Thursday, January 29, 2015

Obama Funding the Anti-Bibi Campaign

My article in today's FrontPage magazine:

Obama Funding the Anti-Bibi Campaign

By Matthew Vadum

The Obama administration is using taxpayer dollars to fund a radical anti-Israel group that aims to drive Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from office in March parliamentary elections.

And the U.S.-based group receiving the U.S. government money, OneVoice International, in turn is working with V15, an “independent grassroots movement” in Israel, according to Ha’aretz. V15’s unofficial motto is said to be “anyone but Bibi,” a reference that includes the prime minister’s nickname.

OneVoice has reportedly hired Obama campaign aides such as Jeremy Bird of political consulting powerhouse 270 Strategies to take on Netanyahu’s Likud Party. Bird was national field director for Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, but now he is apoplectic, frothing at the mouth as he spouts conspiracy theories over House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) invitation to Netanyahu to address the U.S. Congress in coming weeks.

“What do you think [GOP mega donor Sheldon] Adelson promised GOP in exchange for this insane BiBi [Netanyahu] House visit? Blatant attempt to bolster Israeli PM before elections,” Bird tweeted.

President Obama too is angry about the unexpected Netanyahu visit. The administration claims Boehner violated “protocol” by extending the invitation on his own initiative instead of sending a request for the executive branch to extend an invitation. The sure-to-be-televised congressional address counteracts Obama’s efforts to unseat the prime minister whose electoral fortunes at home can only be helped by the speech. This infuriates Obama whose newly feigned interest in “protocol” is hard to take seriously from a man who rammed Obamacare through Congress without regard to proper procedure and who just weeks ago issued a kingly fiat granting amnesty to millions of illegal aliens.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Obama Prepares to Polarize

My article from the Jan. 20, 2015 issue of FrontPage magazine:

Obama Prepares to Polarize

By Matthew Vadum

President Obama’s sixth State of the Union address tonight, slated to begin at 9 p.m. EDT, represents Obama’s desperate attempt to convince the American people that he remains relevant.

Obama’s speech will be a buffet of misdirection calculated to make the audience forget that Obama is now, at least in theory, a lame duck president facing newly resurgent Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress. What he says shouldn’t count for much, assuming there is a vibrant opposition party in Congress willing to challenge his radical, transformative vision of what America should be.

The president wants a $320 billion tax increase in addition to those taxes that he has already imposed. There will be higher taxes for “the rich” that will presumably be set off by lower taxes for the middle class.

Obama wants to hike the capital gains tax and dividend tax rate. He wants to punish banks by slapping them with a tax on “excessive borrowing” — a practice known as “commerce.”

Instead of just getting government off the backs of struggling working couples by lowering tax rates, Obama wants to create something his aides call a “Second Earner Credit” for married couples where both spouses work. He also wants to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), a variety of welfare, to make more Americans dependent on the government.

Obama wants Congress to let Americans attend two years of community college for free, even though the nation is already awash in college and graduate school alumni who can’t find jobs.

“This is not a serious proposal,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.). “We lift families up and grow the economy with a simpler, flatter tax code, not big tax increases to pay for more Washington spending.”

Leftists say this State of the Union address should be a starting point for a larger nationwide discussion on policy.

“I think we should have a debate in this country between middle-class economics and trickle-down economics,” senior Obama advisor Dan Pfeiffer said Sunday on “Face the Nation.”

Of course no self-respecting free market economist uses the awful expression “trickle-down economics.” As Thomas Sowell has noted, the phrase is used by those who despise markets in an effort to discredit those who believe in them.

FBI Foils Terror Attack on Congress

My article from the Jan. 15, 2015 issue of FrontPage magazine:

FBI Foils Terror Attack on Congress

By Matthew Vadum

A Muslim convert trying to join the Islamic State terrorist group was arrested by the FBI in Ohio yesterday for plotting to bomb the United States Capitol and murder government employees.

The uncovering of the alleged plan of 20-year-old Christopher Lee Cornell to detonate pipe bombs around the Capitol and shoot people in the complex is especially impressive because the Obama administration has placed politically correct handcuffs that limit federal investigators.

Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) praised the FBI, adding that the Cornell arrest is also “an important reminder of the very real threat that radical Islam continues to pose to the homeland.”

Cornell hails from Ohio, a hotbed of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) activity. CAIR, a Muslim Brotherhood front group, has been designated a terrorist group by the United Arab Emirates. CAIR has offices in Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus.

Karen Dabdoub, executive director of CAIR’s Cincinnati chapter, told the Cincinnati Enquirer, “I haven’t heard of him.”

Cornell stands accused of “Attempted Killing of a U.S. Government Officer” (Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 1114) and “Possession of Firearm in Furtherance of Attempted Crime of Violence” (Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 924(c)).

Starting last year Cornell used a Twitter account under the name Raheel Mahrus Ubaydah, FBI Special Agent T.A. Staderman, a member of the FBI’s Cincinnati-Dayton Joint Terrorism Task Force, said in a sworn criminal complaint filed in federal court in Cincinnati yesterday.

