I realize Obama does not want the Nobel Committee to take his pretty gold medal away nor does he want to anger the radical left of his party and I also understand Obama is incapable of accepting blame for anything and much of what he says is not believable but it would seem to me, at some point, he would come to realize how foolish he looks.
Furthermore, I don't care if he wants to look foolish, that is his problem and choice, but why take America with him? Perhaps it is because he does not like America and believes we are a threat to world peace and when he allows Iran to go nuclear matters will be more tranquil.
I also do not understand what he does with his daily intelligence briefings. He must take them to the golf course and reads them while carting between holes.
Apparently, Obama was wrong when he told us he had defeated Islamist terrorists but then he is never wrong so I guess the intelligence agency gave him the wrong skinny. At least I am comforted by the fact that Obama has confidence in the man who heads the agency he is blaming for not knowing what they were doing and for underestimating the strength of the terrorists they told him no longer existed.
If Republicans cannot win in 2014 and assume control of The Senate one has to ask what the hell will it take for them to win. I guess we will just have to assume it was all because of work place violence so 'what difference does it make." (See 1 and 1a below.)
Sowell and random thoughts. (See 2 below.)
Very graphic pictures which prove we are not at war just involved in several work place accidents.
There is a lesson here. If you cannot define your enemy in language that is realistic you will lose and that is what Obama either wants or is preparing us to indulge.
Compare Obama's wishy washy rhetoric to Netanyahu's speech yesterday if you do not comprehend what I am saying.
If Obama intends to 'contain' ISIS he will have to put 'booties' on the ground and if he does not then he does not want to protect America. Furthermore, he will eventually kill innocent civilians as Israel was forced to do so that too is probably a price he is unwilling to reveal so he will continue to control the news and his protectors in the press and media will play right along. (See 3 below.)
Stratfor on Germany. (See 4 below.)
Obama Needs to Call Bush
Talk to your predecessor. It will show contrition, humility and real bipartisanship—things you could use to salvage your presidency.
Bill Clinton made news earlier this month when he revealed, at a joint appearance with George W. Bush, that the 43rd president used to call him twice a year during his troubled second term "just to talk."
"We talked about everything in the right world," Mr. Clinton said of the conversations, which lasted anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes. "He asked my opinion, half the time he disagreed with it. But I felt good about that, I thought that was a really healthy thing."
Maybe President Obama also calls Mr. Bush every now and then, just to talk, and one day we'll find out about it. But I suspect not. No president has so completely built his administration with a view toward doing—and being—the opposite of his predecessor. Long private talks wouldn't just be out of character for this president. They'd be awkward.
But having a long conversation with Mr. Bush is what Mr. Obama needs to do if he means to start salvaging his failing presidency. It would be an act of contrition: for six years of vulgar ridicule and sophomoric condescension. Also, humility: for finally understanding that the intel is often wrong (and that doesn't make you a "liar"), that the choices in war are never clear or simple, that the allies aren't always with you, and that evil succumbs only to force.
And it would be an act of bipartisanship: not the fake kind to which the president pays occasional lip service, but the kind that knows there is no party monopoly on wisdom, and that there is no democracy without compromise, and that there can be no compromise when your opponents sense you hold them in contempt.
"Mr. President," Mr. Obama could begin, with an emphasis on formality, "I'd like to borrow that portrait you did of Vladimir Putin so I can hang it in my private study. I need to be able to stare my enemy in the face every day."
That should break the ice.
Maybe then the two presidents can start talking about a few things they have in common. Like going from big re-elections to dismal ratings in a matter of months. Like realizing that you will soon lose the Congress, and that your own party is turning on you. Like figuring out that your top cabinet officers and White House confidantes are failing you. Like having your past boasts about military success rendered ridiculous by events. Like needing to come up with a new strategy, quickly, before a foreign-policy setback becomes a full-blown calamity.
"Tell me about firing Don Rumsfeld, " Mr. Obama might inquire.
That's a good subject to dwell on, because firing is what presidents do when a signature policy is visibly failing, as Iraq policy was in the summer of 2006. In the Rumsfeld case, Mr. Bush faced a particularly difficult task: Mr. Rumsfeld was a man the president admired, a peer of his father, a team player—and an object of partisan venom, meaning his sacking would be treated in the media as an admission of failure and a scalp for Democrats.
If Mr. Obama isn't thinking about cashiering a top adviser, he should start now. CIA Director John Brennan has presided over serial intelligence debacles—including the failure to anticipate the fall of Mosul—while National Intelligence Director James Clapper has had no credibility in Congress since he lied to a Senate committee. John Kerry's incompetent diplomacy in Jerusalem and Ramallah helped set the stage for the Gaza War. Susan Rice is toxic with Republicans on account of her public misrepresentations regarding Benghazi and Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, and toxic with allies because of her penchant for foul-mouthed tirades. Hapless Chuck Hagel is busy downsizing the U.S. military while demanding that Europeans increase their military spending.
