Showing posts from April, 2014

The President's spokesman lied to us all on TV

Power Line: JAY CARNEY LIES ABOUT THE BENGHAZI EMAIL Read the story.  The piece includes not only the email that exploded on the scene yesterday, but also notes from the Sunday shows which clearly showed the topic of conversation would be about the deaths in Benghazi.  Carney's spin looks like it is intended to deceive.

Only 67 percent paid premiums for Obamacare enrollment

The Hill: House Republicans on Wednesday said they have data from insurance companies that shows only 67 percent of people who selected a health plan under ObamaCare have paid their first month's premium. That total contradicts expert estimates that about 80 to 90 percent of enrollees have paid their first month's premium. In March, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said as many as 90 percent had paid, based on insurance company estimates. The House Energy and Commerce Committee's subpanel on Oversight and Investigations said it contacted every insurance company involved in the federal marketplace, and based its data on people who had enrolled by April 15. The committee said it found only 2.45 million had paid for coverage through the federal marketplace. Insurers have said many enrollees still have time to make their first month's payment, so the committee said it would ask insurance companies to update its numbers again by May 20. "Tired o

There is something wrong with Texas politics

Kevin Williamson: Why do state universities have boards of trustees? In Texas, where the rather grandiose flagship university system styles its trustees “regents,” the governor appoints representatives to the universities’ governing boards in order to ensure that state resources are being stewarded responsibly. Governor Rick Perry has been more aggressive than most in seeking to reform his state’s higher-education system, from innovations such as his $10,000 degree challenge to such old-fashioned bugaboos as efficiency and institutional honesty. One of the regents he appointed, Dallas businessman Wallace Hall, pursued the latter energetically, and what he helped to uncover was disturbing: The dean of the law school resigned after it was revealed that he had received a $500,000 “forgivable loan” from the law-school foundation, without the university administration’s having been made aware of the extra compensation. And in a development sure to put a grimace on the face of any studen

Are Obama's lies more acceptable?

Allen West: ... Has our culture devolved to the point that the private statements of an NBA owner draws more outrage than the lies and deceit of the President of the United States? ... It is a question that liberals will attempt to avoid.

Liberals ignore the consequences of their policies

Spengler: No amount of evidence will convince liberals that they were wrong. Evidence abounds, to be sure: Appeasement invites aggression. Handouts increase dependency. Coddling terror-states like Iran elicits megalomania. Big government stifles the economy. They don’t care. Really. John Kerry romanced Basher Assad and Vanity Fair published a fawning profile of the Assad family, while the Obama administration secretly courted Iran. As a result we have in Syria the worst humanitarian catastrophe in the Arab world in modern times. Algeria racked up more casualties during the independence war of 1954-1962 and the civil war of 1991-2002, to be sure, but the casualties are coming faster in Syria and the displacement of immiserated civilians is greater. Do you hear liberals wringing their hands and asking, “Where did we go wrong?” They don’t, and they won’t. Ditto the disaster in Libya, which is turning into a Petri dish for terrorists post-Qaddafi. It doesn’t matter. Being in love with

Democrats writing off Wendy Davis?

Breitbart: Amid consistently poor polling numbers and key policy positions often indistinguishable from her Republican counterpart, the Democratic Governors Association (DGA) withheld State Senator Wendy Davis from its targeted race list for 2014. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin dashed hopes by reminding party supporters that Texas has been a reliably red state for two decades. The announcement was made at a gathering of the Third Way think tank, according to the  Wall Street Journal . Party leaders have instead opted to focus offensive operations for governors’ mansions in the Midwest to include Pennsylvania and Ohio—states carried by President Obama in 2012. Florida remains a consistent prize as well. The DGA’s reduced support for Davis should come as no surprise for voters closely watching the race against Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Latest Public Policy Polling found that not only was Davis failing to close the overall gap with her Republican rival, but her disapprov

Suggestions for US space program

Fox News: US astronauts should use trampolines to get into space, Russian official says It is a reminder of the strategic mistake the US made in not having an alternative for the Space Shuttle.

