The GOP Should Use the Power of the Purse :The Way to Cure the Rogue Behavior of Obama’s Agencies Is No to Fund Them: Andrew C. McCarthy

‘The House should sharply reduce IRS funding until the agency is more responsive.” Well, I’d have omitted everything after “funding” but this was still an astute observation, offered at the conclusion of Thursday’s excellent Wall Street Journal editorial. I’m grateful to have smart guys on the team, even if slumming with us power-of-the-purse radicals may get them booted from the GOP’s “We’re only one-half of one-third” circle of submission.

The editors were exercised over the revenue agency’s latest shenanigans, which include covering up its past shenanigans — the willful targeting of conservative groups in order to frustrate their opposition to Obama-administration policies. And now, in the ultimate act of chutzpah, the IRS is attempting to codify the abuse as standard operating procedure.

While the country partied pre–Super Bowl, President Obama got in the spirit by hilariously claiming that there was really “not even a smidgen of corruption” in the IRS’s politicized harassment of his political adversaries. Now it’s true that, five years in, the president’s Most Memorable Mendacity Cup runneth over. Yet the “smidgen” may take its place alongside such faves as “If you like your health-care plan, you can keep your health-care plan”; “We’ll lower premiums by $2,500”; “Al-Qaeda has been decimated”; “the most transparent administration ever”; “shovel-ready jobs”; “You didn’t build that”; and the claim that the Benghazi massacre was triggered by “the natural protests that arose because of the outrage over the video.”

DANIEL GREENFIELD: THE WEEK THAT WAS PART 2 Muslim Speaker at Holocaust Memorial Day Likes Hitler, Gas Chambers, Killing Jews CELEBRATE WORLD HIJAB DAY The Koranic verse that mandates covering states, “O Prophet! Tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks all over their bodies that they may thus be distinguished and not molested” […]

DANIEL GREENFIELD: THE WEEK THAT WAS PART ONE ILLINOIS IS THE FUTURE OF AMERICA Mayor Randy “Rambo” McCallum Sr. came into office telling cops, “I run this mother___” and ordered them to rob competing drug dealers and split the money with him. When drug dealers were busted, the seized drugs and money were brought to his house where he pocketed the money […]

One of the hats I wear is that of Washington correspondent for Dispatch International, a European weekly newspaper co-edited by Danish journalist and historian Lars Hedegaard. The name may ring a bell with U.S. readers because last February, a man dressed up as a postman with a fake package tried to assassinate Hedegaard, a noted critic of Islamization and proponent of free speech, at his home in Copenhagen. International headlines followed.

One year later, Hedegaard lives under state protection, and there have been no arrests. But that’s not what this week’s column is about.

A few days ago, Hedegaard wrote me with a new assignment:

“Would you write something about a disturbing phenomenon: the fact that Obama rules by decree and neglects the Constitution. How can this go on? Nixon was a complete amateur compared to this would-be Kim Jong-un. It looks like a coup d’etat. Nobody talks about it in Europe.”

So that’s what America looks like from 4,000 miles away.

Given the lack of context “over there,” my overview had to start with the basics of Barack Obama’s presidency: numerous unconfirmed “czars” (like George W. Bush), sweeping executive orders and massive amounts of regulation. “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone” is the way the president recently described his tools of power, noticeably omitting whether he also had a copy of the U.S. Constitution. By the time I’d recapped the so-called unilateral presidency for the European reader, I was newly aghast.

For many Americans, living through the Obama era day-by-day, executive order by executive order, 100 regulations by 100 regulations (there were 80,000 pages of new regulations in 2013 alone), our nation’s transformation becomes so much enveloping static. Yes, there are shrieks and screams (over Obamacare’s rollout, for instance), but mostly people seem to shut out the background noise of an aggressively collectivizing government doing business. Outrages against the Constitution clank and sputter – What? The executive branch can’t write legislation! – but they never really backfire on Obama. His poll numbers dip, yes. White noise ensues.

Obama’s Ambassador Nominees are a Disservice to Diplomacy By Henri J. Barkey see note please

And what about Caroline Kennedy as Ambassadrix to Japan….her closest brush with Japan- its history, its strategic importance, its enemies in China and North Korea- is a plate of sushi…..rsk

Henri J. Barkey is a professor of international relations at Lehigh University. He served on the State Department’s policy planning staff from 1998 to 2000.

Two Norwegian lawmakers have nominated Edward Snowden, the bête noire of U.S. intelligence, for the Nobel Peace Prize. It is quite possible that this is the Norwegians’ way of showing their displeasure and shame at having the Obama administration nominate a completely unqualified person to be its ambassador to Oslo.

The nominee, a Long Island campaign bundler named George Tsunis, made a fool of himself during his Senate confirmation hearings last month. He was unaware of some of the most basic facts about Norway. He admitted never having set foot in the country, and he seemed to think that Norway, a monarchy, has a president. He also had no idea which political parties constituted Norway’s governing coalition, even though, as ambassador, he would be dealing with them. It seemed, as some later tweeted, that Tsunis had not even bothered to read the Wikipedia page for Norway.

Edward Snowden’s Hypocrisy on Russia By Gabriel Schoenfeld

Gabriel Schoenfeld is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and the author of “Necessary Secrets: National Security, the Media, and the Rule of Law.”

