End Of Day Report

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Grimm Gone

Late yesterday evening, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) announced that he would resign from Congress effective January 5th — one day before the new Congress formally meets. Grimm’s resignation was necessitated by last week’s guilty plea on charges of tax evasion, which could send him to jail for three years.

First elected in 2010, Grimm has been dogged by allegations of campaign finance violations since January 2012. The Justice Department has been investigating Grimm for two years.

He began this year with a bout of negative publicity after threatening to throw a reporter off of a Capitol Hill balcony and break him in half.

Given all this controversy, Democrats targeted Grimm for defeat and he was vastly outspent by his Democrat challenger and left-wing groups. Yet he prevailed by a surprisingly large margin in a district that Barack Obama carried.

Grimm was right to resign. The voters of Staten Island deserve better than a congressman who has pled guilty to tax evasion.

Now if only Charlie Rangel would follow Grimm’s example. Rangel, you may recall, had significant tax troubles, but he refused to resign. He was formally censured by the House for violating numerous ethics rules.

Is Scalise Next?

The GOP’s embarrassments were compounded yesterday by news that the number three House leader, Majority Whip Steve Scalise, addressed a group led by racist and Jew-hater David Duke in 2002. At the time, Scalise was serving in the Louisiana legislature.

Scalise claims he had no idea that the group was associated with Duke and that he had a policy of speaking to any group that invited him. But that explanation is falling flat with some conservatives.

RedState’s Erick Erickson wrote: “By 2002, everybody knew Duke was still the man he had claimed not to be. EVERYBODY. How the hell does somebody show up at a David Duke organized event in 2002 and claim ignorance? Trent Lott was driven from the field . . . for something less than this.”

To be clear, David Duke was never a legitimate conservative. While Duke is often identified as a “former” KKK leader, he never abandoned his bigotry.

In recent years, he has become a popular lecturer in the Middle East, aiming his bile at Israel and Jews. For example, Duke claims that radical Islamists did not attack us on 9/11. He blames that atrocity on Israel!

Good people on Capitol Hill are defending Scalise. Even Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, has come to his defense.

(By the way, West Virginia’s Robert Byrd (D) was a member of the KKK and served in the Senate for decades, even as Majority Leader, until his death in 2010.)

I have never seen any evidence that Scalise shares Duke’s racism. But I do know that the Republican Party cannot afford to have this cloud of controversy hanging over it when it is trying to grow the conservative coalition.

This afternoon Speaker John Boehner stood by Scalise. Boehner said that while Scalise made an “error in judgment,” he was “a man of high integrity and good character” who enjoyed Boehner’s “full confidence.”

This controversy may blow over during the holiday weekend. But if his continued presence in the GOP leadership team appears to be harming conservatism’s larger cause, Scalise may have a tough decision to make.

Good News: Abortion Mills Closing

According to a recent survey, 73 abortion facilities shut down in 2014. The state with the most closures was Texas, where 14 abortion facilities went out of business thanks to new legislation mandating commonsense health and safety standards.

The number of surgical abortion mills in America peaked in 1991 at nearly 2,200. Since then, 75% have shut down. This is good news and more evidence that the work of pro-life legislators and organizations is yielding real results!

But so long as Roe v. Wade remains the law of the land, much more work remains to be done. As we prepare to close the books on 2014, I hope you will stand with us in support of our pro-life efforts!

Bad News: Culture of Death Prevails In “Palestine”

This is a time of year when people turn their attention to peace and goodwill. Unless, of course, you are part of the hate-filled, death-worshipping culture that prevails in the Palestinian territories.

The latest viral craze in “Palestine” is a how-to video — unbelievably how to effectively stab and kill a Jew. If you have the stomach for it, you can see it here.

Continued calls for Israeli concessions and a “two-state solution” are delusional as long as this kind of raw hatred permeates the Palestinian mindset.


End Of Day Report

Monday, December 29, 2014

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

GQ’s Left-wing Bias

The end of the year always brings lists of some kind. Lists of celebrities who passed away. Lists of new breakthroughs and products. Lists of new laws taking effect. The biggest blockbuster movies and most popular songs. We can thank GQ for providing this year’s list of the 20 craziest politicians.

