Rep. Suzan DelBene’s Husband, Kurt DelBene, Chosen to Fix HealthCare.gov

By: Katherine Rosario
The Forge

Good news! The Obama administration just hired on former Microsoft executive Kurt DelBene, who coincidentally is also married to Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA)12%, to fix HealthCare.gov.

He’s certainly qualified for the task. HHS Secreatry Kathleen said, “Kurt has proven expertise in heading large, complex technology teams and in product development.”

He will be an “unpaid senior adviser,” but with a wife who is a strong Obamacare supporter, it’s clear he has an incentive to help Obamacare to have some semblance of workability, an impression Americans are swiftly losing. In November, his wife put out a press release stating:

One of our top priorities must be ensuring that the Affordable Care Act works for Washingtonians, and I’m committed to doing what it takes to make sure that all of my constituents have access to affordable, comprehensive health coverage.

But Obamacare won’t accomplish that.

It will, however, cause immediate and long term damage to millions of Americans. People are losing the plans they liked and watching helplessly as their premiums and deductibles skyrocket. Nothing Mr. DelBene accomplishes as a government bureaucrat will improve Obamacare itself, though he may help to salvage the healthcare website.

For years, conservatives have accurately predicted the adverse effects of the government take over of healthcare by the left known as Obamacare. From the sweeping reality that it diminishes our freedom of choice by putting decision making in the hands of government bureaucrats, to the nitty-gritty of losing the plans we liked.

Kurt DelBene, accomplished and top-notch tech guy that he is, may be able to help Democrat members of Congress, like his wife, save face, but he won’t be able to help those Americans losing their freedom, choice, and affordable healthcare, because Obamacare will remain fundamentally flawed.


Fed Nominee Janet Yellen, an “Old-School Progressive Economist” Eager to Share Her “Passions”

By: Katherine Rosario
The Forge

The position of Federal Reserve chairman may be less politicized than being the president or a member of Congress, but it is no less an outlet for political — and ideological — expression. And with the position becoming vacant, discussions of the next potential chairwoman are taking place. Some suggest she makes decisions based on facts, not ideology. But anecdotal evidence from her longtime friends and colleagues suggests otherwise.

The Fed nominee is an old-school progressive economist. Just wait until she starts sharing her passions.

That is how National Journal characterized Janet Yellen, President Obama’s nominee to replace Ben Bernanke as the Federal Reserve chairwoman. She has been Bernanke’s vice chairwoman for the past three years. If the Senate confirms her nomination, she will “suddenly given voice in the world’s bulliest economic pulpit.” And what will she use that economic pulpit for? The following characterization may shed some light:

Yellen is also the product of an old progressive tradition of activist, pro-government economics. Above all, according to colleagues, she takes the nation’s worst problems, especially unemployment, as a deeply personal challenge. Yellen, who is all but certain to be confirmed, represents a strain of interventionist thinking that has not found expression at such a high level in Washington in decades—at least since Ronald Reagan and his Milton Friedman-inspired attempt to shrink the size of government.

According to sources close to Yellen, she is motivated by reducing unemployment and reining in Wall Street’s excesses. As Fed chairwoman, she would concern herself with the debate about the relative threats of unemployment and inflation. She will try to tackle joblessness head on. She will deal with “the size and power of big banks and the need for a higher minimum wage and extended jobless benefits.”

Throughout her career, Yellen has worked to demonstrate “why markets fail so often and therefore government intervention is needed,” according to a longtime friend and economist. She is, economically, a Keynesian, and may use her position to influence Congress accordingly.

If she becomes the next chairwoman, some speculate that she will continue the trends set by Bernanke, though she may take a “far more aggressive approach to Wall Street.”

Upon her appointment to the Fed, along with two other appointees, the Heritage Foundation said the appointments suggested “a new bloc of votes on the policy setting Federal Open Market Committee for dovish monetary policies, i.e. those less concerned with containing inflation than reducing unemployment.” They continued:

As discussed elsewhere, though Chairman Bernanke has expressed a very credible intent to resist a return to higher inflation, his own remarks and those of other Fed officials already provide grounds for worry that they may, once again, be late in heading off trouble. With a new flock of doves winging their way to the Fed, inflation worries have only gotten worse.

