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The Worst Agreement in Diplomatic History

By Charles Krauthammer     •     Washington Post

Obama Iran Nuke DealThe devil is not in the details. It’s in the entire conception of the Iran deal, animated by President Obama’s fantastical belief that he, uniquely, could achieve detente with a fanatical Islamist regime whose foundational purpose is to cleanse the Middle East of the poisonous corruption of American power and influence.

In pursuit of his desire to make the Islamic Republic into an accepted, normalized “successful regional power,” Obama decided to take over the nuclear negotiations. At the time, Tehran was reeling — the rial plunging, inflation skyrocketing, the economy contracting — under a regime of international sanctions painstakingly constructed over a decade. [Read more...]

The History of America’s Independence Day

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY! LET FREEDOM RING!

PBS

US Flag“Taxation without representation!” was the battle cry in America’s 13 Colonies, which were forced to pay taxes to England’s King George III despite having no representation in the British Parliament. As dissatisfaction grew, British troops were sent in to quell the early movement toward rebellion. Repeated attempts by the Colonists to resolve the crisis without military conflict proved fruitless.

On June 11, 1776, the Colonies’ Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia and formed a committee whose express purpose was drafting a document that would formally sever their ties with Great Britain. The committee included Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston. Jefferson, who was considered the strongest and most eloquent writer, crafted the original draft document (as seen above). A total of 86 changes were made to his draft and the Continental Congress officially adopted the final version on July 4, 1776. [Read more...]

Micro-Tyranny and Micro-Totalitarianism

by Thomas Sowell     •     Investors Business Daily 

The political left has come up with a new buzzword: “micro-aggression.” campus-speech PC

Professors at the University of California at Berkeley have been officially warned against saying such things as “America is the land of opportunity.” Why? Because this is considered to be an act of “micro-aggression” against minorities and women. Supposedly it shows that you don’t take their grievances seriously and are therefore guilty of being aggressive toward them, even if only on a micro scale.

You might think that this is just another crazy idea from Berkeley. But the same concept appears in a report from the flagship campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana. If you just sit in a room where all the people are white, you are considered to be guilty of “micro-aggression” against people who are not white, who will supposedly feel uncomfortable when they enter such a room. [Read more...]

Obamacare Database Keeps Personal Info “Forever”

by Americans for Tax Reform

The Symbol of ObamaCare

The Symbol of ObamaCare

 

In the wake of a security breach last month that resulted in the theft of personal taxpayer data, experts are now raising concerns over a government data warehouse that keeps the information of Obamacare enrollees forever.

The system, known as the Multidimensional Insurance Data Analytics System, or MIDAS is vaguely described on the federal healthcare.gov as a “perpetual central repository.” When asked by the Associated Press how many people have direct access to the database, officials refused to say.

The decision to keep the personal information of enrollees forever has raised the ire of experts. Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation stated that it is irresponsible of the government to retain data any longer than is necessary. Similarly, Michael Astrue, a former Social Security Commissioner has argued that there is no justification for keeping this data permanently. In addition, he worries that the federal government is illegally expanding MIDAS by adding personal information from state-run Obamacare exchanges without proper privacy consent. [Read more...]

USPS is losing sight of public safety

by George Landrith    •     The Hill us postal service usps

When it comes to the U.S. Postal Service, the organization’s decline has been well documented for years. Last year the Postal Service lost $5.5 billion, marking the eighth consecutive year of multi-billion dollar losses. Further, for consumers, the Postal Service is still failing to meet performance targets for First-Class mail, Standard Mail, Periodicals, Package Services, and more according to a recent federal review.

As the agency seeks to regain solid footing for its balance sheet and service standards, it’s clear that improved management at the top is necessary. In the last several months the Postal Service has made ill-advised efforts to expand into offerings that are unrelated to its primary letter mail responsibility and interrupt areas where such products are already provided.

Achieving excellence in the core product offerings is also grounded in one major facet of the Postal Service’s operations – its ability to handle items in a way that prioritizes the overall security of the mail system for the safety of the public. [Read more...]

The President’s Fictions: from Obamacare to ISIS

President Obama lives and operates in a fictitious world because the real world doesn’t cooperate with his dogmas. 

by New York Post Editorial BoardOrwellian Doublespeak Obama

 

It’s plainly liberating for President Obama to simply deny reality and declare everything just peachy, as he did again Monday at the G7 summit in Germany. Sadly, reality’s not cooperating.

One of his fictions du jour: All’s well with Obama­Care. No joke.

