Monday, November 19, 2012

Benjamin Netanyahu: Leader of the Free World 

By: Matt Barber  / Townhall Columnist


There has been much talk of late about America’s “fiscal cliff.” As troubling as our impending (Obama-spurred) economic collapse may be – and it is more troubling than even our most pessimistic economists are willing to admit – I’m even more concerned about fast-mounting tensions worldwide.

As the world government ship of fools drifts unmanned amid a sea of unparalleled global volatility, we, her passengers, behold – brewing on the horizon – an economic and foreign relations “perfect storm.”

As so often is the case, the hurricane swirls around the Middle East.

Historically, the president of the United States has captained the ship. He has, heretofore, been duly regarded “leader of the free world.”

Not now. Not with Gilligan reaching for the helm.

Indeed, the current occupant of the Oval Office spends more time with his feet on JFK’s Resolute desk than he does leading from behind it.

But “leading from behind” he does.

More commonly known as “following,” President Obama’s follow-the-leader strategy in the Middle East represents, in my view, either inherent weakness on his part, sympathy toward the Islamic cause or both.

I suspect both.

Indeed, during his first term, Mr. Obama betrayed both weakness personified and sympathy toward the goals of Islamic fundamentalism with his ongoing embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood.

This extremist group, with Obama’s help, now controls much of the Arab world. It has sworn, in its own words, to “destroy” our “Western civilization from within … so that it is eliminated and God’s religion (Islam) is made victorious over all other religions.”

Not surprisingly, today the Brotherhood rushes to the aid of both the terrorist group Hamas and Holocaust denier Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority. This, as terrorists ramp-up decades-long rocket attacks and suicide bombings against innocent Israeli women and children.

Nonetheless – and clearly stemming from a cynical political calculus – Mr. Obama persists in paying shallow lip service to support for Israel. All the while he continues to play footsie with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Recall that, just last year, the president touted the “Arab Spring” – which any high school history buff could have predicted would devolve into the utter chaos it has – as “an extraordinary change taking place,” wherein, “Square by square, town by town, country by country, the [Muslim] people have risen up to demand their basic human rights.” (You know, like the Quran-given right for Muslim men to beat or kill women and homosexuals with impunity; or like the human right for both Iran and the Palestinian Authority to “wipe Israel from the face of the earth.”)

Whether due to naiveté, foolishness or pure dishonesty, President Obama’s bungling of the Middle East crisis – let alone his unprecedented attacks on our constitutional freedoms stateside – has disqualified him to lead the free world.

And so, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stepped forward to answer the call. He has become de facto leader of the free world – chief defender of Western civilization.

As America’s light fades under the Obama regime, Israel has become – for now at least – “the shining city on the hill.”

With a nuclear Iran perhaps only months away, Western civilization needs defending now more than ever. Israel needs defending now more than ever. Consider these words from top Hamas cleric Muhsen Abu ‘Ita: “Annihilation of the Jews here in Palestine is one of the most splendid blessings for Palestine.”

Thus, Israel defends herself. Israel defends the free world.

To be sure, the worldwide Islamic juggernaut has become emboldened by the actions – by the inaction – of a sympathetic, do-nothing U.S. president. Muslim terrorists have, as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) recently noted, “turned Gaza into a frontal base for Iran, terrorizing residents of Israel and forcing them to live under unbearable circumstances.”

Yet, inexplicably, many in the West – people Vladimir Lenin might have called “useful idiots” (i.e., “progressives,” mainstream media and moderate American Muslims) – willfully suspend disbelief. They play directly into the blood-soaked hands of these terrorist cowards.

Having time and again demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice their own innocent people (consider child suicide bombers), these monsters today both deliberately target Israeli neighborhoods with rockets and intentionally place their own military launch sites and terrorist headquarters next to mosques, playgrounds, factories and the like.

This, as intended, has created a propagandist boon. Much of the world blames Israel when these human shields are tragically killed during pinpoint military strikes. Who needs missile defense when you have women and children to hide behind?

To both the Israeli and the Arab victims of radical Islam, I say this: You are in our thoughts and our prayers. Our hearts break for you. We pray that God will cover and protect you during these dark days and nights.

