01/30/15
Sarah Palin's Message to Michael Moore

The Council Has Spoken!! Watcher’s Council Results – 01/30/15

The Watcher’s Council


SARAH PALIN: Seen Posing with Sign That Says “Fuc– You Michael Moore”

The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave. When first we practise to deceive! – Sir Walter Scott, Marmion

Peace is purchased from strength. It’s not purchased from weakness or unilateral retreats. – Benyamin Netanyahu

Obama’s got something against Israel. – Broadcaster Rush Limbaugh, 2009

Ahmadinijad was stupid enough to be a wolf in wolf’s clothing, to expose his teeth and nails and alert the west. I can be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. I have all the diplomatic and rhetoric skills to do so. – Hasan Rouhani – President of Iran

Israel doesn’t know what its own best interests are. – President Barack Obama

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This week’s winning essay, Joshuapundit’s Obama, Netanyahu And Congress: The Real Inside Story Raises Further Questions, is my analysis of the real story behind the ginned up controversy of Israeli PM Netanyahu accepting an invitation from Congress to address a joint meeting on Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program… and what ultimate questions it raises. Here’s a slice:

President Obama’s latest escapade involving Israel says a great deal about his deep animus towards Israel. And it raises an important question.

Our story starts with Speaker of the House John Boehner inviting Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress on Iran and on Islamist terrorism in March.

Boehner’s rationale for this was a widely popular bi-partisan bill up in congress calling for large scale sanctions on Iran if the Obama administration is unable to craft a deal limiting Iran’s nuclear weapons capacity. President Obama, who watered down the previous sanctions and unilaterally dispensed with them said bluntly that he’d veto any legislation regarding Iran, and made a special point of mentioning this in his State of the Union address.

President Obama’s logic is that he and Secretary Kerry just need a little more time….in spite of three missed deadlines for a deal that have seen Iran’s nuclear stockpile actually grow.

There’s really zero transparency about what’s actually going on. IAEA inspectors have not been allowed inside major Iranian bases like Fardo, and among many things, Secretary John Kerry was apparently ‘misinformed’ when he claimed over a year ago that he had an agreement with the Islamic Republic that to cease operations at their heavy water reactor at Arak, a facility with no peaceful applications designed to produce weapons-grade plutonium. The IAEA hasn’t been allowed to inspect Arak either. Nor has it been shut down, as Kerry originally told us. Meanwhile, the Iranian Majlis is on the verge of passing legislation mandating that Iran increase its nuclear enrichment.

Small wonder Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), a co-sponsor of the senate version of the bill called what President Barack Hussein Obama had to say about Iran as ‘talking points straight from Tehran.’

Even the Washington Post awarded the president “Three Pinocchios” out of a possible four for his dishonest and delusional remarks on Iran during his speech.

So it’s quite natural that Speaker Boehner would want the Prime Minister of Israel, who’s been outspoken on Iran’s nuclear threat to address congress to increase consensus on a bill that would almost certainly have to override a presidential veto. And Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu, whose country gets threatened with annihilation by Iran every other week was happy to accept.

That’s when the White House literally went berserk.

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The president claimed that congress had disrespected him by not clearing Netanyahu’s visit with the White House, although in fact congress has the legal right to invite anyone it wants to to address a joint session.

But the president’s special wrath was directed at Benyamin Netanyahu,and that was no accident, as we’ll see. The president announced that he would not meet with or otherwise acknowledge Netanyahu’s presence during his visit. And unnamed White House officials were quoted in the press as saying that Netanyahu had ‘forgotten that Obama’s going to be president for another year and a half’, and that Netanyahu was ‘spitting in our faces’ by daring to come to America without an official presidential invitation. There were dark statements about how there would ‘be a price to pay.’

The president tried to justify this by saying that the invitation by congress was a breach of protocol, and against U.S. policy to meet with a head of state this close to a national election.

He lied about that too.

For instance, a couple of months before the British general election, President Obama invited British PM David Cameron to the White House in a high profile visit that was essentially an endorsement. And just a couple of weeks ago, only four months before what’s shaping up as the tightest UK election in years, the president, who is more popular in the UK than he is here did the same thing,having a meeting with Cameron, a lavish photo-op and calling him ‘a great friend’ and one of his “closet and most trusted partners in the world.”

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There have been other occasions. Remember the president’s love affair with former Islamist Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi in the run up to the Egyptian elections?

The president also had the White House release a leak alleging that Israeli Mossad Head Tamir Pardo had personally warned US senators against further Iran sanctions.

At that point, I got fairly concerned, because to my knowledge no one in Israel’s security apparatus has ever said anything like that..if anything the reverse, that increased sanctions had the best chance to bring Iran to the table for real concessions. For the head of Mossad to say this would amount to him creating his own private foreign policy.

I can tell you now without any doubt whatsoever that this was a complete fabrication by the White House, and I heard it directly from several people who definitely ought to know.

Moreover, the Mossad released a public statement on the matter. And it was not exactly diplomatic in tone.