A quick scan of the list immediately reveals GQ’s left-wing bias, as 85% of the politicians on the list are Republicans. The writer admits his list is “Republican-heavy” but insists that is not evidence of bias, adding, “the reality is that Democrats just aren’t keeping pace right now in the crazy department.”


Nancy Pelosi didn’t make the list. But this summer she suggested that Hamas was a “humanitarian organization.” A few months later, she said, “Civilization as we know it today would be in jeopardy if Republicans win the Senate.” So Hamas is a bunch of humanitarians, but Republicans are a threat to life as we know it. Now that’s crazy!

If a Democrat accused Republicans of beating women, you might think that would make GQ’s crazy list. But evidently Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz can say anything and get away with it.

During a speech this fall in Wisconsin, she said, “Scott Walker has given women the back of his hand. . . . What Republican, Tea Party extremists like Scott Walker are doing is they are grabbing us by the hair and pulling us back.”

And while he’s not a politician, liberal economist Jonathan Gruber certainly said a lot that qualifies him for any list of crazy quotes.

Obama Touts Tehran

Here’s something Barack Obama said during his recent NPR interview that could qualify him for GQ’s craziest quotes list: While referring to the complex situation in the Middle East, Obama said that Iran could be “a very successful regional power.”

Yet during the same interview, Mr. Obama also admits that Iran “has a track record of state-sponsored terrorism, that we know was attempting to develop a nuclear weapon . . . whose rhetoric is not only explicitly anti-American but also has been incendiary when it comes to its attitude towards the state of Israel.”

For whatever reason, Obama seems to be desperate for Iran to emerge as a “successful regional power.” He’s become something of a pen pal with Iran’s Supreme Leader, sending letters to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, including one last month. And while speaking with NPR, Obama left open the possibility of establishing an embassy in Tehran, just as he has done with Cuba.

Pence In Israel

Indiana Governor Mike Pence is in Israel this week, promoting economic development between Israel and Indiana, as well as visiting historical and cultural sites. He met today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and expressed his deep appreciation and support for the state of Israel. The cultural portion of the governor’s visit is being sponsored by Christians United for Israel.

Governor Pence was also invited to have a Christmas dinner in Ramallah with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. Governor Pence didn’t accept.

You may recall that Barack Obama repeatedly promised to talk to our enemies without any preconditions — as if all of our foreign policy disputes were mere misunderstandings. What does he have to show for all his talk and outreach?

Has Cuba changed for the better? Has the famous “reset” with Russia produced anything beneficial? After repeated letters and renewed engagement, is Iran less of a threat to Israel or our national interests?

Many politicians would be tempted to use the photo-op with Abbas to show how evenhanded and broadminded they are. But Governor Pence correctly refused to meet with a man who incites terrorism and refuses to recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Good for him.

End Of Day Report

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

A Good Week For Tyrants

Castro is crowing in Cuba. The mullahs are merry in Tehran. Kim Jong-un is kicking it up in North Korea.

Saturday, Cuban President Raul Castro delivered an hour-long victory speech before the Cuban National Assembly. The communist spies released by Obama were given a hero’s welcome. A gloating Castro declared, “Now we’ve really won the war.”

He went on to state that any economic reforms would be intended to promote “prosperous and sustainable communism.” And just to clear up any lingering confusion about Obama’s normalization of relations, Castro bluntly stated, “No one should believe that improving relations with the United States means Cuba renouncing its ideas.”

The Obama White House made mindboggling concessions to the Cubans. What exactly did we get out of it?

Not surprisingly, the mullahs in Tehran are looking at Cuba and concluding Obama will cave on sanctions. A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said over the weekend that Cuba’s victory proves that “policies of isolation and sanctions imposed by the major powers . . . are ineffective.”

Those nuclear negotiations just got a lot harder. The Iranians had little incentive to negotiate in good faith before. After seeing Cuba’s resistance get rewarded, they have zero incentive to do anything now.

Meanwhile, the administration’s non-response to North Korea’s cyberattack on Sony continues to disappoint. Before heading off for his Hawaiian vacation, Obama downplayed the attack on Sony as just “cyber-vandalism.”