How the administration tried to hide the Benghazi scheming at the White House

Sharyl Attkisson: ... Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told me today that the government apparently tried to keep the Rhodes email out of Congress and the public’s hands by classifying it after-the-fact. “They retroactively changed the classification,” Chaffetz says. “That was an unclassified document and they changed it to classified.” In the past month, the government has supplied 3,200 new Benghazi-related documents under Congressional subpoena. In some instances, Congressional members and their staff are only permitted to see the documents during certain time periods in a review room, and cannot remove them or make copies. Chaffetz says that the State Department redacted more material on the copies provided to Congress than on those that it was forced to provide to JudicialWatch. One of the most heavily-redacted email exchanges is entitled, “FOX News: US officials knew Libya attack was terrorism within 24 hours, sources confirm.” The Fox News article was circulated among dozens o

Democrats abusing the bureaucracy

Washington Times: FEC lawyer used government job to campaign for Obama, investigation shows An employee at the Federal Election Commission, the nonpartisan agency that oversees campaigns, has resigned after admitting to campaigning for President Obama in 2012, in violation of federal laws. This is another demonstration of how Chicago Way politics has corrupted the government and made elections less fair.

It is time to give up on liberalism and try something that works

NY Times: Sharp Drop in U.S. Economic Growth Seen in 1st Quarter The economy grew at an annualized rate of 0.1 percent, well short of expectations, as wintry weather depressed corporate spending and housing sector activity. There are several things holding back the economy beyond global warming masquerading as a tough winter.  Obama's energy policy continues the mistake Democrats have made for decades of creating artificial scarcity where ever they have control of drilling permits which includes most federal sites.  If Permits were granted in the same way they are done in Texas we would have a robust energy economy like Texas has. The other huge drag on the economy is Obamacare.  It should be scrapped and replaced with free market solutions.  Actually what we had before was better for most people than screwing up the healthcare system to give subsidies to a couple of million people. We also need corporate tax cuts to encourage the repatriation of capital.   These three

People are more concerned with energy cost than environment issues

Fuel Fix: When it comes to energy, more Americans are concerned about protecting their pocketbooks than the environment. At least, that’s one of the findings of the latest iteration of the University of Texas energy poll, a survey conducted March 3-17 among 2,133 U.S. adults, with results released Wednesday morning. When respondents were asked to rate how concerned they were about a variety of energy issues, 84 percent said they were worried about gasoline costs and 78 percent said they were concerned about electricity costs. By contrast, only 56 percent said they were concerned about the impact of domestic oil drilling and production on the natural environment. And an even smaller group — just 46 percent — said they were concerned about the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing, an oil and gas well completion technology. Those findings suggest economic concerns outweigh environmental ones when it comes to domestic energy development — a finding that could color the way politi

The invalid assumptions that drive EPA 'science'

William O'Keefe: EPA Administrator, Gina McCarthy, in a recent speech said, “we’re coming after you” in discussing criticism of EPA science from some members of Congress and so called conservative groups. Her remarks were in response of efforts to obtain studies on which the agency has based some of its regulatory actions. If it wasn’t for the recent experience of the IRS targeting or the Justice Department’s unprecedented seizure of telephone communication of AP reporters, her remarks might be dismissed as just carelessness. Maybe she had just watched the Godfather or similar gangster movie. In her remarks, she said, “Science is real and verifiable,” she said. “With the health of our families and our futures at stake, the American people expect us to act on the facts, not spend precious time and taxpayer money refuting manufactured uncertainties.” She claims that the reports in question have been peer reviewed as if that makes them beyond criticism. The studies supporting co

Some in Philippines might prefer to lose territory to China?

Daily Mail: 'Nobama, no bases, no war': Bitter Filipino protesters burn US flags and clash with riot police as Obama's tour of Asia ends on a sour note  Hundreds of activists were involved in the violent confrontation outside the Presidential Palace in the capital, Manila, after a deal allowing US troops greater access to the country's military bases was signed. It looks like some of the people in the Philippines are still paranoid about their previous colonial ties to the US.   But, it is passing strange that they want to refuse help in resisting Chinese aggression and attempts to claim Philippine territory.

