The War on Terror Spectator

Iraqi Aid: A Win for Obama, a Loss for Jihadists

By 8.8.14

In recent months, the Obama administration has been roundly criticized for its perceivably rudderless foreign policy. Following Secretary Kerry’s failed attempts at a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the administration was in need of a win.

That win has come not a moment too soon for the Yezidi people of northwestern Iraq. Trapped by the Islamic State (IS/ISIS) on Mount Sinjar, they’re outgunned, and without water. But last night, President Obama authorized humanitarian airdrops to the Yezedi refugees. In the same speech, the president also approved the use of airstrikes, if necessary, in order to stop the advance of the fanatical religious group.

“The U.S. cannot and should not intervene every time there is a crisis in the world,” the president said. But he added, “We can act, carefully and responsibly, to prevent a potential act of genocide.”

“Today, America is coming to help.”

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RNC Refuses to Censure Henry Barbour

By on 8.7.14 | 11:04AM

Yesterday the Republican National Committee, meeting in Chicago for its summer gathering, refused even to hear two resolutions dealing with the censure of Mississippi Republican National Committeeman Henry Barbour. Barbour has admitted to playing a role (as reported here by NRO’s Eliana Johnson) in funding a controversial ad that has been widely criticized for its racial content. Johnson reported that Barbour was “not distancing himself from the inflammatory ads.”

The resolutions were being pushed by Missouri Republican State Chairman Ed Martin. 

Today the RNC is having a members-only breakfast in which a discussion of the issue is supposed to be held. 

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Justin Amash (and I) Respond to Aaron

By on 8.6.14 | 10:24PM

I always appreciate my public debates with my AmSpec collague Aaron Goldstein. They're relatively rare because we agree more than we disagree.

But Aaron took a couple of shots at Justin Amash (in response to my praise of him) which I'd like to respond to… one of which I've asked Rep. Amash to respond to.

First, I find Aaron's description of Justin's take-down of his smear-campaign-reliant opponent and his opponent's establishment supporters — Aaron called it "self-pity" — as rather strange. If anything, it would be more like gloating, since it's hard to exude self-pity after trouncing a well-funded opponent. I'm OK with a little gloating.

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A Further Perspective

Death Threats From Anti-GMO Nuts

By 8.5.14

When all else fails, revolutionaries, being revolutionaries, turn to violence. A new “Monsanto Collaborators” website created by millionaire organic activist Mike “the Health Ranger” Adams charges that hundreds of thousands of deaths have been caused by GMO crops, and that people who support genetically-modified organisms, like myself, Fox News’s John Stossel and the former ABC Newsman Jon Entine, are guilty of mass genocide, and hence deserving of a punishment that befits our crime.

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The Obama Watch

Right Now There Is Nothing We Can Do About Obama

By 8.4.14

The great fear among conservatives, stoked by the actual statements of the Obama White House and one of its chief sycophants, Congress Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, is that the president will step far beyond the constitutional limits of his power and grant amnesty through executive fiat to as many as six million illegal aliens.

This would be political suicide for Obama. It would be an act of brazen stupidity and it would likely not only destroy any chance his party has to retain control of the Senate but could potentially fracture his own coalition for future elections. Already Obama polls at just a 31 percent approval rating on the immigration issue. If he were to take such a rash step his presidency could well implode—particularly when the butcher’s bill comes in the November elections. Democratic senators Mary Landrieu, Kay Hagan, Mark Pryor and Mark Udall, all of whom currently have fighting chances at re-election, would be roadkill.

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House Debates Useless Pro-Optics Border Bill

By on 8.1.14 | 3:06PM

Yesterday it seemed Republican Party unity was breaking down when its leadership pulled an immigration reform bill from the House floor. The removal of the bill caused consternation from both sides as members were slated to leave on their August recess.

As debate this morning began, members of the Democratic minority were lining up to play watchdog. Streaming live on C-Span, the House minority leader, Congressman Steny Hoyer, came out in full force attacking the GOP. He slammed Republicans for suspending regular order to push the bill through and called it a political stunt.

“It’s mid-morning and we still haven’t seen the bill,” he stated, forgetting all about how Obamacare was rammed through at the last minute.

Congressman Peter DeFazio decried the fact there was no funding for firefighters as fire rages in the western states. Forget that the bill is supposed to be about immigration and actual people who are suffering. Politics always comes first on Capitol Hill.

Congressman Joe Garcia tore into Senator Ted Cruz on the House floor, accusing him of meddling in the House’s business and blaming him for the bill’s failure.

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Scott Walker Wins Wisconsin Ruling

By on 7.31.14 | 1:42PM

With a five-to-two ruling today by the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Governor Scott Walker won a major battle against the long-entrenched unions in his state. After a knock-out fight against a stubborn Democratic minority in the state assembly, during which assembly members pulled the ultimate media stunt and fled the state in protest, the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld Walker’s union law.

The 2011 law, which led to massive pro-union protests and a failed recall attempt, reached the state’s highest court after being upheld in appeals court twice. According to the opinion:

"No matter the limitations or 'burdens' a legislative enactment places on the collective bargaining process, collective bargaining remains a creation of legislative grace and not constitutional obligation," Justice Michael Gableman wrote for the majority.

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Taxing Tea is Un-American; So is Taxing Soda

By on 7.31.14 | 10:57AM

Well-meaning though it may be, the federal government can never replace human responsibility and relationships. The New York Times ran an opinion piece Tuesday titled “Introducing the National Soda Tax.” Apparently Michael Bloomberg’s hope to ban big sodas lacked scope, and only a countrywide tax on the sale of saccharine swill will save us from ourselves. It’s an asinine abandonment of governmental first principles.

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How to Get Information Out of the EPA

By on 7.30.14 | 5:18PM

In January 2012, I filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Environmental Protection Agency asking for copies of correspondence between the EPA and various green groups active in the Marcellus Shale region. The request was filed on behalf of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity, the parent company of Watchdog.org. The FOIA asked the agency to provide us with “any discussion and correspondence with outside groups that concerns potential regulatory action that would impact the fracking process.”

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Lois Lerner: Conservatives Are A-Holes

By on 7.30.14 | 1:49PM

A new series of emails was released today by the House Ways and Means Committee in the investigation into the improper targeting of conservatives by IRS official Lois Lerner. The emails, viewable here, show her disdain for conservatives:

Great maybe we are through if there are that many a#@holes.

This was in a response to co-worker making fun of “preppers,” people concerned about the shocking growth in the size of the welfare state and immigration.

Further in the exchange, Lerner says:

So we need to worry about alien teRrorists. It’s our own crazies who will take us down.

Amusing, especially with that capital "R" as if this is some high school prank gone awry.

In an open letter to disgraced Attorney General Eric Holder, Committee Chairman David Camp states:

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