March 1st, 2015
Team Obama’s decision last month to disclose to the press the operational outline for an all-out assault on the Islamic State (aka ISIS)-held Iraqi city of Mosul is a bit of a head scratcher.
It’s like: “Hey, ISIS—please save the date.”
The Pentagon also reportedly told the press that the April-May offensive would include as many as 25,000 Iraqi/Kurdish Peshmerga troops, alongside Sunni tribesmen and local police.
Now, it’s not as if we gave them the exact hour of the exact day, but we’ve certainly taken away the time-old, treasured military element of surprise—often an important factor.
Plus, given that urban assault can be a serious slog with street fighting and house-to-house clearing operations, isn’t it going to be even more difficult with the steps the enemy will now take to improve its odds of prevailing?
For instance, while the Islamic State expected that Mosul would be contested at some point, its fighters will find the best sniper locations, set up fields of fire, plant IEDs, etc.—ASAP.
Worse, news analysis seems to indicate the Iraqi army probably won’t be ready by the spring and the Kurds aren’t properly armed yet due to Baghdad’s sensitivities about bolstering the Peshamerga forces.
ISIS will also probably look for opportunities to distract the coalition militarily elsewhere from its planned operation against Mosul. In fact, the announcement of the upcoming fight might “turbo-charge” militant recruitment (via social media, of course) to defend the caliphate’s eastern outpost.
None of this is good. So what might account for broadcasting operational information to the enemy?
First, the Obama administration just ended a “Combating Violent Extremism” conference in Washington where the outcome seemed (from the outside) to be more “thud” than “thunder.”
The president came under fire—again—for not calling the violent extremism we’re experiencing either “Islamic” or “Islamist,” even though that is what the conference seemed to be mostly about.
It’s possible the White House concluded that since the confab came off as a bit academic, replete with ideas such as “jobs for jihadists” and “education for extremists,” maybe its overall message needed some muscling up.
Related at Conservative Refocus: Is Barack Obama America's First Islamic President? The Stubborn Facts
What better way than announcing a military operation against ISIS?
Then, perhaps Team Obama wanted to put pressure on the Iraqi political/military leadership to get hot on defeating the Islamic State, especially after last summer’s Mosul humiliation—which included its troops stripping off their uniforms while in full retreat.
In other words: Baghdad, it’s time to get your act together and take back your country—of which ISIS owns a third, oh, by the way.
It’s also conceivable that perhaps by giving the Islamic State plenty of notice of a spring offensive that it might rapidly retreat for Raqqa or give the nearly two million civilians in Mosul tons of time to beat feet before the bullets start flying.
Regardless of the possible reasons, none seem to satisfy.
The ISIS “pre-vite” also seems to require a successful outcome for the operation, something that has been in short supply. Indeed, anything short of overwhelming victory for the coalition will look like a win for the Islamic State.
Related at The Daily Signal
Originally published in Boston Herald.
February 28th, 2015
What may have once been termed as a no-brainer, regarding Obama's consistent constitutional overreaching, has now been needlessly reconceptualized as the twisted notion of gridlock.
The Christmas capitulation, labeled as "Cromnibus" Cronies: A List of Republicans Who Voted For the $ 1.1 Trillion Dollar Obama Give-Away, was nothing more than a telegraph of how the new congressional leadership would conduct its puppetary business, and it was a decisive mistake, from the getgo.
The President consistently refuses to work with his opposition, and yet his opposition is repeatedly required to capitulate to the office of the President, despite the executive branches insistent trampling of the separation of powers.
Amnesty, as decreed by Obama, is a lawless power grab that reaches well beyond the power of the president , and essentially amounts to a bypass of US law, and this overreach must be answered by the equalized powers of congress.
The media ( stenographers} artificially ramp up the President's totalitarian overreaching by refusing to accurately report what is actually happening, thereby feeding the power of the beast rather than reigning it in.
