Is President Obama An Accomplice To Murder?

I doubt the Foley and Sotloff families foresaw this outcome. Granted, their sons, combat correspondents James Foley and Stephen Sotloff, worked as combat correspondents. So the families knew — or should have known — about the occupational hazards inherent in reporting from the “shootier” parts of the globe. Nonetheless, no parent actively imagines his own child’s demise — unless he works for Planned Parenthood or NARAL, in which case such unnatural thinking probably earns him a paycheck. But the idea of losing a son to the medieval brutality of a bloodthirsty death cult like the Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL) isn’t unnatural; it’s insane, especially centuries after such madness became passé in the civilized world.

Even if the Foleys and Sotloffs did consider the shocking way in which their sons met their fates, I find it highly dubious that they expected to see videos of the murders on the Internet. The digital age has made life vastly simpler, easier and even more fun. Unfortunately, the animals who slaughtered Foley and Sotloff define “fun” differently than do the Foleys, the Sotloffs or even the Obamas. Even now, following the efforts by major social media networks to scrub the ISIS murder videos from their sites, they remain available to any budding jihadi with an Internet connection and a dream.

Even if the Foleys and Sotloffs — knowing the dangers inherent in meeting journalistic deadlines while dodging personal deadlines in places where “deadline” and “flatline” mean roughly the same thing — actually expected their sons to end up as props in islamofascism’s endless theater of the macabre, I’d throw a pile of cash at the idea that they’d spare absolutely no expense in trying to save their sons’ lives. Given a chance to pay a ransom to ISIS or lose their sons to some expat-Brit jihadi with an overdeveloped medulla oblongata and underdeveloped cerebrum, I’m sure the Foleys and Sotloffs would have begged, borrowed, stolen, mortgaged their homes and/or sold their own kidneys to scrape up the cash.

And even if the Foleys and Sotloffs somehow managed to look into the future far enough not only to catch a glimpse of their children’s misadventures but to construct a response plan involving avoiding more than a few off-ramps from the information superhighway while simultaneously scrounging up enough dough to buy their sons’ freedom in the event they were abducted by Muslim serial killers, I am close to 100 percent certain that they never planned for their efforts being thwarted by a Nobel Peace Prize-winning president of the United States.

That’s precisely what happened. Both the Foley and Sotloff families faced cajoling, harassment and outright threats from an Obama regime bent on keeping them from negotiating for their sons’ releases.

James Foley’s mother, Diane, recounted the rough treatment she faced for her efforts. “I was surprised there was so little compassion… We were told we could do nothing… meanwhile our son was being beaten and tortured every day.”

And a spokesman for the Sotloff family tells a similarly horrifying tale. “We had meetings with the administration… and basically he [an official] bullied and hectored them [the family], and they were scared.”

Think about what that means: Obama secretly — and very illegally — traded islamofascist serial killers for alleged deserter Bowe Bergdahl, even though Bergdahl willingly sought out his Taliban captors. But when Foley’s and Sotloff’s parents tried to raise private funds to save their sons from a terrorist group that Obama helped arm, Obama threatened them with prison.

I’m sure the Foleys and Sotloffs dreamed of success for their sons. I’m sure they prayed for safe, healthy, comfortable lives filled with love, work and — if they’re anything like my parents — grandbabies, lots and lots of grandbabies. In retrospect, I’m sure they would prefer the relative security of life as a convenience store clerk in Detroit over the risk of spending too much time too close to an army made up of some of the darkest souls outside a maximum security prison. But I’d wager all the money George Soros plans to donate to the Democrats in his life that they never thought they’d lose their children to islamofascists, that those islamofascists would be armed by the President of the United States and that the President of the United States would intervene in order to stop them from saving their sons’ lives.

Foley’s mother recently told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, “Our country let Jim down.” She was being kind. From my angle, the President of the United States is an accomplice to her son’s murder.

–Ben Crystal

Coach Obama And The ISIS Varsity

As I’m writing this, President Barack Obama has just wrapped up a prime-time address to us, his loyal subjects. The topic of his latest proclamation: the islamofascist brushfire in the Mideast that Obama’s bumbling fanned into a five-alarm inferno. What was once a civil war between the forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebel opponents has now metastasized into a regional nightmare. And while Obama once dismissed the Islamic State (aka ISIS or ISIL) as terrorism’s “junior varsity,” apparently, the terror team has been called up to the big show.

In his address, Obama outlined a four-point program to arm and train “forces fighting these terrorists on the ground.” Presumably, those “forces” would then use their newly acquired weapons and training to destroy ISIS and then what? Join hands and sing “Kumbaya?” You’ll pardon me for asking, but I have a few questions I think deserve more than the usual White House fade, especially in light of the fact that Obama’s newest attempt at meaningful foreign policy is — by his own admission — more open-ended than an Internal Revenue Service audit.

Obama accomplices like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have been providing cover for Obama’s latest misadventure by referring to “moderates” in Syria and Iraq. Who are these “moderates,” and where were they when Obama’s plan for pacifying a restive Mideast involved arming ISIS against Syrian President Bashar Assad? Are we now supposed to accept that not only do such people exist, but that they have earned such largesse? Are we supposed to forget that ISIS used to be the very “moderates” we supported? Are we further supposed to forget that Obama’s policy regarding the very real threat of islamofascism has gone from “arming islamofascists to fight against other islamofascists” to “arming islamofascists to fight against the islamofascists we armed to fight against other islamofascists?” Are we even further supposed to forget that some and/or all of the people — islamofascist or “moderate” — have spilled from Syria into Iraq to fill a vacuum Obama created? And are we even further supposed to forget that the current crop of islamofascists hail not only from the Mideast, but from such exotic locales as London, Paris and Minneapolis? For that matter, has it occurred to anyone within earshot of the president that giving money and materiel to everyone who writes “moderate” on his nametag has led to nothing but heartbreak so far?

Taking to the teleprompter, Obama provided answers to precisely none of those questions. But he did declare ISIS to be a “terrorist group” requiring us “to degrade and ultimately destroy” them. That’s a far cry from “junior varsity,” a long bellow from “we don’t have a strategy” and a big shout from “manageable problem.” Keep in mind that the previous sentence reflects only the past few weeks of Obama’s eternal evolution on the appropriate response to islamofascism. Throw in “the future does not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam,” the Iranian crackdown, the “Arab Spring” (for which Obama was entirely unprepared) and a few murders committed in the name of a phantom YouTube video, and the lack of both coherence and competence emerges.

We’ve gone from 9/11 attacks to attacks on 9/11. We’ve gone from fighting islamofascist murderers in the Mideast to fighting islamofascist murderers in the Mideast. We’ve seen Libya transform from a terrorist haven into a haven for terrorists, albeit terrorists who now use our embassy as a health club. We’ve even managed to regress to operations in Somalia and Yemen, because we’re retro like that. But there is something new under the sun. As we paused to mark the 13th anniversary of the original 9/11 attacks, we were confronted not only by the spreading fungus of islamofascism in the Mideast but by the realization that the infection appears to have spread to our shores. Moreover, even Obama’s own national security apparatchiks are now acknowledging the presence of ISIS vermin within a short swim of our own southern frontier. Given Obama’s avowed plan to let through every thug, gangster and reprobate through with the promise of free lifetime care and feeding, it’s hardly a stretch to think a few Abduls and Zameers might have snuck through amidst the Tomases, Ricardos and Joses.

