Filed under: Capitalism, China, Europe, Foreign Policy, Freedom, History, Intelligence, Middle East, National Security, Politics, Russia, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Bret Stephens, Foreign Affairs, The State of the World
Bret Stephens has been the foreign affairs columnist for The Wall Street Journal for nine years. This is a speech he delivered to the David Horowitz Freedom Center Texas Retreat, last June. A very thoughtful speech. It reflects much of the thinking expressed in his 2014 book America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder.
It’s perhaps a little long for a Wednesday night when tomorrow is a work day, but do save it to watch when you have time. You will be glad you did.
Filed under: Afghanistan, China, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Iran, Iraq, Media Bias, Middle East, Military, National Security, Politics, Russia, Syria, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: national security, Radical Islam, The Las Vegas Debate
I mostly listened to the debate last night on the radio. My CNN connection kept going haywire, so I only saw a small bit on CNN. Apparently that makes a difference. Whatever their political viewpoint, viewers could not help but be impressed with the quality of the Republican field. The discussion was serious, well-informed and lengthy. The candidates were well informed on national security, and on how to deal with ISIS, Syria, Russia, Iran and domestic terrorism with real differences of opinion, which is as it should be.
Several pundits declared Donald Trump the debate winner, but I thought it was clear that he was just not prepared to go beyond his usual bombast. He did manage to tell the audience innumerable times that he was leading the polls, he had the highest approval, he was winning. He just doesn’t understand the very complicated situation, and has no strategy at all. “I have 41% in the polls” is a brag, not a qualification.
Lindsey Graham was terrific in the earlier debate. He had just been to Iraq again, and spoke to the situation on the ground informed by the troops on the ground.
Carly Fiorina is clearly one of the best informed, and gives the most responsive and responsible answers to questions — yet has not really managed to break through to the top, where she belongs. Her tenure at HP was impressive. She handled some really difficult circumstances with courage, put the company on a path to success, and frankly has a better record of experience than most of the other candidates. I have wondered if , since Republicans are uniformly unimpressed with the “first woman to” idea, and invested in merit and qualifications just can’t get past the fact that candidates for President of the United States have always been men.
Chris Christie excels at tough-talking campaigning. He can be very assertive and very believable. John Kasich corrected from his angry, grumpy appearance at the last debate. Jeb Bush was better, but not breakthrough better.
I am far from picking a candidate, and in spite of the media’s insistence on making this all a horse race and proclaiming winners and losers, most Americans are just getting acquainted with the candidates. I was really enthusiastic at the beginning with so many governors who had real accomplishments in the running — but Scott Walker, Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal have all dropped out. I am not enthusiastic about one-term senators. Been there, done that. And it didn’t work out well.
Filed under: History, Humor, Islam, Middle East, National Security, Russia, Syria, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Michael Ramirez, President Barack Obama, President Franklin Roosevelt
Sometimes a little historical reference can help clarify events in the present. History doesn’t exactly repeat itself, but the same problems arise over and over.
Filed under: Afghanistan, Bureaucracy, Domestic Policy, Economy, Energy, Health Care, Iran, Iraq, National Security, Regulation, Russia, Terrorism | Tags: Focus on Climate, Obama Mistakes, Obamacare, The Iran Deal
President Obama remarked the other day that if he were able to run for another term he was sure he would be re-elected. I imagine that he is confident because his policies are succeeding so well that everyone would look forward to a continuation. I’m not really so sure. Some of us are onto him.
The U.S. confirms Iran launched a “missile inherently capable of delivering a nuclear weapon.” It’s only one example of President Obama’s nuclear deal unleashing the world’s foremost terrorist regime.
In announcing that Iran violated a United Nations Security Council resolution with its Oct. 10 launch of a ballistic missile that could carry a nuclear warhead, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power promised that the U.S. would prepare a report and swiftly raise the issue with the Security Council.
“The Security Council prohibition on Iran’s ballistic missile activities, as well as the arms embargo, remain in place,” Power said.
We did mention that the Ayatollah was fairly clear that he had no intention of hewing to the strictures of Obama’s Iran Deal.
