Friday, October 07, 2016

Obama’s hostile eulogy

October 6, 2016

Image result for obama shimon peres funeral
US President Barack Obama speaks during the funeral of former Israeli president and prime minister Shimon Peres at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl national cemetery on September 30, 2016. (AFP)

US President Barack Obama’s eulogy of Shimon Peres at Mount Herzl last Friday was a thinly disguised assault on Israel. And he barely bothered to hide it.

Throughout his remarks, Obama wielded Peres’s record like a baseball bat. He used it to club the Israeli public and its elected leaders over and over again.

Peres, Obama intimated, was a prophet. But the suspicious, tribal people of Israel were too stiff necked to follow him.

In what was perhaps the low point of a low performance, Obama used Peres’s words to slander his domestic critics as racist oppressors.

“Shimon,” he began harmlessly enough, “believed that Israel’s exceptionalism was rooted not only in fidelity to the Jewish people, but to the moral and ethical vision, the precepts of his Jewish faith.”

You could say that about every Israeli leader since the dawn of modern Zionism.

But then Obama went for the jugular.

In a startling non sequitur he continued, “‘The Jewish people weren’t born to rule another people,’ he [Peres] would say. ‘From the very first day we were against slaves and masters.’” We don’t know the context in which Peres made that statement. But what is clear enough is that Obama used his words to accuse the majority of Israelis who do not share Peres’s vision for peace – including Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu who was sitting in the front row listening to him – of supporting slavery.

This libelous assault on Israel was probably the most unhinged remark ever directed at the Jewish state by an American president. What does the fact that Obama said this at Peres’s funeral tell us about Obama? What does it tell us about Peres? Obama was not merely wrong when he accused Peres’s detractors of support for slavery, he was maliciously wrong.

Due to Peres’s Oslo Accords, since 1995, all the Palestinian population centers in Judea and Samaria have been governed by the PLO. Israel hasn’t been in charge of any aspect of their daily civic existence.

And they have only suffered as a result. Between 1967 and 1996, when the Palestinians of Judea and Samaria were governed by the military government, the Palestinians were free. They only became “enslaved” when the PLO took over.

Under Israeli rule, the Palestinians enjoyed far more expansive civil rights than they have since we left. The PLO transformed their lives into chaos by implementing the law of the jungle, enforced by mob-style militias. Their property rights were trampled. Their civil rights have been gutted.

The fact that PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas and his cronies delayed their municipal elections indefinitely the day after Peres’s funeral is yet another testament to the absence of freedom in the PLOas opposed to Israeli-ruled areas.

But really, Obama couldn’t care less. He didn’t come here to tell the truth about Peres. He came here to use Peres as a means to bludgeon the government the people elected.

Obama began his attack as he often begins his political assaults on his opponents. He created a straw man.

Peres’s critics on the Right, he said, “argued that he refused to see the true wickedness of the world, and called him naïve.”

In other words, as far as Obama is concerned, Israelis are prisoners of their dark view of the world. Unlike Peres the optimist, his countrymen are tribal pessimists.

Peres, whose vision for peace rested on giving the outskirts of Tel Aviv and half of Jerusalem to terrorists, wasn’t naïve. He “knew better than the cynic.”

He was better than that. He was better than us.

This brings us then to the paradox of Peres’s life’s work. Over last quarter-century of his life, we, the people of Israel wanted to feel empowered by Peres’s superstar status. We wanted to get excited when Hollywood stars and A-list politicians came to his birthday bashes at the President’s Residence and the Peres Center.

But every time we tried to see Peres’s success as our success, some visiting VIP would smile before the cameras and kick us in the shins.

The higher Peres’s star rose in the stratosphere of celebrity stardom, the worse Israel’s global position became. The international A-listers who showed up at all of Peres’s parties always seemed to view him as their guy, not our guy. He was one of them – and above the likes of us.

How did this happen? How did the last surviving member of Israel’s founding generation become a prop for Israel’s chorus of international critics? The most extraordinary aspect of Peres’s long life is that he packed two full – and contradictory – careers into one lifespan.

Peres’s first career began with Israel’s founding.

It ended with the Likud’s victory in the 1977 Knesset election.

Over the course of that career, Peres used his formidable diplomatic skills to build and strengthen Israel’s defenses. He cultivated and expanded complex strategic relationships with the French and the British. Those ties led the two major powers to fight at Israel’s side in the 1956 Suez Campaign. They led to France’s decision to help Israel build its nuclear program and its arms industry.

In the 1970s as defense minister, Peres was able to rely on his warm ties to foreign leaders to shield the country as he established the Jewish communities in Samaria and Hebron. They empowered him to oversee the hostage rescue mission at Entebbe.

But following the Likud’s rise to power, Peres changed gears. Ever since 1981, when he almost managed to scuttle the air force’s bombing of Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor, Peres used his diplomatic talents and ties to foreign leaders to advance his own agenda, regardless of whether that agenda was aligned or contradicted Israel’s national agenda, as set out by its elected leaders.