Critical questions for ABC-NBC-CBS-PBS-NPR-AP-NYT-WASHPO-LAT 

By: Shawn Mitchell  / Townhall Columnist

 
Wake up and smell the cappuccino, conservatives. This election offers devastating proof we must embrace immigration reform now. It’s our only hope! Not as the pandering stunt some Beltway geniuses argue will trick liberal minorities into voting conservative. Someone’s gotta be inhaling Colorado’s special herbs to think that’ll work. 

No, we need immigration reform so Univision can hire more hard-working reporters to do the dirty jobs their American counterparts won’t, like, ask a few tough questions.

Imagine a press conference going like this:

Mr. President, it’s  reported your Attorney General knew your FBI was investigating your Director of Central Intelligence about issues that eventually forced his resignation. Yet Mr. Holder reportedly didn’t tell you for months the CIA could be compromised.  Shouldn’t you fire him for keeping you in the dark?

Mr. President, on the campaign trail, you proudly declared Al Qaeda is on the run, war is retreating, and peace is breaking out. Yet, with the hit on an American ambassador, Libya nearly a failed state, Syria tottering on the brink, war erupting between Hamas and Israel, and Egypt crouching to jump, isn’t the opposite more accurate: Al Qaeda is resurgent, war is breaking out, and  peace is on the run? 

A follow up, sir? Did your words and actions encouraging the Arab uprisings contribute to the direction events took? Has your heavy use of drone attacks and their collateral damage to civilians created the kind of anti-American “blowback” your predecessor was criticized for?

Mr. President, this week you strongly rejected criticism of Susan Rice for misleading the public. You say it’s not fair to attack her because she didn’t have anything to do with Benghazi; you’re the one who asked her to go on the talk shows and spread the Administration’s disinformation about a video protest. 

That raises a few questions, sir. Secretary Clinton was very involved in the relevant events. Why wasn’t she the one to report to the media and the American people? Why did you put Ambassador Rice in the position of relaying false information? Does that affect her credibility on the national and world stage? If she couldn’t see you were setting her up, how can she hope to tango with the likes of Putin and Ahmadinewhat’shisname?

Mr. President, you’re so cool and dreamy! giggle I’ve never seen you lose! How can you stand to deal with those hideous, wrinkly Republicans? Oh…I’m so sorry! I thought this was the American media 
press conference. I’ll go wait in the other room. We’re just salivating and waiting to slobber on you! 

Hey, if things don’t work out with Michelle…

Moving to the economy, Mr. President, you famously said if you couldn’t fix things in three years, there’d be “a one term proposition.” But most the leading indicators, like jobs, the deficit, the national debt, consumer confidence, are staying bad or getting worse. 

As we look into what is now an eight-year proposition, what are your goals for successful benchmarks? What kind of employment numbers, job creation, deficit reduction, pay-down on the debt can the American people hope for under your leadership?

Mr. President, in the second debate with Governor Romney, you said the biggest misperception about you is that you actually believe the free enterprise system is the greatest engine of prosperity the world's ever known. Would you clarify your position? Is business development that’s planned and directed from Washington the same thing as free enterprise? 

If there’s a difference, can you name two or three actions you’ve taken--or plan to take--to facilitate free enterprise, as opposed to government-directed enterprise?

In that same debate, Mr. President, you touted America’s increased domestic oil and gas production. 

There was some disagreement with the governor about whether that resulted from your policies or whether it came mostly from private lands in spite of your policies. 

Can you elaborate? What actions have you taken or will you take to encourage increased oil and gas production on public lands? Is that consistent with your post election order substantially cutting the scope of public leases?

Are there severe restrictions on fracking in the works?

Finally Mr. President, Los Yanquis in the other room loudly and consistently declare Republicans are obstructionist; they won’t work with you. Their only aim was to make you a one-term president. Ha. 

They lost, you won; elections have consequences! Felicitaciones! 

But, that sounds familiar, Mr. President. In fact, isn’t that exactly what you told Paul Ryan at the beginning of your term when he tried to share ideas for getting the economy moving again? Isn’t that when the tone was set? 

Wasn’t that tone loud and clear in the Stimulus, drafted by Reid and Pelosi with no Republican input accepted? And your signature health care law—not negotiated on CSPAN-- but in fact drafted behind closed doors and crammed down everyone’s throat, against the public will?