A senior Israeli official delivered an uncommonly harsh attack on US President Barack Obama’s administration Thursday evening, following the American report that alleged that Mossad Head Tamir Pardo had warned US senators against further Iran sanctions, in contradiction of Israel’s official stance.

“The fraudulent claims against the Mossad Head were raised by the Americans yesterday, despite a message that had been transmitted to them on Tuesday by Intelligence Minister [Yuval] Steintz,” the senior Israeli source told Channel 2 news.

He added that Israel had gone over the minutes of the meeting between Pardo and the delegation of senators, and that Pardo had not said what was attributed to him.

“Leaking the Mossad Head’s statements, even if they had not been falsified, is a serious breach of all the rules,” the senior source added. “Friends do not behave like this. Information from a secret meeting must not leak out.” […]

“The Head of Mossad did not say that he opposes additional sanctions on Iran,” said the spy agency Thursday.

“Mossad Head Tamir Pardo met on January 19, 2015, with a delegation of US senators,” Mossad said in a statement. “The meeting was held at the request of the senators and with the prime minister’s approval. At the meeting, the Head of Mossad stressed the extraordinary effectiveness of the sanctions that have been placed on Iran for several years in bringing Iran to the negotiating table.”

“The Head of Mossad noted that in negotiating with Iran, a policy of ‘carrots and sticks’ must be adopted, and there are not enough ‘sticks’ nowadays,” it added.

Furthermore, said the agency, he “said specifically that the agreement that is being formed with Iran is bad and could lead to a regional arms race.”

Both the Mossad and the Israeli government are livid over this, and that can’t help but affect the relationship with the U.S. This indeed is hardly the way an ally acts.

Of course, the real reason for all this goes well beyond the president’s ego. It’s very much about the Israeli elections.

Much more at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion with a fantastic piece, Finally Obtained: David Gregory Arrest Warrant Affidavit, submitted by Rhymes with Right. Do read it – it’s especially well written and a fascinating read.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the week’s nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

01/28/15
Loretta Lynch

Lynch Doubles-Down On Executive Work Permits For Illegal Workers

In addition to suspending enforcement for nearly all of the 12 million individuals unlawfully present in the United States, President Obama issued an executive decree on November 20th, 2014, extending work permits, Social Security, Medicare, tax credits, and government identification to 5 million illegal immigrants and illegal visa violators. This would allow illegal immigrants to take any job in America, regardless of chronic high unemployment for Americans—including a 10.4 percent unemployment rate for African-American workers. Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, explained—contra AG Holder’s “breathtaking” contention that amnesty was a civil right—that unlawful amnesty for illegal immigrants violated the rights of U.S. citizens to the full protection of their laws, including those laws passed by Congress to protect their jobs and wages from illegal competition. The President’s executive edict (an edict he said previously only an Emperor would deign to issue) voids Americans’ legal protections in law, supplanting them with a new executive policy that Congress and voters have rejected, a policy which forces unemployed Americans to compete against a large and growing illegal workforce.

———————

Earlier today, Lynch declared during an in-depth exchange that people who entered the country unlawfully have a “right” to work and that they should work. Later, she declared that the President’s decision to bypass Congress in order to grant work permits to illegal immigrants was “legal and constitutional.” These amnestied workers will now be able to take any job in America, despite 1 in 4 men and women aged 25-54 not currently being employed.

01/28/15
Snowed In

Watcher’s Council Nominations – Snowed In Edition

The Watcher’s Council

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Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

The Council In Action!

*Terresa Monroe-Hamilton of The Noisy Room was quoted quoted from coast to coast on Christian radio for a post at Right Wing News: For God and country’ recruiting poster was ordered removed by the US Army; ‘God’ is a problem in Obama’s military

*This week, Trevor Loudon, Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion, The Political Commentator and The Pirate’s Cove earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an email address (mandatory, but of course it won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!

01/28/15
Barack Obama

Obama’s Economic Shell Game

By: Bethany Stotts
Accuracy in Media

Whether in his State of the Union or his recent campaign-like visits to the states, the President has been touting an economic recovery that his policies have supposedly fostered after he inherited a dire recession from George W. Bush. This narrative, repeated over and over through the years, is filled with half truths and exaggerations. Yet a complicit media is more than willing to look the other way from Americans suffering at the hands of a weak recovery with any numbers it can get its hands on.

To add insult to injury, the President’s proposed $320 billion in new tax increases makes it obvious that he’s “not serious about governing,” according to a Washington Post opinion piece by former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen. But, he argues, this political ploy will only work if the right is distracted by it.

Similarly, John Podhoretz writes for the New York Post that Obama gleefully “trolls,” or enrages his political opponents, to elicit ad hominem, spittle-filled disgust regardless of policy merits and the Democratic Party’s health. So when Americans hear the President proposing new taxes and claiming the country boasts a healthy, recovering economy, they may assume he’s tone deaf. However, he’s deliberately “trolling” for political effect.

The President is also fond of touting that the federal deficit has fallen from 10 percent of GDP to three percent of GDP, but such a claim couldn’t even fool Politifact, which rated the assertion as “half true.” “Obama is laying the blame for the high deficit-to-GDP ratio entirely on Bush, when the figure covers time in office for both presidents,” they say. “The statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details, so we rate it Half True.”

