I made this point in a casual bloggy way, so I’m very glad to see it made more rigorously by a highly regarded author and commentator. In Time, Fareed Zakaria punctures the notion that the Saudis are the Mideastern ally which must be catered to (this has become a new neocon meme, especially useful for those who want to downplay the Israel lobby’s role in influencing American Mideast policy.) Key Zakaria graf: If there were a prize for Most Irresponsible Foreign Policy it would surely be awarded to Saudi Arabia. It is the nation most responsible for the rise of Islamic
Environmentalist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. kept secret diaries that were found by his wife, Mary, who committed suicide last year in the midst of a contentious divorce. The Post, which was provided copies of the journals by a source, previously reported how the volumes detailed RFK’s “lust demons” while chronicling his sexual conquests with 37 women. Now, newly revealed entries show the family’s reaction to JFK Jr.’s death in 1999. The tragic death of John F. Kennedy Jr. was marked by deep sorrow — and intense family bickering over the funerals before the bodies were even recovered, according to Robert F.
How Americans see President Obama changed in an important way this week. It’s because there is a huge difference between lies and bulls – - t. Obama says a lot of things that are not true, even nonsensical. But it’s easy to shrug off most of these, because they aren’t really lies. They’re just bulls – - t. Bulls – - t is airy, meaningless drivel, the stuff that campaigns are made of. Or it’s a misleading oversimplification with hidden qualifiers. Not only do we forgive bulls – - t, we like it. Especially suckers who have far too high an opinion
Now we know why Mayor Rob Ford refused to have an official driver. Who would want a chauffeur at the wheel — with long ears and beady eyes — during all those mystifying late-night peregrinations around the city: pulling over in parking lots, gas stations, Tim Hortons, near high schools; the rambles down isolated pathways, left strewn with empty vodka bottles and juice boxes? Who would want a witness — insufficiently trustworthy — to twitchy transactions, packages and manila envelopes exchanged between a chief magistrate and his bagman, content of the goods unknown, though bird-dogging cops noted the behavior certainly
It’s a sign of just how fast the balance of world power is shifting, that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin oversaw a huge exercise of Russia’s nuclear forces this Wednesday, involving — as the AP reported – “multiple test launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles, a formidable demonstration of Russia’s resurgent military power.” This follows the entry of Russian warships into the Mediterranean, concurrent with the Russia-brokered deal to relieve Syria’s Assad regime of its chemical weapons, at the cost of relieving the U.S. of any real influence in what might come next. That followed the biggest war games launched by the
Nicolas Maduro has so far managed to mostly avoid the showy expropriations of which his predecessor Hugo Chavez was so very fond in times of political need, but the rapidly deteriorating social and economic situation in Venezuela is moving toward a desperate-times, desperate-measures scenario for the new Venezuelan leader. The socialist country relies on oil for almost all of its exports and about half of its government revenue, but their lately dwindling production capacity is a reflection — not of dwindling supply (indeed, they some of the world’s largest proven reserves) – but rather of dwindling investment in their shady
Political scientists and military strategists have tried to define a new grand strategy for America since the end of the Cold War. Despite repeated efforts, the results have not been compelling, perhaps because they start from the wrong premise about America´s continued global role. The chaotic global political situation we face now, with clashing values and interests, is not the same as a military threat to freedom from hostile totalitarian regimes against whom we could lead and defend. In the current situation, we are just another contender for power, one whose ideas, no matter how exceptional, are often greeted with
President Obama calls them “substandard” insurance plans. But to many of the people who bought individual insurance policies that are now being canceled under the Affordable Care Act, their choice of insurance was a prudent decision that met their needs at a price that will be hard to beat under the ACA. Jim Stadler is one of the “5 percenters”—the 5% of Americans with health insurance policies they purchased on their own—who got notified recently that their carrier was canceling coverage because it didn’t meet the tougher new minimum requirements of the ACA. Stadler, a freelance writer who lives outside
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and his Republican colleagues won the shutdown drama in October. However, the effects are still gradually rippling through the electorate. And the full results will depend upon Republicans understanding the strategy (they don´t) and continuing to implement conservatives´ obvious plan consistently for maximum impact (unlikely). Approval has dropped five percent for President Barack Obama since the October government shutdown, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal opinion survey. Obama´s disapproval rating has reached a toxic 51 percent -- as even Obama-worshiping NBC News admits. Over 50 percent of voters disapproving is considered fatal for an incumbent
NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. – Thirty-five years after Love Canal´s oozing toxic waste scared away a neighborhood and became a symbol of environmental catastrophe, history could be repeating itself. New residents, attracted by promises of cleaned-up land and affordable homes, say in lawsuits that they are being sickened by the same buried chemicals from the disaster in the Niagara Falls neighborhood in the 1970s. "We´re stuck here. We want to get out," said 34-year-old Dan Reynolds, adding that he´s been plagued by mysterious rashes and other ailments since he moved into the four-bedroom home purchased a decade ago for $39,900.
