Obama’s Big Fat Intel Scandal

September 30, 2014

Obama at last threw the wrong people under the bus: people who know things and who know how to leak effectively. The president evidently takes a very cavalier attitude toward national security, and now those “chickens are coming home to roost.”

The XX Committee

The rise of the Islamic State* has engendered a full-blown foreign policy crisis in Washington, DC. After more than three years of an extended “Mission Accomplished” victory lap following the death of Osama Bin Laden at the hands of U.S. Navy SEALs in May 2011, the Obama White House has hit the wall with the sudden appearance of the decapitating jihadists of the Islamic State, who now control substantial chunks of both Syria and Iraq and a lot of oil to boot.

The September 2012 disaster at Benghazi ought to have been a wake-up call that Salafi jihadism was down but not out, and still bent on killing Americans, but wasn’t. Now the administration is confronted with a major problem that it’s not exactly been quick to deal with; I’ve explained how the Islamic State can be defeated, but the White House doesn’t seem to be in any big…

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DNC vice-chairwoman calls for scrapping the Constitution

September 29, 2014
Donna Brazile

Donna Brazile

Over the weekend Donna Brazile, Al Gore’s former campaign manager, current vice-chair of the Democratic National Committee, and a regular commentator apologist for the Democratic Party on CNN and other networks, made it quite clear what she –and, I assume, many of her high-ranking Democrat colleagues– think of our governing document:

Got that? The Constitution, the skeleton of our Republic and perhaps the single most successful governing scheme in history, just isn’t up to the job anymore. It can’t stop the charlatans (1), the loudmouths (2), or the filthy rich (3) from hijacking our democracy! We must have a new one to save the Republic! (4)

What really bugs Ms. Brazile and many in the Democratic leadership is that the Constitution won’t let them do everything they want to do: it’s standing in the way of what they define as “progress” — bigger, more intrusive government; cradle to grave welfare state; higher taxes; and rule by technocratic elites with only an occasional nodding obeisance to democratic accountability.

In other words, France.

Earth to Donna Brazile: that means the Constitution is doing exactly what it was designed to do — to limit power and divide sovereignty, to preserve human liberty and to prevent tyranny by preventing its increasing concentration in a few hands. As James Madison wrote in Federalist 47:

The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.

It’s actually been darned successful at that, too, which has been driving progressives such as Donna Brazile nuts for over 100 years, since the future President Wilson denounced our founding documents as obsolete in the 1890s. Convinced that they have seen the future and know its preordained course, they’ve tried mightily to ignore it, work around it, twist it, warp it…

And now call for its replacement.

Not that I’m criticizing Donna Brazile for sentiment. After all, as a free American, she has the perfect right to express her opinion. Just as I have a right to say the idea is bad and that she has strawberry jam for brains.

Truth is, I’m grateful to Ms. Brazile, Vice-Chairwoman for the Democratic National Committee. I’m glad that at last a Democrat politician is being open about what Democrat politicians really believe.

PS: Somehow I doubt that Americans really want to take the advice of someone who couldn’t figure out why her health insurance premiums went up after the passage of Obamacare.

PPS: Move went well, by the way. But now the “I finally have time to stop and breathe” exhaustion is setting in, so this is it for me today.

Footnotes:
(1) Well, true. Obama did get elected.
(2) Funny how I immediately thought of Chuck Schumer.
(3) I’m sure she includes lefty eco-loon billionaire Tom Steyer, who’s doing his level best to buy a victory for the Democrats.
(4) Pet-peeve alert: a lot of people shorthand the US as a “democracy.” No, we are not a direct democracy, as was ancient Athens. We are a democratic republic that elects representatives who vote on national issues for us. We are democratic because we have a very wide franchise, but we are not a democracy.


Blog Holiday: moving day

September 25, 2014
"Hit the road, Mrs. Robinson"

On the move

This will be the last post until Monday; Public Secrets GHQ (i.e., me) is moving to new digs on Saturday, and there’s still a buttload to do before the mover show up. and then unpacking afterwards! Wheeee!!!!

Anyway, this will be the last post until Monday. In the meantime, have a look at the fine sites listed in the sidebar on the right to get your reading fill.

In the words of the great Willie Nelson:


Worst Attorney General ever resigns

September 25, 2014
"I am not a crook!"

Go away.

Okay, maybe he’s in a tie with Nixon’s John Mitchell and Wilson’s A. Mitchell Palmer, but Eric Holder is resigning.