Using Twitter, Cornell “posted statements, videos, and other content indicating his support” for Islamic State and “for violent jihad, as well as support for violent attacks committed by others in North America and elsewhere.”

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Hating Whitey's Brunch

My article in today's FrontPage:

Hating Whitey's Brunch

By Matthew Vadum

Taking a page from the Ku Klux Klan, Black leftists are now trying to bring about social change by terrorizing people as they get together for Sunday brunch.

This past weekend, “Black Brunch” organizers and their followers stormed upscale eateries in New York City and Oakland, Calif., reading out the names of black criminals killed by the police and shrieking that whites had no right to be there. They accused whites of committing “genocide.”

This is what the Left does. Left-wingers politicize everything. Now they’re getting in the faces of people when they get together to enjoy brunch. If Barack Obama weren’t busy destroying America from inside the government, he’d be out in the field leading these retail-level petty terrorists.

Radical blacks also tried to shut down a ceremony in Oregon over the weekend in which Dario Raschio, a 100-year-old World War Two veteran, was given a medal. More than a hundred activists started shouting “hands up, don’t shoot,” forcing the white centenarian to urge the demonstrators to be quiet and to “show a little respect.” After three quarters of an hour of chanting, the town hall meeting was shut down.

Interrupting a meal, by comparison, may seem like a minor matter.

It’s not that disrupting Sunday brunch, a setting in which friends of all colors typically reconnect by putting their hectic urban lives on pause for an hour or two, is necessarily all that horrifying — in a way it’s comically pathetic — but the race hatred fueling the protest is real and disturbing.

The protest tactic itself is borrowed from racists, largely pro-segregation Democrats, of the past.
Harassing and taunting restaurant patrons specifically because of their skin color is Ku Klux Klan-like behavior. It’s what white segregationists did when blacks sat down at lunch counters in the South in the 1960s. Racist whites at the time said blacks had no right to be there. The racists of the Sixties were wrong then just as the Black Brunch racists are wrong today. Of course, today’s activists don’t see it that way. 

According to politically correct dogma, blacks are incapable of being racist because they supposedly lack power.

Attacking diners is also a long-running tradition among community organizers.

House Conservatives Revolt

My article from the Jan. 5, 2015 issue of FrontPage:

House Conservatives Revolt

By Matthew Vadum

Two conservative Republican lawmakers have stepped forward to contest moderate John Boehner’s bid for reelection as Speaker of the new House of Representatives.

The news that Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) and conservative champion Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) plan to challenge Boehner (R-Ohio) for the Speaker’s gavel comes after a new survey shows 60 percent of Republican voters would pick a new candidate for Speaker over Boehner. The survey was conducted by The People’s Poll and carried out by Caddell Associates.

Rep. Gohmert was a featured speaker at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Restoration Weekend in 2014 and he is a regular speaker at Freedom Center events.

As America slides deeper into dysfunction, conservatives don’t want leadership in Congress that politely accepts whatever actions President Obama dictates. They want Republicans to take the fight to the Left, something conflict-averse Boehner has shown time and time again he is not willing to do.

The Grand Old Party’s conservative base is explosively angry at what it perceives as Boehner’s repeated betrayals throughout his term as Speaker of House. In their view, Boehner consistently sold out conservatives for political expediency. Boehner, they say, refused to fight debt ceiling increases, funded Obamacare, and did little to reduce government spending.

Josh Williams: ‘Peaceful’ Protester Posterboy & Arsonist

My Jan. 2, 2015 article in FrontPage:

Josh Williams: ‘Peaceful’ Protester Posterboy & Arsonist

By Matthew Vadum

A media darling who became the face of so-called peaceful protesters in Ferguson has been arrested for arson, proving once again that nonviolent left-wing protest remains the rarest of unicorns in the age of Obama.

The black teenager, Joshua Williams, who marched shoulder-to-shoulder with radical left-wing professor Cornel West, was dubbed a peace activist by his many admirers in the fourth estate. As a National Review Online article described the situation,
“Williams has been portrayed in the media as an innocent victim fighting back against authority; he has been held up as the quintessential Ferguson protestor, decrying police brutality as he is time and again brutalized by police.”
Williams came to Ferguson, Mo. to protest what happened to 18-year-old Michael Brown. Brown, a young black man, was killed by white police officer Darren Wilson. The Aug. 9 shooting of Brown, who tried to seize Wilson’s gun, set off riots nationwide. The local grand jury’s Nov. 24 finding that no probable cause existed to charge Wilson with murder or any other crime touched off a new wave of unrest.

But now after months of loudly protesting the supposed injustice done to Brown, Williams stands accused of starting multiple fires at the QuikTrip store in Berkeley, Mo., a couple miles from Ferguson. The venue choice is significant. Brown committed a strong-arm robbery at the QuikTrip store in Ferguson, roughing up a much smaller man, just minutes before he attacked Wilson. QuikTrip itself has become a kind of rallying point for rioters, looters, community organizers, and other criminals in the wake of Brown’s death.

