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Tags: Mike Rogers

Today’s Important Message: You Should Not Live in Fear.



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From the midweek edition of the Morning Jolt:

Today’s Important Message: You Should Not Live in Fear.

Are Americans safer from Islamist terror? We sure as heck don’t feel that way.

The nation is on edge in the wake of brutal beheadings of journalists by Islamic extremists — with more Americans saying the United States is less safe now than at any point since 9/11, a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal Poll shows.

The exclusive poll reveals that 47% of Americans believe the country is less safe now than before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. That’s a significant increase from even a year after the twin towers fell when in September 2002 just 20% of the country said the nation was less safe.

In my piece on NRO today:

Ed Royce (R., Calif.), chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, seems less concerned. On Monday, he declared on CNN’s New Day that the United States doesn’t have intelligence indicating there are any active plans for a terrorist attack ahead of the 9/11 anniversary. “No, we don’t have any information about credible planning for an attack,” Royce said.

“Any time you get around a major anniversary in the minds of al-Qaeda and its affiliates, that can be a time of increased concern and intelligence monitoring,” said Mike Rogers (R., Mich.), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. “We know they’re so fixated and obsessed on those particular dates. Given that it’s coming up on 9/11, we know there are operational activities, both al-Qaeda and this new threat matrix of all these al-Qaeda affiliates. Some have aspirations to do Western attacks, some have capabilities to do Western attacks, all of that just makes the challenge all the more difficult for the agencies we charge with stopping terror attacks.”

If you’re feeling anxiety . . . don’t.

Not because the threat isn’t real, but because you are not meant to live in fear. There have been 4,747 days since 9/11. In that time, the bad guys have managed a few hits but only a handful on the home front. Fort Hood. The Boston Marathon bombing. The LAX counter shooting. The Arkansas recruiting office shooting.

They’ve also had some near-misses: The underwear bomber flying into Detroit. The 2010 Times Square bombing attempt.

If you’re living outside the homeland, you’re at a higher risk, but again, for most of those 4,747 days, the good guys have kept the bad guys bottled up or stymied.

The odds are in your favor today, and every day. A lot of dedicated men and women are working around the clock to keep you safe. There’s not much left for us to do, other than point out an unattended bag or if we see someone behaving suspiciously, tell a cop.

That NBC News/WSJ poll also found:

According to the poll, 61 percent of American voters believe that the United States taking military action against ISIS is in United States’ interest, versus 13 percent who don’t. (Another 24 percent said they don’t know enough to have an opinion.)

That’s a significant change when a similar question was asked last year about the U.S. taking possible action against Syria’s government after its reported use of chemical weapons.

Back then, only 21 percent said action was in the nation’s interest, while 33 percent said it wasn’t.

Tags: Terrorism , ISIS , Ed Royce , Mike Rogers

‘Sunnis and Shiites don’t need guns from us. They need the truth.’



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The first Morning Jolt of the week offers some eye-opening news about Hillary Clinton, an attempt to understand the appeal of the World Cup, and some terrific personal news, but it begins with this awful update from developments overseas:

‘Practically Speaking, [Iraq] Has Broken Apart’

You know the news from the Middle East, and Iraq in particular, is usually bad. Today is no different:

Fighters affiliated with an extremist Al Qaeda-inspired faction seized control Monday of another town in the northwest of Iraq, beating back pro-government forces scrambling to stop the group’s advance

Tal Afar, an ethnically diverse town of Sunni Muslims and Turkmen, was overrun by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, after heavy clashes with Iraqi army units and Turkmen tribal fighters, according to Turkey’s semi-official Anatolia news agency. Pro-government activists in Tal Afar, however, asserted on social media that the fight was continuing, with heavy airstrikes against the militants’ positions.

Eli Lake:

American presidents and Iraqi strongmen have been trying for decades to keep the country intact. But that effort is now failing under pressure from the Islamic extremists who are taking over more and more of Iraq’s cities. “Practically speaking, the country has broken apart,” a top official in Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government told The Daily Beast.

