TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud Party scored a resounding victory in the country’s election, final results showed Wednesday, a stunning turnaround after a tight race that had put his lengthy rule in jeopardy.
With nearly all votes counted, Likud appeared to have earned 30 out of parliament’s 120 seats and was in a position to build with relative ease a coalition government with its nationalist, religious and ultra-Orthodox Jewish allies. Such a government would likely put Israel at odds with the international community over settlement construction and its opposition to Palestinian statehood, and continue clashing with the White House over hard-line policies.
The election was widely seen as a referendum on Netanyahu, who has governed the country for the past six years. Recent opinion polls indicated he was in trouble, giving chief rival Isaac Herzog of the opposition Zionist Union a slight lead. Exit polls Tuesday showed the two sides deadlocked but once the actual results came pouring in early Wednesday, Likud soared forward. Zionist Union wound up with just 24 seats.
Go here to read the rest. This is a stinging defeat for Obama because his political operatives went all out to defeat Netanyahu:
Israel began this week abuzz with debate over whether or not the Obama Administration is trying to interfere in Israel’s upcoming elections, and if so, how deeply the White House is involved in seeking “regime change.”
So when a new political organization going by the name of V15 (Victory in 2015) sprang up with the sole purpose of bringing Netanyahu’s premiership to an end, it didn’t take long before Israelis were pondering the level of Obama’s association.
The Senate is currently investigating Obama’s involvement in the Israeli elections: Continue reading
Since its inception, the Obama administration, the same administration unable to say the phrase, “Islamic Terrorism”, has desperately wanted to turn the focus onto domestic “right-wing” terrorism. The problem of course is that as organized groups such terrorism is about as rare as unicorn sightings in this country. Not a problem. In a just released report, the Department of Homeland Security, and what a truly Orwellian waste of money that huge bureaucracy has become, raises the bogey-man sovereign citizen movement which basically consists of cranks on the internet who appeal to other cranks and losers off the internet, into an alleged country spanning terrorist organization:
Washington (CNN)They’re carrying out sporadic terror attacks on police, have threatened attacks on government buildings and reject government authority.
A new intelligence assessment, circulated by the Department of Homeland Security this month and reviewed by CNN, focuses on the domestic terror threat from right-wing sovereign citizen extremists and comes as the Obama administration holds a White House conference to focus efforts to fight violent extremism.
Some federal and local law enforcement groups view the domestic terror threat from sovereign citizen groups as equal to — and in some cases greater than — the threat from foreign Islamic terror groups, such as ISIS, that garner more public attention.
The Homeland Security report, produced in coordination with the FBI, counts 24 violent sovereign citizen-related attacks across the U.S. since 2010.
Go here to read the rest at CNN. JihadWatch gives this bilge the response it deserves:
In the middle of this story on the CNN page was a link to another CNN story that shows just how ridiculous this is: “ISIS burned up to 40 people alive in Iraq, official says.” Have “right-wing sovereign citizen extremists” burned anyone alive? Have these “right-wingers” kidnapped large numbers of left-wing women and pressed them into sex slavery? Boasted that they would conquer the United States and ultimately the world, and that they had sleeper cells in place in the U.K. ready to start killing? Have they actually killed anyone beyond the two officers mentioned in this report? Do “sovereign citizens” give children weapons training and severed heads to play with? Do they burn musical instruments, murder left-wingers for the sole crime of being left-wingers, crucify people as children watch, chop off women’s hands for using cell phones, and behead people for smoking cigarettes?
The powers that be at the Vatican appear to have what they consider to be bigger issues than trifles like religious liberty or the slaying of the unborn:
The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency met Friday with Vatican officials who helped draft Pope Francis’ upcoming encyclical on ecology, evidence that the Obama administration is seeking to hitch its climate-change message onto that of the popular pope.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told reporters that her aim in visiting was to show the Vatican how aligned President Barack Obama and Francis are on climate change. She said she wanted to stress that global warming isn’t just an environmental issue, but a public health threat, and yet also a chance for economic opportunity.
“I think the most important thing that we can do, working with the pope, is to try to remind ourselves that this is really about protecting natural resources that human beings rely on, and that those folks that are most vulnerable — that the church has always been focused on, those in poverty and low income — are the first that are going to be hit and impacted by a changing climate,” she said.
In Federalist 69 Alexander Hamilton responded to the criticism that the Presidency under the proposed Constitution established an elective monarchy which would be a perpetual threat to American liberties:
Hence it appears that, except as to the concurrent authority of the President in the article of treaties, it would be difficult to determine whether that magistrate would, in the aggregate, possess more or less power than the Governor of New York. And it appears yet more unequivocally, that there is no pretense for the parallel which has been attempted between him and the king of Great Britain. But to render the contrast in this respect still more striking, it may be of use to throw the principal circumstances of dissimilitude into a closer group.
