Supreme Court justices today will give their first clues as to how they will decide what could be a make or break case for the remainder of the nObama presidency. Presidents have long taken advantage of the Constitution’s provision that the chief executive may make temporary, emergency appointments to key positions without confirmation from the Senate. The allowance for so-called recess appointments was conceived as a way to let the executive branch function during times when the Senate was out of session and Philadelphia was a long carriage ride over rutted roads from most of the nation. But modern presidents have used it to install controversial appointees unlikely to win confirmation into important posts for one year. President nObama’s decision to push the envelope and fill out the National Labor Relations Board with pro-Union picks when the Senate was not technically in recess may permanently deprive the executive branch of that helpful loophole. The Supreme Court is holding an extended session today to hear arguments on this case. - Fox News
Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates didn’t back down from criticism of President nObama’s character during an appearance on CBS’ “Sunday Morning.” Adding to criticism in his forthcoming memoir “Duty,” Gates said that nObama lacked “passion” and “conviction” over his Afghanistan war strategy. “It's one thing to tell the troops that you support them. It's another to work at making them believe that you believe as president that their sacrifice is worth it, that the cause is just, that what they are doing is important for the country, and that they must succeed.” He went on to compare nObama’s approach to that of President George W. Bush’s, “President Bush did that with the troops when I was secretary. I did not see President nObama do that. As I write in the book, it was this absence of passion, this absence of a conviction of the importance of success that disturbed me.” Gates did add the only time nObama showed passion for military issues was over the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.” The former defense secretary said he had no regrets for what he has written calling it an “honest” account. - Fox News
With an administration-backed deal that trades lifting sanctions for promises of transparency with Iran scheduled to go into effect next week, the Senate is nearing a veto-proof majority in favor of further sanctions against the Islamic regime. The first payment of $550 million to the mullahs in Tehran is set for Feb. 1. But a bipartisan supermajority in the Senate is threatening to buck a presidential veto threat and vote to reinstate the tougher sanctions if the current talks don’t bear fruit. The House would likely approve the measure in a snap, but if President nObama vetoed it, it would take 67 Senators to override the president. And they may have the votes. According to the AP, there are already 59 Republican and Democratic senators on board to enact the sanctions. Supporters of the measure believe there are likely eight more who would vote to override nObama if necessary. - Fox News
While the administration boasted enrolling over a million people in nObamaCare during December, new data from state exchanges show young people are not buying into the embattled health law. “Data from seven states and the District of Columbia, which are running their own marketplaces, show that of more than 200,000 enrollees, nearly 22 percent are 18 to 34 years old, according to a Reuters analysis. The administration had hoped that over 38 percent, or 2.7 million, of all enrollees in 2014 would be 18 to 35 years old, based on a Congressional Budget Office estimate that 7 million people would sign up by the end of March.” And remember, those numbers are likely better than for most states because the District of Columbia includes Hill staffers forced to sign up for nObamaCare. The consequences could be huge. While industry insiders say that bailouts for insurers will keep the law afloat, if the enrollments skew this old, not even the much ballyhooed “risk corridors” could prevent rates for most Americans from skyrocketing. The coverage stinks and the rates are higher. - Fox News
The global consulting firm that just won a one-year government contract to continue fixing HealthCare.gov is a big political donor to President nObama, WND has learned...On Friday it was reported Accenture, a global consulting firm, obtained the $45-million contract to run the nObamacare health insurance website. The company is taking over from CGI Federal, one of two contractors that originally built the problematic HealthCare.gov portal, with CGI’s contract set to expire on Feb. 28. Unmentioned in the scores of news articles covering the successful Accenture bid is that nObama is the top all-time recipient of the firm’s many financial contributions, with the president taking in a total of $286,168 from Accenture employees, family members and its political action committee. http://www.wnd.com/2014/01/obama-donor-wins-bid-to-take-over-healthcare-gov/
