Sunday, July 20, 2014

In what appears to be the ultimate modern demonstration of "drinking the Kool-Aid," Republicans across the spectrum seem to have entered a pact in sticking together to defend, and even celebrate, campaign tactics predicated on gross voter fraud and manipulation of minority voters. In fact, given recent campaign finance disclosures, it seems clear some Senate Republican leaders helped pay for the attacks on their own base in Mississippi.

One senator, however, has broken the silence and is speaking out: Sen. Ted Cruz, who, ironically, holds an official position with the National Republican Senatorial Committee. Cruz has described the Mississippi fiasco as "appalling" and called for a "vigorous investigation" of possible criminal conduct in an interview with radio host Mark Levin.

Yet, in light of this principled call to ensure voting integrity, the Establishment remains undeterred, if not emboldened. The day after Sen. Cruz gave his interview, the NRSC hosted a reception to thank those who, according to the invitation, "generously supported and promoted Sen. Cochran's campaign during the primary."

One would think that Sen. Cruz would be joined by members such as Rand Paul, who, like Cruz, defeated a heavily-funded, NRSC-backed candidate in his own primary races.

Sen. Paul has distanced himself from the Republican voters seeking justice in this situation, commenting that, "I'm for more people voting, not less people voting," and adding -- for good measure -- "I think the people of Mississippi spoke, and I think Thad Cochran has done a lot of good things for Mississippi."

Similarly, Sen. Marco Rubio told the Wall Street Journal: "I think Thad Cochran found whatever tactics he could use to win his election and people could have an opinion about that, but at this point we should move forward and make sure we retain that seat."

Rand Paul is going out of his way to empower the establishment, throwing his star-power weight behind some of it's worst offenders. In perhaps the most public example, Rand Paul took the floor alongside Mitch McConnell in the minutes following Sen. Ted Cruz's 21-hour filibuster to deliver a colloquy designed to belittle the entire heroic effort.

He followed with an op-ed declaring the effort as misguided as Obamacare itself. His alliance with McConnell continued throughout that primary fight, with Rand Paul delivering his utmost support and enthusiasm for the defeat of a promising tea party candidate in his home state of Kentucky. More befuddling, Paul traveled to Maine to declare that he "wholeheartedly endorse(s) Sen. Collins for re-election" -- the same Susan Collins who maintains an impeccable record of establishment bidding in Washington.

Now, Paul's commitment to defending the status quo continues, as he lends active support to the re-election of Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander. Just months ago, all three of these Paul endorsees gave the American people a stiff arm by voting in favor of a "clean" debt ceiling increase. These are frontline battles in the fight to "Make D.C. Listen," yet Paul unabashedly lends each his support to those who stand consistently on the other side of the line.

Ted Cruz, on the other hand, has chosen to stand alone, again and again, against the establishment. From helping lead the charge to filibuster what the establishment said was inevitable gun control, to standing toe-to-toe with the administration in a fight to defund Obamacare, to challenging his own party bosses by demanding a 60-vote threshold to increase the debt ceiling without any spending reforms, Cruz takes bullets from his own party for daring to challenge the system.

The Republican Party will not change itself. No one is going to change the party with a magical speech delivered eloquently on the Senate floor. We will not win the argument in Washington. We must remake the party one hard-fought seat at a time, focusing intently on the principles we believe can turn this country around, rather than the men who feel entitled to maintain those seats. But Ted Cruz has laid the groundwork with his campaign to "Make D.C. Listen."
When this week began, it was hard to imagine a story knocking our collapsing borders from the front of our minds. But in the span of a few hours Thursday, two stories made us hit the pause button on the mounting and proper indignation over the organized (and often secret) government dumping of illegals in our midst.

That is still a huge problem, and the one with the most direct effect on the average American citizen. But when TV screens began streaming images of the Ukraine wreckage of yet another Malaysian plane, and then the Israeli operation in Gaza, the border took a back seat.