Attorney General Eric Holder — the first African-American to be the nation’s top cop — will announce later today that he is resigning, a Justice Department official told ABC News.

The announcement comes after nearly six years at the helm of the department that were marked by both highs and lows for a man who came in to revamp what many considered a demoralized and scandal-plagued institution.

Under Holder’s leadership, the Justice Department saw “historic gains in the areas of criminal justice reform and civil rights enforcement,” particularly on the issues of gay rights, sentencing reform and voting rights, and in the coming Holder is expected to impose new curbs on racial profiling in law enforcement, a department official told ABC News.

In a recent interview with ABC News’ Pierre Thomas, Holder described his time leading the Justice Department as “demanding” but “the honor of my professional life,” serving the American people.

“I hope I’ve done a good job,” he said. “I’ve certainly tried to do as good a job as I can. There are sacrifices that I’ve had to make, that my family has had to make.”

You want to know what a good job he’s done? Look at this:

Fast and Furious got results, all right.

Good job, Eric.

That’s the blood of Mexican teens killed at a party by cartel gunmen wielding weapons that Eric Holder Department of Justice knowingly allowed to be bought illegally in the US and be taken to Mexico as part of Operation Fast and Furious. (See also) That’s what Eric Holder “sacrificed” for.

Hell of a legacy, man.

It’s a shame I don’t have time to write about this today; Holder just makes me sick, and I would love to vent. For now, though, If you want to know more of what I think about this corrupt, racialist radical, check out my posts tagged “Eric Holder.” Also, there’s an excellent recent book about Holder’s role as Obama’s enforcer.

By all rights he should walk out of his office and into a jail cell.

UPDATE: More on Holder from J. Christian Adams, a former DoJ elections attorney — Goodbye and Good Riddance:

What can be said about Eric Holder’s six years as attorney general that PJ Media hasn’t already said? The news that Holder is going to resign should be bittersweet to anyone who cares about racial equality and the rule of law. The damage he has already done to the country leaves a turbulent wake that is ill-matched to the financial reward awaiting him at a shameless and large Washington, D.C., law firm.

Our country is more polarized and more racially divided because of Eric Holder. He turned the power of the Justice Department into a racially motivated turnout machine for the Democratic Party. That was his job in this administration, and he did it well.

Be sure to read it all. Mr. Adams is also the author of the invaluable “Injustice.”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


New Research Finds Earth Even Less Sensitive To CO2 Than Previously Thought

September 25, 2014

More bad news for climate cultists: for their theory of anthropogenic climate change to work, the man-generated CO2 pumped into the atmosphere has to play a key role in an accelerating “greenhouse” effect. Only… the data doesn’t seem to support that. Cue wails and the rending of garments.

Watts Up With That?

As first reported on WUWT yesterday via our in-flight news office over the Atlantic, climate sensitivity is now seen to be even less, thanks to the new peer reviewed paper from Nic Lewis and Judith Curry. This press release comes today via The GWPF.

Research Used Data From This Year’s IPCC 5th Assessment Report

London, 25 September: A new paper published in the prestigious journal Climate Dynamics find that the effect of carbon dioxide emissions on global temperatures is likely to be even smaller than previously thought.

Earlier this year, in a widely discussed report for the Global Warming Policy Foundation, climate researcher Nic Lewis and science writer Marcel Crok put forward a new estimate of the Earth’s climate sensitivity based on observational data, finding that it was much less alarming than suggested by computer simulations of the Earth’s climate.

Now, Lewis and well known American climate science…

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Climate Change: scratch a Green, find a Red

September 24, 2014
Watermelons

Watermelons

The anonymous photo-blogger Zombie does an invaluable service by visiting the People’s Climate March in Oakland to record for posterity the ideological core of the modern environmentalist movement: bare-naked statism in the form of totalitarian communism:

Communists along with a few environmental groups staged a “People’s Climate Rally” in Oakland, California on Sunday, September 21, in conjunction with the larger “People’s Climate March” in New York City on the same day.

Wait — did I say communists? Isn’t that a bit of an exaggeration?

Well…no.

At the New York event, many people noticed that gee, there sure are a lot of communists at this march. But in Oakland — always on the cutting edge — the entire “climate change” movement at last fully, irrevocably and overtly embraced communism as its stated goal. Any concerns about “optics” or operating in “stealth mode” were abandoned.