CHICAGO -- Listen to the many harrowing stories of war, suffering and survival, all under one roof: On the third floor, there´s Margie. A prisoner of Nazi labor camps, she hauled backbreaking cement bags and was beaten with clubs. Sometimes, she had only a piece of bread to eat every other day. She weighed 56 pounds when she was freed. Down the hall, there´s Edith. Though pregnant, she miraculously avoided the gas chamber at Auschwitz. She lost her mother, father and husband in the camps. After liberation, she faced even more heartbreak: Her son died days after his birth. Up on the eighth
The Benghazi whistleblower whose new book details massive security failures in the run-up to the September 11, 2012 attacks denies he wrote an incident report made public this week that undermines key details in his memoir. The debate over the Obama administration’s actions before and after the attack on the U.S. mission was reignited following an Oct. 27 60 Minutes report featuring an interview with Morgan Jones, a pseudonym for a British security contractor who trained and advised the local Libyan guard force for the U.S. mission in Benghazi. Jones’s book, The Embassy House, was released two days later and
ISLAMABAD -- The Pakistani government Saturday accused the U.S. of sabotaging peace talks with domestic Taliban fighters by killing their leader in a drone strike, as the militants began the process of choosing a successor. The rise in tension, even though the U.S. took out Pakistan´s No. 1 enemy, shows just how complicated the relationship between the professed allies can be. The two repeatedly have clashed over issues such as drone strikes and Pakistan´s alleged support for militants fighting U.S. troops in neighboring Afghanistan. The Pakistani Taliban leader slain Friday, Hakimullah Mehsud, was a ruthless figure known for a deadly attack on
On Monday, November 4th, an Egyptian Triple Seven elite military force helicopter will transport former Egyptian president, Mohammed Morsi, out of secret hiding where he has been held in custody by authorities since July 3rd this year. Morsi will be flown to a courtroom inside Toro Police School to begin his trial for high treason and other suspected crimes. On the eve of his political career and presidential candidacy, Morsi sat in prison awaiting trial for spying against Egypt. Now he is accused of continuing these efforts during his presidency. According to Egyptian news agencies, Morsi recently notified his family that
It is a well-known fact that Ronald Reagan’s military buildup in the 1980s was largely intended to force the Soviet Union to spend money it didn’t have on weapons it didn’t need. The goal? Bankrupting the Soviet Union [SNIP]Thus, for the past 30 years, forces have been at work to undermine America in just the way that Reagan undermined the Soviet Union. Not in an arms race, because America has no stomach for war any longer — not after one failed venture after another — but by using a cunning strategy that cannot fail to bring us to our knees
While Barack Obama’s grotesque lie, “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it!” haunts millions of Americans who are learning first-hand that the exact opposite is true, The One, in concert with corrupt RINOS and Democrats (whom are automatically understood to be universally corrupt), is counting on another WHOPPER to codify his amnesty nightmare into federal law. With respect to amnesty, the equivalent Obama lie is, “Once we pass reform (AKA, Amnesty), we will secure the borders!) Translated: If you like American sovereignty, language, and culture you CAN KEEP IT——if you pass amnesty!
