Unlike someone we know, it sounds like United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron has a strategy for defeating Islamic extremists. At a press conference today on the growing threat of ISIS, Cameron offered a passionate speech with plans to disrupt the terror group. Just a glimpse at his comments proves he knows exactly who we’re dealing with:
“The threat we face today comes from the poisonous narrative of Islamist extremism.”
“The terrorist threat was not created by the Iraq war ten years ago. It existed even before the horrific attacks on 9/11."
“This threat cannot be solved simply by dealing with the perceived grievances over Western foreign policy."
"We cannot appease this ideology. We have to confront it at home and abroad."
Thankfully, Cameron is more than a speech maker. In addition to announcing the UK was raising the terror threat level from “substantial” to “severe," Cameron said they will introduce new laws to fights terrorists and seize passports from terror suspects. He plans to offer more details on the UK's plans in a few days:
On Monday, I will speak in the House on the measures we're taking to defeat extremism, protect our way of life and keep all our people safe.— David Cameron (@David_Cameron) August 29, 2014
The prime minister's comments were a clear contrast from our commander-in-chief’s response to the growing threat of ISIS militants at a Thursday press conference. President Obama acknowledged the threat of the extremist group, yet stated the US does not yet have a strategy to confront it. Numerous lawmakers and analysts criticized his comments as weak. Following Cameron’s speech, however, a number of pundits were clearly impressed:
Can we borrow David Cameron? He fights.— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) August 29, 2014
Obama: It's "unrealistic" to defeat ISIS,and we don't have a strategy anyway. Cameron: It won't be quick, but we will defeat them. #Contrast— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) August 29, 2014
Barack Obama to speak at 3 pm to urge David Cameron to take it down a notch.— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) August 29, 2014
Wow. #DavidCameron2016— Andrew Clark (@AndrewHClark) August 29, 2014
You know it's a good speech when people are talking more about the content of his speech than his tan suit. While Obama seems more interested in golfing, Cameron is taking serious steps to combat this very dangerous organization.
So this shirt was spotted in Ferguson, Missouri earlier this week.
It’s notable for three reasons:
Head meet desk.
In Washington, Sen. Mary Landrieu lives in a stately, $2.5 million brick manse she and her husband built on Capitol Hill. Here in Louisiana, however, the Democrat does not have a home of her own. She is registered to vote at a large bungalow in New Orleans that her parents have lived in for many decades, according to a Washington Post review of Landrieu’s federal financial disclosures and local property and voting records. On a statement of candidacy Landrieu filed with the Federal Election Commission in January, she listed her Capitol Hill home as her address. But when qualifying for the ballot in Louisiana last week, she listed the family’s raised-basement home here on South Prieur Street. The New Orleans house, which Landrieu claims as her primary residence, is a new flash point in one of the most closely contested Senate races in the country. Republicans are considering taking legal action to question Landrieu’s residency in the state, arguing that since winning her seat in 1996 she has become a creature of Washington. For Landrieu, there are hazardous parallels to other recent cases in which residency questions have dogged incumbents. Former senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) lost reelection in 2012 after reports that he stayed in hotels when he returned to Indiana, while Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) is drawing flack this year for not having a home of his own in Kansas and listing a donor’s house as his voting address.
Lugar was dumped by primary voters last cycle (before the GOP frittered away the seat he vacated), and Roberts is only leading by high single digits in the ruby red state of Kansas. Landrieu is one of the most endangered Senate Democrats in the country, representing a state -- from afar -- that Barack Obama lost by 17 points in 2012. Landrieu has gone 'full Beltway.' She lives in her multimillion-dollar DC mansion (remember this tax-related flap?), not in the state she ostensibly serves. The Senator claims that she lives at her parents' house when she's in town, but neighbors, including some of her supporters, aren't so sure:
“I don’t think she lives there,” said Fontaine Wells, 65, pointing at the Landrieu home. “She might come visit, but come on now — she lives in D.C. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her.” … Michael Fitzgerald, 61, has lived around the corner from the Landrieus for three decades. He said he sees Moon and Verna Landrieu regularly, as well as Mitch Landrieu, Mary’s younger brother and the city’s current mayor, who lives in a home he owns nearby. “On Election Day, [Mary] is seen at our polling place accompanying her parents.” He added, “I have not seen her lately... She’s been in the Senate for — I’ve lost count — 16 years? 18 years?”
