WASHINGTON – Lawmakers with strong ties to the Tea Party movement have gained a toehold in the U.S. Senate but it appears they might have difficulty expanding their numbers this year.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) are among those associated with the conservative, grassroots drive that has proved influential within Republican Party politics in a relatively short period of time. But a review of upcoming Senate contests reveals that more establishmentarian Senate candidates maintain an edge – at least to this point – heading into the primary season.

Conservative disaffection for the manner in which mainstream Republicans are confronting President Obama and his policies, coupled with ongoing spending issues, have resulted in a higher than usual number of challenges to GOP incumbents.

Yet, in the first showdown of the primary season, establishment Republicans won hands down, with Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn, of Texas, blasting Rep. Steven Stockman (R-Texas) by more than 40 points. Cornyn is overwhelmingly favored to win a third term in the fall.

“I think we are going to crush them everywhere,” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who faces his own Tea Party challenge this year from Louisville businessman Matt Bevin. “I don’t think they are going to have a single nominee anywhere in the country.”



“Hamas, Hamas… Jews to the gas. [1]”

I am starting this piece with that incindiary chant, intoned all too frequently at European demonstrations recently (not to mention soccer matches!), to remind readers just how far things have gone and who is behind them.

The folks at Brandeis University, their administration, may not be aware of it. I hope they’re not, though I suspect they are – aware that CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) has been linked closely and legally [2] with the religious fanatic terrorist organization Hamas whose charter calls for the destruction of Israel and many other things not associated with Mother Teresa.

CAIR calls itself a “Muslim NAACP.” The NAACP may have lost some (or a lot) of its original mojo, but to compare CAIR to the NAACP is like comparing Josef Mengele to Ben Carson. Say it ain’t so.

But it is so to the administration of Brandeis University, which has descended into a dhimmitude [3] (a term extrapolated from dhimmis — non-Muslim citizens of Islamic states — by the brilliant Bat Ye’or [4]) worse than the last Jews in Damascus or Baghdad by rescinding, at the behest of CAIR and the Muslim Students Association, their invitation to Ayaan Hirsi Ali to receive an honorary degree at this year’s Brandeis commencement.

Hirsi Ali, whom I have had the honor of meeting while CEO of PJ Media, is one of the most impressive and courageous human beings on this planet. President Lawrence of Brandeis would be honored to kiss her feet. Now he has banned her — shredding the Bill of Rights, one of the greatest documents in human history, in the process, including, of course, freedom of speech.

Obamacare in pictures Thomas Lifson

Obamacare in pictures
Thomas Lifson

The Heritage Foundation has published a series of 15 charts that it aptly titles, “The Charts Obama Doesn’t Want You to See,” telling the story of Obamacare in at-a-glance style. Here are two samples.

How the U.S. Went Wrong and Why By Shoshana Bryen


It is tempting to simply list all the ways the Obama administration — particularly Secretaries Kerry and Hagel — has been wrong on foreign and defense policy. After all, Russia/Ukraine, Syria, Iran, China, and Israel/Palestinians are nothing to sneeze at. But finding a common thread among the mistakes might be the beginning of a corrective policy — if not by this administration, then perhaps by Congress or the next administration.

The common thread is hubris, the supreme confidence that what you think is what everyone thinks — they’re just waiting for you to show up. Hubris is the natural state of affairs in the faculty lounges of major universities and, most likely, in the “World’s Greatest Deliberative Body,” in which the president, Hagel, Biden, Clinton, and Kerry all served. A subdivision of hubris is the conceit that words equal action; that what is said is what is done. It is a subdivision because if you think there is no political or economic or social disagreement, then everyone must just be waiting for you to perorate.

Secretary of State Kerry called Vladimir Putin’s restoration of Crimea to the status of Russian territory, “19th Century thinking in the 21st century,” while Putin pocketed Crimea and considers cutting off the gas flow through Ukraine to Europe. He is, apparently, unoffended by a reference to the Tsars he considers Russian patriots.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel tried empathy, authorizing release of the details of U.S. cyber warfare doctrine to China in a bid to win similar cooperation from Beijing. So far, China has not reciprocated. Bill Gertz wrote in the Washington Times, “Instead of pressing the Chinese to curb cyberattacks, the defense secretary said the Pentagon has sought to ‘be more open about our cyber capabilities, including our approach of restraint’…for the first time ever, the Pentagon provided Chinese officials with a briefing on U.S. doctrine on cyber capabilities. Lt. Col. Damien Pickart said, ‘The purpose of this briefing was to increase transparency of one another’s military cyber activities and intentions.’”

Transparency appears to have been the policy of only one side.

Empathy didn’t work with Iran, either.