Read our key vote against the nomination of Janet Yellen here.


Another Reason Hobby Lobby Should Be Exempt from HHS Mandate

By: Katherine Rosario
The Forge

The HHS anti-conscience mandate tramples on religious liberty, and all Americans have reason for concern, whether they are religious or not. Our elected representatives have a serious responsibility to protect religious freedom, though all too often they are responsible for its deterioration.

The Heritage Foundation has made the case for exempting Hobby Lobby and other organizations from the HHS mandate on religious liberty grounds. The Heritage Foundation explains that employers do not forfeit their deeply held convictions and religious freedoms by going into business, and therefore, they should not be required to comply with the anti-conscience mandate under the threat of debilitating government fines. The HHS anti-conscience mandate, which requires employers to provide coverage of abortion inducing drugs, is characteristic of the Obama administration’s “offensively narrow view of faith in public life,” and religious employers should be exempt.

Heritage Foundation visiting legal fellow Evan Bernick has added a new argument to bolster the religious liberty argument — and it’s one that should resonate with secular viewpoints.

In brief, secular companies are now now being allowed to offer grandfathered plans to employees that don’t cover abortion inducing drugs. This undermines the government’s assertion the HHS anti-conscience mandate is necessary to advance the compelling government interest of “women’s health.” If secular companies are allowed to offer grandfathered plans that don’t cover abortion inducing drugs, why is Hobby Lobby, a company owned by a evangelical Christian whose faith is violated by abortion, being forced to subsidize abortion inducing drugs or face debilitating fines?

Bernick explains the legal precedents that make the government’s inconsistency on this matter a problem. He adds:

Obamacare provides that millions of large and small secular employers will not have to cover “preventive services” if they provided their employees with “grandfathered” job-based plans that existed on March 23, 2010, and have covered at least one person continuously from that day forward.

For the same reason the government’s interests in “women’s health” apply to Hobby Lobby, presumably it applies to those secular companies who offer grandfathered plans to employees. Although comprehensive national programs need not be absolutely uniform to survive scrutiny under RFRA, the sheer scope and scale of the exemptions for similarly situated employers offering grandfathered plans means that the government can’t claim a compelling interest in applying the mandate to Hobby Lobby and the Green family.

This should matter to all Americans, regardless of their religion; he continues:

[The HHS anti-conscience mandate] is not just an assault on religious liberty. It is an assault on an idea as old as the nation: that the government can’t lightly force us to give up our most deeply held beliefs as the price of earning a living. Every American has an interest in being protected from such assaults.

Obamacare and HHS mandate supporters should tread carefully when it comes to supporting legislation that violates fundamental freedoms–especially our elected representatives.

In March of 2013, vulnerable red-state Democrats like Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)3%, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR)16%, Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK)13%, and Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC)6% voted in favor of an amendment introduced by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)9% reaffirming the HHS anti-conscience mandate.

Will this secular argument against the HHS anti-conscience mandate resonate with these senators? Perhaps, but it seems they are more focused on advancing an anti-life, feminist agenda and the termination of “unintended” or “unwanted” babies.

Perhaps they are unwanted by their constituents who see what a debacle Obamacare is, and their public service may be terminated at the ballot box in the next election. Sen. Landrieu, for one, suggested her constituents “unelect” her if they oppose Obamacare:

If they do not like [Obamacare], they can unelect us. Believe me, they will have a great chance because I am up for reelection right now. They will be able to do that. But that is the way you do it.

Her reelection campaign is centered on trying to fix Obamacare, but she clearly has no interest in restoring religious liberty to employers across America. Her fellow HHS anti-conscience mandate supporters don’t seem to either.

All Americans should see how their perspective on religious liberty harms us.