Since Obama took home the Nobel Peace Prize for promising to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, the world has plunged into outright caterwauling. Russia dug its old Soviet uniforms out of the gulag; China has extended its airspace to include everything west of Obama’s vacation rental on Hawaii; North Korea is developing long distance delivery systems for Kim Jong Krazy; and even our pals in Europe are starting to look at us funny. Of course, they’ve got problems of their own. From the Norwegian capital of Oslo to Madrid and from Paris to Istanbul, islamofascism is whirling like the proverbial dervishes. The most common name for newborns in England is Mohammed, as if our best pals needed another reminder of how much fun the “religion of pieces” can be. And here at home, a growth Obama considered beneath his notice has rocketed past his “manageable problem” to “we should schedule a biopsy.” As Obama acknowledged, “[T]hese terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region — including to the United States.”

I suppose it’s laudable of Obama to actually show up for work, much less offer a strategy. But as he wrapped up his meandering attempt to convince the world that he’s super serious this time, I couldn’t help but think two things: “Welcome to the varsity, ISIS” and “Man, I could have watched ‘World War Z’ on Netflix.”

–Ben Crystal

ISIS And Obama’s Manageable Message

I wasn’t appalled when President Barack Obama strode to the podium Aug. 28 to announce that “We don’t have a strategy yet” for responding to ISIS’s cancer-like spread across the Mideast. Well, I was appalled, but no more or less so than I have been innumerable times since Obama parked his carnival sideshow of a regime on the White House lawn.

To be sure, if you tell your own nation that you forgot to come up with a plan to keep islamofascist serial killers — whom you helped arm — from murdering Americans, that’s bad. If you tell those same islamofascist serial killers that you forgot to come up with a plan to keep them from murdering Americans, that’s worse. Hell, you actually forgot to come up with a plan to keep islamofascist serial killers — whom you helped arm — from murdering Americans? That’s positively embarrassing.

Nonetheless, during Obama’s royal proclamation, I caught a glimmer of some of that hope he used to peddle. Sure, he fumbled the ball and then kicked it around the field for a while, failing once again to provide satisfactory, or even comprehensible, answers to the questions his behavior raises. But Aug. 28 marked the first time I can remember in which Obama was flat-out honest with the world. The poor fellow finally admitted that he’s not up to the task.

Of course, I was paying attention to what the president was actually saying. Some of my pals in the lapdog media missed Obama’s message. They weren’t blinded by a glimmer of hope; they were bedazzled by the glamour of the president’s suit. But I appreciated the president’s rare honesty. Granted, his minions circled the wagons fairly quickly, with current White House spokeshole Josh Earnest “um-ing” and “ah-ing” his way through a clarification that clarified nothing.

… the president was explicit that he is still waiting for plans that are being developed by the Pentagon for military options he has for going into Syria …

Right. That must be why he gave ISIS money and weapons. He was hedging his bets while waiting for the Pentagon to figure it out for him. And by “figure it out for him,” I mean “do his job while he plays golf and makes ill-advised public statements.”

Look on the bright side: At least he didn’t try to act unilaterally. It beats his illegal alterations to previously passed legislation, deployment of federal agents against innocent American civilians and swapping islamofascist murderers for deserters.

Obama may not have a strategy for ISIS, but their second beheading video indicates they certainly have a strategy for us. It may be an islamofascist strategy, filled with beheadings, honor killings, clitorectomies and all the other hijinks that make their world such a party; but it is a strategy, and it did stump Obama. Meanwhile, imagine what Obama’s statement means to heavyweight thugs like Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The ISIS strategy also includes operations on our side of the globe. According to recent federal security bulletins, the already-hellish Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez is now playing host to not only the usual narcoterrorist trash, but ISIS trash as well. Take a moment to let that sink in. ISIS is definitively operating not only in our hemisphere, but right next door. In fact, now that ISIS is filling roster spots with people from as far afield as Minneapolis, they’re essentially operating out of the freezer in the garage.

It’s worth noting that a week has passed since Obama worried most of us with his admission of incompetence and wowed the media with his fabulous tan suit, and he has yet to indicate that he’s formulated a strategy for ISIS. He did announce Wednesday that he intends to downgrade ISIS to a “manageable problem.” But he indicated neither how he’ll accomplish it, nor what he considers “manageable.” A headache is manageable, but so is a brain tumor. In the case of ISIS, Obama’s directionless tangle of a foreign policy created the headache, and now it’s showing signs of becoming a much more serious condition. And that presumes a correct diagnosis.

During the same press conference in which he clued the rest of us into his plans to make ISIS a “manageable problem,” he also threatened to “degrade and destroy” them. So which will it be, Mr. President, aspirin or chemotherapy?

It isn’t news that Obama is a mile out of his depth. This guy has no idea what’s going around him anytime he has to deal with the actual responsibilities of the presidency – hence, his painfully obvious discomfort whenever he’s not playing golf, hitting the beach with the kids or getting his groove on with Jay-Z and Beyonce. His high-handed statism, born of a lifetime tucked into the insular cocoon of academia with its slow-witted stepbrother, “community activism,” resonates as well with people who work for a living as a national anthem duet featuring Roseanne Barr and Bette Midler. Witness not only his ham-fisted attempts to impose his will on the lives of the people whom he clearly considers subjects, but his equally thumb-filled attempts to “fix” the messes his pseudo-imperial tinkering routinely creates.

From Obamacare to the still-unfolding IRS scandal to NSA spying, Obama’s performance on the domestic front has been less than thrilling. Even his oft-touted “jobs” numbers are hollow — with record numbers permanently out of the workforce, others working two or even three jobs to make up the income they lost in Obama’s still-roiling recession and up to 30 million illegal aliens preparing to flood the legal labor force. Yet he’s a veritable superstar at home when one considers his road game record. For a guy who essentially won the Nobel Peace Prize on spec, Obama hasn’t delivered much of a return on investment to the boys in Oslo, much less the folks back home.

And now, as the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2011, terrorist attacks and the second anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on Benghazi, Libya approach, and as the islamofascists ramp up their efforts to establish a worldwide “caliphate,” Obama has finally admitted that he simply isn’t competent.

Look, I’m glad he finally opened up about his own shortcomings. I just wish his timing was better. But, hey. Nice suit, Mr. President.

–Ben Crystal

GOP, It’s Time To Bring Down The Hammer On Obama Corruption!

Vampire Donkey

Barring a late-season push, the Democrats are heading into this fall’s midterm elections looking at a near total loss. President Barack Obama is dragging down his party’s image like a battleship anchor lashed to a rowboat.

Direct assaults on Americans’ individual liberties, once laughed off as “phony” by the Democratic ownership, have clung to the headlines like a particularly virulent fungus, mostly because Obama and his minions have a bad habit of doubling down when they get caught lying. But most importantly, the Democrats’ willful refusal to acknowledge that they’re not the only ones whose opinions count has infuriated Americans to no end. Yet the Republicans appear to be doing everything they can to keep the Dems in the game. At this point, as the country reels from yet another race-infused nightmare made infinitely worse by the machinations of Obama and his ilk, the only reason the Democrats are still in the midterm electoral fight is GOP hesitation to deliver the knockout blow.

Obviously, the biggest violator of the public trust is Obama himself. His scandal-plagued regime’s tendency to launch vicious attacks on his perceived enemies not only has produced the still-unresolved Obamacare fraud debacle, the Benghazi nightmare, the NSA domestic spying scandal, the outrageous use of the IRS as a political weapon and a foreign policy as confused as it is impotent; but it also has produced a presidency that is every bit as detached and isolated from the people it purportedly serves as the Hollywood bobbleheads are from the shmoes who buy tickets to sit through their dreck. Nonetheless, beyond the efforts of dedicated public servants like Congressmen Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) and Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the Republicans have made almost no effort to return justice to the fore. Instead, they’re suing the president.