“The thing is working,” the president insisted. “We haven’t had a lot of conversation about the horrors of ObamaCare, because none of them have come to pass.”

Somebody’s having those conversations. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows 54 percent oppose ObamaCare, with only 39 percent — the lowest ever — in favor.

He also insisted that a big suit against ObamaCare, Burwell v. King, is so clearly based on a “twisted interpretation” that “it probably shouldn’t even have been taken up.” [Read more...]

Why does USPS favor foreign shippers?

by George Landrith    •     Washington Examiner usps postal service

Where possible, policy leaders in this country should make the promotion of American businesses a priority. When the American economy is flourishing, our country flourishes.

That doesn’t mean Americans should shy away from international trade. In our global economy, the shirts we wear, the phones we use and the cars we drive oftentimes are made overseas. Due to a number of factors, there are some products where American companies do not enjoy a comparative advantage compared to foreign competitors and vice versa.

It is understandable that American companies sometimes lose in competition. What is not understandable, however, is when an American entity like the United States Postal Service creates a competitive advantage for foreign producers.

USPS charges less than 94 cents to deliver a four-pound package from China to an American consumer. Compare that to an American company trying to ship the same package from a neighboring state — it could be charged $11.30, according to a quick online search. The American company has to pay 12 times what the Chinese shipper would be charged, adding to its overhead costs. Something seems out of whack here. [Read more...]

The Fantasy that ObamaCare ‘Is Working’

by Steve Moore    •    Forbes obamacare tire mud

Sometimes it seems President Obama lives in a parallel universe where facts are floating around to be plucked out of suspended animation. Never more so than on the effects of the Affordable Care Act.

“[ObamaCare] is working…We haven’t had a lot of conversation about the horrors of Obamacare because none of them have come to pass. You got 16 million people who’ve gotten health insurance.

“It hasn’t had an adverse effect on people who already had health insurance. The overwhelming majority of them are satisfied with the health insurance…

“The costs have come in substantially lower than even our estimates about how much it would cost. Health care inflation overall has continued to be at some of the lowest levels in 50 years. None of the predictions about how this wouldn’t work have come to pass.”

Barack Obama, June 8, 2015

So let’s see whether anything he says on the new law, including that it “is working,” comports with the facts: [Read more...]

Beyond Benghazi: Hillary, Sid and Libya

Once a proud moment, the U.S. military intervention in Libya continues to haunt candidate Clinton.

by Michael Hirsh & Jeff Bartholet      •      Politico MagazineHillary Clinton 2

Hillary Clinton tried to turn the page with her most recent campaign kick-off rally. She confidently laid out her claim to the presidency at her Roosevelt Island campaign rally, even as she conceded: “Lord knows I’ve made my share of mistakes. And there’s no shortage of people pointing them out.”

This week, one of those mistakes—perhaps her biggest and certainly her most politically potent one—will be front-and-center yet again when her longtime confidant and vast-right-wing-conspiracy whisperer, Sidney Blumenthal, testifies before a congressional oversight committee that is digging through what even Clinton has admitted was the No. 1 “regret” of her tenure as secretary of state: the unanticipated attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, that left the U.S. ambassador dead. [Read more...]

The Left’s Outrage at Jerry Seinfeld Proves His Point

by Scott Greer     •    Daily Caller  screw_political_correctness_

So a comedian talks to a journalist and wonders what’s the deal with political correctness.

“That’s not funny!” screams the politically correct as they demand the comic keep his thoughts to himself.

The lack of tolerance here serves as the punchline.

When Jerry Seinfeld told an ESPN reporter that he’s troubled by how insufferably PC college campuses have become, it seemed like he was stating a matter of fact.

“I don’t play colleges, but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges. They’re so PC.’” [Read more...]

IRS Finds 6,400 Lois Lerner Emails But Won’t Hand Them Over

by Gerri Willis    •     Fox Business NewsIRS new logo

 

The Internal Revenue Service may have found 6,400 emails from Lois Lerner, who oversaw the tax agency’s Exempt Organizations Unit, but the government agency has no plans to share.

Attorneys from the Department of Justice representing the IRS say the emails won’t be shared because the service is making sure that none of them are duplicates. Lerner is at the center of a scandal in which the tax agency denied special tax status to conservative groups. Her emails have been sought by members of Congress and conservative groups alike.

