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George H. W. Bush Officially Endorses David Perdue in Georgia



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Former president George H. W. Bush officially announced his support for Georgia Republican candidate David Perdue. Although Bush’s endorsement might have seemed inevitable, Perdue’s Democratic opponent, Michelle Nunn, was until recently CEO of a foundation started by the former president and has trumpeted her H.W. ties on the campaign trail

Nunn, daughter of longtime senator Sam Nunn, has cited her work as head of the Points of Light Foundation, a nonprofit founded by Bush, in a bid to win over conservative voters in the right-leaning state. (She is currently on leave from the foundation, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.)

Following word of Bush’s announcement, Nunn has continued to point to her work with the organization as evidence of ”the kind of senator I will be.” She does have endorsements from a few prominent Republicans: Retired senators Richard Lugar of Indiana and John Warner of Virginia have both backed their former colleague’s daughter.

In his own statement, Bush called Perdue an “independent voice for Georgia” and emphasized the need to change the Senate’s current leadership. Polls show the race to be tight, but generally give the edge to Perdue.

Congressional Report: Foreign-Born Population Could Rise to 60 Million People within Ten Years



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A new report from the Congressional Research Service suggests the foreign-born population may increase by as many as 27.4 million people by 2022. The more than 40.8 million foreign-born residents who lived in the U.S. in 2012 represented a 321 percent increase over the amount of foreign-born persons who called America home in 1970, according to the report. And the foreign-born population will rise to nearly 58.3 million total people in 2022, if the number continues to grow at the same rate it did during the previous four decades.

If the Senate’s 2013 Gang of Eight immigration bill is implemented, the CRS report explains, the total foreign-born population could include nearly 68.3 million people by 2022. The report also notes that from fiscal year 2000 through fiscal year 2013, the U.S. welcomed nearly 1.2 million asylees and refugees into the country. These figures come amid reports that one immigrant legally enters the U.S. every 40 seconds, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. The CRS report does not appear to consider the latest massive influx of Central Americans in its calculations, which suggests the number of foreign-born persons entering the U.S. in the next decade could be even greater than expected.   

 

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Rotherham Victim Confronts Abuser on Street, Finds Herself Arrested



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The incompetence of government authority in Britain’s now infamous Rotherham is, alas, not a thing of the past. A 28-year-old woman who claims she was groomed and abused when she was 15 spotted her abuser walking through the town last Friday. She confronted — and, according to police, apparently tackled — the man. Then South Yorkshire Police pounced. Via the Daily Mail:

A witness accused the police of ‘acting like insensitive thugs’, telling the paper: ‘A police van came and six male officers piled out.

’Two of them dragged her away, handcuffed her, put her against a wall and then shoved her into the back of the van.’

South Yorkshire Police told today how they had been hoping to interview the woman in the weeks before the arrest, after they were told of the historic allegations by another organisation.

But they only realised that she was the woman they had been trying to speak to after her arrest, and have now released her on bail.

Perhaps we can excuse the arrest, if indeed the woman tackled the man during the confrontation; that would certainly be a disruption of law and order.

But law and order has been continually violated by child sexual abusers for two decades in Rotherham, and local leaders, social-services workers, and law enforcement at best ignored it, and at worst aided and abetted it. The fact that the South Yorkshire Police did not recognize the woman in their custody as the alleged victim they had been “hoping” to interview for weeks suggests that they were not pursuing the case with any particular zeal.

The result — public confrontation — is predictable, when victims feel helpless. As victims of abuse in Rotherham told the Independent Inquiry and have told the press in recent weeks: When law enforcement is no longer interested in enforcing the law, what are victims to do?

Web Briefing: September 15, 2014

Code Pink Repeatedly Disrupts ISIS Senate Hearing, Drives Carl Levin Crazy



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Protesters from anti-war group Code Pink stood up during Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Tuesday to loudly express opposition to the ongoing aerial campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, repeatedly interrupting senators and panelists and driving Democratic chairman Carl Levin up the wall. 

