Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Lebanese Christians forming defense forces against Islamic State

Jihad Watch - “‘We are a minority and we are under threat by the jihadists,’ Rifaat Nasrallah, a commander of the volunteer guards in the Greek Catholic town of Ras Baalbek, said.” These guys should lay down their arms — don’t they realize they might harm the Muslim/Christian dialogue? Don’t they know that the Islamic State fighters aren’t jihadis anyway and have nothing to do with Islam?
“Isis Threat to Crucify Lebanon’s Christians as Islamic State Prepare to Cross Syria Border,” by Jack Moore, International Business Times, September 30, 2014:
Christians in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley have begun arming themselves in preparation for an Isis (now known as the Islamic State) offensive as it seeks to expand its territorial control outside of Syria.
Up to 3,000 militants from the Islamic State and other jihadists occupy the mountain range between Lebanon and Syria near the Sunni town of Arsal.
As IS seek to grab land outside of the mountain caves and farms they currently control, Christian volunteers have now created village defence forces to protect against the Sunni militants who have taken up to 21 Lebanese soldiers and policemen hostage.   Read More 

Radical Out, Radical In

Matthew Vadum - President Obama is considering nominating his far-left labor secretary to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, according to media reports.
Illegal alien enabler Thomas Perez would not be an improvement over Holder, the scandal-plagued left-wing attorney general who has taken the Department of Justice to new lows of corruption and lawlessness. Perez, who previously ran the DoJ’s civil rights branch, would likely be a Holder clone or worse.
“Perez fits all the qualities that Eric Holder had: A lack of ethics, disrespect for the rule of the law, and placing ideology first,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.   Read More

Democrats as faux hawks

Gary Gross - This article presents this year’s vulnerable Democrats as hawkish:
Democrat Kay Hagan didn’t mince words about the Iraq War during her 2008 Senate campaign against Republican Elizabeth Dole. “We need to get out of Iraq in a responsible way,” Hagan declared in May of that year. “We need to elect leaders who don’t invade countries without planning and stay there without an end.”
Hagan is striking a different chord these days. Locked in a tough reelection battle, the first-term senator boasts that she’s more strongly supportive of airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militants than her Republican challenger, Thom Tillis, and says she’s been pressing the Obama administration to arm Syrian rebels since early last year.
“This is the time for us to come together, Democrats and Republicans, to confront the challenges that are facing our nation,” she said this month.
What’s interesting (noteworthy?) is that the terrorists haven’t changed their belief that the infidels must be killed or put into servitude. I’m confident that these doves haven’t changed their opinion of war, either. I’m certain that they’re acting hawkish now…to an extent.

Al Franken still doesn’t want boots on the ground, though he wants ISIL defeated. That’s what a focus grouped response sounds like. That isn’t a substantive answer. It’s a political answer aimed at getting him through this election. Without angry men with rifles, ground can’t be take and terrorists can’t be defeated.

We don’t need idiots in the Senate fulfilling faux advise and consent responsibilities. That’s what the Democrats are providing and it’s disgraceful. I’m betting that Sen. Hagan couldn’t have explained the definition of getting out of Iraq “in a responsible way” meant then. I’m positive that Sen. Franken can’t explain how to decapitate ISIL without putting boots on the ground. Sen. Franken is a policy lightweight and a political rubberstamp.

The only thing more frightening than getting lectured about national security by President Obama is the thought that Al Franken and Kay Hagan are giving President Obama advice on how to decapitate ISIL.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Kidnapping And Extortion Bring Massive Revenue To US Border Gangs

Breitbart - HOUSTON, Texas -- Gangs operating in Falfurrias, Texas have allegedly been the recipient of “a massive amount” of inbound wire transfers. The transfers are believed to be extortion payments to local gang members who allegedly kidnap illegal immigrants who are found hiking through the ranches of Brooks County to avoid the Falfurrias Border Patrol checkpoint. The immigrants are then held hostage until money is wired into the gang members – usually around one to three thousand dollars.   Read More

Bridenstine: OK Beheading Proves Obama Wrong On Gun Control

Breitbart - Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) argued that gun control laws pushed by the Obama administration would have prevented Vaughan Foods C.O.O Mark Vaughan from stopping the beheading attack at the business on Monday’s broadcast of “The Laura Ingraham Show.”  

Read More & Watch the Video

South China Sea: Manila and Washington play war games against Beijing - Thousands of US and Filipino soldiers begin 12-day joint military exercises today near Palawan Island, where Manila is involved in a bitter territorial dispute with Beijing. Recently, the Philippines boosted its military presence in the area.

Manila (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Thousands of soldiers from the Philippines and the United States have begun joint military exercises in a region in the South China Sea disputed with Beijing.

The 12-day amphibious landing exercises - involving about 3,500 US marines and sailors and 1,200 Filipino counterparts - were officially launched from the western island of Palawan, directly facing the South China Sea.

