Greg Hengler - Obama: Speaking Loudly and Carrying a Small Stick
Posted: 8/8/2014 12:01:00 PM EST

On this week's Townhall Weekend Journal:

Bill Bennett and combat vet Bing West on the assassination of U.S. General Greene in Iraq. Dennis Prager on the potential Kurdistan target from ISIS. Mark Larson and Israeli Ambassador to the U.S.—Ron Dermer. Israel PM Netanyahu's defends his country's strategy and tactics. Michael Medved on the CNN/Wolf Blitzer confrontation with Hamas Spokesman and "Blood Libel" believer, Osama Hamdan. Hugh Hewitt with Arizona gubernatorial candidate, Doug Ducey. Edward Lucas discusses his latest book, "The New Cold War" with Medved. Bill Bennett and David Gelernter on America's lack of resolve.
Kevin Glass - Perry: "Thomas Jefferson Was Right When He Said A Little Rebellion Is A Good Thing"
Posted: 8/8/2014 11:15:00 AM EST

The RedState Gathering in Ft. Worth was kicked off today with a rousing speech from Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who was quick to draw on the experience of America's founding fathers in dealing with America's challenges today.

"When a tyrannical king in a distant land who was power-hungry and oppressive... when we were faced with that, we rebelled against it. And it was a good thing...

Thomas Jefferson was right when he said a little rebellion now and then is a good thing. And now, faced with another power-hungry oppressive ruler in a faraway place... [laughter] ... it's time for us to start a little rebellion.


But this war that we will fight will be fought on the battlefield of ideas."

Perry went on to discuss the power of federalism, the crisis on the border, and even criminal justice reform in the opening session at the RedState Gathering in front of hundreds of conservative activists. A good portion of his discussion touched on the draw of Texan economic success to other states. "For twelve straight years," Perry bragged, "we have led the nation in exports. And as of January, we led the nation in high-tech exports, surpassing California and the home of Silicon Valley."

"More people are moving to Texas than any other state," Perry said. "They are voting with their feet."

Perry even touted his record on criminal justice reform:

"Because of a simple change that we made in handling first-time nonviolent drug offenses, the Texas crime rate has dropped to its lowest level since 1968. [Applause]. For the first time in modern history, we are not building new prisons, we're shutting them down.

No one should be confused about whether Texas is tough on crime. But we're getting smart about crime as well. And saving taxpayers money."

The assembled conservative activists - many of them from Texas - enthusiastically received Perry's remarks. Toward the end of his speech, he discussed a new political action committee - RickPAC - that he's forming to support conservative candidates across the country, in 2014, 2016, and beyond. As governor who's leaving office soon, RickPAC will provide Perry the opportunity to remain active in politics should he decide to seek further national office.

Leah Barkoukis - Flashback Friday: "We're Leaving Behind a Sovereign, Stable, and Self-Reliant Iraq"
Posted: 8/8/2014 11:14:00 AM EST

Not only did we repeatedly hear that al Qaeda was on a “path to defeat” multiple times on the campaign trail in 2012, we also heard President Obama brag about ending the Iraq War and leaving behind a “sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq.”

Via CNS News:

Last night, however, after months of ISIS’ bloody rampage in the country, President Obama announced that America is coming to help. Airstrikes on ISIS artillery began Friday.

Townhall Magazine - Obama’s Bush Complex
Posted: 8/8/2014 8:56:00 AM EST

In the August issue of Townhall Magazine, where this column originally appeared, S.E. Cupp explains why President Bush may as well still be in the White House, because Obama can’t make a move without first thinking of him.

President Obama’s presidency is in many ways the sad tale of a promising and, at one time, confident rising star who instead withered into an equivocating and uncertain Hamlet-like figure. He is haunted by a ghost named President Bush.

What started as a rhetorical and admittedly effective political device to provide voters with a contrast between himself and his predecessor has morphed into an all-consuming and downright paralyzing specter. One that haunts nearly every foreign policy decision he tries, unsuccessfully, to make.

Bush may as well still be in the White House, because Obama can’t make a move without first thinking of him.

The result is a failed foreign policy made up of countless mistakes and missed opportunities. The first was when the White House giddily announced to all interested
parties that we’d be quitting Iraq. They did so far too quickly and without any apparent concern for the looming and predictable dangers. They even pulled much needed intelligence forces out of theater.

More motivated by sticking it to Bush and scoring the political win, Obama was happy to
take credit for stability in Iraq that he did not create, a result of the troop surge that he did not support.