The dismissal of any of these people would send a useful signal to U.S. allies that the president has the nerve—and self-awareness—to make a change.
"Mr. President," Mr. Bush could modestly suggest, "go to Congress, say the threats we face from Russia and ISIS and Iran require a bigger military, and name Stan McChrystal or Dave Petraeus as your next Defense Secretary and Ray Odierno as your new national security adviser. Add a few hawks to your team. That'll bury a couple of ghosts. And it'll get Vladimir's immediate attention."
"Interesting ideas, George. Final question: How do I kick things off with Mitch McConnell when he's majority leader?"
"He can't be worse than Harry Reid, can he?" Mr. Bush might reply. "Be gracious. Pretend you know something about horses and bourbon. Don't make promises in private that you'll renege on in public. Never keep him waiting. Don't give speeches denouncing Republicans as mean and greedy. Listen as if you might actually learn something. Give something if you want to get something."
"OK, thanks. Gotta go help Sasha with her geometry homework. Any advice on that?"
"Call Clinton. He's the triangulator."
2) Random Thoughts
By Thomas Sowell
Random thoughts on the passing scene:
What a non-judgmental society amounts to is that common decency is optional -- which means that decency is likely to become less common.
The biggest issue in this fall's election is whether the Obama administration will end when Barack Obama leaves the White House or whether it will continue on, by appointing federal judges with lifetime appointments who share President Obama's contempt for the Constitution. Whether such judges will be confirmed by the Senate depends on whether the Senate continues to be controlled by Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Why in the world would any sane American go to North Korea and put themselves at the mercy of a crackpot dictator?
Since Illinois enacted a law permitting more people to carry concealed firearms, more than 65,000 people got permits to do so. Rates of robbery, burglary and motor vehicle thefts have dropped significantly, and the murder rate has fallen to a level not seen in more than half a century. If only the gun control fanatics would pay some attention to facts, a lot of lives could be saved.
If you took all the mumbo-jumbo out of our educational institutions, how much would be left? Students could finish their education years earlier and end up knowing a lot more than they know now.
Why are Americans -- and the Western world in general -- falling all over ourselves stifling our own self-expression to appease people who chose to immigrate here, and are now demanding the suppression of anything they don't like, such as public expressions of Christianity or displays of the American flag?
Someone should write a history of political rhetoric, if only to put us on our guard against being deceived into disasters. The First World War, for example, was said to be a war "to make the world safe for democracy." What it actually led to was the replacement of despotic dynasties by totalitarian dictatorships that were far worse, including far more murderous.
Professor Sterling Brown remains as much a hero to me in my old age as he was when I was a freshman at Howard University. He wrote bitterly eloquent attacks on racism -- and yet, when I was preparing to go off to Harvard, he said to me, "Don't come back here and tell me you didn't make it 'cause white folks were mean."
The fatal weakness of most clever people is that they don't know when to stop being clever. The past cleverness of President Obama is finally starting to catch up with him.
Why Republicans would bring up the subject of immigration during an election year is beyond me. Yet Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner seems drawn to the subject like a moth to a flame.
Who says the Obama administration is not transparent? They are constantly telling our enemies overseas when it will pull out our troops and where we will not put boots on the ground.
Heartening as it has been to see Derek Jeter get farewell honors during his last season, as with Mariano Rivera last season, it is also a melancholy thought that we may not see their like again -- in their personal dignity and class, as well as their performance on the field. They are throwbacks to an earlier time, in a sports world of spoiled brat showoffs today.
I must have heard the word "diversity" proclaimed in ringing tones as a great benefit to society at least a thousand times -- and probably closer to a million -- without even once hearing a speck of evidence provided, or even suggested as a way to test whether that is true or false.
Attorney General Eric Holder has picked the perfect time to resign, in terms of his own self-interest. He will have two years in which to cash in with lucrative fees on the lecture circuit and to make a big-bucks book deal. If he waited until the end of the Obama administration, a former Attorney General would be eclipsed in both respects by a former President of the United States, thereby reducing the demand for Holder.
With the momentous consequences of control of the Senate at stake in this fall's election, anyone who risks the outcome by running as a third party candidate should not only be voted against this year but remembered for such irresponsibility in future years.
Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His website is www.tsowell.com.
3)These photos show ISIS brutality in action. The photos get worse as you progress through them. They show the ISIS' treatment of Christians and other "Infidels" in Iraq and Syria.