Oh, how I loathe the idea of suing Obama. When dealing with a self-styled despot of such low character, a mere lawsuit just seems too small. The guy didn’t back over the mailbox; he backed over the entire U.S. Constitution. The image of House Speaker John Boehner and the rest of his blue-suited lawyer buddies sitting in the hallway of some courthouse waiting for some slip-and-fall case to finish up so they can play the lawsuit lottery strikes me as positively surreal. Moreover, seeing Boehner and his lieutenants filing into a courtroom like disgraced former Senator John Edwards and his ambulance-chaser choir is just plain funny.

Better remedies for a rogue executive exist, up to and including impeachment. However, as long as sociopaths like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are allowed to wander the halls of the Capitol with impunity, impeachment will flatline worse than Michael Moore in a CrossFit competition. Plus, impeachment would let far too many people off the hook.

I say it’s high time Congress goes old school on the White House. I’m talking Richard Nixon-era action — “Dirty” Harry Callahan interrogating a suspect or John Shaft going upside some sucka’s head! The president of the United States and a number of his accomplices represent a clear and present danger to the lives, the liberties and the pursuits of happiness of every American — even the ones who voted for him. When Nixon’s administration got caught trying to cover up its criminal activities, people went to prison. Obama and his henchmen have been caught trying to cover up a criminal empire, and not one of them has had their ticket punched for a stay in the big house.

Instead of some endless, special prosecutor-filled, mind-numbingly debated impeachment hearings, let’s see Congress drag every one of the Obama minions who got caught flouting the law onto the mat for a full-on, prison-yard beatdown.

  • Bring Attorney General Eric Holder back and punish him for his role in — and lies about — Operation Fast and Furious, which resulted in a significantly higher number of deaths than the Ferguson, Missouri, incident, albeit with fewer Jesse Jackson fundraising speeches.
  • Duckwalk back IRS stooges John Koskinen and Lois Lerner for their offensively cavalier — and incredibly stupid — attempts to whitewash what is a growing firestorm over the IRS harassment of innocent Americans.
  • Frog-march back former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for violations of the Hatch Act, not to mention Obamacare’s trillion-dollar excesses.
  • Pinch former ambassador and current National Security Adviser Susan Rice — and even squirrely little mouthpieces like former White House press secretary Jay Carney and his successor, Josh Earnest — and bring them up to Capitol Hill in handcuffs.
  • Hell, go all in. Get a warrant and make President Executive Orders himself do a perp walk. Unlike Obama — who overstepped his bounds in his executive orders on immigration, Obamacare (the post-passage changes for which he’s being sued) and so-called “global warming” — Congress actually does have the power to issue arrest warrants.

The Democrats would scream bloody murder. They would pivot from their usual yammering about racism, sexism and any other “-ism” they can dream up to screech like howler monkeys at the affront to the dignity of the office of the presidency. They’d accuse anyone and everyone they could of undermining the executive. They’d shriek about Congress overstepping its bounds. And — of course — they’d play the race card.

And here’s how the Republicans should respond: “So?”

The affront to the dignity of the office of the presidency presented by criminal charges would be nothing compared to the affront presented by Obama’s six-year house party. When the executive deliberately and illegally undermines Congress — as it has with Obamacare, the immigration ploys and upcoming U.N. “name and shame” global warming sham — I didn’t hear of too many Democrats wringing their hands over the offenses. And the old tack of smearing your opponents as “racist” is just plain sad.

Would all the arrests result in convictions? Probably not. Some of them might not even hold up in court. Neither did Obama’s attempt to force taxpayers to fund abortions, but the victims of that end run around the 1st Amendment still had to fight all the way to the Supreme Court just to beat it back. And again, I say: “So?”

If the Republicans start playing hardball, who will they send running for the hills? The Democrats are already conditioned to reflexively hate anyone of whom and anything of which their fuehrers don’t approve, so they’re not likely to swing back. Meanwhile, the conservative base would be energized, and the fence-sitters would finally hear a better campaign slogan than this: “Vote GOP! We’re Slightly Less Appalling!”

To the Republicans: Heed the wisdom of the ages, “Go big or go home.” And to the Democrats: Heed the other wisdom of the ages, “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”

The Personal Liberty Exam: Back-To-School Edition

The long summer of our discontent may finally be coming to an end. However, geopolitical brush fires threaten to rage out of control from as far away as Afghanistan and the Mideast to as close to home as south Texas. Meanwhile, tempers on the home front have flared up enough to produce block parties like the recent Ferguson, Missouri, shoot-and-loot soiree. It has gotten so bad that Al Sharpton might well be the most powerful person in the Democratic Party. He’s certainly the noisiest.

But all the noise has served as more of a distraction than a cry for attention. And when muckrakers like the suddenly ubiquitous Sharpton get involved, the din is worse than the caterwauling backstage at “The View” during a visit from Bette Midler. That creates more confusion than take-your-kid-to-work day at an abortion clinic. So I’m here to help. Turn off the TV. Put on your thinking caps. It’s time for the Personal Liberty Digest™ back-to-school liberty review.

President Barack Obama is responding to the growing threat from islamofascist terrorism by:

  1. Assembling a crack team of analysts to come up with the best solution.
  2. Assembling a crack team of operatives to liquidate the terrorists’ leadership.
  3. Assembling a crack team of allies to isolate the terrorists.
  4. Assembling a crack team of cronies to play 18 at Farm Neck Golf Club.

In the caliphate imagined by ISIS:

  1. Everyone will enjoy religious tolerance.
  2. Everyone will enjoy intellectual freedom.
  3. Everyone will enjoy basic hygiene.
  4. Everyone will enjoy weekly honor killings.

The Gaza conflict is a result of:

  1. Hamas’ refusal to stop attacking civilians from behind other civilians.
  2. Israel’s refusal to allow Hamas to fire artillery at Israeli kindergartners.
  3. Hamas’ refusal to use foreign aid money for anything other than weapons.
  4. Israel’s stubborn refusal to stop being so Jewish.

The most influential world leader is:

  1. Vladimir Putin.
  2. Angela Merkel.
  3. Whichever Chinese guy is next to be purged by the Central Committee.
  4. Valerie Jarrett.

President Obama’s biggest foreign policy success has been:

  1. Arming both (all) sides of the Syrian/ISIS/Iraq combatants.
  2. Not scuffing Russia’s tires on their way into the Ukraine.
  3. Knifing Israel in the back.
  4. First lady Michelle Obama’s European shopping adventures.

Obama has expanded surveillance of Americans because:

  1. It’s important to know who might be planning terrorist activities.
  2. It’s important to know who might be planning criminal activities.
  3. It’s important to know who might have donated money to the Tea Party.
  4. It’s important to know what you buy on eBay.

The politically motivated IRS harassment of innocent taxpayers was initiated by:

  1. High-ranking Obama administration officials, possibly including Obama himself.
  2. Rogue agents acting roguishly.
  3. Lois Lerner’s hard drive, which became self-aware and immediately committed suicide.
  4. The janitor in the IRS’s Cincinnati field office.

Operation Fast and Furious is:

  1. A secret program in which the Obama Administration sold guns to terrorists and then lied about it to Congress.
  2. A secret program to identify the best actor to replace Paul Walker.
  3. A secret program to put an oversized spoiler on every Honda Civic in America.
  4. A secret program to make drift racing seem less ridiculous.