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Martin Dempsey had just walked into the hearing room when protesters clad in pink and holding anti-war slogans crowded just behind the panel. “No more war!” they chanted, their voices mingling chaotically.

Levin allowed the protesters about a minute to vent before the gavel came down. “The committee will come to order, and we’re asking all in the audience now to either take their seats and be quiet, or please leave,” the Michigan senator said.

After another exchange, one woman was undeterred, alternating between ”no military solution to this” and “no more war!”

“You’re acting very warlike yourself,” Levin said angrily, asking the protester to leave. She was escorted out by Capitol police.

Twenty minutes later and another interruption prompted a frustrated Levin to rap his gavel. “Thank you, would you please leave!” he shouted. “Would you please leave the room now! Look, we’re asking you nicely would you please leave the room!”

“We would ask all of you to avoid these kind of outbursts,” he said following another woman’s departure. “They’re not doing anybody any good, including hearing what this testimony is. And they’re not doing you, and whatever your cause is, any good either.”

But still more outbursts followed, with one woman telling Senator John McCain, ”Senator McCain, you have no authority to speak out on this issue!”

“Will you please be quiet!?” an exasperated Levin said, repeatedly slamming his gavel down. “Please remove the lady from the room.”

“I always appreciate special attention from this group, Mr. Chairman,” McCain quipped.

“I don’t think she voted for you, John,” another senator laughed. 

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Bobby Jindal: Obama Administration Full of ‘Science Deniers’



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Governor Bobby Jindal (R., La.) knocked President Obama for running an administration of “science deniers,” citing Obama’s energy policy and Environmental Protection Agency actions.

“The reality is, right now we’ve got an administration under the Obama administration that are science deniers when it comes to harnessing America’s energy resources and potential to create good-paying jobs for our economy and our people,” Jindal told reporters at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday.

Jindal elaborated when asked by talking about the Keystone XL pipeline and the EPA, among other things.

“Their own State Department says there would me no material impact on the environment to approve it, yet they keep delaying, they keep denying approval . . . there is no scientific, there is no factual basis for this to continue to be delayed other than pure politics,” he said, before taking issue with EPA’s goal for Louisiana to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

“They couldn’t explain the rationale,” Jindal said. 

Jindal’s answer when asked — apropos of his “science deniers” comment — if he believes that evolutionary theory “explains the presence of complex life on earth” is already moving around liberal blogs.

“The reality is, I was not an evolutionary biologist,” he said. “What I believe as a father and as a husband is that local school districts should make decisions on how they teach.”

“I want my kids to be taught about evolution in their schools,” Jindal added, a talking point he stuck to when pressed about his personal assessment of evolutionary theory.

Some Good News on Family Poverty from the U.S. Census



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Now, for some good news on two family fronts.

Today’s Census Bureau report indicates that the family poverty rate fell from 11.8 to 11.2 percent from 2012 to 2013. This decline was driven in part by declines in the share and number of married-couple families in poverty, where “both the poverty rate and the number in poverty decreased to 5.8 percent and 3.5 million in 2013, down from 6.3 percent and 3.7 million in 2012.” 

The report also found that the percentage in family poverty was about five times higher in single-female-headed households and almost three times higher in single-male-headed households, compared to households headed by married couples. The marriage divide in family poverty indicated by today’s Census Report underlines a point I made recently in Family Studies about the connection between money and marriage in America:

“When it comes to money, marriage enables two parents to pool income and assets and, specifically, to capture the income of a child’s (married) father; indeed, married fathers usually earn significantly more than single mothers or single fathers, even similarly credentialed ones. All this translates into a lot more money for the ordinary American families headed by married parents.”

The other good news from the federal government is that non-marital childbearing has remained steady at 41 percent of all births since 2007. This is the first time in decades that the United States has not witnessed a sustained increase in the share of childbearing outside of wedlock. It’s also important because married-parent families are much more stable than are cohabiting families for children.

If the United States can sustain or even reduce the share of children being born outside of marriage, we may see even better news emerging on the family-poverty front.