The “climate change” “crisis” is now nothing but the latest justification for “total revolution” and getting rid of capitalism forever.

Zombie Climate March Oakland

(Photo credit: Zombie)

Be sure to read the whole thing. Remember, it’s not about polar bears and rising seas, it’s about control.

RELATED: For more about the Socialist origins and nature of the global-warming scare, read Christopher Booker’s “The Real Global Warming Disaster” and James Delingpole’s “Watermelons.”


It’s time to stop the climate scare stories

September 23, 2014

It’s long past time to stop with the scare stories. And there’s a reason we call them “climate alarmists:” sowing fear is the only way they can cover for their lack of a rational argument.

Watts Up With That?

Using faulty computer models to forecast climate chaos condemns millions to untimely deaths

shark-global-warmingGuest opinion by Dr. Willie Soon and Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi sensibly refuses to attend yet another climate summit – this one called by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in New York for September 23, under the auspices of the United Nations, which profits handsomely from the much-exaggerated climate scare.

Environmentalists have complained at Mr. Modi’s decision not to attend. They say rising atmospheric CO2 will cause droughts, melt Himalayan ice and poison lakes and waterways in the Indian subcontinent.

However, the UN’s climate panel, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has already had to backtrack on an earlier assertion that all the ice in the Himalayas would be gone within 25 years, and the most comprehensive review of drought trends worldwide shows the global land area under drought has fallen throughout…

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#headdesk Kerry: global warming as great a threat as ISIS and ebola

September 22, 2014
We're doomed.

We’re doomed.

I have no words left, I think, to describe what a fatuous buffoon this man is, so I’ll let the Secretary of State of the United States speak for himself:

Secretary of State John Kerry said the threats posed by climate change should be addressed with as much “immediacy” as confronting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and the Ebola outbreak.

During a meeting with foreign ministers on Sunday, Kerry said global warming is creating “climate refugees.”

“We see people fighting over water in some places. There are huge challenges to food security and challenges to the ecosystem, our fisheries and … the acidification of the ocean is a challenge for all of us,” Kerry said.

“And when you accrue all of this, while we are confronting ISIL and we are confronting terrorism and we are confronting Ebola and other things, those are immediate,” he added, using an alternate acronym for the terrorist group.

“This also has an immediacy that people need to come to understand, but it has even greater longer-term consequences that can cost hundreds of billions, trillions of dollars, lives, and the security of the world,” Kerry continued.

Let’s see. Ebola is a hideous hemorrhagic disease that has already killed thousands in West Africa, may well spread further –and beyond Africa– and could become a nightmare if somehow it mutates into an airborne form.

And then we have ISIS/ISIL/The Islamic State, a more virulent form of al Qaeda that has claimed the mantle of the defunct caliphate and a divine mission to force Islam and sharia law on the rest of the world. It has killed thousands of people –men, women, and children– by shooting, beheading, crucifixion, and God knows how else. It has declared that Yazidis must convert or die. It has oppressed, killed, and stolen the property of Christians and Muslims of the “wrong sort.” It has sold women into sex slavery. It has promised to wage war on the West. (All of this is in accordance with Islamic law, btw.) If it obtains nuclear or biological weapons, there is no doubt they will use them wherever they can be deployed, inside or outside the Middle East.

Oh, and don’t forget a newly aggressive Russia, slowly dismembering Ukraine and now rattling sabers at NATO members in Eastern Europe, raising the specter of a continental war that would inevitably involve us.

But Secretary of State Kerry thinks the imaginary monster under the bed, human-caused catastrophic warming that leads to devastating climate change, is as great a threat. A bogeyman warming that has not occurred for over 215 months. Anthropogenic climate change that exists only in computer models that have trouble accurately modeling the past. (1)

Is it any wonder our (former?) allies in the Middle East have written him off as useless? This guy makes Thurston Howell III look like Klemens von Metternich.

We have over two years left of this car-clown administration. I’d better stock up on the Tylenol.

Footnote:
(1) Of course, the Earth’s climate is a dynamic, changing system. A series of natural cycles. It’s the misuse of science to perpetrate a huge fraud, man-caused catastrophic climate change, that I’m objecting to.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


In the 50-Year War on Poverty, Bureaucrats Have Won while Both Taxpayers and Poor People Have Lost

September 21, 2014

We fought the War on Poverty, and poverty and its allies in the bureaucracy won.

