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Saturday, February 6, 2016

New poll shows Rubio closing in on Trump in N.H.




By James Pindell

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Front-runner Donald Trump holds a nearly 10 percentage point lead over his rivals in New Hampshire’s Republican primary race, but Senator Marco Rubio is closing the gap in the final days, according to a new poll released Friday.

Twenty-nine percent of voters surveyed said they backed Trump, and Rubio of Florida took second place with 19 percent. That’s the highest level of support Rubio has shown in any public survey since Trump entered the race in the summer.

 The Suffolk University/Boston Globe survey also showed former secretary of state Hillary Clinton in striking distance of Senator Bernie Sanders, who has a 9 percentage point lead in the Democratic primary.

A sizable majority of Democrats seem to have made up their minds, and a smaller portion of Republican voters questioned said they were certain of their choice in Tuesday’s primary. While 33 percent of Republicans in the poll said they could change their minds over the closing weekend, just 13 percent of Democrats said the same.

In the Republican race, Ohio Governor John Kasich placed third in the poll with 13 percent, former Florida governor Jeb Bush had 10 percent , US Senator Ted Cruz had 7 percent, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie fell to 5 percent, and Ben Carson had 4 percent.

Cruz won Monday’s Iowa caucuses, while Trump had a disappointing second-place finish, and Rubio finished closely in third.

“What a difference a caucus makes,” said David Paleologos, director of the Political Research Center at Suffolk University. “By exceeding expectations in Iowa, Marco Rubio is converting likability to electability, even more so than Ted Cruz, who, like many conservative Iowa winners of the past like Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, can’t seem to convert an Iowa win into a major showing in New Hampshire.”

Trump has led every poll of the New Hampshire primary since he announced his campaign.

The poll also showed that Sanders, who is from neighboring Vermont, leads Clinton, 50 percent to 41 percent, with 8 percent undecided.

The key factor contributing to Sanders’ lead over Clinton is his advantage among independent voters, who favor him over Clinton, 57 percent to 30 percent. Sanders also leads among men, 59 percent to 30 percent, and in the areas along the Vermont state line, 60 percent to 32 percent


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Why did three Muslim terrorists kill Hadar Cohen?

                                          Hadar Cohen



     
Why did three Muslim terrorists kill Hadar Cohen?

They did so because in 622 the Prophet Muhammad moved from Mecca to Medina and created the supremacist ideology of political Islam.  It is as simple as that.  No n-state solution  will make any difference in their determination to fulfill the demands of this ideology.

Of course, you will not hear this explanation from most of our politicians and journalists because  neither our politicians nor the journalists have done  their homework.   It is the ugly world of ignorance and political correctness  - a euphemism for political cowardice.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Obama just made Iran’s brutal regime stronger




“Evident victory!”

This is how Iranian President Hassan Rouhani describes the diplomatic swindle, known as the “Iran nuclear deal.”

The Koranic term (in Arabic Fatah al-Mobin) refers to one of Prophet Mohammed’s successful guerrilla raids on a Meccan caravan in the early days of Islam.

Rouhani claims the “deal” represents “the greatest diplomatic victory in Islamic history.” Leaving aside the hyperbole, a fixture of the mullahs’ rhetorical arsenal, Rouhani has reason to crow.

If not quite moribund as some analysts claim, the Islamic Republic had been in a rough patch for years.

For more than a year, the government was unable to pay some of the 5.2 million public sector employees, notably teachers, petrochemical workers and students on bursaries, triggering numerous strikes.

Deprived of urgently needed investment, the Iranian oil industry was pushed to the edge with its biggest oil fields, notably Bibi Hakimeh and Maroun, producing less than half their capacity.

Between 2012 and 2015, Iran lost 25% of its share in the global oil market.

Sanctions and lack of investment also meant that large chunks of Iranian industry, dependent on imported parts, went under. In 2015 Iran lost an average of 1,000 jobs a day.