Time and time again, on the backs of the public that failed to elect him and of the politicians the public elected instead of him, Peres cultivated and used the relationships he enjoyed with foreign leaders to press his own policies. Each attempt to derail the policies of the government expanded Peres’s chorus of supporters abroad.

Peres’s second career reached its high water mark in 1994 when along with Rabin and Yasser Arafat he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the Oslo process. The world embraced and celebrated Peres for his peace deal that brought neither peace nor security to his people.

And the public rejected him for it. Between 1977 and 1996, Peres stood for election five times. He lost all five races along with a primary battle against Yitzhak Rabin for leadership of the Labor Party.

Contrary to Obama’s assertion, Peres’s critics on the Right didn’t oppose his Oslo process because they saw “the true wickedness of the world.” They opposed the Oslo process because they saw the reality on the ground.

Ahead of the 1996 election, where Peres ran against then-opposition leader Netanyahu, the Palestinians launched an onslaught of bus bombings that killed 60 people in eight days. After the second bus bombing in Jerusalem, a television crew stuck a microphone in front of a teenage boy who had just seen the bus blow up.

Standing amid the wreckage, he let out a primal wail and called out, “Peres, what is wrong with you? We are Jews! They are murdering us!” The next week, then-US president Bill Clinton arrived in Jerusalem to campaign for Peres, whom he extolled as a brilliant statesman. But to no avail.

Netanyahu won.

It was reality, not cynicism, which dictated the outcome.

Peres’s second career left its deepest mark on the Foreign Ministry. As foreign minister during the heady days of Oslo, Peres told Israel’s diplomats to stop talking about PLO incitement and anti-Semitism.

The best hasbara, he said, was peace. Israel needed no other policy.

Beyond the obviously destructive implications of tethering Israel’s diplomatic standing to the fortunes of a peace process with a terrorist group, Peres’s directives forced our diplomats into passivity.

Why bother defending Israel when the status of the peace process alone would determine our standing? Why bother using the diplomatic tools of carrots and sticks when whatever hostility Israel suffered from would be magically erased the minute Israel concluded a peace deal with the PLO? A few weeks ago, it was reported that Netanyahu rebuked the diplomatic corps. It isn’t sufficient for you to simply send in reports about what is happening in your host countries, he reportedly said. I want you to actually do something to affect the situation for the better.

In other words, Netanyahu ordered Israel’s diplomats to abandon the legacy of Peres’s second career and embrace the legacy of his first career. He effectively said: Use whatever tools you have – just as Peres used the little leverage Israel had in its first 15 years of independence – to advance Israel’s position.

That is your job. I can read about current events in the newspapers.

This brings us back to Obama and Peres’s other foreign admirers who descended on the country Friday morning in their private jets and limousines.

A few hours after the funeral ended, the White House published a correction to the original text it had released of Obama’s eulogy. The correction related to the dateline. The original version had the dateline as “Jerusalem, Israel.”

The revised, corrected version had a line going through the word Israel. As far as the Obama White House is concerned, Jerusalem – along with Mount Herzl, the Knesset, and all the rest – is not in Israel.

It was a petty, puerile thing to do. And it revealed a breathtaking animosity for Israel.

Any moderately sane observer knows that Israel won’t transfer sovereignty over its national war cemetery to a foreign power in exchange for peace.

The “correction” wasn’t about advancing the cause of peace. It was about venting hostility toward the members of a primitive tribe who prefer their darkness to the optimistic vision of their spurned prophet.

Obama did get one thing right in his speech. In his round about, condescending way, Obama noted that due to their rejection of Peres’s vision of peace through appeasement, some Israelis have forgotten the important role Peres played in his first career in building the architecture of national defense on which Israel has successfully defended itself throughout the years.

And he is right, that with Peres’s passing, we should remember the tremendous good he did for the country in his first career, when he was working for us.

We should embrace that Peres legacy and cherish it always.