From where I come from a “half truth” is really a lie. Add to the list of false assertions the evergreen claims by President Obama that a) he has made the best of a terrible recession, and b) that our economy is now going strong because the unemployment rate is now below six percent.

“The widely publicized unemployment rate, eagerly awaited each month by pundits and policy wonks, has become little more than a shell game in which officials keep the public guessing about the real state of the economy,” pointedly wrote Jay Schalin of the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy back in 2012.

Reporting by The New York Times exposed that where once someone would have qualified as officially unemployed, they may now remain uncounted as “out of the labor force.” “In particular, there seems to have been an increase in the number of people who once would have qualified as officially unemployed and today are considered out of the labor force, neither working nor looking for work,” reported David Leonhardt last August.

Yet the Times, after the State of the Union last week, congratulated the President for his efforts to “cement an economic legacy that seemed improbable early in his first term, when the country was in near-economic collapse.” What then, is the President’s economic legacy of recovery to date?

Millions of people are not being counted in the most recent official unemployment rate of 5.6 percent. Schalin pointed his readers to a more accurate barometer—the labor participation rate. It currently sits at a 36-year low.

The falling labor participation rate, reports Jeffrey Scott Shapiro for The Washington Times, “translates to more than 7 million fewer workers in the workforce.”

The Wall Street Journal reports that a “U.S. economy that suddenly looks healthy” isn’t “luring back many of the millions who dropped out of the labor market during the down times.”

The outlook for America’s jobless and uncounted is dismal. “Over the past three months, an average of 6.8% of those outside the labor force either found a job or began looking for one,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “That means people are entering the labor force at the lowest pace in records kept since 1990, down from more than 8% in 2010.”

But the media instead carefully misinform the public to boost presidential credibility. The Washington Post, after the State of the Union address, called our President “cautious over the past two years not to gloat over news of fitful economic growth, mindful that the economy remained tenuous and public confidence uneasy.” Now, however, “with the jobless rate well below 6 percent, the stock market nearing record highs and his job-approval ratings rebounding, Obama on Tuesday night dropped his veneer of reserve and appeared to delight in having proved his critics wrong.”

What exactly is the proof?

“Jobs are up, but wages are down,” noted Politico’s Timothy Noah about December’s job numbers. “In five-and-a-half years of economic recovery, the median income should have increased. Instead, it is lower. … Stagnating wages have displaced unemployment as the nation’s chief economic concern, and wages are becoming a central political concern too.”

Ironically, the Post’s own fact-checkers, after taking apart the President’s speech, found that “it is too early to say that this positive response from small businesses means ‘wages are finally starting to rise again.’” In other words, our President lied—again.

“Politicians can lower the U-3 [unemployment] rate—and make things seem better than they are—by making it easier for people to leave the workforce,” noted Schalin.

At a national level, welfare dependency is at higher levels now than under George W. Bush, millions of Americans are signing up for Obamacare subsidies, the rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer, and median income is now comparable to 1995 levels. “Today median income is on par with where it was in 1995, which is one of the reasons many Americans still don’t feel the economy has truly improved,” reported CNN Money in December in the last line of its article.

The first line touted more positive Obama-centric news: “The Obama recovery was looking a lot better on Friday after a particularly strong jobs report made 2014 the best year for hiring since 1999.” CNN must have thought it could put some positive spin on this official numbers game.

In the last year of Bush’s presidency, 17.1 percent of Americans received welfare assistance. That figure now stands at nearly one in four—23 percent—according to Shapiro.

“A 2013 Pew Research study of U.S. Census Bureau data found simply that the rich got richer and the poor got poorer during the Obama economic recovery,” reports Shapiro. The study stated that our recovery boosted the incomes of the upper 7 percent by over a quarter, while the “mean net worth” of households in the remaining 93 percent “dropped by 4%.”

Chuck Todd of NBC News’ deserves a veritable medal for media bias. He opened his co-authored article, “Telling the Recovery Story: Obama Hits the Road to Tout Economy,” by pointing to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s (D) criticism of the President that “one problem I think that the president has is that he doesn’t tell that story [the “explosive growth in corporate profits, in stock market returns, employment that’s come back strong”] very well or very regularly.”

“Well, Obama is now trying to tell that story a bit better,” comment Todd and his co-authors.

“One reason why the White House feels more confident in touting the economy is that the country has seen its longest stretch of good economic news during Obama’s presidency,” he and his co-authors wrote. “And that’s been reflected in a media that usually emphasizes bad news over good news.”

Todd has said in the past that he found his off-the-record conversations with President Obama “very nourishing.”

Simply put, a lot of Americans can’t—and won’t—swallow economic spin of such mammoth proportions, either from the media or from our President.