Williams reportedly confessed his crimes to police in a videotaped interview and was charged Dec. 26 with “1st degree arson, 2nd degree burglary and misdemeanor theft.”

Backlash Against de Blasio

My article from the Dec. 25, 2014 issue of FrontPage:

Backlash Against de Blasio

By Matthew Vadum

Cop-bashing New York mayor Bill de Blasio seems genuinely surprised at the ferocious backlash against him in light of the execution-style weekend killing of two local cops.

After spending the past year in office attacking police, the mayor is now scrambling to put the pin back into the grenade he threw into the local body politic. His crusade against the police goes back at least to his election campaign last year when he caustically criticized then-mayor Michael Bloomberg’s stop-and-frisk policy.

De Blasio is appealing for calm and for a temporary suspension of the ugly anti-police protests his incendiary rhetoric has spawned.

Strangely, this far-left radical who, like his ally in the White House never puts politics aside for the benefit of the community, is now asking New Yorkers to do precisely that.

So far the New York Police Department isn’t in a mood to forgive de Blasio who has teamed up with racial arsonist Al Sharpton to lay waste to what’s left of civil society in the Big Apple. Before the two murders Sharpton had been leading marches where the demonstrators chanted, “What do we want? Dead cops.” 

Taking cues from the Westboro Baptist Church, Sharpton followers showed up at one cop memorial service chanting and heckling the mourners.

NYPD union leaders have asked de Blasio to skip police funerals and a large gathering of cops turned their backs on the mayor as he showed up Saturday at the Brooklyn hospital where the lifeless bodies of officers Rafael Ramos, 40, and Wenjian Liu, 32, had been taken after they were shot dead by an adherent of the Religion of Peace.

The shooter, Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsleywas a Muslim apparently upset at what he believed were the racist killings of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. and Eric Garner in Staten Island. He indicated he was planning to kill “pigs,” and as Robert Spencer notes, Brinsleys Facebook page featured a photo of the Quran open to the eighth chapter, where Allah exhorts the believers to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah (8:60).

Senators Vow to Halt Obama’s Castro Odyssey

My article from the Dec. 19, 2014 issue of FrontPage:

Senators Vow to Halt Obama’s Castro Odyssey

By Matthew Vadum

Lawmakers opposed to President Obama’s sudden move to cozy up to Communist Cuba are vowing a full-court press to prevent official diplomatic recognition of the tropical prison republic from going forward.

But it is far from clear if lawmakers will be able to do much about Obama’s Cuban escapades. Presidents typically enjoy great latitude in foreign policy, especially concerning recognition of foreign governments. 

Lawmakers are probably on stronger ground in resisting repeal of the trade embargo that has been in place since the 1960s. On the other hand, Obama has a pen and a phone, as he likes to say, a reference to his brazen contempt for the rule of law and the strictures of the Constitution.

Obama’s dramatic actions are setting off a feeding frenzy as American companies salivate at the prospect of doing business in Cuba. Little do they realize that Cuba, a dilapidated Stalinist state that, thanks to the absence of good paying jobs, serves largely as a seedy sex tourism destination for Europeans and hardly has an economy at all. Some business restrictions were already eased by the U.S. around 2000. Some companies are allowed to sell medical equipment to the Cuban government. There is not much money to be made, at least not initially.

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who are both of Cuban ancestry, have made strong statements about their intentions.

Can We Send Alan Gross Back to Cuba?

My article from the Dec. 18, 2014 issue of American Thinker:

Can We Send Alan Gross Back to Cuba?

By Matthew Vadum

Why did President Obama engineer a prisoner swap with Communist Cuba involving Alan Gross, an American citizen who badmouthed his own country mere hours after he arrived back on U.S. soil?

It turns out that a cabal of left-wing extremists helped to make Gross's release happen.  More on that in a moment.

Just look at the first thing newly freed Gross did upon arriving back in America.  He pulled a cowardly pox-on-both-your-houses stunt, drawing a vile moral equivalency between the U.S. and the brutal, fascistic island hellhole he just escaped. 

Said Gross (italics added):
I also feel compelled to share with you my utmost respect for and fondness of the people of Cuba.  In no way are they responsible for the ordeal to which my family and I have been subjected.  To me cubanos, or at least most of them, are incredibly kind, generous and talented.  It pains me to see them treated so unjustly as a consequence of two governments' mutually belligerent policies.  Five and a half decades of history show us such belligerence inhibits better judgment.  Two wrongs never make a right.  I truly hope that we can now get beyond these mutually belligerent policies and I was very happy to hear what the president had to say today.  It was particularly cool to be sitting next to the secretary of state as he was hearing about his job description for the next couple of months.  In all seriousness, this is a game-changer, which I fully support.
What an odd statement for a man released as part of an international James Bond-style spy swap to make.  Just hours after coming back to America, he's praising President Obama's newly announced plan to normalize relations with Cuba.  It seems staged.

And I may be going out on a limb here, but condemning your own countrymen as imperialist warmongers after they cut a deal to get you repatriated from the clutches of a nasty dictatorship is more than bad form.  It reeks of sedition.