A Bit of a Mess

Arlene from Israel

More than a bit, actually, as Israel is digging out from the snowstorm of the century. It is the story that has taken headlines in the news for days:

Remote communities totally snowed in. Roads blocked by trees that came down (because the snow is very heavy). Black ice. Power outages. Babies delivered in cars that didn’t reach the hospital in time. Schools closed in some areas. Meetings cancelled.

Credit: JPost


We’re on the way back to normal. But the progress has been slow because this is such an unusual phenomenon here. People don’t own snow shovels (I wouldn’t know where to buy one!) and so many sidewalks remain covered in half-melted snow that is still freezing at night. What is more, there is insufficient municipal equipment for the clearing of every side street. This is a function, in part, of the rarity with which the equipment would be used, and, as well, a function of the diverse and more pressing demands made on a limited budget.


But if the equipment for good snow clearing is not the norm in this area, politicizing the situation sure is. Here’s a chance to blame Netanyahu for not being more prepared, in light of the forecast. Could the government have been better prepared? I’m not going to go there. Perhaps. But I also know that the damages caused by a natural event cannot all be anticipated or prevented, and it’s foolish to pretend otherwise.

And what do you say about those people (few in number) who were foolish enough to have ventured out – towards Jerusalem, which is uphill – in the height of the storm the other day, with children in the car? The IDF had to rescue them. And rescue them, they did.


Even as we dig out, the world does go on – although, I confess, much of what’s happening rather makes news of the snow appealing.

But let’s start with good news:

You’ve read, in my last couple of postings, about the land grab in the Negev by the Bedouin, and the fact that former minister Bennie Begin, who had promoted the Prawer Plan, now sought to secure its withdrawal for lack of support within the Knesset. That plan – which prompted rioting by some Bedouin because they wanted even more than they were scheduled to receive – is not yet law. It had passed only one reading of three required, and Begin recommended to the prime minister that it be dropped.

Miri Regev (Likud), who heads the Knesset’s Internal Affairs Committee, however, announced that there would be further discussions on the plan. Now the news is that Agriculture Minister Yair Shamir (Yisrael Beitenu) is likely to take over the job of shepherding the plan through the Knesset and implementing it if it becomes law.

Shamir is a no-nonsense nationalist, concerned with Jewish rights.

Credit: flash 90


On Sunday, in Monaco, a meeting was held of the World Policy Conference. Attending were Prince Turki Al-Faisal (shown below), former head of the Saudi secret services and at one time Saudi ambassador to the United States, as well as Israeli officials MK Meir Sheetrit (Hatnua) and Itamar Rabinovich, former Israeli ambassador to the US.

According to reports, Al-Faisal publicly shook hands with Rabinovich and spoke openly with Sheetrit.

In a normal world, this would not be news. But in our world, it is. What we’re seeing is the hint of a thawing of the Saudi attitude towards Israel. It does not mean we are about to have full and warm relations with Saudi Arabia any moment now, but it certainly signals something of a shared concern about Iran and Obama’s policies. My take is that this was spontaneous behavior on the part of the prince.

Of course, since the “hint of thawing” is mostly behind the scenes, the Saudi government found it necessary to declare subsequently that it has no relations or contacts with Israel.

Reportedly, Sheetrit invited Al-Faisal to address the Knesset, but the prince declined until such time as Israel accepted the Saudi “Peace Initiative.”

But, in veiled criticism of the American administration, Al-Faisal also said that “Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas need patronage from a responsible third party and expressed doubts that President Barack Obama could be that responsible party.” (About which more below.)


Credit: theguardian


And the painfully bad news, which cannot be escaped:

Yesterday, Master Sgt. Shlomi Cohen, while traveling in his vehicle near Rosh Hanikra, 50 meters from the Lebanese border, was killed by gunfire – some six or seven shots – from across that border. The gunfire, which severely wounded him, ultimately proved fatal. IDF soldiers returned fire, apparently wounding two Lebanese.

Cohen, 31, of Afula, was a career soldier. He leaves behind a wife and 11 month old daughter.

