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NATIONAL NEWS USA

50 STATES AND DC, CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT

Should the U.S. Build an “ISIS Wall”? by Raymond Ibrahim

“If you really want to protect Americans from ISIS, you secure the southern border. It’s that simple.” — Rep. Duncan Hunter.

The Department of Homeland Security denied Hunter’s claims, called them “categorically false” and added that “no credible intelligence to suggest terrorist organizations are actively plotting to cross the southwest border.” Days later, however, it was confirmed that “4 ISIS Terrorists” were arrested crossing the border into Texas.

Under Obama’s presidency alone, 2.5 million illegals have crossed the border. And those are just the ones we know about. How many of these are ISIS operatives, sympathizers or facilitators?

Securing the U.S.-Mexico border — with an electronic fence, which has worked so effectively in Israel — is more urgent than we think.

Of all the reasons a majority of Americans support the plan of businessman and U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump to “build a wall” along the U.S.-Mexico border, perhaps the most critical is to avoid letting terrorists into the country. Drugs enter, the victims of traffickers enter, but the most imminent danger comes from operatives of the Islamic State (ISIS) and like-minded groups that are trying to use this porous border as a way to smuggle weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) into the United States and launch terror attacks that could make 9/11 seem like a morning in May.

Just last week, “One of the American men accused in Minnesota of trying to join the Islamic State group wanted to open up routes from Syria to the U.S. through Mexico… Guled Ali Omar told the ISIS members about the route so that it could be used to send members to America to carry out terrorist attacks, prosecutors alleged in a document.”

True True Conservatism By Andrew C. McCarthy —

While I am an admirer of his work, Ross Douthat’s New York Times post-mortem on the candidacy of Ted Cruz is a caricature of “True Conservatism,” the demise of which he undertakes to explain.

Devoid of any context except reaction to the futilities of George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservatism,” Ross builds his straw man:

Thus True Conservatism’s determination to avoid both anything that savored of big government and anything that smacked of compromise. Where Bush had been softhearted, True Conservatism would be sternly Ayn Randian; where Bush had been free-spending, True Conservatism would be austere; where Bush had taken working-class Americans off the tax rolls, True Conservatism would put them back on — for their own good. And above all, where Bush had sometimes reached for the center, True Conservatism would stand on principle, fight hard, and win.

This is warped because it fails to tell even half the story.

President Bush’s conservative heresies had not merely “reached for the center” or, as Ross elsewhere puts it, “led the Republican Party into a ditch.” They had paved the way for President Obama and the radical Left to lead the country into a bottomless pit. The national debt that Bush and the Republican Congress would double to $10 trillion, Obama would double again, to $20 trillion. The unsustainable entitlements that Bush added to, Obama would double-down on — including with Obamacare, which (unlike Bush’s well-meaning prescription entitlement) is about government control, not government compassion. The Bush bailouts became Obama mega-bailouts cum stimulus. The push for “comprehensive immigration reform” became the systematic non-enforcement of the immigration laws, the breakdown of border security, and a Justice Department crackdown on states that tried to affirm the rule of law. The conflation of national security with Muslim outreach, oxymoronic sharia-democracy building, and the pie-in-the-sky notion that Iran could be a helpful force for regional stability became willful blindness on steroids, Muslim Brotherhood promotion, and an Iran deal that combines nuclear proliferation with the provision of material support to the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism.

In the interim, Republicans pleading to be returned to power repeatedly promised to use all constitutional means at their disposal, particularly the power of the purse, to thwart Obama’s steamrolling agenda. Typical was Mitch McConnell, GOP leader in the Senate, who thundered that Obama “needs to be challenged” and vowed “to do that through the funding process.” Here is McConnell, for example, in the run-up to the 2014 midterms:

In the spending bill, we will be pushing back against this bureaucracy by doing what’s called placing riders in the bill. No money can be spent to do this or to do that. We’re going to go after them on health care, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board. All across the federal government, we’re going to go after it.

Yet, as soon as conservative voters put them in control, Republicans promptly dropped the combative rhetoric and forfeited the power of the purse. With Obama applauding, they funded the administration’s priorities while leaving themselves no leverage to fight the excesses that were sure to come and are sure to continue through the next eight months.