W. Bradford Wilcox is a senior fellow at the Institute for Family Studies and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

Salam: Obama ‘Putting a Toe In’ ISIS Fight May Not Be Enough



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Fracking Didn’t Contaminate Pa., Texas Water



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The debate over fracking is a pretty low-quality one, driven by emotion, invented evidence, gross distortion of the facts, and general intellectual dishonesty. This is a shame for many reasons: Inflicting unnecessary stupidity on the world is a sin, for one thing. For another, it is important that we actually understand the fairly thorny environmental problems presented not only by fracking but by other methods of drilling for natural gas.

A paper published Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences presents very strong evidence that the contamination of drinking water in wells in Texas and Pennsylvania was not the result of fracking. But the wells were nonetheless contaminated. The culprit was not the hydraulic-fracturing process, but simple bad well design, resulting in leaks. This is an example of something well-known both to energy industry experts and regulators: Conventional gas drilling presents as many environmental challenges as, and arguably more than, fracking does.

The biggest environmental problem associated with fracking has little to do with the drilling process itself and much more to do with the comparatively unsexy issue of wastewater disposal. (If you’re jazzed about the possibility of a very long discussion of wastewater-disposal issues, don’t say I never did anything for you.) For an unconscionably long time, the industry’s practice was to hand over its wastewater to municipal water authorities, most of which were ill-equipped to deal with it; they simply diluted it until such a point as the letter of the law was satisfied and then dumped it. The anti-fracking crusaders worry a great deal about what goes down the well — the precise composition of fracking fluids — but the bigger problem is what comes up the well. Drilling that deep underground means pulling up all sorts of stuff, ranging from arsenic and some fairly nasty carcinogens to naturally occurring radioactive material. Not stuff you want to dump in the river.

The gas producers have begun addressing that by treating and reusing wastewater, and an entire fascinating mini-industry has grown up around that practice. The gas industry’s best-practices leaders are in fact extraordinarily proactive in mitigating environmental damage, and trade groups such as the Marcellus Shale Coalition have done remarkable work encouraging their members to go above and beyond what the law requires. But not every company is a leader, and best practices are not universal practices.

The distribution of natural gas and water underground is a complicated issue. In the Pennsylvania and Texas wells studied for the PNAS paper, the problem was well damage and well design. In the famous flaming-sink scene from Gasland, the problem was that the water well had been sunk into a naturally occurring pocket of methane; gas production, to say nothing of fracking, had nothing to do with that striking image, which is very effective propaganda but bad science. There is a great deal of naturally occurring methane in bodies of water around the world and goes back to ancient history — to pre-history, in fact. Note the number of places named “Burning Springs” or some variant around the world.

Every discussion of the environmental issues related to energy should begin with an appreciation for this indisputable fact: There is no energy source that does not present serious environmental challenges. Oil and gas have their problems, coal has what seem to me to be very serious problems, nuclear energy (which I strongly favor) presents some pretty hairy disposal challenges and safety concerns. Even the fuzzy, cuddly energy sources have problems: It takes a tremendous amount of poison to make those “green” solar panels. The general hideousness of wind farms requires no explanation.

The question isn’t “clean” energy. There is no clean energy. The question is how we go about prudently and intelligently managing the risks and problems associated with energy production. Posting pictures of flaming sinks on your Facebook page is not the way to go about understanding those problems. This is a discussion best left to the grown-ups, but the children have the floor most of the time. 

Washington’s Tommy Boggs: The Beltway’s Super Influencer



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Tommy Boggs, the man who helped make the Washington lobbying community the powerhouse it is, died Sunday night at age 73.

Boggs pulled lots of strings from his perch at the law offices of Patton Boggs, a firm that grew to over 500 attorneys as it rode the explosive growth of the federal government that began in the 1960s. The son of two members of Congress from Louisiana and the sister of ABC News’s Cokie Roberts, Boggs was well-connected in Washington. His two signature successes may have been securing the 1979 congressional bailout of Chrysler and defeating numerous attempts at federal tort reform. It was fear of Boggs’s influence that played a role in the fact that at no time did the architects of Obamacare seriously consider medical-malpractice caps or other tort reform in their bill.

