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U.S. drops to 16th on ‘economic freedom’ list, behind Canada, Chile

By PAUL BEDARD     •     Washington Examiner

The United States, ranked second in worldwide economic freedom as recently as 2000, has plummeted to 16th, according to a new report of world economies.

The Fraser Institute’s annual report, Economic Freedom of the World, showed that the country’s drop started in 2010, the second year of the Obama administration.

The world-recognized report showed that the U.S. fell in several areas, including legal and property rights and regulation. [Read more...]

Mr. Putin makes moves in Syria, exploiting America’s inaction

By Editorial Board      •     Washington Post

Vladimir-Putin-006In July, President Obama said he had been “encouraged” by a telephone call Russian President Vladi­mir Putin had initiated to discuss Syria. The Russians, Mr. Obama confidently declared, “get a sense that the Assad regime is losing a grip over greater and greater swaths of territory” and “that offers us an opportunity to have a serious conversation with them.” Not for the first time, Mr. Obama was supposing that Mr. Putin could be enlisted in a diplomatic settlement to the Syrian civil war along lines Washington and its Arab allies support. Not for the first time, the president appears to have badly misread the Russian ruler.

Far from abandoning its support for the Assad regime, Moscow appears to be doubling down. According to numerous reports, Russia is establishing a base at an airfield near an Assad stronghold on the Mediterranean coast and has filed military overflight requests with neighboring countries. Analysts believe Russia may be preparing to deploy 1,000 or more military personnel to Syria and to carry out air operations in support of Assad forces. Syrian rebels already have reported seeing Russian aircraft over territory they control. [Read more...]

5-Month Gap in Hillary Emails

Compared to missing 18 minutes in Nixon Watergate tapes

by Garth Kant     •     WND

Hillary Clinton Speaks At Event At Center For American ProgressThere are gaps totaling five months in the Hillary Clinton emails released by the State Department, the watchdog group Judicial Watch announced Monday morning.

The revelation emerged after a court ordered the release of State Department documents as part of Judicial Watch’s effort to obtain Clinton emails under the Freedom of Information Act.

Emails sent and received by Clinton on her private server are missing over periods totaling five months, beginning when she took office as secretary of state in 2009.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the gaps indicate Clinton lied under oath when she said all her emails had been turned over, and it suggested government officials had not turned over everything they were required to deliver. [Read more...]

Scientists Ask Obama To Prosecute Global Warming Skeptics

by Michael Bastasch     •     Daily Caller

Obama Corruption IntimidationThe science on global warming is settled, so settled that 20 climate scientists are asking President Barack Obama to prosecute people who disagree with them on the science behind man-made global warming.

Scientists from several universities and research centers even asked Obama to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to prosecute groups that “have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change.”

RICO was a law designed to take down organized crime syndicates, but scientists now want it to be used against scientists, activists and organizations that voice their disagreement with the so-called “consensus” on global warming. The scientists repeated claims made by environmentalists that groups, especially those with ties to fossil fuels, have engaged in a misinformation campaign to confuse the public on global warming. [Read more...]

Obama’s Messy ISIS Intelligence Scandal

by John R. Schindler ICC2

It’s happening again. A White House fumbling with the violent mess of Iraq finds itself surrounded by mounting accusations that it’s played dirty games with intelligence. A Pentagon facing charges that its analysts have skewed assessments on Iraq to tell top policymakers what they want to hear, rather than what is really happening in that troubled country.

If this sounds terribly familiar, it should. Only a dozen years after the George W. Bush White House was buffeted by allegations that it had “cherry-picked” intelligence to justify its 2003 invasion of Iraq, Barack Obama is facing similar accusations. Intelligence Community analysts alleged that, in the run-up to Operation Iraqi Freedom, they were pressured to exaggerate Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction. Now, analysts claim that they have been pushed to present Obama’s war against the Islamic State as more successful than it really is. [Read more...]

NOAA Massively Ramps Up Their Temperature Fraud Ahead Of Paris

by Steven Goddard

As of last year, NOAA didn’t show much, if any August warming for almost 20 years.