01/28/15
Barack Obama

Agenda 21: Obama commits to helping India build ‘smart cities’ (Video)

By: Renee Nal
New Zeal

President Obama discusses the U.S. commitment to build ‘smart cities’ in India via YouTube [WhiteHouse.gov] Screenshot

President Obama discusses the U.S. commitment to build ‘smart cities’ in India via YouTube [WhiteHouse.gov] Screenshot

During his trip to India, President Obama declared America’s commitment to “help design smart cities” and “bullet trains” in the country.

The main selling point for “smart cities” is that they are “sustainable,” a vague but applauded term that often used in context of combating what this author strongly believes is a non-existent problem: man-made climate change.

During a speech at the Siri Fort Auditorium in India, Obama, who met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the tour, declared:

We are ready to join you in building new infrastructure…roads and airports, the ports and bullet trains to propel India into the future. We are ready to help design smart cities…

President Obama declared that taxpayers will foot the bill for $4 billion dollars in “investments and loans” as reported at Reuters.

Obama’s visit was discussed on Twitter under the hashtag #ObamaInIndia.

Smart cities are a part of the United Nations Agenda 21 plan and are defined in “fuzzy” ways as acknowledged at Wikipedia, which highlights several vague definitions. Some of the biggest common threads is “smart governance,” “smart technology,” “smart mobility,” and of course, “sustainability.”

Although rarely discussed, it seems that the ongoing “open data” initiative is heavily intertwined with the concept of “smart cities” (see here, here, here, here and here).

“Open Data” is a benign-sounding initiative dedicated to “transparency” in data, but falls under the “Open Societies” concept of global governance as promoted by billionaire George Soros, who “proposes that the open societies of the world should form an alliance for the dual purpose of fostering the development of open society within individual countries, and to lay the groundwork for a global open society by strengthening international institutions and rules of behaviour,” according to an Amazon description for his book “Open Society: Reforming Global Capitalism.

Under President Obama, OpenData.gov was born.

The Economic Times in India laid out the involvement of the U.S. Taxpayers in India’s smart cities,

…the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) signed Memorandums of Understandings (MoUs) with Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh for cooperation to support the development of three smart cities.

The cities are Allahabad, Ajmer and Visakhapatnam. Under the MoUs, the USTDA will contribute funds for feasibility studies and pilot projects, study tours, workshops or trainings and other projects that would be determined mutually.

The Times of India reported:

As per the agreements, USTDA will collaborate with other US government agencies like the Department of Commerce, the US Export Import Bank and other trade and economic agencies to promote greater US-India infrastructure development cooperation and to support development of smart cities.

USTDA will enable US industry bodies to mobilize private sector expertise and resources to address important aviation and energy related infrastructure connected to developing smart cities.

The USTDA twitter feed promoted the initiative and posted a press release on the effort:

In the above tweet with the embedded video, President Obama further discusses the American “investment” into India’s “smart cities.” It should be noted that through the USTDA, taxpayers fund similar initiatives around the world.

Part of the award to India will involve financing of small business loans.

Trevor Loudon, author of “Barack Obama and the Enemies Within,” and his latest jaw-dropping book, “The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress” told the author that he believes the ultimate goal of Agenda 21 (smart cities) is to move the populations of the world into small urban areas.

A population confined to “concentrated areas,” Loudon explained, would make citizens much more manageable. In his view, it is a part of an age-old battle between the “collective versus the individual,” a concept that can be illustrated in ideologies as far back as Plato and Aristotle, who both advocated for what they believed was “the superior role of the collective and the relatively inferior position of the individual.”

In an article at Forbes magazine, author Sarwant Singh wrote glowingly of “smart cities” in light of “urbanization.” Singh’s organization Frost & Sullivan “identified eight key aspects that define a Smart City: smart governance, smart energy, smart building, smart mobility, smart infrastructure, smart technology, smart healthcare and smart citizen.”

It should be noted that while the term “Agenda 21″ has been progressively scrubbed from America’s newsrooms as it became marginalized in America, the plan lives on throughout the country in “sustainable” city planning initiatives.

An interesting discussion of smart cities can be found here from an Alternative Media source, TRUTHstreammedia:

Are Americans happy about their tax dollars going toward such a venture? Does Congress even have a say anymore?

Listen around the 52:00 minute mark:

This article has been cross-posted at Broadside News.

01/23/15
Obama - Just Resign Already

The Council Has Spoken!! Watcher’s Council Results – 01/23/15

The Watcher’s Council

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The Council has spoken, the votes have been cast and the results are in for this week’s Watcher’s Council match-up.

I came from the United States of America to stand for freedom, with all free people, against the forces of oppression and darkness which you are representing. … You are fighting for the most radically intolerant and hateful ideology on the planet. … You are already subjugated! You are already their useful idiots. You are already their tools. – Robert Spencer, speaking to a Left wing audience in Europe, June 2, 2011.

Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant. The Koran… should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth. – CAIR Co-Founder Omar Ahmad

The ideological descendents of the communist/progressive Left that spent its capital hoping the West would lose the Cold War to the Soviet Union are today’s leftist core. Based on their hatred for the United States, the Left has forged a symbiotic relationship with radical Islam, whose hatred for America equals theirs. Both make it clear that they consider Western civilization evil and unworthy of preservation. – Ben R. Furman, Former FBI Counterterrorism Chief

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This week’s winning essay, The Noisy Room’sAn American Intifada – Communists and Radical Islamists Join Forces, is a scintillating piece that concerns something only the most blind refuse to see, the alliance between the Red and the Green, between the radical Left and Islam. Here’s a slice:

Trevor Loudon wrote an article that each and every one of us should read and take note of: Intifada USA? American Radicals Build Ties to “Palestinian” Revolutionaries. I agree completely with Trevor when he says that 2015 could usher in chaos, unrest and violence as we have not seen in our lifetime. The Communists are now joining hands in America with the Radical Islamists, forming an American Intifada – an uprising, resistance, revolt. They are using racism as the building blocks and their hate for America as the glue to forward massive havoc and violence in our streets.

The riots in Ferguson and New York were just the warm up act for these thugs. They are looking to create what they think is an American Spring, which will push every radical and Communist ideal there is out there. It will scream racism, go after the police and alphabet agencies, cry social and environmental injustice, push demands for Islamic acceptance and Shariah law – and in the mix will be the ever-present Jew-hatred which is the kindling for their hatred. In this twisted case, the enemy of my enemy is my ally. For the short term anyway.

Taking the lead are primarily Black and Latino revolutionaries who claim to represent the movements for “black lives” and racial justice, who took a jaunt to Palestine to show solidarity against – you guessed it – Israel. Meet the Dream Defenders Palestine Delegation:

Representatives at the forefront of the movements for Black lives and racial justice took a historic trip to Palestine in early January to connect with activists living under Israeli occupation.

Black journalists, artists and organizers representing Ferguson, Black Lives Matter, Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) and more have joined the Dream Defenders for a 10-day trip to the occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel.

The trip comes after a year of highly-publicized repression in Ferguson, the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as solidarity between these places.

Ahmad Abuznaid, Dream Defenders’ legal and policy director and a co-organizer of the delegation, said that the goal of the trip was to make connections.

“The goals were primarily to allow for the group members to experience and see first-hand the occupation, ethnic cleansing and brutality Israel has levied against Palestinians, but also to build real relationships with those on the ground leading the fight for liberation,” wrote Abuznaid.

“In the spirit of Malcolm X, Angela Davis, Stokely Carmichael and many others, we thought the connections between the African American leadership of the movement in the U.S. and those on the ground in Palestine needed to be reestablished and fortified.”

Abuznaid said the trip represented a chance to bring the power of Black organizing to Palestine.

“As a Palestinian who has learned a great deal about struggle, movement, militancy and liberation from African Americans in the U.S., I dreamt of the day where I could bring that power back to my people in Palestine. This trip is a part of that process.”

[…]

For Steven Pargett, communications director for Dream Defenders, visiting the Dheisheh Refugee Camp outside of Bethlehem made these connections clearer: “A camp doesn’t have to have a fence with barbed wire all around it in order to be a place where displaced people are struggling to survive.”

Pargett said that Black people in the United States are also displaced refugees.

“Our refugee camps are lower income communities and project buildings all around the country that many would not be living in had we not been taken into slavery generations ago. Rather than having the Israeli Defense occupation in our hoods, we have the occupation of police officers who often prove to have little regard for our lives, being that they are not from these communities,” Pargett wrote.

Hip-hop was a unifying force for the delegation, Pargett said, commenting that Palestinians have been inspired by hip-hop in the U.S. and use it as a tool to amplify their own voices.

St. Louis-based rapper and activist Tef Poe said his experience in the camps connecting through hip-hop was the best day of his life.

“A refugee camp with a bunch of people fighting for their lives and using hip hop to lift their spirits and spark the minds of the children and break down gender barriers between young girls and boys,” Tef posted to Facebook. “I spent a day with these ppl .. Most amazing day of my life. Thanks be to the Most, the struggle is beautiful.”

This trip is another chapter in the recent history of Black-Palestinian solidarity. In November, a group of 10 Palestinian student activists visited Ferguson and St. Louis, meeting with people organizing in the streets.

A month later, upon their return, the students hosted a series of events at their university in the West Bank to raise awareness with the Black struggle and stand in solidarity. Dream Defenders unanimously passed a resolution to support the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in this interval.

[…]

Moving forward, delegates expressed a desire for Black and American action in support of Palestine.

“I believe the Black Lives Matter movement can benefit greatly by learning about struggles outside of the U.S., but particularly the Palestinian struggle,” said Patrisse Cullors. “I want this trip to be an example for how Black folks and Arab communities can be in better solidarity with one another.”

Cherrell Brown sees joint action as a way to global freedom.

“I want us to take back things we can do in the now, as Americans, to raise awareness and action around Palestinian liberation. I want us to reimagine what society could and will look like when we’ve dismantled this white-supremacist patriarchal and capitalist society. I want us to do it together. I want to bring back these conversations and stories in hopes that it will help add to this global struggle to get free.”

