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  • We are proud to announce that the 2014 Ronald Reagan Gala will honor Gary Sinise. For over thirty … [more]

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The Divine Right of Barack Obama

The president who began as a champion of the legislature’s prerogative to declare war has morphed into Napoleon.

by Charles C. W. Cooke     •     National Review

Obama SmirkAsked earlier today how long he expected the bombing of Syria to last, Lieutenant General William C. Mayville Jr. advised reporters to think “in terms of years.” “Last night’s strikes,” Mayville confirmed, “were only the beginning.” A mile or so away, on the White House lawn, Barack Obama struck a similarly defiant note. “We’re going to do what is necessary to take the fight to this terrorist group,” the president explained, before assuring those present that the United States was but one part of a global alliance that stood “shoulder to shoulder . . . on behalf of our common security.” “The strength of this coalition,” Obama added, “makes clear to the world that this is not just America’s fight alone.” This much, at least, was true. Among the nations that have signed on to the attacks are Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates — all vital accomplices in the winning of hearts and minds. And yet, for all the cosmopolitanism, one crucial ally was conspicuously missing from the roster of the willing: the Congress of the United States. [Read more...]

Feds: Obama Broke Law with Bergdahl Swap

GAO Government Accountability Office

by Chuck Vinch    •    Army Times

The Defense Department broke the law when it transferred five Taliban detainees from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to Qatar in exchange for former prisoner of war Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the Government Accountability Office said Thursday.

In a seven-page opinion, the GAO said a provision of the 2014 Defense Appropriations Act bars defense officials from using taxpayer funds to transfer any prisoner from Guantanamo unless the secretary of defense gives Congress at least 30 days’ advance notice. [Read more...]

The CIA’s spying on the U.S. Senate

There must be accountability for the CIA’s snooping on senators

by the Editorial Board, New York Daily News

Feinstein Brennan CIA SpyingLong spook story simple and short: The CIA got caught spying on the senators charged with overseeing the spies. And then got caught again lying about it.

This is bad news for anyone who takes seriously the separation of powers enumerated in the United States Constitution.

Briefly, Senate Intelligence Committee Democrats have spent five years working on a report about the CIA’s post-9/11 “enhanced interrogation” techniques. The panel is expected to release a highly critical unclassified version this month. [Read more...]

Thune Speaks in Support of Israel and Iron Dome

U.S. Senator John Thune (R-South Dakota), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, today joined several of his Republican colleagues in reaffirming their support for Israel, America’s friend and ally, and its sovereign right to defend itself against Hamas: [Read more...]

An Iron Dome for America?

What Americans should learn from Israel’s missile-defense system

Missile Defenseby Rebeccah Heinrichs

The Israeli missile-defense system known as Iron Dome once again finds itself in the international spotlight, causing many Americans to wonder if the U.S. has anything comparable. Here are a few important points about Iron Dome and missile defense in general for Americans to consider.

(1) Iron Dome is a missile-defense system that intercepts short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. The system is designed to hit only incoming missiles headed toward population centers, which, up to this point in the conflict, have been about 30 percent of the total fired by Hamas. [Read more...]

Jonathan Turley: Congress ‘Must Act’ Against Obama’s Overreach or Face ‘Self-Destruction’

by Brendan Bordelon

Liberal law professor Jonathan Turley warned a panel of lawmakers that they “must act” in support of a lawsuit against President Barack Obama for executive overreach or face “self-destruction” as a deliberative body.

Turley appeared as a witness for the House Rules Committee on Wednesday as that panel considered advancing a proposed lawsuit that would check the White House’s recent moves to cut out Congress on issues like health-care reform, immigration and drug policy.

The George Washington University law professor — who supports many of President Obama’s policies but opposes their unilateral implementation — expressed his support for the lawsuit and his belief that Congress, as a coequal branch of government, has the standing to sue to presidency. [Read more...]

We Need Stronger Oversight Of ICANN

by Peter Roff

icannWhoever controls the Internet may control the future of global commerce. As more and more commercial platforms are developed, commerce is moving from Main Street into cyberspace at a rate that will make the Internet the global shopping mall of the future.

This makes Internet governance issues all the more important. Right now most of them are decided by ICANN – the Internet Corporation for Assigned Named and Numbers – a California-based company which the U.S. government – which developed the Internet in the first place – has made responsible for most of the Internet’s essential functions like the creation of new, top level global domain names that will exist alongside such familiar standards as .com, .org, and .edu. [Read more...]