A Crimean Travelogue, Part I: Srdja Trifkovic


Friday, March 14 – The afternoon Aeroflot flight from Belgrade to Moscow takes a surprising route: due north over Hungary, Slovakia and eastern Poland, then turning east-northeast over Belarus, and into the Russian air space just east of Smolensk. In more normal times the flight path would have taken us across Romania, Moldova and Ukraine, shorter by some 250 miles. The attendant tells me that the decision to divert flights to bypass Ukraine had only been made the previous day. Interestingly, I learn later that Air Serbia’s flights from Belgrade to Moscow still follow the old route.
The names of the towns 35,000 feet below – Brest, Minsk, Mogilev, Smolensk, Borodino, Mozhaisk – fit almost exactly the line of advance of Napoleon’s Grande Armée in 1812, and that of Hitler’s Army Group Center in 1941. Observing those immense spaces makes one wonder about that strange, self-destructive impulse that makes the lure of western Eurasia so hard to resist. OK, John McCain is ignorant of history as well as insane, ditto the neocons, but Zbigniew Brzezinski is not. Those endless forests and rivers remind me of my plea – often repeated in the pages of Chronicles over the years – for a paradigm shift in the West that would pave the way for a Northern Alliance of Russia, Europe, and North America. All three face similar existential threats, demographic and cultural, in the decades ahead. Their renewed disputes caused by old geopolitical ambitions can only regale the hearts of that false prophet’s followers everywhere.
The late-evening flight from Moscow to Simferopol is almost full. Overhead bins of the Soviet-era IL-96-300 are huge, so some two-dozen Western and Asian media crews are able to place their cameras, tripods and other equipment out of the harm’s way. A Russian policewoman checks our passports at Sheremetyevo’s Terminal D: the SU1826 is evidently still treated as an international flight. We are 45 minutes late departing Moscow, but arrive almost on time two and a half hours later.
No alcohol is served on board, to the loud chagrin of three British journalists seated in front of me. (They surreptitiously dig into their duty-free supplies instead.) A Dutch businessman to my left mentions some unspecified “opportunities” in the Crimea, as the Russians are “certain to invest billions soon” into the peninsula’s downgraded infrastructure. Some of the passengers are Crimean Russians resident abroad who are making the trip in order to vote in the referendum. My friend and fellow monitor Alessandro Musolino, a member of the Provincial Parliament of Veneto, has shared his flight from Venice with seven young women from the Crimea who work in Italy as nurses and who had taken a week off to come home for the occasion.

A Dose of Nuance: If Only Those Tracks Could Speak


A friend of mine is making aliyah. He’s one of those smart, thoughtful, sensitive and deeply committed people whose addition to Israeli society bodes well for all of us who live here. So we took a walk on the relatively new train-tracks-converted-into-apathway a couple of weeks ago, when he was in Jerusalem, to chat about his family’s choice of neighborhoods, schools for his kids, and in essence, the immensity of the move. It was going to be great, I told him – for Israel, and for them.

“I hope so,” he said, but he actually didn’t sound very convinced. So I pushed a bit. After all, he was choosing to come, so how could he not be sure this was going to be great? Hard at times, of course. But not great? How could it not be wonderful?

“I just hope that we’re not doing wrong by our kids,” he clarified. “Deep down, I just wonder about the future of this place. These peace negotiations are going nowhere. The Palestinians don’t want a deal, the Israelis announce new settlement construction just to stick their thumb in the Palestinians’ eye, Bibi’s afraid to say anything because he believes in preserving his coalition more than he believes in anything else, and little by little, the creeping growth of housing over the Green Line is going to make a deal impossible.

“Then what will we be left with? A one-state solution? Occupation forever? I can’t see any way that this is actually going to work out. Do you see a solution? Do you not think we’re running the risk of destroying everything that’s been built here?”

For a moment, I was silent. I found myself remembering what life was like here 15 years ago, when we made aliyah.

Cut the Clitoral Relativism: Islam, Sharia, and Female Genital Mutilation/“Circumcision”: Andrew Bostom


Despite their ongoing antagonisms—played out, prominently, on Fox News—a bizarre, shared apologetic has emerged which denies the irrefragable sanctioning of female genital mutilation/“circumcision” (FGM/C) by canonical Islamic tradition (“hadith”), and over 1100 years of authoritative, mainstream Islamic jurisprudence. The strange bedfellow antagonists engaged in these overlapping apologetics about FGM/C are the Clarion Foundation and its film “Honor Diaries,” allied with the Ayaan Hirsi Ali Foundation (Ms. Ali is also listed as the film’s executive producer), “versus” the Hamas-linked cultural jihadist organization, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Fox News has served as overseer of this “conflict” cum consensus, while also reinforcing the fallacy that FGM/C is simply a tragic manifestation of misogynistic patriarchal trends that are generic, and have “no basis” in Islam and the Sharia, Islamic law.