I suppose liberal politicians have to operate by the philosophy that if you want to make an omelet, you have to break a few eggs. But 15.8 million of them? That´s a lot of broken eggs - even through the White House spin masters don´t want you to look at it that way. During the past few weeks, hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of Americans have been notified that they are being dropped from the health insurance coverages they have now. Some may remember President Barack Obama´s promises, made over and over again, that if you like the insurance you have, Obamacare
There is widespread fury at the lies which were used to sell ObamaCare, a more than 2,000-page piece of legislation no one read before it was passed, a law opposed by the majority of voters which was crammed down our throats without a single Republican vote. The law essentially was a mishmash blank slate which left it to the administration´s HHS head, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to write as she pleased and the president to -- by Executive order -- pay off with exemptions and special treatment those cronies and rent seekers not already paid off in the legislative and regulatory
Just seven years ago, if someone had told me that I´d be writing for Christianity Today magazine about how I came to believe in God, I would have laughed out loud. If there was one thing in which I was completely secure, it was that I would never adhere to any religion—especially to evangelical Christianity, which I held in particular contempt. I grew up in the Episcopal Church in Alaska, but my belief was superficial and flimsy. It was borrowed from my archaeologist father, who was so brilliant he taught himself to speak and read Russian.
Beirut – In the midst of a conflict rife with sectarianism, a giant bronze statue of Jesus has gone up on a Syrian mountain, apparently under cover of a truce among three factions in the country´s civil war. Jesus stands, arms outstretched, on the Cherubim mountain, overlooking a route pilgrims took from Constantinople to Jerusalem in ancient times. The statue is 40 feet tall and stands on a base that brings its height to 105 feet, organizers of the project estimate. That the statue made it to Syria and went up without incident on Oct. 14 is remarkable. The project took eight
DAKAR, Senegal — Gunmen abducted and killed two French radio journalists on assignment in northern Mali on Saturday, French and Malian officials said, grabbing the pair as they left the home of a rebel leader. The deaths come four days after France rejoiced at the release of four of its citizens who had been held for three years by al-Qaida’s affiliate in North Africa. It was not immediately clear who had slain the French journalists. France launched a military intervention in January in its former colony to try and oust jihadists from power in Kidal and other towns across northern
With Obamacare rapidly turning into the debacle that Republicans always warned it would be, it is entertaining to watch Democrats furiously trying to spin reality away. This piece by Todd Purdum in Politico is a classic of the genre: “The Obamacare sabotage campaign.” It’s all the Republicans’ fault, don’t you know: To the undisputed reasons for Obamacare’s rocky rollout — a balky website, muddied White House messaging and sudden sticker shock for individuals forced to buy more expensive health insurance — add a less acknowledged cause: calculated sabotage by Republicans at every step. That may sound like a left-wing conspiracy
For the past few days I have been regretting my inability to sell two op-eds I wrote when Barack Obama was first running for president. (Snip) The other unpublished op-ed, however, is more to the point of the present moment. It was based on Obama’s answer to the usual campaign question: “Why do you want to be president?” His answer, which I can no longer find to quote verbatim, had to do with how inspiring it would be to black children to see him sworn in on Inauguration Day. That, I wrote at the time, is not a reason to be president. It’s a reason to play the president,
Des Moines, Iowa - Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York is urging his former Senate colleague, Hillary Rodham Clinton, to run for president. In fact, he´s already endorsing her. Schumer, the third-ranking Democratic member of the Senate, endorsed the former secretary of state during the party´s annual Jefferson Jackson dinner, joining a chorus of Democrats calling on Clinton to run again. In remarks prepared for delivery to the crowd of 750 Democratic supporters, he says that with Clinton, the party can "vanquish the Ted Cruz, tea party Republicans in 2016." "It´s time for a woman to be president,"
“All we´ve been hearing the last three years is if you like your policy you can keep it. ... I´m infuriated because I was lied to,” one woman told the Los Angeles Times as part of a story on how some middle-class Californians have been stunned to learn the real costs of ObamaCare. And that lie looks like the biggest lie about domestic policy ever uttered by a U.S. president. The most famous presidential lies have to do with misconduct (Richard Nixon´s “I am not a crook” or Bill Clinton´s “I did not have sexual relations”) or war.
DALLAS — When the executive director of former President George W. Bush’s public policy institute decided to move on recently, he stopped by for an exit interview. Mr. Bush asked if he had anything in particular he wanted to talk about. Nothing specific, said James K. Glassman, the departing director. “O.K.,” Mr. Bush replied, “I want to talk about painting.” After early self-portraits in the shower and then dozens of paintings of dogs and cats, Mr. Bush, it seems, has now moved on to world leaders. He told Mr. Glassman that he wanted to produce portraits of 19 foreign presidents