Immigrants or Islamists? The U.S.-Mexican Border is Wide Open to Potential Terrorists. By Deroy Murdock

A showdown worthy of High Noon may erupt over immigration if Obama, as anticipated, decrees amnesty for millions of illegal aliens via executive order. Republicans would decry the sheer lawlessness of Obama’s brazen unilateralism in a nation of equal and divided powers, not least Congress’s explicit constitutional mandate to write laws and Obama’s utter absence of authority to do so. Conservatives, and many moderates, fret about the fiscal and sociocultural impact of a wide-open southern boundary practically decorated with a 1,989-mile-long “Welcome!” sign. Thus the oft-heard demand for border security as Step One in immigration reform.

Concerns about health, education, and welfare notwithstanding, there are serious national-security reasons for immediately clamping down on the U.S.-Mexican “border.” It has devolved into a people-mover for illegal immigrants from certified terrorist states and other nations filled with zealots eager to kill Americans.

According to recently released data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 5,063 individuals from nations that harbor terrorists were arrested last year trying to cross into America from Mexico. None of these were Mexicans, Guatemalans, or Hondurans; they were citizens from far-away nations consumed by militant Islam.

• Afghanistan, where U.S. troops battle resilient Taliban fighters, is the home of 70 people arrested at the southern frontier in 2013 alone.

• Syria, birthplace of ISIS and a tempest-tossed nation that America drones even today, saw 72 of its countrymen captured at our border.

• Sudan, designated by the State Department as an official “state sponsor of terrorism,” was the starting point for 168 individuals who were stopped en route to the U.S.A.

• Iran, another state sponsor of terrorism, is busy trying to build an atomic bomb. A total of 257 Iranians got caught on our border.

• Nigeria — headquarters of al-Qaeda offshoot Boko Haram, which practices child-sex slavery and anti-Christian genocide — is the nation from which 492 people departed before getting snagged on the way into America.

The End of NATO by Victor Davis Hanson ****

Declaring the North Atlantic Treaty Organization dead has been a pastime of analysts since the end of the Cold War. The alliance, today 28-members strong, has survived 65 years because its glaring contradictions were often overlooked, given the dangers of an expansionist and nuclear Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact subjects.

From its beginning, NATO had billed itself as a democratic Western bastion against Soviet totalitarian aggression—if not always in practice then at least in theory. NATO never had much problem keeping Greece and Turkey in the alliance despite their occasionally oppressive, rightwing military dictatorships, given the strategic location of both and the need to keep the pair’s historical rivalries in-house. If the alliance’s exalted motto “animus inconsulendo liber” (“A free mind in consultation”) was not always applicable, NATO still protected something far better than the alternative.

The United States opposed and humiliated its NATO partners France and Britain during the Suez crisis of 1956, without much damage to NATO at large. True, a petulant France after 1959, gradually withdrew its military participation—and yet secretly still pledged to fight with the alliance in the case of a Soviet attack. The 1989 unification of Germany progressed without a hitch, largely because an economically all-powerful Fourth Reich was happy to allow its historic rivals and NATO partners France and Britain to remain Europe’s only nuclear powers.

During the Korean and Vietnam Wars, the U.S. managed to leverage a few NATO countries in joining its interventions, while assuming the majority could either stand clear or damn the United States without much consequences to their American-guaranteed security. Ditto the two Iraq wars and the kerfuffle over the Bush administration’s dichotomy between “old” and “new” Europe.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall and its arch nemesis, NATO limped on. Some had assumed that the often quoted aphorism about NATO’s mission from Lord Hastings Ismay, NATO’s first Secretary General—“to keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down”—was no longer relevant and so neither would be NATO. But note that Ismay had said “Russians” not Soviets. He knew well that the historical tensions between an always ambitious Moscow and its vulnerable European neighbors transcended Soviet communism.


The West has been viewing the Islamic State as a Mideastern problem. It is our problem.

‘Deal with the Rafidah [derogatory term for Shia Muslims], al Salul [derogatory term for Saudi royalists] . . . Dismember their limbs. Snatch them as groups and individuals. Embitter their lives and make them occupied with themselves instead of us. Be patient and do not hasten. Soon, Allah willing, the vanguards of the Islamic State will reach you.” So spoke Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-declared caliph of the Islamic State, in an audiotape released yesterday.