If Obama wants to work with his opposition he must then work within the historic parameters of his office rather than constantly trying to bypass his limited powers, or, the result is the impasse the American people have been continually forced to endure.
The 2014 election, as finalized by the vote of the people, placed the Republicans back into the balance of power, with an overreaching executive branch, and for a reason.
If what could be increasingly viewed as a cowardly Congressional leadership still fails to meet the will of the people, then that congressional leadership should be said to be in violation of its mandate, and resign in favor of those who are willing to conduct the business of the people, unabated and unafraid.~ Refocus Notes
Washington (CNN) House Speaker John Boehner faces a looming threat from conservatives to oust him as speaker, and it's tying his hands on funding the Department of Homeland Security.
Congress passed a one-week extension of funding just hours before the deadline on Friday night. It was that fear fueling Boehner's resistance to a longer-term bill, as it might prompt backlash from conservatives. President Barack Obama signed the bill, which funds the Department of Homeland Security through Friday.
Two senior House Republican sources tell CNN there's a serious concern among those close to the Speaker that if he allowed a vote on a clean DHS funding bill, conservatives would make a motion to vacate the chair, a direct challenge to his job.
Conservatives have demanded that any funding bill include a provision rolling back President Barack Obama's executive action delaying deportations for illegal immigrants. Democrats, meanwhile, remain staunchly opposed to tying the two together, and that fight has kept Congress in a stalemate over the bill all week, sending DHS right up to the funding deadline.
While the Senate passed a clean bill funding DHS through the end of the fiscal year this week, it appears conservative opposition is currently discouraging Boehner from bringing up a similar bill in the House.
Moderate Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Charlie Dent acknowledged he has also heard about conservatives using the fight over this DHS bill to try to remove Boehner.
"Right now, we have to get serious, I think a lot of people better get serious about governing and it's time for all of these, you know D.C. games to end. I mean all these palace coups or whatever the hell is going on around here has to end, and we have to get down to business of governing."
Boehner last survived an attempt to oust him at the start of the new Congress, when a handful of conservatives voted against him for speaker but failed to coalesce around an alternative.
More from CNN
February 27th, 2015
They Lived.....after falling about 10 feet, the South Korean couple were eventually rescued.
February 27th, 2015
By Michael Chapman
While commenting on whether Western countries can unite to defeat Islamic radicals, Rev. Franklin Graham said one of the major problems is that Western governments have “been infiltrated by Muslims,” and in the United States in particular Muslims “are advising the White House.”
They “are part of the problem,” said Rev. Graham. “And we see this also in Western Europe. They have gotten into the halls of power and they are an influence.”
The reverend made his remarks on the Feb. 26 edition of The O’Reilly Factor. Asked by host Bill O'Reilly why he thinks "the world will not unite to stop ISIS," the Islamic State, Rev. Graham said, "First, Bill, I think it's important for Muslims that are watching this program know that we love them and pray for them, and I want Muslims everywhere to know that God loves them and he sent his Son from Heaven to this Earth, Jesus Christ, for them."
"And Bill, one of the problems that we have in the West is that our governments, especially in Washington, has been infiltrated by Muslims who are advising the White House who I think are part of the problem," said the reverend. "And we see this also in Western Europe. They have gotten into the halls of power and they are an influence."
Host Bill O’Reilly then asked Rev. Graham for names and the latter said,"I can get those for you Bill. But I do know that they are there. And I've been told this by a number of people that they influence."
"I'm not saying they're sitting next to the president whispering in his ear," said Rev. Graham, "but they are in the halls and they are speaking to the --"
O'Reilly then mentioned pro-Muslim lobby groups, such as CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), which influence the U.S. government.O’Reilly also said that the inability or unwillingness of the West to confront Adolf Hitler in the 1930s is “the same exact historical mistake” being made today in failing to quickly and forcefully stop the Islamic State.
Rev. Graham agreed with that analysis and added that leaders in Washington also need to call “on this nation to pray.”