That won’t last long. Ukraine and Gaza pack deep global importance, but if the Obama White House continues to hose us over the causes of the illegal deluge and the reasons for the secrecy surrounding it, the border crisis will force its way back to the attention-span forefront.

So if the coming days are to be a whirlwind ride from Gaza to Donetsk to the Rio Grande, this seems like a fitting moment to evaluate how we have arrived at all three crises— and surprise, it is not as simple as a finger pointed at Barack Obama.

While his stewardship of America’s decline is a prime cause of Mideast turmoil, Russian adventurism and a porous southern border, all three nightmares have histories that weave back through Presidents and Congresses of both parties.

Let’s begin with the Israeli response to endless provocation from Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Watch this operation closely, for this is what it looks like when a strong leader takes bold action to protect his nation, a sight we have not seen and will not see as long as Obama is in the White House.

But even George W. Bush, who kept us safe with a war taken to the enemy after 9/11, supported a ridiculous “two-state solution” that hastens to grant Palestinians a nation well before they show any aptitude for non-terrorist self-governance.

The moment the dust settled after the Six-Day War in 1967, the policy of the United States should have been the retention of the post-war status quo: Gaza is in Israel and not Egypt, the West Bank is in Israel and not Jordan, and the Golan Heights are in Israel and not Syria. This is what happens when wars are won.

The intervening years of bloodshed have been due in large part to America’s failure to remind the Palestinians that there are thousands of square miles they may inhabit in the vast lands surrounding the sliver that is Israel, and that if they do choose to remain in Israel, they will enjoy democracy and stability unthinkable in the Islamic neighbor nations.

Instead, we have pandered to terrorist leaders from Yasser Arafat forward, chiding Israel that it should show “restraint” while under constant attack, forwarding an obscene moral equivalency between our Israeli allies and the surrounding nations filled with enemies seeking its destruction.

There is no such nation as Palestine. Gaza is in Israel and while we’re at it, so is the West Bank. One cannot “occupy” one’s own nation. There is a thoroughly proper Palestinian homeland called Jordan, but if we simply have to carve out more, such prospects should not be breathed until the Palestinian leadership has displayed years— and I don’t mean one or two— of worthy behavior.

If this had been U.S. policy for the last five decades, Gaza would not have degenerated into the terrorist hornets’ nest it has become.

Similarly, there has been a price for our failure to treat Vladimir Putin as the murderous thug that he is. Americans always want enemy leaders to be less horrible than they are, so we concoct profiles of them that ignore the tough choices of speaking truth to evil. Modern Russia is not the Soviet Union, but Putin is no Thomas Jefferson.

The Obama years have been particularly energizing to his authoritarian instincts, steeling him with the knowledge that he could pluck Crimea like a grape and we would do nothing. He has not yet tested us by bringing Ukraine back into the Russian fold, but it looks like his bloody henchmen have downed another aircraft in their zeal to punish Ukraine for daring to cleave to liberty.

The United States should make clear that we are going to arm the Ukrainians to the teeth while training their forces. There is no limit to the blood Putin will attempt to draw in thirty additional months of an Obama presidency that may talk tough on occasion but shows little to suggest any real resolve behind the rhetoric.

To return to our own country, Obama joins a list of Presidents stretching back to Reagan and arguably farther, who underdelivered on the necessity of a border that does what borders are supposed to do.

Obama demands that Israel immediately stop the war when it reaches 1,000 dead in Gaza!

Bare Naked Islam

“A senior source in the American Administration says that if the number of  dead among the Palestinians in Gaza reaches 1,000 President Obama will  demand that Israel immediately ceases fire- in a conversation with our  correspondent Oren Nahari.” Israel tells Obama:

IMRA (h/t Linda R)  Israel Radio News bulletin 14:00 19 July 2014 Dr. Aaron Lerner – IMRA: this arbitrary figure is another illustration that when the  Obama Administration says “it has Israel’s back” it means it has a knife in Israel’s back. The issue is not how many human shields Hamas sacrifices in the Gaza Strip. The issue is addressing the festering cancerous security challenge. Stopping this operation with the tunnels intact, for example, means leaving open Israel’s population to the threat of  huge bloody terror attacks at any moment.


