitments made on Ukraine  territorial integrity.  What we see is a testing of little bites that will eventually lead to bigger ones and may lead to a major war in Europe and possibly have world wide implications.  His cruise missiles may be a part of such a war.

Israel says it has found all the Hamas Gaza tunnels

Israel National News:
A senior IDF officer said Monday that Israel is in possession of all of the attack tunnels that Hamas dug from Gaza to Israel. A few more days are needed in order to dispose of the remaining tunnels, he said.

The IDF blew up two more tunnels in the course of the last 24 hours. “The longer we stay on the ground [inside Gaza], the more we learn about the extent of the tunnels and the route they were built in.”

IDF forces attacked 40 terror targets in Gaza in the last day, and the tunnels remained their main focus. “This is our central goal and that is why we are concentrating more and more forces in Gaza to complete the assignment.”
...  This suggest that Israel maybe wrapping up this portion of its Gaza operation, but there are still rockets to be found and destroyed and that may keep them there longer.

Meanwhile Hamas claims Israel has only found a fraction of their tunnels.  There could be more in southern Gaza.

Poll shows Abbott with substantial lead over Davis with few undecided

Houston Chronicle:
With just under 100 days to go until the gubernatorial election, an overwhelming majority of voters have made up their minds and favor Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott over Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis by double digits, according to a poll released this weekend.

The survey, done by polling firm YouGov in collaboration with CBS and The New York Times, shows 34 percent supporting Davis and 3 percent leaning toward voting for her, while the same numbers split 50-4 for Abbott. Perhaps the worst news from the poll for the Davis campaign is that only 2 percent aren't sure for whom they're going to vote, leaving a very small slice of a red-state electorate to vie for over the next three months.
... The major difference in this poll and previous ones is the lack of undecided voters.  Texans appear to have made up their minds about this race which makes Davis's task that much harder.  So far she has not shown herself up to the challenge.

Polling shows Perry is a contender for 2016 nomination

Jennifer Rubin:
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Early 2016 polling, as I’ve said before, is of limited utility. However, dramatic movement for or against a candidate is worth noting. In that department, Texas Gov. Rick Perry stands out. He is in a statistical tie for first, up five points in a month, in the latest CNN poll. We’ve noted his great improvement and impressive performance on immigration and foreign policy. Others seem to agree. Meanwhile, the Republican candidate who has suffered the most over the past six months or so seems to be Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.), not New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has held ground after slipping from front-runner status. Whether this is indicative of a trend or is merely a polling blip remains to be seen. But so far at least Perry is coming forward as more humble, knowledgeable and prepared than he was in 2012, and his strong presence on immigration and foreign policy (recently taking on the more isolationist Sen. Rand Paul) is working for him. It is surely conceivable th…

The energy boom despite Obama

Mark Perry:
It would be easy to look at the dramatic 35% increase in America's oil and natural gas production since President Obama took office and think the administration deserves much of the credit. But the energy boom has happened in spite of him.

Production could have been even greater if the administration embraced America's new energy superpower status instead of being so hostile to the development of our fossil fuel resources.

Since Obama took office, oil and gas production has soared on private and state land, for which he deserves little or no credit. Meanwhile, production on federal lands has dropped sharply due to a cutback in leasing of deepwater areas for energy development.

The U.S. government leases less than 2.2% of the energy-rich Outer Continental Shelf, and less than 6% of federal onshore lands. Offshore leasing is at half the level recorded during the Clinton administration, and its decline is indicative of Obama's hostility toward the oil and gas industr…

Missed chance to rip the veil from corruption in Venezuela

Roger Noriega:
The Netherlands’ decision to release powerful retired Venezuelan general Hugo Carvajal in Aruba, arrested Wednesday at the request of US law enforcement, is a boon to the narcostate in Caracas. It will make it easier for the Obama administration to continue ignoring the corrupt and repressive regime in Venezuela.

What happens in Venezuela matters here. It’s the world’s ninth-largest oil exporter, with the largest proven petroleum reserves of any country. And that nation of 30 million people and a $400 billion economy has disproportionate influence in the Americas.

Its government has spent billions of dollars on Russian arms and abetted the criminal activities of Iran and Hezbollah.

And the Carvajal arrest could’ve rip the veil off the regime’s alliance with Colombian narcotraffickers.

Were federal prosecutors to lay out their case against Carvajal in a New York courtroom, they’d reveal the involvement of dozens of senior Venezuelan officials in narcotrafficking and rela…

Military intelligence analyst explains why Israel must reject a cease fire

Jerusalem Post:
Yadlin: Hamas won’t voluntarily demilitarize, IDF must do it for them The UN certainly cannot be trusted with the job, since they have been turning weapons over to the terrorist that were stored in their facilities.  We know the Hamas leadership can't be trusted.

The moral chasm between Israel and Hamas

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Gen. James Conway:
...
I recently had the opportunity to see for myself the moral chasm between how the Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas treat civilians during military operations. In May I joined a dozen other retired U.S. generals and admirals on a trip to Israel with the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs.

