The Federal Octopus Federal Agencies Now Exist Not For Public Good But For Their Employees’ Benefit and Obama’s Agenda: Victor Davis Hanson

When IRS Commissioner John Koskinen arrogantly told Congress that he had no apologies for an agency that has targeted conservative groups for special scrutiny, had a top-ranking bureaucrat take the Fifth Amendment, and destroyed its own correspondence, he meant it. Nor did Lisa Jackson, the former head of the EPA, offer any apologies for concocting a fake persona, replete with false e-mail identity (“Richard Windsor”), to hide her own communications. Kathleen Sebelius was likewise unapologetic after presiding over the ruined initial implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Nor did she pay any consequence for campaigning for Democratic candidates while a cabinet secretary, in violation of the Hatch Act.

Government always grows, sometimes even more rapidly under Republican than under Democratic presidents. But under President Obama we are seeing something a little different — the creation of a partisan, semi-autonomous government that seems to exist for the benefit of its employees and the larger ideological agenda of the present administration.

The common theme of many of the Obama scandals is that expansion of government is a good thing (e.g., more employed constituents, more redistributive regulations on individuals, higher taxes to pay for it all), that government employees should be partisans of those politicians who favor more government, and that what a government agency was constituted to do is not necessarily what it will do.

Take the Veterans Affairs scandal. Delays in providing care were covered up by false record keeping. This criminal fraud contributed to the death of several veterans. The falsification of records also meant both that the scandal would not quickly come to light and that veterans would continue not to receive needed care. No matter: 65 percent of VA executives nevertheless received merit bonuses, among them those at the dysfunctional Phoenix VA Health Care System, where the largest number of veterans died. Overall, 80 percent of VA executives received very high performance rankings for overseeing a scandal-plagued agency. An outsider might conclude that the Veterans Affairs bureaucracy existed not so much for its client veterans as for the fossilized bureaucracy that so poorly runs the hospitals.

That would not be an unreasonable deduction. The General Services Administration, which provides supplies, office space, and so on for federal agencies, supposedly to ensure that they conduct operations efficiently, is likewise out of control. In 2012, videos emerged of lavish GSA junkets to Las Vegas and bizarre government-funded amateur skits and movies. It appeared that federal employees were not only exempt from the law, but sneering about their immunity from accountability.


When the Roman Polanski rape case resurfaced, Whoopi Goldberg coined the term “rape-rape” to describe the difference between the kind of rape she opposed and the kind she was okay with because it had been perpetrated by someone she liked.

In the political world the cases of Clarence Thomas and Bill Clinton showed how liberals delineated between the sexual harassment of men they approved of and disapproved of. Now the “Rape Rape” distinction is back with Bill’s wife.

Last week liberal activists were denouncing George Will for questioning the lack of due process for accused rapists on campus. Then the Washington Free Beacon posted a tape in which Hillary Clinton had a good laugh discussing how she freed a child rapist that she knew was guilty from prison.

Hillary had become the Democratic Party’s official “Role Model for Women” through her willingness to stand by her powerful husband during his affairs, cover up his sexual harassment of other women and even target those women for daring to speak out against her husband.

Now the face of the Democratic Party’s bid to make feminist history in 2016 was caught on tape cheerfully recollecting how she accused a 12-year-old girl, in formal legal language, of being a mentally ill slut. Or as the Washington Post’s Melinda Henneberger put it, “The ‘little bit nutty, little bit slutty’ defense has a long, ugly history. It’s jarring to see it trotted out against a kid by a future feminist icon.”

Suddenly the social justice warriors who were denouncing due process, such as access to legal counsel, for campus rapists being tried by student committees, became big fans of due process for rapists.

As with Whoopi Goldberg, it was all about who was doing the raping and who the rapist’s lawyer was.

Amanda Marcotte, of Slate and The Daily Beast, as well a blogger for John Edwards, another noted defender of women, had called critics of the Duke Lacrosse case “rape-loving scum” and suggested that George Will was a “rape apologist” for questioning some questionable rape cases.

Nine Nations Have Nukes — Here’s How Many Each Country Has: Amanda Macias


According to a new report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), nine nations — the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea — possess approximately 16,300 nuclear weapons. in total.

Under the Treaty on Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms (New START), Russia and the United States have reduced their inventories but still account for more than 93% of all operational nuclear warheads.

SIPRI notes that “all five legally recognized nuclear weapon states — China, France, Russia, the UK and the USA— are either deploying new nuclear weapon delivery systems or have announced programs to do so.”

Here are nine countries with nuclear weapons (and here is the full report):

JED BABBIN:Brothers’ Keepers, Thugs, and Weepers New blood libels against Eretz Israel.

On June 12, three Israeli teenagers — Naftali Frankel and Gilad Shaer (both age 16) and Eyal Yifrah (19) — were kidnapped near the town of Gush Etzion, an Israeli settlement in the West Bank. They were taken, apparently by Hamas terrorists, while hitchhiking to their homes. Frankel holds dual U.S.-Israeli citizenship.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has blamed the kidnappings on the terrorist network Hamas, which has a long track record of kidnapping Israelis. Hamas’s raison d’être, explained in its charter, calls for the destruction of Israel by violent jihad. In the crackdown on Hamas that Netanyahu ordered, almost 300 Hamas suspects have been arrested, including some of its senior leaders.