The stillborn legacy of Barack Obama

October 6, 2016
President Barack Obama walks from the rostrum after making a statement about the shootings in Oregon at the White House, October 1, 2015.  Responses to Thursday’s mass shooting from Obama, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Jeb Bush illustrate the stark divide between the two parties on the issue of gun control. Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
(Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
Only amid the most bizarre, most tawdry, most addictive election campaign in memory could the real story of 2016 be so effectively obliterated, namely, that with just four months left in the Obama presidency, its two central pillars are collapsing before our eyes: domestically, its radical reform of American health care, a.k.a. Obamacare; and abroad, its radical reorientation of American foreign policy — disengagement marked by diplomacy and multilateralism.
On Monday, Bill Clinton called it “the craziest thing in the world.” And he was only talking about one crazy aspect of it — the impact on the consumer. Clinton pointed out that small business and hardworking employees (“out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week”) are “getting whacked . . . their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half.”
This, as the program’s entire economic foundation is crumbling. More than half its nonprofit “co-ops” have gone bankrupt. Major health insurers like Aetna and UnitedHealthcare, having lost millions of dollars, are withdrawing from the exchanges. In one-third of the U.S., exchanges will have only one insurance provider. Premiums and deductibles are exploding. Even the New York Times blares “Ailing Obama Health Care Act May Have to Change to Survive.”
Young people, refusing to pay disproportionately to subsidize older and sicker patients, are not signing up. As the risk pool becomes increasingly unbalanced, the death spiral accelerates. And the only way to save the system is with massive infusions of tax money.
What to do? The Democrats will eventually push to junk Obamacare for a full-fledged, government-run, single-payer system. Republicans will seek to junk it for a more market-based pre-Obamacare-like alternative. Either way, the singular domestic achievement of this presidency dies.
The Obama Doctrine.
At the same time, Obama’s radically reoriented foreign policy is in ruins. His vision was to move away from a world where stability and “the success of liberty” (JFK, inaugural address) were anchored by American power and move toward a world ruled by universal norms, mutual obligation, international law and multilateral institutions. No more cowboy adventures, no more unilateralism, no more Guantanamo. We would ascend to the higher moral plane of diplomacy. Clean hands, clear conscience, “smart power.”
This blessed vision has just died a terrible death in Aleppo. Its unraveling was predicted and predictable, though it took fully two terms to unfold. This policy of pristine — and preening — disengagement from the grubby imperatives of realpolitik yielded Crimea, the South China Sea, the rise of the Islamic State, the return of Iran. And now the horror and the shame of Aleppo.
After endless concessions to Russian demands meant to protect and preserve the genocidal regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, last month we finally capitulated to a deal in which we essentially joined Russia in that objective. But such is Vladimir Putin’s contempt for our president that he wouldn’t stop there.
He blatantly violated his own cease-fire with an air campaign of such spectacular savagery —targeting hospitals, water-pumping stations and a humanitarian aid convoy — that even Barack Obama and John Kerry could no longer deny that Putin is seeking not compromise but conquest. And is prepared to kill everyone in rebel-held Aleppo to achieve it. Obama, left with no options — and astonishingly, having prepared none — looks on.
At the outset of the war, we could have bombed Assad’s airfields and destroyed his aircraft, eliminating the regime’s major strategic advantage — control of the air.
Five years later, we can’t. Russia is there. Putin has just installed S-300 antiaircraft missiles near Tartus. Yet, none of the rebels have any air assets. This is a warning and deterrent to the only power that could do something — the United States.
Obama did nothing before. He will surely do nothing now. For Americans, the shame is palpable. Russia’s annexation of Crimea may be an abstraction, but that stunned, injured little boy in Aleppo is not.
“What is Aleppo?” famously asked Gary Johnson. Answer: the burial ground of the Obama fantasy of benign disengagement.
What’s left of the Obama legacy? Even Democrats are running away from Obamacare. And who will defend his foreign policy of lofty speech and cynical abdication?
In 2014, Obama said, “Make no mistake: [My] policies are on the ballot.” Democrats were crushed in that midterm election.
This time around, Obama says, “My legacy’s on the ballot.” If the 2016 campaign hadn’t turned into a referendum on character — a battle fully personalized and ad hominem — the collapse of the Obama legacy would indeed be right now on the ballot. And his party would be 20 points behind.

Hillary Clinton’s Scandals Begin to Undermine Libya Prosecutions

The lies continue to unravel.

By Andrew C. McCarthy — October 7, 2016
Image result for clinton benghazi

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the September 11 attacks against the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

Well, you heard it here first: As I warned back in August 2015, Hillary Clinton’s recklessly irresponsible mishandling of classified intelligence and destruction of thousands of government records was certain to undermine any government attempt to prosecute cases related to the Benghazi massacre and the Obama-administration policies — spearheaded by then-Secretary Clinton – that led up to it.

It has now happened. And there is still another shoe to drop – one the Obama Justice Department has conveniently managed to push beyond Election Day.

On Tuesday, Politico reported that the Justice Department had quietly dropped a criminal case against Marc Turi. He had been indicted by federal prosecutors in Phoenix for supplying arms to Libyan “rebels” during the 2010–11 civil war.

In that conflict, pursuant to Obama-administration policy that was spearheaded by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and backed by senior Republicans on Capitol Hill, the United States switched sides: turning against the regime of Moammar Qaddafi (notwithstanding that he had been supported by the U.S. government as a key anti-terrorism ally), and backing Islamists championed by the Muslim Brotherhood, whose ranks were threaded with al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadists (i.e., the terrorists about whom Qaddafi had been providing our government with intelligence).

The administration dropped the criminal case on Tuesday, one day before a court-ordered deadline to disclose information about its efforts to arm Islamist rebels.