Isn’t it you who governed as a unilateral partisan from the start? And the only reason the public thinks otherwise is because the Alphabet Soup of professional cheerleaders in the other room are a relentless pack of chupamedias who haven’t held you accountable for a single thing in four years? 

Wait, Mr. President, wait! That’s my green card you’re using to light your cigar!

Both Sides Must Give Ground To Avoid Fiscal Cliff  

By: Michael Barone / Townhall Columnist

In his first formal press conference in months, Barack Obama showed that getting re-elected can increase a president's confidence and combativeness. He staked out tough stands on several issues, especially on the looming budget negotiations.

Looking ahead to the "fiscal cliff" on Dec. 31, when the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire and sequestration cuts government spending sharply, Obama demanded $1.6 trillion of increased revenues as part of any budget bargain.

That's twice the number he and Speaker John Boehner agreed on in the grand bargain talks in the summer of 2011.

Those talks fell apart when Obama telephoned Boehner and raised his demand to $1.2 trillion. Boehner refused, and as Bob Woodward describes in "The Price of Politics," congressional leaders of both parties worked out their own approach. Sequestration, first suggested by Obama's budget director, became part of the deal.

There's a solid argument that limiting high earners' deductions could raise $800 billion or more. A $25,000 cap on deductions, according to The Wall Street Journal, would yield almost $1.3 trillion of additional revenue. The Simpson-Bowles commission showed that broadening the tax base could net $1.1 trillion.

And there's a solid argument that raising tax rates on high earners, in conjunction with the increase that's part of Obamacare, would slow down economic growth. That's because many small businesses are taxed at the individual income tax rate.

Obama once accepted that argument, albeit reluctantly, when he temporarily abandoned his quest for higher rates in December 2010. Raising them, he conceded, would hurt while economic growth was still sluggish.

It's actually more sluggish today than it was then, although as Obama pointed out in the press conference, we are further away from the sharp economic decline of 2008-09.

In effect, Obama is giving House Republicans a choice between a growth slowdown due to higher tax rates now and the much sharper slowdown that some economists predict -- 5 percent is a number bandied about -- if we go over the fiscal cliff.

The political leverage seems to be on Obama's side, or so he seems to believe. Most of the media inevitably blame Republicans when Republicans and Democrats are not able to reach agreement.

Politico reports that a number of House Republicans, including some staunch conservatives, think they'll have to give in on higher rates. Many members don't want to defend them back home.

But there is also a force working against Obama: the gravity of the government's fiscal condition. The president himself has recognized that entitlement programs are on an unsustainable trajectory.

Federal spending under Obama has been 24 percent to 25 percent of gross domestic product. Even in World War II, revenues never reached that level. Since that war, the highest level was 20.6 percent of GDP in 2000, when the government was flush with tax revenues from the capital gains of dot-com founders.

Growth does increase revenue in a progressive tax system like ours.

Several participants in the grand bargain negotiations, Woodward recounts, described them as trying to solve a Rubik's Cube. Republicans wanted lower tax rates with base-broadening tax reform to provide added revenues, and they wanted changes in the trajectory of entitlements.

Democrats wanted higher rates on high earners but were not averse to broadening the tax base and were at least talking about entitlements.

The problem is not just reaching agreement, but reaching agreement on something that can get majorities in both houses of Congress.

Some members of both parties won't vote for any bargain in which the other side gets something. So leaders of both parties have to persuade colleagues that they have made sufficient policy gains to warrant the policy concessions.

History shows that can happen. In Bill Clinton's second term, he and Newt Gingrich reached agreement, with the aid of then-Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, because there was something for both sides. Republicans got a capital gains tax cut, Democrats got S-CHIP (State Children's Health Insurance Program), and they both got a balanced budget.

Clinton and Gingrich were even making progress on Medicare reform and negotiating about Social Security until the Lewinsky scandal erupted.

House Republicans have a majority and some leverage but cannot hope to prevail on all fronts. They may decide that higher tax rates are tolerable if they can make significant progress toward spending discipline and changing the trajectory of entitlements.

