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February 2014


Can Israel Defy a Second Term President?
Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative”
“Israel Hayom”, February 28, 2014, http://bit.ly/OJtyku

The assumption that second term US presidents are omnipotent, and therefore can bulldozer their way through anything – including the exertion of insurmountable pressure on Israel – ignores the most fundamental elements of the US political system: limited government, separation of powers, checks and balances and the centrality of the constituent, deliberately designed to avoid an all-powerful Executive.

Second term Presidents may wish – but are unable – to extricate themselves from the strict constitutional constraints, demonstrated by the power of the US constituency and the co-equal, co-determining Congress, which have been systematically pro-Israel.

The mystique of the Second Term Imperial Presidency tends to smother Israeli policy-makers and public opinion molders, who misunderstand the US political system, which is dramatically different from the Israeli and European systems.

Contrary to conventional misperception, second term presidents reach their peak on inauguration day, as has been documented since George Washington’s second term, when the US was on the verge of a civil war. From then forward, most second-term presidents have been burdened by the second term lame-duck slump.



This feels like old times. Across the pond at the Telegraph, Tim Stanley and Daniel Hannan are having a friendly disagreement on the question of whether the Nazis were in fact socialists. I don’t usually wade into these arguments anymore, but I’ve been writing a lot on related themes over the last few weeks and I couldn’t resist.

Not surprisingly, I come down on Hannan’s side. I could write a whole book about why I agree with Dan, except I already did. So I’ll be more succinct.

Fair warning, though, I wrote this on a plane trip back from Colorado and it’s way too long. So if you’re not interested in this stuff, you might as well wander down the boardwalk and check out some of the other stalls now.

Stanley makes some fine points here and there, but I don’t think they add up to anything like corroboration of his thesis. The chief problem with his argument is that he’s taking doctrinaire or otherwise convenient definitions of socialism and applying them selectively to Nazism.

Stanley’s chief tactic is to simply say Nazis shouldn’t be believed when they called themselves socialists. It was all marketing and spin, even putting the word in their name. Socialism was popular, so they called themselves socialists. End of story.

So when Nazi ideologist Gregor Strasser proclaimed:

We are socialists. We are enemies, deadly enemies, of today’s capitalist economic system with its exploitation of the economically weak, its unfair wage system, its immoral way of judging the worth of human beings in terms of their wealth and their money, instead of their responsibility and their performance, and we are determined to destroy this system whatever happens!

. . . he was just saying that because, in Stanley’s mind, socialism was “fashionable.”


http://www.nationalreview.com/node/372188/print The Tea Party still holds the high ground this year for its third national election. The Tea Party turns five years old this week, and the mainstream media are filled with stories saying it has lost clout and influence. Certainly the unfair assaults on it as racist and extremist have taken a toll, but […]


At a Senate Judiciary Committee markup Thursday morning, Texas’s Ted Cruz offered an amendment to prohibit IRS employees from deliberately targeting individuals or groups based on political views. It was unanimously rejected by every member of the Democratic majority.

Few presidents understand the power of speech better than Barack Obama, and even fewer the power of denying it to others. That’s the context for understanding the White House’s unprecedented co-option of the Internal Revenue Service to implement a political campaign to shut up its critics and its opponents.

Perhaps the biggest fiction of this past year was that the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups has been confronted, addressed and fixed. The opposite is true. The White House has used the scandal as an excuse to expand and formalize the abuse.

About a month after the IRS inspector general released his bombshell report about IRS targeting of conservative groups last May, Acting IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel unveiled a “plan of action” for correcting the mess. One highlight was that targeted groups would be offered a new optional “expedited” process for getting 501(c)(4) status.

The deal, which received little public attention, boiled down to this: We’ll do our job, the IRS said, if you give up your rights. Those taking part in the “expedited” process had to agree to limit to 40% the amount of spending and time (calculated by employee and volunteers hours) they spend on political activity. Current 501(c)(4) rules allow political spending up to 49%, and have no “time” component. The clear point of the “deal” was to use the lure of 501(c)(4) approval to significantly reduce the political activity of targeted conservative groups going forward.



Governonr Du Pont is the very model of a perfect conservative….one of my absolute favorites….rsk

Global warming is back. Not actual global warming, as the decade-long trend of little to no increase in temperatures continues. But the topic of global warming is back in the news. From Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent climate comments in Jakarta to the White House’s 2014 “year of action” plan on carbon emissions, global warming has garnered more ink and pixels than we’ve seen in a while.

It’s an open question whether this renewed emphasis reflects sincere concern about global warming or is just the Obama administration playing to part of its base prior to the midterm elections. Either way, the White House and the eco-left must be disappointed by polls that continue to show Americans do not share their sense of urgency. Even though many believe some warming exists and is at least partly anthropogenic, the vast majority consider it a low priority. In a January Pew Research poll, climate change was ranked 19th out of 20 items for the president and Congress to address.

The warming alarmists might earn more support if they acted less like they had something to hide and actually allowed open debate. Perhaps they could respond to their critics rationally instead of reflexively branding them heretics, suitable for whatever is the modern university and research center equivalent of burning at the stake. Real science does not fear those who challenge it, does not work to have challengers’ articles banned from science journals, and does not compare skeptics to Holocaust deniers or, as Mr. Kerry did in Jakarta, members of the “Flat Earth Society.”


Warning labels are in vogue. ‘Cigarettes can seriously damage your health’. ‘Caution — hot liquid!’ Anti-Israel advocates also want to develop public fear and loathing. ‘Warning — Jewish-made products can kill!’


For how much longer can the war of words over the legality of settlements rage back and forth? Even a final verdict, for or against, would be unproductive.

