The Week in Pictures: Same Damn Thing Edition

Ho-hum, another week, another loss for the Obama Administration in federal court (looks like still more work for Dear Chief Justice Roberts to sort out), another foreign crisis, another fundraising trip by Obama.  As Edna St. Vincent-Millary is reported to have said, “History isn’t one damn thing after another; it’s the same damn thing over and over again.”  Certainly is with the Obama White House.Obama Channells RR copy Perry v Obama copy Putin's Reset copy Obama Seal copy Obama Crisis copy Subsidy copy Worse Off copy Fundraising copy Obama Driving copy Lerner's Document dump copy Pelosi Finds Out copy New TSA Tax copy Obama Teleprompter copy Anofehr Red Line copy

Hamas Shield copy Hide the Rocket copy

Is this not the greatest pic ever showing what the Israeli government thinks of the Obama Administration?

Is this not the greatest pic ever showing what the Israeli government thinks of the Obama Administration?

Modern Good Samaritan copy

Libertarian Confusion copy DADDD copy

SF Minimum Wage copy

Bieber Whale copy

Order More Wine copy ADHD Sleep copy Decaf copy

Jayne 3 copy

And finally, a special shout out for the women of the IDF:

Hot IDF copy

Tools of jihad: Protective Edge edition

BBC Middle East editor Paul Danahar happened to be on hand in Gaza for the opening of Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012. When the son of Danahar’s BBC Gaza colleague Jihad Masharawi was killed at the outset of the operation, Danahar all but accused Israel of murder. Via his Twitter account ‏@pdanahar, Danahar tweeted his reaction to young Masharawi’s death: “Questioned [sic] asked here is: if Israel can kill a man riding on a moving motorbike (as they did last month) how did Jihad’s son get killed?” As a result of coverage afforded the incident by the BBC, the Washington Post and all the usual media suspects, the death of the young Masharawi allegedly at the hands of Israel created an international sensation.

Reasonable grounds existed to doubt Israel’s responsibility at the time, and we raised them here. Danahar’s own photo of Masharawi’s house after it was hit by the munition that killed Masharawi’s son strongly suggested all by itself that no Israeli munition did the damage. On the contrary, it suggested that an errant Hamas rocket killed Masharawi’s son.

Months later a UN report arrived at this conclusion. The Washington Post then sheepishly posted an “editor’s note” explaining why its own stories on the incident had misfired and erroneously blamed Israel. Adam Kredo picked up on it in the Washington Free Beacon article here.

By this time the question of responsibility had become the preserve of obsessives and cranks. I established myself as a charter member of the club in the Power Line series “Tools of jihad.” I thought the resolution of the story in March 2013 was a huge development because it provided a clear window opening onto the Terrorist Theater that Islamist forces routinely employ to advance the cause with the cooperation of the mainstream media.

This year’s model is the story involving the death of 15 or 16 Gazans at a UN school (or “school,” or weapons depot) earlier this week, according, as in this Time report, to “officials.” Television reports have routinely attributed the fault to Israel, although the published accounts that I find online include Israel’s questioning of responsibility somewhere in the story. Perhaps Israel is doing a better job on the public relations front this time around, or we are making some slight progress with the media.

CNN’s online account notes in paragraph five that it is unclear who was behind the incident, but the accompanying ITN video shows Terrorist Theater in full force and CNN performing its accustomed role as purveyor. As I noted here, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer powerfully raised the question with CNN’s Erin Burnett on Thursday. You can see for yourself in the video at the link what Ambassador Dermer was exercised about. Below is shorter ITN report found on YouTube to the same effect. It is pure propaganda. Terrorist Theater has resumed.

The media stories omit Hamas’s comprehensive use of civilians, schools, mosques and houses for military purposes (including the Hamas missiles that mysteriously appeared in two UN schools this week). If Israel’s forces misfired and hit the UN school, this is fine with Hamas; their tactics (as well as their initiation of the war) should be accorded ultimate responsibility. The media stories also omit Hamas’s instructions on shaping casualty figures for the purposes of Hamas propaganda. See MEMRI’s highly illuminating report on the subject.