Last month, the nation’s currency, the rial, fell to an all-time record low while negative economic growth was forecast for the third consecutive year.

Having increased the military budget by 21%, Rouhani was forced to delay presentation of his new budget for the Iranian New Year starting March 21.

Against that background that Obama rode to the rescue by pushing through a “deal” designed to ease pressure on Iran in exchange for nothing but verbal promises from Tehran. Here is some of what Obama did:

·         Dropped demands that Iran reshape its nuclear program to make sure it can never acquire a military dimension. As head of Iranian Atomic Energy Agency Ali Akbar Salehi has said: “Our nuclear project remains intact. The ‘deal’ does not prevent us from doing what we were doing.”

·         He suspended a raft of sanctions and pressured the European Union and the United Nations to do the same.

·         He injected a badly needed $1.7 billion into Iranian economy by releasing assets frozen under President Jimmy Carter and kept as possible compensation for Americans held hostage at different times. The cash enabled Rouhani to start paying some unpaid salaries in Iran while financing Hezbollah branches and helping the Assad regime in Syria.

·         Obama released another tranche of $30 billion, enabling Rouhani to present his new budget with a reduced deficit at 14% while increasing the military-security budget yet again, by 4.2%.

·         Banking sanctions were set aside to let Iran import 19,000 tons of American rice to meet shortages on the eve of Iranian New Year when consumption reaches its peak.

·         Obama’s lovefest with the mullahs helped mollify the Khomeinist regime’s image as a sponsor of international terror and a diplomatic pariah.

What is the rationale behind Obama’s dogged determination to help the mullahs out of the ditch they have dug?


Some cite Obama’s alleged belief that the US has been an “imperialist power,” bullying weaker nations and must make amends.

Others suggest a tactic to strengthen “moderates” within the Iranian regime who, if assured that the US does into seek regime change might lead the nation towards a change of behavior.

Whatever the reasons, what Obama has done could best described as appeasement-plus.

In classical appeasement you promise an adversary not to oppose some of his moves, for example the annexation of Czechoslovakia, but you do not offer him actual financial or diplomatic support.

Obama has gone beyond that.

In addition to saving Iran from running out of money, on the diplomatic front he has endorsed Tehran’s scenario for Syria, is campaigning to help Iran choose the next Lebanese president, and has given the mullahs an open field in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Secretary of State John Kerry talks of Iran as “the regional power,” to the chagrin of Washington’s Middle East allies.

What if the “deal” actually weakens the “moderates” that Obama wants to support, supposing they do exist?

Obama’s imaginary “moderates” are not in good shape. The Council of Guardians that decides who could run for election next month has disqualified 99% of the so-called “moderate” wannabes, ensuring the emergence of a new Islamic parliament and Assembly of Experts dominated by radicals as never before.

Meanwhile, the annual “End of America” festival, Feb. 1 to 10, is to be held with greater pomp.

With more resources at its disposal, Tehran is intensifying its “exporting the revolution” campaign. Last week it announced the creation of a new Hezbollah branch in Turkey and, for the first time, made the existence of a branch in Iraq public. Tajikistan was also publicly added to the markets where Khomeinist revolution should be exported.

There are no “moderates” in Tehran, and the Islamic Republic cannot be reformed out of its nature. For the remainder of Obama’s term least, expect a more aggressive Islamic Republic.

Did the mullahs deceive Obama? No, this was all his idea.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Against Trump





by THE EDITORS

Donald Trump leads the polls nationally and in most states in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. There are understandable reasons for his eminence, and he has shown impressive gut-level skill as a campaigner. But he is not deserving of conservative support in the caucuses and primaries. Trump is a philosophically unmoored political opportunist who would trash the broad conservative ideological consensus within the GOP in favor of a free-floating populism with strong-man overtones.