Today’s Washington Post reports that administration officials asked for China’s help in responding to North Korea’s attack. That’s insane! There is evidence that China likely helped the North Korean hackers. Not surprisingly, Beijing declined to lift a finger.

Yesterday Internet service in North Korea went down for nine hours. Some speculate this might have been U.S. retaliation for the Sony attack, I mean vandalism. If that was Obama’s idea of a “proportional response,” it was a waste of time. Temporarily annoying the hackers by taking down their Internet service for few hours is meaningless.

According to the Associated Press, North Korea is “one of the least-wired and poorest countries in the world.” The AP adds that taking down North Korea’s Internet would be a purely “symbolic” gesture and “probably more inconvenient to foreigners.”

There is much more the administration could do to tighten sanctions and further isolate the Stalinist regime. But I won’t hold my breath.

The Left’s Hate Speech

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Attorney General Eric Holder and Al Sharpton have been scrambling for cover since Saturday’s assassination of two New York City police officers. They are trying to deny any responsibility for the shooting deaths of Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, in spite of months of rhetorical attacks against law enforcement. But the left can’t have it both ways.

The Oklahoma City bombing took place during a time when conservatives were warning that government was becoming too big and too powerful. President Bill Clinton immediately seized on that horrible event and attempted to twist normal conservative beliefs about limited government into “hate speech,” blaming the bombing on Rush Limbaugh and “hate radio.”

I also recall well how the pro-family movement was collectively blamed for the death of Matthew Shepard. Conservatives spent months trying to beat back those canards.

By the left’s own standards, Obama, Holder, de Blasio and Sharpton must bear some culpability for the deaths of Officers Ramos and Liu. Obama encouraged Al Sharpton at the White House to keep the protests “on course.” And we know that there is a significant element among the political left that is prone to violence. The Occupy Wall Street movement amassed quite a rap sheet.

The deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner have been exploited to push a left-wing narrative and inflame racial discord. But there was zero evidence of racism in any of those cases. And in the cases of Brown and Garner, the evidence didn’t even support charges of excessive force by the police. Grand juries refused to indict the police officers, but that didn’t stop the left from indicting all cops collectively and American society generally.

Sadly, it’s not surprising that after months of stoking tensions, a weak response to riots in Ferguson, no defense of the rule of law and no condemnation of radicals chanting, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now,” that someone would act to fulfill that chant.

Saturday night, the head of New York City’s police union said that there was “Blood on many hands.” He’s right. The left deserves its share of collective blame.

Attempting to restore calm to his city yesterday, Mayor de Blasio asked that the protest be suspended until Officers Ramos and Liu are buried. That seems eminently reasonable. But, of course, Al Sharpton is refusing to cooperate.

End Of Day Report

Monday, December 22, 2014

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

New York Officers Assassinated

The mob that marched through a New York City neighborhood chanting, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” had to wait a whole week before getting its hellish wish. Sadly, these disgusting murders were predictable.

After months of demagoguery against the police, two New York City police officers, Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu, were killed as they sat in their patrol car Saturday afternoon. As New York Police Commissioner William Bratton said, “they were quite simply assassinated, targeted for their uniform.”

The American people have heard non-stop rhetoric from the highest officials of our country suggesting that there is an epidemic of police violence all across America. This rhetoric has come from the president, the attorney general, the mayor of New York City and a bevy of other rabble rousers and race baiters like Al Sharpton. The media has done its part with the non-stop news cycle exploiting confrontations between police and criminals.

Here’s what we know about the murderer. Ismaaiyl Brinsley was a career criminal, who had been arrested at least 19 times. You’ll be hard-pressed to find it in most media reports, but his middle name was Abdullah and he reportedly knew Arabic. We don’t know for certain yet, but it is entirely possible that he was a prison convert to Islam.

Brinsley was a member of the Black Guerilla Family, a notorious gang that literally took over the Baltimore city jail. It was reported two weeks ago that this gang was plotting to assassinate New York City police officers. Before he boarded a bus from Baltimore Saturday morning, Brinsley shot his ex-girlfriend.

During the bus trip from Baltimore to New York, Brinsely made it clear what he was planning to do: He was going to kill cops in revenge for the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

In all due respect to the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, there is no moral or legal equivalence between their deaths and the assassinations of these two policemen. Brown and Garner were committing crimes when confronted by law enforcement. They disobeyed lawful police orders and struggled with the officers.