Turi’s lawyers had explained his defense to the court: His arms shipments, destined for the Libyan rebels and channeled through Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, were part of a U.S.-authorized effort. Turi further asserts that the Obama administration was subsequently complicit in the shipment of weapons from Libya to “rebels” in Syria, who are fighting the Assad regime.

This defense is consistent with public reporting that the administration has tried to downplay for years. The murder of four American officials, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, by al-Qaeda-affiliatedjihadists in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, was the culmination of a series of terrorist attacks on Western targets. Islamists had been empowered by Qaddafi’s overthrow and armed with the Obama administration’s encouragement. The New York Times, for example, reported less than a month after the Benghazi massacre that “the Obama administration gave its blessing to arms shipments to Libyan rebels from Qatar last year, but American officials later grew alarmed as evidence grew that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants.”

Moreover, as I have previously recounted, Mr. Stevens, prior to becoming ambassador, was the administration’s liaison with the Libyan “rebels,” including their jihadist factions. One of his contacts, Abdelhakim Belhadj, had been a leader of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Libyan Islamic Fighting Group before taking control of the Tripoli Military Council after Qaddafi was overthrown.

Belhadj coordinated a 400-ton weapons shipment from Benghazi to Syria through Turkey. The vessel carrying the weapons had docked in Turkey just five days before Stevens was killed. Although Benghazi was an extraordinarily dangerous place for Americans, the U.S. maintained State Department and CIA compounds there whose purposes have still not been explained. 
Despite the obvious danger on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Stevens was at the compound that night and met with Turkey’s consul general just before the fatal jihadist siege. Immediately after Obama was reelected in November 2012, the Times of London reported that he was beginning to arm the Syrian “rebels” directly; but the administration had plainly been encouraging others to arm them prior to that.

Turi was planning to raise these matters at his trial, which had been scheduled to commence on Election Day next month. Based on both the defense Turi proffered and the government’s obligations to disclose exculpatory evidence, the presiding judge last month ordered the administration to produce documents relevant to its arming of Libyan rebels.

The administration’s deadline to disclose this embarrassing information was Wednesday. By dropping the case on Tuesday, the Justice Department avoided making any disclosure.

Had the evidence been produced and the trial gone forward, voters would have been treated in the run-up to the election with reports highlighting the administration’s Libya policy, the Benghazi massacre, and the arming of jihadists — all profoundly embarrassing to Clinton and Obama. What’s more, Turi planned to use Clinton’s private e-mails – the substance of the ones that have been disclosed and speculation about the ones Clinton destroyed – to demonstrate the administration’s involvement in arming rebels.

As I’ve previously observed, this would not just have been a political nightmare for the Democratic nominee; there is also potential legal jeopardy. When testifying before a Senate committee in early 2013, Mrs. Clinton was grilled by Senator Rand Paul (R., Ky.) regarding her knowledge of whether the government had been involved in any way in transferring weapons out of Libya to other countries, including Turkey. After trying to deflect the question, Clinton stated under oath, “I don’t know. I don’t have any information on that.”

Had the administration not dropped the case against Turi, the court’s order would have required it to disclose any information it may have that could cast doubt on this testimony.
That, however, is not the end of the story.

As I related a little over a year ago, there is a second Libya-related case that could be severely damaged by Clinton’s e-mail scandal: the indictment against Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the only terrorist charged in the Benghazi massacre (notwithstanding that the attack involved scores of jihadists that Obama promised to “bring to justice” – many of whom have obviously been identified).

It is worth repeating the scenario I foreshadowed last year in explaining how Clinton’s e-mail scandal could sabotage the Khatallah prosecution. The jihadist’s lawyers are certain to contend that
he is being scapegoated for an al-Qaeda plot that was longer in the making [than the one the indictment, based on Obama’s Benghazi narrative, has alleged]. I’d expect [Khatallah] to elaborate that the government singled him out — even though many others were involved — because he was a known critic of American policy who had the misfortune of being in the vicinity of the “diplomatic facility” that night. His prosecution for an allegedly spontaneous attack, he will claim, is an effort to deflect attention from the State Department’s failure to upgrade security, from Obama’s complicity in arming jihadists long before the Benghazi attack, and from the administration’s decision to downplay the role of al-Qaeda (which is not even mentioned in the indictment) while pretending the attack was caused by a video. . . .  
To press such a theory, Khatallah’s lawyer can be expected to argue that the government is hiding evidence that (a) the State Department knew of the continuing al-Qaeda threat but recklessly reduced security before September 11; (b) administration policies had empowered jihadists in Benghazi, who later carried out the attack for which Khatallah is being blamed; and (c) high administration officials, including Secretary Clinton and President Obama, concocted the video story during a tight presidential-election race to divert public attention from questions about who really carried out the Benghazi attack and what was really going on at the “diplomatic facility.” 
Laying out this scenario, you can almost hear Khatallah’s lawyer saying, “Your Honor, we believe we are entitled to communications by the secretary of state with other officials. They would demonstrate the government’s knowledge of security lapses, the rising al-Qaeda threat, the fact that the September 11 operation was a terrorist attack, and the identities of attack participants whom the government has chosen not to charge while singling out my client. They would also show the connivance of top government officials in a scheme to convince the public this was a spontaneous attack caused by the video — a scheme that made it easy to frame my client because he happened to be on the scene that night, rather than the terrorist organization that planned it long before.”
Just as in the now-abandoned Turi case, the e-mails Clinton destroyed could be just as problematic for prosecutors as the ones that have been preserved – e-mails that show the administration was telling one Benghazi story to the public and a very different one in discussions that Clinton and other officials thought would never see the light of day. Naturally, Khatallah will allege that the missing Clinton e-mails would have proved his allegations — perhaps even that they were destroyed because they would have. What can the government possibly say in response to this? The FBI has already conceded that Clinton destroyed thousands of e-mails, and there is no doubt that a significant percentage of these involved State Department business.

