A rapid appeal from the Fourth Circuit would be a legal and public service.

Liberals are telling themselves that the latest ObamaCare legal challenge won’t amount to much, although more nervously after the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that the White House is defying the law’s plain text by allotting insurance subsidies through the federal exchanges. Allow us to increase their anxiety by speeding things along to the Supreme Court.

The Justice Department hopes to deep-six Halbig v. Burwell by asking the D.C. Circuit for en banc review. The Administration hopes the full 11-active-member court will overturn Judge Thomas Griffith’s decision and thus avoid a conflict among the appellate circuits so the Supreme Court wouldn’t take the case.
As it happens, however, on Tuesday the Fourth Circuit ruled in favor of the government in King v. Burwell. Liberals are touting the Fourth Circuit’s logic as one reason Halbig is frivolous, even if that panel did recognize the gravity of the plain-text-of-the-law questions. But the decision may really be a stroke of luck. The losing lead litigator in the Fourth Circuit, Michael Carvin of Jones Day, can now petition the High Court to hear his expedited appeal, and we hope he pursues that option as quickly as possible.

There doesn’t have to be an appellate conflict for four Justices to agree to hear a case, and in King v. Burwell Mr. Carvin can point to the policy benefits of a quick resolution. The subsidies will continue to flow as long as the litigation is ongoing, which means that tens of billions of dollars are being distributed illegally. Two other cases are also challenging this law-breaking, one in Oklahoma (the Tenth Circuit) and another in Indiana (the Seventh).

The Supreme Court could wait for another appellate conflict to emerge. Yet the delay could last two years or more and compound the policy harm if the Administration’s ObamaCare rewrite is ultimately vacated. The sooner the Administration has to ask Congress to fix its mistake, the better for the country.


The most provincial U.S. president in at least a century

Asked on “Meet the Press” Sunday whether this was the lowest moment in U.S.-Russia relations since the Cold War, America’s robo-Secretary of State John Kerry replied: “We live in an extremely complicated world right now, where everybody is working on 10 different things simultaneously.” Well, not everyone.

As the world burns, the president spent this week fiddling at fundraisers in the living rooms of five Democratic Party fat cats in Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. As White House communications director Jennifer Palmieri famously explained, changing the president’s fundraising schedule “can have the unintended consequence of unduly alarming the American people or creating a false sense of crisis.”
Alarmed? Who’s alarmed? What false sense of crisis? Vladimir Putin’s masked men in eastern Ukraine shot Malaysia Airlines Flight 17’s 298 people out of the air just about the time Israel and Hamas commenced their death struggle, not long after the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham occupied a third of Iraq within seven days. Now ISIS is cleansing Mosul of its Christians.

If news coverage defined reality, you’d think the civil war in Syria was over. There just isn’t space to fit it all in. The homicidal Islamic fanatics of Boko Haram may soon establish statelike control of northern Nigeria, as ISIS has in Iraq. Last week the April kidnappers of the world’s now-forgotten “our girls” gunned down another 44 Nigerians, then days later killed 100 more in villages abandoned by the Nigerian army. After Boko Haram grabbed a German citizen in Gombi, Germany’s foreign ministry said it was “aware of the case.”

On Monday, Barack Obama showed up on the White House lawn to make clear that he, too, is aware of what’s going on. Addressing the war in Gaza for about three minutes, Mr. Obama urged “the international community to bring about a cease-fire that ends the fighting.” He said, “I have asked John,”—that would be our squirrel-on-a-wheel secretary of state—to “help facilitate” that. That is a foreign policy whose arc begins and ends with the phrase, “stop the killing.”

More revealing, though, was what Mr. Obama said on the airliner shoot-down and Russia’s role. “If Russia continues to violate Ukraine’s sovereignty,” he said, and if it still backs the separatists who are becoming “more and more dangerous” not just to Ukrainians “but the broader international community,” then “the costs for Russia” will increase.

New Push To Lure Hamas Into Truce Washington, Allies Try to Assure Hamas its Economic Demands Will be Addressed (Idiotic!)

By Jay Solomon in Cairo, Nicholas Casey in Gaza City and Tamer El-Ghobashy in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip

The Obama administration, Israel and other Middle East allies are refashioning an Egyptian cease-fire proposal to assure Hamas that Gaza’s economic interests would be addressed if the Islamist group stops rocket attacks, senior U.S. and Arab officials said.

