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The Obama Watch

Paris a ‘Sickening Setback’ for Obama

By 11.17.15

“Why can’t we take out these bastards?” CNN’s Jim Acosta bluntly asked President Obama at a Monday press conference at the Group of 20 summit in Turkey. “These bastards,” of course, are the Islamic State — at least for Acosta. As Obama called Friday’s attacks in Paris that left at least 129 dead a “sickening setback,” he saw no need to reset his Syrian policy.

Obama has been in a state of denial about the Islamic State. In 2014, the president famously told the New Yorker that the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and in Arabic, Daesh, was a “JV team” that might dress like the Lakers but would never match Kobe Bryant. The day before the Paris attacks, Obama told ABC the Islamic State was “contained” in Iraq and Syria.

His cardinal sin, however, is not a poor choice of words, but his failure to cut a deal with Iraq to leave U.S. troops behind after 2011. By not leaving behind a force that could douse hot spots as needed, the administration created a safe zone for al-Qaida and its offshoots. That void enabled the Islamic State to seize Iraqi cities.

It’s no wonder Obama wants the United States to take in some Syrian refugees — he helped create them.

Freedom Watch

Trump’s ‘Trojan Horse’ Prediction Comes True

By 11.17.15

It wasn’t rocket science. Unless one is a liberal.

The question now is simple: Will new Speaker Paul Ryan defund the Obama obsession with flooding America with Syrian refugees — after ISIS fighters hiding in the midst of these refugees turned up in Paris to help lead the slaughter of innocents? As Donald Trump predicted a month ago?

Back there in the mists of October — last month — Donald Trump said this, as the New York Post headlined:

Trump says Syrian refugees could be a ‘Trojan horse’ for ISIS

Said Trump:

“I’ve been watching this migration. And I see the people. I mean, they’re men, they’re mostly men, and they’re strong men,” Trump said on “Face the Nation.” “What I won’t do is take in 200,000 Syrians who could be ISIS.”

He went on to say of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, “What she’s done in Germany is insane. It’s insane.”

Main Street U.S.A.

In Search of a New Free-World Leader

By 11.17.15

Is Vladimir Putin the new leader of the free world?

All we currently know is that the job seems open, and that Putin has seemingly sent in his résumé, showing openness to the idea of an anti-Islamic State alliance with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

For contrast, see Barack Obama’s demeanor while talking to the press at the end of an international summit meeting in Turkey on Monday. “Mr. Obama sounded weary and defensive as he repeatedly rejected criticism of his yearlong strategy… to combat the Islamic State,” reported the New York Times. Criticism of his strategy has intensified amid the general horror over the Friday night massacres in Paris.

Previous world gatherings held against such a backdrop would have finished with a show of unity and faith — participants pledging solidarity with the leadership of the United States. Not this time.

The Nation's Pulse

Our Floundering Judicial System

By 11.17.15

“Unfairly targeted” and “disproportionately punished” appears to be the final rallying cry of the Obama administration — sort of like a grand finale after a prolonged series of duds.

As the administration’s attempted vote-solidifying storyline goes, America’s cops are unduly targeting communities that are disproportionately populated by members of the nation’s most historically oppressed constituency, aiming particularly at young males, while teachers and school administrators, allegedly employing the same racially prejudiced and gender-biased approach, are disciplining and expelling the nation’s students of color in disproportionate numbers, primarily males, for supposedly no good reason.

Continuing down the same path of purportedly righting the nation’s racial wrongs, thousands of drug dealers are now packing up and prematurely leaving the nation’s prisons as the Obama administration plays a supersized get-out-of-jail-free card by implementing the nation’s largest mass release of federal prisoners, while, simultaneously, guys who landed too many flounder are being hauled around in handcuffs to serve lengthening jail sentences.

Free Market Accountability Project

Diluting the eBay Standard Will Embolden Trolls

By 11.17.15

Patent reform is proving to be an incremental process. Congress took a big step in 2011, when it passed the America Invents Acts. Additional legislation to protect both established businesses and small entrepreneurs from unique and “innovative” forms of lawsuit abuse is pending both on Capitol Hill and in state houses around the country. The U.S. Supreme Court also delivered two decisions in 2014 that will make it easier for defendants to recover legal costs if an infringement suit is deemed frivolous.