There is no evidence of racism in either of these confrontations. Surely, even the most fanatical leftist would concede that when police officers wrestled Eric Garner to the ground, they did not intend to kill him. In fact, he did not die then, but later on the way to a hospital.

No reasonable person could conclude that Officer Darren Wilson was planning to kill Michael Brown when Wilson told Brown and his friend to stop walking in the middle of the street and get onto the sidewalk. Brown was killed, according to the evidence, after he attempted to take Officer Wilson’s gun.

Officers Ramos and Liu were murdered in cold blood because their assailant woke up Saturday morning intending to “put wings on pigs.”

The Response

Eric Holder and Al Sharpton quickly issued perfunctory statements condemning the brutal murders of Officers Ramos and Liu. But you can’t roil the waters day after day, telling minority families that police officers are a threat to their children, and then try to stand with the cops when something like this happens.

Of course, Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley is responsible for what he did. But the atmosphere created by the left provided the context for this assassin’s actions.

Jaden Ramos, the 13 year-old son of Rafael Ramos, posted a heartbreaking tribute to his father Saturday:

“Today is the worst day of my life. Today I had to say bye to my father. He was [there] for me everyday of my life, he was the best father I could ask for. It’s horrible that someone gets shot dead just for being a police officer. Everyone says they hate cops but they are the people that they call for help. I will always love you and I will never forget you. RIP Dad.”

Will there be demonstrations and marches around America in support of Officers Ramos and Liu? Will public officials condemn the epidemic of gang and drug violence that is plaguing our cities?

Police chiefs around the country are warning officers to be extremely vigilant. In addition to this horrible incident, a police officer in Tarpon Springs, Florida, was shot and killed. And a memorial to fallen police officers in Oakland, California, was torn down.

You’ll recall that in recent weeks intelligence agencies have warned law enforcement personnel that they may be targets of radical Islamists. Last month, New York City police officers were attacked by an ax-wielding jihadist.

Recent polling finds that a majority of Americans believes race relations have gotten worse since Obama’s election.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, following the left’s divide and conquer strategy, has turned his city into a tinder box. When de Blasio entered a room Saturday for a press conference after the attack, police officers turned their backs on him.

Two weeks ago, the police union launched an online petition telling Mayor de Blasio that he wasn’t welcome at police funerals. I doubt anyone realized that more funerals would be happening so soon.

But in a very fundamental way, I don’t think these murders are essentially about race. One police officer was Hispanic, the other was Asian. The color of their skin didn’t matter to the assassin. It was the color of the uniform they were wearing. This is about good guys and bad guys, and both come in all colors.

It is time for people of good will of every race to stand together against the race baiters, cop haters and modern day barbarians trying to sink our civilization into another dark age.

Each of us can show our appreciation for the brave men and women in uniform. The next time you see someone in the military, a police officer or firefighter, thank them for their service. Remember them and their families in your prayers.

Even though American Values is in the middle of own year-end fundraising campaign, I encourage you to support organizations that assist the families of our fallen heroes.

For example, the Silver Shield Foundation, established by the late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, has already promised to fund the education of Rafael Ramos’ children. Another worthy organization is the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation.

End Of Day Report

Friday, December 19, 2014

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Obama’s Meaningless Response

Proving that appeasement never works, the North Korean hackers are now making additional demands of Sony. According to CNN, Sony executives received a new threat last night stating:

“It’s very wise that you have made the decision to cancel the release of The Interview. . . . Now we want you [to] never let the movie [be] released, distributed or leaked in any form . . . And we want everything related to the movie, including its trailers . . . down from any website hosting them immediately.”

The Obama Administration says it is considering a “proportional response.” Seriously? Is the Obama NSA supposed to go and hack a North Korean movie studio now? That is a meaningless response.

Our enemies have seen that they can cripple a major company and censor our media with impunity. But this is really far more serious. Movies are nothing compared to our utilities and financial sector.