Just outside Hamas-ruled Gaza, we toured a tunnel discovered less than one kilometer from an Israeli kindergarten. Unlike tunnels that I had seen during the Iraq war that were designed for smuggling, this Hamas tunnel was designed for launching murder and kidnapping raids. The 3-mile-long tunnel was reinforced with concrete, lined with telephone wires, and included cabins unnecessary for infiltration operations but useful for holding hostages.

Israel, fearing just such tunnel-building, has long tried to limit imports of concrete to Gaza for anything but humanitarian projects, yet somehow thousands of tons of the material have been diverted for terror use rather than build…

Leaving a hostile environment created by Democrats

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Washington Post:
Beretta — moving out of Md. — joins gunmakers heading to friendlier states The company is taking its manufacturing to Tennessee, costing Prince George’s 160 jobs. Liberals should not be too surprised at the cost of over regulating a targeted industry.  The US is stil a place where people have an alternative to liberalism and businesses will go where they are wanted.

It is sort of like the liberal media in a Republican administration

NY Times:
Outside Money Drives a Deluge of Political Ads An ad paid for by the Senate Majority PAC against Representative Cory Gardner, calling him an extremist on women’s issues.

Since the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United ruling, lavish spending by outside groups has created a nearly nonstop campaign season with a harsh, negative tone. The line about Gardner is a cutline for a graphic that did not make it to the headline section of the Times.   But it makes my point about how he media treats conservatives, and now how liberal groups treat them.  The good thing about the change is that conservative Republicans can night fight back against a near monopoly by liberals.  Before Citizens United that was much more difficult.

Financial service company moves operation support jobs to Texas

El Paso Times:
Charles Schwab to bring 445 jobs to El Paso It is the fourth such move to El Paso this year.  El Paso is a scenic part of Texas if somewhat isolated on the western tip of the state.  I always enjoyed my business trips to the area and their Mexican food is terrific, with a somewhat New Mexico touch to it.  The main thing the area needs is more conservative Republicans.

Border issues give Perry a platform

Dallas Morning News:
In the Running: Perry powers toward redemption — and perhaps a presidential bid It is a pretty good summary of the moves Perry has made to recover from the problems he had in 2012 while running for the Republican nominations.  I think he is doing what he needs to do to get back in the running and is picking up positive comments in the national media.  Another way you can tell he is relevant is that the left is acting like they are worried about him.

Obama coal restrictions in US lead to greater pollution elsewhere

AP/Fuel Fix:
As the Obama administration weans the U.S. off dirty fuels blamed for global warming, energy companies have been sending more of America’s unwanted energy leftovers to other parts of the world where they could create even more pollution.

This fossil fuel trade threatens to undermine President Barack Obama’s strategy for reducing the gases blamed for climate change and reveals a little-discussed side effect of countries acting alone on a global problem. The contribution of this exported pollution to global warming is not something the administration wants to measure, or even talk about.

“This is the single biggest flaw in U.S. climate policy,” said Roger Martella, the former general counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush. “Although the administration is moving forward with climate change regulations at home, we don’t consider how policy decisions in the United States impact greenhouse gas emissions in other parts of the world.”

Over the …

Russia ordered to pay $50 billion for destroying oil company

AP/Fuel Fix:
An international court on Monday ordered Russia to pay more than $50 billion to the former majority shareholders of now defunct oil company Yukos, ruling that the state engaged in a ruthless campaign to destroy what was once the country’s biggest oil producer.

In one of the biggest such cases ever, the Permanent Court for Arbitration in the Hague, Netherlands, determined Russia was not acting in good faith to collect taxes when it leveled massive claims against Yukos in 2003, even though some of the company’s tax arrangements might have been questionable. The tax case led to the imprisonment of Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky and has been widely seen as retaliation for his support of opposition political parties.

The state took advantage of the tax claims “by launching a full assault on Yukos and its beneficial owners in order to bankrupt Yukos and appropriate its assets while, at the same time, removing Mr. Khodorkovsky from the political arena,” the court said.

The ruling …

Israel suggest Hamas death cult responsible for killings atr UN school

NY Times:
Israel Says It Did Not Kill Palestinians at U.N. School
Israel and Hamas went back and forth on cease-fire proposals as Israel sought to bolster its claim that its forces were not responsible for the deaths of 16 Palestinians reportedly killed in an attack on a United Nations school. It is possible that Hamas did it by accident, but the group is of the mentality that they would sacrifice their own in order to tar Israel.  The Islamist call these victims "involuntary" martyrs.  It was a fairly common practice by al Qaeda in Iraq.  Hamas has shown a willingness to put civilians in harms way as human shields.  At the time of the event the Israelis were defeating Hamas fighters in Gaza and they may have hoped that staging a fake atrocity would slow the Israeli attack.  A lot of the media bought the scam and used it to put pressure of Israel for a cease fire.  It was a tactic used against teh US in both Iraq and Afghanistan.  Wedding were a favorite target for such ruses…

Texas model could fix America

Mark Davis:
Imagine if Democrats could point to one state that survived the economic recession better than the rest because of liberal policies. Imagine if that state created more jobs, attracted more new businesses and cut the cost of living significantly. Democrats would sing the praises of that state to every voter in the 2014 and 2016 elections.