The next clear mistake was dithering on Syria, a conflict many of us predicted three years ago would deteriorate into a vastly more dangerous one. That decision, to let Syria fester un- addressed, led directly to a frightening expansion of the terrorist state through the Levant. It was an expansion that occurred not overnight, but over months, and once again Obama’s Bush complex kept him from taking early decisive action.

In making his case for American intervention in Syria and Iraq, he dedicated more energy explaining what he would not do, again obsessing on the actions of the previous administration. On Syria, back in September of 2013, he assured:

“The military plan that has been developed by the joint chiefs and that I believe is appropriate is proportional. It is limited. It does not involve boots on the ground. This is not Iraq and this is not Afghanistan.”

And in June, upon announcing his decision to send 300 military advisers into Iraq, the over-compensation was palpable:

“Recent days have reminded us of the deep scars left by America’s war in Iraq.”


“Here at home, Iraq sparked vigorous debates and intense emotions in the past, and we’ve seen some of those debates resurface. But what’s clear from the last decade is the need for the United States to ask hard questions before we take action abroad, particularly military action.”


“I think we always have to guard against mission creep so let me repeat what I have said in the past. American combat troops are not going to be fighting in Iraq again.”

So, after waiting two years to make the case for Syria and five months to acknowledge ISIS in Iraq, Obama’s strategy for convincing the American people, Congress, and our allies around the world to back him on limited intervention in these conflicts wasn’t to explain their urgency, our self-interests, or our responsibility, but to declare our last intervention’s disasters. That’s like getting your friends to take a blimp ride by reminding them of the Hindenburg.

It’s no wonder no one was sold on Syria and folks are still very much confused and concerned by our presence again in Iraq.

And for a guy who sold “nothing” better than any other presidential candidate in history (he convinced a country to vote for a guy who had no record to speak of), it’s remarkable that his efforts to sell his foreign policy to any kind of plurality have failed so completely.

But it’s not a product that he believes in. And not because of any ideological impulse or conviction. He doesn’t know what he believes. “Not being Bush” has been his only guide. And so he hums that mantra until it becomes totally untenable. And then he’s surprised when, at the 11th hour, no one’s with him.

It’s a shame. Maybe Obama once had some clear-eyed ideas about how the world should work. But we’ll never know, because the only vision he’s offered is by way of another man’s. And merely doing the opposite of someone else is no way to lead a nation, let alone the world. •

S.E. Cupp is author of “Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media’s Attack on Christianity.” She has a weekly column in the New York Daily News and is a co-host of CNN’s “Crossfire.”

Katie Pavlich - Surprise! Health and Human Services Emails About Obamacare Rollout Have Been "Destroyed"
Posted: 8/8/2014 8:35:00 AM EST

The IRS is missing emails. The EPA is missing emails. What's the latest agency to pull the "the dog ate my homework card?"

An executive at the Department of Health and Human Services, Marilyn Tavenner, is claiming emails requested by the House Oversight Committee as part of an ongoing investigation into the Obamacare exchange and rollout, have been destroyed. The claim came around 5 p.m. Thursday. These same emails were subpoenaed 10 months ago by Congressional investigators.

“Today’s news that a senior HHS executive destroyed emails relevant to a congressional investigation means that the Obama Administration has lost or destroyed emails for more than 20 witnesses, and in each case, the loss wasn’t disclosed to the National Archives or Congress for months or years, in violation of federal law,” Issa said in response. “It defies logic that so many senior Administration officials were found to have ignored federal record keeping requirements only after Congress asked to see their emails. Just this week, my staff followed up with HHS, who has failed to comply with a subpoena from ten months ago. Even at that point, the administration did not inform us that there was a problem with Ms. Tavenner’s email history. Yet again, we discover that this Administration will not be forthright with the American people unless cornered.”

Issa also said the Committee was not directly informed about the "destroyed" emails.

Obama administration transparency strikes again.

H/T Twitchy.
Katie Pavlich - Hamas Breaks Cease Fire by Sending Rockets Into Israel Again, Fighting Resumes
Posted: 8/8/2014 8:15:00 AM EST

Last night just hours before a 72-hour truce officially expired and while new talks were ongoing, Hamas terrorists sent two rockets into southern Israel, breaking the three-day ceasefire agreement between the two sides.

Israel has launched 10 airstrikes against Hamas targets since the rocket fire last night. As the fighting continues, peace talks in Cairo are ongoing.

It is not clear if the renewed fighting will derail the Cairo talks, which are aimed at reaching a sustainable truce, or if Egyptian mediators can find a way to prevent further escalation.