Trump’s political opinions have wobbled all over the lot. The real-estate mogul and reality-TV star has supported abortion, gun control, single-payer health care à la Canada, and punitive taxes on the wealthy. (He and Bernie Sanders have shared more than funky outer-borough accents.) Since declaring his candidacy he has taken a more conservative line, yet there are great gaping holes in it.

His signature issue is concern over immigration — from Latin America but also, after Paris and San Bernardino, from the Middle East. He has exploited the yawning gap between elite opinion in both parties and the public on the issue, and feasted on the discontent over a government that can’t be bothered to enforce its own laws no matter how many times it says it will (President Obama has dispensed even with the pretense). But even on immigration, Trump often makes no sense and can’t be relied upon. A few short years ago, he was criticizing Mitt Romney for having the temerity to propose “self-deportation,” or the entirely reasonable policy of reducing the illegal population through attrition while enforcing the nation’s laws. Now, Trump is a hawk’s hawk.

He pledges to build a wall along the southern border and to make Mexico pay for it. We need more fencing at the border, but the promise to make Mexico pay for it is silly bluster. Trump says he will put a big door in his beautiful wall, an implicit endorsement of the dismayingly conventional view that current levels of legal immigration are fine. Trump seems unaware that a major contribution of his own written immigration plan is to question the economic impact of legal immigration and to call for reform of the H-1B–visa program. Indeed, in one Republican debate he clearly had no idea what’s in that plan and advocated increased legal immigration, which is completely at odds with it. These are not the meanderings of someone with well-informed, deeply held views on the topic.

As for illegal immigration, Trump pledges to deport the 11 million illegals here in the United States, a herculean administrative and logistical task beyond the capacity of the federal government. Trump piles on the absurdity by saying he would re-import many of the illegal immigrants once they had been deported, which makes his policy a poorly disguised amnesty (and a version of a similarly idiotic idea that appeared in one of Washington’s periodic “comprehensive” immigration reforms). This plan wouldn’t survive its first contact with reality.

On foreign policy, Trump is a nationalist at sea. Sometimes he wants to let Russia fight ISIS, and at others he wants to “bomb the sh**” out of it. He is fixated on stealing Iraq’s oil and casually suggested a few weeks ago a war crime — killing terrorists’ families — as a tactic in the war on terror. For someone who wants to project strength, he has an astonishing weakness for flattery, falling for Vladimir Putin after a few coquettish bats of the eyelashes from the Russian thug. All in all, Trump knows approximately as much about national security as he does about the nuclear triad — which is to say, almost nothing.

Indeed, Trump’s politics are those of an averagely well-informed businessman: Washington is full of problems; I am a problem-solver; let me at them. But if you have no familiarity with the relevant details and the levers of power, and no clear principles to guide you, you will, like most tenderfeet, get rolled. Especially if you are, at least by all outward indications, the most poll-obsessed politician in all of American history. Trump has shown no interest in limiting government, in reforming entitlements, or in the Constitution. He floats the idea of massive new taxes on imported goods and threatens to retaliate against companies that do too much manufacturing overseas for his taste. His obsession is with “winning,” regardless of the means — a spirit that is anathema to the ordered liberty that conservatives hold dear and that depends for its preservation on limits on government power. The Tea Party represented a revival of an understanding of American greatness in these terms, an understanding to which Trump is tone-deaf at best and implicitly hostile at worst. He appears to believe that the administrative state merely needs a new master, rather than a new dispensation that cuts it down to size and curtails its power.

It is unpopular to say in the year of the “outsider,” but it is not a recommendation that Trump has never held public office. Since 1984, when Jesse Jackson ran for president with no credential other than a great flow of words, both parties have been infested by candidates who have treated the presidency as an entry-level position. They are the excrescences of instant-hit media culture. The burdens and intricacies of leadership are special; experience in other fields is not transferable. That is why all American presidents have been politicians, or generals.

Any candidate can promise the moon. But politicians have records of success, failure, or plain backsliding by which their promises may be judged. Trump can try to make his blankness a virtue by calling it a kind of innocence. But he is like a man with no credit history applying for a mortgage — or, in this case, applying to manage a $3.8 trillion budget and the most fearsome military on earth.