ObamaCare enrollment will flatline this next year, The sixth health insurance co-op has gone belly-up. Train-wreck is a common description. In other words, enrollment will be about half what the CBO predicted. Enrollment will have declined from where it was in March. Rate increases have been skyrocketing and some have been as much as 50 percent. The fine for not buying government-approved insurance will go up to $695 per person or 2.5 percent of household income, whichever is greatest. Democrats thought the nonprofits would put downward pressure on premiums and arranged for billions ($761,947,628) in guaranteed loans to get them up and running. Obama says the program is working better than anyone expected.
Victor Davis Hanson notes that Barack Obama’s mistakes in the Middle East are so comprehensive they almost look deliberate.
How did Vladimir Putin — with his country reeling from falling oil prices, possessing only a second-rate military, in demographic free-fall, and suffering from an array of international sanctions — find himself the new play-maker of the Middle East?Putin’s ascendancy was not foreordained. It followed a series of major U.S. miscalculations and blunders of such magnitude that it almost seems they must have been deliberate.
Today, the Energy & Environment Legal Institute, a 501 (c) (3) watchdog group, released an investigative report, Private Interests & Public Office: Coordination Between Governors, the Obama White House and the Tom Steyer-“Founded and Funded” Network of Advocacy Groups to Advance the “Climate” Agenda (and an appendix of source documents), revealing a vast, coordinated, three-track effort by public officials and private interests to promote EPA’s expansive, overreaching and economically devastating greenhouse gas rules, specifically the section 111(d) regulation to shut the nation’s fleet of existing coal-fired power plants, as well as the December Paris climate treaty President Obama is expected to sign to replace the Kyoto Protocol. …
In what is possibly the most intriguing element, seemingly out of an episode of “House of Cards,” Democratic governors’ aides repeatedly reference a plan of “creative engagement” to “compel” certain electric utilities — those subject to their jurisdiction whose businesses cross lines into states led by Republicans — to bring “red state” governors around to support the EPA rules: “[B]ecause there are key utilities whose service territories cross red and blue states Governors in these states could quietly engineer a breakthrough strategy that compels utilities in key red states to lead the charge to win over a key Governor, rather than rely on a standard NGO-shaming strategy that might not deliver.”…
“[W]hat is clear is that 1%-ers are using ‘climate’ policies to destroy politically disfavored industries in order to transfer wealth to the politically preferred,” said Craig Richardson, E&E Legal Executive Director. “The campaign by self-serving individuals must be made known to the public as policymakers consider this plan that will destroy parts of our economy and ruin the most efficient, affordable, and clean energy system ever created.”
Filed under: Music, Pop Culture, Russia, YouTube | Tags: An Octave below bass, basso profundo singers, Examples from Russia
I had never heard the term “Octavist”, nor heard one sing. Amazing! The term “oktavist” describes a basso profundo singer with an extremely deep range. You’ll notice that the singers showcased in this video all sound unbelievably deep, with some making you question whether or not it’s humanly possible to produce such low notes. Their voices can go as deep as an octave below the bass staff.”
http://www.wimp.com/russian-oktavists/ Do watch the whole thing.
The octavists in this video are all Russian, but they exist all over the world.
Filed under: Communism, Democrat Corruption, Foreign Policy, Latin America, Military, National Security, Politics, Russia, Syria, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: President Barack Obama, The Castro Brothers, The Cuban People
June 7, 2015: The Secret Life of Fidel Castro A member of Castro’s security guard tells all.
August 18, 2015: Obama circumventing Congress to loosen Cuba travel ban Rep Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said the effort is one more example of the president abusing his executive power and trying to circumvent Congress.
August 20, 2015: What Does the U.S. Get Out of Obama’s Restored Ties to Cuba? Nothing Good The 54 year communist military dictatorship has gotten the full benefit of restored U.S. ties without conceding anything.
September 9, 2015: Coddling Castros Has Made Cuban Regime More Vicious than Ever Far from loosening up, the Castro brothers are cracking down on Cubans harder than ever. It’s as if the fresh attention is a perk for them alone, and the Cuban people not invited.