The situation along the U.S.-Mexico border could best be described as:

  1. The unavoidable result of Obama’s total incompetence.
  2. Chaotic danger.
  3. Dangerously chaotic.
  4. The future of America; and you better get used to it, gringo.

The recent San Francisco-area earthquakes were caused by:

  1. A nearby fault line.
  2. Nancy Pelosi’s excessive water usage.
  3. Football fans jumping on the 49ers bandwagon.
  4. “Global warming.”

Tropical Storm Cristobal was caused by:

  1. A combination of low atmospheric pressure, warm water and insufficient wind shear.
  2. College students partying away the last days of summer on South Beach.
  3. Obama’s continued refusal to close Guantanamo Bay.
  4. “Global warming.”

Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid is floundering because

  1. She’s “flat broke.”
  2. Her latest book sales are almost as low as Obama’s poll numbers
  3. No one really likes her.
  4. She’s been pinned down inside her compound by imaginary Serbian sniper fire.

Former President Jimmy Carter will serve as the keynote speaker at the Islamic Society of North America’s Convention because:

  1. He wants to build bridges between the cultures.
  2. This way, he’s exempt from qualifying from the Holocaust Denier’s Tour for 2015.
  3. It’s time these Muslims got serious about hating Jews.
  4. No one else will talk him.

Attorney General Eric Holder traveled to Ferguson in order to:

  1. Bring the full weight of federal law enforcement to the scene.
  2. Make sure all the local thugs, hoods and gangsters are getting the best deal on AK-47s.
  3. Burn frequent flier miles to burn.
  4. Avoid Chicago; it’s too shoot-y this time of year.

Sharpton left Ferguson because:

  1. His work delivering unity and healing to the community was complete.
  2. The Marriott St. Louis Airport isn’t as nice as Trump Tower.
  3. No one in St. Louis sells his brand of hair goop.
  4. There are way more Jewish-owned businesses to burn down in New York.

During his six years in office, Obama has lowered:

  1. The price of basic staples like groceries and gasoline.
  2. The number of Americans who have given up on finding work.
  3. The number of illegal aliens flooding the country.
  4. His handicap.

The stock market has reached record highs because:

  1. Obama’s economic policies have produced a steamroller of an economy.
  2. Labor costs are down since 100 million Americans are permanently unemployed.
  3. The banksters and their pinstriped Mafiosi are cashing in their chips with Obama.
  4. Who gives a damn? That’s “Wall Street, not Main Street.”

If Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen pushes for rate increases, the result will be:

  1. Fewer Americans buying new homes.
  2. Fewer Americans buying new cars.
  3. Fewer Americans putting their money in banks.
  4. Who gives a damn? That’s “Main Street, not Wall Street.”

Obama’s style of governance can be best described as:

  1. Respectfully bipartisan.
  2. Honestly in tune with the taxpayers.
  3. Firmly rooted in constitutional dictates.
  4. Imperial.

I’d attach an answer key, but if you didn’t knock these questions out with relative ease, I’m not sure the answers would make much a difference to you. For those of you who scored well, congratulations. For those who struggled, don’t worry. With the vast resources available here at Personal Liberty, you will soon be on the road to intellectual recovery. And the best part is it’s free!

–Ben Crystal

The Long Train Of Abuses: Next Stop, Ferguson

In 1776, what may well have been the largest gathering of human intelligence in history decided to put a lid on what may well have been the most important convention in human history by issuing what may well have been the most important press release in human history. Known forever as the “Declaration of Independence,” the statement crackled with the kind of robust language and no-nonsense honesty that made that august assemblage so much cooler than their legislative progeny. (Seriously, compare and contrast: the Continental Congress versus the Detroit City Council.)

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Keep in mind that these guys were committing treason. They were not only working without a teleprompter, they were working without a basic safety net. If they had overestimated potential support from their target demo, they weren’t figuratively dead, they were dead-dead. But the situation had progressed to that dire a point. Virtually all the decisions regarding their fate were being made by people most of them had never met, in a remote city most of them had never visited. And those decisions routinely involved taking everything from their livelihoods to their lives with little to no recompense. Even if they managed to keep a little for themselves, there was an ever-present threat of the local garrison turning your barn, your house and maybe even your daughter into crown property. The king was an absentee landlord — and the worst kind. He never fixed the radiator; but miss the rent, and his goons were at your door. The only real difference was that the king didn’t actually own the building. So they gave the king history’s most famous fair warning.

To quote President Barack Obama, “Let me be clear.” I am not suggesting that we start assembling the best and brightest and shoving them Philly-ward. I’m not sure we’ve crossed the line from treason to “throwing off the chains of tyranny” just yet. Also, if we have crossed that line, I’m certain that we don’t want to dump our top thinkers in the City of Brotherly Love; we might not get them back. However, I am suggesting that current events dictate we should probably think about making travel arrangements.

Consider the national embarrassment unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri. And no, I don’t mean “that poor, lovable teddy bear of a boy, the Unarmed Teenager Michael Brown. They executed him just because he was a black child out for an evening stroll.” That narrative went to pot faster than Marion Barry with the keys to the narcotics squad’s evidence locker. It needs to be noted that Brown was a punk. While every other aspect of what occurred in that fateful moment appears to be saddled with multiple backstories, there can be no doubt that Brown was not an heir to Rosa Parks, nor even Trayvon Martin. Sure, the race-pimps, the professional protesters, the tragedy vultures and the low-information shriekers are loudly lionizing him as if he were a 6-foot-4, 290-pound Stephen Biko; but he wasn’t. Even if he had been, looting the McDonald’s and begging the crowd for donations — I’m looking at you, “Reverend” Jackson — isn’t a particularly constructive way to advance his cause.

Nonetheless, if bottom-feeders like Al Sharpton want to hit up the audience for their grocery money and nobody gets hurt, there’s actually nothing wrong with that. In this boy’s America, we’re not supposed to roll tanks for peaceably assembled people, even if they’re noisy, noisome or, as in the case of Sharpton, both. If the New Black Panthers, the Old Black Panthers or even the Tween Black Panthers want to don their berets incorrectly and march around in loose formation like a bunch of junior varsity martinets on a bender, then so be it. As long as they don’t break the furniture, the government is not supposed to respond with an infantry battalion.

That having been said, when did the cops start resembling SEAL Team 6? To be fair, the average police officer, sheriff’s deputy and/or federal agent is probably a pretty good guy. “To serve and protect” means something to the cops I know personally, and I appreciate them for it. But watching the scenes from Ferguson, I kept flashing to the Third World rioting Hollywood uses as stock footage for the latest end-of-the-world disaster flick. I watched as police officers loaded out for a patrol in Waziristan rolled heavy into the noisy-but-peaceful protesters while the real scumbags pillaged and looted without facing even token resistance until the store owners started standing up for themselves. If we needed a look at what America will be when the police and the Department of Defense are the same guys, we’re seeing it in Ferguson, thanks to what appears to be a federal program to give every suburban police department light-armored vehicles and light artillery.

Images of government agents assaulting nonviolent civilians are hardly new. Despite America’s history of serving as a beacon of liberty in a world darkened by liberty, we’ve had some trouble keeping the lights on. And it appears to be getting progressively worse. It took about 25 years to march from water cannons in Birmingham to sniper rifles in Ruby Ridge. It took only 10 to go from Ruby Ridge to the Patriot Act. It took less than 10 to go from the Patriot Act to NSA domestic spying, politically motivated IRS harassment and a President who is less concerned with the rule of law than he is with his short game. Law enforcement in Ferguson and elsewhere looks increasingly like the armed forces, and now they’re even sharing gear. Remember that iconic scene of a federal agent tearing a terrified Elian Gonzalez from the arms of a family member? Remember how incongruous that image seemed when compared to our imagined ideal of law enforcement? It seems almost quaint now.

