Free Markets, Free People

Obama Administration

“ISIS is contained”

Those words were uttered by President Obama prior to the Paris massacre by ISIS.  Politico argues that the words were in response to a specific question about territory ISIS controlled.  And, frankly, if that’s the argument I think it has some credibility.  However, in the same interview, Obama said:

Until Assad is no longer a lightning rod for Sunnis in Syria and the entire region is no longer a proxy war for Shia-Sunni conflict, we’re gunna continue to have problems. … with making sure that ISIL continues to shrink in its scope of operations until it no longer poses the kind of threat that it does, not just primarily to us, but to neighbors in the region[.]”

Just as clearly, that’s a claim that the administration and it’s allies in the region will keep up their operations to ensure that “ISIL continues to shrink its scope of operations” until it is no longer a threat.  While it may not specifically state that “ISIL is contained”, it certainly implies success in “continuing” to “shrink” ISIL/ISIS’s “scope of operations”.  To me, its pretty much the same claim as “ISIS is contained”.

However, as usual, reality trumps fantasy:

Since October 10, ISIS and its sympathizers around the world have killed at least 525 people in six attacks in six countries outside its so-called caliphate.

American counterterrorism officials say that of the six attacks, three were directed by ISIS from its territory in Syria and Iraq and another two were so-called “announcement” attacks — local ISIS elements revealing their existence in dramatic fashion.

Yes, that’s right, friends and neighbors, since October 10th, 525 people around the world have died as a result of this “shrinking” of ISIL/ISIS’s “scope of operations”.  525 in 6 separate attacks.  And the fact is, our “leader” was trying to peddle the notion that ISIL/ISIS was being controlled.

Does it sound like success in “shrinking” the “scope of operations” of this terrorist group?  Does it look like ISIL/ISIS is being controlled?

Most people would read it as a very large expansion of operations by a group largely out of anyone’s control on the opposition side.

But then, most people aren’t in “denial” (and if you’re wondering, remember the correct answer is “gun control”).

~McQ

The President’s [yawn] speech

I’ve seen many critiques of it, but for me it was, well, boring.  Why?  Because it was so predictable.  Other than some grudging acceptance of the terrorism that has spawned in the US, it was the usual nonsense of lecturing the citizens of the US like they were children.  Jim Geraghty picked up on that too:

At this point in his presidency, Obama speaks with only one tone, the slightly exasperated and sometimes not-merely-slightly exasperated “adult in the room” who constantly has to correct his fellow Americans, who are always flying off the handle, calling for options that “aren’t who we are,” betraying our values, and so on. He’s always so disappointed in us.

At certain points, Obama sounded as if he was speaking to children. “The threat is real, but we will overcome it.” “We will not defeat it with tough talk, abandoning our values, or giving in to fear.” “We will prevail by being strong and smart.”

And yet, we’ve heard nothing “strong or smart” from the man giving the lecture.   Nothing.  For instance:

He made yet another pitch for barring anyone on the no-fly list or terror watch list from purchasing firearms. He simply ignored any of the objections, whether it’s the lack of due process or judicial review, the arbitrary, foggy nature of how someone gets on the list, or the fact that 280,000 people with no recognized terrorist group affiliation are on the list.

Sounds good to those who don’t really think about it, but is it?  Not really.  Why?  Well, that’s fairly simple:

You know who wasn’t on the no-fly list? The San Bernardino shooters. Nor was the Fort Hood shooter. Nor the Boston bombers. Nor the Chattanooga shooter. In other words, no perpetrator of any major attack on American soil was on the no-fly list.

So again, the “smartest guy in the room” acts exasperated with the “children” but offers up a whole lot of nothing – except the usual dump truck load of words – that addresses the problem.

As someone tweeted when they found out that Obama, Biden and Rice among others were meeting to address San Bernardino, “Our JV team”.

~McQ

The Obama administration backs racial discrimination

This is absurd enough:

The Supreme Court has just issued an order (read it here) blocking the racially discriminatory separatist election in Hawaii.  The order enjoins (stops) the counting of ballots and certification of results pending further order of the Supreme Court.  I covered the election here and here at PJ Media.

Only one race is permitted to register to vote with Hawaiian government officials for the separatist election.Hawaii has given a private organization millions of dollars to run the election. They believe these actions are constitutional. Judicial Watch has sued Hawaii, and the Public Interest Legal Foundation has filed an emergency brief with the Supreme Court on behalf of the American Civil Rights Union asking the court to stop the election process.

That’s right, one race is permitted to register to vote for or against the separatist election.  Because, you know, those who’ve lived there for generations but aren’t native, tough cookies.  And while one might suppose that some of the natives are smart enough to realize when they have it much better connected to the US than they would unconnected, you might also suppose that there are enough infected with “native rights” to have not thought to deeply about a vote for a separation and the consequences thereof.