October 08, 2015: Cubans Have FLOCKED To The US Since Obama Renewed Relations The pace of immigration from Cuba is up 78 percent this year.
October 15, 3015: Cuba-based musical group performs at White House for the first time in 50 years Members of Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club perform at a reception for Hispanic Heritage Month
October 15, 2015 ‘A SLAP N THE FACE TO OBAMA:’ CUBAN TROOPS FIGHT FOR ASSAD IN SYRIA Cuban special forces are operating on the ground in Syria in defense of dictator Bashar al-Assad, and are expected to operate Russian tanks in battles against anti-Assad rebels.
Just another bright idea scratched off on the to-do list.
Filed under: Democrat Corruption, Foreign Policy, History, Iran, Islam, Middle East, Military, National Security, Progressivism, Russia, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: Ayatollah Khamenei, President Obama, Vladimir Putin
“Sometime this week, President Obama is scheduled to sign an executive order to meet the October 15 “adoption day” he has set for the nuclear deal he has made with Iran. According to the president’s timetable the next step would be “the start day of implementation,” fixed for December 25.” That’s Amir Taheri, writing in the New York Post. He added “But as things now stand, Obama may end up being the only person in the world to sign his much-wanted deal, in effect making a treaty with himself.”
Iran has not signed anything and has no plans for doing so. The JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) hasn’t been discussed at the Iranian Council of Ministers, nor has the government bothered to provide a Persian translation of the text (159 pages). The Ayatollah Khamenei said early on that they had no intention of signing a document with America.
Obama’s P5+1 group (Britain China, Germany, France and Russia) have apparently decided that Obama’s deal is really only about lifting sanctions and not enforcing anything. So that’s what they are doing. Putin is renewing his interest with Assad and propping up the Assad dictatorship in Syria, as well as starting delivery of S300 anti-aircraft missiles and is engaged in talks to sell Sukhoi planes to the Islamic Republic.
Britain has lifted the ban on 22 Iranian banks and companies that were reportedly involved with nuclear deals. German trade with Iran has risen by 33 percent, and they are now Iran’s third-largest trading partner after China.
China has signed a preliminary accord to help Iran build five more nuclear reactors. France has sent its foreign minister and a 100-man delegation to negotiate projects to double Iran’s crude oil exports and negotiate other big business deals. Everybody regards the JCPOA as a green light for dropping sanctions. Indian trade us up 17%, and New Delhi is negotiating a massive investment in a rail-and-sea-hub on the Gulf of Oman.
Austrian, Turkish and UAE banks are lifting restrictions that were imposed on Iran because of their nuclear program. President Hassan Rouhani boasted that “the structures of sanctions built over decades is crumbling.”
They have no intention of shutting down their nuclear project.
The Iranian crowds are not shouting “Death to Britain, France and Germany. Death to India, Russia and China.” They are quite specific. It’s America and Israel. We do need to keep that in mind.
The Mullahs are certain that Obama is paralyzed by his fear of undermining the non-existent “deal.” They are encouraging Palestine in a new Intifada, working to choose the next president in Lebanon, and are calling openly for overthrow of the monarchy in Saudi Arabia.
Obama has hoped to engage Iran on other issues, and reportedly hoped to meet with the Ayatollah Khamenei in Tehran to shake his hand and, I guess, formally turn the Middle East over to Iran. Khamenei declared last week “any dialogue with the American Great Satan to be forbidden.”
There has been a ballistic missile test in Iran that apparently violates the Iran Deal. Nevermind.
Obama has apparently moved into a fantasy world in which Putin is exhibiting his weakness, while Obama shows what real leadership is with his Climate Change initiatives. Inside Iran, Obama’s moderate partners who would never actually use a nuclear weapon have doubled the number of executions and political prisoners. They crushed marches by teachers last week. Hundreds of trade unionists have been arrested and potential protesters are terrorized by a new “anti-insurrection” brigade.
President Obama appeared with Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes yesterday. It was an amazing interview. If you didn’t see it, a video and transcript are available here. It is very interesting.