The government listens, watches and takes. And where’s the president, the theoretical first among equals chosen by the people to lead our great nation into the teeth of the 21st century? Well, right now, he’s probably on the back nine. But he’ll soon be back in the Oval Office, working on more illegal decrees, unconstitutional edicts and heavy-handed harassment of his fellow Americans. He might not be wearing a powdered wig, but he’s every bit the absentee landlord King George III was.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

As I said, I’m not sure the time to “dissolve the political bands” has yet drawn nigh. However, I’m rapidly tiring of the “repeated injuries and usurpations” — as I suspect many of you are, as well.

–Ben Crystal

Note from the Editor: Round two of the financial meltdown is predicted to reach global proportions, already adversely affecting Greece, Spain and most of Europe. It appears less severe in the states because our banks are printing useless fiat currency. I’ve arranged for readers to get two free books—Surviving a Global Financial Crisis and Currency Collapse, plus How to Survive the Collapse of Civilization—to help you prepare for the worst. Click here for your free copies.

Remembering Robin Williams

In the fall of 1988, St. Andrew’s School headmaster Jon O’Brien announced that our campus had been cast in the role of “Welton Academy” in a film titled “Dead Poets Society,” and that the star of the movie would be none other than Robin Williams. At the time, Williams was coming off his Oscar-nominated performance in “Good Morning, Vietnam,” and was easily one of the brightest stars in the Hollywood pantheon.

Headmaster O’Brien might as well have set off a low-yield nuclear device in the dining hall. A visit from Robin Williams! And then, Director Peter Weir’s army of movie-makers arrived. The production literally defined the year. Everyone was affected, often profoundly. While some students secured legitimate speaking parts (the skeptic-turned-believer “Hopkins” was played by SAS junior Matt Carey, who reportedly hauled in more for his performance than most of our professors made in a year) and others made brief appearances (my star turn was limited to approximately half a second onscreen), still others were forced into mild-to-major inconvenience — St. Andrew’s is a coed school, but “Welton” was all boys. Our girls faced all sorts of rigamarole in order to get to class without stepping into frame.

Academia fought entertainment to a standstill that year, as students occasionally had to live according to shooting schedules, including night shoots on campus. As the decidedly less-than-glamorous reality of movie production settled over us, my fellow students and I responded by:

  1. Getting nowhere near enough sleep.
  2. Getting acquainted with Williams’ co-stars. Gale Hansen, who played “Charlie/Nwanda,” was a particularly fun guy. Some of my female classmates favored a then-youthful Ethan Hawke, leaving my male classmates and me feeling decidedly nonplussed. James Waterston, who played “Pitts,” returned to campus that spring to escort one of my classmates to the prom.
  3. Gawking shamelessly whenever Williams stepped into view. The production company hired an SAS alumna as location liaison. She sternly commanded us to behave. We ignored her.

Our behavior, which included a coordinated plan involving putting mirrors in our windows to ruin the occasional night shoot, could well have jeopardized our beloved school’s role in the film. To be fair, Weir and his crew were probably a great deal more patient than we deserved. But we had a not-so-secret ally: The star of the show thought it was a riot. Williams encouraged us. He wasn’t present as often as the younger men were; but when he was, he was approachable, charming and every bit as funny as his onscreen persona.

One afternoon, they were shooting a scene in the driveway below our dorm. My roommates and I set up on our balcony to watch the goings-on. The location liaison caught sight of us, and gave us her best “I thought we discussed this after the ‘mirrors in the windows’ prank” look. Unbeknownst to her, Williams was behind her, doing a pantomime routine to beat the band. I honestly believe she left after the location shoot convinced that we were laughing in her face. We were nobodies, a bunch of high school punks behaving like high school punks. And rather than laugh at us, he laughed with us; rather than ignore us, he included us in the joke. He might as well have given us each an Oscar. And though he certainly didn’t owe it to anyone, Williams returned after the shoot to do a private show for the students, faculty and staff. To this day, I’ve laughed at only one other stand-up performance as hard as I did that night.

I had been as much a fan as anyone was before that winter. I was an outright cheerleader for Williams afterward. Robin Williams wasn’t just a talented actor; he was a talented actor who’d shaken my hand — on purpose! This was Mr. Keating, from Welton Academy. This was the guy who’d taken what would already have been an outstanding senior year of high school (SAS was — and is — one of the finest secondary schools in the nation) and made it extraordinary. He made no undue effort to keep us at arms’ length; nor did he deliberately draw attention to himself (as if he had to). Robin Williams, the star, was also Robin Williams, the genuinely friendly fellow. Robin Williams, the comedian, was also Robin Williams, the guy who looked you in the eye when he shook your hand even though he was Robin Williams and you were nobody significant. Robin Williams, the superstar, was also Robin Williams, the guy who cracked a joke and patted me on the shoulder when I nearly ran him over while sprinting down the back stairs from Hillier Corridor to the mail room.

Williams fought demons his whole adult life. He struggled with drugs, women and fame; and they clearly created a monster that overpowered him. I suppose there’s an almost stereotypical aspect to his fate, a clown who cries on the inside. But he also worked tirelessly for charities such as the Comic Relief series, took special pride in his association with the USO and even managed to bring a smile to the face of a gravely injured Christopher Reeve on a day when Reeve faced a surgery that stood a good chance of killing him. Say what you will about his personal issues, it’s hard not to grin at the idea of Williams striding into a Virginia hospital room impersonating an insane Russian proctologist. Reeve certainly did, saying: “For the first time since the accident, I laughed.” I can speak for neither Reeve nor his family, but I know there’s no price you can put on that kind of joy. Years later, when my younger brother lay in an Atlanta hospital’s ICU following a terrible accident, I shamelessly ripped off Williams’ bit. My brother didn’t laugh, but he also didn’t throw anything.

I’m glad I got to meet Robin Williams. I’m glad I got to know that not everyone in Hollywood is a simpering buffoon who’s long on wind and short on wisdom. I’m glad I met someone who sincerely sought to bring laughter to so many for so long. And I’m terribly sorry that he’s gone. It’s always tricky eulogizing famous people. Too often, the effort comes off as maudlin self-importance. After all, I’m just a guy who met someone famous. But he was a remarkable man. And meeting someone so radically different than anyone I’d yet encountered during what is arguably the most important year of any young person’s life was (forgive me) extraordinary.

–Ben Crystal

Israel, Hamas And The Real SOBs

I’ll be the first to admit it: America’s relationship with Israel hasn’t always been smooth sailing — for either party. I don’t think it’s a stretch to suggest that in the years since World War II, and certainly since the Korean Conflict, the United States is the single biggest reason Israel still exists.

I’m not saying that the Israelis would have been dumped into the Mediterranean Sea sometime in the mid-1970s without our largesse, but I am saying that our support kept a lot of Israeli hair dry. And our return on investment hasn’t always been blue chip-worthy. I’m old enough to remember Jonathan Pollard and the spying scandals of the 1980s. And I’m smart enough to know that Israelis haven’t ceased spying on us; they’ve just gotten somewhat better at it.