But if that is absurd, this is downright crazy:

Naturally, the Obama administration took their side and filed a brief supporting the racially discriminatory election.  They argued that even though Congress has never authorized a new government on Hawaii comprised of the native race, the state should be allowed to establish one.

That’s right, our government argued for the discriminatory vote.  Suddenly, they’re a huge “states rights” fan.  Well unless that state doesn’t want to take in Syrian refugees.  And then, not so much.

Wasn’t this the guy who was supposed to stop the oceans from rising and healing the wounds of racism with his magic touch.  Is this how one goes about that?

Amazing.

~McQ

Forget the extremes on the Syrian refugee crisis

On the one extreme:

“We are not well served when, in response to a terrorist attack, we descend into fear and panic,” [Obama] said. “We don’t make good decisions if they’re based on hysteria or an exaggeration of risks.”

There you have it, folks: If you doubt any portion of our current refugee policy, you’re “hysterical.” Never mind that a recent poll showed 13 percent of Syrian refugees declaring a “positive” or “somewhat positive” view of ISIS, or that at least one of the Paris attackers apparently arrived in France posing as a refugee. Never mind the 26 charges of terrorism brought up against foreign-born individuals in the U.S. in the past year, as Sen. Jeff Sessions documented this week, or the fact that in October, FBI Director James Comey testified that our current system likely can’t effectively vet Syrian refugees.

More importantly, never mind the fact that opposition to current refugee protocols doesn’t necessarily translate into opposition to helping refugees altogether; had Obama led with an acknowledgment of the system’s weaknesses and showed genuine concern towards fixing them, we might be in a different situation today.  As it is, a new Bloomberg poll shows 53 percent of Americans opposing the current settlement plan.

Yes, that’s right, our President is on extreme.  And of course he considers the GOP to be the real extreme, characterizing them as wanting no refugees from Syria at all.  Granted there are certainly those who do indeed want that.  But broad brushes are a little, well, broad.

In effect, no one is saying turn away “widows and 3 year old orphans”, as some on the left have characterized the attitude on the right.

What is concerning everyone is the number and percentage of young, military age men in this mix.  Are they jihadists that ISIS is trying to smuggle into the US. Despite their claims, the administration has no idea.  That’s a national security issue and the safety of the citizens of the US take priority over a bunch of refugees.  Of course that’s how the job description of President goes, but apparently, Obama is trying to rewrite that.  Risk is a matter of opinion, and a good leader would develop a process that would be transparent and assure the public of its safety.  But then, we have Obama …

And what most want is a “pause” before wholesale importing of refugees, to review the vetting process and tighten it up if necessary.  In the meantime, I’m sure, if the US asked nicely, these refugees could be placed in a neutral middle Eastern country until that process is complete. That would assure their safety.

But to hear Obama and his supporters, it is as if the right is just so damned racist and xenophobic that they can’t tolerate the thought of helping any foreign refugees by placing them here (of course, history tells a different story).

Tell you what.  To show your good faith Mr. Obama, let’s first start by giving refugee and immigration status to our Iraqi and Afghan interpreters who are at daily risk for helping us and many on the right have been trying to get here for years.  That’s been a hill the left just doesn’t seem to have been able to climb.

Then they can again assume their superior attitude and lecture the rest of us on our “responsibility” to others.

Seem fair?

~McQ

Liberals in Wonderland

As exemplified by Margaret Carlson on “Morning Joe”:

Carlson said of assimilating immigrants, “we do know how to do it. Europe doesn’t know how to do it. France especially doesn’t know how to do it. England not very good at it. And so, we have less of a problem. You know, those people who have snuck in, that, I don’t know if they’ve snuck in, but maybe they become Americanized, maybe the anger goes away. Maybe what they snuck in to do they’re not going to do, because we do have an acceptance of these people, as Congressman [Keith] Ellison (D-MN) said. They’re more patriotic because they’re here and they work harder.”

Because that’s why jihadists came here – to assimilate, get jobs, work harder.

Remember when we were told that all the members of ISIS needed were jobs?  If we’d provide that, well, they’d just settle down and quit trying to impose a 7th Century caliphate on the world.  And then there’s Mohammed Atta, who basically came here, hung around, tasted the “good life”, learned to fly and shopped at Walmart and ate at Pizza Hut the day before he flew a hijacked plane into one of the twin towers.  He “assimilated” quite well didn’t he, Margaret?

The fact that the left will not admit to or recognize the fact that this is a war of ideologies and the radical Islamist ideology isn’t about “assimilation”, any more than was the Nazi ideology, is dangerous.  They also apparently  can’t admit that there is evil in the world and in this case, it is epitomized in ISIS, and one must confront evil head on.  If they did any of that they’d have to admit their “tolerance” and “multicultural” arguments are nonsense. Admitting all of that would also demand they take action.

