`     

Aapril5                 
HOME  US  ARCHIVES 2008-2013  / ARCHIVE 2014  CONTACT

 

Scene above:  Constitution Island, where Revolutionary War forts still exist, as photographed from Trophy Point, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York
 

WE'RE ON TWITTER, GO HERE       WE'RE ON FACEBOOK, GO HERE

Bookmark and Share

Please note that you can leave a comment on any of our posts at our Facebook page.  Subscribers can also comment at length at our Angel's Corner Forum.

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER 19,  2014

THE SPLIT – AT 10:14 A.M. ET:  We've wondered here for some time why no military leaders were splitting with Field Marshal Obama over the field marshal's confused, often discouraging foreign and defense policies.  How could any military leader support the devastating cuts to defense, or the "lead from behind" mentality of the Obama White House?  Now we are seeing signs of an active split, although active-duty officers must be discreet in their comments.  It's the leaks that count.  From WaPo: 

The White House and Pentagon have scurried this week to insist there is no hint of dissent in the ranks, though in some cases their efforts have focused only more attention on the issue.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel tried to reassure the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday that civilian and military leaders at the Pentagon were in “full alignment” and in “complete agreement with every component of the president’s strategy.”

Some lawmakers were skeptical. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, suggested that Obama should listen more closely to his commanders. “I think it’s very important that he does follow the advice and counsel that he receives, the professional advice of the military. They are the ones best suited to do that.”

“I realize he’s commander in chief, he has the final say and the final obligation and responsibility,” McKeon added. “I would also request that he not take options off the table.”

COMMENT:  McKeon is right.  Obama has a nasty tendency to telegraph to an enemy what he will and won't do, a recipe for disaster. 

You don't get the impression that Obama has any enthusiasm for what he's doing to fight the Islamic State.  He may well be driven by public anger and the need to appear "tough" right before a midterm election.  I'd love to know what he'll do after the election, and how Hillary Clinton will play it.

September 19, 2014       Permalink

 

OH HOW JUICY! – AT 9:31 A.M. ET:  It's lefties against Hillary.  This could almost, but not quite, make me vote for Hillary Clinton.  From Newsmax: 

Liberal activists are slamming Hillary Clinton in a members-only group on Google, with some calling for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run for the White House in 2016 to teach the former secretary of State and mainstream Democrats a lesson.

"The establishment Dems need to be punished, and the best way for that to happen is for Warren to beat Hillary in the primary on a populist message," Carl Gibson, a progressive activist and writer for Occupy.com, wrote in an email obtained by The Hill.

Warren, 65, who is in her first term, has repeatedly said that she would not seek the presidency in 2016. Clinton, 66, who is seen as the likely Democratic nominee, has said that she will decide early next year on whether to run.

The Hill said it reviewed "hundreds of emails" from a the "Gamechanger Salon," a private, members only forum through which nearly 1,500 progressive activists, journalists, and strategists discuss issues and develop messaging efforts.

The group is run by Billy Wimsatt, founder of the progressive League of Young Voters, according to MediaTrackers.org, which first reported on the Gamechanger Salon earlier this year.

Its members include prominent Democrats, executives of such powerful unions as the SEIU and AFL-CIO, and officials and members of such organizations as Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

The president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Nancy Keenan, is a member — as well as journalists who work for such liberal news organizations as The Nation magazine and The Huffington Post.

New members to the group have to be sponsored by a current member, both the Hill and MediaTrackers report.

According to the Hill, the emails it reviewed from June 2013 through July show a clear dissatisfaction with Clinton.

"[A] Clinton presidency undos [sic] all our progress and returns the financial interests to even more prominence than they currently have," Melissa Byrne, an activist with the Occupy Wall Street movement, said in a November 2013 email.

COMMENT:  Elizabeth Warren yesterday voted against authorizing military aid to Syrian rebels.  Her stand is popular on the political left.  By contrast, Bill Clinton publicly supported the aid.  Hillary is positioning herself as a center-left Democrat for the general 2016 election.  Problem is, she's got to get the nomination first.  That was the little bump she encountered in 2008.

My hunch is that Obama will knife Clinton in the back.  Why would he want to be succeeded by someone to his political right, and someone who would outshine him?  Warren says she's not running, but it's amazing how people can suddenly catch the political virus just in time for an election.  I expect to see the "wanting" of Elizabeth.  How many people will want her is debatable.  She's actually quite well known, but doesn't poll significantly outside her own state of Massachusetts.