But I won’t condemn Israel for its occasional breach of our faith. After all, thanks to the machinations of President Barack Obama, if there’s one country on Earth that currently has no moral standing from which to criticize others for spying on their friends, it’s the good ol’ U.S.A. Hell, our President considers spying on American citizens to be completely legal, so it’s hard to hammer the Israelis for wanting to keep an eye on their pals from time to time.

I expect it’s more reasonable to frame American-Israeli relations in familial context. Israel is our wayward younger brother. Sure, we occasionally need to deliver the occasional brotherly beating; but no one else better think about it. Sure, they sometimes threaten to drag into battles with the neighborhood bullies; but they’ve never declared a global jihad against the Stars and Stripes. And sure, they occasionally pick fights with everyone on their block; but consider the block on which they live. How well would you react if every one of your neighbors brought up the idea of exterminating your family and the phrase “because God commands it” in the same sentence?

On that note, riddle me this: Name the only country in the region that doesn’t feature at least a sizable minority that refers to the United States as the “Great Satan?” And the Israelis may have sneaked into the nuclear nations’ house through a secret entrance, but they have yet to fire one at anybody. Imagine how much fun life would be if every Tawhir, Dahran and Hafez were hiding a nuke under their dishdashas.

Meanwhile, “restraint” is hardly a term I could fairly apply to the people with whom the Israelis currently find themselves embroiled in yet another battle. Say hello to the ululating, child-murdering, bus-bombing, rocket-firing, human shield-using, islamofascist terrorists of Hamas. While they’re enjoying their current status as the cause célèbre for the Hollywood bubblehead and pseudo-intellectual set, Hamas is simultaneously lobbing everything they can set aflame at their Israeli neighbors. And that’s not all. In fact, there are quite a few details about Hamas that make the Israelis look almost warm and fuzzy by comparison.

Hamas pulls in a cool $500 million in aid from the United States. Sure, Israel rakes in a great deal more — of which nearly all is earmarked for military projects. The money we donate to Hamas is specifically designated for humanitarian relief. Hamas evidently translates “humanitarian” to “building tunnels through which we can attack civilians, including at least one tunnel evidently designed with the specific goal of murdering Israeli kindergartners.”

If you’d like to discuss return on investment, compare and contrast the benefit we’ve reaped from our Gaza generosity to our Israeli aid. Heck, just look at the two side by side. Israel might not be next on my vacation bucket list, but I know of no sane soul outside a few anthropological niches who has ever even considered vacationing in lovely Gaza. The place is a dump. The Palestinians have taken enough money to fund a green-energy boondoggle with enough left over for Michelle Obama’s next girls’ weekend at the Four Seasons and built… Gaza.

Say what you want about the Israelis, but they’re not officially dedicated to the elimination of an entire country. You can’t say that about Hamas. In fact, the elimination of Israel is considered a “state” priority. It’s right there, in the Hamas “charter.” “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it.” At least Hamas isn’t shy. “The stones and trees will say O Moslems, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.” And lest you think they’re committed to peace: “Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

This is a good moment to remind you that Hamas isn’t some bloodthirsty gang of dictatorial savages. They’re a bloodthirsty gang of democratically elected savages. That’s right; the same guys who have made Gaza such a party represent a government by the people, for the people and of the people.

The late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir once remarked: “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”

Unfortunately, Meir’s sentiments discount one detail: Hamas’ kids hate Israel as much as Hamas does. At least, they’ve been trained to feel that way. While American kids watch “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Sesame Street,” Hamas kids watch shows like “Tomorrow’s Pioneers.” Instead of rudimentary academic lessons, “Tomorrow’s Pioneers” featured characters such as:

  • Farfour, a Mickey Mouse knockoff who threw grenades at Israelis.
  • Nahoul, a talking bumblebee who promised: “We will liberate Al-Aqsa from the filth of the criminal Jews.”
  • And Assoud, a bunny who planned to “finish off the Jews and eat them.”

Imagine if Mr. Rogers had swapped out his cardigan for a suicide bomb vest and hosed down the Land of Make Believe with his AK.

Hamas teaches its children to murder people, as long as they survive being used as human shields by Hamas. Hamas deprives its people of precious resources in order to direct those resources to murder and mayhem. Hamas is a terrorist group, period.

To paraphrase a sentiment attributed to President Franklin Roosevelt, “The Israelis may be sons of bitches, but they’re our sons of bitches.” But Hamas, they’re just sons of bitches.

–Ben Crystal

Lies, Damned Lies And Liberal Statistics

BCGr

The graphic above was created by an outfit which calls itself “Occupy Democrats,” it’s the Twitter-attachment-meme version of Democratic talking points which have been floating like the proverbial poop in the punchbowl for a couple of years now.

Through a careful arrangement of demographic data, the graphic attempts to “prove” that Republicans hate poor people, or create poor people, or are mean to poor people, or something to that effect.

I’ll admit, it’s fairly well constructed. The adorable little moppets in the frame are acceptably cute, without coming across too much like catalog models. The girl standing center-right is barefoot, which I presume is supposed to evoke the idea that she can’t afford shoes; or that mean old Republicans are anti-footwear. There are a couple of old beaters, including a decades-old Ford pickup, parked haphazardly. Mom and Dad are there, as well; with Dad sporting a blue collar-type work shirt. And the bold-face print, arranged in simple vertical fashion with varying colors practically screams “LOOK AT WHAT THE GOP DID!”

Furthermore, the statistics are technically correct. However, the statistical construct is a house of cards. If you classify a State as “red” based on that State’s voting in Presidential elections and further classify “poorest” by per capita income, then 97 of the 100 poorest counties are, in fact, in “red” states.

Of course, context is important; and that’s doubtless why the “Occupy Democrats” didn’t include any. Even a cursory examination of the demographics of the 100 poorest counties reveals a decidedly different story. Of the “top” 10, ALL are Democratic strongholds. Expand the pool to the 20 poorest counties, and all but two are regressive redoubts. The theme remains the same throughout the 100 poorest counties in the country. In fact, the few “red” counties on the list are primarily located in the coal fields of Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia, where President Barack Obama’s war on the coal industry has laid waste to more acreage than the Islamofascist hordes murdering Iraqi Christians with American-supplied weapons.

It gets worse. In addition to their status as torrential blue whirlpools in otherwise placid red seas, the overwhelming majority of the “horrendous hundred” also share another trait in common. They’re majority-minority. In fact, the top 10 are ALL majority-minority. In fact, the only county in the top 10 which isn’t comprised of Native American reservation land is Starr County, Texas, which sports the highest percentage of Hispanic residents of any county in the entire Nation.

The demographic trends repeat throughout the Census Tables like a bad fungus. Excepting counties whose primary industries have been targeted for destruction by the Democrats, the 100 poorest counties share two statistics:

  1. They’re politically Democratic.

  2. They’re majority non-white.

In their effort to prove that Republican governance creates poverty, “Occupy Democrats” have accidentally proven that even in the most conservative states, Democrats can gum up the works. As an additional lesson, it’s worth noting the correlation between the racial makeup of the populations which suffer the most and the leadership provided to them by the Democrats. Rather than asking how “Republican policies grow the economy,” the graphic ought to be asking why Democratic policies douse the economy with gasoline and burn it to cinders; especially if the economy is made up of mostly brown and black workers.

The left’s manipulation of facts and figures – ham-fisted thought it may be – taints every aspect of their body politic. They whine endlessly about so-called “gun violence;” to the point that they’ve turned that ridiculously hackneyed phrase into the boogeyman from a slasher flick. I keep waiting for the first time this APB goes out after a shooting: “Suspect is approximately 32 inches tall, is wearing black with brown wood trim, and answers to the name ‘Kalashnikov.’ Known associates include ‘AR-15,’ ‘Glock’ and ‘Remington.’”