Credit: Israel Hayom

There is little thought that Cohen was killed by Hezbollah (this does not have the mark of an Hezbollah operation). Rather, the assessment – apparently based on what was seen from look-out points – is that he was shot by a member of the Lebanese army who acted alone and without provocation. Protest has been registered with UNIFIL, and Defense Minister Ya’alon has declared that the Lebanese government and the army are responsible. But given present circumstances, there are no plans for a major response.

There is no information on what will happen to that lone sniper (I would assume that nothing will happen) or what motivated him. The Voice of Lebanon radio station, which identified the soldier as Hassan Ibrahim, reported that he had fled his post following the incident, but returned to his base on Monday morning.



And then, to the subject that refuses to go away: the “peace process.” Kerry was here briefly during the storm. He did meet with Netanyahu, and, for a short while before fleeing the weather, with Abbas in Ramallah.

At a press conference at Ben Gurion Airport on Friday, Kerry declared that a full and final peace agreement is still possible within the nine months allocated for negotiations. Talks are now at about half-way mark.

“Our goal remains as it always has been — for the Israelis and Palestinians to reach a final status agreement…The core framework, if you want to call it that, which we are discussing with respect to this, centers on the critical issues: Borders, security, refugees, Jerusalem, mutual recognition and an end to conflict and to all claims.”

In spite of recent Obama suggestions to the contrary, Kerry insists that the US is aiming only for a full agreement, not an interim arrangement.


“Both parties remain committed to fulfilling their obligations to stay at the table and negotiate hard during the nine-month period that we set for that….

“We’re not talking at this point about any shifts (in the schedule).

The “shifts” refer to suggestions that had been made that the release of the next batch of terrorists from Israeli prison would be held up. This was offered as a reassurance to the PLO: 26 more are supposed to be released on December 29. Ouch.

“We remain hopeful that we can achieve that final status agreement. Why? Because we are absolutely confident … that for both sides, and the region at large, peace can bring enormous benefits.”



But wait a second here. Privately, both sides insist that nothing of substance has been accomplished during the negotiations.

What is more, not only has Abbas rejected the Kerry plan for Israeli security in the Jordan Valley, he reportedly gave Kerry a letter last week that outlined “Palestinian Red Lines,” which include “refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.”


While Netanyahu has made it clear, repeatedly, that recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is a necessary and bottom-line requirement for peace.

And so, no one, not even John Kerry…

Credit: livemint

…not even John Kerry can truly believe that there is the possibility of a final agreement in four months.

And so, if we exclude the possibility that he’s smoking something (I believe Naftali Bennett suggested this), then we have to ask where he’s coming from.


The Obama administration has had a string of diplomatic failures. At one point it was plausible to think that perhaps Obama and Kerry were banking on an Israeli-PA agreement to promote as a stunning success.

But there will be no stunning success. Rather, they run the risk of having to tuck their tails between their legs and run for it. A smart maneuver, if there were any sincerity, would be an announcement that said Obama and Kerry had given it their all, and are proud of having done so. But, if the parties don’t want it, they cannot make it happen.

But this is not what Kerry is doing.


There was a time when it was also plausible to hypothesize that Obama was extorting Netanyahu with regard to Iran: cave on the PA negotiations and I’ll be tough on Iran.

But since the Geneva interim agreement, he’s lost that bargaining chip.


And so? What are they up to? Why are they playing it as they are?

Caroline Glick says that Kerry is forcing “Israel’s moment of decision.” The Secretary of State, she says, is planning to bring his own “peace plan” here next month, and intends to push Israel into making concessions up front, before the Palestinian Arabs have agreed to an end of conflict and a final deal.

Thus, she says, Netanyahu must stop trying to wait out Obama and instead extricate Israel from that “two-state trap.”


That Kerry is lethal and not stupid is a conclusion that it’s difficult to avoid making.

Notice that before leaving Israel, Kerry said that “both parties are committed to fulfilling their obligations to stay at the table.” This, itself, is a form of pressure, of course. And, quite frankly, knowing how Netanyahu functions, I find it difficult to believe that he’ll walk away (as much as I wish he might). He tries to “play the game,” whenever and however possible. As Glick put it, by “giving the bare minimum of revocable concession possible to keep Obama at bay.”