Hamas officials said that even though they refused to extend the three-day cease-fire, they were willing to continue negotiations.

An Israeli government official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations, said Israel would not conduct negotiations under fire and would protect its citizens by all means.

The Israeli delegation left Cairo on Friday morning, and it was not clear if it would return.

Daniel Doherty - BREAKING: Lamar Alexander Survives Primary Challenge
Posted: 8/7/2014 10:15:00 PM EST

It’s official: Sen. Lamar Alexander's political career isn't over yet:

Republican Lamar Alexander became the latest U.S. senator to fend off a tea party challenge in a primary race Thursday, defeating a state senator who had used a familiar tactic in trying to cast him as an out of touch insider.

Alexander's win dealt another blow to national tea party momentum after the stunning primary win over Republican Rep. Eric Cantor in Virginia in June.

It wasn’t even close (via The Hill):

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) easily survived his Tea Party challenge on Thursday, dealing a final blow to conservative insurgents who hoped to oust a Senate incumbent this cycle.

With 19 percent reporting, the Associated Press called the race for Alexander with 52 percent of the vote. His main challenger, state Rep. Joe Carr, took 38 percent. Radiologist George Flinn took 6 percent, with the remainder of the vote split between several other candidates.

Of course, it’s incredibly difficult to unseat incumbents (especially incumbents who run solid campaigns and have been in public life for forty years). Those hoping for a David Brat-esque upset tonight will find themselves sorely disappointed.

Alexander is the sixth Senate Republican to survive a serious primary challenge this election cycle.

Daniel Doherty - Obama: Tonight I Authorized “Military” and “Humanitarian” Operations in Iraq
Posted: 8/7/2014 10:05:00 PM EST

Speaking from the State Dining Room on Thurday evening, President Obama announced that he had authorized two separate operations in Iraq: a “humanitarian mission” to bring food and supplies to ethnic minorities trapped and fearing for their lives on an isolated mountain in northern Iraq, and “limited military airstrikes” to prevent ISIS from slaughtering more innocents.

“They’re without food, without water, people are starving and children are dying of thirst,” he said.

Many too, he continued, have been indiscriminately massacred or even enslaved by ISIS forces in recent weeks. It was therefore, he argued, the responsibility of the US to intervene militarily.

“These innocent families are left with a horrible choice: descend the mountain and get slaughtered, or stay and [die] from thirst and hunger,” he said. “We cannot turn a blind eye.”

At the same time, in response to cries from the international community that the US was ignoring the brewing genocide, the president assured the public that “America is coming to help.”

He made clear, however, that he would not be redeploying US ground troops to the region.

“American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq,” he said.

Kara Jones - NATO Pledges to Stand by Ukraine with "Unwavering Support"
Posted: 8/7/2014 7:00:00 PM EST

NATO is looking to strengthen its partnership with Ukraine as it continues to resist pro-Russian separatists and assert its sovereignty as a nation.

As many as 20,000 Russian troops have now ascended upon the Ukrainian border, 8,000 of them having been added in just the past week. Today, NATO's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen paid a visit to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to discuss the alliance's support of the country during this time of great unrest.

A press release states that September's Alliance Summit in Wales will focus on the NATO-Ukrainian partnership in funding and advisement of defense planning:

As a sign of NATO’s strong support and solidarity, Allies have decided to hold a special meeting with Ukraine at next month’s NATO Summit in Wales which will contribute “to making our partnership even stronger,” the Secretary General said. NATO already advises Ukraine on defence planning and defence reform, and the Alliance is ready to intensify this support. In June, NATO Foreign Ministers also agreed to establish four trust funds to assist Ukraine. These could cover areas such as command and control, logistics, and re-training of retired military personnel.

Rasmussen says, “I call on Russia to step back from the brink. Step back from the border. Do not use peacekeeping as an excuse for war-making. I urge Russia to follow the genuine path to peace. To stop its support for separatists. To pull pack its troops from Ukraine's border. And to engage in a sincere dialogue for a peaceful solution."

Greg Hengler - Gutfeld: O Saying Hamas "Irresponsible" Like Describing Hijackers as Being Rude
Posted: 8/7/2014 5:52:00 PM EST

Gutfeld also offers this insight: "Build into that misguided belief is that terrorists somehow can act responsibly." Co-host of The Five, Andrea Tantaros adds: "He [Obama] makes it sound like they [Hamas] forgot to fasten their seatbelts."