3. CIA Lawyer Who Backed Waterboarding
Introducing her interrogation of former CIA attorney John Rizzo about his new memoir, aired on Friday's NBC Today, chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell proclaimed: "...this is an insider's account of the CIA – Company Man – and the key decisions that led to waterboarding and other controversial techniques that were later outlawed. All from this veteran CIA lawyer who offers no apologies and few regrets." Andrea Mitchell is a jerk. He didn't even examine the way our men were being treated by our enemies. http://www.mrc.org/biasalerts/nbcs-mitchell-cia-lawyer-who-backed-waterboarding-how-can-you-live-yourself
4. nObama Parole Board Frees Al Qaeda Terrorist
The Al Qaeda terrorist—Osama Bin Laden’s bodyguard—determined to be “too dangerous to be released” from Guantanamo just a few years ago...will be freed from the military prison because President nObama’s new parole board found he no longer poses a “significant threat to the United States.” The shocking about-face comes on the heels of mainstream news reports disclosing that a former Guantanamo detainee, Sufian bin Qumu, participated in the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack on the U.S. mission in Libya. Bin Qumu was released from the prison at the U.S. naval base in Cuba despite having historic ties to the Al Qaeda network and training at bin Laden’s Torkham camp, according to information obtained from his Gitmo file. What about this Andrea Mitchell? You didn't mention this. You are a jerk. http://www.judicialwatch.org/blog/2014/01/obama-parole-board-frees-al-qaeda-terrorist-bin-laden-guard-from-gitmo/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter
5. The Reality Behind the ASA Boycott of Israel
The American Studies Association (ASA) voted last month to boycott Israeli institutions of higher education for alleged violations of the human rights of Palestinians...The ASA declared that the boycott was in “solidarity with scholars and students deprived of their academic freedom and an aspiration to enlarge the freedom for all, including Palestinians.” Not only is the statement false, since Palestinians are not deprived of attending schools, but Israel is the only country in the world to be singled out by the ASA for a boycott. http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/joseph-puder/the-reality-behind-the-asa-boycott-of-israel/?utm_source=FrontPage+Magazine&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=8299509d69-Mailchimp_FrontPageMag&utm_term=0_57e32c1dad-8299509d69-156509103
6. IRS about to adopt new rules muzzling tea party groups
Now that we’re into an all-important midterm election year, the nObama administration is turning up the heat on tea party groups and other conservative organizations...the very people who many say caused the Democrats’ “shellacking” in the 2010 midterms. The Obama administration is using the ultimate agency of intimidation — the Internal Revenue Service — to give Democrats a leg up in what is predicted to be a difficult year for the party. The IRS has proposed new rules for 501(c)(4) organizations that strike at the the heart of the tea party’s very existence — political activism. This gets me so dare mad. They, the liberals can't even play straight without using their power to gain their objections. http://www.bizpacreview.com/2014/01/12/warning-irs-about-to-quietly-adopt-new-rules-that-will-legally-muzzle-tea-party-groups-93755
7. Al-Qaeda Seeks American Recruits in Syria
Al-Qaeda forces in Syria are actively seeking recruits from Americans who have traveled there to fight or to assist opposition forces, according to U.S. officials quoted in today’s New York Times...At least 70 American citizens have traveled to Syria, and most of them are still there, according to U.S. intelligence officials who are concerned that they could become radicalized and recruited by al-Qaeda to launch terrorist attacks when they return to the United States. http://blog.heritage.org/2014/01/10/al-qaeda-seeks-american-recruits-syria/?utm_source=heritagefoundation&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=&utm_content=
8. New Patriotic Movie Blasts the Media
As incredible as it sounds, Hollywood has produced a patriotic movie for a change. “Lone Survivor,” the new war movie starring Mark Wahlberg...is so powerful in its depiction of the brutality of al Qaeda and its Taliban backers that it could awaken the American people to the reality of President nObama’s deliberate retreat in the face of this global danger. “‘Lone Survivor’ leaves box office shocked and awed,” is how USA Today described its debut. It depicts the grueling training of U.S. Navy SEALs and the sacrifices that American soldiers are making to keep Afghanistan free of Taliban and al-Qaeda control. http://www.aim.org/aim-column/new-patriotic-movie-blasts-the-media/?utm_source=AIM+-+Daily+Email&utm_campaign=a181103908-email011314&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c4ddfc8d9d-a181103908-224223533