These diplomats outlined a two-stage plan as the 16th day of Israel’s military offensive brought intense fighting to southern Gaza, raising the Palestinian death toll to nearly 700 and the Israeli toll to 35 in a conflict in which Hamas’s military wing has shown surprising strength.

Under the plan, Israel and Hamas would agree to stop military operations in the coming days. And the U.S. and the international community would then move quickly to begin talks on a longer-term recovery program for the impoverished coastal enclave.

Secretary of State John Kerry outlined the emerging proposal during more than two hours of discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on Wednesday and a separate hourlong meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank. U.S. officials said they expect Mr. Kerry to remain in the region until the weekend.

Hamas, which rules Gaza, rejected a cease-fire proposal put forward by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi last week, saying it wasn’t consulted and that the offer didn’t go far enough to lift Egypt’s and Israel’s economic siege of Gaza or free Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

How Selective Body Counts Incite More Violence by Alan M. Dershowitz

The media has obsessively counted every dead body in the conflict between Hamas and Israel. They rarely explain why so many more Palestinians than Israelis have been killed: Hamas does not allow Palestinian civilians into their shelters, while using civilian areas from which to fire their rockets; Israel, on the other hand, devotes its resources to building shelters and Iron Dome protection. Put another way, while Israel uses shelters and Iron Dome to protect its civilians, Hamas uses its civilians to protect its rockets and its terrorists. A widely circulated cartoon makes this point effectively:

Recently, supporters of Hamas have argued that to say that Hamas uses civilians as human shields is a manifestation of racism and an attempt to dehumanize Palestinians. But it is Hamas’ own leaders who have long boasted of this tragic reality. Listen to Fathi Hammad, a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council:


Jeff Nyquist has posted a new entry to add to his ruminations about ex-Communist conservative critics of American Betrayal and related topics. His latest is a brief but pointed discussion of an anything-but-brief series on American Betrayal and the “controversy” around it which appeared at the American Thinker website on July 4, July 5, and July 6 — 12,000 words in all by Jeff Lipkes that someone chose to title “Diana and Ron.”

You can find the Nyquist discussion and relevant links here.

Nyquist makes note of two “interjections” awkwardly tacked onto the end of Lipkes’ final installment. These little poison pen letters were drafted by none other than Ronald “McCarthy on Steroids” Radosh and David “She should not have written this book” Horowitz, American Betrayal’s leading detractors. By my count, this makes the sixth or even seventh eruption over the book by Radosh and the fifth one by Horowitz. It really does seem to be the case, as in the old nursery tune, that everywhere that American Betrayal went, Radosh/Horo were sure to go.

Interestingly enough — at least to me, the author of the book that so fascinates and terrifies my detractors — American Thinker did not extend to me this same “courtesy,” if that’s what it was. (This seems to be a pattern.)

After crafting a defense against just a few points of attack extracted from the massive Lipkes critique, I sent it in as my response. American Thinker rejected it unless — get this — I agreed to accept the editorial guidance of American Thinker in rewriting my own defense of my own book. This becomes extra-jaw-dropping since the editor presuming to direct my own defense of my own book had also declared himself hostile to it.

So extraordinary is the whole exchange on this subject that I am publishing it in full so that interested readers can evaluate for themselves American Thinker’s committment to fair play and open debate.

It will also explain why no author’s response has appeared at the American Thinker following the publication of a three-part, 12,000-word series by Jeff Lipkes about American Betrayal.

My response, by the way, will be appearing soon — just not at American Thinker.

But first, the email exchange with American Thinker editor JR Dunn, which I copied to editor in chief Thomas Lifson. Emphasis occasionally added for darkly comic relief.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) Enraged by FAA Ban on Israel, Demands Answers: Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Senator Cruz is demanding straight answers to questions about the FAA ban on Israel and until he gets them, he will put a hold on state department nominees.

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is not embarrassed to make a big deal over something he believes is profoundly wrong. And he believes the decision issued by the Federal Aviation Authority on Tuesday, July 22, to ban for 24 hours all U.S. air carriers from entering or leaving Israel, a ban which was extended for at least an additional 24 hours on Wednesday, is profoundly wrong.

And he wants answers to some very specific questions.

If he does not get those answers, the senator announced that he will put a hold on all state department nominations until he does.

What are the questions Senator Cruz wants answered?