The full list of delegates includes five Dream Defenders (Phillip Agnew, Ciara Taylor, Steven Pargett, Sherika Shaw, Ahmad Abuznaid), Tef Poe and Tara Thompson (Ferguson/Hands Up United), journalist Marc Lamont Hill, Cherrell Brown and Carmen Perez (Justice League NYC), Charlene Carruthers (Black Youth Project), poet and artist Aja Monet, Patrisse Cullors (Black Lives Matter), and Maytha Alhassen, a USC PhD student. Catch up with the delegation and follow their last few days using #DDPalestine on Twitter and Instagram.

Gee, that’s a who’s who of racists, social justice agitators and Communists. Just look how chummy and united they have all become. I know you will be really, really shocked to learn that the Tides Foundation is funding this. And who is behind the Tides Foundation? Why, that old spider George Soros who hates Jews, America and freedom in general. You know, the guy who gave $33 million to the activists who took part in Ferguson and other venues of violence.

This is all part of a movement that has been gathering steam for a while now and it is thoroughly anti-Israel. Guess who is in the thick of it? Dr. Marc Lamont Hill of HuffPost Live, BET News and CNN. Watch it Marc, your antisemitism is showing and badly. Our comrade Hill also spouted revolutionary rhetoric to promote the Dream Defenders. Ferguson, Eric Garner and #BlackLivesMatter protests have become the calling card for the new face of the Occupy Movement. You are witnessing the rise of the Islamo-Communist Axis in America.

More at the link.

In our non-Council category, the winner was Victor Davis HansonMuslims And Islamists submitted by Joshuapundit. I’m a huge fan of VDH, even when I disagree with him. In this particular case, I think he is spot on and all I’ll say is that what he wrote here deserves your utmost attention.

Here are this week’s full results:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week!

Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum and every Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks’ nominees for Weasel of the Week!

And remember, every Wednesday, the Council has its weekly contest with the members nominating two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. The votes are cast by the Council and the results are posted on Friday morning.

It’s a weekly magazine of some of the best stuff written in the blogosphere and you won’t want to miss it… or any of the other fantabulous Watcher’s Council content.

And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that, y’know?

01/23/15
Obama's Political Prospects

Obama’s ‘rosy scenario’ and the man that could fill his boots

Watchdog.org

Shutterstock Image

Shutterstock Image PROSPECTS NOT SO ‘ROSY': A potential contender for the 2016 presidential race uses the same rhetoric and has produced similar policy results as President Obama.

By James Simpson | Watchdog Arena

Following his State of the Union addresses, former President Ronald Reagan was routinely chided by the national press regarding his “rosy scenarios” projected for the economy and the federal budget. But at that time, our nation was experiencing an unprecedented economic boom and most of Reagan’s “rosy scenarios” were being realized. In contrast, Tuesday night, President Obama laid out a “rosy scenario” for the economy that was built on a bed of flagrant inaccuracies.

One cannot chalk this up to ignorance. Evidence of economic malaise is everywhere. The labor force participation rate is at its lowest since 1978. The unemployment rate has declined at least in part because so many people have given up looking for work that they are no longer counted in official unemployment statistics. Many more have been forced into part-time positions as employers seek to avoid heavy Obamacare costs.

Furthermore, marginal improvements in the economy have been fueled by the domestic oil boom, which Obama has fought tooth and nail. But food stamp utilization is perhaps the most blatant illustration of our still-sclerotic economy.

Now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program(“SNAP”), in 2014, fully 46.5 million Americans were enrolled at a cost of $73.8 billion. For each of President Obama’s six full years in office, food stamp use has been higher than at any time in history—almost double its highest previous rates—and more people have been added to the rolls than during any other presidency.

Food stamp usage declined last year for the first time since Obama was elected, a meager 2 percent. The number of people on food stamps, however, remains over 18 million higher than during President Bush’s highest year, and 19.5 million higher than the previous record set in 1993. (See chart below).

SNAPgraph

These indicators are not the sign of an economic recovery; but rather an indication that the American economy has moved into a new normal—one of chronically high unemployment and welfare utilization.

Everything in Obama’s SOTU address promised more of the same. Obama said it was time to “turn the page.” As Dave Greenfield at Front Page Magazine quipped, “When everything on the last page looks so bad, then it’s time to turn the page…”

Despite his penchant for prevarication, Obama has his disciples. Like Obama, outgoing Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who has set his sights on higher office, has built his reputation on fiction. When former Republican Gov. Bob Ehrlich left office in 2006, Maryland’s state budget stood at $25.8 billion. O’Malley claims he cut the budget to the bone, but in his eight years in office, it grew to $37.3 billion, an increase of 45 percent.

While claiming to champion “green” environmental policies, O’Malley repeatedly raided trust funds earmarked for Chesapeake Bay cleanup to the tune of at least $135 million since 2009. He doubled Maryland’s infamous “flush tax” to refill the fund, raided it again, and passed the uniformly unpopular “rain tax.” He also raided the highway trust fund repeatedly to the tune of $868 million between 2009 and 2011 alone, despite receiving $771 million in stimulus funds for infrastructure projects. When this wasn’t enough, he repaid trust funds by issuing new bonds. Maryland’s current structural budget deficit stands at $1.2 billion.

