“After four years of inhaling President Obama’s smoke, Americans finally may be ready to breathe normally again under Romney-Ryan.”

Slip slidin’ away . . .

Why does America seem to be slouching? Multiple measures have found this country going down, down, down since President Obama’s inauguration.

• The Geneva-based World Economic Forum (WEF) stages an annual pow-wow for top global leaders in Davos, Switzerland. It also ranks nations on competitiveness. When Obama came to power, America had dominated this contest for at least three years. The U.S. quickly stumbled from first place in 2008 to second in 2009, fourth in 2010, fifth in 2011, and seventh today.

Here is how the WEF described the U.S. economy among the 134 countries it evaluated in 2008:

Notwithstanding the present financial crisis, the United States continues to be the most competitive economy in the world, a position it has held for several years. This is because the country is endowed with many structural features that make its economy extremely productive and that place it on a strong footing to ride out business cycle shifts and economic shocks. Thus, despite rising concerns about the soundness of the banking sector and macroeconomic weaknesses, the country’s many other strengths continue to make it a very productive environment.

But after nearly four years of Obama, WEF’s outlook on America had soured dramatically. After examining 144 nations, it concluded on September 4:


Maybe there’s something to be said for clean living after all. Although Mitt Romney is closer in age to the venerable Jim Lehrer than to the callow Barack Obama, it was the Republican nominee who came across in last night’s debate as energetic and vigorous. And if Obama looked put upon when the cameras were on, imagine what he must’ve come home to. You spent our anniversary doing WHAT?!

About the private reaction of Obama’s wife, of course, we can only speculate. But many of his lovers went public with their devastation: “I don’t know what he was doing out there,” wailed Chris Matthews. “He had his head down, he was enduring the debate rather than fighting it.” One expected Matthews to burst into song: “The thrill is gone baby / The thrill is gone away / You know you done me wrong baby / And you’ll be sorry Election Day.”
[image]Associated Press

Even better was Andrew Sullivan: “Look: you know how much I love the guy. . . . But this was a disaster for the president for the key people he needs to reach, and his effete, wonkish lectures may have jolted a lot of independents into giving Romney a second look. Obama looked tired, even bored; he kept looking down; he had no crisp statements of passion or argument; he wasn’t there.” Cue Shania Twain: “So you got the brain but have you got the touch / Don’t get me wrong, yeah I think you’re all right / But that won’t keep me warm in the middle of the night.”

We could spend hours quoting disparaging reviews of Obama’s performances from journalists who were never as head-over-heels as Matthews and Sullivan, but we like to pretend as if we have space constraints, so we’ll just take one representative example, also from the Daily Beast, where our friend Tunku Varadarajan writes: “My God, in the four years that we’ve seen him in the White House, I don’t think we’ve ever seen the president so flaccid, so dull-brained, so jejune, so shifty, so downcast.”

This columnist has to disagree. Obama’s lame performance last night seemed typical to us. We can think of a few occasions in which we’ve seen the president less flaccid, less dull-brained, less jejune, less shifty, less downcast. But only a few.

But these qualities–or, to put it another way, this lack of quality–was harder than usual to miss last night because of the contrast with the highly effectual Romney. One reason it came as such a shock to Obama is that it was the first time in his career that he shared a debate stage with a serious opponent.


Much is being made of the devastating blow that Mitt Romney administered to President Obama in the first presidential debate Wednesday night. Romney was masterful; Obama was incomprehensible. Romney was presidential; Obama was incoherent. Romney schooled Obama; Obama responded by doing the hand motions to “The Wheels On the Bus Go Round and Round.” Republicans and conservatives alike were cheering. Even Romney skeptics like me happily conceded that Romney was the right guy all along. There will be an October surprise from the Obama camp, but they got one themselves Wednesday night.

Obama was rambling, fumbling, stuttering. He was terrible. This was a great night for freedom-lovers. If sixty million Americans were watching, freedom has a shot at resuscitation. Even Obama’s own camp was crestfallen. Bill Maher tweeted: “Obama made a lot of great points tonight. Unfortunately, most of them were for Romney.” And: “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but Obama looks like he DOES need a teleprompter.” Maher is noticing only now? Andrew Sullivan tweeted in dismay: “This is a rolling calamity for Obama.”

But is Obama worried? Not for a second. He doesn’t care. Because that’s not his job. Obama is merely the pretty face for the über-left monster. Let’s face it: Obama is merely a figurehead. A happy face for the anti-American, anti-individual, anti-capitalist revolution. He’s a movie star, nothing more. He’s an impressive façade with nothing behind it, like a Hollywood set. But the American people should be concerned about his puppet masters: Reverend Wright, George Soros, Bill Ayers, and a cabal of Islamic supremacist Muslim Brotherhood operatives. That’s who’s running the country.

HERBERT LONDON: Tokyo’s Military Options Tokyo policy makers have been engaged in diplomatic overdrive in an effort to resolve a territorial dispute with Russia over four southern islands in the Kuril Island chain. This dispute has stunted bilateral relations for six decades. The island chain was taken by the former Soviet Union during the final day of World War […]



In part I of this series, we discussed some of the forces threatening the cohesion and unity of the United States, and the possibility of Balkanization. In part II, we consider the specific case of Mexico and illegal immigration from that nation into the United States.

In present-day America, there is perhaps no better illustration of Bertold Brecht’s vision of “dissolving one people and electing another” (see part one here) than the case of illegal immigration from Mexico and Latin America into the United States.

Among the many drivers of the on-going Balkanization of the United States, none is more potent than the unchecked river of humanity flowing across our southern border.