He wants the administration to answer:

1. Was the FAA ban on Israel “a political decision driven by the White House?”

2. If the FAA’s decision was based on airline safety, why was Israel singled out, when “flights are still permitted into Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen?”

3. What was the FAA’s ‘safety analysis’ that led to prohibiting flights to Israel, while still permitting flights to Ukraine – where a commercial flight was just shot down with a BUK missile?

4. What specific communications occurred between the FAA and the White House? And the State Department? Why were any such communications necessary, if this was purely about airline safety?

5. Was this a safety issue, or was it using a federal regulatory agency to punish Israel to try to force them to comply with Secretary Kerry’s demand that Israel stop their military effort to take out Hamas’s rocket capacity? The senator was incredulous that the U.S. was, on the one hand, subjecting its close ally Israel to crushing economic consequences, while on the other hand was announcing new financial support for the terrorist group Hamas, the actual cause of the security problem.


The FAA’s standards for determining whether a U.S. flag carrier can fly to every other spot in the world are apparently different from — and more accommodating to travel than — the standard the United States has applied to Israel for the last 48 hours.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to impose an outright ban on U.S. flights to, from or over Israel which began on Tuesday, July 22, and which was extended through a second 24-hour period the following day, is unprecedented in terms of its scope and given the U.S. relationship with Israel and the specific incident out of which the ban allegedly arose. The FAA’s standards for determining whether a U.S. flag carrier can fly to every other spot in the world are different from — and more accommodating to travel than — the standard the United States has applied to Israel for the last 48 hours.

First, the FAA imposed a complete ban on U.S. flights into Israel, not just a partial ban and not just an advisory or the standard “should avoid” language. Second, the FAA imposed the ban on a host country which is one of America’s closest, longest-standing allies. Third, the ban against Israel’s Ben Gurion airport was imposed after a piece of shrapnel – created when Israel shot down a rocket fired by terrorists in Gaza – hit an Israeli home about a mile from the airport, it was not the rocket itself which struck near the airport and it wasn’t a rocket that could have hit a jet airliner, in any event.

So why did the FAA take this unusual step, one that is potentially economically catastrophic for our ally Israel?

There are really only two possible explanations: The first one is that the ban was imposed in order to protect the lives of American citizens. The second explanation, one that has been raised quietly here and there, and loudly in at least one office on Capital Hill, is that the ban was imposed in order to grab Israel by the back of its neck and force it into a ceasefire. That ceasefire would be imposed on the Jewish State before it is able to accomplish the mission it has set for itself after years of terrorist attacks with thousands of rockets.

Most people assumed the first explanation was the basis for the FAA ban. But the evidence does not add up. Nor does the historical record support the claims uttered by a State Department spokesperson that neither the White House nor the State Department played a role in the FAA decision to issue the categorical ban.


During a rally held on March 23, 2014 in Gaza to mark the tenth anniversary of the assassination of Hamas’s founding “spiritual guide,” Sheik Ahmad Yassin, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya admonished the gathered crowds to, “establish the balance of terror. Out of the ruins, we shall rock Tel Aviv.” The Muslim masses responded with chants of “Strike, strike Tel Aviv.” Echoing the ancient sentiments of Islam’s prophet and prototype jihadist, Muhammad*, extolled as the ultimate “Jihad Model” by “moderate” head of the International Union of Islamic Scholars, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Haniya added the jihadist matrydrom mantra**,

“we are a people that yearn for death, just as our enemies yearn for life. We yearn for martyrdom for the same goal for which our leaders died”

More ominously, Haniya’s speech alluded to Hamas’ now well-established massive network of underground infiltration tunnels:

From below ground and above ground, you, the Occupiers, will be dismissed.
You have no place in the land of Palestine.

Currently, as Israel’s Operation Protective Edge continues, necessitated by Hamas’ latest round of unprovoked missile barrages targeting civilian population centers, the Israeli counter-attack is appropriately focused on an aggressive campaign against the tunnels. Monday, 7/21/14, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) thwarted a jihad terror assault after two groups of Hamas terrorists (about ten in number) infiltrated from Gaza to Israel through a tunnel, ostensibly on their way to conduct a mass casualty attack at Kibbutz Erez and/or Kibbutz Nir Am. Earlier, IDF forces halted several other attempted attacks by Hamas near Kibbutz Sufa and Kibbutz Nirim which also utilized attack tunnels. Dozens of tunnels in Gaza, adjacent to Israel’s border, have been uncovered, and destroyed. Reaching lengths of up to 2.4 kilometers (1.5 miles), some of these tunnels penetrate deep into Israeli territory.