Ukraine stock market soars while Russian market drops

Bloomberg: Ukrainian stocks are soaring this month while those in Russia plunge, deepening the divergence since the crisis between the neighboring countries began late last year. The UX Index of stocks traded in Kiev has surged 9.2 percent, the most among 93 stock gauges after Dubai’s benchmark, as the former Soviet republic prepares to receive the first installment of a $17 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund . Moscow’s dollar-denominated RTS Index (RTSI$) has slumped 5.9 percent, the third-worst performance, amid concern that sanctions against Russia will push the country into recession. “We’re yet to see the full impact of sanctions on the Russian economy while growth is already slowing,” Dmytro Tarabakin, a Kiev-based managing director at Dragon Capital Ltd., said by phone yesterday. “ Ukraine ’s economy is in bad shape, but there are signs it’s heading in the right direction.” ... This is an interesting dynamic considering how Ukraine has lost territory.  Wh

US offers $5 million reward for Chinese businessman allegedly supplying missile parts to Iran

Reuters: The United States offered a reward of up to $5 million on Tuesday for a Chinese businessman accused of supplying missile parts to Iran, and targeted companies from China and Dubai for allegedly helping Iran evade weapons and oil sanctions. In a signal Washington will keep pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, the U.S. Treasury Department said it was sanctioning eight of Chinese businessman Li Fangwei's Chinese companies for allegedly procuring missile parts for Iran. The U.S. State Department said it was offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Li, who is also known as Karl Lee. Li has been the target of U.S. sanctions in the past for his alleged role as a principle supplier to Iran's ballistic missile program. The State Department said the announcement of the bounty for Li was coordinated with Treasury and the Justice Department, which unsealed an indictment against him on charges including conspiracy to c

Inside the Benghazi cover up

Washington Free Beacon: Previously unreleased internal Obama administration emails show that a coordinated effort was made in the days following the Benghazi terror attacks to portray the incident as “rooted in [an] Internet video, and not [in] a broader failure or policy.” Emails sent by senior White House adviser Ben Rhodes to other top administration officials reveal an effort to insulate President Barack Obama from the attacks that killed four Americans. Rhodes sent this email to top White House officials such as David Plouffe and Jay Carney just a day before National Security Adviser Susan Rice made her infamous Sunday news show appearances to discuss the attack. The “goal,” according to these emails, was “to underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure or policy.” Rice came under fierce criticism following her appearances on television after she adhered to these talking points and blamed the attack on a little-watched Internet vide

Turkish crime ring helped Iran evade sanctions

Reuters: In this city's Grand Bazaar, sellers along labyrinthine passageways hawk carpets, jewelry and souvenir knick-knacks to tourists. Turkish police believe that until recently, the area around the market also sat at the center of an audacious, multi-billion-dollar scheme involving bribery and suspect food shipments to Iran. To date, no one has been charged. But a recently leaked police report - which contains allegations of payments to top Turkish government officials including cash stuffed into shoeboxes - has added fuel to a growing corruption scandal that has shaken the highest levels of Turkey's political establishment. A review by Reuters of the report's 299 pages, as well as interviews with currency and precious metals dealers, offer colorful new details of how what police call a "crime organization" allegedly helped Iran exploit a loophole in the West's sanctions regime that for a time allowed the Islamic Republic to purchase gold with oil and

Russia, Iran cut deal on energy

NY Times: The Obama administration’s strategy of punishing Russia with economic sanctions over the Ukraine crisis encountered a new complication on Monday with word that the Russians are negotiating an $8 billion to $10 billion energy deal with Iran, another country ostracized by American-led sanctions, which partly depend on Moscow’s cooperation to be effective. The Russia-Iran energy deal, reported by the Iranian state news media, is the second significant economic collaboration under negotiation between the two countries that could undercut the efficacy of the sanctions on Iran. Those sanctions are widely credited with successfully pressuring the Iranians in the current talks over their disputed nuclear program. Officials at the United States Treasury Department, which enforces economic sanctions against Iran, did not immediately respond to queries about whether the Russia-Iran energy deal would technically violate those sanctions, which prohibit dealings with a range of Iranian g