But the work is far from over. Indeed, legislation and court rulings are credited with a 27 percent reduction in patent suits in 2014 compared to the year before. The downturn was short-lived, however, as patent suits surged again in the first half of 2015, increasing 11 percent compared to the same period in 2014. One powerful weapon for patent plaintiffs, foreign or domestic, is the injunction. That’s when a court, at its discretion, imposes a moratorium or ban on the sale or import of an alleged infringing product or component.

A Further Perspective

Why Didn’t France Close Its Borders Decades Ago?

By 11.17.15

There was a painful irony when France’s immediate response to the terrorist attacks in Paris was to close the borders. If they had closed the borders decades ago, they might have avoided this attack.

Someone once said that the First World War was the most stupid thing that European nations ever did. Countries on both sides of that war ended up worse off than before, whether they were on the winning side or the losing side.

History may yet record that an even greater stupidity, with even more catastrophic consequences in the long run, was the European nations’ decisions to import millions of people with a culture that was not merely very different, but hostile, to the culture, the values, and the people of the Western world.

Even now, people who publicly warn of the dangers can be prosecuted in various European countries under “hate speech” laws.

And what about us? When, if ever, are we going to close our borders? When will we even take control of our borders, so that we can decide who, and how many, will be admitted? Certainly not before a new president takes office in January 2017 — and maybe not even then.

The Energy Spectator

Ethanol Loses Its Few Friends

By 11.16.15

Early in his campaign, now top-tier Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson supported ethanol — a position for which I called him out. It has long been thought, that to win in Iowa, a candidate must support ethanol.

However, in a major policy reversal, Carson told a national audience during the CNBC GOP debate that he no longer supports subsidies for any industry, including U.S. ethanol producers: “I have studied that issue in great detail and what I’ve concluded, the best policy is to get rid of all government subsidies and get the government out of our lives and let people rise and fall based on how good they are.”

Special Report


By 11.16.15

For the second time this year Paris has been attacked by Muslim terrorists.

For the second time this year I went to the Boston Common to pay my respects to those who lost their lives.

For the second time this year I heard the French Consul-General to Boston express his sorrow and thank the people of Boston for their solidarity.

For the second time this year I heard the singing of La Marseillaise.

For the second time this year we made our way to the Lafayette Monument.

For the second time this year hardly anyone asked why.

When a placard featuring a peace sign was passed around for people to write messages, I simply wrote, “Pourquoi?”

Of course, I know why ISIS attacked Paris. Just as I know why the Twin Towers were attacked. Just as I know why the finish line of the Boston Marathon was attacked and just as I know why the offices of Charlie Hebdo was attacked. I suspect that most people deep down know why these attacks happen but are unwilling to say so for fear of being called racist and Islamophobic.

The Right Prescription

Little Sisters of the Poor vs. Government Almighty

By 11.16.15

The Supreme Court’s decision to hear Little Sisters of the Poor v. Burwell means that another group of Christians bedeviled by Beltway bureaucrats must beg permission from nine unelected government officials to practice their faith unmolested. This isn’t about women’s health or reproductive rights. It’s just another battle in the war on religious liberty waged by various manifestations of the state for two millennia. Whether it’s President Obama ordering his HHS secretary to bring intransigent nuns to heel or the Emperor Trajan advising a provincial governor on the proper punishment of unrepentant Christians, it’s all about worshipping the state gods.

Buy the Book

Russia’s Macho Leader Exposed

By 11.16.15

Vovochka: The True Confessions of Vladimir Putin’s Best Friend and Confidant
By Alexander J. Motyl
(Anaphora Press, 15O pages. $20)

This book is long overdue — a sendup of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the macho horseman and judo master so often photographed with rippling pecs. The reality, says this comic novel, is quite the opposite.

Author Alexander Motyl casts his eye back to university days when “Vovochka” (a child-like form of “Vova,” the diminutive of “Vladimir”) dreamed of becoming a dancer at the Bolshoi or maybe an opera singer if that failed. His dance career fizzles because of flat feet. “It’s not the love of horses as such that leads him to mount them but the love of riding instead of walking,” we learn in a flashback to his youth.

“His friends and colleagues, some of whom were his roommates in university, have testified that he often sang his favorite operatic arias while practicing pirouettes. That, they tell me, was a sight to behold!”