The Left’s Assault On Christmas

You know it’s Christmas when the left-wing Scrooges come out and start attacking Christianity. Every year they do their best to turn this season of cheer into one of jeer. I don’t know about you, but if this life is all there is, that’s pretty depressing. No wonder atheists are such a grumpy bunch!

And this year is no exception. At the beginning of the month, billboards went up in four states with a picture of little girl writing a letter to Santa. It reads somewhat ironically, “Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas this year is to skip church. I’m too old for fairy tales.”

The billboards were put up by the group American Atheists. According to the group’s press release, “these billboards are located . . . to be near schools and churches.”

American Atheists President David Silverman said, “Even children know churches spew absurdity. . . Today’s adults have no obligation to pretend to believe the lies their parents believed. It’s OK to admit that your parents were wrong about God, and it’s definitely OK to tell your children the truth.”

The truth is that one day every knee will bend before the King of Kings.

Not to be outdone, a satanic temple in Tallahassee, Florida, has petitioned to have its holiday display featured alongside a nativity scene, menorah and Christmas tree in the capitol rotunda. The temple’s display consists of a “diorama of an angel falling into hell.”

Thanks to left-wing judges, who have perverted the meaning of the Constitution’s Establishment Clause, the satanic temple’s display was approved, along with one from the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. You just can’t make this up.

Christ was kicked out of the public schools years ago, but one liberal enclave in Massachusetts is now giving Santa Claus the boot. The Andrew Peabody Elementary School in Cambridge banned Santa Claus from this year’s “winter concert.” Did you get that folks? It wasn’t even a Christmas concert. But presumably Santa Claus (St. Nicholas?) is so closely connected to Christmas, he’s out of the winter concert.

And, of course, we’re greeted this season with a deluge of articles telling us that Mary really wasn’t a virgin, that Jesus was married or that he didn’t exist at all.

Yes, yesterday’s Washington Post treated us to a column by Raphael Lataster (a “professionally secular PhD researcher at the University of Sydney”) who attempted to cast doubt, not only on the deity of Christ, but his historical existence as well. I won’t hold my breath waiting for Mr. Lataster’s critique of Islam and the life of Muhammad.

The Left’s Attack On Christianity

Don’t miss the bigger picture, my friends. The attack on Christmas is an attack on Christianity.

During a recent Fox News interview, Reverend Franklin Graham said, “It’s all over the country — you have the secularists and humanists who wanted to take Jesus Christ out of His birthday and they want to deny He ever existed.”

Reverend Graham then urged Christians to speak up and defend religious liberty. Graham said, “I think it’s time Christians need to write their politicians, need to stand up and defend their rights because if you don’t, we’ll lose them. And we’re already losing them — just one at a time.”

Cruise With Kristol, Barnes & Bauer

Have you ever wanted to take a cruise to Alaska? If so, here’s the perfect opportunity!

Join Bill Kristol, Fred Barnes and me for The Weekly Standard’s 20th anniversary Alaska cruise. In addition to the majestic beauty of God’s creation, you’ll enjoy panel discussions, seminars and numerous social events.

Cabins are going fast, so make your reservation today. Click here for more information.

I look forward to seeing you in Alaska!

End Of Day Report

Thursday, December 18, 2014

To: Friends & Supporters

From: Gary L. Bauer

Obama’s Christmas For Dictators

Dictators all over the world are receiving the gift they desired most — America handcuffed by a president intent on giving them whatever they want. Yesterday it was the Castro brothers turn to sit on Obama’s lap and get their goodies.

Cuba’s communist government has its back against the wall. Russia is reeling from falling oil prices and couldn’t bail Cuba out. The same is true for Cuba’s socialist ally, Venezuela. And then along comes “Obama Claus.”

Even the liberal Washington Post’s lead editorial today accused Obama of giving Cuba a “bailout.” The Post editors wrote: “President Obama granted the regime everything on its wish list. . .” They quoted Cuba’s leading dissident blogger, Yoani Sanchez, who said yesterday, “Castroism has won,” and sadly observed that freedom fighters like her in Cuba will have to endure the gloating of their oppressors.

While Obama was speaking to the American people yesterday and claiming that our “isolation” of the Cuban regime was a failure (It was not a failure — it succeeded in marginalizing Cuba’s dictatorial government), Raul Castro spoke to the Cuban people for four minutes. He used his brief address to dig in his heels and defend his communist/socialist regime.