The President of the United States would be an officer elected by the people for four years; the king of Great Britain is a perpetual and hereditary prince. The one would be amenable to personal punishment and disgrace; the person of the other is sacred and inviolable. The one would have a qualified negative upon the acts of the legislative body; the other has an absolute negative. The one would have a right to command the military and naval forces of the nation; the other, in addition to this right, possesses that of declaring war, and of raising and regulating fleets and armies by his own authority. The one would have a concurrent power with a branch of the legislature in the formation of treaties; the other is the sole possessor of the power of making treaties. The one would have a like concurrent authority in appointing to offices; the other is the sole author of all appointments. The one can confer no privileges whatever; the other can make denizens of aliens, noblemen of commoners; can erect corporations with all the rights incident to corporate bodies. The one can prescribe no rules concerning the commerce or currency of the nation; the other is in several respects the arbiter of commerce, and in this capacity can establish markets and fairs, can regulate weights and measures, can lay embargoes for a limited time, can coin money, can authorize or prohibit the circulation of foreign coin. The one has no particle of spiritual jurisdiction; the other is the supreme head and governor of the national church! What answer shall we give to those who would persuade us that things so unlike resemble each other? The same that ought to be given to those who tell us that a government, the whole power of which would be in the hands of the elective and periodical servants of the people, is an aristocracy, a monarchy, and a despotism.
One can only imagine what Mr. Hamilton and the other Founding Fathers would make of this:
According to a senior Democrat familiar with the plans, Obama will announce on Thursday that he is providing temporary protections to up to 5 million undocumented immigrants. His orders will make up to 4 million undocumented immigrants eligible for temporary protective status and provide relief to another 1 million through other means. Continue reading
If anyone doubts that we have gangsters at the helm of the federal government who have nothing but contempt for traditional American liberties, the Obama administration quite nicely continues to supply plenty of evidence to support their hostility to the Bill of Rights, as Mary Katharine Ham at Hot Air notes:
The U.S. Department of Justice has joined the discussions over a controversial float in the Norfolk Independence Day parade.
The department sent a member of its Community Relations Service team, which gets involved in discrimination disputes, to a Thursday meeting about the issue. Also at the meeting were the NAACP, the Norfolk mayor and The Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
The float was created by a Nebraska veteran, Dale Emmerich, and featured a zombified mannequin figure standing in front of an outhouse bearing the sign, “Obama Presidential Library.” Emmerich said the mannequin represented him and other veterans, and the float was a comment on the horrors of the VA scandal. Which, given the level of broken trust, deceit, and death exposed at nearly every level of that corrupt system, I cannot begrudge the man his dissent. It used to be that we valued such things even when— especially when, dare I say— we disagreed personally with such speech or found it problematic.
I describe the content of the float to put us all on the same page but it’s irrelevant because making a parade float that offends people is not in any way against the law. Charles C.W. Cooke on the virtues of the formerly universally understood freedom to mock one’s leaders:
Now for the obvious question: Why? What, exactly, was the problem here? Nobody was killed. Nobody was injured. Nobody had their material or spiritual interests injured, nor were they stripped of their livelihoods. No federal or state laws were broken. Indeed, not even private rules were broken. More to the point, there was no “discrimination dispute” of the sort with which the DOJ likes to concern itself. Instead, a few free people were vexed because a politician that they like was depicted in an unflattering light. One might well ask, “So what?” Once, Americans tackled the Oregon Trail. Are they now in need of their political “discussions” being arbitrated by glorified social workers sent by Uncle Sam?
In a typically risible statement, Nebraska’s state Democratic party described the incident as one of the “worst shows of racism and disrespect for the office of the presidency that Nebraska has ever seen.” That this is almost certainly true demonstrates just how much progress the United States has made in the last 50 years — and, in consequence, how extraordinarily difficult the professionally aggrieved are finding it to fill their quotas. If a fairly standard old saw is among the worst things to have happened to the Cornhusker State in recent memory, the country is in rather good shape, n’est-ce pas?
