Reverse the Defense Cuts :Even Jimmy Carter Understood the Vital Importance of a Strong Military. By Thomas Donnelly & Gary Schmitt

On January 23, 1980, Jimmy Carter delivered his final State of the Union address. It was a difficult time: Iran held American diplomats captive, and the Soviet Union had just invaded Afghanistan. “As we meet tonight,” the president told the assembled members of Congress, “it has never been more clear that the state of our Union depends on the state of the world.”

Carter, who had devoted the first part of his presidency to domestic reforms and arms control, was now prepared to act decisively; his eyes had been opened by the Russian move into Afghanistan, which he described as a “radical and aggressive step.” He imposed a number of stiff economic sanctions on the USSR, from denying fishing rights to shutting down access to high-technology equipment, and asked the Europeans not to “replace our embargoed items.” He articulated a “Carter Doctrine,” asserting that the United States would not countenance disproportionate Russian influence in the Middle East. But most of all, he moved to swiftly rebuild U.S. military strength, creating the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force, the precursor to today’s U.S. Central Command, and proposing a 5 percent annual increase in defense spending — the precursor to the Reagan-era buildup.

But where Carter moved to restore the sinews of America’s weakened armed forces, today we adhere to the constraints of a Budget Control Act that is steadily eviscerating a battle-tested professional force. Carter, in the final year of what would prove to be a single term as president, took steps to create new options for future commanders-in-chief. Barack Obama, with three years left, appears resolutely committed to foreclosing American military options.

However, thanks to the constitutional separation of powers and the competition of our political parties, the president’s weaknesses need not be the final word on such matters. It is the duty of Congress “to raise and support Armies,” “to provide and maintain a Navy,” and to provide for the common defense. And it is the duty of the loyal opposition to make the arguments that might correct the course of failing policies.


Climate science moves in one direction, the AAAS moves in the other.

Paul C. Knappenberger is assistant director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute.

In its new report on the risks from human-caused climate change, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) sets climate science back rather than “advancing” it. The report, counterfactually titled “What We Know,” is more an account of what the scientific community thought it knew about a decade ago than an up-to-date telling of current understanding.

Not surprisingly, the group ignores the fact that climate science is moving in a direction that increasingly suggests that the risk of extreme climate change is lower than has been previously assessed. Instead, the AAAS continues to play up the chance of extreme outcomes with the intent of scaring us into taking action — action that would have little impact on either future climate change or the risks therefrom.

The AAAS largely appeals to its own authority in trying to persuade us to believe its conclusions and yet informs its authority with old and obsolete science.

Nowhere is this more true than in its justification for highlighting the risks of “abrupt climate change” and in its faith in the ability of climate models to provide reliable and informed guidance regarding the probability of extreme climate changes’ occurring in the future.

Untruthful and Untrustworthy Government :The Massaging of Critical Data Undermines Our Society. Victor Davis Hanson ****

Transparency and truth are the fuels that run sophisticated civilizations. Without them, the state grinds to a halt. Lack of trust — not barbarians on the frontier, global warming or cooling, or even epidemics — doomed civilizations of the past, from imperial Rome to the former Soviet Union.

The United States can withstand the untruth of a particular presidential administration if the permanent government itself is honest. Dwight Eisenhower lied about the downed U-2 spy plane inside the Soviet Union. Almost nothing Richard Nixon said about Watergate was true. Intelligence reports of vast stockpiles of WMD in Iraq proved as accurate as Bill Clinton’s assertion that he never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky.

Presidents fib. The nation gets outraged. The independent media dig out the truth. And so the system of trust repairs itself.

What distinguishes democracies from tinhorn dictatorships and totalitarian monstrosities are our permanent meritocratic government bureaus that remain nonpartisan and honestly report the truth.

The Benghazi, Associated Press, and National Security Agency scandals are scary, but not as disturbing as growing doubts about the honesty of permanent government itself.

It is no longer crackpot to doubt the once impeccable and nonpartisan IRS. When it assured the public that it was not making decisions about tax-exempt status based on politics, it lied. One of its top commissioners, Lois Lerner, resigned and invoked the Fifth Amendment.

A system of voluntary tax reporting rests on trust. If the IRS itself is untruthful, will it be able to expect truthful compliance from taxpayers?

Many doubt the officially reported government unemployment rates. That statistic is vital in assessing economic growth and is of enormous political importance in the way citizens vote.

Abby McCloskey And Tom Miller: The Individual Mandate Goes Poof……see note please

Obamacare is the albatross being carried by almost every single Democrat Congressman and Senator running in the midterm 2014 elections and the Republican challengers- from moderate to Tea Party conservatives consider this a priority issue…..stay tuned….rsk

One by one, the myths of the Affordable Care Act have been revealed. When the curtain on open enrollment falls on March 31, the last remaining big myth of ObamaCare will be fully exposed: The individual mandate has failed.