The choice is not random. Manila last month lodged an official complaint with Beijing over China's increasingly assertive naval presence in the Reed Bank, which is fuelling Filipino nationalism against the Asian giant.   Read More

Friday, September 26, 2014

Eric Holder’s resignation and the midterm elections

Red State (John Hayward) - I think the conventional wisdom about the political fallout from Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation has it wrong.  This isn’t necessarily going to be a problem for Democrats.  It’s a roll of the dice, a Hail Mary pass, but  with a little luck, it could be a significant asset to them in the midterm elections.  In fact, the more I think about it, the more I see that as a safe bet.
The argument that Holder’s resignation is a headache for endangered Democrats presumes that (1) the voters will take his departure as a sign of chaos in the already unpopular Obama Administration, and (2) congressional Democrats will now be flung into a tough confirmation battle.  It would happen after the midterm election, but Republicans can happily add “vote for me unless you want to get stuck with another Eric Holder” to their campaign platforms.
The first point may be true – certainly Holder and the Administration will strive to make this look like an amicable parting of the ways, just one of those things, everything’s under control… but when one of the longest-serving members of an Administration departs right before a major election, eyebrows are certain to be raised.  It’s tough to make that look good. Having said that, it’s a minor bruise for an Administration that already looks like Ivan Drago from “Rocky IV” worked it over and left it hanging on the ropes.  When you’re a President with approval ratings plummeting under 40 percent, and you just launched a shooting war, there’s only so much damage the Attorney General can do by taking a powder.  In and of itself, it’s not going to rank high on anyone’s list of reasons for voting against the Democrats in November.   Read More

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Chinese, United States Hold Secret Cyber Talks

Talks resume as Senate report reveals military hacking against U.S. logistics contractors

Free Beacon - Chinese officials held closed-door talks in Washington last week with U.S. cyber security counterparts despite Beijing’s formal cutoff of talks on the subject following the federal indictment of Chinese military hackers.
“We exchanged views with Chinese counterparts on cyber issues in Washington last week,” a State Department official confirmed, adding, “We do not read out the contents of our private diplomatic exchanges.”   Read More

Susan Rice Walks Back Al Qaeda ‘On the Run’ Claim

Free Beacon - National Security Adviser Susan Rice has changed her tune on the threat of Islamic extremists.

While speaking with NBC’s Matt Lauer, Rice said al Qaeda has “metastasized” from its core to areas including the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen, and northern Africa.   Read More

ISIL destroys landmark Armenian church in Syria

The sixth-largest city in Syria, Deir ez-Zor, has a Kurdish majority and was recently invaded by ISIL militants.
Hurriyet Daily - Militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have destroyed an Armenian church in an eastern Syrian city, which was dedicated as a memorial to the 1915 mass killings of Ottoman Armenians.

The sixth-largest city in Syria, Deir ez-Zor, has a Kurdish majority and was recently invaded by ISIL militants.    Read More

The Rosh Hashanah Guide for the Perplexed, 2014

Algemeiner - Happy, healthy, challenging, and rewarding new year!
1. Rosh Hashanah is a universal, stock-taking, renewal, and hopeful holiday, celebrated on the 6th‎ day of The Creation, which produced the first human being, Adam.
2.  Rosh means, in Hebrew, ”beginning,” “first,” “head,” “chief.” The Hebrew spelling of Rosh (ראש) is the root of the Hebrew word for Genesis (בראשית), which is the first word in the Bible. Just like The Creation, so should the New Year and our own actions, be a thoughtful – and not a hasty – process.
3.  Rosh Hashanah is celebrated at the beginning of the Hebrew month of Tishrei, which means beginning/Genesis in ancient Akkadian.The Hebrew spelling of Tishrei (תשרי) is included in the spelling of Genesis (בראשית).   Read More

Monday, September 22, 2014

Jerusalem Arab Mother Rejoices Over Son's Death

Mother of 16-year-old Arab rioter who died from sponge round tells PA TV 'this is the first time I see joy in my heart.'

Arutz Sheva - Mohammed Abu Sankara (16) died two weeks ago on Sunday, a week afterbeing wounded while participating in a violent riot in Jerusalem - and evidently nothing could have made his mother any happier.

Police say Sankara, whose name is sometimes spelled "Sunuqrut", was shot in the leg with a sponge round, then fell and hit his head as he ran away; they add that he was conscious as he was taken to the hospital. Sankara's family has alleged he was shot in the head at close range by the nonlethal sponge round.