According to recent demographic data, there are approximately 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. These data, often collected by such left-leaning organizations such as the Pew Hispanic Center and the Center for Immigration Studies, understate the extent of illegal immigration; actual figures are almost certainly higher. Some authorities place the figure in the 18-22 million range, while others place the total as high as 30 million people. Since, by definition, illegal immigrants are undocumented, a precise count is probably impossible, especially given the dynamic nature of population flows. It is estimated that some 55% of illegals were from Mexico, with an additional 22% from other Latin American countries; illegals from other nations comprise the remainder of the total.

Unofficial crossings of the border have been going on for almost as long as the nations of Mexico and the United States have existed. Regions along the U.S.-Mexican border have long-been a hybrid of the two nation’s cultures. “Tex-Mex” is an established staple in places like El Paso, Texas, where one is just as likely to hear the norteño music of Mexico as American country, western swing or blues. Prominent and wealthy Mexicans and Americans alike own homes and travel widely in both nations. Both nations depend on tourism from the other. Cross-border trade is booming.

Yet, for all of these signs of apparent normalcy, there exists an undercurrent of tension within American-Mexican relations, albeit one seldom remarked upon by the political and cultural elites of either nation. Mexico and the United States fought a bitter war from 1846-1848, after Texas was annexed by the United States in 1845. Much of the American southwest and California were originally part of the Spanish empire, just as Mexico herself once was. The U.S. has a long history of military intervention in Latin America; including the 1916 Punitive Expedition into Mexico by the U.S. Army in pursuit of Pancho Villa. Naysayers may scoff, but memories of such conflicts persist among Mexicans and other Latinos, many of whom resent the enormous power and influence of their northern neighbor. The Mexican folk saying applies, “Poor Mexico – so far from God and so close to the United States.”

The tensions are not merely as a result of wars in the now-distant past; they arise out of the specific circumstances in both nations. Politicians on both sides of the border have demagogued the issue of illegal immigration for their own purposes, and influential business leaders routinely engage in doublespeak – expressing concern about open borders, but laughing all the way to the bank on the savings they gain by hiring undocumented workers. In both nations, illegal immigration has become a very big business, not only in the declared, open economy but in the black markets and the criminal underworld. Endemic corruption and narcoterrorismo in Mexico only worsen the problem.

Profs. on Mideast Turmoil: Blame America, Israel, and Free Speech Cinnamon Stillwell… it all****

In the wake of the al-Qaeda attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya on Sept. 11, 2012, the seizure of the American embassy in Cairo, Egypt, and the ensuing anti-American protests and riots throughout the Middle East—the latter ostensibly over an anti-Islam YouTube film trailer that originated in the U.S. months earlier—what do Middle East scholars have to say about the turmoil in the region?

As self-styled supporters of “academic freedom,” are they rushing to defend First Amendment rights instead of kowtowing to Muslim religious sensibilities? Are they denouncing the prospect of self-censorship rather than pushing YouTube to pull the “offending” video by claiming that it constitutes “hate speech?” Are they standing up for religious freedom instead of encouraging Americans to adhere to Sharia law-driven prohibitions on blasphemy? Are they putting aside their anti-Western biases and laying blame where it belongs instead of on America and Israel?

If the following quotes from Middle East studies academics are any indication, the answer to all those questions would be a resounding No!

Let’s take a look at what these “experts” have to say.

TERENCE P. JAFFREY: U.S. Added More Debt on First Day of FY13 Than From 1776 Through Pearl Harbor ****

By Terence P. Jeffrey

( – The federal government added $93,245,605,914.16 to its debt on Oct. 1, the first day of fiscal 2013.

That was more than all the debt the federal government accumulated between July 4, 1776 when the United States declared independence from England and sometime in October 1942, which was ten months after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States entered World War II.

FRANK SALVATO: IT ALL BOILS DOWN TO ONE QUESTION “A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.” – President Gerald R. Ford, in an address to a joint session of Congress, August 12, 1974.   There can be little doubt that the electorate, going into the 2012 General Election, […]



In a remarkable reversal of fortune for President Obama in Ohio, the GOP has closed the huge gap in absentee ballot requests used by early voters that favored the Democrats and the president in 2008, setting up what one state analyst said could be a Mitt Romney blowout on Election Day.

While in 2008, 33 percent of the 1,158,301 absentee ballots went to Democrats and just 19 percent to registered Republicans, a 14-point gap, this year 29 percent are being requested by Democrats and 24 percent by Republicans, a five-point gap.

And in a sign that the enthusiasm of 2008 voters is depressed, just 638,997 absentee ballots have been requested, according to American Majority Action, which culled the statistics together from Ohio college professors who are tracking the state’s absentee ballots used for early voting. The group provided Secrets with the details.

Even more dramatic, while the GOP has cut the Democratic advantage in early voting throughout the state, the changes favoring the Republicans in certain counties has been huge. In Franklin County, home to Columbus, for example, a 2008 Democratic advantage of 5 percent is now a 5 percent GOP advantage. In Cuyahoga County, home to Democratic Cleveland, the GOP has shaved six points off the Democrat’s 2008 advantage. And in Hamilton County, home to Cincinnati, Republicans have expanded their 2008 advantage to 13 percent.

Israel, ‘Palestine,’ And The Law Of War (Second of Two Parts) By: Louis Rene Beres Historically, viewed against the background of extensive and unapologetic terrorist perfidy in both Gaza and Lebanon, Israel has been innocent of any alleged disproportionality. All combatants, including all insurgents in Gaza and Lebanon, are bound to comply with the law of war of international law. This firm requirement derives not only from what is […]