Congressional Republicans were loud and strong in their condemnation of Obama’s move, including Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Ryan. But Senator Rand Paul broke ranks and said more trade with Cuba was “a good thing.” I don’t know what Paul’s strategy is, but siding with Obama, Hillary and Jimmy Carter doesn’t seem like a winner for 2016.

Elliott Abrams made perhaps the most insightful observation on the impact of Obama’s move. You can read it here. His point: The world just saw our 50-year old foreign policy on Cuba change in the blink of Obama’s eye — and not because Cuba changed for the better. Fears among our allies will grow that he could do the same rash thing with Iran or China.

Sony’s Surrender On Free Speech

I touched on this yesterday, but I want to revisit the Sony movie disaster. It is easy to laugh at — particularly watching Hollywood liberals discover the evil of communism as it hits their bottom line. But it really isn’t a laughing matter. Think of what other hackers and terrorists will learn from this sorry episode.

Sony is a private company that came under attack from North Korean hackers, and it caved. But the implications go way beyond Sony, and once again the Obama Administration is doing nothing in the face of a North Korean attack on a major company. According to one estimate, Sony could lose $200 million.

North Korea is an impoverished country in which nothing works. It’s been described as one giant prison camp. Its people face routine starvation. It can’t even produce enough power to keep its lights on at night.

Yet this basket case of a nation has enough computer hackers to wage a cyberwar against the United States and prevail. As Newt Gingrich tweeted yesterday, “No one should kid themselves. With the Sony collapse America has lost its first cyberwar. This is a very, very dangerous precedent.”

And why wouldn’t North Korea think it would win when it has watched Iranian, Russian and Chinese hackers attacks our banks, government agencies, utilities and defense companies, while business under Obama goes on as usual?

Bill Kristol makes a great point in an editorial you can read here. He notes that there is precedent for Sony’s surrender.

Recall the reaction of the Obama Administration, and the West in general, when someone writes a book or produces a movie critical of Islam or threatens to burn the Koran. When radical Muslims riot and threaten us with violence, the first reaction of Western officials is to stifle free speech, rather than the radicals.

Kristol quotes Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn who noted years ago that Western Civilization was losing its courage. History shows that when a nation or culture goes soft, loses its courage, it may well be in the final throes of decline.

Democrats In Decline

Yesterday, six weeks after the November elections, the final House race was called. Republican Martha McSally defeated incumbent Democrat Ron Barber in Arizona’s Second Congressional District by 167 votes. With McSally’s win, House Republicans next year will control 247 seats to 188 for Democrats, the GOP’s largest House majority since 1931.

Democrats got more bad news yesterday from the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, which found that only 26% of Americans now identify as Democrats. That is the lowest level of Democratic Party allegiance in the poll’s 34-year history. Much of the party’s decline can be attributed to President Obama’s unpopularity. For example:

  • 54% of Americans disapprove of Obama’s overall job performance.
  • 52% disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy.
  • 54% disapprove of Obama’s handling of foreign policy.
  • 55% disapprove of his handling of immigration.

    In addition, 47% of Americans trust congressional Republicans to do a better job of managing the economy, while 38% trust Obama more. And 48% of Americans have more faith in Republicans to better manage immigration issues, while 39% trust Obama more.

  • End Of Day Report

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    To: Friends & Supporters

    From: Gary L. Bauer

    Obama Coddles Castro

    Today at the White House, amid great fanfare, President Obama announced a new policy toward Cuba. But it is nothing more than the same old left-wing appeasement.

    Obama declared that America’s foreign policy toward Cuba — instituted by John F. Kennedy and carried out by subsequent Democratic and Republican administrations — was “outdated.” The president said, “We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.”

    As usual, Obama misunderstands American policy. It is Cuba’s failed economic system and brutal political repression that is “outdated.” Our values are not the ones that need changing. Our policies are not the problem.

    Nevertheless, Obama “extended a hand of friendship” in the interest of “normalizing relations” with the communist Castro regime. He vowed to open a new embassy in Havana and announced that his administration was further relaxing restrictions on travel and cash remittances to Cuba.