“We need God’s help,” he said. “This is a huge crisis. This isn’t something small. This is huge.”
“And you look at the entire Middle East, how it's been destabilized since the Gulf War,” said Rev. Graham, who runs the international aid groupSamaritan’s Purse. “The Christians are the ones that have suffered in Iraq. (inaudible) that several million population, now it's down to a few hundred thousand that have fled.”
“The few Christians that are not able to run are being persecuted,” he said. “Their churches are being burned. They are being persecuted as you know, being beheaded. One of the few safe places is northern Iraq in the Kurdish areas.”
Rev. Graham also noted the persecution of Christians in Iran, saying there are about 90 pastors who are in Iranian prisons. “[T]hey’re not allowed to convert [from Islam to Christianity there], they’re not allowed to baptize,” he said. “They’re not allowed to ordain.”
“Yes, and Saudi Arabia also,” said O’Reilly.
February 27th, 2015
By Nick Sanchez
The FCC's Democrat majority voted on Thursday to fix something that ain't broken by approving new regulations for the Internet. Republicans are dissenting, darkly suggesting that the new rules in government hands are a threat.
The commission's chairman, Tom Wheeler, said the new rules will ensure net neutrality by barring Internet service providers like Comcast from charging companies like Netflix for priority data transmission. Considering that ISPs don't do this, and currently treat all data transmission equally, Rep. Darrell Issa, R-California, accused the FCC of trying to "fix something that is far from broken."
Here are 7 reasons why the FCC's new net neutrality rules could be a threat to your freedom.
1. The FCC's new rules are a heavy-handed government takeover of the Internet.
Under the new rules, broadband Internet is classified as a public utility for the first time ever. This gives the government wide control of private companies like Comcast, Verizon, and Time Warner Cable, reducing their incentives to invest in their respective networks. Without this investment, broadband technology will develop more slowly, and prices will be higher for consumers.
2. Net neutrality subsidizes large companies like Netflix and Facebook who don't need it.
In November, it was widely reported that Netflix alone accounts for over 35 percent of all Internet traffic in the US. If broadband providers were able to charge Netflix a small fee for the high volume of data they send, they could pass that money onto consumers in the form of lower monthly bills.
3. The new rules subvert democracy and the will of the people.
CBS News reported that two in three Americans are opposed to the idea of government regulating the Internet. Other polls show that opposition to net neutrality is even higher.
4. The new regulations will stifle free speech.
Lee E. Goodman, former chairman and a current commissioner of the Federal Election Commission, told Newsmax TV that a government takeover of the Internet will chill political speech.
"The government will regulate the content — and specifically the political content — that the American people can both post online to express their own political opinions, and the political content and information that people can access from the Internet," said Goodman, who was appointed to the FEC in 2013 by President Obama.
5. The rule-making process was corrupted by the White House.
President Obama and White House staffers used backchannel meetings to pressure chairman Wheeler into creating the strongest possible net neutrality rules over the more moderate approach he originally intended. In this way, the White House operated "like a parallel version of the FCC itself," The Wall Street Journal reported.
6. The commission's vote wasn't transparent.
The new set of rules ushered in by Thursday's 3-2 vote were not provided to the public for comment. Ahead of the vote, one of the agency's five commissioners, Ajit Pai, tweeted a picture of the 317-page plan that he was barred from showing the public. Even after the vote, the rules will not be published publicly for many days.
7. The new rules will hurt the right to privacy, and further empower the federal government to spy on its citizens.
After Edward Snowden leaked the NSA's secret PRISM surveillance program in 2013, it became clear that the federal government is interested in snooping around in the private affairs of its citizens. Now that the federal government controls the web, its ability to spy will only increase.
Related Stories from Newsmax:
- Feds to Ban Popular Ammo; NRA Rips Obama's Anti-Gun Agenda
- Rand Paul Attacks FCC's Net Neutrality
- Ted Cruz, Obama Polarize Net Neutrality Debate; Why Does It Matter?