Terrorist change their methods of communication after Snowden betrayal

Reuters: Terrorists have substantially changed their methods of communication since leaks by former U.S. intelligence operative Edward Snowden, hindering intelligence agencies' efforts to track them, a senior British security official said on Tuesday. "The Snowden effect has been a very, very severe one," Stephen Phipson, a director at Britain's Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT), told a London security conference. Snowden, a former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, caused international uproar last June when he disclosed details of the extent of surveillance and electronic intelligence gathering by his former employers and by the British equivalent GCHQ to the Washington Post and Britain's Guardian newspaper. "Our adversaries, the terrorists out there, now have full sight of the sorts of tools and range of techniques that are being used by government," he said. "I can tell you data shows a substantial reduction in the use of

US taped Russian conversations with its spies in Ukraine

Daily Beast: The secretary of state claimed in a private meeting that the U.S. intelligence community has recordings of pro-Russian forces being managed by government handlers in Moscow. The United States has proof that the Russian government in Moscow is running a network of spies inside eastern Ukraine because the U.S. government has recordings of their conversations, Secretary of State John Kerry said in a closed-door meeting Friday. “Intel is producing taped conversations of intelligence operatives taking their orders from Moscow and everybody can tell the difference in the accents, in the idioms, in the language. We know exactly who’s giving those orders, we know where they are coming from,” Kerry said at a private meeting of the Trilateral Commission in Washington. A recording of Kerry’s remarks was obtained by The Daily Beast. Kerry didn’t name specific Russian officials implicated in the recordings. But he claimed that the intercepts provided proof of the Russians deliberatel

Polls don't favor those who lied to impose healthcare law

Washington Post: Outlook bleak for Democrats this fall, poll finds The party’s midterm hurdles include a president with low approval ratings and voters who favor a GOP-led Congress to keep the executive branch in check. Democrats deserve to lose.  They have engaged in the politics of fraud to push their agenda they could not have passed if they told the truth.  President Obama has ignored the rule of law and attempted to thwart Congress.  It would be good for the country if he faced a veto proof Congress.  As for those Democrats who attempted to use the IRS to suppress the votes of Tea Party activist, they deserve more than defeat.

The Army rebuilds its big guns

Defense News: US Army Brig. Gen. David Bassett visited this remote desert artillery range to see something that has become increasingly rare in Army acquisition circles: a major developmental program that looks like it’s going to work. Although the system isn’t entirely new, the decades-old Paladin 155mm mobile howitzer system has undergone such a radical upgrade that “it’s managed essentially as a new program” Bassett said, in between outgoing rounds at the test range. With wholesale replacements of the electronics gear and firing drive, and increased maneuverability, speed and crew protection, the new Paladin “is going to be the leader” of the platforms in the Armor Brigade Combat Team (ABCT), he said, “and the other programs are going to be struggling to keep up with where it has now gone.” Beginning in August, the old Paladin chassis will begin to be shipped to the Anniston Army Depot, Ala., where they’ll be stripped of usable parts for the new system. The same engine, transmissi

Two wheel mechanized warfare

CNN: A silent, nimble, two-wheeled killing machine. That's what Pentagon researchers envision, now that they've greenlighted developing a hybrid motorcycle powered by two sources: an engine that burns several types of fuel and a stealthy, super-quiet electric motor. Imagine an elite U.S. fighting force deployed in a mountainous region of Afghanistan, riding motorbikes that are nearly silent. The loudest sound is tires on dirt as they twist and turn down dried river beds and up narrow goat trails. When they launch their assault on a Taliban stronghold, the enemy is taken by surprise. The Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has tapped defense contractor Logos Technologies and motorcycle maker BRD to design the motorbike. As a platform for the project, Logos is talking about BRD's 250-pound RedShift MX . Although the RedShift MX is totally electric, Logos wants to combine that with an engine that burns regular gasoline, as well as jet fuel and diesel.