Boggs was always very clear about how the changing federal government had fueled his industry. In an interview with National Journal in June, he explained that the diffusion of power in Congress after Watergate meant that “instead of being run by a handful of people, [it was] run by 535 people.” He mused, “The result being that literally in the early ’70s, you needed—pick your number—100 lobbyists to lobby 25 people, because 25 people ran the government. . . . Now there are 100,000 people in the influence business. Direct lobbyists — you probably have 13,000 to 14,000.”

The late Milton Friedman lamented in 2003 that massive reform of the federal tax system would be much harder than it was the first time it was attempted under Ronald Reagan in 1986 because of the continued growth of the lobbying community since then. “There is a symbiotic relationship between members of Congress and the lobbying community, which likes complexity in the tax system,” he mourned. Tommy Boggs certainly embodied that relationship and helped build the Washington we now know.  

The U.S. Response to Ebola Takes Shape



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The New York Times reports that President Obama will give public remarks sometime today on the U.S. response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Among the details of our response:

The president will go beyond the 25-bed portable hospital that Pentagon officials said they would establish in Liberia, one of the three West African countries ravaged by the disease, officials said. Mr. Obama will offer help to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia in the construction of as many as 17 Ebola treatment centers in the region, with about 1,700 treatment beds.

Senior administration officials said Monday night that the Department of Defense would open a joint command operation in Monrovia, Liberia, to coordinate the international effort to combat the disease. The military will also provide engineers to help construct the additional treatment facilities and will send enough people to train up to 500 health care workers a week to deal with the crisis.

Officials said the military expected to send as many as 3,000 people to Africa to take charge of responding to the Ebola outbreak.

And:

The American government will also provide 400,000 Ebola home health and treatment kits to Liberia, as well as tens of thousands of kits intended to test whether people have the disease. The Pentagon will provide some logistical equipment for health workers going to West Africa and what administration officials described as “command and control” organizational assistance on how to coordinate the overall relief work. The Army Corps of Engineers is expected to be part of the Defense Department effort.

This is welcome news. (Though efforts will likely have to expand beyond Liberia, and could possibly have to expand even beyond that.)

In a column just last week I wrote of a retreat from national greatness, using our then lack of response to Ebola as a prime example.

Have Americans forgotten that this is a great nation? And that great nations can shape events, and not merely observe them? More Americans think the country is doing too much to help the world than too little, even though a majority agrees that major threats to the United States exist and that the world is growing more dangerous. Switzerland should be allowed to hold those two views at the same time. The United States shouldn’t. Why is our response to these dangerous world events so passive and ambivalent?

I argued that “our responses have been passive” in part “because reactions to events are a two-way street between the American people and our leaders. The American people would be more inclined to act if President Obama were more inclined to act.”

Well, the president is acting on Ebola. A welcome change. But even “if actions do follow,” I wrote, “the president still needs to convince the American people that action is required. He needs to remind us that this is a great nation, and that from time to time, great nations go into the world to stop terrible things from happening. This is especially true if those terrible things could arrive one day on our shores — Ebola mutating…”

You can read my entire column here.

Americans should be proud that our country is going abroad to stop a massive human catastrophe. We should be proud, and we should be told to be proud. As a nation, we should stop walking down the street staring at our shoes. We should look up, and face the future with the confidence that we can meet our real and serious challenges, affecting positive change both at home and abroad.

— Michael R. Strain is a resident scholar and economist at the American Enterprise Institute. You can write to him on Twitter at twitter.com/MichaelRStrain.

Politico Spins Anti-Obamacare Poll



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When the Democrats were defying public opinion in March 2010 and passing Obamacare, they presumably would have been horrified to look into a crystal ball and see a poll from September 2014 finding that, if given a choice between repealing Obamacare or keeping it as-is, Americans would support repeal by a tally of well over two-to-one (44 to 17 percent). Well, unfortunately for Obamacare supporters, that’s the finding of a new Politico poll.