Despite the fact that Khatallah was captured and then charged nearly two and a half years ago, the Obama Justice Department has managed to put his trial off until late September 2017 — over ten months after the 2016 election.

Very convenient.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Chicago Blood

By Heather Mac Donald
From the Autumn issue of City Journal
Image result for chicago shootings 2016
“The streets are gone,” Chicago police-union boss Dean Angelo told me in August 2016. The night before, a Chicago police officer’s son had been killed in a shooting while sitting on his family’s porch, one of 92 people slain during the city’s worst month for homicides since July 1993. The August victims who actually survived their drive-by assaults included ten-year-old Tavon Tanner, shot while playing in front of his house (the bullet damaged Tavon’s pancreas, intestines, kidney, and spleen and is still painfully lodged between his shoulder and chest, despite several operations); an eight-year-old girl shot in the arm while crossing the street; and two six-year-old girls. At least 15 children under the age of 12 were shot in the first seven months of 2016, including a three-year-old boy who is now paralyzed for life following a Father’s Day drive-by shooting. The elderly are also victims. At noon on September 6, a 71-year-old man watering his lawn was accosted by a teen on a bike who demanded the man’s wallet; when he refused, the teen shot him in the abdomen, and then rifled through his pockets for the wallet before pedaling away.
By early September, homicides in Chicago for 2016 were up 47 percent over the same period of 2015, a year in which crime was already up significantly over 2014; nonfatal shootings were also up 47 percent. On Labor Day, nine people were killed, completing a holiday weekend tally of 13 shooting fatalities and 51 nonfatal shooting victims.
“There is no way out of this shooting spree,” Angelo said. His despair is understandable because Chicago is the country’s most glaring example of what I have called the “Ferguson effect.” Chicago officers have cut back dramatically on proactive policing, under the onslaught of criticism from the Black Lives Matter movement and its political and media enablers. Pedestrian stops in Chicago dropped 82 percent through September 27, 2016, compared with the same period in 2015. The cops are “driving by people on the corners,” Angelo tells me. “They’re not sweeping the corners clean any more.” As a result of this drop in discretionary enforcement, criminals are back in control and black lives are being lost at a rate not seen for decades.
Who can blame the Chicago cops for backing off of discretionary activity? They are responding to political signals being sent by the most powerful segments of society. President Barack Obama takes every opportunity to accuse the nation’s police of lethally profiling blacks and Hispanics. The media, activists, and academics routinely denounce pedestrian stops and public-order enforcement as racially driven oppression intended simply to “control African-American and poor communities,” in the words of Columbia law professor Bernard Harcourt. Never mind that it is the law-abiding residents of high-crime areas who beg the police to clear their corners of large groups of teens and other loiterers. Those residents know through hard experience that such disorderly gatherings often produce shootings. But their voices aren’t heard by anyone, it seems, other than the police.
Further discouraging stop activity in Chicago is a misguided agreement signed in 2015 between the Illinois ACLU and the former police superintendent, mandating that all stop forms filled out by Chicago officers be forwarded for review to the ACLU, an organization not known for its unbiased evaluations of police activity. Also contributing to Chicago de-policing is the backlash from city hall’s mishandling of the unjustified fatal police shooting of Laquan McDonald in October 2014.