Called “Operation Brothers’ Keeper,” the Israeli sweep against Hamas appears to be more than a brief exercise. The Israelis are employing drones, anti-terrorist raids and putting pressure on known Hamas operatives and officials to reveal where the boys are. They have reportedly searched over 1,000 homes and other buildings. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who only a few weeks ago presided over the “reconciliation” between his Fatah party and Hamas said, “Those who kidnapped the three teenagers want to destroy us. We will hold them accountable.” But his Hamas partners-in-government don’t take Abbas seriously.

According to senior Hamas official Salah Bardawil, Hamas is ready to ignite a third “intifada,” i.e., a terrorism campaign against Israel, if it continues its “occupation” and searches of the West Bank area don’t end quickly. Two Palestinians were killed resisting Israeli searchers. And, in no coincidence, an Israeli teenager was killed in a cross-border attack from Syria into the Golan Heights.

The Hamas/Fatah reconciliation is not enough for some Americans to look askance at the Palestinians’ agenda and their terrorist activities. Just this weekend the Presbyterian church of the United States adopted by a narrow vote a measure requiring the church’s $21 million dollars in stocks of three American companies — Caterpillar, Hewlett Packard, and Motorola Solutions — to be divested because those companies supply products and technology that abets Israeli actions in Palestinian territories.

Although the Presbyterians’ decision included a last-minute effort to refuse alignment with the global BDS Movement, the decision speaks for itself. The BDS Movement, an ideological attack on Israel, is intended to make it a pariah among nations equivalent to North Korea. BDS Movement activists had lobbied heavily in favor of the decision because one of the primary goals of the BDS Movement is to have companies, governments, and academic institutions boycott Israel.

The BDS Movement said of the Presbyterians’ decision:

Islamic Hatred: The Foundation of the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict Jerrold L. Sobel See note please

This truth has been overlooked even by Israel’s supporters….The great historian/writer Bat Ye’or, Professor Moshe Sharon, the late Professor Saul S.Friedman (” Land of Dust”) saw this decades ago, and, more recently Dr. Andrew Bostom in his book “The Legacy of Islamic Anti-Semitism” have documented the faith driven hatred of Israel by Arab/Moslems. rsk
The beauty, more aptly stated, the ugly in writing about the Middle East is nothing really changes. You could do a piece in 2007 about a homicide bomber, or “peace talks” being broken off for some reason or other, or Fatah turning down two unprecedented offers of peace. The dictates fueling this contention remain the same.
The following is a summation according to Dennis Ross, the senior advisor to President Clinton at the Taba negotiations in 2000:

1. Yasser Arafat presented no ideas at Camp David.

2. The Taba talks would have happened in late September if not for the outbreak of violence. Arafat knew the US was ready to make a proposal and thus promised to control the violence, but didn’t. (I think he was hoping that he could leverage the violence into political gain.)

3. All of Gaza and a net of 97% of the West Bank were offered at Taba.

4. The West Bank area offered was contiguous, not “cantons”.

5. The Jordan valley would be under Israeli patrol for only 6 years.

The New Republic’s New Stephen Glass — Both of Them By Julia Gorin

Among the handful of non-pro-Islamic Balkans-observers in America, all eyebrows raised on Friday when The New Republic outdid its own famous fabulist Stephen Glass with two new ones, who penned an opinion article clunkily headlined “Putin is Behaving in Ukraine Like Milosevic Did in Serbia.”

Set aside that virtually no one outside the Balkans knows how Milosevic actually did behave in Serbia. And set aside that the headline and article read as if TNR has started outsourcing copy-editing to non-English-speaking countries. Set aside also TNR’s unequivocal policy-lockstep stance on every 90s war we waged against Orthodox Christians in the Balkans (a September 1999 article-rejection I got from a senior editor there: “i think there are other magazines that would be happy to publish it. the problem is that tnr has a fairly firm editorial line on the balkans, and i’m afraid your piece doesn’t quite match it…were it not for our disagreement on the issue this would have been a good piece for us.”)

Set aside all that, along with the consistent pattern that Balkans material in the U.S. is exempt from the usual editorial checks and balances when it’s written from the ‘correct’ perspective, giving writers free rein to make stories up out of whole cloth and, alternately, to graft their sources’ yarns directly from the reporter’s notebook to the newspaper.

One supposed it was only a matter of time before the deceased Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic was yet again dredged from his grave, this time in service of some pathetic attempt at a Putin analogy. But if you can imagine, this product was a notch more ridiculous even than the usual.

This morning the Reiss Institute published director Nebojsa Malic’s reaction to the TNR “article” (some links added):

Holocaust Denial at The New Republic (Reiss Institute, June 23, 2014)

On June 19, The New Republic published an article by Vera Mironova and Maria Snegovaya, that not only violates the rules of journalism in a manner reminiscent of Stephen Glass, but also engages in outright Holocaust denial by declaring the very real genocidal atrocities committed by Croatian and Ukrainian fascists during World War Two to be “old myths” promoted by Serb and Russian “propaganda.”