    As part of this thaw in relations, the Vatican reportedly played a key role in securing a prisoner swap. I am pleased that American Alan Gross is now free after five years in a Cuban jail. This is a happy time for Gross and his family. But, as usual, Obama is the worst negotiator — he agreed to release three Cuban spies.

    Obama’s announcement was greeted on Capitol Hill with bi-partisan criticism. Speaker John Boehner blasted the policy change as “another in a long line of mindless concessions.” Boehner added, “Relations with the Castro regime should not be revisited, let alone normalized, until the Cuban people enjoy freedom — and not one second sooner.”

    Florida’s Senator Marco Rubio ripped Obama’s move as “part of a long record of coddling dictators and tyrants,” adding that Obama is “constantly giving unilateral concessions in exchange for nothing.” Rubio also noted it would take an act of Congress to repeal the trade embargo.

    Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, “President Obama’s actions have vindicated the brutal behavior of the Cuban government. . . . Trading Mr. Gross for three convicted criminals sets an extremely dangerous precedent.”

    Our Increasingly Dangerous World

    Internet hacking may not seem that significant compared to challenges posed by Russia, China, Iran and radical Islam. But the current attack on Sony offers a glimpse into the future.

    American corporations and the U.S. government are under constant cyberattack. And the people most responsible for these attacks are in Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. The Obama Administration has done little, beyond encouraging the private sector to build more firewalls and install better virus protection software. But the time may be coming when we must act on the Pentagon’s 2011 conclusion that cyberattacks can be an act of war.

    The group behind the Sony cyberattack, the Guardians of Peace, is most likely being directed by North Korea. Sony was about to release a comedy about the CIA attempting to assassinate North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. The code used in the attack was written in Korean and is similar to “a presumed North Korean digital assault on South Korean banks and broadcasters last year.”

    While we may laugh at the hypocritical emails of Sony’s elite liberal executives, this is a very serious attack — a form of economic terrorism likely to cost Sony tens of millions of dollars, if not much more.

    The group has also issued a threat, invoking the September 11th attacks, against theaters that show the film. The New York premier has been cancelled, theater chains are refusing to show the movie and the stars of the film have cancelled promotional tours. But Hollywood’s appeasement sends the wrong message. Caving in to the demands of terrorists only reinforces their perception that terror threats work.

    We know that foreign hackers have been probing banks, Wall Street and utility companies for years. Earlier this year, Iranian hackers attacked the Las Vegas Sands casino in revenge for comments made by CEO Sheldon Adelson. Reports indicate that the White House, State Department, Postal Service, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have also been hacked in recent months.

    There is deep concern that the next war will begin — and perhaps end — with a massive assault on the electronic/Internet infrastructure that we increasingly rely on.

    The Establishment Primary

    You’ve probably heard that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is setting up a committee to “actively explore” a presidential run in 2016. The buzz in Washington is that he jumped in so early because he’s worried that more and more of the establishment’s big money donors are lining up with Mitt Romney or Chris Christie. It seems the primary to decide who will be the establishment nominee is well underway.

    We all remember how in 2008 a young man of color burst on the scene, captured the imagination of America’s youth and coasted to the White House amid tremendous symbolism and hope. And of course, the person in 2016 who can revitalize the passion of the Millennial generation after eight years of malaise is. . . Hillary Clinton.

    Seriously? If there is anything more boring than Republicans nominating another Bush, it’s Democrats nominating another Clinton. Watch this video and see just how stunned some college students were to learn how old and out-of-touch Hillary really is.

    A recent McClatchy-Marist poll found good and bad news for Bush and Clinton as they ponder their presidential ambitions. Jeb and Hillary were favorites in the poll for their respective party nominations. But I suspect that had more to do with name recognition than anything else.

    The poll also found that 64% of Republicans felt it was “more important to have a nominee who will stand on conservative principles than it is to have a nominee who can win.” Clearly Bush’s biggest selling point can’t be just a name and his supposed “electability.”

    As for Clinton, the poll found that by a 20-point margin (58% to 38%) Democrats want a nominee to “move the nation in a new direction” rather than “continue President Obama’s policies.” If Democrats are seeking a clean break from Obama, his former Secretary of State might not be their ideal candidate after all.