That didn’t suit Barack Obama’s agenda, so they simply changed the data to make the hiatus disappear. [Read more...]

Simultaneous ICC Rulings in Kenya Case Not Coincidental


Evans Monari is a senior litigation attorney in Kenya who has, as noted in his official firm biography, “represented various clients in public inquiries and inquests. In 2011 he successfully led several international criminal lawyers in the defense of Gen. Mohammed Hussein Ali, former head of the Kenya Police, before the International Criminal Court at The Hague.”

By Evans Monari Lawfare Tyranny

After weeks of judicial inactivity, the International Criminal Court last Thursday issued four significant rulings, by three theoretically independent organs.

The Prosecution formally closed its case — exactly two years after the case opened, and four years after the confirmation hearing. The Trial Chamber granted the Defence teams the opportunity to appeal seven issues emanating from its controversial decision to admit the recanted statements of five witnesses.

And, as a distracting side show, the Pre-Trial Chamber unsealed two new warrants of arrest for Kenyans accused of witness interference, Paul Gicheru and Philip Kipkoech Bett, and reaffirmed an existing warrant of arrest for Walter Barasa.

It is not coincidental that these rulings were delivered simultaneously.

[Read more...]

The EPA’s Next Big Economic Chokehold

Lowering ozone—from cars, trucks, factories and power plants—in the name of an imaginary health benefit.

by Tony Cox     •     Wall Street Journal

EPA FrankenstienThis fall the Environmental Protection Agency plans to take its next grand regulatory step, following the announcement of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan over the summer. The agency is likely to introduce stringent new standards for ground-level ozone, arguing that a lower allowable level of ozone—an important component of smog—will reduce asthma in the U.S., among other claimed health benefits. Yet the EPA ignores decades of data and studies, some under the agency’s auspices, that reveal no detectable causal relation between past reductions in ozone and better public health, including reductions in asthma cases.

The new regulation may be the most expensive ever for the U.S. economy—even worse than the Clean Power Plan’s effect on coal-fired power plants. Some studies, such as one published in August by National Economic Research Associates, estimate implementation costs of hundreds of billions of dollars a year in the short run, and trillions of dollars over the next two decades, as well as millions of lost jobs. Why would it be so costly? Because attacking ozone involves almost every facet of the economy—as the EPA notes, “automobiles, trucks, buses, factories, power plants” and “consumer products” all contribute to ground-level ozone. [Read more...]

Obama’s Iran Deal Is Still Far from Settled

The review process under the Corker law never began — by the law’s own terms.

By Andrew C. McCarthy

Obama Writing Projecting WeaknessTo undermine President Obama’s atrocious Iran deal despite the Republican-controlled Congress’s irresponsible Corker legislation, it will be necessary to follow, of all things, the Corker legislation.

On Wednesday, Barbara Mikulski became the 34th Senate Democrat to announce support for the deal, which lends aid and comfort to a regime that continues to call for “Death to America.” Under the Corker Roadmap to Catastrophe, Mikulski’s assent ostensibly puts President Obama over the top. After all, the legislation sponsored by Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) and other Beltway GOP leaders reverses the Constitution’s presumptions against international agreements that harm national security. In essence, Corker requires dissenters from the Iran pact to round up a two-thirds supermajority opposition in both congressional chambers (67 senators and 290 House members). If the Constitution were followed, the burden would be on the president to convince either 67 senators to support a treaty, or majorities of both chambers to make the pact legally binding through ordinary legislation. [Read more...]

Hillary Emails Said To Contain Spy Satellite Info Of North Korean Nuclear Weapon Movements

by Chuck Ross     •     Daily Caller

Hillary Rodham ClintonHighly sensitive spy satellite information concerning the movement of North Korean nuclear weapons made its way from classified channels to Hillary Clinton’s personal email account, intelligence sources have told The Washington Times.

The movement of the classified information across Clinton’s private email server — which was registered to the former secretary of state’s home in New York — marks what could be the first major national security breach so far in the ever-growing scandal over her email setup.

According to The Times, in July, the Intelligence Community inspector general flagged the email as possibly containing information that originated with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which manages satellite and mapping systems. [Read more...]