Landrieu votes with Barack Obama 97 percent of the time, according to Congressional Quarterly. The president and his signature legislative item, Obamacare, are hugely unpopular in Louisiana. Landrieu cast the deciding vote for that law, attacking critics for "lying" about its now-evident effects. At the time, she pledged to take '100 percent' responsibility for Obamacare's outcomes. Like these ones. Whether or not the incumbent Senator faces any serious eligibility issues remains to be seen, but the optics are bad. The "out of touch" attacks will only intensify, especially in light of the recent revelation that Landrieu inappropriately used taxpayer dollars to fund private jet trips for campaign events. To that end, I'll leave you with this clever bit of in-person trolling from a Republican group last week:
HGTV may have fired the Benham brothers for their religious beliefs, but that’s not stopping them from voicing and standing up for their pro-life ideals. At a "Summer of Life" rally organized in North Carolina on Wednesday, David and Jason Benham spoke outside of Senator Kay Hagan's (D) office to challenge her pro-abortion agenda. In particular, they criticized the senator for opposing the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks - the point when unborn babies can feel pain.
By turning a blind eye to this bill Senator Hagan not only shows that she is pro-abortion, but she proves that she is anti-life. #S1670— David Benham (@DavidDBenham) August 27, 2014
In addition to taking Hagan to task for her anti-life behavior, the Christian brothers also shared how their pro-abortion critics often sound irrational, one even calling them "anti-woman":
“I was sitting there thinking and I looked at my wife and said, ‘Anti-women? Well, the last I checked, I really love women. I love my daughters, I love my wife, and I’m willing to stand up and lay my life down for those women that are in a very difficult situation and think that abortion is their only choice.”
The twin brothers were set to host a new show called "Flip it Forward" on HGTV, but in May were let go after the network discovered they were pro-life. As we have witnessed so far, the incident has only made them more outspoken in their fight for life.
The Benhams may have lost their jobs, but they've gained an important presence in the pro-life movement. Watch more of their passionate speech here:
President Obama, The Week's Marc Ambinder reports, is considering announcing a temporary executive amnesty for up to 8 million illegal immigrants sometime around mid-September. The timing, Ambinder reports, is in part designed to provoke Republicans into initiating another government shutdown, which could help Democrats at the polls this November. Ambinder writes:
The Democratic scenario has Republicans underestimating the price of such a move. Indeed, Democratic focus groups consistently show that the most unpopular thing the GOP can do, the one thing that will make people who are too disgusted to vote, vote, or who are capable of changing their vote to change their vote to the other side, is to shut down the government again. It is that unpopular.
So: Go big on immigration. Wait for the GOP counter-reaction. Quietly pray for the government to get shut down. Use it like a cattle prod to wake voters up just before the midterms.
That's the last, best hope for Democrats.
But Republicans seem to be on to Obama's game. And they are making it perfectly clear that there will be no government shutdown before the elections. Roll Call reports:
House Republicans won’t repeat that mistake this September, Ryan predicted: “We will pass a clean [continuing resolution], and if for some reason the Democrats don’t take that, then they will clearly have shut the government down … it will be patently obvious … that they are playing politics with this, and trying to trigger a shutdown so they can blame us, but we’re really blameless in this particular situation.”