In summer 2001, Obama wasn't able to produce such a package. Will the second-term Obama succeed?
Op-ed:
The 'fix' against LTC West was in even before the first vote was cast
By: Diane Sori
Sadly, a great American patriot and hero had his election STOLEN...YES STOLEN...right out from under him.
With Florida's 67 supervisors of elections having to submit their certified results to the state Division of Elections by noon yesterday, a 'supposed' malfunctioning machine held up the ballots from being counted in full thus causing the deadline for submission to be missed.
And so the saga of a recount gone bad ends...or does it...
LTC. Allen West, running for re-election in the newly formed Florida House District 18, was leading by double-digits right before the election and then suddenly loses to new comer Patrick Murphy, whose father is one of the Democratic party elite. Suspecting 'funny business' with the results Allen was able to successfully petition for a recount in two counties (Palm Beach County and St. Lucie County) by declaring that in both counties NOT all votes cast during Early Voting (especially the military votes) had been counted. Not surprisingly, when the recount was done in Palm Beach County Allen picked up hundreds of votes.
Getting the recount in St. Lucie proved more daunting as Gertrude Walker, the SOE in that county, was outwardly and unabashedly NOT a fan of Allen's, and blind-sided him any and every chance she could. When the allowed recount of the last three days of Early Voting ballots saw Murphy's lead narrowing, Allen and his supporters kept up the fight to have all eight days of ballots recounted after several errors were made public. Allen's campaign hoped to close in on Murphy's lead enough to force a machine recount of all the ballots across the three-county district, and a difference of 0.5% or less would force such a recount. To do so Allen would need to pick up only 250 votes to trigger the three-county district wide recount.
Sadly, yesterday's results came up short.
With one of the two tabulation machines NOT working properly as the recount deadline drew near (all votes had been counted but one card wouldn’t upload the needed results), and with blatant FRAUD being committed (one precinct with seven voters had 900 votes cast), Allen's 'Boots on the Ground' knew the red flags needed to be raised. How NOT surprising it is that as Allen starts gaining votes a machine stops working, oh so conveniently allowing the deadline to be missed. A drooling and bloviating Patrick Murphy immediately declared himself the winner thinking his successful running down of the clock automatically gave him the victory he knows is NOT rightfully his.
But to Murphy's dismay, Allen has chosen NOT to concede and sought an emergency injunction directly from Tallahassee, and announced he will take this to court if need be.

While Florida law does allow an exemption to the certification deadline in an emergency (emergency being defined as “any occurrence, or threat thereof, whether accidental, natural, or caused by human beings, in war or in peace, that results or may result in substantial injury or harm to the population or substantial damage to or loss of property to the extent it will prohibit an election officer’s ability to conduct a safe and orderly election”) it seems that in Florida voter FRAUD and vote manipulation does NOT equate to an emergency which is so wrong on so many levels.

And to make matters worse, under Florida law in the event of an incomplete recount or missing the deadline the original returns are automatically submitted for certification by the state, meaning the entire recount was for naught.

"This election is far from over," said West's campaign manager, Tim Edson, in a statement calling the results "highly suspect." 

"Today's actions cast an even greater cloud of suspicion over the results of St. Lucie County than existed before," Edson said. "Consequently, the highly-suspect results will be submitted to the Secretary of State today...even though the canvassing board has already admitted they may contain serious errors."

Highly suspect for sure with the bottom line being that the FIX against Allen was in both BEFORE the actual election took place and BEFORE the first recount vote was tallied.

And why have the Democrats worked so hard to make sure Allen is NOT re-elected...it's simply because the Democratic hierarchy knows that if Allen proved to be the victor here with the FRAUD exposed for all to see, it would give powerful ammunition for other states to demand a recount of their suspicious and that's what Obama and his minions fear most!

So the 'Democratic Party Machine' rallied around their boy and (for now) successfully mowed down a man they saw as a threat to their party rhetoric. By stalling the count until after the deadline had passed they played the game well but Allen is NOT a man to go down without a fight as this battle now heads to the courts and rightly so.

And we who stand 'steadfast and loyal' to Allen will remain so...ever vigilant in our quest to help him restore what is rightfully his against all odds thrown in the way. The ultimate sacrifice made by those who fought and died for our right to vote must be honored, and so we proudly stand with Congressman Allen West in believing that every vote must be counted and counted fairly for it they are not we will NEVER have a true and fair election again. 
 
LTC Allen West is a true American patriot and hero and his voice in Congress, that one voice that 'We the People' so desperately need, must be heard to help restore our beloved country to the way she should be...'One nation under God with liberty and justice for all.'