The poll, which surveyed likely voters in battleground races, didn’t even ask respondents whether they’d prefer an alternative to Obamacare. In fact, it didn’t mention an alternative at all — as if the Republicans’ stated position (Obamacare needs to be repealed and replaced) weren’t even an option on the table. No matter: In a three-way race involving straight repeal (44 percent), keeping Obamacare as is (17 percent), or making undisclosed “modifications” to it (38 percent), straight repeal won with a clear plurality. Respondents preferred the thought of repealing Obamacare to trying to fix it. Many more presumably would prefer to repeal Obamacare and replace it with real reform. 

In all, this is a pretty miserable polling result for Obamacare.

So how did Politico report it? With this headline: “NEW POLL: MORE WANT TO KEEP ACA THAN REPEAL IT.”

Politico then wrote,

Whatever the GOP’s ambitions may be, a new POLITICO battleground poll provides more evidence that most Americans don’t support repeal. About 55 percent of likely voters in the most competitive House and Senate races said the law should stay — although 38 percent wanted ‘modifications.’  Forty-four percent support outright repeal.

This is pretty brazenly biased reporting from a “disinterested” outlet, but it doesn’t change the findings of the poll. According to the polling results, even without an alternative on the table, something approaching half of all Americans in battleground races support repealing Obamacare, less than two-fifths want to try to fix the unfixable, and only a sixth want to keep the president’s signature legislation as-is. 

Repeal is not only in the cards but is the winning play. Now Republicans just need a winning alternative.

MTV Uncovers Incredible, Inexplicable ‘Paradox’



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From this news story:

A survey conducted by MTV asked 3,000 Millennials ages 14 to 24 their thoughts on race-related issues, including affirmative action for college acceptance, in May. And what it found was seemingly paradoxical: 90 percent of Millennials surveyed “believe that everyone should be treated the same regardless of race,” yet 88 percent opposed affirmative action.

The article is otherwise pretty good.

Still Anti-Huck After All These Years



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During the 2008 primary campaign, I was a fairly constant anti-Huck voice on NRO. This morning, Byron York reports that Huck may be gearing up for another run. FWIW, I’m as anti-Huck now as I was then. Why? He’s more of a liberal Christian populist than a limited-government conservative. He’s economically illiterate, has protectionist impulses, endorses nanny-state policies and creationism, urged the isolation (i.e. quarantine) of AIDS victims long after such a position could be remotely defensible (1992), and repeatedly dissembled when called out on it. Sure he’s got a nice folksy style, but Father Coughlin was charismatic too. I don’t expect to agree with a presidential candidate on every issue, but someone like Huck is, in my view, unsupportable. Were he the GOP nominee, I’d vote Libertarian or just stay home, and I’m confident I’m not the only one who feels that way.

The Best Argument for Scottish Independence? If They Vote No, Piers Morgan Says He’s Coming Back Here



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I haven’t found many of the arguments against Scotland’s independence convincing, but here’s a new pro-independence argument that carries some weight with me.

Piers Morgan, the insufferable left-wing former editor of Britain’s Daily Mirror who replaced CNN’s Larry King for two painful years until poor ratings drove him back across the Atlantic, has promised the Scots that if they vote “no” to independence he will pack his bags and “go straight back to America.”

One Scot I know told me that Morgan is just as unpopular in Edinburgh and Glasgow as he is in America. Rupert Murdoch, the owner of the London Times and the Sun, referred to him this week as “once talented, now safe to ignore.”

I’ll try to ignore Morgan’s offer, but it is tempting to wish for Scottish independence so as to keep him safely on his side of the Atlantic and away from my television screen.

Ron Johnson: Obama’s ISIS Strategy Is Basically Like Poking a Hornet’s Nest With a Stick



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Republican Senator Ron Johnson is concerned about blowback from America’s limited air campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — if the U.S. fails to destroy the group entirely, President Obama’s plan to intervene will be just like poking a hornet’s nest with a stick, he says.