Puncturing reports of his demise in U.S. air strikes last weekend, al-Baghdadi released this new message of hate, in which he mentions events that have occurred since his supposed death. Like his July sermon in Mosul, this latest submission blends Koranic quotes with a litany of threats. A few call for particular attention.

“Celebrate, Muslims, for we give you good news by announcing the expansion of the Islamic State3…#to the lands of al-Haramayn [Saudi Arabia] and Yemen . . . to Egypt, Libya, and Algeria.”

Here, al-Baghdadi is celebrating recent pledges of fealty by various Salafi jihadist groups. And this recruitment illustrates a strategic reality that President Obama and other Western leaders have been neglecting: The Islamic State (I.S.) poses an urgent and spreading threat. Believing I.S. must be defeated in Iraq first, and then in Syria, the Obama administration ignores the fact that I.S. wages war on both physical and ideological battlefields.

These two battlefields link in a cycle of support of al-Baghdadi’s growing power. With each operational victory on the battlefield — or beheading of a Westerner – Islamic State earns another prize of ideological propaganda. In turn, this propaganda recruits new fighters and supporters around the world. I.S.’s operational capability thus grows as a response.

Having survived media speculation about his death (an operational victory in and of itself), al-Baghdadi has thus reinforced his credibility as a caliph under Allah’s ordained protection. Believing this, and witnessing I.S.’s withstanding of the coalition, jihadists are increasingly viewing al-Baghdadi as the rightful leader of their global cause. And so, they’re turning to his banner. As I predicted last year (see point 5 here), Egypt’s political situation makes it vulnerable to the charismatic existential purpose al-Baghdadi offers. This is equally true in Libya and Pakistan. Mythology is central to Salafi jihadism, and al-Baghdadi seems to embody this mythology.

Gruber Who? Democrats Do Their Best to Erase Their Many Links to Obamacare’s “Mr. Mandate.” By Ian Tuttle

Jonathan Gruber? “I don’t know who he is,” Nancy Pelosi told reporters on Thursday.

To jog the former speaker’s memory: Jonathan Gruber is, of course, the MIT economist widely hailed for his work as the “architect” of Obamacare. His sudden demotion comes after video surfaced over the weekend of a 2013 interview with Gruber at the University of Pennsylvania, where he told listeners that a “lack of transparency” was crucial to passing Obamacare through Congress in 2010, given the “stupidity of the American voter.” Three more videos have followed, all showing Gruber making substantially similar remarks.

Nancy Pelosi’s ignorance of Gruber is odd for two reasons. First, she was speaker of the House at the time that the Affordable Care Act was passed. Second, she cited Gruber — by name — at a press conference in 2009: “I don’t know if you have seen Jonathan Gruber of MIT’s analysis. . . . ” Around the same time, his work was quoted and linked on her website.

In Pelosi’s defense, she may only have been following the lead of Maine senator Angus King, who told the hosts of Fox & Friends earlier this week, “I don’t know who this guy is.”

But it is difficult to imagine that either of these illustrious personages were unfamiliar with Gruber, particularly given that “the White House lent [Gruber] to Capitol Hill to help Congressional staff members draft the specifics of the legislation,” as John McCormack wrote in the New York Times in 2012, in an article in which he called Gruber “Mr. Mandate.” “Congressional staff members from both parties trusted him because he was seen as an econometric wonk, not a political agent.”

But “he didn’t help write our bill,” Pelosi declared Thursday. “So let’s put him aside.”

How to Pick a President By David Solway ****

The reasons for the electoral triumphs of Barack Obama are ancient history by now. A country exhausted by the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, presented with a superannuated and uninspiring Republican candidate, infected by white liberal guilt, and subjected to a nonstop media blitz damning and ridiculing everything the previous administration had done while hyping Obama to the heavens and suppressing every unsavory facet of his biography — this was a country ripe for change. And, presumably, hope.