Hamas Prime Minister Haniya’s explicit March 23, 2014 reference to jihad terrorism waged “from below ground,” unmasked what Israeli President Shimon Peres observed with regard to the recently thwarted attack on Kibbutz Sufa: a planned campaign by Hamas to inflict wholesale, deliberate slaughter of Israeli non-combatants.

Notwithstanding over a quarter century of morally bereft wishful ignorance, and deliberate obfuscation, the enduring motivations for Hamas’ genocidal wishes—and accompanying actions—vis-à-vis Jews, were laid out unambiguously in its August 18, 1988 covenant. Moreover, within 6-months of the publication of Hamas’ foundational covenant, the late historian David Littman waged a unique, heroic personal campaign—in public, at the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), beginning January, 1989 (see “Human Rights and Human Wrongs,” World Union for Progressive Judaism, Geneva, 1989, N° 6, p. 3, statement by David G. Littman, E/CN.4/1989/SR.2)—to elucidate key aspects of the jihad terror organization’s genocidal ideology.


Terrorism needs its poison spewed to as wide a viewing audience as possible.

This still begs the question: how can people of principle and truth respond so lamentably towards those who wave their automatic weapons and fire deadly missiles through the orb of the blue sky, bringing down passenger planes or indiscriminately attempting to destroy cities?

The New York Times, or the Guardian in London, have long been propaganda organs for terrorist organizations, wittingly or unwittingly. The result is the same. The victim suffers and the victimizer is feted. In the July 20th edition of the conservative magazine, the Weekly Standard, Noah Pollak writes:

“Something important is missing from the New York Times coverage of the war in Gaza: where are the photographs of terrorist attacks on Israel, and pictures of Hamas gunmen, tunnels, weaponry, and the use of human shields?

“It appears the Times is silently but happily complying with a Hamas demand that the only pictures from Gaza are of civilians and never of the terrorists. The most influential news organization in the world is thus manufacturing an utterly false portrait of the battle – precisely the portrait that Hamas finds most helpful: the blatantly false image of embattled, victimized Gaza civilians under attack by a cruel Israeli military.”

Indeed, there are no images of Israelis under rocket attack, no images of grieving Israeli families and damaged Israeli buildings, no images of heavily armed Hamas gunmen or rocket attacks on Israel, no images of the RPG’s and machine guns recovered from attempted Hamas tunnel infiltrations into Israeli villages. So far, some 80 tunnels have been located running from Gaza into Israeli territory.

Practically all the cement and concrete that Israel unknowingly allowed into Gaza, in the expectation that it was being used to build schools, hospitals and homes, was diverted by Hamas solely for the construction of sophisticated tunnels through which terrorists could infiltrate into Israel or hide their vast arsenal of Iranian supplied deadly missiles. A report about Hamas tunnel attacks on Israeli civilians, bizarrely contained not a single picture related to those attacks though many appear throughout the internet and in other publications.

Do We Owe Gaza Our Pity?Jack Engelhard

John Kerry and Barack Obama appear focused on the suffering of “civilians” in Gaza as the IDF continues to find more killer tunnels that were built by those Hamas busy beavers…and I put quotes around “civilians” because if the information comes from Hamas or the UN they’re about as reputable as your long lost uncle in Zimbabwe.

Remember, the UN was shocked, shocked to find Hamas rockets stashed in Gaza’s UN schools. Shocked, I tell you.

For pity’s sake Kerry deplores Israel’s “disproportionate” response. Israel can’t seem to make him happy.

Obama quickly took action to console himself and his secretary of state.

He shipped $47 million over to Gaza. Half of that automatically goes straight into the pockets of the Hamas leadership so that those thugs can spend more time in their villas on the Riviera. (You expect them to actually live among their own people?) The other half goes to buying materials for more tunnels in time for the next war.

Meanwhile there is this war, and this war is being waged to cry pity for the Palestinian Arab cause. This war is less about gaining territory and more about gaining sympathy. This is a war made for television. Watch the theatrics on CNN and the BBC and see how your emotions are being played.

The images of Arab sorrow (seldom Jewish grief) are orchestrated to light the fuse of anti-Semitism throughout the world. It’s working.

It is working among the usual suspects.