Putin began plotting Ukraine invasion in 2004

McClatchy: The Russian invasion of Ukraine began long before separatists seized control of eastern Ukrainian city buildings. It began long before an estimated 40,000 Russian troops massed on the Ukrainian border, engaging in “training exercises” as Moscow threatened “consequences” for Ukrainian resistance. It even began long before the mostly bloodless seizure of Crimea in March. Experts and officials in Ukraine insist it began during the autumn of 2004. It was then, they say, while Ukrainians and much of the world rejoiced at the power of democracy shown through the Orange Revolution, that Russian President Vladimir Putin, despite a landslide victory earlier in 2004, saw the potential of democratic unrest spreading into his nation. Analysts say he worried. Shortly after, he began a media campaign demonizing Ukraine, to both Russians and Russian-speaking eastern and southern Ukrainians. Ukraine, long considered an inseparable ally for Russia, was portrayed as dangerous, untrustworthy

Kerry responds to criticism of his 'apartheid' remarks

Jerusalem Post: US Secretary of State John Kerry issued a forceful statement on Monday night responding to fallout from his use of the term 'apartheid' to characterize a potential future Israeli political reality, should a two-state solution with the Palestinians fail to come to pass. "I will not allow my commitment to Israel to be questioned by anyone, particularly for partisan, political purposes," Kerry said in the statement, issued by the State Department. "I do not believe, nor have I ever stated, publicly or privately, that Israel is an apartheid state or that it intends to become one." "I have been around long enough to also know the power of words to create a misimpression, even when unintentional, and if I could rewind the tape, I would have chosen a different word," Kerry added. ... Kerry is using a straw man argument.  The criticism of the remarks was bi-partisan. Whether he allows it or not, he has brought his support for Israel in

Russia's largest oil company sinks to 10 month low

Bloomberg/Fuel Fix: OAO Rosneft, the world’s largest publicly traded oil producer, fell to the lowest level in 10 months in Moscow after the U.S. included Chief Executive Officer Igor Sechin in a sanctions list. The shares lost 1.7 percent to 219.80 rubles by the close in the Russian capital, declining for a sixth day to the lowest since June 19. Rosneft’s global depositary receipts slumped 1.8 percent in London to the weakest level since September 2012. The company was among six government-related entities whose ratings were cut to BBB- by Standard & Poor’s, the lowest investment grade, after the shares stopped trading. “It’s pretty unpleasant when the CEO of the biggest oil companies is placed on such a list,” Alexei Kokin, an analyst at UralSib Financial Corp., said by phone. “It’s really important to find out whether the company itself will be sanctioned in the future.” The Obama administration imposed penalties on Sechin and six other Russian officials, as well as 17 compani

Sen. Cruz says it is time for Kerry to resign

Politico: Sen. Ted Cruz called for the resignation of Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday afternoon, criticizing Kerry for reportedly telling world leaders that he fears Israel could become an “apartheid state.” The secretary said in a closed door meeting last week that Israel might transform into an “apartheid state” without a two-state solution to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, according to the Daily Beast. The Texas GOP senator said he read Kerry’s comments with “great sadness” but that those type of remarks are precisely why he voted against the former Massachusetts senator’s nomination last year. “I was convinced that as Secretary of State John Kerry would place what he considered to be the wishes of the international community above the national security interests of the United States. I fear with these most-recent ill-chosen remarks, Secretary Kerry has proven those concerns well founded,” Cruz said in a floor speech. “Secretary Kerry has thus prov

China orders destruction of church buildings

Telegraph: China accused of anti-Christian campaign as church demolition begins   Activists accuse Communist Party of ‘barbaric’ campaign against Christianity after demolition teams and police descend on a church that became a symbol of resistance You can see, at the link above, it is a huge modern facility that is being demolished.  This seems like a rather harsh reaction at what was claimed to be a zoning violation.  Christian churches are growing in China and it may soon be the country with the largest populations of those professing to be Christians.

Democrats' turnout problem this year?

The Atlantic Wire: According to complex voter models and updated theories of voter psychology, we can now state: Democrats are in trouble in 2014, particularly in the close Senate race in North Carolina. Thanks, science!  OK, that's a little unfair. Two new reports from  The New York Times  and  The New Republic  offer a lot more context to the known travails of the Democratic Party. The endpoint is the same — unless Democrats manage to turn more friendly voters out in November, they're doomed — but the path to get to that conclusion has gotten more interesting. In North Carolina, the problem for Democrats is younger voters, as Nate Cohn reports at the Times' new blog The Upshot . When incumbent Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan won in 2008, she did so by winning 71 percent of the vote from 25-and-under voters who comprised 10 percent of the electorate. She won handily, but that strong support from young voters puts her reelection at risk. Young people tend to vote less freq

Wendy Davis dodging Rio Grande Valley debate?