International Liberty

We know the welfare state is good news for people inside government. Lots of bureaucrats are required, after all, to oversee a plethora of redistribution programs.

Walter Williams refers to these paper pushers as poverty pimps, and there’s even a ranking showing which states have the greatest number of these folks who profit by creating dependency.

But does anybody else benefit from welfare programs?

Robert Rector of the Heritage Foundation explains in the Washington Times that the War on Poverty certainly hasn’t been a success for taxpayers or poor people. Instead, it’s created a costly web of dependency.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s launch of the War on Poverty. …Since then, the taxpayers have spent $22 trillion on Johnson’s war. Adjusted for inflation, that’s three times the cost of all military wars since the American Revolution. Last year, government spent $943…

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Antarctic Sea Ice Extent sets new record, pierces 20 million square kilometer barrier

September 20, 2014

But wait… I thought the polar caps were melting and the cities would flood! I’m confused! Michael Mann… Al Gore… What’s happening? This truth is so inconvenient.

Watts Up With That?

Sunshinehours reports that the Antarctic Sea Ice Extent for September 19th, 2014 is 20.11297 million square kilometers,
which is 1,535,000 sq km above the 1981-2010 climatological mean.

Another 58,000 sq km. was added since yesterday, making it the 7th All-Time Record in 7 Days.

This new record is 610,000 sq km higher than the previous daily record. The red line represents 2014 data.

antarctic_sea_ice_extent_zoomed_2014_day_261_1981-2010[1] Data for Day 261. Data source: ftp://sidads.colorado.edu/DATASETS/NOAA/G02135/south/daily/data/

NSIDC concurs:

S_stddev_timeseries[1]A look at the data presented by NSIDC as it would be from space if there were no clouds:

Antarctics-NSIDC-sept19-2014-maph/t to Thomas Wysmuller

More data on the WUWT Sea Ice page

UPDATE: Andres Valencia reports in comments:

The University of Bremen (The new satellite “Shizuku”, AMSR2 sensor) will have to rescale their plots:

extent_s_running_mean_amsr2_previous[1]

Source: http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr2/extent_s_running_mean_amsr2_previous.png

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First a master race, now a master faith

September 19, 2014

 

Sympatico

Sympatico

Via Jihad Watch, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu describes clearly the intellectual parallel between a certain mid-20th century totalitarianism and Islamic supremacism:

In a speech on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu compared Islamist terrorist groups such as ISIS, Hamas and Hezbollah to Nazis: “We know this. We’ve seen this before. There’s a master race; now there’s a master faith.”

“The tactics are uniform. Terror first of all against your own people,” Netanyahu told attendees at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism’s (ICT) 14th annual conference held at Herzliya, an Israeli technology center located about six miles north of Tel Aviv.

“There’s a master race; now there’s a master faith. And that allows you to do anything to anyone, but first of all to your own people and then to everyone else,” Netanyahu continued, in a reference to Nazi ideology stemming from Adolf Hitler’s belief, detailed in his speeches and writings, that Aryans were the “master race.”

“And what do you do to everyone else? For that you use new techniques. And the new techniques involve first of all, taking over civilian populations, putting yourself inside civilian areas, contravening the laws of war and the Geneva Convention; using your people as human shields, the same people you execute; and then firing indiscriminately at civilians. You hide behind civilians, you fire on civilians. And you fire rockets and missiles.

And then he touches on the essential moral difference between Western civilization and that of the jihadists:

“All of Israel mourned on September 11th. In Gaza, they were dancing on the roofs. They were handing out candy,” Netanyahu said. “That’s the moral divide. We mourn; they celebrate the death of thousands of innocents.

Netanyahu’s analysis is similar to the argument made by Natan Sharansky in his “The Case for Democracy:” that there is a fundamental divide between free societies, largely those of the West, and fear societies, such as those wherever sharia rules. Sharansky calls on leaders to have the moral clarity to see the difference between the two, and the moral courage to act accordingly.

Would that all Western leaders had the moral clarity of Mr. Netanyahu.

PS: The photo, by the way, is of Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and a virulent hater of Jews. He and Hitler got along quite swimmingly, and the Husseini even organized Islamic auxiliary troops for the Nazis in the Balkans. He was also Yasser Arafat’s uncle. Wonderful family.