Despite the fact that Maryland floats on federal dollars more than any other state, between 2004 and 2012, Maryland’s food stamp utilization grew 162 percent– a rate exceeded by only three other states (See FGA SNAP document). Over 13 percent of Maryland’s population is currently using food stamps. In 2010, the depth of the recession, only 9.7 percent of Marylanders used food stamps. Most of this can likely be credited to Governor O’Malley’s sanctuary state policies.

Larry Hogan is the newly-elected governor of Maryland, only the third Republican elected to that position since 1960. Hogan has identified the cost of O’Malley policies. “Under O’Malley and [Lt. Gov. Anthony] Brown, Maryland has lost 8,000 businesses and unemployment has nearly doubled,” he said. “In fact, 26 percent of our manufacturing base, and with it 25,000 jobs, has disappeared. Today, Maryland is dead last in the nation in manufacturing.” In his inaugural address delivered on Wednesday, Hogan said, “Together, let’s make Maryland a place that we can all be proud of again.” He has his work cut out for him.

This article was written by contributors of Watchdog Arena, Franklin Center’s network of writers, bloggers, and citizen journalists.

01/23/15
Barack Obama

Mendacity is Still the State of the Union

By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media

Following last year’s State of the Union address by President Barack Obama, I titled my column “The State of the Union is Mendacity.” It is quite remarkable how little within it would need to be changed to have it apply to this week’s State of the Union. From the recovering economy, to negotiations with Iran, to the containment and defeat of “violent extremism,” to equal pay for women and the need to combat climate change, to a call for a minimum wage hike—there is little difference between the laundry lists presented by President Obama in 2014 and 2015.

But there is a major difference in the political climate.

“The most important omission [in the President’s State of the Union] was the fact that there were 83 fewer Democrats in the chamber this year than the first time he gave a State of the Union speech and dozens less than the number of his fellow party members that were there last year,” writes Jonathan S. Tobin for Commentary magazine. “The historic rejection of both the president’s party and his policies in last November’s midterm elections was treated in the speech as if it had never happened.”

Instead, America was treated to a laundry list of liberal agenda items, right after President Obama first said he would “focus less on a checklist of proposals, and focus more on the values at stake in the choices before us.”

“When we looked at what Obama actually proposed, all we found was a musty laundry list of liberal programs, most of which already got huge boosts in spending and failed to deliver on their promises,” comments Investors Business Daily.

Yet President Obama’s worn-out list was greeted with praise from the mainstream media. NBC Today Show co-host Savannah Guthrie cheered Obama as “displaying renewed swagger in his sixth address to the nation as he outlined a vision for the final two years of his presidency.”

The New York Times said that “It was hardly surprising that a president who expects so little from Congress devoted some of his speech to celebrating the things that he has accomplished against considerable odds.”

“In fact, he seemed so confident you would have thought he had just won another election,” asserted Jonathan Karl of ABC News.

President Obama’s comment that he has “no more campaigns to run” was greeted with applause and laughter, to which he retorted, “I know because I won both of them.”

Rather than pointing to how the 2014 election could be seen as a referendum on President Obama’s failed policies, Matt Lauer, co-host of NBC’s Today Show, asked Vice President Joe Biden whether he saw “that as a moment of disrespect? Was it a symptom of the very pettiness that the President was referring to?” He also salivated over a potential 2016 Biden presidential bid, asking, “You’re known as a guy who can work a room. Boy, are you good at that. Do you think you could work that room, Vice President Biden?” Lauer didn’t ask a single question challenging any of Obama’s claims or assertions from the night before.

While the mainstream media cheer, others have a more critical view of what Tobin calls Obama’s credibility gap “that is as wide as the Grand Canyon.”

“What Obama has delivered is not an address, but a black hole of lies in which each lie clusters next to a dozen more until it is impossible to see the light,” writes Daniel Greenfield. For example, “Obama insists on taking credit for an energy revolution that he battled every step of the way and continues to fight with his Keystone veto threat,” writes Greenfield. “Instead of admitting that fracking and cheap Saudi oil made the difference, he went on touting his solar and wind boondoggles that have cost a fortune.”

President Obama also touted such green energy “successes” in his 2014 address.

“Obama also claims to have beaten Putin,” writes Greenfield. “There’s only one minor problem with that. In the real world, Russia still controls Crimea. While in the unreal world, Obama controls CNN.”

And The Washington Post editorial board concluded the day after President Obama’s State of the Union, that there is a “pervasive disconnect in Western thinking about the regime of Vladimir Putin”—and that “Russian forces, after several weeks of relative calm” had just “launched a new offensive in eastern Ukraine.”

President Obama also asserted in his speech that “we’ve halted the progress of the nuclear program” in Iran and “reduced its stockpile of nuclear material.” He then threatened to veto any sanctions bill “that threatens to undo this progress.” He is referring to a likely bipartisan bill calling for additional sanctions if negotiations with Iran fall apart. The idea is to incentivize Iran to make a deal wherein it agrees to end its nuclear weapons capability, but President Obama says that if Congress were to pass such a bill, “the risks and likelihood this ends up at some point a military confrontation is heightened.”