Carlos Sanchez: U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro – who came to McAllen last week as part of our Newsmaker Breakfast Series – declared what many other political observers have already said about this year’s election: For Democratic gubernatorial nominee Wendy Davis to win in November, she must win strong in the Rio Grande Valley. What the San Antonio Democrat did not say, however, is that Davis’ Republican rival for the governor’s office, Greg Abbott, can win the state’s top elective post without the Valley. But Abbott has said several times during his campaign that he wants the Valley’s vote. So I was pleasantly surprised when, a few weeks ago, the Abbott campaign reached out to me to see if The Monitorwould be interested in playing host to a gubernatorial debate to be held in the Valley. “Of course,” I said immediately, seeing this as a terrific opportunity for the Valley to play an influential role in this year’s election. I immediately reached out to the local Telemundo and CBS affili

California's environmental vote buying scam

This is why many people can't wait to leave California.  It has become the poster child of all that is wrong with liberalism.

Perry investigation is no 'Bridgegate'

John Dickerson: ... The story of Perry’s legal imbroglio doesn’t start with him, but with Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. A year ago she was found in a church parking lot after police received a report about a driver weaving on the road. She was sharing the company of an open bottle of vodka and was given a sobriety test. Her blood alcohol level was nearly three times the legal limit. “Don’t you know who I am?” she asked the officers. She also asked them to contact Sheriff Greg Hamilton, between tantrums of kicking the jailhouse door, presumably because she thought Hamilton would get her out of the embarrassing jam. Ultimately, Lehmberg pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 45 days in jail, which she served. Republicans called for Lehmberg to resign. She refused. The governor said that if she did not resign, he would veto $7.5 million in state funding for the Public Integrity Unit that she oversees. She didn’t budge, and Perry made good on the threat. A watchdog gr

The President and his lies to sell Obamacare

Fox News: Gov. Jindal: ObamaCare wouldn’t have become law without lies There are some better alternatives than this product of the politics of fraud.  Jindel makes a good case against the President's plan.

Medicaid expansion not that popular

Washington Post: A majority of Virginians oppose using federal Medicaid funds to expand health coverage, according to a new poll that finds public opinion has rapidly soured on Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s top priority. The Wason Center at Christopher Newport University poll found that 53 percent of the state’s voters oppose enrolling more Virginians in the federal-state health program for the poor, a sharp reversal from February, when the center found that 56 percent backed expansion. McAuliffe (D) and a slim majority of the evenly divided state Senate have pushed this year to expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act, saying it would provide insurance to up to 400,000 needy Virginians and boost the economy. The Republican-dominated House has opposed expansion, raising doubts about the federal government’s ability to pay most of the $2 billion-a-year cost and stressing the need to first rein in the existing Medicaid program. “Democrats are losing the debate on expanding Medic

Toyota moves large part of sales office to Dallas area

Dallas Morning News: Worldwide automotive giant Toyota plans to move a big chunk of its U.S. headquarters from California to West Plano. Toyota is negotiating to purchase an office site in Legacy business park where it would locate more than 4,000 workers. The automotive manufacturer has been in talks for months with real estate owners and developers in Plano, real estate brokers familiar with the project say. Toyota plans to seek incentives from the City of Plano and the State of Texas for the move, which is scheduled to be announced on Monday. Bloomberg News reported Sunday that the move will involve “substantial parts” of Toyota’s U.S. headquarters located in Torrance, near Los Angeles. The operations there have thousands of workers who handle sales, finance, marketing, engineering and product planning for the automaker. Toyota is moving the jobs out of California to seek lower operating costs, Bloomberg quoted sources. ... Toyota will get lower cost and its employees