Statist Policy and the Great Depression

September 18, 2014

A useful corrective to the liberal myth-making that surrounds the Great Depression

International Liberty

It’s difficult to promote good economic policy when some policy makers have a deeply flawed grasp of history.

This is why I’ve tried to educate people, for instance, that government intervention bears the blame for the 2008 financial crisis, not capitalism or deregulation.

Going back in time, I’ve also explained the truth about “sweatshops” and “robber barons.”

But one of the biggest challenges is correcting the mythology that capitalism caused the Great Depression and that government pulled the economy out of its tailspin.

To help correct the record, I’ve shared a superb video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity that discusses the failed statist policies of both Hoover and Roosevelt.

Now, to augment that analysis, we have a video from Learn Liberty. Narrated by Professor Stephen Davies, it punctures several of the myths about government policy in the 1930s.

Professors Davies is right on the…

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Another benefit of climate change and increased CO2 – trees continue to grow at a faster rate

September 17, 2014

CO2: it’s not a demon threatening to destroy the Earth — it’s just plant food.

Watts Up With That?

WUWT readers may recall this WUWT story from 2011: The Earth’s biosphere is booming, data suggests that CO2 is the cause, part 2

Image: data from SEAWIFS showing vegetation chlorophyll and change. Source: http://oceancolor.gsfc.nasa.gov/SeaWiFS/BACKGROUND/Gallery/ Image: data from SEAWIFS showing vegetation chlorophyll and change. Source: http://oceancolor.gsfc.nasa.gov/SeaWiFS/BACKGROUND/Gallery/

Now there is even more evidence. From From Technische Universität München: Study highlights forest growth trends from 1870 to the present- Global change: Trees continue to grow at a faster rate

“…scientists are putting the growth acceleration down to rising temperatures and the extended growing season. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen are other factors contributing to the faster growth.”

Cynthia Schäfer and Eric Thurm, doctoral candidates at the Chair for Forest Growth and Yield, take a growth ring sample from an experimental plot tree. Cynthia Schäfer and Eric Thurm, doctoral candidates at the Chair for Forest Growth and Yield, take a growth ring sample from an experimental plot tree.
Cynthia Schäfer and Eric Thurm, doctoral candidates at the Chair for Forest Growth and Yield, take a growth ring sample from an experimental plot tree. (Photo: L. Steinacker / TUM)

17.09.2014,  Research news

Trees have been growing significantly faster since the 1960s. The typical development phases of trees and stands have barely changed, but they have…

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Progressive victory: since 2008, Illinois has created more food-stamp recipients than jobs

September 16, 2014

seal of Illinois

Another mile-marker on the road to state financial collapse, courtesy of the Big Government Liberalism:

Illinois’ sluggish jobs recovery is coming at a tremendous cost. For every post-recession job created in Illinois, nearly two people have enrolled in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps.

In the recession era, the number of Illinoisans dependent on food stamps has risen by 745,000. Without adequate job creation in the state, Illinois families have had no choice but to depend upon food stamps to put bread on the table.

The Prairie State has had the worst recovery from the Great Recession of any state in the U.S. There are nearly 300,000 fewer Illinoisans working today than in January 2008, and 170,000 fewer payroll jobs.

This couldn’t be the result of a decades-long toxic mix of progressive government and Big Labor exploiting the heck out of taxpayers and creating a corrupt, over-regulated mess that has the most productive people and companies fleeing the state, could it?

Nah. What happened in Detroit was mere coincidence.

Scary thing is, California isn’t all that far behind them.

via… Someone on Twitter. Sorry, lost the link.


On the contrary, Mr. Cameron, ISIS *is* Islamic

September 15, 2014
Seal of the new Caliphate

Seal of the new Caliphate

Sigh. What was I saying the other day about our leaders being in denial? Right on cue, the UK’s Prime Minister provides a stunning example:

“They (ISIL/ISIS) are killing and slaughtering thousands of people, Muslims, Christians, minorities across Iraq and Syria,” Cameron said of ISIS. “They boast of their brutality. They claim to do this in the name of Islam. That is nonsense. Islam is a religion of peace.”

“They are not Muslims. They are monsters. They make no secret of their desire to do as much harm not just in the Middle East, but to any countries or peoples who seek to stand in their way or dare to stand for values they disagree with.”