But does a reluctance on Netanyahu’s part to walk away from the table – and have the PA label him as the one who was the stumbling block to peace – necessarily mean that our prime minister will concede all that Kerry now seeks?

I see a resilience in Netanyahu and in our nation that would preclude what Kerry is setting out to accomplish. Keep in mind that even if Netanyahu were determined to grant all that Kerry sought, it would not be in his power to do so. For example: eastern Jerusalem is a part of the sovereign state of Israel and cannot be relinquished without a referendum. What is more, an attempt on Netanyahu’s part to surrender Judea and Samaria would unquestionably bring his government down.

This does not mean – not for a second – that I make light of Kerry’s intentions!


It is situations such as the one I describe here that have convinced the Levy Report Campaign Committee that we need that Report – with its declaration of Israel’s legal rights in Judea and Samaria – now as never before. Now is not a time for reticence on this score.

There is an enemy in the White House, and it behooves all who care about Israel to be on guard and to fight with full determination for Israel’s rights and integrity.


Moshe Arens, writing in Haaretz, says that “The negotiations are not meant to bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian clash; all they are intended to achieve is Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank, while leaving the conflict to fester.”



Obama Abandons the NSA

By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media

Conservative U.S. District Judge Richard Leon’s ruling on Monday that the National Security Agency (NSA) metadata collection program is a violation of the Fourth Amendment generated an enormous amount of mostly sympathetic media coverage. Although NSA leaker Edward Snowden insists the ruling validates his release of stolen national security information, the court decision is likely to be thrown out by higher courts because it conflicts with established law and precedent.

Larry Klayman, the plaintiff in the NSA case, Klayman v. Obama, is not a far-leftist. Rather, he is a conservative public interest lawyer who runs Freedom Watch. Klayman says, “We cannot continue to live in a KGB-like police state,” and tells WorldNetDaily that he believes the NSA has been spying on him.

Leon doesn’t refer to the NSA as being like the KGB, but does refer to its surveillance technology as “almost-Orwellian,” a reference to the George Orwell novel about a police state, 1984.

Although Klayman’s victory in this case is getting tons of favorable publicity from the liberal media, it wasn’t too long ago that the liberals were viciously attacking Klayman for declaring at a rally that the U.S. is “ruled by a President who bows down to Allah,” and that Obama should put the Koran down. Klayman called the statements “metaphorical.” His “Reclaim America Now” coalition includes conservative, libertarian, and Christian groups and individuals.

In Klayman’s NSA court case, it is apparent that the Obama administration, for whatever reason, did not aggressively defend the intelligence agency.

A careful reading of the ruling shows that the judge noted, in a footnote, that “The Government could have requested permission to present additional, potentially classified evidence in camera, but it chose not to do so. Although the Government has publicly asserted that the NSA’s surveillance programs have prevented fifty-four terrorist attacks, no proof of that has been put before me.”

The term “in camera” means evidence introduced under guarded circumstances in the court chambers.

In other words, the Obama administration consciously decided not to defend the program before this particular judge. It is not clear if the fear of leaks, or some other factor, was involved.

In any case, Leon acknowledges in his opinion that the collection of this kind of data by the NSA has already been upheld by other U.S. courts in such cases as United States v. Moalin.

In the Moalin case, the NSA collected data used by the FBI to convict a Somali immigrant of conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist group. “Under pressure from Congress,” reported The Washington Post, “senior intelligence officials have offered it as their primary example of the unique value of a National Security Agency program that collects tens of millions of phone records from Americans.”

Pro Publica, a “Journalism in the Public Interest” group supported by the Open Society Foundation of George Soros, has attacked the NSA’s claims that it helped thwart terrorism, and is cited as an authoritative source by Judge Leon in his ruling.

But regardless of the specifics in this case, the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court has approved the NSA program on dozens of occasions.