September 19, 2014       Permalink

 

OH, PLEASE, JOHN – AT 9:16 A.M. ET:   John Kerry must be told by his aides that he's working for a real government, not a student government.  He's invited Iran to participate in a conference on Iraq.  Why?  We should be telling the Iranians not to interfere in Iraq.  From the Jerusalem Post: 

NEW YORK -- Iran is welcome to sit in on a discussion at the United Nations on Friday on counter-terrorism efforts in Iraq, to be chaired by US Secretary of State John Kerry, a senior Obama administration official said on Thursday night.

The official said that Islamic State was a topic of conversation on the sidelines of talks between the US and Iranian delegations in New York, which met for two days privately to negotiate over Iran's nuclear program.

"Any member can attend, and so the meeting was mentioned in our discussions today on the margins," the official said. "The world is focused on the mission that the President of the United States has set out, and that is to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL [Islamic State]. And I think we will all see that in a very powerful way tomorrow at the ministerial, and I believe that Iran thinks that ISIL should not be doing what it is doing either."

The talks will widen over the weekend to include the United Kingdom, France, Russia, China and Germany.

Asked whether they expect to participate, the official said the decision is for Iran to make.

So, too, is it the decision of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to meet with US President Barack Obama, while the two men are in New York. The official said Obama remains open to a meeting.

COMMENT:  Wrong moves.  Appeasement once again.  A meeting with the president of the United States should be a prize, not something routinely offered.  The Iranian regime has made mischief in Iraq.  It is not our friend.  It is not being forthcoming in nuclear negotiations.  It does not appear to feel any great pressure from the United States.

There have been stories that Obama believes Iran can eventually be an ally of the United States, and emerge as the most important country in the region.  This is the same Obama who openly said that Recep Erdogan of Turkey was his closest friend in the Mideast.  Obama's judgments in the region have been abysmal, which is why we're in such a desperate situation there today, with American forces going back into action in Iraq.  I don't trust either Obama's nor Kerry's judgment on Iran.

September 19, 2014        Permalink

 

WELCOME ABOARD – AT 9:08 A.M. ET:  France is now an active combatant in the fight against the Islamic State.  From Fox: 

PARIS – Joining U.S. forces acting in Iraqi skies, France conducted its first air strike Friday against the militant Islamic State group, destroying a logistics depot that it controlled, the French presidency said.

Rafale fighter jets involved in the mission struck the depot in northeastern Iraq on Friday morning, and the target was "entirely destroyed," President Francois Hollande's office said in a statement.

"Other operations will follow in the coming days," the statement said, without elaborating on the type of material at the depot or its exact location.

With the strike, France becomes the first foreign country to publicly add military muscle to United States airstrikes against the group, which has drawn criticism around the world and in a unanimous U.N. Security Council resolution for its barbarity.

U.S. Central Command said Thursday the U.S. military has conducted 176 airstrikes in Iraq since Aug. 8. On Wednesday, it hit a militant training camp southeast of Mosul and an ammunition stockpile southeast of Baghdad. It has also conducted a number of strikes this week in Iraq's Anbar province, near the strategic Haditha Dam.

The French airstrike took place while U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was in France for meetings with his counterpart, Gen. Pierre de Villiers. The two men were visiting an American military cemetery in Normandy, on the English Channel, when the French strike took place.

Dempsey, who was told of the attack by de Villiers, praised the French action, saying it hit a target north of Mosul. He did not specify.

"The French were our very first ally and they are there again for us," Dempsey told reporters traveling with him in Normandy. "It just reminds me why these relationships really matter."

COMMENT:  Other allies are sending support teams, but only France has engaged in direct strikes.  The French have also directly intervened in Mali, in Africa. 

Now if we can only get the Democratic Party on board.

September 19,  2014     Permalink

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER 18,  2014

SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 11:52 A.M. ET: 

NO, AS OF THIS HOUR – From BBC:  "Scotland will vote to stay in the United Kingdom after rejecting independence, the BBC has predicted.  With 26 out of the country's 32 council areas having declared, the 'No' side has 54% of the vote, with the 'Yes' campaign on 46%.  By 05:15 BST (06:15 GMT), the 'No' campaign had more than 1,397,000 votes, with 'Yes' on just over 1,176,000.  A total of 1,852,828 votes is needed for victory in the referendum.  The BBC is predicting on the basis of the result declared so far that the 'No' side will win the referendum with 55% of the vote while 'Yes' will secure 45% of the vote."  The mayor of Chicago is offering to change the result in exchange for three cases of Scotch, well, you know what.