Trump’s record as a businessman is hardly a recommendation for the highest office in the land. For all his success, Trump inherited a real-estate fortune from his father. Few of us will ever have the experience, as Trump did, of having Daddy-O bail out our struggling enterprise with an illegal loan in the form of casino chips. Trump’s primary work long ago became less about building anything than about branding himself and tending to his celebrity through a variety of entertainment ventures, from WWE to his reality-TV show, The Apprentice. His business record reflects the often dubious norms of the milieu: using eminent domain to condemn the property of others; buying the good graces of politicians — including many Democrats — with donations.

Trump has gotten far in the GOP race on a brash manner, buffed over decades in New York tabloid culture. His refusal to back down from any gaffe, no matter how grotesque, suggests a healthy impertinence in the face of postmodern PC (although the insults he hurls at anyone who crosses him also speak to a pettiness and lack of basic civility). His promise to make America great again recalls the populism of Andrew Jackson. But Jackson was an actual warrior; and President Jackson made many mistakes. Without Jackson’s scars, what is Trump’s rhetoric but show and strut?

If Trump were to become the president, the Republican nominee, or even a failed candidate with strong conservative support, what would that say about conservatives? The movement that ground down the Soviet Union and took the shine, at least temporarily, off socialism would have fallen in behind a huckster. The movement concerned with such “permanent things” as constitutional government, marriage, and the right to life would have become a claque for a Twitter feed.

Trump nevertheless offers a valuable warning for the Republican party. If responsible men irresponsibly ignore an issue as important as immigration, it will be taken up by the reckless. If they cannot explain their Beltway maneuvers — worse, if their maneuvering is indefensible — they will be rejected by their own voters. If they cannot advance a compelling working-class agenda, the legitimate anxieties and discontents of blue-collar voters will be exploited by demagogues. We sympathize with many of the complaints of Trump supporters about the GOP, but that doesn’t make the mogul any less flawed a vessel for them.

Some conservatives have made it their business to make excuses for Trump and duly get pats on the head from him. Count us out. Donald Trump is a menace to American conservatism who would take the work of generations and trample it underfoot in behalf of a populism as heedless and crude as the Donald himself.

 

Friday, January 22, 2016

Time left until Obama leaves office



Counting Down To


President Obama’s appeasement of Iran through the Iran Deal and his support of the Muslim Brotherhood are disastrous policies the consequences of which neither he nor the P5+1 political elites are capable of predicting since they lack the intellectual courage to find the truth about Islamic ideology in general and Shia eschatology in particular.

We were in a similar situation in the 1930s.

 On November 12, 1936, Winston Churchill said:

“Two things, I confess, have staggered me, after a long Parliamentary experience, in these Debates. The first has been the dangers that have so swiftly come upon us in a few years, and have been transforming our position and the whole outlook of the world. Secondly, I have been staggered by the failure of the House of Commons to react effectively against those dangers. That, I am bound to say, I never expected. I never would have believed that we should have been allowed to go on getting into this plight, month by month and year by year, and that even the Government's own confessions of error have produced no concentration of Parliamentary opinion and force capable of lifting our efforts to the level of emergency. I say that unless the House resolves to find out the truth for itself, it will have committed an act of abdication of duty without parallel.”

Our political elites are in complete denial. One just has to look at the Cologne incident’s police  report  to understand what the consequences of refusing to find the truth for ourselves are. The surprise coming from Iran would be orders of magnitude worse.

What can we do? What we can do is send this Obama end of term countdown counter to our friends, and in so doing make a statement that we disagree with these absurd policies and give them a reminder that this nightmare will eventually end on January 20, 2017, 12:00 NOON EST (GMT-5) i.e. 07:00 p.m. Israel Time (GMT +02:00).
   