A declassified opinion from the court regarding a government request for data said, “…the Court considered whether the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution imposed any impediment to the government’s proposed collection. Having found none in accord with U.S. Supreme Court precedent, the Court turned to Section 215 to determine if the proposed collection was lawful and that Orders requested from this Court should issue. The Court found that under the terms of Section 215 and under operation of the canons of statutory construction such Orders were lawful and required, and the requested Orders were therefore issued.”

The Associated Press quoted Stephen Vladeck, a national security law expert at the American University law school, as saying that 15 different judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court have found the data collection to be constitutional. “There’s a disconnect between the 15 judges on the FISA court who seem to think it’s a no-brainer that Section 215 is constitutional, and Judge Leon, who seems to think otherwise,” he said.

The AP also reported that Robert F. Turner, a professor at the University of Virginia’s Center for National Security Law, “predicted Leon’s decision was highly likely to be reversed on appeal. He said the collection of telephone metadata—the issue in Monday’s ruling—already has been addressed and resolved by the Supreme Court.”

Although attorney Klayman insists NSA surveillance has made the U.S. into a “KGB-like police state,” it is NSA leaker Edward Snowden who is now living in Russia under a grant of asylum, and is believed to be under the control of the KGB, now called the FSB.

Former Republican Senator Jon Kyl (AZ) says Snowden is “this generation’s Alger Hiss” and “may be one of the worst traitors in the history of our nation.” Alger Hiss is the State Department official who was convicted of perjury in 1950 for denying he was a Soviet spy; he served 44 months in prison.

Former Reagan National Security Council staffer Oliver North says Snowden will be killed by the Russians when they are done milking him for information.

Rick Ledgett, an NSA official leading a damage assessment probe into the Edward Snowden leaks, told the CBS “60 Minutes” show on Sunday that “it’s worth having a conversation about” giving Snowden amnesty.

It is not clear that members of Congress would approve the NSA or the Obama administration dropping the espionage charges against Snowden and giving him amnesty or immunity from prosecution for the crimes he committed.

Perhaps for this reason, the White House has backed away from talk of amnesty, saying through the National Security Council, “Mr. Snowden is accused of leaking classified information and faces felony charges here in the United States. He should be returned to the U.S. as soon as possible, where he will be accorded full due process and protections.”

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.


Watcher’s Council Nominations – Snow In The Holy Land Edition

The Watcher’s Council

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.

Council News:

This week, AskMarion, The Optimistic Conservative, Maggie’s Notebook and The Pirate’s Cove took advantage of my generous offer of link whorage and earned honorable mention status with some excellent 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 of yours 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 (which won’t be published) in the comments section no later than Monday 6 PM PST. 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 it’s all good right?

So, let’s see what we have 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!


Russia Is Making Nuclear Moves

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton

Photo By REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

While Obama guts the American military… as we disarm and as we dismantle our nuclear capabilities, Russia is upping the ante. The ‘flexibility’ that Obama was whispering to Russia not long ago, was a reassurance that he would neuter us militarily. Russia busily began strengthening their nuclear arsenals.

Russia is preparing to dance with Europe:

Poland and three Baltic states have voiced their alarm over plans by Russia to move nuclear-capable missiles close to their borders.

“Plans to deploy Iskander-M missiles in the Kaliningrad district are disturbing and Poland has said so many times,” its foreign ministry said in a statement.

Warsaw said it had received no official word from Moscow about the deployment, which a Russian defence ministry spokesman confirmed on Monday.

“This is a matter for NATO and we can expect possible consultations and action (…) at the NATO and EU level,” it added.

Relations with Russia have been frosty since Poland shed communism in 1989 and went on to join NATO a decade later.

Baltic states Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have also had difficult ties with Moscow since they broke free from the Soviet Union in 1990-91 and joined the EU and NATO in 2004.

“It is clear that it is alarming news as it is one of the arguments changing balance of powers in our region,” Latvia’s Defence Minister Artis Pabriks said Monday, quoted by the Baltic News Service (BNS).

“It does not change the balance of power between NATO and Russia, but it changes balance of power in the region. It threatens several Baltic cities,” he added.