Chicago cops, like their counterparts in other urban areas in the Black Lives Matter era, now encounter aggressive hostility when they get out of their cars to investigate suspicious behavior. “People are blatantly disrespectful,” Angelo says. “They bait the police.” A few weeks after our conversation, aChicago Tribune reporter filmed a group of teens taunting officers for over an hour during a shooting investigation on the West Side. “F--- the police!” went one chant. “Get the f--- off my block!” came another insult. A black officer was singled out for particular abuse. “You a traitor! You a traitor! You bogus as hell!” one heckler said. “Black lives matter. You a b----,” said another. Someone fired off shots in a nearby alley just for the fun of seeing cops run toward another possible victim. “Run, b----, run!” a shirtless male shouted contemptuously, as the officers took off in a sprint. This chorus of naysayers was actually relatively benign compared with the violent resistance that officers now routinely experience during arrests, but the Tribune at least opened a window into the Black Lives Matter–inspired street reality that the media have heretofore refused to cover.
Two credible threats to assassinate Chicago officers were picked up over the summer: the first was apprehended by the National Gang Intelligence Center and the second by the Chicago PD. Forty officers have been targeted in gun assaults this year through September 15, up 100 percent from the same period in 2015 and 2014.
The media have offered every possible explanation for the anarchy other than the right one. Favorite theories include, as usual, poverty, racism, and lack of government services. Police superintendent Eddie Johnson also invokes “social and economic ills” as causes of the rising violence, but he focuses mostly on the argument that Chicago’s gun felons don’t receive harsh enough sentences. He may have a point, but it is one lost on Illinois’ Legislative Black Caucus, which blocks any effort to impose stricter mandatory minimum sentences on violent felons. (The caucus’s opposition to strengthened gun-crime statutes constitutes a sub-rosa acknowledgment that the vast majority of gun criminals in Chicago are black—80 percent of them, in fact.) Following particularly bloody weekends, Johnson reels off the weapons offenses of recent shooting victims (he focuses on victims because the no-snitch ethic usually prevents the identification of their shooters). Johnson’s litany of gun criminals who are back on the streets in little or no time destroys the favorite conceit among “criminal-justice reform” advocates that a racist system is imposing draconian sentences on harmless sad sacks.
But neither Johnson’s lax gun-sentencing explanation for the Chicago violence surge nor the media’s poverty-and-systemic-injustice explanation gets the timing right. Chicago’s violent crime started rising sharply in 2015 and continued into 2016. Sentencing protocols didn’t weaken in late 2014; gangbangers with guns got the same criminal-justice treatment before violence started rising as after. Nor did poverty or alleged racism worsen after late 2014. What did change was the intensity of antipolice ideology, driven by the Black Lives Matter movement, relentlessly amplified by the press, and echoed by President Obama.
The ideal solution to ending Chicago’s violence would be for more at-risk boys to be raised by both of their parents. Superintendent Johnson has admirably spoken out about family breakdown, the real “root cause” of inner-city violence. “When I go home at night, and I see my neighbors,” Johnson said after the Labor Day carnage, “they’re asking me how come African-Americans won’t step up to the plate and be parents to their children. So all of this fundamentally starts at home.” But until both mothers and fathers start raising their children together, the police will be the only thing standing between the law-abiding residents of high-crime areas and total anarchy. And when the police pull back, under the accusation that proactive enforcement is racist, it is the law-abiding who suffer.
“Where does this end?” Dean Angelo mused as our conversation wound down. “I don’t know. We’re in an unknown environment. We don’t know at what point in time the people in this city and the city council will stand up and say: ‘Enough is enough,’ so that cops again feel that they have the support to be the police again.”
Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and the author of the New York Times bestseller The War on Cops.