Follow-up stories on the UN school incident include the Haaretz/AP analysis “Source of Gaza attack on UNRWA school remains unclear” and the National Post’s “A ‘high chance’ shell that hit school, killing 15, was shot by Hamas: Israeli defense official.” The truth will emerge with the assistance of the Israeli military in due course. In the meantime, extreme caution should be employed in consuming mainstream media reports emanating from Gaza and relying on Gaza “officials,” i.e., Hamas.

“Degraded,” fortunately

Islamic toilet etiquette specifies an elaborate protocol that goes well beyond our immediate need to know. (Warning: You also really don’t want to know.) Fortunately, however, it seems not to require clean underwear, at least not directly. In an update on the failure of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to detonate the bomb concealed in his underwear as he attempted to bring down Northwest Airlines Flight 235 back in 2009, the Daily Mail reports:

The notorious underwear bomber’s plot in 2009 to blow up a plane on Christmas Day failed because the explosives became ‘degraded’ after he wore the same pair of underpants for two weeks, according to a U.S. official.

Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was on a suicide mission when he attempted to detonate a bomb in his underpants as the plane, en route from Amsterdam, approached Detroit.

The bomb however failed to detonate aboard the flight, which was carrying nearly 300 people, but caused a brief fire that caused burns to his groin.

He was sentenced to life without parole in February 2012 after he pleaded guilty to all charges on the second day of his trial the previous October.

The head of the Transportation Security Administration said this week the bomb failed to detonate because of how long Abdulmutallab had been wearing his underwear.

John Pistole told the Aspen Security Forum: ‘The bomber had had the device with him for over two weeks.’

Mr Pistole was then asked whether the bomb had become ‘damp’, to which he replied: ‘Let’s say it was degraded.’

If the etiquette were to require clean underwear (or if it in fact does so), the requirement would probably be forgiven when the follower of Islam is engaged in jihad. Heeding the spirit of Mr. Pistole’s admonition, let’s just leave it at that for now.

Tweet of the Day

The Tweet of the Day comes from Ken Gardner and features Kimberly Guilfoyle. No further comment is necessary. Click to enlarge:


Impeachment? Seriously?

The Democrats are salivating at the idea that Republicans might try to impeach President Obama. They think, perhaps, that impeachment is the one thing that could salvage Obama’s second term. In the meantime, they are furiously raising money with the claim that Republicans are bent on impeachment. The Blaze offers a rather comical account:

The notion of impeaching President Barack Obama got substantial attention Friday from two White House officials, who both said senior Republicans wanted to see it happen. But they couldn’t name any senior Republicans when pressed.

Further, White House press secretary Josh Earnest expressed doubt about whether House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was sincere when he said impeachment is not on the table. …

The topic first made news Friday after Dan Pfeiffer, a counselor to the president, told a Christian Science Monitor breakfast: “I would not discount that possibility. I think Speaker Boehner, by going down the path of this lawsuit, has opened the door to Republicans possibly considering impeachment at some in the future.”

As far as I know, Sarah Palin is the only Republican of any stature who has talked about impeachment. There is no such movement afoot in the House. But the Democrats don’t care; fundraising is always priority number one for them, and talk of impeachment is catnip to their base. I get several emails a day from various Democratic Party organizations soliciting donations to combat the alleged threat of impeachment. This one, which came in today from my good friend Nancy, is typical. Click to enlarge file size:


Note that the Democrats say “Congress” voted to sue Obama. Actually, of course, it was the House. But the Democrats don’t want to admit that they control the Senate, and they frequently talk about Congress as though it were all Republican. To take advantage of those low approval ratings, I assume. Reportedly, the Democrats are raising a great deal of money with these impeachment scare appeals.