Protestors Have Jumped the Shark By Victor Davis Hanson

‘Jump the shark” is an American pop-culture expression that derives from a 1977 Happy Days sitcom episode; it describes a moment of decline. At a certain point, a TV show becomes so predictable, empty of ideas, and gimmicky that in desperation its writers will try anything — like the character “The Fonz” jumping over a shark on water skis — just to keep on the air.

Contemporary protestors have reached that moment, when demonstrations exist for demonstrations’ sake, without any consistent or coherent agenda of dissent.

At a recent forum on political correctness at the University of Massachusetts, three invited guest speakers were shouted down by protestors in the audience. A video of one shouter went viral. In the manner of a two-year-old, she threw a loud temper tantrum, interrupting the speakers, screaming obscenities, and repeatedly yelling, “Keep your hate speech off this campus!”

How does one stop “hate speech” by bellowing out four-letter obscenities to disrupt free expression at a university? The childish protestor then proved that she had jumped the shark when she finished by screaming, “Stop treating us like children!”

At an earlier protest at Yale, one particularly emotional student jumped the shark by cursing at a faculty member whose crime was advising students not to overreact to the childish Halloween costumes that other students would be wearing.

Protestors have a right to object to Donald Trump’s various crudities, as long as they do so peacefully and respect the right of free speech. But recently, disrupters at a Trump rally in California likewise jumped the shark when some waved the flag of Mexico or bore placards with slogans such as “Make America Mexico Again.” If the protest was directed against Trump’s pledges to deport undocumented immigrants to Mexico, then it made little sense to celebrate the country to which protestors did not wish immigrants to return, or to suggest that immigrants’ new home should become identical to the old home that they had chosen to leave.

At the University of Missouri last year, protestors demanded concessions from the university. In a public area, assistant communications professor Melissa Click called for “some muscle” to manhandle a student journalist who was trying to photograph a public demonstration. Click might as well have put on water skis and jumped a plastic shark. A right-wing cartoonist could not have dreamed up a sillier scenario, with a faculty member from a university’s communications department trying to have a student reporter physically blocked from covering a news story in a free-speech zone.

Administration will cut screening time for refugees by two thirds By Rick Moran

From our “not such a good idea” department comes a new plan from the Obama administration to resettle refugees even faster by cutting the time expended to screen the newcomers for ties to terrorism.

What could go wrong?

Washington Free Beacon:

The Obama administration has committed to bring at least 10,000 Syrian refugees onto American soil in fiscal year 2016 by accelerating security screening procedures from 18-24 months to around three months, according to sources who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon.

Obama administration officials told the Free Beacon that they remain committed to the plan, despite warnings from the FBI and other law enforcement officials who say the federal government is not equipped to properly vet these individuals within that timeframe.

The administration is committed to moving forward this year with a plan to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees and 85,000 refugees overall, officials said.

Lawmakers are pressing the State Department and White House to reconsider the plan, arguing that critical security concerns should be addressed before it is implemented.

“We know the 18- to 24-month vetting process for Syrian refugees has severe vulnerabilities after FBI Director James Comey warned about the federal government’s inability to thoroughly screen Syrian refugee applicants for terrorism risk and after the Department of Homeland Security’s investigative arm warned about ISIS’s capability to print fake Syrian passports for terrorist infiltration,” Sen. Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) told the Free Beacon.

The administration has not specified what mechanisms it has put in place to facilitate the screening of a larger number of refugees on a three-month timeline, according to Kirk.

“Given that the administration has not explained to the American people whether and how it fixed these and other known vulnerabilities to terrorist infiltration, it is highly irresponsible for the administration to reduce the 18- to 24-month vetting process for Syrian refugees down to three months to meet its artificial and ideologically-driven goal of bringing 10,000 Syrian refugees onto U.S. soil by September,” said Kirk, who recently introduced legislation to impose enhanced screening measures to prevent terrorists from taking advantage of the U.S. refugee program.

Neutering U.S. combat air forces Shrunken budgets and bad planning threaten national security By Jed Babbin

Willfully ignoring the effects of 15 years of combat, President Obama, Congress and Pentagon leaders are causing the readiness of our combat aircraft to sink to so low a level that it clearly endangers national security. It’s a matter of shrunken budgets and awful planning.

Readiness — the ability of a force to accomplish its assigned combat mission — is measured somewhat differently among the services. But when it comes to aircraft the criteria are immutable. They’re objective measures that are based on metallurgical science and the laws of physics.

Our military went into combat a month after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks when we attacked al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. In the nearly 15 years since, our air forces have flown almost constantly, attacking the terrorist forces in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. The burden on them has worn out too many aircraft to the degree that they can no longer be flown in combat.

As reported by Fox News, only a small minority of Marine Corps aircraft — about 30 percent of the Marines’ F/A-18s — are ready to fly and only 42 of their 147 heavy-lift CH-53E helicopters are airworthy. They — like the F/A-18s — are just plain worn out.

Retired U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Mike Groothousen flew A-7 attack aircraft and F-18 strike fighters. He was captain (in combat) of the nuclear carrier USS Harry S. Truman and had four other aviation and surface commands in his career.

Florida Synagogue Bomber Plotted to Kill Jews for “Glory of Allah” “And whatever happens, it’s for the glory of Allah.” Daniel Greenfield

The last time I was in Los Angeles, there were guards at every synagogue. In New York, there are police officers in front of every synagogue. But the media won’t talk about Muslim anti-Semitism. Instead it’ll pretend that we face a grave Islamophobia threat. Two days from now this story will be buried beneath a deluge of “Muslims fear backlash” stories. And Jews will have to pray in synagogues under assault.

And so we turn to James Gonzalo Medina aka James Muhammad, who converted to Islam, threatened a church and then plotted to bomb a synagogue for Islam.

Medina has a number of prior arrests, including one in August 2012 when he was accused of sending violent threats via text message to a Coral Springs family.

One text read: “By next week, Ima bomb ya [curse word] … Bring him! I will buy a gun [off] the street and rampage [family member’s] church. Murder she wrote,” according to the 2012 affidavit.

And at some point, Muhammad/Medina prioritized killing Jews.

One of Medina’s associates informed the FBI source that Medina was planning to martyr himself in a firearms attack on the Aventura synagogue, using AK-47 assault rifles — then, the affidavit said, the conversation turned to claiming responsibility for it. Medina said he liked the source’s idea of using the name of a notorious terrorist group — ISIS or al-Qaida-linked Shabaab — to assume responsibility.

Medina, who told the source he had converted to Islam four years ago, said the planned synagogue attack would inspire other Muslims. Medina would later express his “current hatred for the Jewish people,” the affidavit said.

Immigration Fraud Linked to San Bernardino Jihadist’s Family Alleged supplier of material support now also charged with marriage fraud. Michael Cutler

The 9/11 Commission came to regard immigration fraud and visa fraud as the key means by which international terrorists enter the United States and embed themselves. Yet, these issues are seldom, if ever, discussed or reported on by the media or politicians- especially those politicians who are determined to foist a massive legalization program involving unknown millions of illegal aliens on the United States.

Immigration fraud and visa fraud have long been of great concern where issues of national security are concerned. In point of fact, on May 20, 1997 I participated in a hearing conducted by the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims on the topic, “Visa Fraud And Immigration Benefits Application Fraud.”

That hearing was predicated on two terror attacks carried out in 1993 by terrorists from the Middle East including those who had engaged in visa fraud and also filed fraud-laden applications for immigration benefits.

In January 1993 a Pakistani national, Mir Aimal Kansi, stood outside CIA Headquarters with an AK-47 and opened fire on the vehicles of CIA officials reporting for work on that cold January morning in Virginia. He killed two CIA officers and wounded three others.

Just one month later, on February 26, 1993 a bomb-laden truck was parked in the garage under the World Trade Center complex and detonated. The blast nearly brought one of the 110 story towers down sideways. Six innocent people were killed, over one thousand people were injured and an estimated one-half billion dollars in damages were inflicted on that iconic complex of buildings located just blocks from Wall Street.