Edward Snowden’s removal of thousands, perhaps millions, of highly classified documents from the National Security Agency and his decision to turn them over to journalists for publication ignited a fierce debate about who and what he is. On one side are those who hail Snowden as a whistleblower, someone who, as the New York Times editorialized, “has done his country a great service.” Others regard him as a criminal or traitor. Neither this debate nor the public discussion of government secrecy and surveillance policies that Snowden’s actions sparked will be resolved anytime soon.

Snowden, meanwhile, says that his “mission’s already accomplished,” that he has given Americans a “say in how they are governed” and that he has succeeded in exposing the workings of what he has called the unbridled “surveillance state.”

But one must ask: Are Snowden’s actions in consonance with his words?

Snowden has taken sanctuary in Russia, a country that, when it was under communist control, epitomized the idea of a surveillance state, complete with a secret police force — the KGB — that worked assiduously to monitor and control the population. Today Russia is a quasi-democracy that has retained some features of its communist past. Over the past decade or so, under the tutelage of President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB officer, it has been sliding ever deeper back into authoritarianism.

That authoritarianism is maintained in part by a domestic surveillance system. Two intrepid Russian journalists, Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, explain in the fall 2013 issue of World Policy Journal how it works. They show that the Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor organization to the KGB, has invested in technology that allows it to monitor telephone and Internet communications and to collect and store not just metadata — information about call destinations and durations — but also the content of communications. The Russian state uses that technology to engage in essentially unchecked surveillance of telephone calls, e-mail traffic, blogs, online bulletin boards and Web sites. Soldatov and Borogan conclude that over the past two years “the Kremlin has transformed Russia into a surveillance state — at a level that would have made the Soviet KGB . . . envious.”

JED BABBIN: A SECRETARY AT WAR WITH HIMSELF Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War By Robert Gates (Knopf, 618 pages, $35) Robert Gates’s memoir, Duty, bridges the gap between the Bush-era memoirs of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Tony Blair and the Obama era. Gates, perhaps the ultimate Washington insider, is the only defense secretary ever to be held over from one […]

AMB. (RET.) YORAM ETTINGER:Appeasement and Economic Sanctions According to Winston Churchill, “an appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” The US Administration is leading the easing of economic sanctions against – and the legitimization of – the regime of Iran’s apocalyptic, almost-nuclear Ayatollahs and Mullahs, the allies of North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and other anti-US […]

Hate is the Force that Gives the Left Meaning: Daniel Greenfield

The American left has never had it this good. It has never had two terms of an unabashed and uncompromising leftist in the White House dedicated to its agenda functioning as a dictator without the military uniform, making and unmaking laws at a whim, siccing the IRS and Federal prosecutors on political enemies and transforming the country at a breathtaking pace.

Obama is what generations of the left have dreamed of and worked toward. This is the flicker of hopethey kept alive after JFK’s assassination, the Nixon years, Carter’s collapse and the long stretch of Reaganomics. This is what Bill Clinton robbed them of prematurely by gauging his actions against the polls instead of blasting full steam ahead regardless of what the public wanted.

The left finally has its Un-American tyranny. So why is it so angry?

Watch MSNBC or browse any left-wing site and you see a level of anger that would make you think that Al Gore had just conceded or Nixon had just won reelection. There’s more anger in the privileged circles of the left than in the political rearguard of the Tea Party.

That anger trickles from the top down. Obama’s interview with Bill O’Reilly was yet another opportunity for the most powerful man in the country to blame a vast right wing conspiracy. A day doesn’t pass without another email from Obama, his wife, Sandra Fluke or Joe Biden warning that without another five or ten dollar contribution, the “right” will take over America.


During an interfaith breakfast in Washington on Thursday, President Barack Obama made a point of thanking Secretary of State John Kerry “for his extraordinary passion and principled diplomacy that he’s brought to the cause of peace in the Middle East.”

This particular public display of affection was Obama’s response to a barrage of verbal attacks on Kerry this week from Israeli sources. The criticism followed a speech Kerry delivered last Saturday at the Munich Security Conference, in the course of which he issued a veiled threat. If the peace process fails, he said, the call for anti-Israel boycotts would intensify. In addition, he called Israel’s current prosperity and security “illusionary.”

Obama’s show of support for Kerry also came on the heels of the recent release of a satirical YouTube clip, produced by the Yesha Council and MyIsrael, in which Kerry is ridiculed for his ignorance and incompetence in relation to Israel and the Palestinians. This parody clearly struck a nerve. When asked about it during a press conference on Wednesday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “We find [its] rhetoric unacceptable.”

As Kerry’s mouthpiece to the media, she ought to know about unacceptable rhetoric.

If anything characterizes her boss’s behavior, it is his pattern of placing the onus on Israel for reaching a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority. Each time he returns from a trip to the region empty-handed — due to unrealistic Palestinian demands — he warns Israel of the consequences it will suffer in the absence of an agreement, such as a third intifada and international boycotts, divestment and sanctions.

Then, when members of the Israeli government react negatively to his threats, he huffily denies all allegations and casts aspersions on anyone who dares doubt the sincerity of his support for Israel.

This pattern was on display during his interview on Wednesday with CNN’s Jake Tapper. “Israel needs to understand we will always stand by its security needs, but no one should distort what we’re doing or saying because they’re opposed to the peace process or don’t like two states or whatever,” he said. “And, you know, words — I have to tell you, my friend, I’ve been attacked before by people using real bullets, not words, and I am not going to be intimidated. I am not going to stand down with respect to President Obama’s commitment to trying to find peace in the Middle East.”