The Wisconsin lawmaker spoke Monday with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews about President Obama’s strategy to deal with the Islamic State. Johnson welcomed the president’s military action, but worried that an insufficient amount of air strikes may only serve to anger the ultra-violent Islamists.

“One of my concerns is if we don’t destroy them — it’s like having a hornet’s nest in your backyard, recognizing, ‘Hey, that’s a danger to my kids, I’ve got to get rid of it,’” the senator said. “But instead what we’re going to do is poke them with a stick for three years! That concerns me!” Johnson said.

Obama-administration officials have warned the campaign against the Islamic State could extend past the president’s term in office.

“If the objective is to destroy ISIS, I don’t think we have a strategy in place that will accomplish that goal,” Johnson said. “And again, I’m just concerned about poking that hornet’s nest with a stick for three years.”

Al-Qaeda Even Has Nicer Fire Trucks than the Moderates



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Matthieu Aikins, a fellow at the Nation Institute (yes, that Nation), has an inspiring and heartbreaking look into a part of the Syrian civil war you probably haven’t heard about: the work of Syrian civilian first responders, who don white helmets and hop into a truck as soon as they hear a bomb hit an apartment block. Or sometimes they wait a bit to respond, because regime helicopters often drop one of their improvised “barrel bombs,” hundred-pound gas tanks filled with TNT and pieces of rebar, and then drop another a while later to hit responders, victims, and any crowd that’s gathered.

In any case, there are all kinds of lessons to be learned from the work of these civilians — Aikins profiles a group in Aleppo (Syria’s largest city, divided between rebel and regime control) that’s part of a national organization called Civil Defense teams. The Civil Defense squads were, incidentally, recipients of some of that vaunted non-lethal humanitarian aid and training, via Turkey, that the U.S. has been sending to Syria: They were trained in various rescue techniques and had passed on skills to their fellow first responders, while Western aid had also bought them a German rescue truck.

But, alas, their work hasn’t quite made them the heroes of Aleppo. In fact, while they work for the city council, which is “in theory” subordinate to the Syrian National Coalition, the Western-friendly government-in-exile that includes the Free Syrian Army, the rebels’ moderate armed forces that aren’t all that forceful or well-armed. This hasn’t gone so well: The good-guys city council is corrupt and petty, promoting, for instance, an untrained but college-educated friend of the council to run the Civil Defense groups in Aleppo. This hasn’t really stopped the first responders, but it certainly hasn’t helped them, because the local government is actually in thrall to whatever rebel groups are best armed. And right down to their rescue equipment, you can guess who that is:

As [Khaled Hajjo, head of a neighborhood Civil Defense team] stood in front of the [local] fire station, a red fire truck cruised slowly by. It was much larger and nicer than his, and the three heavyset men in the cab were wearing civilian clothes and had large, fan-shaped beards and shaved mustaches. It was Jabhat al Nusra, the local Al Qaeda affiliate. They had their own fire brigade, and the city council gave them the best of the donated equipment. Seeing Khaled’s uniform, the men smiled and waved. He dragged on his cigarette and returned the gesture half-heartedly.

The infamous Islamic State doesn’t have a real presence in Aleppo, yet, but it’s gradually been taking towns outside of the ancient city in recent months. The story of Khaled and his team is just one little example of how far Syria is from having a competent group of rebel forces that can work with the West, let alone a competent government. But the training and aid that they got from the West in Turkey was helpful — a concerted effort to back the rebels and groups the West likes (if we are even capable of identifying who they are) can make a big difference, so scarce are resources in Syria.

Obama Admin: No Way We’ll Work with Syria Against ISIS. Iran, on the Other Hand . . .



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State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf was adamant that the United States would not be working with the Syrian government to fight the Islamic State — but couldn’t say the same about the Syrian government’s chief ally and patron, Iran. 

Harf spoke with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Monday about reports that the American government is providing intelligence assets to the forces of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad as they wage war against Islamic State jihadists in their country. “Is that true?” Blitzer asked.