“The more I hear from the administration and its quotes, the more it sounds like talking points that come straight out of Tehran,” said Democratic Senator Robert Menendez (NJ) the day after the President’s speech.

The Washington Post’s Fact Checker column took a look at the claims by the President of having “halted the progress of the nuclear program” and of having “reduced its stockpile of nuclear material,” and gave those claims three Pinocchios, meaning, “Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.”

Regarding the President’s refusal to refer to “Islamic” terrorism or extremism, another Democrat took exception. She is Rep. Tulsi Gabbard who is and has been in the Army National Guard for more than a decade. She served a one-year combat tour of duty in Iraq starting in 2004, and a second tour in the Middle East a few years later. Gabbard is the first American Samoan and the first Hindu to serve in the U.S. Congress—now in her second term—representing a district in Hawaii. Gabbard was on Neil Cavuto’s show on the Fox News Channel, and told Cavuto:

Terminology in the use of this specific term is important…last night the President came and talked to Congress about coming to request an authorization to use military force. By his not using this term, Islamic extremism, and clearly identifying our enemy, it raised a whole host of questions in exactly what congress will be authorizing. Who will we be targeting? Who is our enemy? And unless you understand who your enemy is, unless you clearly identify your enemy, then you cannot come up with a very effective strategy to defeat that enemy. So this is what’s giving me great concern as we look specifically at this authorization, but also as we look at this overall issue of how do we defeat this threat of Islamic extremism that’s not just occurring in the Middle East, that isn’t just about this one group called ISIS, or another group called al Qaeda. It’s a much larger war, really, that is as much an ideological war as it is a military war.

Amidst the dangerously conciliatory stance that the President has adopted toward Iran, and the weak military effort to “degrade and defeat ISIL,” the media should praise Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) for inviting Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress about the growing Iranian threat. Instead, Politico criticizes that “the Speaker didn’t consult with the administration before inviting Netanyahu to address Congress,” and the Speaker is “setting up his most dramatic foreign policy confrontation with President Barack Obama to date.” The speech is scheduled for March 3rd.

Not only is Congress a co-equal branch of government, with the ability to invite whomever they want, but President Obama made the highlight of his last State of the Union executive action—and going around Congress when they won’t comply with his agenda.

“He expects us to stand idly by and do nothing while he cuts a bad deal with Iran. Two words: ‘Hell no!’ … We’re going to do no such thing,” said Speaker Boehner.

The Speaker’s move is a show of support for Israel, and the Western leader who, more than any other, faces the daily threat of Islamic jihadist terrorism, and the very real threat of an Iranian regime that has explicitly stated on numerous occasions their plans to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.

The White House has already announced that the President won’t be meeting with Netanyahu on that trip, saying that it’s too close to Israel’s election, also slated for March. It will be interesting to see what, if any, pressure the Obama administration puts on Netanyahu to cancel his planned address. Speaker Boehner is betting that Netanyahu has more credibility in this country on Iran and Islamic jihadi terrorism than President Obama does. And there is probably no one who can better speak to these matters with such authority and eloquence.

It should certainly make for a better speech than this year’s policy prescriptions recycled from last year, even if the media were determined to shower President Obama with undeserved, fawning praise for simply showing up.

01/22/15
Ted Cruz / Mark Levin

Ted Cruz and Mark Levin • State of the Union • Hannity

01/21/15
SOTU Denial

Watcher’s Council Nominations: When The Going Gets Weird, The Weird Turn Pro Edition

The Watcher’s Council

Unbelievable. Simply unbelievable.

Welcome to the Watcher’s Council, a blogging group consisting of some of the most incisive blogs in the ‘sphere and the longest running group of its kind in existence. Every week, the members nominate two posts each, one written by themselves and one written by someone from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council. Then we vote on the best two posts, with the results appearing on Friday morning.

Council News:

The Council In Action!!

*Virginia Right’s Tom White continues to ascend! This week, an original song of his was featured on John Stossel’s FOX show. It starts about 5 minutes into this segment:

*This week, Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion, Seraphic Secret, The Pirate’s Cove and The Gates Of Vienna earned honorable mention status with some great articles.

You can, too! Want to see your work appear on the Watcher’s Council homepage in our weekly contest listing? Didn’t get nominated by a Council member? No worries.

To bring something to my attention, simply head over to Joshuapundit and post the title and a link to the piece you want considered along with an e-mail address (mandatory, but of course your e-mail address won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST in order to be considered for our honorable mention category. Then return the favor by creating a post on your site linking to the Watcher’s Council contest for the week when it comes out on Wednesday morning.

Simple, no?

It’s a great way of exposing your best work to Watcher’s Council readers and Council members while grabbing the increased traffic and notoriety. And how good is that, eh?

So, let’s see what we have for you this week…

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Enjoy! And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter… ’cause we’re cool like that! And don’t forget to tune in Friday for the results!