Ibrahim Hooper of CAIR issued the following statement (which Fox News host Megyn Kelly aired on her broadcast), that melds Islamic negationism (in bold, below), with vitriol against the Clarion Foundation-produced film:

American Muslims join people of conscience of all faiths in condemning female genital mutilation, forced marriages, “honor killings” and any other form of domestic violence or gender inequality as violations of Islamic beliefs. If anyone mistreats women, they should not seek refuge in Islam. The real concern in this case is that the producers of the film, who have a track record of promoting anti-Muslim bigotry, are hijacking a legitimate issue to push their hate-filled agenda.

Notwithstanding the obsessive focus on Hooper/CAIR’s predictably gratuitous attack against the producers of “Honor Diaries,” what has been deliberately obfuscated by conservative supporters of the film are mirror image statements denying the centrality of Islamic doctrine such as this blatantly false Ayaan Hirsi Ali Foundation website pronouncement:

FGM has no foundation in Islamic scripture or law.

Quanta Ahmed, a protagonist in “Honor Diaries,” appearing in one of Megyn Kelly’s Fox News segments on the “CAIR vs. bold filmmakers controversy,” made a Goebbel’s-like inversion of morality. Ahmed not only denied Islam’s sanctioning of FGM in “Honor Diaries,” claiming, falsely, “Female genital mutilation is not advocated in Islam in any way shape or form,” during her March 31, 2014 interview with Megyn Kelly she compounded her mendacity with the morally perverse observation that,

the most Islamic act is to expose this injustice



RT: Ukraine’s economy is in a shambles and its people are suffering. Is it morally justified to turn the taps off?

Srdja Trifkovic: Talking about “moral justification,” let’s remember the first OPEC oil crisis in the winter of 1973-74, after the Yom Kippur War. It would have been rather funny for the Western countries which imported Arab oil to say, “We don’t recognize your prices. We are going to pay the old ones.”

Moral justification doesn’t come into it. What we are looking at is business like any other. If the Western countries are so terribly concerned about Ukraine’s economy and about the suffering of Ukrainian consumers, then of course they are more than welcome to re-export Russian gas, which is coming regularly through the North Stream pipeline to Germany, and I don’t think the Russians would mind. If they want to sell that gas to Ukraine on discounted prices, they are more than welcome to do so. But at the same time to say “it’s that horrible Russian bear using the gas weapon,” because the Russians are simply charging normal market prices, is ridiculous.

RT: President Putin has warned that supplies to Europe could be affected. If they are, what sort of further backlash we’ll see against Russia? We are seeing what’s happening in PACE [Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, where Russia’s voting rights are suspended].

ST: Forget about PACE. It’s an utterly useless talking shop, and Russia is better without it. I don’t think Putin meant to say that Russia would play with supplies to Europe via Ukraine, but that it is possible that the Ukrainians themselves will start playing games. After all, they did so with the ‘Orange’ regime in 2006, and even more seriously in 2009. So what Ukraine would need to do, in order to reassure both Russia and Europe, is to stop saying ridiculous things like “We don’t recognize the new pricing regime, we want to buy gas at discounted prices,” because that sounds like a veiled threat. Yes, they do have a weapon in the ability to turn off the pipeline, but at the same time it would be up to the Europeans to make their judgment on whom to blame.

Let’s face it: the Ukrainians can’t have it both ways, or three ways. It reminds one of one of the old Pushkin story about the goldfish and the ever-escalating demands. “We want a European Ukraine, we want Ukraine with the association agreement, Ukraine and NATO, Orange Ukraine, West Ukrainian Ukraine and in the end we want also a gas discount.” Come on…

RT: What about money? $16.6 billion are to be paid to Moscow. If Ukraine can’t even pay for discounted gas, how is it going to pay now when it’s virtually bankrupt?

Passover Guide for the Perplexed, 2014 : Ambassador (Ret.) Yoram Ettinger


1. The Passover legacy constitutes the foundation of Judaism, and is therefore included in most Jewish blessings (“in memory of the Exodus”). Passover symbolizes the rejuvenation of nature and mankind, spiritually and physically, individually and collectively/nationally. Passover stipulates that human rejuvenation – just like the rejuvenation of nature – must be driven by memory/history/roots. Therefore, parents are instructed to educate their children about the lessons of Passover. Passover was an early – and much more successful – edition of the (19th century) Spring of Nations. It is celebrated in the spring, the bud of nature. The biblical scroll of Song of Songs, which highlights spring, is read during Passover. Spring, Aviv in Hebrew (אביב) consists of two Hebrew words: Father – אב – of 12 – יב – months/tribes. Spring is mentioned 3 times in the Torah, all in reference to the Exodus. Passover – which commemorates the creation of the Jewish nation – lasts seven days, just like the creation of the universe.