Struggling to Show Anti-Koch Amendment Is “Reasonable”

A proposed Constitutional amendment would give Congress authority to regulate every dollar…

Pelosi Reidby Byron York

While much of Washington grapples with international crises, chronic economic troubles, and upcoming midterm elections, Senate Democrats are steadily pushing forward with what they hope will become the 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The proposed amendment would give Congress authority to regulate every dollar raised, and every dollar spent, by every federal campaign and candidate in the country. It would give state legislatures the power to do the same with state races.

Framed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as a response to campaign spending by the conservative billionaire Koch brothers, the proposed amendment, written by Democratic Senators Tom Udall and Michael Bennet and co-sponsored by 42 other Senate Democrats, would vastly increase the power of Congress to control elections and political speech. [Read more...]

Liberals Champion Freedom of Speech — Except in Politics

by Michael Barone

Free speechI’m old enough to remember when American liberals cherished the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment.

They celebrated especially the freedom accorded those with unpopular beliefs and protested attempts to squelch the expression of differing opinions.

Today things are different. American liberals are not challenging the Supreme Court rulings extending First Amendment protection to nude dancers, flag burners and students wearing antiwar armbands. They are content to leave these as forms of protected free speech. [Read more...]

When the President Goes Rogue

Obama 102by George F. Will

What Winston Churchill said of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles — that he was a bull who carried his own china shop around with him — is true of Susan Rice, who is, to be polite, accident prone. When in September 2012 she was deputed to sell to the public the fable that the Benghazi attack was just an unfortunately vigorous movie review — a response to an Internet video — it could have been that she, rather than Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was given this degrading duty because Rice was merely U.N. ambassador, an ornamental position at an inconsequential institution. Today, however, Rice is Barack Obama’s national security adviser, so two conclusions must be drawn. [Read more...]

Congress was Right to Ring in the New Year by Ending Wind Subsidies

wind-turbine-moneyGeorge Landrith, President of Frontiers of Freedom, commended Congress for allowing the decades-old practice of wasting billions of taxpayer dollars subsidizing the wind industry to expire with the New Year.

Landrith remarked:

“2013’s end marked the expiration of the investment and production tax credits for the wind industry. As we ring in the New Year, Congress took advantage of this opportunity and permanently ended these wasteful tax credits. These subsidies did nothing but hide the true costs of these projects, subsidized corporate rent seekers, and dramatically increased the cost of electricity for taxpayers.” [Read more...]

The Farm Bill, Sausage and Boondoggles

Of course, there's pork! It's the farm bill isn't it?

Of course, there’s pork! It’s the farm bill isn’t it?

by George Landrith

It is said that those who respect the law and enjoy sausage, should not see how either are made. Too often the farm bill is exhibit A for this adage. Too often such bills include a little something for everyone, or a lot of taxpayer cash for a privileged few. Such legislation picks the pocket of the taxpayer, and distorts the marketplace.

Part of the farm bill is invariably an energy provision which again all too often is simply a grab bag of taxpayer provided cash for energy or chemical projects that managed to lobby hard for the taxpayer-provided benefits. But it is doubtful that such programs actually benefit the nation as a whole. The Senate’s version of the farm bill is sadly yet another Exhibit A in wasteful spending and its energy provisions are simply more of the same.

The bipartisan House farm bill is different from the usual farm bill. It isn’t perfect, but it is a big step in the right direction. [Read more...]

Obama’s Weak Defense of ObamaCare

Obamacare Opt Outby Peter Suderman

Asked at a press conference last week to discuss concerns about whether his administration has the authority to delay Obamacare’s employer mandate, President Obama declined to explain his administration’s authority and instead to simply assert it. But not before casting blame on Republicans. “In a normal political environment,” Obama said, he would have been able to call up House Speaker John Boehner and work out a fix. “We’re not in a normal atmosphere around here when it comes to quote unquote Obamacare. We did have the executive authority to do so.” There you go. Obama says the White House had the authority. Next question?

Actually, wait a minute. Let’s look at this one a little bit more. [Read more...]

The most divisive President: A presidency wasted

by Victor Davis HansonDivisive President Obama

The Obama narrative is that he inherited the worst mess in memory and has been stymied ever since by a partisan Congress — while everything from new ATM technology to the Japanese tsunami conspired against him. But how true are those claims?

Barack Obama entered office with an approval rating of over 70 percent. John McCain’s campaign had been anemic and almost at times seemed as if it was designed to lose nobly to the nation’s first African-American presidential nominee. [Read more...]

A serious president? No, an absentee president

by George Landrith

We already knew that the economy is sluggish and in trouble. But now we learn that the economy is far weaker than previously understood. But that is not the only unflattering truth that has come to light. Our foreign policy and national security are also in far worse shape than we understood even a few weeks ago.

It isn’t just that job growth isn’t even keeping up with population growth. It isn’t just that the Federal Reserve has effectively thrown in the towel and admitted that there is no recovery. [Read more...]