That state doesn’t exist for liberals, but it does for conservatives — and it’s time for the GOP to adjust its message accordingly.

While the economy has struggled to show some middling signs of life, there is an example of a large slice of America that has not just survived, but thrived, in these punishing times, by employing conservative policies.

It’s Texas.

As ideas are bandied about for the best route forward, those making the case for fiscal responsibility, constitutional fidelity and limited government do not have to rely on promises and conjecture. They have Texas’ results.
... There is much more.

Texas is more than just oil and gas.  I…

Is Hamas getting realistic about a truce?

Times of Israel:
A statement Sunday by Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri accepting a 24-hour humanitarian truce marks the first indication that Hamas is starting to break. There’s no surrender and white-flag-waving, but the message is a sign of significant distress.

Contrary to what Israel has been trying to argue for 20 days, Hamas has not shown any signs of real weakness until now. The organization has continued firing rockets at Israel and has relentlessly tried to carry out attacks on Israeli soil.

But something has changed over the last few days. The group’s political leaders sound different, less decisive, less fiery. On Wednesday, politburo chief Khaled Mashaal said (from Qatar) that he would rather die than have the blockade continue, but the very next day, he changed his tune when it came to American assurances. And on Sunday, all this reached a tipping point.

Early Sunday morning, Abu Zuhri said Hamas would not agree to a humanitarian truce without the complete withdrawal of the I…

Perry's Guard call up already having deterrent effect?

AFP/Breitbart:
Texas Governor Rick Perry's plan to send troops to reinforce the Mexican border was enough to deter Salvadoran couple Edwin and Sandra, who decided to make a difficult trek through New Mexico instead.  The young couple, who are expecting a baby in six months, are crossing Mexico aboard an infamous freight train known as "The Beast," which tens of thousands of Latin Americans hop on each year to make their way to the US border.

Carrying two small backpacks, the pair had jumped off The Beast -- actually a network of trains crossing Mexico from south to north -- to stop for the night at Christ the King, a shelter in the central Mexican town of Apizaco that provides rooms to migrants hoping to sneak into the United States.

The couple had been on the road for 18 days since leaving El Salvador, but when they heard the news about presidential prospect Perry's move to send 1,000 National Guard reservists to the already tightly guarded border, they decided to d…

Tunnels destroyed on Gaza's other border

AFP:
Egypt army destroys 13 more Gaza tunnels Those tunnels have apparently also been used for terror attacks on Egyptian forces in the Sinai.  It does not appear that Egypt is open to opening its border with Gaza either.

Obama's Libyan screw up

Walter Russell Mead: ...
If Obama were a Republican, the press and the weekly news shows would be ringing with hyperbolic, apocalyptic denunciations of the clueless incumbent who had failed to learn the most basic lessons of Iraq. Indeed, the MSM right now would be howling that Obama was stupider than Bush. Bush, our Journolist friends would now be saying ad nauseam, at least had the excuse that he didn’t know what happens when you overthrow a paranoid, genocidal, economically incompetent Arab tyrant in an artificial post-colonial state. But Obama did—or, the press would nastily say, he would have done if he’d been doing his job instead of hitting the golf course or yakking it up with his glitzy pals at late night bull sessions. The ad hominem attacks would never stop, and all the tangled threads of incompetence and failure would be endlessly and expertly picked at in long New Yorker articles, NYT thumbsuckers, and chin-strokings on all the Sabbath gasbag shows. 
Why, the ever-admirable…

Hamas treachery results in resumption of Israel offensive

Jerusalem Post:
Hamas asks for new 24-hour truce in Gaza after breaking previous cease-fire ...
The order to resume the Gaza offensive came from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon after some 25 rockets were fired from Gaza Sunday despite Israel's agreement to extend a UN humanitarian cease-fire.  "Yet again Hamas is cynically exploiting the residents of Gaza in order to use them as human shields. Hamas first rejected the Egyptian cease-fire initiative and afterwards violated last week's UN humanitarian truce. It later violated the Red Cross humanitarian truce and has rebuffed the UN request for a humanitarian truce in order to allow the residents of Gaza to prepare for Eid al-Fitr," a government statement said.
... It is easy to understand why there is little trust of Hamas and its affiliated groups.  I see little reason to give them a break from the fighting they started and restarted.

John Kerry's crewy attempt to get a cease fire in Israel

Times of Israel:
‘Kerry told Hamas many of its demands would be met under ceasefire deal’ Secretary offered US guarantees, via Qatar, that key restrictions related to the ‘siege’ of Gaza would be eased, Palestinian sources say He was offering to give them things despite their starting the war and their war crimes against Israel.  It was a totally unrealistic proposal and that is why it was rejected.