“Not at all,” Harf said. “I can categorically reject that. We will not work with the Assad regime. We will not share intelligence with them. We will not coordinate with them. Period. Full stop. I don’t want to be any clearer than that.”

“What about Iran?” Blitzer asked, claiming that Secretary of State John Kerry has already suggested “coordination” between the United States and the Shiite theocracy.

“Well, not coordination,” Harf said. “What he’s suggesting is that we’re open to conversations with them. We’ve already had a few on the sidelines on the nuclear negotiations we had the last few months in Vienna, where we talked to them about Iraq. Because they know ISIL poses a threat to them as well.”

“So we’re open to that conversation,” she continued. “We won’t be coordinating with them, either. But they certainly have a role to play here, if they can support the new, inclusive government in Iraq . . . We are open to having a conversation with them about this shared threat.”

Harf specified that the United States wants Iran to “support” the Iraqi government and Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State — likely a reference to military assistance as well as political and economic aid.

Krauthammer’s Take: Other Nations ‘Unwilling’ to Fight ISIS ‘Because Obama Is Unwilling’



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The group of nations joining together to fight the Islamic State is a “coalition of the unwilling” for a simple reason, says Charles Krauthammer: “because Obama is unwilling.”

“Everyone knows it,” the columnist told his fellow panelists on Monday’s Special Report. “He telegraphed it in his speech, everybody understands: He’s ambivalent. They’ve all looked at what he did in Afghanistan and in Libya, and they say, ‘If the leader of this coalition is ambivalent and reluctant, why should we join?’”

Earlier in the broadcast, Krauthammer enumerated the limited contributions other countries have offered: “The French and the British have offered to do reconnaissance. In other words, the French will take pictures, and we’re going to be involved in fighting — that’s all really nice — and the Saudis apparently will write some checks for the Syrian opposition, what’s left of it. There’s no commitment of troops on the ground. And Turkey, the key ally in the region, with air bases in NATO, which would be perfectly suited for air strikes on Syria, has said absolutely no.”

Voter ID Wins Big in Wisconsin



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Voter-ID opponents have suffered another stunning blow.

On Friday, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals dissolved the injunction that had been issued against Wisconsin’s voter-ID law by a federal district court in April. The court told Wisconsin that it “may, if it wishes (and if it is appropriate under rules of state law), enforce the photo ID requirement in this November’s elections.” In reaction, Kevin Kennedy, the state’s top election official, said that Wisconsin would take all steps necessary “to fully implement the voter photo ID law for the November general election.” The appeals court issued its one-page opinion within hours of hearing oral arguments in the appeal.

As I explained in an NRO article in May, the district court judge, Lynn Adelman, a Clinton appointee and former Democratic state senator, had issued an injunction claiming the Wisconsin ID law violated the Voting Rights Act as well as the Fourteenth Amendment. Adelman made the startling claim in his opinion that the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 2008 upholding Indiana’s voter-ID law as constitutional was “not binding precedent,” so Adelman could essentially ignore it.

However, that was too much for the Seventh Circuit. It pointed out, in what most lawyers would consider a rebuke, that Adelman had held Wisconsin’s law invalid “even though it is materially identical to Indiana’s photo ID statute, which the Supreme Court held valid in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, 553 U.S. 181 (2008).”

Keep reading this post . . .

Poll: 7 in 10 Lack Confidence in Obama’s ISIS Strategy



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While a majority of Americans support President Obama’s plan to take out the Islamic State, most of them have little confidence that he will be able to pull it off, according to a new survey.

A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg poll finds that 62 percent of voters back the president’s approach to deal with the Islamic terrorist group, nearly three times the number who oppose it. Yet, more than two-thirds, 68 percent, have “very little” or “just some” confidence that he will succeed in eliminating the group. Meanwhile, 28 percent have “a great deal” or “quite a bit” of confidence.

The findings also give President Obama low marks on his foreign policy overall: Just 38 percent approve of his handling of global affairs.

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