Of course, their bizarre fixation with guns has left them willfully blind to the people who wield them. Despite not one firearm in all of human history successfully formulating a plan to kill a human being, much less actually committing the crime, Democrats have used so-called “gun violence” statistics to fearmonger their way into creating so-called “gun-free zones;” known to criminals as “target rich environments.” Those places are also known by other names, such as Chicago and Detroit.

Again, the crimes classified as “gun violence” by our regressive friends do involve firearms, making their assertions seem accurate. However, they leave out factors including gang involvement, suicide, and the always pesky fact that nearly all so-called “gun crimes” which are committed involve the illegal deployment of the firearm, thereby rendering the “gun violence” screamers’ attempts to use statistics to restrain the Bill of Rights devoid of academic merit.

The other common threads uniting the free-fire alleys in which the law-abiding citizens have been led like lambs to slaughter by regressive statistical wire-pulling are the same as the aforementioned counties. They’re all enslaved by decades of Democratic machine politics, and they’re all majority-minority; as if we needed further reminders that the Left’s racially inclusive demagoguery is window dressing hiding craven political exploitation of the African-American, Hispanic and Native American populations.

Demographics are hardly the lone area in which liberal talking points are twisted beyond recognition. The regressives’ religious devotion to so-called “global warming” is its own study in statistical manipulation. A pop science theory which purports to explain catastrophes which haven’t happened based on research which has yet to come near meeting basic scientific standards, global warming, which currently goes by the name “climate change,” averages a new name about every decade. While some might think the changing monikers reflect the wishes of the voices in Al Gore’s head, the reality is that the chief proponents of “global warming” have been forced to rename their cult’s idol because the climate continually fails to bear out their theoretical predictions.

In the 1970s, they called it “global cooling.” When the globe failed to plunge into a new ice age, they renamed it “global warming.” But the geological climate has stubbornly refused to stop producing record cold winters and record high amounts of key evidence like Antarctic icepack, necessitating the creation of the “climate change” nom de nonsense. With the actual climate changing without regard to Gore’s slide shows and Obama’s pronouncements, the same regressives who blame conservatives for poverty and guns for violence took a two-pronged approach:

  1. They began claiming all weather was attributable to climate change. That’s technically true. It’s also embarrassingly stupid; especially when Obama uses it as justification for dropping a regulatory hammer on the coal industry; or some Hollywood bobblehead uses it to demand everyone be required to drive a biodiesel Prius.

  2. They lied. Leading global warmists at renowned institutes like the University of East Anglia to react to the academic failure of their warmist bell ringing by stepping beyond a simple name change to simply fabricating data.

The Democrats tout economic progress by crowing about new additions to the workforce; all the while gingerly sidestepping the fact that Obama’s economic plans have convinced a record mass of nearly 100 million Americans to abandon all hope and change. They try to filter their amnesty for illegal aliens through the prism of “doing it for the children,” ignoring the hordes of MS13, Zeta and other narcoterrorists brazenly strutting across the border; probably in search of better weapons prices than Attorney General Holder can offer. They cloak their support for Islamofascist terrorism in the guise of “humanitarian” support; but refuse to acknowledge that groups like Hamas take their (OUR tax-funded) largesse and use it to buy artillery which they then set up in schools, using their own children as human shields.

And of course, they forced Obamacare on an unwilling nation; despite it constituting what my colleague Wayne Root accurately described as “..the first-ever trillion dollar scam.” They’re liars. They’re damned liars. And the statistics to prove it.

Ben’s (And Barry’s) Big Huge Week

political cartoon
Taylor Jones, Politicalcartoons.com

While settling into my new Friday digs here at Personal Liberty Digest™, I realized that I have a lot more information through which I must sift before chucking it all to type out 1,500 words on why I’m worried that my computer’s spell-checker recognizes “Kardashians,” but has never heard of “Angela Merkel.” Perhaps the next Microsoft Office® update will include the new National Security Agency “European allies” database. Actually, spending an entire week watching headlines scroll by gave me not only a sense of the sheer enormity of what nearly 7 billion people are capable of doing in seven days, but the monstrous nature of those who would purport to rule those 7 billion.

That’s right, kiddies. While you watched President Barack Obama eat hamburgers, crack a few “jokes” and then hit the links at Fort Belvoir, some serious stuff transpired. But don’t worry; I’m on it. And if Obama misses this piece, he’ll hear all about the stories behind it when he catches up with his designated newsgatherers. I think they’re sneaking in a quick chat three Tuesdays from now in Martha’s Vineyard — after the morning mom jeans fitting and before the afternoon bike ride.

The Downing Of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

For those of you scoring at home, that’s two Malaysia Airlines jumbo jets in four months. As if we needed another example of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s utter disregard for everyone and everything that doesn’t make it easier for him to pose shirtless, the smart money says the Russians were involved in the shootdown from missile launch to crash landing. And why should Putin give a damn what anyone else thinks? Obama is too busy stuffing his face and making “Republicans are stupid” jokes to give more than 40 seconds to the cold-blooded murders of nearly 300 people. And if Putin learned anything from last year’s Syrian misadventures, it’s that Obama is really, really afraid of him; and when pressed, Obama will sell weapons to both sides and then blame the whole mess on the Republicans. Eventually, he’ll get out his diplomatic crayons and start drawing red lines; that worked out super well for the Christians and Jews now facing genocide across the Mideast.

On the plus side: CNN managed to keep its old Malaysia Airlines b-roll going from the disappearance of Flight 370 long enough for its “reporting” to become relevant again.

War In The Levant, Again

If the Israelis and “Palestinians” are at each other’s throats, it must be a day that ends in the letter “y.” The Israelis have a pronounced tendency to act as the Iago to America’s Othello (bet some so-called “progressive” will call that simile racist), but they’re clearly a damned sight better than a collection of islamofascist loons who think using preteens to shield their artillery from airstrikes is sound strategy. Let’s be clear here, kids. Hamas is an unapologetic terrorist group, period. If you hide behind women and children to escape justice for killing women and children, you’re not the victim; the women and children are. Israel isn’t making victims of Hamas’s human shields; Hamas is. Even a cursory glance at the rabble cheering Hamas reveals the same collection of liberal hate groups, America-last nutters and shrieking gasbags you can find in a Waziristan cave, the really ugly sections of Paris or the MSNBC “newsroom.”

The Rise Of Lieawatha

Q: What’s the one thing that could really give Hillary Clinton the willies?

A: An even more self-important liberal woman with an even more suspect curriculum vitae.

If you caught any of the coverage of the annual progressive hatefest known as “Netroots Nation” from this past weekend, then you saw Clinton’s worst nightmare on the stage. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, high cheekbones and all, wowed the mommy’s basement refugees, creepy loners and Hollywood B- and C-listers in a spectacular display of raw leftist hypocrisy.

Please, Madame Senator, tell us all about the struggles of the poor and middle class. I’m sure you took the time to learn about them while raking in a six-figure salary to teach a single class at Harvard Law School.

Like Clinton, most of Warren’s “accomplishments” are a credit to her gender rather than to any personal qualities. Like Clinton, Warren’s autobiographical narrative is embellished. Like Clinton, Warren has a fat bank account. Like Clinton, Warren has yet to work an honest day in her pampered life. And like Clinton, Warren isn’t an actual Native American.

However, unlike Clinton, Warren hasn’t been hanging around on her husband’s coattails for the better part of four decades. And unlike Clinton, Warren is possibly related to someone with high cheekbones. No wonder the left loves her; she’s a figment of their imagination.