But despite the accusations and ensuing round of renewed violent riots in the capital, Sankara's mother told official Palestinian Authority (PA) TV on September 12 "this is the first time I see joy in my heart. This is the first time I see such joy. Thank Allah for giving him martyrdom."    Read More

Close races mean possibility Senate control will be decided by post Election Day runoffs

Fox News - A handful of tight races in states with quirky election laws make for the possibility that Election Day will come and go without deciding which party controls the Senate.
If that happens, brace for a fierce runoff election and possible recounts that could make for an ugly holiday season in politics and government.
The main reason for uncertainty: Louisiana's election laws. Strategists in both parties say a Dec. 6 runoff is likely because Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu and top Republican challenger Bill Cassidy will struggle to exceed 50 percent on the crowded Nov. 4 ballot.
In Louisiana's "jungle primary," all candidates -- regardless of party -- run in November. If none exceeds 50 percent, the top two finishers head into a Dec. 6 runoff.   Read More

WHAT COULD GO WRONG? More US troops in Ebola-hit Liberia: airport source

h/t - Instapundit

More US troops in Ebola-hit Liberia: airport source

Monrovia (AFP) - A second deployment of United States troops arrived in Liberia on Sunday as part of an eventual mission of 3,000 soldiers helping its beleaguered health services battle the Ebola outbreak.
The contingent will be focused on training local health workers and setting up facilities to help Liberia and its neighbours halt the spread of the epidemic, which has left more than 2,600 dead across west Africa.
"Some American troops came soon this morning. They arrived with tactical jeeps," a source at Roberts international airport, near Monrovia, told AFP.
The source was unable to give the size of the unit, which arrived in one aircraft, but the US has already announced it was planning to send 45 troops over the weekend.    Read More

Chart Of The Day: 150 Years Of Global Monetary Policy

Zero Hedge - While everyone debates if the Fed will, once again, be wrong in its forecasts about a rate hike cycle starting some time in mid-2015 (spoiler alert: it will be), we decided to take a look in the other direction.
The chart below shows the key global events that have influenced monetary policy for the 4 major legacy central banks: the US, UK, Germany and Japan since the mid-19th century. Because if there is one thing to "learn" from the history of monetary policy it is that there is nothing to learn from the history of monetary policy: after all, "this time is always different" when the voodoo priests in charge of it all try to make a bubble-blowing, kneejerk-response "science" out of something that only a mother could call art.   

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Report: ‘Family Glitch’ in Obamacare to Impact 1.9 Million Americans

Free Beacon - Vague language within Obamacare will result in nearly 2 million Americans being unable to afford health insurance, according to a new report by the American Action Forum (AAF).
The so-called “family glitch” occurs when an individual is offered health insurance through their employer but the plan is not extended to the rest of their family. Due to the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) interpretation of the law, other immediate family members are not eligible to receive subsidies for insurance, even if their income is below the federal poverty level.
The AAF has estimated that 1.93 million Americans will be affected by the glitch, making it “practically impossible” for them to obtain affordable health care coverage.
“The ‘Family Glitch,’ as it has become known, is an odd and particularly problematic side-effect of the Affordable Care Act (ACA),” the report said. “Since several provisions of the law are rather ambiguous, they unfortunately combine to create a perfect storm where obtaining affordable health insurance is practically impossible.”    Read More

Did Terrorists Try to Cross the Border? Congressman Presses Homeland Security Chief for Answers

The Daily Signal (Josh Siegel) - At a House Committee on Homeland Security hearing yesterday, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, asked Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson about a report that four men with ties to terrorist organizations tried to cross the Texas border Sept. 10.

Johnson neither confirmed nor denied the the report, saying he had “heard reports to that effect” but did not know their accuracy.    

Following the hearing, Chaffetz spoke with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly about his exchange with Johnson.
“We have a porous border,” Chaffetz said last night. “I’m worried about [ISIS] actually coming to the United States and crossing that porous border and getting into the homeland.”

House votes to arm Syrian rebels

(Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives approved President Barack Obama's plan on Wednesday to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels, but questions remain over whether it will give them the advanced weapons they say they need to defeat Islamic State militants.
The House voted 273-to-156 to authorize the plan, a test of support for Obama's stepped-up campaign to "degrade and destroy" Islamic State fighters who have seized a third of bothIraq and Syria, declared war on the West and seek to establish a caliphate in the heart of the Middle East.

Written as an amendment to a stopgap spending bill, the measure does not include any money to pay for the arms and training. It passed with support from Democrats and Republicans, but also significant opposition from members of both parties.   Read More

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

In an apparent response to America’s top general saying that he could foresee American troops on the ground, ISIS released “Flames of War.”