The photos were received from a Franciscan priest to show with what we are dealing and to begin to understand what is at hand in order to develop solutions.
Jeñcy z 17 dywizji w Raqqa w SyriiChrze¶cijanie w Raqqa
Egzekucja 1700 jeñców w TikricieKrzy¿owanieAl Shaer Syria 21 lipcaEgzekucjeNiszczenie ¶wi±tyñ Niniwa.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------4 )Germany Fights on Two Fronts to Preserve the Eurozone
By Adriano Bosoni and Mark Fleming-Williams
The European Court of Justice announced Sept. 22 that hearings in the case against the European Central Bank's (ECB) bond-buying scheme known as Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) will begin Oct. 14. Though the process is likely to be lengthy, with a judgment not due until mid-2015, the ruling will have serious implications for Germany's relationship with the rest of the eurozone. The timing could hardly be worse, coming as an anti-euro party has recently been making strides in the German political scene, steadily undermining the government's room for maneuver.
The roots of the case go back to late 2011, when Italian and Spanish sovereign bond yields were following their Greek counterparts to sky-high levels as the markets showed that they had lost confidence in the eurozone's most troubled economies' ability to turn themselves around. By summer 2012 the situation in Europe was desperate. Bailouts had been undertaken in Greece, Ireland and Portugal, while Italy was getting dangerously close to needing one. But Italy's economy, and particularly its gargantuan levels of government debt, meant that it would be too big to receive similar treatment. In any event, the previous bailouts were not calming financial markets.
ECB President Mario Draghi never actually had to step in because the promise of intervention in bond markets convinced investors that eurozone countries would not be allowed to default. But Draghi's solution was not to everyone's taste. Notable opponents included Jens Weidmann, president of the German Bundesbank. Along with many Germans, Weidmann felt the ECB was overstepping its jurisdictional boundaries, since EU treaties bar the bank from financing member states. Worse, were OMT ever actually used, it essentially would be spending German money to bail out what many Germans considered profligate Southern Europeans.
In early 2013, a group of economics and constitutional law professors from German universities collected some 35,000 signatures and brought OMT before the German Constitutional Court. During a hearing in June 2013, Weidmann testified for the prosecution. In February 2014, the court delivered an unexpected verdict, ruling 6-2 that the central bank had in fact overstepped its boundaries, though it also referred the matter to the European Court of Justice. Recognizing the profound importance of this issue, the court acknowledged that a more restrictive interpretation of OMT by the European Court of Justice could make it legal.
The German judgment suggested that three alterations to OMT would satisfy the Constitutional Court that the mechanism was lawful. Two of the three changes, however, are problematic at best. One alteration would limit the ECB to senior debt, a change that would protect it against the default of the sovereign in question but also risk undermining the confidence of other investors who would not be similarly protected. The second alteration would make bond buying no longer "unlimited," constraining the bank's ability to intimidate bond traders by leaving it with a rifle instead of a bazooka.
A New German Political Party
The group of academics who organized the petition kept busy while the court deliberated. The Alternative for Germany, a party founded in February 2013 by one of their number, economics professor Bernd Lucke, and frequently known by its German acronym, AfD, has made significant gains in elections across Germany. Founded as an anti-euro party, the party came very close to winning a seat in the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament, in the September 2013 general elections, a remarkable feat for a party founded just six months before. It made even larger gains in 2014, winning 7.1 percent of the vote in European Parliament elections in May and between 9.7 and 12.2 percent in three regional elections in August and September.
Germany is currently ruled by a grand coalition, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel's center-right Christian Democratic Union party (and its sister party, the Bavaria-based Christian Social Union) sharing power with the center-left Social Democratic Party. This has resulted in the Christian Democratic Union being dragged further to the center than it wanted to be, creating a space to its right that the Alternative for Germany nimbly entered.
Originally a single-issue party, the Alternative for Germany has begun espousing conservative values and anti-immigration policies, a tactic that worked particularly well in elections held in eastern Germany in the summer. Its rise puts Merkel, a European integrationist, in a quandary that will become particularly acute if the Alternative for Germany proves capable of representing Germans uncomfortable with the idea of the country financially supporting the rest of Europe.
Since the beginning of the European crisis, Merkel has proved masterful at crafting a message that combines criticism of countries in the European periphery with the defense of bailout programs for those same countries. But while Merkel has become accustomed to criticism from left-wing parties over the harsh austerity measures the European Union demanded in exchange for bailouts, she had not counted on anti-euro forces mounting serious opposition in Germany. Merkel is not alone in this, of course: center-right parties across Europe, from David Cameron's coalition in the United Kingdom to Mark Rutte's People's Party for Freedom and Democracy in the Netherlands, have seen Euroskeptical populism emerge to their right, eating into their traditional voter platforms.