None of that is going to happen with this crowd.  Just look at the man in the White House.  He’s all about pretending.  He’s pretended for quite some time that ISIS isn’t really a threat.  His failure to admit, recognize and confront the evil that is radical Islam has helped lead us to this point.  And he still won’t take action.  But he’s not going to.  In a recent speech, he as much as said that:

But what we do not do, what I do not do is to take actions either because it is going to work politically or it is going to somehow, in the abstract, make America look tough, or make me look tough. And maybe part of the reason is because every few months I go to Walter Reed, and I see a 25-year-old kid who’s paralyzed or has lost his limbs, and some of those are people I’ve ordered into battle. And so I can’t afford to play some of the political games that others may.

Whether or not he goes to Walter Reed, this is just an excuse leveraged off of the military.  My first thought was if he’s not able to make the hard decisions that will keep the American people safe, he needs to resign from the job. The second thing I thought was, just as I did, these young men and women were willing to pay the price necessary to keep this country safe, and he’s just made that effort worthless.  It has been all OJT for him anyway, and he has failed miserably.  As to playing “political games”, that’s all the man does. This play on wounded military is just that.

We’ll do what’s required to keep the American people safe. And I think it’s entirely appropriate in a democracy to have a serious debate about these issues. If folks want to pop off and have opinions about what they think they would do, present a specific plan. If they think that somehow their advisors are better than the Chairman of my Joint Chiefs of Staff and the folks who are actually on the ground, I want to meet them. And we can have that debate. But what I’m not interested in doing is posing or pursuing some notion of American leadership or America winning, or whatever other slogans they come up with that has no relationship to what is actually going to work to protect the American people, and to protect people in the region who are getting killed, and to protect our allies and people like France. I’m too busy for that.

Of course the CJCS have presented numerous proposals that he wouldn’t even entertain, much less approve and none of which included the dreaded “boots on the ground”.  He’s simply not going to do anything serious.  The above is politics.  He no more wants to meet and debate than he wants to strike ISIS.  He’s “too busy” being arrogant and inept and leaving a huge mess for whomever it is that has to fill the vacancy we’ve actually had for 7, going on 8, years. As for doing “what’s required to keep the American people safe”, apparently importing possible jihadis from a hot bed of them how this is done.

This is the legacy of liberalism

Beautiful, ain’t it?

~McQ

 

France, the Democrats and reality

One of the three in the title doesn’t belong there:

I watched, incredulously, as all three contenders in Saturday night’s Democratic presidential debate — Hillary Rodham Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley — refused to say the slaughter was the work of “Muslim” extremists.

Clinton blamed “jihadis.” But despite prodding, she would not speak of the Islamic elephant in the room.

Sanders stood by his earlier claim that climate change, not creatures in suicide vests, presents the biggest threat to this planet because it makes poor people into terrorists by interfering with their crops or something.

At that point, I switched to the Syfy channel to get a bigger dose of reality.

And probably got much more of a dose of reality than the Democratic debate.

Imagine claiming “climate change” was the “biggest threat to the planet” when terrorists are blowing up people in France.  Or the simple fact that the climate really hasn’t shown any change in over a decade.

Who are “jihadis” and what religion do they represent, Ms. Clinton?

And who’s two memes, “ISIS is the jayvee” and “other civilized countries don’t have this sort of problem (referring to mass killings), were utterly destroyed?  Not to mention watching the French president show what leadership means by hitting ISIS immediately, repeatedly and hard?

Oh, that would be our Commander-in-Chief, the semi-retired and totally disconnected Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, the importation of 10,000 Syrian refugees will continue as planned.

Yup, Syfy would seem to deal in reality much more than our President and the Democrats.

~McQ

Another Obama administration foreign policy “triumph”

In another “foreign policy triumph” for the US, Afghanistan, a client nation of the US for over a decade, is apparently turning to an old patron:

Afghanistan, battered by worsening security, is reaching out to an old ally and patron—Russia—just as the Kremlin is seeking to reassert its position as a heavyweight on the world stage.

President Ashraf Ghani has asked Moscow for artillery, small arms and Mi-35 helicopter gunships for his country’s struggling military, Afghan and Russian officials say, after the U.S. and its allies pulled most of their troops from Afghanistan and reduced financial aid.

“Russia is seizing the opportunity,” a U.S. official said.

Certainly, there are plenty who are aware of the old saw, “the graveyard of empires” and will shrug this off as good riddance. Let Russia deal with it.

Of course the point is that Afghanistan is turning to Russia mainly because it doesn’t have any confidence in the US anymore. We all understand that Afghanistan is both tribal and corrupt. But that goes with the territory, literally and figuratively. Russia is unlikely to worry to much about that.