The Clinton administration abjected refused the learn the lessons that should have been learned from those attacks thereby literally and figuratively leaving the door wide open for the terrror attacks of 9/11.

Since the attacks of 9/11 we have witnessed a long list of terror attacks and attempted terror attacks that involved foreign nationals who gamed the visa process and/or the immigration benefits program.

Rocky Mountain Sense A fracking decision in Colorado is a win for good public policy.

Mark down Monday’s decision on hydraulic fracturing by the Colorado Supreme Court as a win for rationality in public policy, which at times can seem an increasingly rare event.

Colorado’s highest court ruled that the measures to ban fracking, which were passed by the cities of Longmont and Fort Collins, are invalid because state law pre-empts them.

Set aside for a moment the pitched battles over fracking’s safety. The issue here is analogous to the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause, whose purpose is to settle conflicts between laws passed by Congress and laws legislated by the states. Similarly, the Colorado high court is arguing that state law supercedes local law when the state legislature acts.

In the particular matter of fracking, the common sense of this proposition should be self-evident. The geology of fracking typically covers large areas. In Colorado that is the mountain range known as the Front Range, which includes the state’s most populous cities, including Denver and Boulder. CONTINUE AT SITE

Obama’s Lame Duck Economy Two ways of judging the president By Kevin D. Williamson

On the matter of Barack Obama and the performance of the U.S. economy, the aptest metaphor is anatine: We aren’t swimming in gold like Scrooge McDuck, and we haven’t blasted the beak off our face with a shotgun like Daffy Duck, but instead limp along like what the president is: a lame duck.

Spare me the technicalities about how President Obama isn’t officially a lame duck until after the election; we aren’t officially in recession, either, but 0.5 percent annualized growth — the most recent figure — is close enough.

How should we judge President Obama’s economic record? There are two ways to go about that: First, from the point of view of people who understand at least a little about economics; second, from the point of view of Barack Obama.

We Americans maintain a superstitious, priest-king attitude toward presidents and economies. Just as moral and religious defects in the holy chieftains of old were thought to be the source of droughts and crop failures, we take weakness in the economy to be the result of presidential flaws: He didn’t “care about people like us” enough, he followed the wrong policies, listened to the wrong people, etc. That’s mainly not true.

The most important factors shaping the economic performance of the United States, or that of any advanced country, isn’t policy, but events, from developments abroad to entrepreneurship and innovation at home. The 1990s didn’t boom because Bill Clinton pursued a radically different economic agenda from that of Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush: He ran on “time for a change” but more or less stayed the course, thanks in no small part to Newt Gingrich and the 1994 election. The 1990s boomed because the development of the personal computer and other forms of information technology, supercharged by the growth of the web, launched an extraordinary period of investment, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Bill Gates, Marc Andreessen (whose Netscape browsers brought the web to the masses), the development teams at Ericsson and Nokia, and a few million Americans who invested enthusiastically in everything marked “dot-com” had a lot more to do with the economy of the 1990s than Bill Clinton did. Likewise, the rough spots of that era (such as the Asian currency crisis) weren’t the president’s doing, either.

There is no mystical connection between presidents, GDP growth, employment, and wages.

Exclusive: These Expensive DOJ Offices, Rented With Your Money, Are EMPTY! By J. Christian Adams

PJ Media has obtained video taken inside Justice Department offices which show empty, unused office space within leased commercial space. The offices are intended for at least twenty federal employees according to DOJ sources — but only TWO are using them.

The Justice Department Community Relations Service offices in Dallas are on the 20th floor of the Harwood Center, a luxury downtown high rise. Justice Department sources provided PJ Media with a video taken inside the Dallas DOJ offices which documents the brazen waste of taxpayer dollars.

The video shows empty offices, boxes stacked on unused desks, jumbo window offices with couches, large conference rooms with television sets running, enormous offices which appear to be unused, stacks of printer boxes, bookshelves filled with VHS tapes, and a kitchen area with seating for four.

The video shows 58 chairs for use by just two employees working in the office.