WEIRD – From the Washington Times:  "Mysterious 'interceptor' cellphone towers that can listen in someone’s phone call despite not being part of any phone networks have turned up near the White House and Senate.  A company that specializes in selling secure mobile phones discovered the existence of several of the towers in and around the nation’s capitol.  'It’s highly unlikely that federal law enforcement would be using mobile interceptors near the Senate,' ESD America CEO Les Goldsmith told the technology website Venture Beat on Thursday."  How could anyone hide a tower?

DEMS LOSING SOME WOMEN – From Newsmax:  "In a New York Times/CBS News poll, and a Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey, a shift in the traditional edge Democrats have over Republicans among women was noted.  In the Times/CBS News poll, for example, when asked 'If the 2014 election for United States House of Representatives seats were being held today, would you vote for the Republican candidate or the Democratic candidate in your district?,' women picked Democrats over Republicans by just one point, 43 percent to 42 percent.  And in the Journal/NBC News survey, asked if they wanted the midterm elections to produce a Democrat- or GOP-led Congress, 47 percent of women chose Democrats while 40 percent preferred a Republican majority; a month earlier, women favored a Democratic Congress 51-37 percent."  A number of trends seem to be going our way, but there are no guarantees that these will translate into individual state victories.  We have to work as if we're 20 points down.

WARREN SPLITS ON SYRIA – From The Hill:  "Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) on Thursday voted against legislation authorizing President Obama to arm and train Syrian rebels, taking a stand that could distinguish her from Hillary Clinton in 2016.  She voted against legislation to fund the government until Dec. 11, which included a provision giving Obama Title X authority to equip Syrian militants in hopes they will fight violent Sunni extremists.  Warren has a thin foreign policy résumé but by voting against the authority Obama requested, she will earn points with members of the Democratic base who are skeptical about another military campaign in the Middle East."  No, that crowd is skeptical about national defense, period.

September 18, 2014      Permalink

Bookmark and Share

 

TRUST IN MEDIA DOWN AGAIN – AT 10:21 A.M. ET:  What is striking is that people in the media seem so little concerned about their poor standing with the public.  From Gallup: 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- After registering slightly higher trust last year, Americans' confidence in the media's ability to report "the news fully, accurately, and fairly" has returned to its previous all-time low of 40%. Americans' trust in mass media has generally been edging downward from higher levels in the late 1990s and the early 2000s.

Prior to 2004, Americans placed more trust in mass media than they do now, with slim majorities saying they had a "great deal" or "fair amount" of trust. But over the course of former President George W. Bush's re-election season, the level of trust fell significantly, from 54% in 2003 to 44% in 2004. Although trust levels rebounded to 50% in 2005, they have failed to reach a full majority since.

Americans' trust in the media in recent years has dropped slightly in election years, including 2008, 2010, 2012, and again this year -- only to edge its way back up again in the following odd-numbered years. Although the differences between the drops and the recoveries are not large, they suggest that something about national elections triggers skepticism about the accuracy of the news media's reporting.

Trust among Democrats, who have traditionally expressed much higher levels of confidence in the media than Republicans have, dropped to a 14-year low of 54% in 2014. Republicans' trust in the media is at 27%, one percentage point above their all-time low, while independents held steady at 38% -- up one point from 37% in 2013.

COMMENT:  It's significant that Dems still have a much higher trust in the media than do Republicans or independents.  Kind of confirms our view of media bias.

I don't know how a free society can operate well with such a low regard for its press.  Without a free and trusted press, a society is uninformed.  And eventually that society becomes suspicious and even paranoid.

And yet, I see little motivation in mainstream media for improvement.  And I see little introspection.  It's a very sad and dangerous picture.

September 18, 2014        Permalink

Bookmark and Share

 

WATCHING COLORADO – AT 9:16 A.M. ET:  There's been some press in the last few days suggesting that Democrats are gaining in their attempt to retain control of the U.S. Senate.  Part of that speculation has been based on the Senate race in Colorado, and the belief that the incumbent, Democratic Senator Mark Udall, would win.  Not so fast.  A new poll raises doubts.  From AP: 

DENVER — Republican Rep. Cory Gardner is leading Democratic Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado, according to a new independent poll released Thursday.