He was echoed by Estonia and Lithuania whose defence ministers termed the move both “alarming” and “cause for concern”.

The Russian deployment comes in response to the planned US-led deployment of a disputed air defence shield.

The advanced version of the Russian missile has a range of 500km and could potentially be used to take out ground-based radar and interceptors of the new NATO shield.

The Kremlin warned in 2011 that it could station the short- and medium-range ballistic missiles along the European Union’s eastern frontier in response to NATO’s missile defence programme.

War is not coming, it is here. The Cold War shifted and our enemies infiltrated us. The Russians, Chinese and Islamists are within our own walls and we have handed them the keys to the American kingdom. As Sun Tzu says: “All war is deception.” We’ve been had. Either the coup from within will be complete, exposing our soft national underbelly to our enemies, or due to military weakness, our enemies will decide now is the time that America can be attacked. She is at her weakest militarily, financially and morally. Our enemy’s odds of victory grow by the day due to our Progressive leadership. It is not incompetence… it is a contrived malignant evil intention that has been painstakingly planned and executed behind the scenes. Our rulers tell us that our enemies are our friends and our friends are our enemies. We are down the communist rabbit hole with no way out, except to return to the Reagan Doctrine of (1) peace through strength; (2) trust but verify; and (3) beware of evil in the modern world.

The Russians have no use for the faux US nuclear treaties with them. They were never meant to restrict Russia, just America:

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia will begin deploying a new type of long-range missile in 2018 to replace a Cold War standby known in the West as “Satan”, a military commander said on Tuesday in a signal to the United States that Moscow is improving its nuclear arsenal.

A new Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) called the Sarmat is being developed to supplant the RS-20B Voyevoda, the Interfax news agency quoted the commander of Russia’s Strategic Rocket Forces, General Sergei Karakayev, as saying.

“We are counting on being armed with this qualitatively new missile system … by 2018-2020,” he was quoted as saying.

The Voyevoda, whose NATO name is the SS-18 Satan, was developed in the 1970s and the missiles are approaching the end of their service life. Karakayev said some of the ICBMs would remain in service until 2022.

The commander spoke on the anniversary of the creation in 1959 of the Strategic Rocket Forces, the military branch in charge of the ICBMs that were the stuff of nightmares in the United States during the superpower standoff of the Soviet era.

Russia and the United States signed the latest of a series of treaties restricting the numbers of ICBMs in 2010, but Moscow has indicated it will not go further in the near future, citing what it says are potential threats from U.S. weapons systems.

President Vladimir Putin has emphasized that Russia must maintain a strong nuclear deterrent, in part because of an anti-missile shield the United States is building in Europe and which Moscow says could undermine its security.

A pro-Kremlin newspaper reported on Monday that Moscow has deployed missiles with a range of hundreds of miles in its western exclave of Kaliningrad, alarming the governments of neighboring Poland and the Baltic states.

It was unclear whether the Sarmat was a missile that Russia tested in May 2012 and said should improve Russia’s ability to foil missile defense systems. The Defense Ministry did not reveal the name of that missile.

I might add that I would not believe the timelines. I believe that Russia is beefing up their nukes now, if they have not already done so. The Chinese have as well. Both are supplying Iran and North Korea. Do the math as the nuclear countdown clock strikes midnight. Russia is making nuclear moves, yet the press seems to care not at all. China challenges us in International waters and the media yawns. Americans better pay attention or do we feel lucky? Well, do we?

I will leave you with a fantastic quote from Allen West:

Welcome to the inept foreign policy world of President Obama. We pivot from the Middle East, destabilizing it and promoting the rise of Islamic totalitarians. Then we negotiate with the Iranians while they march forward to a nuclear capability. When we “pivot” to the Pacific, China threatens one of our ships. We hit the reset button with Russia, and it’s stuck on stupid. Whatever happened to “peace through strength?” I’m not digging this “lead from behind” stuff — down South we call that following.


Conscience of a Conservative: Barack Hussein Obama’s purge of senior military officers is placing America at great risk.