Krauthammer: The GOP gets the Iran prisoner swap wrong







Give President Obama credit. His Iran nuclear deal may be disastrous but the packaging was brilliant. The near-simultaneous prisoner exchange was meant to distract from last Saturday’s official implementation of the sanctions-lifting deal. And it did. The Republicans concentrated almost all their fire on the swap sideshow.

And in denouncing the swap, they were wrong. True, we should have made the prisoner release a precondition for negotiations. But that preemptive concession was made long ago (among many others, such as granting Iran in advance the right to enrich uranium). The remaining question was getting our prisoners released before we gave away all our leverage upon implementation of the nuclear accord. We did.

Republicans say: We shouldn’t negotiate with terror states. But we do and we should. How else do you get hostages back? And yes, of course negotiating encourages further hostage taking. But there is always something to be gained by kidnapping Americans. This swap does not affect that truth one way or the other.

And here, we didn’t give away much. The seven released Iranians, none of whom has blood on his hands, were sanctions busters (and a hacker), and sanctions are essentially over now. The slate is clean.

But how unfair, say the critics. We released prisoners duly convicted in a court of law. Iran released perfectly innocent, unjustly jailed hostages.

Yes, and so what? That’s just another way of saying we have the rule of law, they don’t. It doesn’t mean we abandon our hostages. Natan Sharansky was a prisoner of conscience who spent eight years in the gulag on totally phony charges. He was exchanged for two real Soviet spies. Does anyone think we should have said no?

The one valid criticism of the Iranian swap is that we left one, perhaps two, Americans behind and unaccounted for. True. But the swap itself was perfectly reasonable. And cleverly used by the administration to create a heartwarming human interest story to overshadow a rotten diplomatic deal, just as the Alan Gross release sweetened a Cuba deal that gave the store away to the Castro brothers.

The real story of Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016 — “Implementation Day” of the Iran deal — was that it marked a historic inflection point in the geopolitics of the Middle East. In a stroke, Iran shed almost four decades of rogue-state status and was declared a citizen of good standing of the international community, open to trade, investment and diplomacy. This, without giving up, or even promising to change, its policy of subversion and aggression. This, without having forfeited its status as the world’s greatest purveyor of terrorism.

Overnight, it went not just from pariah to player but from pariah to dominant regional power, flush with $100 billion in unfrozen assets and virtually free of international sanctions. The oil trade alone will pump tens of billions of dollars into its economy. The day after Implementation Day, President Hassan Rouhani predicted 5 percent growth — versus the contracting, indeed hemorrhaging, economy in pre-negotiation 2012 and 2013.

On Saturday, the Iranian transport minister announced the purchase of 114 Airbuses from Europe. This inaugurates a rush of deals binding European companies to Iran, thoroughly undermining Obama’s pipe dream of “snapback sanctions” if Iran cheats.

Cash-rich, reconnected with global banking and commerce, and facing an Arab world collapsed into a miasma of raging civil wars, Iran has instantly become the dominant power of the Middle East. Not to worry, argued the administration. The nuclear opening will temper Iranian adventurism and empower Iranian moderates.

The opposite is happening. And it’s not just the ostentatious, illegal ballistic missile launches; not just Iran’s president reacting to the most puny retaliatory sanctions by ordering his military to accelerate the missile program; not just the videotaped and broadcast humiliation of seized U.S. sailors.

Look at what the mullahs are doing at home. Within hours of “implementation,” the regime disqualified 2,967 of roughly 3,000 moderate candidates from even running in parliamentary elections next month. And just to make sure we got the point, the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, reiterated that Iranian policy — aggressively interventionist and immutably anti-American — continues unchanged.

In 1938, the morning after Munich, Europe woke up to Germany as the continent’s dominant power. Last Sunday, the Middle East woke up to Iran as the regional hegemon, with a hand — often predominant — in the future of Syria, Yemen, Iraq, the Gulf Arab states and, in time, in the very survival of Israel.


And we’re arguing over an asymmetric hostage swap.