Europe wimps out again on Russian sanctions

Opinion Journal: The U.S. and EU are saying they will impose new sanctions on Russia as early as Monday, albeit watered down again due to fears of economic harm in Europe. This continues the trend of incremental action that Vladimir Putin has consistently shrugged off. It also avoids the real need in the West for rethinking how to handle a revanchist Russia. The sanctions-by-small-degrees strategy continues the hope that Mr. Putin's Russia can somehow, with the right balance of carrots and sticks, be brought back into the European fold. In this view Mr. Putin is reacting understandably to Russia's post-Soviet decline in power and the West's NATO expansion. Ukraine and the rest of the Russian near abroad are part of the Kremlin's historic sphere of influence, so let Mr. Putin have them and after a slap on the wrist we can all return to business as usual. This is a false diagnosis wrapped in self-deception. It is how the West responded after the Soviet (sic) invasion o

Living at the UPS store?

AP Allen West:  More Florida Voter Fraud? 3,000 Registrations List UPS Stores As Residence At least they can get mail delivered there.  Some give addresses to store fronts that do not provide that service and some even use vacant lots for an address.

A back lash to liberal gun control in California

NY Times: In California, a Fevered Rush for Gun Permits The flood shows the frustration of California gun owners and the complicated politics of weapon regulation in a state with a large catalog of gun control legislation. There is nothing like gun control laws to inspire people to buy more guns and get concealed carry permits.  You would think that liberals would notice how counter productive their attempts to ban weapons has become.   Control freak government policies only make many people more eager to get a weapon before it is too late.

Democrat healthcare screw ups continue to reverberate

NY Times: Political Stigma as a Deterrent to New Health Law Officials say the law has been stigmatized for many it could help, especially in states that are hostile to President Obama. Obama and the Democrats are primarily responsible for this situation.  They refused to consider bipartisan solutions and wound up with a bill that only ;liberal democrats supported.  Since then they have done nothing to make the law acceptable to Republicans and in fact they keep doing things that make it more unacceptable.  They have earned the political stigma attached to the law.  They own it and it is going to cost them in coming elections.

Philippines agrees to US troops to hold off China threat to territory

AP/Stars & Stripes: The United States and the Philippines have reached a 10-year pact that would allow a larger U.S. military presence in this Southeast Asian nation as it grapples with increasingly tense territorial disputes with China, according to two Philippine officials and a confidential government primer seen by The Associated Press on Sunday. The Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, which would give American forces temporary access to selected military camps and allow them to preposition fighter jets and ships, is due to be signed Monday at the Department of Defense in the Philippine capital, Manila, shortly before the arrival of President Barack Obama, the officials said. Obama's visit is the last leg of a four-country Asian tour that also took him to Japan, South Korea and Malaysia. The two officials spoke with the AP on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of the pact ahead of its signing. A Philippine government primer on

US weapon systems used by Syrian rebels

The Daily Beast: New evidence suggests the U.S. may be secretly giving heavy weapons to Syrian rebels to turn the tide of the war. Here’s what those weapons can do and how much difference they’ll make. After years of grinding civil war, the Syrian battlefield has seen a wide array of weapons employed by the rebel factions fighting Assad. From antiquated World War II rifles to homemade mortars, the rebels have used everything at their disposal, but recently the appearance of American anti-tank weapons in the northern town of Heesh has many wondering if the United States is finally about to supply the rebels with the heavy weapons, including shoulder-fired MANPADs, needed to counter Assad’s mechanized and airborne forces. In early April, YouTube videos showed American made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank rocket systems in the hands of Harakat Hazm, a group of moderate Syrian rebels. It’s not confirmed who provided the weapons but they could have come directly from the United States, which has b

Syria can be a key to turning the Russians

Anne-Marie Slaughter: ... The problem is that if Assad continues to believe that he can do anything to his people except kill them with chemicals, he will exterminate his opponents, slaughtering everyone he captures and punishing entire communities, just as his father, Hafez al-Assad, massacred the residents of Hama in 1982. He has demonstrated repeatedly that he is cut from the same ruthless cloth.... A US strike against the Syrian government now would change the entire dynamic. It would either force the regime back to the negotiating table with a genuine intention of reaching a settlement, or at least make it clear that Assad will not have a free hand in re-establishing his rule. ... The US, together with as many countries as will cooperate, could use force to eliminate Syria’s fixed-wing aircraft as a first step toward enforcing Resolution 2139. “Aerial bombardment” would still likely continue via helicopter, but such a strike would announce immediately that the game has changed.