Ryan’s confidence that his conference will cooperate in passing a stop-gap spending bill free of controversial policy riders — "until Dec. 11 is what we’re thinking,” said Ryan — contradicts Democrats’ cries over the past few days that the GOP is spoiling for another shutdown that could cost them the election in November.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) aide Alex Conant outlined a similar timeline for The Washington Examiner's Byron York:
Rubio's office says there's nothing to it. "We're not going to shut down the government," spokesman Alex Conant told me. "Ultimately, Republicans will need to win control of the Senate to reverse an executive action. We would be interested in having a vote on it in the context of the budget debate, but we are not going to shut down the government."
So does this mean Republicans will just roll over if Obama grants executive amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants? Not at all. Look at the bolded portions of the Ryan and Conant quotes. Both suggest that Republicans are planing to attach specific language forbidding Obama from spending money administering his new amnesty program, just not before the November election.
And this is the smart strategy to pursue. Republicans have a very good chance of taking control of the Senate this November. And it is much easier to force policy concessions from the White House when you control both the House and Senate as opposed to just the House.
Democrats seem to be realizing that Republicans will not make the same mistake two years in a row, and it is now looking like Obama will wait till after the election before moving on amnesty.
Earlier this month we reported that schools across the nation were bracing for the influx of up to 50,000 unaccompanied minors entering the public education system. Teachers and administrators alike expressed concern over not knowing the educational background of students, operational issues that could arise and increase costs, and new students not speaking English.
Now that school has started, however, there’s also another significant problem. CNS News reports:
The mayor of Lynn, Mass. says that some of the illegal aliens from Guatemala who are enrolled in her city’s public schools are adults with graying hair and “more wrinkles than I have.”
“They are not all children,” Judith Flanagan Kennedy told reporters at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
“One of the things that we did notice when we were processing some of these students coming in was that they were adults,” she said.
Kennedy said that the majority of those from Guatemala who are enrolling in theLynn Public Schoolsclaim to be between 14 and 17 years of age.
“But there were people with graying temples, hair around the temples,” said Kennedy, adding that although she did not see these individuals in person, she saw photographs of them in registration paperwork. “There were people with more wrinkles than I have around their eyes.”
Because of a DOJ directive, however, the school is not allowed to question or verify the ages of students enrolling.
Former Army psychologist Nidal Hasan, the perpetrator of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting that killed 13 and injured dozens, has written a letter from prison to ISIS caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi requesting citizenship in the Islamic state.
"I formally and humbly request to be made a citizen of the Islamic State," Hasan wrote in the letter, according to Fox News.
"It would be an honor for any believers to be an obedient citizen soldier to a people and its leader who don't compromise the religion of All-Mighty Allah to get along with the disbelievers."
Hasan currently resides in the military's death row in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He was sentenced to death for the shooting in August 2013. Despite Hasan's stated motivations for the attack, his history of jihadist sympathies, and the fact that he shouted "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) before opening fire, the U.S. has refused to call the shooting an act of terrorism, and instead refers to the event as an act of "workplace violence."
It's clear that Hasan's jihadist sympathies for ISIS have reached a new level. Perhaps now the U.S. will reclassify the Fort Hood attack as what it truly was: an act of terrorism against American soldiers.
On this week's Townhall Weekend Journal:
Bill Bennett and military historian Max Boot discuss what should be the U.S. plan of action towards Islamic State. Dennis Prager spoke with national security expert Steven Emerson, who explained the details surrounding the Obama-termed "JV" team called Islamic State. Michael Medved on the failure to call Islamic terror "evil". Prager on the massive number of Brits who have joined the fight with the Islamic State. Medved on the Obamacare realization: It will pay for "gender reassignment" surgery. Hugh Hewitt asks Mitt Romney about 2016 and what he would do differently if he were to run--also, what advice he had for the candidate. Prager on Denmark regulating...cinnamon.
It’s disappointing that Rand Paul, as a Senator and a potential presidential candidate, blames America for all the problems in the world, while offering reckless ideas that would only alienate us from the global community.