But the wave of euphoria that swept the nation when Obama appeared on the scene is a more complex phenomenon. It was a species of enchantment, a collective fantasy that held a substantial portion of the American people in its pathological grip. Obama was young, vibrant, eloquent and exotic. He was the quintessence of “cool.” His very name was a multicultural freebie. And of course, he was black, thereby promising in virtue of skin tone to redeem the nation of its antebellum past. (That Obama was only half-black and completely foreign to the African-American heritage did not register.) Moreover, Obama was the Utopian candidate who pledged to heal a sick and broken planet, to make peace with dedicated enemies, to eradicate poverty, to compel the supposedly rising oceans to recede, and to bring the Golden Age out of the realm of myth into the real world at last. The anointed one had arrived. As a somewhat chastened Barbara Walters later confessed [1], “We thought he was going to be…the next messiah.”

We know today that his resonating promises — and they were legion — did not come to pass, with the single exception of his commitment to transform America. Why the most successful country in the world needed to be transformed was not immediately obvious, except to a generation that had been “educated” to believe America was the source of all the world’s ills, to a hydra-headed grievance industry that refused to take responsibility for its own lack of achievement or success, and to an obtuse and besotted media conglomerate — “knucklehead row,” to adopt Andrew Klavan’s apt description [2] of New York Times columnists. And America has indeed been transformed, from a powerful, feared, wealthy and confident nation into a zymotic disaster zone, tearing itself apart from within, floundering in unpayable debt, and pursuing a ruinous foreign policy that has left critical regions of the globe in a state of incarnadine havoc and the country itself vulnerable to numerous security threats. It has been transformed into a country that, according to a recent Politico poll [3], almost two thirds of Americans feel “has lost control of its major challenges.”

Holder’s Successor Promises More of the Same By J. Christian Adams

Get Back, Loretta: Holder’s Successor Promises More of the Same

The nomination of Loretta Lynch to succeed Eric Holder as attorney general is a deft political decision by President Obama. Lynch’s nomination satisfies the racial interest groups yet doesn’t carry the toxic record that other possible nominees carried. Al Sharpton promised he would play a role in selecting Holder’s successor, and it appears he did.

Lynch promises to be Eric Holder’s sequel, particularly when it comes to federal enforcement of civil rights laws. What she provides the White House is a clean slate. She provides the false promise of luring some Republicans into thinking the Justice Department may improve once Holder is gone.

That hope ignores the fact that Holder, while lawless as can be, was the symptom of an institutional problem when progressives wield power at the most powerful federal department. Holder may go, but hundreds who think just like him will still be managing affairs – from the top political appointees to the lowest (and newly hired) line attorney. Lynch will arrive to oversee a transformed culture at the Department of Justice. And that’s just the beginning.

But first, it’s worth noting one good thing about Lynch. She is coming from a United States attorney’s office. Justice Department offices outside of Washington, D.C., are often reservoirs of professionalism compared to the progressive stranglehold the left has on Main Justice in Washington. In fact, the Eastern District of New York is one of the more important districts in the nation, and Lynch will bring her experience managing career professionals rather than swarms of progressive crusaders who populate Main Justice.


” fool you once, shame on you, fool you twice…then you are an incorrigible fool….rsk
This Democrat Is Giving Up on ObamaCare
The disastrous rollout of the Affordable Care Act was the catalyst for my party’s midterm thumping: Burke Beu

I grew up in a Democratic family. I have been a registered Democrat since age 18, a Democratic candidate for statewide office in Colorado and a party precinct captain in that caucus state. I’ve volunteered for numerous Democratic candidates and contributed to party causes and campaigns. The 2014 election results were extremely disappointing for me, but hardly a surprise.

I voted for Barack Obama in 2008, then lost my job in the Great Recession. I was lucky; my brother lost his job and his house. I survived on part-time jobs while paying out-of-pocket for my health insurance.

I voted for President Obama again in 2012, then received a cancellation notice for my health insurance. This was due to ObamaCare, the so-called Affordable Care Act. However, I couldn’t afford anything else.

Midterm elections in the second term of a presidency are difficult on the president’s party, and the Obama administration’s crisis-of-the-month headlines weren’t helpful. Ultimately, though, ObamaCare was the catalyst for my party’s midterm thumping.

Mary Landrieu’s Keystone Lifeline

Harry Reid’s gambit to deny Republicans a 54th Senate seat.

Elections have consequences, as President Obama said in his glory days, and barely a week later the losing Senate Democrats have already broken their line against the Keystone XL pipeline. Call it the Save Mary Landrieu Act of 2014.