One of those groups, Judicial Watch, has been seeking emails as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed two years ago.  Originally, the IRS said the email trail was permanently lost because the computer drive that contained it crashed. However, the Treasury Department’s Inspector General for Tax Administration or TIGTA, was able to retrieve 6,400 emails which it has subsequently sent to the agency. It is these emails that the IRS wants to check for duplicates. [Read more...]

Conservatives have every reason to be optimistic

Freedom and opportunity are on the horizon with a new crop of principled, capable and positive conservatives. 

by George Landrith   bright-future-optimism-optimistic

In the past few weeks and the next couple weeks, we will see most of the expected entrants into the GOP presidential sweepstakes make their plans official. The GOP bench is deep with a number of highly credible and well qualified potential nominees. Part of this deep bench is the result of the conservatives doing well in a majority of the non-presidential and state elections during President Barack Obama’s time in office. The GOP has gained 70 seats in Congress and 910 state legislators around the nation since Barack Obama took office.

If you’re a conservative, there is a lot more good news on the horizon. That deep bench of well-qualified and highly credible candidates is revealing itself in congressional elections around the nation. Speaking with campaign experts around the nation, one thing is clear — the GOP has a bumper crop of great conservative candidates.

I can’t write about each of them, but perhaps I can pick one that caught my eye and shows real promise. In Florida’s 18th Congressional District, an established name is retiring from the House of Representatives to pursue the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Marco Rubio. Rick Kozell has announced his candidacy for the open congressional seat in the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach area.

Here’s what I like about Rick Kozell — he’s an optimistic, principled conservative with a winning vision for the future. He reminds me of a young Ronald Reagan. The press will have a hard time casting him as the stereotypical angry conservative. Kozell is affable, young, smart, and articulate. His smile is natural and his energy and enthusiasm are obvious. [Read more...]

Hillary’s many Libya problems …

by Stephen Collinson     •     CNNHillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Clinton has another Libya problem.

She’s already grappling with the political headaches from deleted emails and from the terror attack that left four Americans dead in Benghazi.

But she’ll face a broader challenge in what’s become of the North African country since, as secretary of state in 2011, she was the public face of the U.S. intervention to push out its longtime strongman, Moammar Gadhafi.

Libya’s lapse into the chaos of failed statehood has provided a breeding ground for terror and a haven for groups such as ISIS. Its plight is also creating an opening for Republican presidential candidates to question Clinton’s strategic acumen and to undermine her diplomatic credentials, which will be at the center of her pitch that only she has the global experience needed to be president in a turbulent time. [Read more...]

Don’t Go Soft on the ICANN Handoff

Congress is wrong to take itself out of the game.internet-censorship-ICANN

by Peter Roff     •    US News & World Report

If, as CQ.com reported Thursday, GOP congressional leaders are suddenly going soft on the issue of the Obama administration’s intention to hand off the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, then someone has gone soft in the head.

The pending transfer, something the administration last year said it would like to see concluded by the end of this year, involves not just the critical operations of the Internet’s technical infrastructure but the values that govern its operations down to the level of the individual user. There is too much at stake to rush the transfer through.

For some time now, the plan has been to turn the responsibility for the Internet over to the world. American ingenuity developed it, American capital resources built it up and out, and American generosity made it possible for every country on Earth to take part in the revolution it spawned, even those countries that have sworn vengeance, jihad, destruction and similar ill-wishes on this, the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”  [Read more...]

Hillary Needs a Faux War on Voting Rights

by Jonathan S. Tobin     •     Commentary Voter ID Fraud

Hillary Clinton was in Texas on Thursday doing what she usually does: not taking questions from the press while seeking ways to energize the Democratic base. In this case, her focus on highlighting a key issue for Democrats: voting rights. But contrary to the overheated rhetoric she and other members of her party are employing, this has little to do with fighting actual efforts to stop minorities from voting and everything to do with creating a sense of crisis, particularly among African-Americans, that Republicans are seeking to put them “back in chains.” The main focus of this effort is to invalidate laws requiring voters to have photo IDs while seeking to institute weeks-long periods of early voting. Neither of those measures has much to do with ensuring that Jim Crow never returns. To the contrary, the effort to hype this into a fight for racial equality is about Clinton’s fear that the African-Americans that turned out in record numbers to elect and then re-elect Barack Obama won’t show up for her next year. And if takes a cynical waving of the bloody shirt of the Civil Rights era to convince them that Republicans are out to get them, Clinton is demonstrating that she will stoop as low as it takes to get blacks sufficiently alarmed about a possible GOP victory in 2016. [Read more...]