McCarthy: Why Obama Needs to Pretend the Taliban Aren’t Terrorists (5)

The administration makes a desperate and indefensible claim.

No doubt because of my background investigating, prosecuting, and studying terrorism, the cynical claim by White House spokesmen that the Taliban is not a terrorist organization has annoyed me even more than the Obama administration’s nonstop lying usually does. No surprise then that I could be found railing about it on The Kelly File Thursday night.

In that spirit, ten thoughts for the weekend:

1. Under federal law, there are only three requirements for a group to qualify as a “foreign terrorist organization”: It has to be (a) foreign, (b) engaged in “terrorist activity” (bombings, assassinations, etc., carried out to intimidate people and change policy), and (c) a national-security threat to the United States. The law that covers this is Sec. 1189(a) of Title 8, U.S. Code, from the federal Immigration and Nationality Act. It’s here, and it’s just the first few lines — even a president who routinely ignores the laws he is sworn to execute faithfully should be able to make some time for it, maybe on the plane ride between the golf course and the Saudi palace.

2. Obviously, even if it were true, as posited by Messrs. Schultz and Earnest (speaking for President Obama), that the Taliban is concerned only with Afghanistan, not with the global jihad, that would be irrelevant. They easily fit the definition of a foreign terrorist organization.


See Also:

#1 — Hagel: White House Pressured Me on Gitmo Prisoner Releases

#2 — Texas Gov. Abbott Declaring ‘Chris Kyle Day’ in Sniper’s Honor

#3 — Biden: Democrats Have Made Tough Decisions That Are ‘Hard To Explain’

#4 — Israeli claims of major Obama concessions to Iran ‘complete nonsense,’ US says


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Afternoon Update January 31st, 2015 (10)


#1 — CNews | Del Mastro fundraiser didn’t break rules: Elections Canada

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. — A $40,000 fundraiser for former MP Dean Del Mastro didn’t break any rules, the commissioner of Elections Canada has ruled.


#2 — CTV | Inadequate design behind B.C. tailings dam failure: report

VICTORIA — The construction of a mine tailings pond on top of a sloped glacial lake at British Columbia’s Mount Polley mine weakened the foundation of the dam and was akin to loading a gun and then pulling the trigger, a report on the disaster concluded.


#3 — Globe | Canadian workers have fundamental right to strike, top court rules

The Supreme Court of Canada has declared the right to strike to be fundamental and protected by the Constitution, thus handing organized labour its second stunning victory this month.


#4 — Postmedia | Serial robber who targeted three western provinces arrested in Grande Prairie

After nearly two months, RCMP have caught up with a man believed to be behind at least nine armed bank robberies across three provinces.


#5 — Sun | Ontario nurses’ strike leaves hospitals in the lurch

LONDON, Ontario – A strike by nurses who co-ordinate home care has pushed overcrowded Ontario hospitals into uncharted waters that could strand patients in wards and back up emergency rooms.



#6 — BBC | Romney 2016: Requiem for a presidential dream

“After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it is best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee.”


#7 — CNN | Experts raise alarm as plague kills dozens in Madagascar

(CNN)An outbreak of the plague has killed dozens in Madagascar, and experts fear those numbers could go up.


#8 — Fox | Saudi Arabia faces ISIS threats during transition of new king

ISIS recruits from Saudi Arabia have their sights set on seizing their oil-rich homeland, and may be preparing to strike while the Kingdom’s throne is changing hands, according to Middle East intelligence experts.


#9 — DM | Prince Charles: Hellbent on being a meddling monarch

Not long ago, Prince Charles was being driven round the Victoria Monument in front of Buckingham Palace when he started reminiscing to an aide about his childhood. He recalled how, as a boy, he always saw crowds gathering at the Palace to cheer the Queen when she came home from an overseas trip.

‘The people really came out for my mother,’ he said, before adding gloomily: ‘They’ll never come out for me.’


#10 — WT House Democrats itching for fight with GOP, battle for majority takeover in 2016

PHILADELPHIA — After three days of plotting political strategy and a fiery pep talk by President Obama, House Democrats left their annual conference here Friday supercharged for a fight with the Republican-run Congress and boasting about winning back the majority in 2016.


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Eurozone heads towards ‘protracted’ deflation as bloc hit by record price drop (10)

Eurozone prices suffered their joint biggest drop in the single currency’s history in January, sparking fears that the bloc could sink into a deflationary trap as falling energy prices began to feed through to the broader price chain.

Consumer prices in the eurozone were 0.6pc lower than a year earlier, following deflation of 0.2pc in December, according to a preliminary estimate by Eurostat.

This is the biggest annual drop in prices since July 2009, when prices also fell by 0.6pc, and matches the biggest fall since the euro was launched in 1999. Economists expected prices to fall by 0.5pc in January.

The decline was led by a 8.9pc annual fall in energy costs. However, there were also signs that the recent tumble in the oil price was spilling over to the wider price chain.


See Also:

#1 — UKIP claim panicked Tories are offering them election deals if they ‘call off the dogs’

#2 — Conservatives will NOT enter ‘pacts or deals’ with Ukip, claims Tory chairman Grant Shapps

#3 — Foreign aid commitment is an expensive mistake

#4 — Slough Conservatives leader Diana Coad in UKIP defection

#5 — German defense minister plans long-term modernization of military

Afternoon Update:

#6 — Merkel rejects debt relief for Greece

#7 — Greek government refuses to work with troika

#8 — Spain: Podemos holds Madrid mass ‘March for Change’

#9 — Greek bank debt plummets as investors head for the exit

#10 — Creditor ‘troika': Greece’s loathed symbol of austerity

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Romney announces he will not run for president in 2016

Mitt Romney announced Friday he will not run for president in 2016, after briefly flirting with a third White House run — a decision that only slightly narrows the crowded field of potential Republican candidates.