New information exposes old lies about the nuclear deal.

October 6, 2016

Image result for obama iran nuclear

Senator Obama opposed naming Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps a terror group even while it was closely involved in organizing attacks against American soldiers in Iraq. Then, as part of his dirty deal with Iran, he secretly sent a fortune in foreign cash on airplanes linked to the IRGC.
And, as another part of the secret ransom deal with Iran, he lifted UN sanctions on Bank Sepah.
The United States has gone after plenty of banks for aiding terror finance, but Bank Sepah is somewhat unique in that it is a financial institution actually owned and operated by Islamic terrorists.
Bank Sepah is an IRGC bank. The IRGC, despite Obama’s denials, is an Islamic terror group with American blood on its hands. It is to Shiite Islam what ISIS is to Sunni Islam. And even the Democrats know it.
After the Khobar Towers bombing, which killed 19 Americans, President Clinton sent a message to the leader of Iran warning that the United States had evidence of IRGC involvement in the attack.
More recently, Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that the IRGC have been “labeled as terrorists” when discussing how the Shiite terror organization will benefit from Obama’s sanctions relief.
Bank Sepah however had been sanctioned for something bigger than terrorism. The scale of bombings it was involved in could make the Khobar Towers attack seem minor. Sepah had been sanctioned for being "involved in nuclear or ballistic missile activities."
Among other activities, it had helped Iran buy ballistic missile technology from North Korea.
Iran’s nuclear weapons program would only be halfway complete if it gets the bomb. It also needs missiles to be able to strike Israel, Europe and eventually America. That’s where North Korea and Bank Sepah come in. Bank Sepah helps keep Iran’s ballistic missile industry viable. By delisting it, Obama aided Iran’s ballistic missile program just as he had earlier aided its nuclear program.
Obama’s holistic approach to the Iranian bomb is to help the terror state assemble the physical components it needs to become a nuclear power. And the truth is hidden within the secret deals.
There are secret deals that Obama made with Iran that we already know about. There are secret deals that we suspect exist. And there are secret deals whose existence we are not even aware of.
Obama rang in Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year, by assuring the Rabbis on a conference call that they didn’t need to worry about Iran nuking anyone because “every pathway to a nuclear weapon is now closed off.”
That’s funny because last year he was still claiming that under his deal in 13 years Iran’s breakout time will, “have shrunk almost down to zero.” If every pathway to a nuclear weapon is closed, how could Iran possibly have zero breakout time to make the occasion of the bar mitzvah of his dirty nuclear deal?
And which Obama do you believe? Try neither.
The secret document revealed earlier this year by the AP showed that Iran would be able to get its uranium enrichment in gear after 11 years and more than double its enrichment rate. What happens by the thirteenth year? Then Iran gets a blank check on centrifuges. That’s what Obama really meant.
Then breakout time to the bomb drops from a year to six months. Or even less. Until it hits zero.
But Ernest Moniz, Obama’s sniveling Secretary of Energy, assured the AP that it wouldn’t be a problem because Iran would only be allowed to store 300 kilograms of low-enriched uranium.
He lied.
Even as Obama was assuring the Rabbis of how thoroughly Iran was complying with his deal, new revelations were emerging of how he had helped Iran fake its compliance with the deal.
That’s the sort of thing you go to hell for. But it’s a little too late for Obama to worry about that.
The issue was simple. Obama wanted to lift sanctions on Iran. But Iran was not in compliance with even his mostly worthless agreement. So Obama decided that it was time to help the terror state fake it.
Iran was only allowed to keep 300 kilograms of low-enriched uranium. Obama agreed to upgrade that amount to “unknown quantities”. How much is an “unknown quantity”? Like the rest of Iran’s nuclear program, we don’t know. Low-enriched uranium, even in unknown quantities, doesn’t sound that scary. Except that according to a former U.N. weapons inspector, it can be used to produce highly enriched uranium. And that’s how you go from zero to a mushroom cloud over your city.
And then there are the large hot cells that Iran was allowed to keep running.
Secretary of Energy Moniz didn’t just lie to the AP. Lying to the media is practically an Obama indoor sport. He told the same lie in his testimony to the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. Senators were assured that Iran would be allowed to keep "only 300 kilograms of low (3.67 percent) enriched uranium hexafluoride, and will not exceed this level for fifteen years." Iran didn’t have to wait 15 years to exceed that amount. Or even 15 minutes. Obama gave them a pass on it right out of the gate.
But Moniz wasn’t a rogue liar. He was telling the lie that he had been told to tell.
At the Rosh Hashana conference call with the Rabbis, Obama repeated the false claim that Iran had “shipped out 98 percent of its enriched uranium”. He told the lie even though the truth had already come out at the beginning of September. The 98 percent or 300 kilogram limit had been bypassed by him.
No one challenged him or called him out on his lie. And that is the problem.
Obama has lied about the Iran deal from the very beginning. And that’s not about to change.
The fairy godmother of Iran’s enrichment was Hillary Clinton. The “breakthrough” in the negotiations took place when she accepted some Iranian nuclear enrichment. And then it was just a matter of determining how much enrichment would take place officially and how much would take place unofficially that would be officially ignored or covered up by our own government.
That is how we got to the ticking atomic time bomb.
Obama hasn’t just turned a blind eye to Iran’s race to the bomb. He has empowered and enabled all elements of it from its nuclear program to its ballistic missile program. He has ensured that Iran would have the money, the manpower and the resources to become a nuclear power. He directed elements of our intelligence services and military to prevent Israel from striking Iran’s nuclear program. He even aided its core terrorist organization and its ballistic missile program.
This isn’t an error. It’s not cowardice. It’s treason.
A coldly calculated plan to turn Iran into a nuclear power is coming together. On the other end of it lies the horrifying death of millions.
Why would Obama and Hillary do such a horrifying thing? The American scientists and spies who helped the Soviet Union get the bomb believed that they were making the world a better place by limiting our ability to use nuclear weapons. Their treason almost led to the end of human life on earth.
The Iran deal is the second great wave of nuclear treason of the left. And the full truth is yet to be told.
 Tags: IranNuclearObama

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Still Crazy After All These Years

An ObamaCare October surprise.

October 4, 2016

Image result for bill clinton flint
Bill Clinton in Flint.