“The float was political satire and an expression of political disgust. There was no racism involved, no hate for anyone,” Remmich said. Continue reading
If there is anyone who doubts that almost all the media functions today as unpaid press agents for the Democrat party, today’s presidential press conference should erase all doubts. Allahpundit of Hot Air explains why:
It ran for one hour and six minutes, with 12 different reporters being called on — although, notably, not Ed Henry of Fox News — and between them they couldn’t muster one question about the catastrophe that is Healthcare.gov or the spectacle of National Park Rangers locking senior-citizen tourists out of war memorials and/or inside their hotels. I admit that, near the end of it, when Twitter was already starting to buzz about the oh-fer on this week’s two unhappy topics, I started rooting for the press corps to ignore them, not unlike how you might root for an opposing pitcher when he’s throwing a perfect game against your team in the ninth. On the one hand, it’s a disaster for your interests; on the other hand, you’re seeing something historic in process. Today, we all witnessed a perfecto — no runs, no hits, not the barest insinuation in front of a national television audience that the federal government’s behavior towards the public this week has alternated between almost literally unbelievable incompetence and vindictiveness. Amazing. Continue reading
In the never ending effort of the Obama administration to see just how absurd they can be over the fake government shutdown, they have attempted to close down the Gettysburg battlefield. I say attempted because a lot of tourists are engaging in civil disobedience and touring the battlefield, playing catch me if you can with National Park Service Rangers. Go here to read all about it.
This of course is all part of a carefully orchestrated plot by the Obama administration:
A U.S. park ranger, who did not wish to be identified, told FoxNews.com that supervisors within the National Park Service overruled plans to deal with the budget cuts in a way that would have had minimal impact on the public. Instead, the source said, park staff were told to cancel special events and cut “interpretation services” — the talks, tours and other education services provided by local park rangers.
Instead of feeling pain the public has had a glimpse into just how mean, petty and spiteful the gangsters currently in power in the White House can be.
If there is anyone who does not think this country is currently run by a pack of gangsters, Father Z’s report on the below story will set you straight:
The U.S. military has furloughed as many as 50 Catholic chaplains due to the partial suspension of government services, banning them from celebrating weekend Mass. At least one chaplain was told that if he engaged in any ministry activity, he would be subjected to disciplinary action. [Let’s put this in the customary terms liberals always use when in a debate. The First Gay President’s administration wants to HURT people. They are determined to increase pain for the sake of their political agenda. They are gang members in a town they have overrun. They are mafia thugs who shakedown businesses and blackmail people. There. Now liberals will shout “FOUL!” and demand that we turn down the rhetoric and embrace civility, even as they incessantly use terms exactly like that for their opponents.]
“In very practical terms it means Sunday Mass won’t be offered,” Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services told me. “If someone has a baptism scheduled, it won’t be celebrated.”
The Archdiocese for the Military Services tells me the military installations impacted are served by non-active-duty priests who were hired as government contractors. As a result of a shortage of active duty Catholic chaplains, the government hires contract priests.
Broglio said some military bases have forbidden the contract priests from volunteering to celebrate Mass without pay. [They won’t let them even volunteer, which priests would want to do anyway. This is crazy. The Obama administration is trying to benefit from the pain people will have. This time I am not kidding. That’s what they are doing. They want to make little children cry because they can’t visit the Smithsonian. They want to disappoint elderly veterans. They want to ruin the trips of US citizens who want to visit American military cemeteries overseas where their father is buried. They want to ruin vacations – in a time when the economy is difficult – to national parks. The list goes on.]
“They were told they cannot function because those are contracted services and since there’s no funding they can’t do it – even if they volunteer,” he said. [What if they said they would bring their own candles and not turn on the lights? Is it a matter of the money it costs to open the chapel?]
John Schlageter, general counsel for the archdiocese, said any furloughed priests volunteering their services could face big trouble.
“During the shutdown, it is illegal[?!?] for them to minister on base and they risk being arrested if they attempt to do so,” he said in a written statement. [This president – according to his own whims – decides which laws he wants to enforce and which not, which interest groups receive his benefice and waivers, and which not. Through the president’s HHS MANDATE Catholics are to be forced to pay for immoral things and then be denied services. I wonder: Are any rabbis or imams being threatened? I’d like to know.]
A well-placed source told me that a furloughed Air Force chaplain was threatened after he offered to forgo pay. The chaplain was told he could not go on base or enter his chapel offices. He was also barred from engaging in any ministry activity.
The source told me the chaplain was told that if he violated those orders he and his supervisor would be subjected to disciplinary action – with the possibility of being fired.
Ron Crews, executive director of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, called those developments disturbing. Continue reading
One of the interesting things about the IRS scandal is how obvious and ham-fisted the bias against conservative groups was:
As applications from conservative groups sat in limbo, groups with liberal-sounding names had their applications approved in as little as nine months. With names including words like “Progress” or “Progressive,” the liberal groups applied for the same tax status and were engaged in the same kinds of activities as the conservative groups. They included:
• Bus for Progress, a New Jersey non-profit that uses a red, white and blue bus to “drive the progressive change.” According to its website, its mission includes “support (for) progressive politicians with the courage to serve the people’s interests and make tough choices.” It got an IRS approval as a social welfare group in April 2011.
• Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment says it fights against corporate welfare and for increasing the minimum wage. “It would be fair to say we’re on the progressive end of the spectrum,” said executive director Jeff Ordower. He said the group got tax-exempt status in September 2011 in just nine months after “a pretty simple, straightforward process.”
• Progress Florida, granted tax-exempt status in January 2011, is lobbying the Florida Legislature to expand Medicaid under a provision of the Affordable Care Act, one of President Obama’s signature accomplishments. The group did not return phone calls. “We’re busy fighting to build a more progressive Florida and cannot take your call right now,” the group’s voice mail said.
Like the Tea Party groups, the liberal groups sought recognition as social welfare groups under Section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, based on activities like “citizen participation” or “voter education and registration.” Continue reading
Attention, attention! All IRS employees who gave “special” attention to conservative groups at the behest of your politicial masters. You are being thrown under the bus! I repeat, you are being thrown under the bus!
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday he had ordered the FBI to open a criminal probe in a growing scandal over the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative political groups for extra tax scrutiny.
Holder’s announcement came about four hours before an inspector general’s report on the IRS portrayed the tax agency as plagued by disarray and “insufficient oversight” during its struggles to review the cases of hundreds of advocacy groups that claimed they should be tax exempt.
The audit, which drew some backlash from IRS officials, also underscored what the agency had acknowledged last Friday: that the IRS had used “inappropriate criteria” for evaluating tax-exempt groups, in part by singling out scores of conservative Tea Party and “Patriot” organizations for increased scrutiny Continue reading
It is hard to keep up on the IRS scandal as disclosure followed disclosure today, all damning to the IRS and the administration. Here is the latest:
1. Low Level Employees in Cincinnati– Internal Revenue Service officials in Washington and at least two other offices were involved in the targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, making clear that the effort reached well beyond the branch in Cincinnati that was initially blamed, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.
IRS officials at the agency’s Washington headquarters sent queries to conservative groups asking about their donors and other aspects of their operations, while officials in the El Monte and Laguna Niguel offices in California sent similar questionnaires to tea party-affiliated groups.
Go here to the Washington Post to read the rest.
2. Confidentiality, What’s That?-The IRS released confidential applications of Tea Party groups to Pro Publica, a left wing thinktank. How do we know this? Pro Publica told us so today:
The same IRS office that deliberately targeted  conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status in the run-up to the 2012 election released nine pending confidential applications of conservative groups to ProPublica late last year .
In response to a request for the applications for 67 different nonprofits last November, the Cincinnati office of the IRS sent ProPublica applications or documentation for 31 groups. Nine of those applications had not yet been approved—meaning they were not supposed to be made public. (We made six  of those  public, after redacting their financial information, deeming that they were newsworthy.)
Go here to Pro Publica to read the rest.
3. Who Else Knew?-The current acting commissioner of the IRS knew in May of 2012 that Tea Party groups were being targeted. How do we know this? The IRS disclosed this today. Gee, do you wonder why they didn’t disclose this last year? Continue reading
1. He has, acting personally and through his subordinates and agents, endeavoured to obtain from the Internal Revenue Service, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, confidential information contained in income tax returns for purposed not authorized by law, and to cause, in violation of the constitutional rights of citizens, income tax audits or other income tax investigations to be intitiated or conducted in a discriminatory manner.
Article Two, Section One of the Impeachment Articles Against Richard M. Nixon
As Obama begins his process of “twisting slowly, slowly in the wind” news is getting out on the Inspector General of the IRS’s report on the targeting of Tea Party groups and other conservative groups:
At various points over the past two years, Internal Revenue Service officials targeted nonprofit groups that criticized the government and sought to educate Americans about the U.S. Constitution, according to documents in an audit conducted by the agency’s inspector general.
The documents, obtained by The Washington Post from a congressional aide with knowledge of the findings, show that on June 29, 2011, IRS staffers held a briefing with senior agency official Lois G. Lerner in which they described giving special attention to instances where “statements in the case file criticize how the country is being run.” Lerner, who oversees tax-exempt groups for the agency, raised objections and the agency revised its criteria a week later.