It also demonstrates on a micro level what we are seeing on a more macro level. With the decline of US influence in the area, Russia is taking the opportunity to assert its own. Whether you care one whit about Afghanistan, this is a disturbing trend. And, just as obvious, our “leaders” haven’t a clue on how to stop the trend. Obviously Afghanistan feels that their worsening security is inextricably linked to US decisions. The country appears to have no confidence in the US.

Unfortunately, that ‘no confidence’ vote didn’t originate in Afghanistan. It has been echoed by other countries in the region as well … to include Israel.

The foreign policy of this administration, that of Mr. Obama, Ms. Clinton and Mr. Kerry, have seen the withdrawal of the US in the area and a diminution its prestige and power.

Some may cheer this, but the bottom line is that such actions (or lack thereof) have made the region and the world a much more dangerous place than it was in 2008.

~McQ

The old “bait and switch” of solar energy

Solar energy has been touted by those who support its wide use as a completely “clean” way of producing electricity.

But reality gives lie to that claim.  Take the Ivanpah plant in the Mojave Desert for example. It sits on 5.6 square miles of mostly undisturbed public land that was home to desert tortoises, a species threatened with extinction, among other wildlife.  It fries birds in flight regularly.  Environmentalists concerns were ignored.

Why?  Because it was an Obama administration priority, whether it is important to anyone else or not.

Said Obama when it opened:

“With projects like this one, and others across this country, we are staking our claim to continued leadership in the new global economy. And we’re putting Americans to work producing clean, home-grown American energy that will help lower our reliance on foreign oil and protect our planet for future generations.”

Except it not only doesn’t lower our “reliance on … oil”, it is a large user of fossil fuel.  Yes, that’s right – it has a huge carbon footprint.

Data from the California Energy Commission show that the plant burned enough natural gas in 2014 – its first year of operation – to emit more than 46,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

That’s nearly twice the pollution threshold for power plants or factories in California to be required to participate in the state’s cap-and-trade program to reduce carbon emissions.

The plant, the recipient of $1.6 billion in federal loan guarantees as well as $600 million in tax credits, uses natural gas to preheat water for steam.  It is only after the water is preheated that the solar energy is applied to finally produce the steam to turn the generators.  And on cloudy days?  Yes, all natural gas and nothing but natural gas.

And the enviros?  Well, David Lamfrom, desert project manager of the National Parks Conservation Association, is pretty sure this isn’t what they signed up for.  He points out that this isn’t a solar project but instead a hybrid project which uses both solar and fossil fuel to generate electricity.

“It feels like a bait and switch,” Lamfrom said. “This project was held up as a model of innovation. We didn’t sign up for greener energy. We signed up for green energy.”

The Obama administration lied about the project?  My goodness – the next thing you’ll tell us is “if we like our health insurance we won’t be able to keep it”.

Oh, wait.

~McQ

Russia’s military not as bad as reported

Apparently not. Looking at the operations in Syria, the NYT says:

Taken together, the operations reflect what officials and analysts described as a little-noticed — and still incomplete — modernization that has been underway in Russia for several years, despite strains on the country’s budget. And that, as with Russia’s intervention in neighboring Ukraine, has raised alarms in the West.

In a report this month for the European Council on Foreign Relations, Gustav Gressel argued that Mr. Putin had overseen the most rapid transformation of the country’s armed forces since the 1930s. “Russia is now a military power that could overwhelm any of its neighbors, if they were isolated from Western support,” wrote Mr. Gressel, a former officer of the Austrian military.

Of course we’ve been advised, for years, that the Russian military was only a shadow of its former self under the USSR.  And while it certainly isn’t as potent as when Russia was the USSR, it is apparently vastly more potent than we’ve been led to believe.

Another factoid from the article:

Russia’s fighter jets are, for now at least, conducting nearly as many strikes in a typical day against rebel troops opposing the government of President Bashar al-Assad as the American-led coalition targeting the Islamic State has been carrying out each month this year.

The bottom line, of course, is we still have a much more powerful military – but we’re in the middle of cutting back on it both in manpower and spending.  And, of course, that sort of power is only important if your potential enemies know you’re willing to use it.  Russia is demonstrating that willingness.

Russia is also “field testing” its equipment and it is “blooding” its troops.

Not to mention rallying “allies” to the Russian cause.  China has sent forces to Syria.  And the latest?

On Wednesday, a U.S. official confirmed to Fox News that Cuban paramilitary and special forces units are on the ground in Syria, citing evidence from intelligence reports. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Cuban troops may have been training in Russia and may have arrived in Syria on Russian planes.

Isn’t normalization with Cuba wonderful? Isn’t that reset with Russia working out well?  It sure has been rewarding so far.

~McQ