This anti-ECB sentiment in Germany has swelled during 2014, as Draghi's attempts to increase the eurozone's low inflation have departed further and further from economic orthodoxy. German conservatives have greeted each new policy with displeasure. The German media has called negative interest rates "penalty rates," claiming they redistribute billions of euros from German savers to Southern European spenders. On Sept. 25, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble spoke in the Bundestag of his displeasure with Draghi's program to buy asset-backed securities. Judging from the German hostility to even "quantitative easing-lite" measures, the ECB's attempts to rope Germany into further stimulus measures could prove troublesome indeed.
Institutional and Political Challenges for Berlin
All of the measures the ECB has announced so far, however, are mere appetizers. Financial markets have been demanding quantitative easing, a broad-based program of buying sovereign bonds in order to inject a large quantity of money into the market. Up to this stage, three major impediments have existed to such a policy: the German government's ideological aversion to spending taxpayers' money on peripheral economies; the political conception that quantitative easing would ease the pressure on peripheral economies to reform; and the court case that has been hanging over OMT (the only existing mechanism available to the ECB for undertaking sovereign bond purchases). Notably, the OMT in its original guise and quantitative easing are not precisely the same thing. In the original conception of OMT, the ECB would offset any purchases in full by taking an equivalent amount of money out of circulation, (i.e., not increasing the money supply itself). Nonetheless, any declaration that OMT is illegal would severely inhibit Draghi's room for maneuver should he wish to undertake full quantitative easing.
This confluence of events leaves Merkel nervously awaiting the decision of the European Court of Justice. In truth, she is in a no-win situation. If the Luxembourg court holds OMT illegal, Draghi's promise would be weakened, removing the force that has kept many sovereign bond yields at artificially low levels and permitting the desperate days of 2011-2012 to surge back. If the European Court of Justice takes up the German court's three suggestions and undercuts OMT to the extent that the market deems it to be of little consequence, the same outcome could occur. And if the European Court of Justice rules that OMT is legal, a sizable inhibitor to quantitative easing will have been removed, and the possibility of a fully fledged bond-buying campaign will loom ever closer, much to the chagrin of the German voter and to the political gain of the Alternative for Germany.
When analyzing the significance of this case, it is important to bear in mind that Germany is an export-driven power that must find markets for its exports to preserve cohesion and social stability at home. The eurozone helps Germany significantly — 40 percent of German exports go to the eurozone and 60 percent to the full European Union — because it traps its main European customers within the same currency union, depriving them of the possibility of devaluing their
currencies to become more competitive.
Since the beginning of the crisis, Germany has managed to keep the eurozone alive without substantially compromising its national wealth, but the moment will arrive when Germany must decide whether it is willing to sacrifice a larger part of its wealth to save its neighbors. Berlin has thus far been able to keep its own capital relatively free of the hungry mouths of the periphery, but the problem keeps returning. This puts Germany in a dilemma because two of its key imperatives are in contradiction. Will it save the eurozone to protect its exports, writing a big check as part of the deal? Or will it oppose the ECB moves, which if blocked could mean a return to dangerously high bond yields and the return of rumors of Greece, Italy and others leaving the currency union?
The case will prove key to Europe's future for even deeper reasons. The European crisis is generating deep frictions in the Franco-German alliance, the main pillar of the union. The contrast between Germany, which has low unemployment and modest economic growth, and France, which has high unemployment and no growth, is becoming increasingly difficult to hide. In the coming months, this division will continue to widen, and Paris will become even more vocal in its demands for more action by the ECB, more EU spending and more measures in Germany to boost domestic investment and public consumption.
This creates yet another dilemma for Berlin, since many of the demands coming from west of the Rhine are deeply unpopular with German voters. But the German government understands that high unemployment and low economic growth in Europe are leading to a rise in anti-euro and anti-establishment parties. The rise of the National Front in France is the clearest example of this trend. There is a growing consensus among German political elites that unless Berlin makes some concessions to Paris, it could have to deal with a more radicalized French government down the road. The irony is that even if Berlin were inclined to bend to French wishes, it would find itself constrained by institutional forces beyond its control, such as the Constitutional Court.
Germany has managed to avoid most of these questions so far, but these issues will not got away and in fact will define Europe in 2015; the Alternative for Germany, for example, is here to stay. Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court will keep challenging EU attempts at federalization even if this specific crisis is averted, and the Bundesbank and conservative academic circles will keep criticizing every measure that would reduce German sovereignty to help France or Italy. Though it is impossible to predict the European Court of Justice's final ruling, either way, the dilemma will continue to plague an increasingly fragile European Union.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------