Five weeks before the presidential election, a campaign surrogate is declaring war on ObamaCare, as the Washington Times reports.
“You’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden 25 million more people have health care and then the people are out there busting it, sometimes 60 hours a week, wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half,” the surrogate said in Flint, Mich., Monday. “It’s the craziest thing in the world.” Also: “The people that are getting killed in this deal are small businesspeople and individuals who make just a little too much to get any of these subsidies.”
Having said all this, why aren’t Donald Trump ahead by 50 points? you might ask. Maybe because the quote above doesn’t come from one of Trump’s surrogates but from one of Hillary Clinton’s—and not just any surrogate but Bill Clinton, to whom Mrs. Clinton is officially married.
It’s something of an October surprise, and Mr. Clinton isn’t the only unlikely critic of ObamaCare to emerge in recent days. In yesterday’s New York Times, reporter Robert Pear described ObamaCare as a failure while studiously avoiding the F-word: “[President] Obama’s signature domestic achievement will almost certainly have to change to survive.”
Since ObamaCare is not a living organism, the “survival” metaphor obscures more than it illuminates. Just how much change could the law take and still be deemed to have “survived,” as opposed to having been replaced by a new scheme? We’re not sure how to answer that other than purely subjectively. There are more maddening metaphors, too:
Dr. John W. Rowe, who was the chief executive of Aetna from 2000 to 2006 and the president of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York before that, predicted that “the insurance market will stabilize in two or three years.”
“We are not in a death spiral,” Dr. Rowe said. “If this were a patient, I would say that he’s not in intensive care, but he’s still in the hospital and requires careful monitoring.”
But that does not mean the act will heal on its own, said Sara Rosenbaum, a professor of health law and policy at George Washington University.
It doesn’t help that Rowe and Rosenbaum are describing a problem with health-care financing using medical metaphors—though perhaps it’s revealing that the one thing they don’t discuss about the ObamaCare “patient” is whether he has insurance, the proliferation of which, we are supposed to believe, is ObamaCare’s great accomplishment.
But actually ObamaCare does have insurance. “The Obama administration is maneuvering to pay health insurers billions of dollars the government owes under the Affordable Care Act, through a move that could circumvent Congress and help shore up the president’s signature legislative achievement before he leaves office,” the Washington Post reported last week:
Justice Department officials have privately told several health plans suing over the unpaid money that they are eager to negotiate a broad settlement, which could end up offering payments to about 175 health plans selling coverage on ACA marketplaces, according to insurance executives and lawyers familiar with the talks. . . .
The money in question involves one of three strategies to help coax insurers into the marketplaces by promising to cushion them from unexpectedly high expenses for their new customers. This particular strategy, known as “risk corridors,” was for the marketplaces’ first three years, when it was unclear how many people would sign up and how much medical care they would use. . . .
The risk corridors started in 2014. The crunch became apparent last fall, when federal health officials announced that they faced an enormous gap because so many more health plans incurred high expenses for their ACA customers than low ones. For that reason, HHS [the Department of Health and Human Services] made less than $400 million in 2014 risk-corridor payments—just 12.6 percent of $2.9 billion it owed overall.
That is, ObamaCare’s insurance scheme was so badly designed that its reinsurance scheme broke down and the administration is madly searching for tax money it can use to bail out insurance companies—the same insurance companies Obama relentlessly vilified when he was attempting to sell the public on ObamaCare.
In an interview with New York magazine, Obama sounds a familiar theme about Republicans’ failure to cooperate:
[GOP lawmakers made] a calculation based on what turned out to be pretty smart politics but really bad for the country: If they cooperated with me, then that would validate our efforts. If they were able to maintain uniform opposition to whatever I proposed, that would send a signal to the public of gridlock, dysfunction, and that would help them win seats in the midterms. It was that second strategy that they pursued with great discipline. It established the dynamic for not just my presidency but for a much sharper party-line approach to managing both the House and the Senate that I think is going to have consequences for years to come.
Obama himself made a similar calculation, also really bad for the country, though one could argue either way if it was “smart politics.” With Democratic majorities in both congressional chambers, he worked with his party’s leaders to bully through the law despite uniform Republican opposition and public opposition strong enough to elect a GOP senator from Massachusetts, of all places.
Now, as the Hill reported last month, “Democrats are beginning to talk about changing ObamaCare to fix what they acknowledge are growing problems in the law’s insurance marketplaces,” and they “are also expressing hope that Republicans will work with them to make fixes to the law when the new Congress convenes in 2017.”
Which could get interesting. With Obama gone, his veto—and ego—would no longer be a barrier to legislation undoing ObamaCare, or at least its worst aspects. If Trump is elected, one would expect congressional Republicans to take the lead. As for Mrs. Clinton, who knows? She has described herself as a supporter of ObamaCare, but that is probably just another way of saying she’s a supporter of Obama, who is much more popular than she is.
The Times’s Pear reports that many Democrats favor a “public option” (a government-run medical-insurance company) or even “single payer” (a government-run medical-insurance monopoly). But neither of those ideas seems likely to go anywhere in a Republican-controlled House or Senate.
Maybe Mr. Clinton’s anti-ObamaCare musings were meant to signal to Republicans that Mrs. Clinton would be flexible enough to go along with some reforms they would find acceptable. Or maybe Mr. Clinton just wishes Mrs. Clinton were flexible.