After a last-ditch effort with President Obama himself encouraging “young invincibles” to sign up before the deadline, the administration is scrambling to boost enrollment. On Tuesday, the White House announced that people who applied for coverage on the federal health-insurance exchange will have until mid-April to finish the paperwork.

The mandate was supposed to be the administration’s magical elixir for the assorted shortcomings of the Affordable Care Act. Disappointing early enrollment numbers? More people will sign up eventually to avoid mandate penalties. Potential premium spikes for government-approved coverage that must ignore cost differences in the age- and health-related risks of enrollees? Forcing young and healthy individuals to buy coverage will spread out the costs.

But the individual mandate was never strong enough to force millions of Americans to buy insurance they did not want or could not afford. Last week, the Obama administration estimated that five million Americans had signed up thus far for insurance on the exchanges, falling short of original projections by the administration and the Congressional Budget Office that there would be seven million first-year enrollees. Yet even the five million figure needs to be discounted by at least another 20% to account for people who fail to pay for their first month’s premium, according to insurers’ estimates of early enrollees.


Delivering the keynote address of this week’s European tour, President Obama rejected Russia’s invasion of Ukraine point-by-point with lawyerly logic. If the stately Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels on Wednesday had been the Oxford Union debating society, the American would have carried the evening.

But Vladimir Putin has no time for another tutorial “that in the 21st century the borders of Europe cannot be redrawn with force, that international law matters.” He gobbled up Crimea in three weeks at zero cost in the 21st century and may want a bigger chunk of Ukraine’s south or east. Nothing Mr. Obama said or did in Europe gives the Russian leader a compelling reason to rethink his assault on the post-Cold War order.


Liberals say they believe in a living Constitution, and apparently they think the Affordable Care Act is a living document too. Amid one more last-minute regulatory delay, number 38 at last count, the mandate forcing nuns to sponsor birth control is more or less the only part of ObamaCare that is still intact.

On Tuesday evening, the Health and Human Services Department announced that the six-month open enrollment period for ObamaCare insurance that began in October 2013 and was supposed to end on the last day of March would be extended indefinitely. As long as people self-attest and check a box that they had some difficulty signing up on with the 36 federal insurance exchanges, the deadline will no longer obtain.

This delay is particularly notable because HHS factotums denied up and down that it was ever the remotest possibility and even that the agency lacked any legal basis to do so. The statute directed HHS to declare an enrollment period by June 2012 and provided for no ex post facto rewrites.

HHS spokeswoman Julie Bataille told reporters on a March 10 conference call that, “We have no plans to extend the open enrollment period. In fact, we don’t actually have the statutory authority to extend the open enrollment period in 2014.” Texas Republican Kevin Brady asked HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at a March 12 House Ways and Means hearing “Are you going to delay the open enrollment beyond March 31?” She replied categorically, “No, sir” and “There is no delay beyond March 31.”


This is not a new subject. It would be to the mainstream media. To the dhimmitudal denizens of this particular subject of enquiry, Islam, as a “religion of peace” and a belief system, is above reproach, even when its true believers and activists are blowing up non-believers by the dozens, hundreds, and even thousands, or machine-gunning them or taking machetes to them. Islam is untouchable. To question its nature leaves news media denizens with dropped jaws one can hear thud on the floor. It leaves them aghast and in horror.

To them, Islam can do no wrong. There’s nothing wrong with it that a little patience and interfaith dialogue can’t resolve. It’s a needless cultural clash that can be reconciled peacefully. A negotiated settlement is possible. Muslims just want to be left alone and not be stereotyped or mocked or defamed. All the mullahs and imams need to do is put a leash on Islam’s hotheads to curb their youthful – and oft times middle-aged – exuberance, and then everyone can grab a ribbon and dance around the Maypole of Diversity to the tune of a Tiny Tim song.

But the pathology inherent in doctrinal Islam – and that which inhabits its passive and aggressive adherents – has been discussed in the past in non-mainstream media, sometimes effectively, sometimes not. For example, Soren Kern, in his Gatestone article of March 24th, “UK: Child Sex Slavery, Multiculturalism and Islam,” takes to task both the idea of multiculturalism and the British authorities on the sex-grooming Muslim gangs that have apparently been preying on non-Muslim school girls for at least twenty years.

Kern’s article is mostly a discussion of Peter McLoughlin’s exhaustive report, “Easy Meat: Multiculturalism, Islam and Child Sex Slavery,” which details how officials in England and Wales were aware of rampant child grooming – the process by which sexual predators befriend and build trust with children in order to prepare them for abuse – by Muslim gangs since at least 1988, with the knowledge of the authorities. The report is 333 pages long and worth reading – as long as you have a supply of Valium on hand and are not susceptible to high blood pressure. Kern writes:

Rather than take steps to protect British children, however, police, social workers, teachers, neighbors, politicians and the media deliberately downplayed the severity of the crimes perpetrated by the grooming gangs to avoid being accused of “Islamophobia” or “racism.”