Many of our friends and supporters will recall that CFACT submitted legal briefs in the important challenge to EPA’s authority to regulate CO2 as a pollutant (which it is not).

Today the Supreme Court ruled. You can read the full decision at

Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for the Court, importantly held that EPA “exceeded its authority” and limited EPA’s power to write its own laws, but at the same time, he left the majority of EPA’s emissions regulations intact.

The Court struck down warming campaigner’s cherished notion that the Clean Air Act “compelled” EPA to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Scalia made it plain that the Act does not.

He strictly limited EPA’s ability to in effect make its own laws, where Congress has not, writing, “since, as we hold above, the statute does not compel EPA’s interpretation, it would be patently unreasonable—not to say outrageous—for EPA to insist on seizing expansive power that it admits the statute is not designed to grant.”

However, to a large extent he left EPA’s discretion to regulate emissions intact. This is similar to the Supreme Court’s infamous “Obamacare” decision in which the court lectured the nation on constitutional principles, but then bent over backwards to find a way to let the policy proceed anyway.

The real world effect of today’s decision will be that larger emitters of CO2 will fall under EPA’s authority while some smaller emitters will escape. If your emissions other than CO2 leave you with EPA already regulating you “anyway,” you’re out of luck.

The Court served notice today that the Executive branch cannot unilaterally write its own laws. This is an important principle. However, the United States still remains fated to suffer most of the economic damage EPA’s regulations will cause.

True reform will require congressional action, or a wiser administration.


Mark Durie is a theologian, human rights activist, pastor of an Anglican church, a Shillman-Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle Eastern Forum, and director of the Institute for Spiritual Awareness. He has published many articles and books on the language and culture of the Acehnese, Christian-Muslim relations and religious freedom. A graduate of the Australian National University and the Australian College of Theology, he has held visiting appointments at the University of Leiden, MIT, UCLA and Stanford, and was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1992.

In my last post I criticized an article which had appeared in The Australian, It is the young flesh they want.

I challenged a paragraph in which an academic, Associate Professor Jennifer Burn was quoted as claiming that “The Koran does not support child marriage”. However Associate Professor Burn asked the Australian to amend the article by removing this quote, as she had been misquoted: Anne Barrowclough, the journalist who wrote the article, had apparently not checked the quotation its alleged source. The Australian has made this correction.

The original offending paragraph was:

“It is critical that the whole community is educated,” says Jennifer Burn of Anti-Slavery Australia. “The Koran does not support child marriage and the Grand Mufti of Australia says that consent is vital. But there are over 60 different traditions within the Muslim community, with different interpretations of the religious scriptures. We need the religious leaders to take the message into the communities, because they will listen to their leaders rather than us.”

The corrected paragraph is:

“It is critical that initiatives to address child marriage and forced marriage are developed in consultation with communities and with community leaders.”

I have amended my previous post to inform readers about this correction.


The Nightmare on America’s Borders — on The Glazov Gang
How the Left spawned our illegal immigration crisis – and how it gains from it.

PA Donors’ Money Promised to Hamas by Malcolm Lowe

In view of the prospect that US money will soon go to Hamas personnel via the PA, the US Congress has every right to stop that financial aid. We still think, however, that it would be smarter to condition such aid money on a Palestinian commitment to remove all the rockets from Gaza under international supervision. Getting rid of those rockets would revolutionize the prospect of advances in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Imagine the prestige that would accrue to Secretary of State John Kerry if, within his term of office, the US succeeded in removing rockets from Gaza as well as chemical weapons from Syria.

A previous article pointed out that the new Palestinian “unity government,” since it rules Gaza as well as the West Bank, has made itself responsible for the existence of thousands of rockets in Gaza that are aimed at Israel. At the very least, the article argued, all aid money going to the Palestinian Authority [PA] should now be made conditional on a commitment of that government to surrender all those rockets to international control. The elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons provides an obvious model.

Now it has emerged that the entire personnel of the Hamas regime in Gaza is about to be put on the PA payroll. According to a report in YNet News:

Mofid al-Hasayneh, a minister in the Palestinian unity government, announced that a meeting had been held in Ramallah to discuss the issue of salaries of 40,000 officials who had been working under the Hamas government in Gaza. He said that the government is developing a system to pay these salaries before the beginning of Ramadan in two weeks.

“As soon as the mechanism is ready, we will announce the date for payment of salaries,” he said, adding that in order to highlight unity, the new government wanted to hold a special meeting in Gaza, but that Israel was preventing it from taking place.

This should surprise nobody. Ever since the unity government was formed, Hamas has been emphasizing that its support will be withdrawn if its operatives are not henceforth paid by the PA. The reason for this is also simple and well known: Hamas itself can hardly pay them any longer, since funds from Iran were cut after Hamas began supporting the anti-Assad forces in Syria, while the new Egyptian regime closed down the tunnels through which other funds were being smuggled into Gaza.