The 48-40 Gardner lead among likely voters in The Quinnipiac University Poll contrasts with two other independent polls released earlier this month that found Udall tied or slightly ahead in the race. It is from the same pollster that found Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper 10 points behind his Republican challenger, a finding that also conflicted with other polls that have shown that race essentially tied.

The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 1,211 voters by telephone from Sept. 10-15 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

The Colorado Senate race is one of the most competitive and expensive in the nation. Republicans need to pick up six seats to win control of the chamber.

COMMENT:  We stress that this is one poll, and that, as the story indicates, it does differ from other polls taken recently.  However, polls of likely voters tend to show higher levels of Republican support than other surveys because Republicans actually are more likely to vote.  We'll be watching this race.  We hope this latest poll is the accurate one.

In North Carolina, though, Democratic incumbent Senator Kay Hagan does seem to have a stable lead over her Republican challenger, Thom Tillis.  Republicans have targeted North Carolina, and Hagan isn't all that popular.  But the state has changed over the years, with an influx of Northern liberal academics and minorities.  The Dem base is strong.  This will be a tough one.

September 18, 2014       Permalink

Bookmark and Share


CLOSE CALL IN AUSTRALIA – AT 8:55 A.M. ET:   Australia apparently came very close to a terror disaster.  From the Sydney Morning-Herald: 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says intelligence indicates people in Australia were allegedly planning a public beheading to be carried out in the name of militant group Islamic State.

Mr Abbott's comments come as police say they have thwarted a "serious act of violence" after arresting 15 people and charging one in the wake of counter-terrorism raids across Sydney and Brisbane on Thursday.

Fairfax Media understands police will allege that the suspects were planning to snatch and behead a random member of the public, then drape them in the flag of the Islamic State, also known as ISIL.

Mr Abbott, who is in Arnhem Land to fulfil an election pledge to spend a week in a remote community, said on Thursday that a senior member of Islamic State, who is an Australian, had urged supporters at home to carry out "demonstration killings" in Australia, according to intelligence reports.

The Prime Minister was asked about reports that there were plans to conduct public beheadings, and he responded: "That's the intelligence we received.

"Quite direct exhortations were coming from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in ISIL to networks in Australia to conduct demonstration killings here in this country," Mr Abbott told reporters.

"So this is not just suspicion, this is intent."

COMMENT:  This should worry us here.  The kind of horror the prime minister described could occur in the United States, and attacking America gives any terror group the most important credential of all.  We are the Great Satan to them.

September 18, 2014       Permalink

Bookmark and Share

 

NO MORE BRIGADOON? – AT 8:31 A.M. ET:  Scotland votes today on whether to remain part of the United Kingdom or declare its independence.  Anything that weakens the U.K. weakens the Western world.  The independence crowd in Scotland doesn't seem to care.  Even Barack Obama has come out strongly for a continued United Kingdom.  From AFP: 

Edinburgh (AFP) - Scotland voted Thursday in an independence referendum that could break up the centuries-old United Kingdom and create Europe's newest state since the collapse of Yugoslavia.

Some 97 percent of eligible Scots -- nearly 4.3 million people -- have registered to vote, underscoring the passions that the historic decision has ignited across the nation.

In queues snaking outside polling stations, voters spoke emotionally about the momentous choice they were faced with.

"It's an important day. This is a decision which lasts forever, which will impact my children," said Charlotte Farish, 34, who turned out early in Edinburgh with her two children before taking them to school and heading into work.

In Glasgow, 23-year-old Aidan Ford said: "I felt different today than in most of the previous votes. I might be making a difference and my vote counts."

After months when it looked like the independence camp could not win, a surge in support in the final two weeks has left pollsters warning the outcome is too close to call.

COMMENT:  Independence is a silly idea.  There's no guarantee whatever that Scotland could thrive, or even survive, as an independent country.  The country depends on North Sea oil, and that is being depleted.  It would probably surge to the left, eliminating its contribution to Western defense.  It would not be part of NATO.  It would have some nice golf courses.

Vote no.

September 18,  2014     Permalink

Bookmark and Share

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"What you see is news.  What you know is background.  What you feel is opinion."
    - Lester Markel, late Sunday editor
      of The New York Times.


"Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred. "
     - Jacques Barzun

"Against stupidity the gods themselves struggle in vain."
     - Schiller

 

THE ANGEL'S CORNER

Part I of The Angel's Corner
was sent Wednesday night.