No, Prime Minister, Islam is not a religion of peace. Its founder commands unending war against the unbelievers (that’s us, by the way) until “all religion is for Allah” and sharia law is imposed on us all. It has been the most consistently aggressive religion of the last 1,400 years, because its sacred texts (the Qur’an, the hadiths) and tafsir (learned commentary) repeatedly command and endorse aggression against non-Muslims. As Roger Simon wrote:

The Islamic State is not only Islamic, it is the very paradigm of Islam, Islam distilled to its essence as practiced by Mohammed, massacring local tribes, raping and enslaving their women, and making war against everyone in his way until he had subdued as much of Arabia as possible.  Who knows how many beheadings were involved, but can we assume the total significantly outstrips the Islamic State’s, at least for now ?  Islam is far from the only violent religion — almost all have had their moments — but it is unquestionably the most unremittingly so.  If Islam is said to have been hijacked, it is not by the thugs of the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIS, al Qaeda, al Nusra, Ansar al Islam, Ansar al Sharia, al Shabaab, Boko Haram, Jemaah Islamiyah, Hamas, Hezbollah and on and on.  They are the true practitioners of the faith, following in the footsteps of Mohammed and obeying the prescriptions of the Koran and the Hadith to make the whole world Islamic or else. They don’t need to communicate with each other.  They just  do their thing, because the playbook has been written for them and they have studied it well.  It is they who have been temporarily hijacked by a few whirling pacifistic Sufis or other moderate outliers before getting down to the unfinished  business of finally crashing through the Gates of Vienna or defeating Charles Martel at Toulouse and returning Al Andaluz to its rightful owners.  As one will recall, that was the stated intention of the al Qaeda maniacs who blew up the train at Madrid’s Atocha station just a few years ago.

It goes without saying that not all Muslims are monsters like the jihadis of ISIS, al Qaeda, and so many other jihad groups. But neither is it impossible to be both a Muslim and a monster. Stalin, for example, killed thousands of Socialists, but that did not make him any less of a Socialist for also being a monster.

ISIS is Islamic. What it isn’t is shy about acting on its Islamic beliefs.

RELATED: Many Muslims, jihadist or otherwise, hope for the return of the caliphate, abolished with the end of the Ottoman Empire after World War One. They see its end as the great disaster of the Muslim world. If you want to know what its return would mean for non-Muslims in such a world, I suggest you read this piece about the Armenian Genocide. Hint: the Ottomans made ISIS look like amateurs.


#Benghazi: Did Hillary Clinton staffers have a shredding party?

September 15, 2014
American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

American Blood, US Consulate, Benghazi

Oh, man. If this is trueif!— the potential damage to Hillary’s presidential campaign coronation could be immense, if not fatal:

As the House Select Committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to “separate” damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

According to former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, the after-hours session took place over a weekend in a basement operations-type center at State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. This is the first time Maxwell has publicly come forward with the story.

At the time, Maxwell was a leader in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, which was charged with collecting emails and documents relevant to the Benghazi probe.

Maxwell says the weekend document session was held in the basement of the State Department’s Foggy Bottom headquarters in a room underneath the “jogger’s entrance.” He describes it as a large space, outfitted with computers and big screen monitors, intended for emergency planning, and with small offices on the periphery.

When he arrived, Maxwell says he observed boxes and stacks of documents. He says a State Department office director, whom Maxwell described as close to Clinton’s top advisers, was there. Though the office director technically worked for him, Maxwell says he wasn’t consulted about her weekend assignment.

“She told me, ‘Ray, we are to go through these stacks and pull out anything that might put anybody in the [Near Eastern Affairs] front office or the seventh floor in a bad light,’” says Maxwell. He says “seventh floor” was State Department shorthand for then-Secretary of State Clinton and her principal advisers.

“I asked her, ‘But isn’t that unethical?’ She responded, ‘Ray, those are our orders.’ ”

A few minutes after he arrived, Maxwell says, in walked two high-ranking State Department officials.

The “two high-ranking officials,” per Maxwell, were Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s Deputy Chief of Staff, and Cheryl Mills, her Chief of Staff. The latter is very significant, as Mills is known for being a hard core Hillary loyalist and her “fixer.” (For more on Cheryl Mills, see here and here.) And here we now have the former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs asserting that he stumbled into scrubbing party meant to protect Hillary.

These documents had been demanded by the Accountability Review Board looking into the Benghazi massacre. One wonders, now, if they did see everything, or did they receive a carefully scrubbed “Reader’s Digest” version.