2. Passover is the oldest Jewish national liberation holiday, highlighting the comprehensive nature of Judaism: religion, nationality, culture/morality, language and history. Passover underlines the centrality of spiritual, physical, individual and national liberty and optimism, playing a critical role in preserving Judaism, Jews and the yearning to reconstruct the Jewish Homeland during the super-challenging 40 years in the desert and the 2,500 years of exiles, destruction, pogroms, the Holocaust, wars and terrorism.



It is my holiday prayer that on the night of the seder US Jewish leaders will remember that Passover is not about eating matza. It is about the price of freedom, and why that price is worth paying.

Passover, which begins on Monday night, is the festival of freedom.

The holiday reminds us of the brutal enslavement of the Jews by Pharaoh and the Egyptians. We recall their midnight flight from Egypt, pursued by the mighty Egyptian army, and God’s miraculous rescue of the Jews at the shores of the Red Sea. We remember how Moses led them for 40 years in the desert, and taught them what it means to be a nation, and what it means to be free.

We repeat the story of enslavement, flight, redemption and freedom each year at Passover, because our sages wanted to ensure that we never forget the value of freedom, and remain vigilant in our fight for it. In Israel, where our freedom is physically threatened, most Jews understand and live by the lessons of Passover.

But something is happening to the Jews in America.

More and more, every day we see American Jews embracing intellectual bondage. We see American Jewish leaders embracing the intolerant, who seek to constrain freedom, and shunning those who fight for freedom and the rights of Jews and other threatened peoples and groups.

To a large degree, this rejection of the lessons of the Exodus among the American Jewish community reflects the growing intolerance and tyranny of the political Left, to which most American Jews pledge their allegiance.

With increasing frequency, leftist groups and leaders in the US are openly acting to deny freedom of expression to their political and ideological foes, and to destroy the lives of people who oppose their dogma.

For instance, last week we saw the growing tyranny of gay activists. Under assault from homosexual thought police, the Mozilla Corporation of Firefox browser fame fired its CEO Brendan Eich because he once contributed $1,000 to a campaign to block the legalization of homosexual marriage in California.

Eich’s firing was only the latest assault by gay rights bullies on private citizens who oppose their goals.

The aim of these assaults is to silence all opposition to their agenda using the tools of social ostracism and intellectual terror.

Young Americans now embrace intellectual and social tyranny in the name of “liberal” values. In an op-ed in The Harvard Crimson, undergraduate Sandra Korn celebrated the eclipse of academic freedom in favor of what she called “justice.” Korn called for censoring conservative voices for their “offensive” views.

She also embraced the anti-Jewish hate movement popularly known as BDS (boycotts, divestments and sanctions of the Jewish state) as a good way to promote “justice” at the expense of freedom.

In Korn’s conflation of conservative voices with Zionist voices and insistence on delegitimizing and silencing both due to the “offense” they cause to “right thinking” thought enforcers like herself we see the central role that Jew hatred and the denial of Jewish freedom plays in the new wave of mass rejection of reason in favor of passions and hatred.

Sadly, many parts of the organized American Jewish community have embraced leftist tyranny and discrimination.

In 2008, the New York UJA-Federation teamed up with the Jewish Council on Public Affairs and forced the Council of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations to disinvite then-US vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin from addressing a rally opposing then Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad while he addressed the UN General Assembly.

To ensure that Palin would be denied the right to speak, the New York UJA-Federation and the JCPA threatened that her appearance would jeopardize the tax exempt status of the Conference of Presidents and other major Jewish organizations.

It may very well be that this threat was the first instance of leftists threatening prejudicial IRS investigations against their political foes as a means of ensuring obedience to their agenda.

The Palin affair was a rarity in the community. This isn’t because voices of staunch Zionists are usually accepted. Rather it is because such voices are ignored and shunned as a general practice by the major American Jewish organizations, in New York and elsewhere.

Palin’s invitation was an oversight.

While fervent Zionists are silenced, post-Zionists and anti-Zionists are legitimized and staunchly defended.

Six years after Palin was brutally disinvited, in the name of cultivating a “wide tent,” the same New York UJA-Federation and JCPA invited anti-Israel organizations that support the boycott of Jewish Israeli businesses to take part in the annual pro-Israel parade.