“After putting considerable thought into making another run for president, I’ve decided it’s best to give other leaders in the party the opportunity to become our next nominee,” Romney told donors on a conference call Friday morning.

The announcement comes after the 2012 GOP nominee, who repeatedly denied interest in another campaign, surprised donors earlier this month by telling them he was considering it.

Since then, the former Massachusetts governor spent three weeks calling donors and strategists and giving a handful of addresses, including to a Republican National Committee summit. But while some from his former campaign team were willing to wait for his decision, others were already gravitating toward the budding campaign of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.


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Krauthammer: Do we really mean ‘never again’?

Amid the ritual expressions of regret and the pledges of “never again” on Tuesday’s 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a bitter irony was noted: Anti-Semitism has returned to Europe. With a vengeance.

It has become routine. If the kosher-grocery massacre in Paris hadn’t happened in conjunction with Charlie Hebdo, how much worldwide notice would it have received? As little as did the murder of a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse. As little as did the terror attack that killed four at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.

The rise of European anti-Semitism is, in reality, just a return to the norm. For a millennium, virulent Jew-hatred — persecution, expulsions, massacres — was the norm in Europe until the shame of the Holocaust created a temporary anomaly wherein anti-Semitism became socially unacceptable.

The hiatus is over. Jew-hatred is back, recapitulating the past with impressive zeal. Italians protesting Gaza handed out leaflets calling for a boycott of Jewish merchants. As in the 1930s. A widely popular French comedian has introduced a variant of the Nazi salute. In Berlin, Gaza brought out a mob chanting, “Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come out and fight alone!” Berlin, mind you.


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Anti-terror bill briefing for MPs scheduled during question period

A briefing tomorrow for MPs regarding the government’s proposed anti-terror legislation is set for a rather inconvenient time: the middle of question period.

Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney’s office sent an invitation to MPs on Wednesday to tell them the briefing on the latest anti-terrorism measures will be held at 11:30 a.m. Friday, just down the hall from the House of Commons.

Question period on Fridays runs earlier than on other days, starting at 11 a.m. ET rather than 2 p.m.

It could be difficult for MPs to choose where to be: question period is the only time opposition MPs have to question cabinet ministers about legislation, spending and other issues. Other than votes, it’s also the only time most MPs can be expected in the House.

But a briefing on newly tabled legislation can be vital to understanding the intention behind a bill’s measures — and to spotting potential trouble spots.

A Friday briefing would be difficult enough for most MPs to attend, since many are at home in their ridings by then, or travelling home.


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Arctic Council meeting sets up awkward Russian visit to Canada (with video)

The federal government is set to host a high-level Russian delegation on Canadian soil in April, despite a deep freeze in relations between the two countries over the crisis in Ukraine.

The Russian officials will be participating in an Arctic Council meeting in Iqaluit, during which Canada will complete its two-year chairmanship of the eight-nation circumpolar group.

Delegations from the other six Arctic Council countries – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and the United States – will also attend. Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq, who serves as Arctic Council minister, will lead the meeting.


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Senate Liberals in hustings limbo as election campaign nears

They are the elder statesmen of the Liberal party’s election machine — yet many will sit on the sidelines during this year’s campaign.

It’s an unusual position for many in what’s called the Senate Liberal caucus, as they look ahead to the vote this year. Although they call themselves Liberals, a year ago this week they were kicked out of the federal Liberal caucus without warning by Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau.

Senate Liberals who were once in charge of the national campaign, or contributed mightily to its successes and failures, now find themselves in political no-man’s-land: They are still Liberal party members, and they want to see the party win, but they are not necessarily welcome on the hustings.

“We have to be sensitive to the new times that we live in,” said Sen. Jim Munson, who has been an active campaigner in the past, even flying on the Liberal leader’s plane as a campaign organizer in the past.


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Fernandez: The Lying Sleeps Tonight

Jonathan Ray of the National Interest examines the question of how China builds weapons that it declares are immoral. “Why does China develop weapons systems that it opposes? China criticizes U.S. ballistic missile defense (BMD) systems, but conducted three BMD tests of its own from 2010 to 2014. China regularly supports a treaty to ban space weapons, but has repeatedly tested an anti-satellite (ASAT) system.”

Why? Because the Chinese have realized that given a choice between what is real and what is depicted on paper, Western leaders always believe the paper. Incredulously, unbelieving at first but with growing confidence they realized they can treat Western leaders with the same contempt that European traders once showed to primitive tribesmen in the Amazon or Congo rain forests.

The canny Fidel Castro, Putin or ISIS, like the Chinese understand that the Western elites have degenerated into a kind of superstition-ridden clique, as much in bondage to political correctness as those inhabitants of the Congo or Amazon were to their inchoate ideas which the European explorers ruthlessly exploited. Except now the situation is reversed. Today it is the inhabitants of great Western capitals who can be held at bay by nothing more than a few televised dramatics or a hashtag on Twitter, by a little sleight of hand.


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