9. Robert Gates book ‘Duty’ Reveals nObama’s Dereliction
The system’s object: the American soldier, sailor, aviator and Marine in their front-line fighting positions around the world...That overriding reality apparently shaped ambiguities outlined by other authors, but now confirmed by the former secretary of defense. Mr. Gates alleges that the president presided over White House meetings in 2011 in which he disrespected his commanders, doubted his allies and even questioned his own strategy about Afghanistan, where American combat troops had just been recommitted. According to an account by Bob Woodward in the Jan. 7 edition of The Washington Post, Mr. Gates opined that Mr. Obama “doesn’t consider the war to be his. For him, it’s all about getting out.” http://www.aim.org/guest-column/new-robert-gates-book-duty-reveals-obamas-dereliction/?utm_source=AIM+-+Daily+Email&utm_campaign=a181103908-email011314&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c4ddfc8d9d-a181103908-224223533
10, dHillarious Ranks Last on U.S. Most Admired List
dHillarious Clinton, the former secretary of state who leads all 2016 presidential polls, ranks dead last on a new top 10 poll of who Americans admire most, and at the bottom of who the world admires most...behind celebs like Angelina Jolie and Russian President Vladimir Putin. According to the new YouGov.com poll conducted for the Times of London, Microsoft's Bill Gates is the most admired person in the world, ahead of Pope Francis and President nObama, the runner-up on that list. Clinton ranks 27th on YouGov's world list. http://washingtonexaminer.com/hillary-clinton-ranks-last-on-u.s.-most-admired-list-behind-rush-limbaugh-bush/article/2542028
Ariel Sharon, who died Saturday at age 85, after being suspended comatose, between life and death for the past eight years, was the final Israeli prime minister from the generation that fought in the 1948 War of Independence.
And as with others of his generation, the growth and development of the country were reflected in his career.
Sharon was a dazzling military commander. He was one of the original authors of Israel’s trailblazing counter terror strategies. The large battles against regular armies that he commanded in the 1956 Suez campaign, the 1967 Six Day War, and the 1973 Yom Kippur War are still taught in military academies around the world for their tactical brilliance.
Sharon was a risk-taker. The most prominent shared quality of his military battles and his political ones was that they were always over high stakes. As a general, Sharon’s gutsiness paid off in spades more often than not. As a politician, the results were less impressive.
His two big gambles as a political leader were the 1982 invasion of Lebanon, and the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza. Although the results of both actions were mixed, Israel could have won the gains it made in both at far less cost, if it had not gone along with Sharon’s plans.
Perhaps the most notable way in which Sharon’s life is a reflection of his country, at least outside of Israel, is that the blood libels published against him in the Western media are of a piece with the overall slander of Israel in the European and US mainstream media.
Like Israel as a whole, Sharon saw his good name dragged through the mud by the Western media with tales published against him against which he had no means of defending itself. Sharon’s powerlessness was exposed in the libel suit he filed against Time Magazine for a 1982 article in which the magazine alleged that Sharon had planned the massacre of Palestinians in Sabra and Shatilla refugee camps by Christian militiamen. When the jury rendered its ruling, it declared that although the story was false, Sharon had no right to monetary damages, because although the story was a lie, the lie was not actionable.
As Prime Minister, Sharon was caricatured as a baby eater, as a Nazi, the murderer of Jesus, and a hook nosed, greedy Jew. In the hours following the announcement of his passing, he was libeled repeatedly by such outlets as the BBC. And as was the case throughout his life, and throughout the life of Israel, so now after he has died, the libelers will pay no price for their misdeeds.
Sharon was one of the warmest, most engaging political leaders Israel has ever seen. He had an infectious sense of humor, a true love of life, of Israel, and of Israelis that made even his greatest Israeli critics like him.
Sharon was larger than life. His accomplishments and failures were similarly outsized. And while much of what happened to him, particularly at the hands of the media, reflects the larger predicament of all of Israel, there can be no doubt that Ariel Sharon was one of a kind.