US Building Case Tying Separatists to Plane Crash

The United States is building a case linking pro-Russian separatists to the shocking downing of a passenger jet in Ukraine.

A somber President Barack Obama declared the deaths of those on board, including at least one American, an "outrage of unspeakable proportions."

Obama said the U.S. believes the Malaysia Airlines plane was felled by a surface-to-air missile launched from an area near the Ukraine-Russia border that is controlled by Kremlin-backed separatists. Even as he cautioned that the exact circumstances were still being determined, the president turned his sights on Russia, saying the insurgents would not be capable of carrying out such an attack without Moscow's support.

"We know that they are heavily armed and they are trained, and we know that that's not an accident," Obama said. "That is happening because of Russian support."

The president spoke shortly after Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, outlined preliminary evidence against Russia and the separatists during an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council. Power said separatists were spotted Thursday with an SA-11 anti-aircraft missile at a location close to the site where the plane came down and that they had boasted on social media sites about shooting down a plane, then later deleted those posts.

Power joined Obama in calling for an immediate international investigation, and she warned that the separatists and those supporting them would have "good reason to cover up evidence of their crime."

The U.S. has called for evidence from the crash site to remain in Ukraine until investigators determine who is responsible.

The American killed in the incident was identified as Quinn Lucas Schansman. Officials said they were still working to confirm whether any other U.S. citizens were on board the plane.

For Obama, the downed plane adds new complexity to U.S. efforts to quell the months-long conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Increasingly stringent economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. and Europe, including a new round of penalties announced a day before the plane was shot down, have done little to change Russian President Vladimir Putin's approach.

Obama warned Russia anew on Friday that the U.S. has the capacity to increase the economic pain, but he outlined no specific potential actions. He did say he saw no U.S. military role in the conflict that has stemmed in part from Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.

All 298 people aboard the Malaysian plane were killed in Thursday's incident. The victims included vacationers, students and a large contingent of scientists. The passengers came from a dozen countries, spreading the impact of the Ukraine crisis around the globe.

"This certainly will be a wake-up call for Europe and the world that there are consequences to an escalating conflict in eastern Ukraine — that it is not going to be localized, it is not going to be contained," Obama said.

The president has spoken with several world leaders since the crash, including Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. On Friday, he called British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss possible responses to the crisis. He also spoke with Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia, whose country lost 27 citizens in the crash.

Obama learned of the plane crash during a phone call Thursday with Putin. On Friday, the president stopped short of blaming Putin for the downing of the plane, but he said the Russian leader could bring the broader conflict to an end.

"He has the most control over that situation, and so far at least he has not exercised it," the president said.

A U.S. official said all available evidence, including satellite imagery, pointed to the plane being shot down with an SA-11 anti-aircraft missile fired by pro-Russian separatist forces. The official said the U.S. detected three separate events associated with the shootdown: the launching of the missile from the Ukraine side of the border, the missile's impact with the plane and the plane slamming into the ground.

That official was not authorized to discuss U.S. intelligence matters publicly by name and commented only on condition of anonymity.

Power, during her remarks at the United Nations, said Ukrainian forces as well as the separatists have SA-11 systems in their inventory. However, she said the U.S. was not aware of those systems being in the area of the shooting, and she noted that Ukrainian air defenses have not fired any missiles during the dispute with Russia.

The State Department said the FBI and National Transportation Security Board were each sending at least one agent to Ukraine, and perhaps more later, to assist with the crash investigation.

A command center has been set up at the State Department, where officials from agencies participating in the delegation gathered Friday morning for a briefing from the CIA on the political and military situation.