On the Sunday shows, Washington politicians aren’t downplaying the danger:

The bloodthirsty Islamist group hellbent on overthrowing the Iraqi government claims to have massacred 1,700 soldiers and posted a series of gory pictures of executed captives that kicked off a chain reaction of fear from Baghdad to the Beltway.

And in further evidence of the deteriorating security situation in Iraq, terrorists killed more than 20 people with four bombs on Sunday in Baghdad, and the State Department moved to protect the U.S. Embassy and its employees.

“This is as dangerous as it gets,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers said on “Fox News Sunday.” He was one of several GOP lawmakers who called on the Obama administration to act aggressively against the Sunni militants who call themselves the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, another Iraq War proponent, echoed Rogers with a dire caution of his own.

“Iraq and Syria combined are going to be the staging area for the next 9/11 if we don’t do anything about it,” the South Carolina Republican said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “If Baghdad falls . . . a disaster awaits us of monumental proportions.”

Thomas Friedman is sounding . . . almost isolationist, or at least noninterventionist:

Hence my rule: The Middle East only puts a smile on your face when it starts with them — when they take ownership of reconciliation. Please spare me another dose of: It is all about whom we train and arm. Sunnis and Shiites don’t need guns from us. They need the truth. It is the early 21st century, and too many of them are still fighting over who is the rightful heir to the Prophet Muhammad from the 7th century. It has to stop — for them, and for their kids, to have any future.

There are a lot of people who don’t know what to do now, so they’ll spend a lot of energy arguing about what should have been done in March 2003.

Tags: Iraq , Thomas Friedman , Mike Rogers , Lindsey Graham

Could Michigan’s Eighth District Replace a Mike with a Mike?



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Representative Mike Rogers, Michigan Republican and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, surprised the political world by announcing that he won’t run for another term and will instead begin a new career hosting a radio show.

This leaves Republicans in need of a candidate in Michigan’s eighth congressional district, an R+2 district that includes Lansing, the state capital, and Michigan State University. The GOP candidate will be slightly favored in this open-seat race, but it is by no means a sure thing.

I’m hearing the name Mike Bishop mentioned as a potential GOP candidate; he’s a former prosecutor and state-senate majority leader whose last bid for office was a campaign for Oakland County prosecutor in 2012. He lost in the general election to an incumbent Democrat, 45 percent to 51 percent, in a year when Obama was winning the county with 53 percent.

The Detroit News mentions several other potential GOP candidates:

state Rep. Bill Rogers of Brighton, who is term-limited, state Sen. Joe Hune from Livingston County and state Rep. Tom McMillin of Rochester Hills, who is trailing in polling currently in a state Senate race.

Tags: Mike Rogers , Mike Bishop , Michigan

Will the GOP’s Rogers Run for Senate in Michigan?



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Here’s a serious option for Republicans in Michigan’s Senate race: Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers has joined a growing list of Republicans who may run in 2014 for the Senate seat that Democrat Carl Levin plans to vacate.

Rogers of Howell, a former FBI agent, has served in Congress since 2001 and is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

“I am giving the Senate race serious consideration,” Rogers told the Free Press on Saturday.

The Free Press mentions two other potential GOP candidates, former secretary of state Terri Lynn Land and U.S. representative Justin Amash. On the Democratic side, Representative Gary Peters, a Bloomfield Township Democrat, said he is seriously considering a run.

Brian Dickerson, a columnist for that newspaper, contends that Michigan Democrats have been running on their past, and desperately need an infusion of youth:

Three of the five congressional seats the party still controls are held by men in their 70s or 80s; by contrast, only two of the Michigan’s delegation’s nine GOP members (Reps. Tim Walberg and Kerry Bentivolio) have reached their 60th birthdays.

The result is that the names that have defined the Democratic Party for the last decade or so — Levin, Dingell, Kelly, Granholm — belong either to septuagenarians whose lease on power is expiring or, in Granholm’s case, to a woman who has decamped to another venue and vocation.

Tags: Justin Amash , Michigan , Mike Rogers

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