NRA responds to Bloomberg's million

The ad points out the real political strength of the NRA that Bllomberg and other opponents don't seem to get.

Behind the Russian insurgents in Ukraine

Wall Street Journal: The elusive commander of the pro-Russia militants who have seized the east Ukrainian city of Slovyansk has revealed himself for the first time since the crisis began, saying in a taped interview that his armed crew arrived in Ukraine's east from Crimea. Igor Strelkov, the commander whom officials in Kiev have described as a Russian intelligence officer, gave a picture of the fighters he brought to Slovyansk, who since early April have transformed the city into the epicenter of eastern Ukraine's pro-Russia unrest. The new government in Kiev has described Slovyansk as the "most dangerous city in Ukraine." "The unit that I came to Slovyansk with was put together in Crimea. I'm not going to hide that," Mr. Strelkov told the Moscow-based Komosomolskaya Pravda tabloid in a video interview released Saturday. "It was formed by volunteers—I would say half or two-thirds of them citizens of Ukraine." The unit includes people from w

Space X to launch from Boca Chica beach near Brownsville, Texas

Westport News:   SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk has signaled his company's intent to put its much-sought launch pad project on a beach near Brownsville. The signs came Friday in final comments Musk gave at an unrelated news conference in Washington, D.C. SpaceX is "developing a launch pad on the south coast of Texas, near Brownsville. We're waiting on the final environmental approvals for that. We expect those soon, and we'll probably have that site active in a couple of years," said Musk, who also co-founded PayPal and Tesla Motors in addition to the California-based private rocket maker. A final environmental impact assessment is pending from the Federal Aviation Administration . The assessment could be issued next month and could help determine if the Boca Chica Beach site gets the FAA license required for commercial rocket launches. Lower Rio Grande Valley promoters are assuming nothing regarding the region's prospects for becoming a spa

She and Obama did very little to stop it when the traffickers bring people across the Mexican border

USA Today: Hillary Clinton urges action against human trafficking I have been finding trafficking stories ever since the Obama administration cam into office and their immigration policy has only encourage more of it leading to abuse and death for many.  The proposed immigration reform does not address the problem.  People will still try to evade detection and get inland where they know they are unlikely to ever be sent back unless they are caught committing a felony.

Afghan doctor moves to top in presidential contest

NY Times: Ally of U.S. Emerges as Front-Runner in Afghan Vote In preliminary results released Saturday, Abdullah Abdullah, a longtime opponent of President Hamid Karzai’s and an ardent supporter of the United States, won 45 percent of the votes in the presidential election, but not enough to avoid a runoff. Abdullah is an intelligent man who first came to my attention as a spokesman for the Northern Alliance right after the 9-11 attacks.  He very well probably won the last election and would have if not for vote fraud and ballot stuffing to give the race to Karzai.  For the Afghan's sake I hope Abdullah wins this time.

They don't see it as a winning issue in 2014

The Hill: Dems don't want to talk O-Care It gives some insight in how many Democrats are running away from this issue and don't even mention it on their web sites.

Zawahiri urges follower to commit war crimes

CNN: In the second part of a long-ranging interview, al Qaeda's leader urged Muslims to capture Westerners as pawns that might be used to free prisoners aligned with his movement. Asked what he'd tell "Muslims and the mujahedeen" -- a term used for some Islamist militants -- to do to "fulfill their duty" toward their allies in custody, Ayman al-Zawahiri said, "I advise them to capture Westerners -- and especially the Americans, as much as they can -- to exchange them for our captives." This was one of many comments on a wide array of topics that al-Zawahiri touched on in a question-and-answer session with al Qaeda's media arm, audio of which was published on the radical Islamist website Hanein. CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of the recording, though the voice appears very similar to previous messages from al-Zawahiri. In the first part of the interview , which was posted online a week ago, al-Zawahiri insisted that al Qaeda