Earlier today, a jury in Manhattan federal court convicted Osama bin Laden’s son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, of al Qaeda’s conspiracy to mass-murder Americans, as well as providing material support to the terror network. I discussed the case here, and Ben Weiser’s report at the New York Times is here.

The result is cause for celebration, including for those of us who can separate public policy disputes from justice in individual cases. I have been arguing for many years that alien enemy combatants should not be given civilian trials, particularly while the war is still ongoing—and while the country certainly does not seem to be on a war footing, we are still have troops in harm’s way, we are still in armed combat against al Qaeda and its allies under a congressional authorization of force, and the Obama administration is still using lethal force against al Qaeda operatives under the laws of war. But regardless of whether I ever succeed in persuading the government on how enemy-combatant terrorists should be treated—the current administration is dead set against my position—I still want the United States to convict culpable terrorists, no matter where the trials happen, civilian or military court. The policy debate is by definition political (in the non-pejorative sense of “political”); but no one should want to see the trials themselves politicized.

Alas, Attorney General Holder cannot help himself. Here is part of the press release he put out after Abu Ghaith’s conviction:

I want to especially note that this verdict has proven that proceedings such as these can safely occur in the city I am proud to call home, as in other locations across our great nation. It was appropriate that this defendant, who publicly rejoiced over the attacks on the World Trade Center, faced trial in the shadow of where those buildings once stood.

We never doubted the ability of our Article III court system to administer justice swiftly in this case, as it has in hundreds of other cases involving terrorism defendants. It would be a good thing for the country if this case has the result of putting that political debate to rest. This outcome vindicates the government’s approach to securing convictions against not only this particular defendant, but also other senior leaders of al Qaeda.

Israel as a ‘Crazy State’: A New Definition for Political Science? Professor Louis Rene Beres

No government on this earth has any legal right to free terrorists as a “gesture for peace.”

When I was still a young political science professor, back in the 1970s, the term “crazy state” was used sparingly in the lexicon of academic nuclear strategy. More precisely, it was referenced in assorted learned discussions of countries that may sometime be controlled by irrational national leaders, and could therefore depart from usual rules of mutual deterrence. The potential consequence of any such departure, we had already understood, could have included nuclear aggression, or perhaps even nuclear war.

A ready example, back then, would have been a nuclear Iraq (remember Saddam Hussein and Osirak?).

Today, I am prepared to advance an altogether different but equally useful meaning of “crazy state.” This definition is any country, but in particular, one that is half the size of America’s Lake Michigan, and beleaguered by determinedly existential foes that would willfully trade its terrorist prisoners for presumed enemy “good will.” Even crazier, of course, is any such country that had already made this self-destructive set of concessions several times in the past, always with a conspicuous lack of success, and always with the result of eliciting more terrorism.

Soon, Israel could become this new sort of “crazy state.” Indeed, by the end of this month, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is expected to free more Palestinian terrorists in the latest “round” of formally negotiated releases. Once again, many of those killers scheduled to be released had been directly involved with the burning, maiming, torturing and murder of Israeli noncombatants. Absolutely no one questions this heinous criminal involvement, least of all, the perpetrators.

Bin Laden’s Son-in-Law Convicted Andrew C. McCarthy

A federal jury in Manhattan has convicted Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden’s confidant, spokesman and son-in-law, of a terrorist conspiracy to kill Americans and providing material support to al Qaeda. It did not take long: the jury’s announced its verdict during the second day of deliberations in the three-week trial.

Some quick observations:

This case was very strong, made all the stronger by the risky defense strategy. Under federal law, once a conspiracy is proved to exist, very little evidence is required to link a conspirator to it—basically, the prosecutor just needs to show that the defendant knew about the conspiracy’s objectives and joined in them as something he wanted to achieve. Abu Ghaith conceded the existence of the al Qaeda conspiracy, admitted he knew that killing Americans was one of its objectives, and intentionally performed acts—including putting out menacing statements from bin Laden after 9/11—that were helpful to the conspiracy. The hair he tried to split was that his motive was to speak out on behalf of Muslims globally rather than al Qaeda specifically. Aside from being untrue, that’s not a defense: From a strictly legal standpoint, there’s nothing inconsistent in being subjectively motivated to help Muslims worldwide and joining al Qaeda’s jihad against the West.

Abu Ghaith attempted the same defense that the Blind Sheikh tried when I prosecuted him back in the Nineties: namely, that the jury should understand that his threats and incitements in al Qaeda’s cause not as co-conspirator statements but as the preachments of a theologian performing the traditional role of an imam. Sadly, there is nothing inconsistent in these two things, either: There are commands to brutality in Islamic scripture, and if one resorts to them in the course of inciting jihadist violence, one is furthering a terrorist conspiracy even if one also happens to be an imam. Moreover, even if there were anything to the “theology” claim, several of Abu Ghaith’s assertions (e.g., announcing three weeks after 9/11 that “the storm of airplanes will not abate”) were black-and-white extortionate threats and difficult to rationalize as “theology.”