Unfortunately, this is nothing new for Paul. Last week he criticized American policy to the president of another country on foreign soil. This week he’s blaming the Obama Administration for another nation’s civil war. That type of “blame America” rhetoric may win Paul accolades at a conference of isolationists but it does nothing to improve our standing in the world.
This is exactly to be expected from the Democratic playbook. In fact, I took a look at what Democrats are planning to do with some of the prominent Republicans when it comes to foreign policy in a recent issue of Townhall Magazine.
What Democrats are going to try to do is portray Republicans, no matter what, with scare words like "isolationist" or "interventionist" or "neocon" or "hawk." From my piece:
It’s unclear if isolationism has been used in a non-pejorative way in the modern political era at all. With the ascendance of the United States to global superpower in the 20th century, very few politicians have advocated America’s removal from international affairs. More likely, advocates of aggressive American involvement tar any skeptics with the isolationist label.
“Democrats would love for the Republican candidate to be the ‘fringe’ candidate. The ‘dangerous’ candidate,” says James Carafano, vice president of national security and foreign policy at the Heritage Foundation. “It could be ‘dangerous-isolationist’ or ‘dangerous neocon.’ Democrats just want to say they’re the prudent alternative.”
Sen. Rand Paul certainly has heterodox views when it comes to foreign policy, and brings a much different vision than Republicans traditionally have. To counter Sen. Paul, the Democrats are resorting to attacks they used to decry as unfair. This is simple politics, but it's still important to counter them.
Yesterday, Dan wrote about the president’s late afternoon press conference on the situation in Iraq and Ukraine. Basically, the leader of the free world said we don’t have a strategy to defeat ISIS and prevaricated in calling the Russian invasion of Ukraine, an “invasion.” We’re back to this again:
“We are, if there was any doubt, convinced that Russia is responsible for the violence in eastern Ukraine,” he [ President Obama] said. “Russia has deliberately and repeatedly [threatened] the territorial integrity" of that country.
“Russia is already more isolated than at any time since the end of the Cold War,” he continued. “This ongoing Russian incursion into Ukraine will only bring more consequences for Russia.”
He refused to call Russia’s most recent incursion into Ukraine an invasion, defended his right to unilaterally order airstrikes into Iraq -- and Syria -- if necessary, and claimed the White House doesn’t have "a strategy” yet to effectively combat ISIL.
Buzzfeed noted that other foreign leaders are refusing to describe the recent string of events in Ukraine as an invasion, despite hard evidence that this could be one [emphasis mine]:
Russian combat troops are currently inside southeastern Ukraine. NATO released satellite imagery showing this on Thursday. “The satellite images released today provide additional evidence that Russian combat soldiers, equipped with sophisticated heavy weaponry, are operating inside Ukraine’s sovereign territory,” NATO Brigadier General Nico Tak said.
Despite this, no one seems to want to call what is going on in Ukraine an invasion.
Asked by Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC on Thursday why the United States has favored terms like “incursion” and “aggression” instead of “invasion” to characterize the situation in Ukraine, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said, “I think this is a discussion about terminology” and that it doesn’t change the kind of support the U.S. is giving Ukraine and the discussions U.S. officials are conducting.”
Other Western leaders are mirroring the U.S. rhetoric, including U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, who said on Thursday that “I’m extremely concerned by mounting evidence that Russian troops have made large-scale incursions into South Eastern Ukraine, completely disregarding the sovereignty of a neighbor” and warned Russia of “further consequences.”
Yet, the evidence that this is indeed an invasion is mounting.
BREAKING: Ukraine security spokesman says 2 columns of tanks from Russia have entered strategic town.— The Associated Press (@AP) August 28, 2014
Q. Is this Russian 'invasion?" State:Our focus is more on what Russia is doing & what we're doing about it rather than what we're calling it— Hannah Allam (@HannahAllam) August 28, 2014
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