The Fall Of Obamacare

Another stroke of the pen, another exemption for millions of people. Don’t get too excited, though. Unless you live in the outlying U.S. territories, you’re not one of those millions. However, Obama’s amateurish mishandling of his signature legislation continues unabated. With the employer mandate now only months from expiring, a situation sure to turn the already-chaotic system on its ear, Obama granted an exemption to residents of the U.S. territories from Puerto Rico to Guam. While his promises of lower premiums and universal care have not — and never will — come to fruition, people in places like the Mariana Islands found the post-Obamacare landscape devoid of available policies. No problem! Obama just issued another royal proclamation freeing them from Obamacare’s fraudulent clutches.

This time, however, all the President’s accomplices and all of his cronies might not be able to put Obamacare back together again. The new “hardship” exemption applies to anyone who can credibly claim the need for a hardship exemption. Obamacare advocates rushed the bill through Congress without allowing anyone to read it, and the law has been revised ever since it was passed. One glaring problem: Obama doesn’t have the authority to change so much as a comma splice. And now, his extralegal tinkering has accidentally opened the floodgates.

Scratched, Then Shredded

I can’t be sure, but I think the number of different versions of the saga of disgraced Internal Revenue Service storm trooper Lois Lerner’s computer must be approaching the number of different versions of the Benghazi narrative cooked up by the White House. The latest, revealed earlier this week, holds that Lerner’s computer — which joined those of up to 20 other IRS agents assigned to harass Obama’s political opponents in conveniently disintegrating before they could be examined for more evidence — was “scratched” and only later “shredded.” Watching Obama and his stooges fail, get caught and then fail again would be amusing were it not for the fact that their bumbling crimes may be bumbling, but they’re still crimes. If you got audited for donating to the Tea Party, you’re not laughing. Just remember: If you were targeted by the IRS, it’s because you’re a racist. We know this to be true because Attorney General Eric Holder said so; and if you can’t trust Eric Holder, whom can you trust — other than Mexican narcoterrorists?

The Run From The Border

I might be willing to accept the humanitarian crisis Obama engineered on our southern frontier with less outrage if Obama would consider actually visiting any of the border facilities being overrun by armies of illegal aliens. However, none of those stations are close enough to any of the stops on his eternal fundraising tour to make a Presidential flyby convenient. Perhaps now that the Feds are shuttling illegals across the Nation, one of the towns Obama has turned into an illegal alien ground zero will be near an airport, multimillionaire’s mansion or Presidentially preferred golf course. Perhaps Vice President Joe Biden will say something out loud that actually makes sense. I’m not holding my breath for either. With hundreds, if not thousands, of Central American gang members joining the northward flood, at least Holder won’t have to travel internationally to meet his “customers.”

It’s The Economy, Stupid

What’s everyone complaining about? According to Obama and his cabal, the jobless rate in the United States has dropped below 7 percent. Yippee! Well, according to Obama’s own pals at The New York Times, “part-time jobs accounted for two-thirds of all new jobs in June.” They’re the lucky ones. While millions of Americans struggle to make ends meet with “McJobs,” millions more can only hope. For the 49th out of the past 50 months, more people gave up looking for work than actually found it. As I said, “yippee.”

At least the stock market is doing well — even though, to quote the Democrats from pre-Obama days, “That’s Wall Street, not Main Street.” It’s a shame the Main Streeters can’t raise millions of dollars. Perhaps if they could, then Obama would care. At the very least, he might let them cross the street to have their babies somewhere other than a park bench.

Just imagine having to deal with all of that while simultaneously trying to fix your short game. No wonder Obama looks tired. Lucky for him, he’s got another vacation coming up soon. We need Obama to get his rest. Otherwise, he might do something stupid. That’s the week, kids. See you tomorrow morning for The Great Eight.

–Ben Crystal

The Pax Obama

When former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney stepped down earlier this year, I remarked that I felt bad for the guy. The poor little fellow looked like he’d aged enough during his sentence of servitude to President Barack Obama that he’d finally put puberty in the rearview mirror. I have no idea what the long-term effects of working as a mouthpiece for the Washington equivalent of an old-school Chicago crime family might entail, but I suspect the psychic scars would run fairly deep. Of course, it’s possible that Carney is as cravenly soulless as the rest of Obama’s accomplices, and he just wanted a new audience at whom he could sneer through his hipster glasses; but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

I’m not sure I can offer the same largesse to Carney’s replacement, the ironically named Josh Earnest. After all, Earnest served as Carney’s top deputy prior to replacing Lil’ Jay, so the only way he could not have known what awaited him would involve a lot more “choom” than Obama pocketed during his recent stop-flop-and-photo-op in Colorado. And Earnest seems to take to lying for President Nobel Peace Prize with alarming panache. During a press session on Tuesday morning, Earnest landed this whopper:

I think that there have been a number of situations in which you’ve seen this administration intervene in a meaningful way that has substantially furthered American interests and substantially improved the tranquility of the global community…

To think, we were mystified as to how Carney could refer to Benghazi, Obama’s illegal National Security Agency spying programs, Obama’s illegal use of the Internal Revenue Service as a political weapon and even the ever-disgraceful Obamacare disaster as “phony scandals.” For Earnest to make a claim like that without so much as a wink or a nudge requires that he be either stoned out of his gourd or be a sociopath to rival even Attorney General Eric “Fast and Furious” Holder.

Beyond the still-unaccounted for Benghazi disgrace, Obama’s tenure has been marked by such foreign policy triumphs as the action in the Levant. Whether he’s getting played by Syria and then responding by selling weapons to al-Qaida-linked islamofascists or getting played by Syria over the chemical weapons they supposedly didn’t have (they still have them, by the way), Obama has essentially thrown lighter fluid on the grill. Just east of the Syrian game, al-Qaida-linked islamofascists, likely the same ones murdering Christians in Syria, are well on the way to establishing the kind of caliphate that makes the Taliban jealous.

Meanwhile, Israel and Hamas are after each other like rabid dogs. I’m willing to admit America’s relationship with Israel has been rocky at times, but I’d take them any day over a terrorist group which fires missiles at children from behind other children. In the vacuum left by Obama’s detached laziness, anti-Israel sentiment has exploded across the planet. Hell, there are so many anti-Semites roaring their approval for the Hamas animals worldwide, you’d think Al Sharpton and former President Jimmy Carter were making house calls to every lunatic jihadi from Britain to Baghdad.

During Obama’s tenure, he has brought his considerable diplomatic acumen to bear on Russia, whose president Vladimir “Blofeld” Putin was so cowed that only he only invaded the Ukraine a little bit. Iran was so impressed by Obama’s CV that they’re totally not developing nuclear weapons. And speaking of nuclear weapons, North Korea totally doesn’t have any, either; and the North Koreans are totally not working on more and more advanced delivery vehicles for them.

Even our allies have begun treating us like we brought a Kennedy to the Church social. The Germans have even begun a program to defeat Obama’s blatant, and blatantly disgraceful, attempts to spy on them the way he spies on — well — us. Africa is the usual funhouse, and the Chinese are leading multi-party discussions on the global economy in the post-dollar world.

By no means should Obama be embarrassed that his most effective diplomatic envoy in dealing with any of the aforementioned crises has been Dennis Rodman, who never asks: “What difference does it make?” After all, Obama has “improved the tranquility of the global community.” Sure he has; just look at Chicago — er — Martha’s Vineyard.

–Ben Crystal