The Louisiana Democrat faces a Senate runoff next month against Republican Rep. Bill Cassidy, and, lo, Majority Leader Harry Reid has suddenly allowed a vote on legislation she proposed with North Dakota Republican John Hoeven earlier this year that Mr. Reid blocked. The idea is to give her a show of political independence from Mr. Obama, who is about as popular in the Pelican State as BP .

You have to admire this transparent show of low political principle, especially because it clearly betrays that Mr. Reid has been the real obstacle to passing pro-growth, bipartisan legislation for the last four years. Ms. Landrieu couldn’t get Harry to move for ages, but now that Republicans will soon take charge her comrades will do anything to prevent the GOP from getting a 54th Senate seat.

The House has already voted eight times to authorize building the Keystone XL, which would open a new avenue for crude oil from Canada and the Bakken Shale formation in North Dakota to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico coast. The House plans to vote again on Friday to pass the latest version sponsored by Mr. Cassidy, which is roughly the same as the Senate bill.

President Obama has refused for six years to sign off on the pipeline, which his own State Department has estimated would create some 42,100 jobs and concluded would not significantly increase carbon emissions. State has completed five environmental reports confirming the null carbon hypothesis.

The Church of England Chooses Extremist Islam by Samuel Westrop

It is troubling that the first non-Christian to address the Church of England synod can be linked to extreme Islamist networks. By inviting Fuad Nahdi, the Church is lending credence to the notion that only radical Islamism can represent British Islam. What hope, then, for those genuine moderates within Britain’s Muslim community?

A British Muslim activist is to speak before the Church of England’s general synod on November 18 — the first time a non-Christian has addressed the assembly.

Counter-extremism campaigners, however, have expressed disappointment that the Church would choose an activist accused of connections with extremist groups.

Fuad Nahdi, director of the British Islamic organization Radical Middle Way [RMW], has a long history of working with activists and groups tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, described by the former head of the MI6 as being, “at heart, a terrorist organization;” and Jamaat-e-Islami, the Brotherhood’s South Asian cousin, responsible for acts of genocide during Bangladesh’s 1971 Independence war.

Sydney Williams: “The Internet – A Regulated Utility?”

On Monday, President Obama spoke in favor of net neutrality. He said, somewhat disingenuously, that keeping a “free and open” internet is critical to Americans. That’s basically what we have and it’s what we would like to keep. What Mr. Obama wants to do, however, is impose a ban on all paid prioritizations – that there would be no “slow” and “fast” lanes, just one lane, and that ISPs would no longer have the right to charge content providers for faster access. A problem: once the camel that is regulation gets its nose under the tent, the rest is sure to follow.

Net neutrality, according to its advocates, means that access to the internet will always be equal. Internet service providers – usually cable, telephone, wireless and some municipal companies – have the ability to speed up or slow down access. For example, large content providers like Netflix and Google that stream large amounts of data can hog bandwidth, so have been charged higher fees. ISPs claim such fees are necessary to pay for the technology that permits faster access for those with large levels of compressed data. Content providers claim they are being gouged. In Europe, cable and telephone companies, as noted in an editorial in yesterday’s Financial Times, compete with other ISPs; thereby providing choices. That is less true in the U.S.

Those supporting net neutrality comprise an odd mixture from companies from Netflix, YouTube, Google and Skype to consumer advocacy groups, from President Obama to those favoring free speech. Those against it are the service providers like Comcast, Time Warner, ATT and Verizon and people who worry about the unintended consequences of government intervention into a business that has worked remarkably well for twenty-five years.

Large bandwidth users, like those enumerated above, argue that service providers are deliberately slowing up data from popular websites, so they can charge more. In addition, the argument is made that higher access fees retard the development of new businesses, which cannot afford the higher costs, so would be uncompetitive because of slower access.

Mr. Obama suggested that cable, telephone and wireless broadband networks be considered common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, which would classify them as public utilities. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) was created in 1934 to regulate the telephone and telegraph industries. Using an 80-year old agency to regulate a 21st Century industry seems odd, but, then, this is government. The FCC is an independent commission. It does not report directly to the President; however its five commissioners are appointed by the President. The chairman Tom Wheeler was appointed a year ago and confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate. The Agency is dependent on Congress, which controls its budget and makes the laws under which it operates. Efforts to enact net neutrality over the past decade have failed, but this is the first time the President has leapt into the breach.