Part II will be sent over the
weekend.


SUBSCRIPTIONS

Subscriptions are voluntary.  They guarantee that you'll continue to have Urgent Agenda.  But subscribers and donators also receive The Angel's Corner, our twice-a-week e-mailed page.

Payments are secure, through PayPal. Credit cards are fine.  You don't need a PayPal account to use your card.  PayPal's wording is confusing.  Just go to "Pay using your credit or debit card" on the first PayPal page, enter card information and subscribe.


FOR ONE-YEAR SUBSCRIPTIONS, INCLUDING MONTHLY PAYMENT PLANS AND OPTIONS FOR GIFT SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR THOSE YOU'RE STILL TALKING TO, MAKE YOUR CHOICE AND THEN CLICK Subscribe:

One-year subscription options


FOR A SIX-MONTH ($26)
SUBSCRIPTION, CLICK Subscribe:

Six-month subscription options


IF YOU PREFER TO DONATE AT YOUR OWN LEVEL, CLICK Donate:

 

DIRECT PAYMENT:

WE DO TAKE CREDIT CARDS DIRECTLY.  CALL US AT 914 420 1849.  LEAVE A MESSAGE IF WE CAN'T ANSWER.  WE'LL CALL YOU BACK.

OR, SEND US AN E-MAIL BY GOING TO sendinc.com, WHICH WILL TRANSMIT YOUR INFORMATION WITH HIGH SECURITY.  IT'S FREE.  SEND THE E-MAIL TO service@urgentagenda.com.  WE'LL NEED:

1.  YOUR NAME
2.  CARD NUMBER
3.  EXPIRATION DATE
4.  SECURITY CODE (4-DIGIT NUMBER ON FRONT OF AMEX CARD, 3-DIGIT NUMBER ON BACK OF MASTERCARD, VISA OR DISCOVER)
5.  PREFERRED E-MAIL ADDRESS
6.  ZIP CODE. 

TELL US WHETHER YOU WANT A YEAR ($48) OR SIX MONTHS ($26), OR A YEAR WITH A GIFT SUBSCRIPTION ($69). 

IF DONATING, TELL US THE AMOUNT. 

YOU'LL GET A RECEIPT E-MAILED TO YOU AS SOON AS YOUR REQUEST IS PROCESSED. 

 


SEARCH URGENT AGENDA

Loading

 

POWER LINE

It's a privilege for me to have past pieces posted at Power Line. To go to Power Line, click here. To link to my Power Line pieces, go here.

 

CONTACT:  YOU CAN E-MAIL US, AS FOLLOWS:

If you have wonderful things to say about this site, if it makes you a better person, please click:
applause@urgentagenda.com

If you have a general comment on anything you see here, or on anything else that's topical, please click:
comments@urgentagenda.com

If you must say something obnoxious, something that will embarrass you and disgrace your loving family, click:
despicable@urgentagenda.com

If you require subscription service, please click:
service@urgentagenda.com

 

 

SIZZLING SITES

Power Line
Andrew Malcolm
Faster Please (Michael Ledeen)
OpinionJournal.com
Gatestone Institute

Bookworm Room
Bill Bennett
Red State
Pajamas Media
Michelle Malkin
Weekly Standard  
Real Clear Politics
The Corner

City Journal
Gateway Pundit
American Thinker
Legal Insurrection

Political Mavens
Silvio Canto Jr.
Planet Iran
Another Black
   Conservative

Conservative Home
ClearRight
Think Again
College Insurrection





 
"The left needs two things to survive. It needs mediocrity, and it needs dependence. It nurtures mediocrity in the public schools and the universities. It nurtures dependence through its empire of government programs. A nation that embraces mediocrity and dependence betrays itself, and can only fade away, wondering all the time what might have been."
     - Urgent Agenda

 

 

 

LEGAL NOTICES:

If you are a legal copyright holder or a designated agent for such and you believe a post on this website falls outside the boundaries of "Fair Use" and legitimately infringes on yours or your client's copyright, we may be contacted concerning copyright matters at:

Urgent Agenda
4 Martine Avenue
Suite 403
White Plains, NY 10606

Phone:  914-420-1849
Fax: 914-681-9398
E-Mail: katzlit@urgentagenda.com

In accordance with section 512 of the U.S. Copyright Act our contact information has been registered with the United States Copyright Office.

 

© 2014  William Katz 


 
 
 
 
`````