Legal or not, some 400,000 Jews in 130 settlement towns aren’t going anywhere, and demanding that they go reflects a desire for ethnic cleansing that we may relegate to a league for criminal maniacs.

Those without a bone to pick would accept facts on the ground and enter a war of words that will go somewhere. Europe’s trade policy for ‘occupation’ products has a murky record that looks set to get grubby. Now there’s a war worth fighting.

“There do not appear to be any European Commission laws which could be breached by a member state taking the decision to ban the import of settlement produce…”

With this ruling, Cambridge professor of international law, James Crawford gave Europe the nod. Go ahead — ban settlement products.

Observe the slippery slope. Notice how freely one can slide from labeling products to a blanket ban on products. From there to a blanket ban on everything made in Israel is no more than a slip.


Egypt claims miracle cure for HIV and Hepatitis
Almost certainly a political miracle rather than a medical one, Egypt’s claim to have an instant cure for HIV and Hepatitis shows the lengths the coup leaders will go for legitimacy


Two days ago, Egyptian media began big campaigns about a miraculous device (billed as ”Complete Cure”) invented by Egypt’s armed forces for treating HIV/AIDS and the Hepatitis C virus.

The news stories depicted the machine as a breakthrough, and a real miracle for completely curing patients of any of the two resistant diseases, giving hope for 18 million Egyptians with Hepatitis C and tens of thousands with HIV. (All this in no time at all — only 16 hours for the cure and one minute for detecting the disease.)

According to the Egyptian media, with the device there is no need to take a sample of the patient’s blood to detect the infection. Moreover, Egypt’s national TV channels ran a video that showed a physician making tests for an HIV patient using the device and telling him, “your tests are so great; you had HIV but now the disease vanished.”

The reports said that ”Complete Cure” is two machines in one: ”C Fast” (for treating Hepatitis C) and “I Fast” (for treating HIV). Furthermore, the reports confirmed that the military had been working for 22 years on the project and although ”C Fast” had been ready to go since 2006, the inventing team preferred to wait until it could test the effectiveness of the machine on HIV patients.

There’s even more. Major Dr. Ibrahim Abdel-Atti, leader of the machine-inventing team, stressed that Egypt will not export the machine to other countries so that it can be protected from international monopoly and the black market. He was quoted in the Al-Ahram newspaper as saying, “Marshal el-Sisi once said, ”we lagged behind and we should jump rather than walk so that we can compete with others”, and this is the first jump.”



Daniel Johnson is the Editor of Standpoint

It is easy to denigrate democracy while enjoying its benefits as Israel knows all too well. And it seems that Herzl’s dream of a Judenstaat, a Jewish state, is still not fully accepted in Europe

In My Crazy Century, an excellent new memoir by the Czech writer Ivan Klíma (Grove Press, £16.99), the author recalls a visit to Britain in the mid-1960s. As a journalist on the magazine Literární noviny he took full advantage of the slight thaw that preceded the Prague Spring in 1968, soon to be crushed by the Soviet invasion.

In London Klíma went to see the Leftist guru Isaac Deutscher, politely explaining that as a Czech Jew he had “barely survived one bloody dictatorship only to begin serving another” — hence his efforts to promote democratic reform.

Deutscher would have none of it, proposing instead the slogan: “Never return to the old democracies but do return to the regenerated Soviets of the people’s representatives.” Klíma was aghast: “He was recommending this to me, someone who

It is easy to denigrate democracy while enjoying its benefits. This phenomenon is most obvious in relation to Israel, still the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.

How Maddow’s MSNBC Takeover Dooms the Left By Daniel Greenfield


Liberal media succeeds best when it isn’t identified as such. The reason for that can be seen in numerous polls where Americans of both parties identify themselves with conservative values.

The left is adept at selling its agenda through biased mainstream media coverage, but when it discards the disguise of objectivity on radio or television the end result is shrill, irritating and off-putting.

The playwright and director David Mamet achieved an epiphany while listening to NPR. Unfortunately for NPR the epiphany was that he was no longer a liberal. “I felt my facial muscles tightening,” he described, “and the words beginning to form in my mind: Shut the f___ up.”

The unfiltered left with its onslaught of sanctimonious bleating often brings out that reaction.

It’s why Air America not only couldn’t compete with Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and other conservative talk radio hosts, but it couldn’t even remain solvent. MSNBC, the bastard child of a ridiculous union between Microsoft and NBC, spent years drifting in search of an identity only to become the new Air America.

Why does the left, which is so adept at putting its agenda across in mainstream media outlets fail spectacularly when it puts away the disguise and begins saying what it really thinks?

The Punching Bag Bigots of Anti-Israel Boycotts By Vijeta Uniyal


Reprinted from TheCommentator.com.

The Italian philosopher and politician Niccolò Machiavelli famously said: “Never attempt to win by force what can be won by deception”. After decades of aggression failed to destroy Israel, deception is the “new” game in town.

This deception has a name, or to be precise, a lame sounding acronym — BDS, the campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel.

The BDS campaign has two main ingredients — one is deception and the other is another kind of lie. There’s the sinister deception about the campaign’s own true nature, and a blatant lie about the state of Israel.

The otherwise vocal BDS campaign remains eerily silent about its ties and sympathies with terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The campaign lures in faith-based Christian groups, and LBGT community and feminist groups while at the same time hiding its ties with the homophobic and misogynist clerical regime of Iran.

Yes, indeed. The BDS campaign calls for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel, while doing the bidding of its masters in Tehran who offer bounties on the heads of writers abroad and hang poets for penning dissenting verses at home.