It should be noted that Mr. Maxwell was one of those held accountable by the ARB for Benghazi and was on administrative leave for a year with pay before retiring. Though later cleared and never punished by State, his name was traduced in the press at the time, so a revenge motive has to be kept in mind.

But, that does not make what he claims untrue. Nor does it make it true, but it does most certainly make it something Rep. Trey Gowdy’s Select Committee will want to dig into deeply. As Brut Hume put it:

Oh, yeah.

via Twitchy


California school district buys $14,000 espresso maker to save jobs. Or something.

September 15, 2014
"For the children?"

“For the children?”

No, really.

The break room coffee machine is a staple of many a workplace. Usually though, it tends to fall on the “economical” or “value” side of the java spectrum.

But not in Castro Valley, California, where officials with the Castro Valley Unified School District are taking fire for the purchase of a $14,000 espresso maker.

The outrage was immediate. According to KPIX News in San Francisco, the school board’s facebook page was flooded with angry comments when word of the pricey espresso maker – paid for with taxpayer money – got out.

According to a school board official, buying the espresso machine was “an opportunity” to keep a part-time child nutritionist on staff. If you can’t see that, you must hate the children.

Though how a $14,000 espresso maker for the staff and child nutrition go together is a bit baffling. When I was in fourth grade, we were served chocolate milk, not a double shot.

And for an additional fourteen grand per year, maybe they could have made that nutritionist full-time? Or used it to… Oh, I don’t know. Buy new textbooks and school supplies for the kids?

Silly me. I guess a Mr. Coffee is just too déclassé for the Castro Valley school board.

Can’t wait to see the board members justify this to the voters.

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Prof Bob Carter warns of unpreparedness for Global Cooling

September 14, 2014

No, I’ve not become a cold-climate alarmist, but I do think a long-term cooling is more likely than continued warming, simply based on the cycles and the Sun’s behavioral history. And long-term cooling is much harder on humanity than a gradual warming, increased crop failures being an example. Carter wrote an excellent survey of the skeptical case – Climate: the counter-consensus.

Watts Up With That?

HadCRUT_cooling from 2001

Eric Worrall writes:

Professor Bob Carter, writing in today’s edition of The Australian, a major Aussie daily newspaper, warns that the world is unprepared for imminent global cooling, because of the obsession of policy makers with global warming.

According to Bob Carter;

Heading for ice age

“GRAHAM Lloyd has reported on the Bureau of Meteorology’s capitulation to scientific criticism that it should publish an accounting of the corrections it makes to temperature records (“Bureau warms to transparency over adjusted records”, 12/9). Corrections which, furthermore, act to reinforce the bureau’s dedication to a prognosis of future dangerous global warming, by turning cooling temperature trends into warming ones — a practice also known to occur in the US, Britain and New Zealand.

Meanwhile, we have a report by Sue Neales that the size of our grain harvest remains in doubt following severe frosts in southern NSW killing large areas of early…

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Why do our leaders insist on saying the Islamic State is “not Islamic?”

September 13, 2014
Seal of the new Caliphate

Seal of the new Caliphate

In a more general sense, this is something that’s been happening since the days right after 9/11: American leaders insisting that the actions of jihadists do not represent “true” Islam. It’s utter nonsense, of course; in fact, one can argue that the jihadists are practicing the faith exactly as Muhammad intended, following his example. (Warning, gruesome photos)

And yet our leaders, both under Presidents Bush II and Obama, continue to insist that the actions of al Qaeda and, now, the Islamic State, really aren’t Islamic. President Obama provided the latest example during his address to the nation the other night:

Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL (sic) is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents. [1] And the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim.

Why the obfuscation? The leaders of al Qaeda, the late, unlamented Osama bin Laden and his successor, Dr. Zawahiri, were both very well schooled in Islam. The caliph of the new Islamic State himself has a PhD in Islamic Studies. Until some serious Muslim scholars show why the jihadists are wrong in their understanding of the Qur’an, the hadiths, and the tafsir (learned commentary stretching back over 1,000 years)  –which hasn’t happened yet!– it is safe to assume these guys know what they’re talking about.

So why the insistence that a spade really isn’t a spade?

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy hits the mark, I think: governments and intellectual leaders are married to a strategy of relying on “moderate Islamists” —such as the Muslim Brotherhood!!— to tame the fires burning the Middle East and threatening us all. And it is delusional:

There is a reason they are taking a position diametrically opposed to reality.