ISIS Releases New Agitprop Video, Goes Underground

The Clarion Project - In an apparent response to America’s top general saying that he could foresee American troops on the ground in Iraq, the Islamic State released a new propaganda video titled “Flames of War” (see below).
The 52-second clip, purported to be the trailer for a longer movie "coming soon,” shows Hollywood-like special effects used to blow up an American tank and troops, and injured American soldiers being loaded into an emergency vehicle.  The clip cuts to U.S. President Barak Obama saying that, “Combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq.” The video’s final frames show Islamic State fighters aiming a pistol over kneeling prisoners, ostensibly captured American soldiers.
The video was released to social media outlets hours after Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Senate panel that he may end up recommending the use of some American forces on the ground in Iraq, namely by embedding them within Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting to regain territory seized by the Islamic State.   Read More

Obama administration forcing new gun buyers to declare race, ethnicity

Washington Times - The Obama administration quietly has been forcing new gun buyers to declare their race and ethnicity, a policy change that critics say provides little law enforcement value while creating the risk of privacy intrusions and racial profiling.
With little fanfare, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) in 2012 amended its Form 4473 — the transactional record the government requires gun purchasers and sellers to fill out when buying a firearm — to identify buyers as either Hispanic, Latino or not. Then a buyer must check his or her race: Indian, Asian, black, Pacific Islander or white.
The amendment is causing a headache for gun retailers, as each box needs to be checked off or else it's an ATF violation — severe enough for the government to shut a business down. Many times people skip over the Hispanic/Latino box and only check their race, or vice versa — both of which are federal errors that can be held against the dealer.
Requiring the race and ethnic information of gun buyers is not required by federal law and provides little law enforcement value, legal experts say. And gun industry officials worry about how the information is being used and whether it constitutes an unnecessary intrusion on privacy.   Read More

Congress worries Ebola could hit US, become more contagious

The Hill - Lawmakers are increasingly concerned about the spread of Ebola and worry that it could jump to the United States and become more contagious.
President Obama on Tuesday unveiled new plans to surge U.S. support to West Africa that includes sending thousands of U.S. military personnel to the region and establishing a command-and-control center, and new hospitals to aid in the fight.
But lawmakers worry the president’s efforts might not be enough to contain the outbreak. Already, an estimated 2,400 have died from the disease, and the United Nations estimates $1 billion could be necessary to limit the epidemic.
“We’re late to this challenge,” warned Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.).
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) echoed those comments.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Obamacare Abortion Rules Often Ignored, New GAO Report Reveals

Free Beacon - Despite supposedly rigid rules on whether customers can use federal health care subsidies on insurance policies that cover abortion procedures, a Government Accountability Office investigation shows there are widespread instances of the rules being violated.
Politico reported that the House Republican leadership-backed investigation found 15 insurers in a sample of 18 sell Obamacare plans that do not segregate funds to cover abortion--except in cases of rape, incest, or risking the mother’s life–from their Obamacare subsidies.
“All but three issuers indicated that the [abortion coverage] benefit is not subject to any restrictions, limitations, or exclusions,” the GAO wrote in its report.
Obamacare requires insurers to collect separate payments from customers for abortion coverage to keep taxpayer dollars from paying for the procedure. This policy was critical to get the health care law through Congress. During the 2009 Joint Session of Congress on Health Care, President Obama promised specifically that Obamacare would not fund abortions.   Read More

Sec. Hagel Announces 1,600 Americans Will Deploy to Fight ISIL

Free Beacon - U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced 1,600 American personnel will deploy to Iraq as part of the Obama administration’s counterterrorism plan to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS).
“The president of the United States has the constitutional and the statutory authority to use military force against ISIL in Syria as well as Iraq,” Hagel said. “[Our] strategy is to increase support for those fighting ISIL on the ground.”
Hagel underscored direct combat against ISIL will be conducted by a coalition of Iraqi, Kurdish, and Syrian fighters. He noted Obama’s commitment to providing a range of military, law enforcement, and intelligence support to these local fighters.   

Obama’s DOJ Gets Caught Subverting IRS Investigation

FrontPageMag.Com - This week’s Glazov Gang was guest-hosted by Michael Hausam and joined by Shillman Fellow Mark Tapson, Award Winning Journalist Victoria Taftand Screenwriter/Author Michael Walsh.

The guests joined the show to discussObama’s DOJ Gets Caught Subverting IRS Investigationanalyzing how a telephone call to the wrong office has exposed lies — and a cover-up.[starts at the 22:00 minute mark].

Read More & Watch the Video

Monday, September 15, 2014

EV D-68: New Virus Targeting Children Nationwide Causes Concern In Calfornia

Breitbart - Flu season is just around the corner, but there's a different kind of virus that may have recently resurfaced in California called Enterovirus D68 (EV D-68). It targets children, and many parents are already worried. 

"As a parent, what you would look for would be young child struggling to breathe, and the skin above the clavicles would sink in as they're breathing," Dr. Stuart Breisch said to local CBS News affiliate in San Diego. Dr. Breisch says the virus tends to hit youth between the ages of 6 months to 16 years of age.
At least three children are reportedly being tested at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego for EV D-68.   Read More