But six months later, the IRS applied a new political test to groups that applied for tax-exempt status as “social welfare” groups, the document says. On Jan. 15, 2012 the agency decided to target “political action type organizations involved in limiting/expanding Government, educating on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, social economic reform movement.,” according to the appendix in the IG report, which was requested by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and has yet to be released. Continue reading
If there is any doubt that we are dealing with gangsters at the helm of the nation, this story should remove that doubt:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Internal Revenue Service apologized Friday for what it acknowledged was “inappropriate” targeting of conservative political groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status.
IRS agents singled out dozens of organizations for additional reviews because they included the words “tea party” or “patriot” in their exemption applications, said Lois Lerner, who heads the IRS division that oversees tax-exempt groups. In some cases, groups were asked for lists of donors, which violates IRS policy in most cases, she said. Continue reading
Jeff Goldstein at Protein Wisdom is always brilliant but he outdoes himself in a remarkable post where he explains just how ominous for the Republic the Benghazi scandal is:
I have very little I wish to say today, so sick to my stomach am I from hearing yesterday’s testimony on Benghazi, wherein career civil servants were very obviously, and oftentimes visibly, working to restrain their anger, outrage, and outright disbelief at what their own government had done (and hadn’t done) to secure the lives of Americans.
In short, the subtext of yesterday’s testimony was precisely this: it does matter. And those Democrats who have spent the last 24 hours trying to dismiss or diminish or deflect the testimony as a non-story — a tack that the mainstream press has aided them with, failing for the most part to even mention the hearings, much less provide any in-depth coverage of the revelations, save for the occasional story informing us that there were no revelations — are no better than any third-world goosestepping apparatchik whose job it is to provide cover for a Dear Leader.
They sicken me in a way I cannot even put into words — and that’s saying something, given my occasionally-documented facility with the language. These people are monsters of a sort, but even that appellation can do their rank cynicism and their easy disregard for conscience no real justice.
And the media, without doubt co-conspirators in what is a major scandal — and an even more major cover-up — are so committed to progressive activism, and to their own self-styled righteousness and compassion (which, relying on a surreal tautology and the anti-foundationalism at the heart of their ideology, they presume to claim is a function of their progressivism: they are good, so therefore what they do is good; and what they do is good because it’s being done by good people), that they have found a way to convince themselves that their biases, be it by omission or by massaging of the facts to report that there’s nothing new to report, are somehow noble and are in the service of a Greater Good. Continue reading
There is an old saying in the military: once is an accident; twice is carelessness; third time is enemy action. Faithful readers of this blog will recall this post here about an Army briefing which labeled Christians, including Catholics, as extremists. Another incident has arisen this week.
An officer at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, where my brother was stationed when he was an Armor officer in the Army, recently sent out a 14 page e-mail to subordinates which makes for interesting reading. Here is the e-mail from Lieutenant Colonel Jack Rich:
Subject: Domestic “Hate Groups” (UNCLASSIFIED)
Many events have been taking place across the country – just want to ensure everyone is somewhat educated on some of the groups out there that do not share our Army Values.
When we see behaviors that are inconsistent with Army Values – don’t just walk by – do the right thing and address the concern before it becomes a problem.
We need to make sure that we maintain our standards – starting with reception and integration. Continue reading
Hattip to Mary Katherine Ham at Hot Air. Back in 2008 Obama stated that if elected he would create five million green jobs over the next decade. At this stage it becomes monotonous to bring up the fact that the promises of Obama bear as much relationship to reality as a lightning bug does to lightning, but the failure of Fisker Automotive can be taken as a symbol of the failed economic policy of the Obama administration.
In 2009 the Obama administration authorized a half a billion loan guarantee to Fisker, and about 193 million was spent. When Fisker opened a plant in Delaware, Veep Biden was on hand. The car company is now reeling to bankruptcy after spending 600K on each 100K Fisker Karma it sold:
Fisker Automotive Inc. spent more than six times as much U.S. taxpayer and investor money to produce each luxury plug-in car it sold than the company received from customers, according to a research report.
The Anaheim, California-based company made about 2,500 of its $103,000 Karmas before halting production last year, disrupting its plans to use a $529 million U.S. loan to restart a shuttered Delaware factory owned by the predecessor of General Motors Co. (GM) The Karma was assembled in Finland.
Fisker stopped manufacturing cars late last year and fired three quarters of its remaining workers April 5. The company’s first repayment of $20.2 million on the Energy Department loan is due April 22, the report said.
A U.S. House panel is scheduled to hold a April 24 hearing on Fisker and its government financing. Invited witnesses include co-founder and namesake Henrik Fisker, who resigned last month; CEO Tony Posawatz and Chief Operating Officer Bernhard Koehler, who helped start the company whose customers include singer Justin Bieber and actor Leonardo DiCaprio. Continue reading