Obama and Kerry, like transnational progressives in both of our major political parties, believe there are “moderate Islamists” who are the key to stability in the Middle East. Now, the term “moderate Islamist” is contradictory: an Islamist wants government by sharia, Islam’s totalitarian societal framework and legal code. There is nothing moderate about sharia. Those who want it implemented are not “moderates” even if they don’t commit mass-murder to get their way. Sharia is also anti-liberty, anti-equality, and anti-Western. Therefore, we should oppose Islamism just as we oppose other freedom-killing ideologies. That doesn’t mean we need to go to war with all Islamists, but we should work to diminish their influence and we should never regard them as a solution to anything.

Notwithstanding their abhorrence of the West, “moderate Islamists” are regarded by Obama and Kerry as potential allies: people, groups, and, in the case of Turkey, for example, countries that we can work with to solve the problems plaguing the Middle East and overcome our own security challenges. It is thus critically important to Obama and Kerry for the public to believe that (a) all Islamists are not basically the same and (b) there is a sharp difference — a day-and-night difference — between “moderate Islamists” and terrorist organizations like the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. If, instead, the public becomes convinced that all Islamists, violent or non-violent, adhere to essentially the same ideology, the administration’s goal of working with Islamic supremacists becomes politically untenable.

(…)

It is vital to Obama and Kerry that the public sees these Islamist groups as having nothing in common with the Islamic State and al-Qaeda. And since the latter, like the “moderate Islamists,” define themselves by their adherence to Islam, Obama and Kerry have no alternative: They must deny them standing as true Muslims. That is why they assert that the claim of Islamic State jihadists to be faithful Muslims waging holy war in the name of Islam is fraudulent — and, just as ridiculously, they assert that jihad has nothing to do with violence.

The problem, of course, is that “moderate Islamists” and violent jihadists are bound together by sharia-based Islamic ideology. Yes, they have their differences, but those differences are mainly about tactics; and, to the limited extent they are doctrinal, they are irrelevant as far as we are concerned because the differences do not affect the core Islamist belief that we are the enemy.

(Emphasis added, and be sure to read the whole thing.)

This refusal to face reality has been driving me nuts since September 11th, 2001. This isn’t to say every Muslim is a violent jihadist or wants to impose sharia on us all — far from it. But support for both is far higher in the Islamic world than apologists would like to admit, and the jihadists, whether the patient ones of the Muslim Brotherhood or the action-now crowd of al Qaeda and the Islamic State, have an ideology rooted solidly in Islam’s sacred texts. And it has an appeal to disaffected Muslims and converts to Islam around the globe, as the numbers of people joining the Islamic State shows.

Until we deal with this religious-ideological foundation for jihadism, and until our leaders are honest with themselves and us about the nature of the problem –Islam’s aggressive and totalitarian nature– we will continue to fight with one hand tied behind our back and one eye closed, misdiagnosing the problem and prescribing the wrong solutions.

That’s no way to win a war.

RELATED: Jonah Goldberg on “Is the Islamic State really not Islamic?” Robert Spencer on “Five Non-Muslims Who Know More About Islam than the Caliph of the Islamic State.” Michael Ledeen asks “Why do they join the jihad?”

Footnote:
(1) The Devil is in the details. In this case, the definition of “innocents.”


Climate Craziness of the week: “We Have Five Years to Stop Building Coal Plants and Gas-Powered Cars”

September 12, 2014

With the facts refusing to cooperate, climate alarmists have but one other argument: scare-mongering.

Watts Up With That?

Written by Stephen Leahy at “motherboard”

Here’s the frightening implication of a landmark study on carbon emissions: By 2018, no new cars, homes, schools, factories, or electrical power plants should be built anywhere in the world, ever again, unless they’re either replacements for old ones or carbon neutral. Otherwise greenhouse gas emissions will push global warming past 2˚C of temperature rise worldwide, threatening the survival of many people currently living on the planet.

Every climate expert will tell you we’re on a tight carbon budget as it is—that only so many tons of carbon dioxide can be pumped into the atmosphere before the global climate will overheat. We’ve already warmed temperatures 0.85˚C from pre-industrial levels, and the number rises every year. While no one thinks 2˚ C is safe, per se, it’s safer than going even higher and running the risk that global warming will spiral out of our control completely.

Last year, the latest Intergovernmental…

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