Hillary’s IT Guy Says He’ll Plead The Fifth If Called To Testify About Homebrew Email Server

by Chuck Ross     •     Daily Caller

Hillary clinton 5The State Department IT worker who managed Hillary Clinton’s private email server while she was secretary of state will plead the Fifth Amendment if called to testify about his work on the Democratic presidential candidate’s mysterious email setup, his attorney informed the House Select Committee on Benghazi this week.

The committee subpoenaed Bryan Pagliano on Aug. 11, according to The Washington Post. In addition to testifying on Sept. 10, committee chairman Trey Gowdy asked Pagliano to produce documents related to the servers he managed on behalf of Clinton.

Pagliano worked on Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign before moving over to the State Department in May 2009, several months after Clinton took office. He left the agency at the same time as Clinton, in February 2013. [Read more...]

Pew: Just 21 Percent Support Iran Deal

A 12-point drop in support since July.

by Michael Warren     •     Weekly Standard

A new Pew poll finds shrinking support among the American people for the nuclear deal with Iran. The poll found 49 percent are opposed to the deal, with 21 percent in support and 30 percent who say they don’t know.

That’s a 12-point drop in support for the deal from Pew’s poll two months ago, which found 33 percent supported the deal and 45 percent oppose it. Here’s more from Pew:

While the partisan divide over the nuclear agreement remains substantial, support for the deal has slipped across the board since July. Currently, 42% of Democrats approve of the agreement, while 29% disapprove and an identical percentage has no opinion. In July, 50% of Democrats approved, 27% disapproved and 22% had no opinion. [Read more...]

Look Who’s Bashing Obama’s Economy Now

Investor’s Business Daily

obamanomics2016: Presidential candidates, both announced and prospective, used Labor Day to fire off some pretty harsh criticisms of President Obama’s economy. That’s not news. What is news is who was doing the firing.

Just listen to some of the heated rhetoric about the results that seven long years of Obamanomics have produced:

“I am hot. I am mad, I am angry.”

“There is something profoundly wrong when … the average American is working longer hours for lower wages and we have shamefully the highest rate of child poverty of any major country on earth.” [Read more...]

IRS Lawyer Who Headed Lerner Email Release Present When Markings on Clinton Emails Changed

by Morgan Chalfant     •     Washington Free Beacon

Hillary Clinton Speaks At Event At Center For American ProgressMarkings on no fewer than four emails contained on Hillary Clinton’s private system were changed to a category that blocks Congress and the public from viewing their contents, according to State Department whistleblowers.

Fox News reported:

The changes, which came to light after the first tranche of 296 Benghazi emails was released in May, was confirmed by two sources–one congressional, the other intelligence. The four emails originally were marked classified after a review by career officials at the State Department. But after a second review by the department’s legal office, the designation was switched to “B5”–also known as “deliberative process,” which refers to internal deliberations by the Executive Branch. Such discussions are exempt from public release. The B5 coding has the effect, according to a congressional source, of dropping the email content “down a deep black hole.” [Read more...]

With Friends Like These…

18926976062_81abf6484d_cBy Shawn Macomber Lawfare Tyranny

So all this week the Guardian is celebrating ”the United Nations’ vital agencies and associated bodies” and while our friends at the International Criminal Court managed to land the No. 2 slot on the publication’s “best bit of the UN” list, the write up exudes more of a participation medal vibe than anything else.

Alas, the Court doesn’t get out of the opening sentence — never mind the first paragraph! — without a fairly serious black eye:

The international criminal court (ICC), created under UN security council auspices in 2002, has been the subject of political controversy throughout its short history and has been criticised over its perceived bias against Africa. The court, based in The Hague, has also been attacked over its limited number of successful prosecutions – two convictions, both of Congolese warlords, in 13 years – and over the cost of its operations, estimated at $1bn.

These are points we’ve hammered away at in this space, of course, but the context of the criticism — i.e. a supposed celebration of the Court’s existence and mission — is jarring.

Naturally, the next graph attempts to offer something of a defense…

[Read more...]