Is there any reason why Republicans should think seriously about impeaching the president? He certainly has committed impeachable offenses, as I have written before. He has failed to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” and on the contrary has deliberately subverted the rule of law with respect to immigration and other important subjects. Further, he has misused the powers of the executive branch to harass and intimidate his political opponents. These are precisely the sorts of offenses for which the constitutional remedy of impeachment was intended.

However, impeachment is a political remedy, not a legal one. Is there significant support in the electorate for such a drastic step? Some have gotten excited over polls like this one, in which 36% said that they favor impeachment. But that is a pretty typical number for a second-term president, and the 36% are overwhelmingly Republicans. Lots of Democrats wanted to impeach George W. Bush, too, but their party’s leaders were too smart to attempt that after they took control of Congress for the last two years of Bush’s second term.

Old-timers remember the Nixon impeachment drama, but for most voters, “impeachment” conjures up the Republicans’ well-intentioned but politically disastrous effort to remove Bill Clinton. That is the precedent to which the Democrats now appeal, and it is not an experience that Republicans should want to relive. Not unless events drastically change the political landscape.

Obama rejects Kurds’ plea for help against ISIS

President Obama famously failed to act when warned that ISIS was preparing to mount an offensive in Western Iraq. This left ISIS free to conquer, with virtually no resistance, city after city in the defense of which American soldiers have shed blood.

Now Obama is receiving new warnings, this time from the Kurds in Northern Iraq. In fact, according to the Washington Post, the Kurds are “pleading for U.S. military aid.”

Unlike the Iraqi government, the Kurds possess a viable military that is prepared to fight ISIS. Indeed, they are fighting ISIS, and fairly effectively.

However, the Kurds now have a 650 mile border to defend, thanks to the abandonment of the area by Iraq’s military forces. Thus, the Kurdish forces are stretched extremely thin.

The Kurds should be receiving a share of the weapons the U.S. is supplying to the Iraqi government. But that, of course, isn’t happening. Mansour Barzani, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s intelligence and security chief, told the Post that Baghdad hasn’t provided “a single bullet.”

Meanwhile, says the Post, the ISIS forces attacking the Kurds have seized weapons worth hundreds of millions of dollars from retreating Iraqi soldiers. In effect, Baghdad is supplying ISIS while providing the Kurds with nothing.

Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the Obama administration has rejected Kurdish pleas for arms with which to fight ISIS. Its rationale is that assistance must come through the central government.

But the central government is (a) dysfunctional and (b) unwilling to lift a finger to help the Kurds in any case. In fact, the Iraq government’s unwillingness to “play nice” with the Kurds has been part of the Obama administration’s rationale for not doing more to help the government.

Unlike the government of Iraq, the Kurds are ready and willing to inflict defeat on ISIS. With assistance from the U.S. in the form of weaponry, the Kurds would probably be able to inflict that much-needed defeat.

It seems criminal for Obama to deny this assistance in the name of defending the interests of a central government that Obama has condemned for its dealings with the Kurds (among others).

ISIS is looking to establish a caliphate, and making good progress toward that end. Meanwhile, Obama dithers, using the Iraq government’s poor treatment of the Kurds as an excuse for not doing more to help it fight ISIS, and the Kurd’s natural animosity to the government as an excuse for not helping them.

It’s almost as if Obama is indifferent to the progress of ISIS and willing to embrace any excuse for standing idly by in the face of that progress.

Just For Fun, a Half Hour With C.J. Box

I hosted the Laura Ingraham radio show one day last week, and will be doing it again next week, both Wednesday and Thursday. We are working on lining up some good guests; please tune in if you have the opportunity.

Last week, one of my guests (along with Tom Cotton and Prof. Philip Hamburger, author of Is Administrative Law Unlawful?) was C.J. Box, one of America’s best-selling authors. C.J.–Chuck, to his friends–is a great guy and a fun interview. Here it is, courtesy of Laura’s producers, last week’s interview with C.J. Box. And, as a bonus, the last two segments are on immigration, with callers: