President Obama came into office promising to be the opposite of George W. Bush, but he is imitating his predecessor in one regard — his second-term slide in popularity is almost a mirror image of the Republican’s declining fortunes in 2005.
Mr. Obama’s job-approval ratings in most polls this month were 40 percent or lower, down from 54 percent at the start of the year and the lowest of his presidency. Mr. Bush’s popularity in December 2005 stood at 43 percent, down from a high of 57 percent near the beginning of his second term and less than half the 90 percent-plus approval ratings in the days after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Only Watergate-plagued Richard Nixon had a worse rating than Mr. Obama at the same point of his presidency, in 1973. Although presidents tend to lose some public approval after winning second terms, Mr. Obama’s numbers slipped more quickly than most others. Read more…
Legality and Legitimacy Conference with Professor Alan Dershowitz – Insitute for National Secdurity Studies
Dysfunctional. Rocky. Frosty. There are a variety of terms pundits have used to describe the relationship between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama over the past five years. Though the atmospherics improved somewhat after Obama’s 2013 trip to Israel, the relationship has chilled again in the wake of the nuclear deal with Iran. And it’s about to get a lot worse.
Only five years ago, Obama was a political and cultural phenomenon, a transformative leader who millions of young Americans expected to usher in age of domestic unity and international cooperation. Read more…
* Trust is broken. A host of opinion polls tell a blunt story. Public approval of the United States Congress has recently slumped to a single figure — 9 percent, says Gallup.
* In a 2013 survey of 114,000 people in 107 countries, Transparency International found that one person in four was forced to pay a bribe, be it by policemen, public hospital workers or school teachers and administrators.
Turkey’s Islamist government is being rocked by the most sweeping corruption scandal of its tenure. Roughly two dozen figures, including well-connected business tycoons and the sons of top government ministers, have been charged with a wide range of financial crimes. The charges ballooned into a full-blown crisis on Dec. 25 when three ministers implicated in the scandal resigned, with one making a dramatic call for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to step down as well. An exhausted-looking Erdogan subsequently appeared on television in the evening to announce a Cabinet reshuffle that replaced a total of 10 ministers.
The drama surrounding two personalities are particularly eye-popping: Police reportedly discovered shoeboxes containing $4.5 million in the home of Suleyman Aslan, the CEO of state-owned Halkbank, and also arrested Reza Zarrab, an Iranian businessman who primarily deals in the gold trade, and who allegedly oversaw deals worth almost $10 billion last year alone. Read more…
You Go General Al Sisi. Terrorism has deep root in White House, most of the Obama’s associates are members of the Muslim Brotherhood, just think about the Obama’s Muslim empathy, first his deep affection for Mohamed Morsi in Egypt, then his defense of the Muslim terrorists in Libya over Benghazi scandal , then his appeasing policy in Syria, which led to Islamic terrorists buildup, and lately his sucker’s deal with Iranian Mullahs. Obama is the main responsible person for the Proliferation of Islamic terrorism in the world; if you want to stop the deployment of terrorism you need to put an end to Obama’s presidency!!! [DID]
Published on Dec 25, 2013
Egypt’s military-backed interim government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization Wednesday, intensifying its campaign of arrests, and tightening the noose on the group’s network of charities and businesses. (Dec. 25)
Just before Congress recessed for the holidays, 26 senators — 13 Democrats and 13 Republicans, led by Senators Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) and Mark Kirk (R., Ill.) —
introduced the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013. Its purpose: to ready new sanctions that would be triggered only if Iran’s rulers either fail to meet the obligations they have undertaken under a “Joint Plan of Action” or foot-drag on talks meant to lead to a “comprehensive agreement.” That agreement is to offer the theocrats a simple deal: relief from increasing economic isolation and pressure in exchange for the verifiable dismantling of their nuclear-weapons program — an illegal program condemned by six U.N. Security Council resolutions.
The bill has displeased Iran’s rulers and infuriated many on the American left. “Saboteur Sen. Launching War Push,” ran the histrionic headline aboveMenendez’s photo in the Huffington Post last week. Read more…
As of this moment more than 150,000 Syrians have been killed, Assad is still in power and killing more people every day by dropping
barrel bombs over their heads, 9 million Syrians have been homeless and displaced within and outside the Syria’s borders. Syrian refugees are residing in a deplorable living condition across the borders. While Obama boasts to his appeasing foreign policy, his dogma in Syria has led to inconceivable growth in number of the Islamists and Al-Qaeda in the country, which has boosted the security threat not only in the region but around the globe. Obama cannot be called as an honorable man because an honorable person stands and fight for what is right, he not only did not stand against the intervention of the Iranian Mullahs’ terrorists in Syria (which would be the right thing to do), on the contrary he helped them out financially by lifting some of their sanctions so that they can continue helping Assad slaughtering the Syrian people. The end result has been the accumulations of Islamists, Al-Qaeda groups, and the Mullahs’ terrorists in Syria and neighboring countries, enough apocalyptic power to turn the whole Middle East upside down. [DID]
IT WAS astonishing to hear President Obama, in the preamble to his end-of-year news conference last week, cite Syria as one of his foreign policy successes.
“[J]ust as we’re strengthening our position here at home, we’re also standing up for our interests around the world,” Mr. Obama said. “This year we’ve demonstrated that with clear-eyed, principled diplomacy, we can pursue new paths to a world that’s more secure, a future where Iran does not build a nuclear weapon, a future where Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles are destroyed.”
Unfortunately, the White House press corps was not as struck by this boast as were we, and there were no follow-up questions. Here’s what we would have asked: Read more…
Last summer, while Jake Sullivan was traveling with his boss, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he quietly disappeared during a stop in Paris. He showed up again a few days later, rejoining Clinton’s traveling contingent in Mongolia.
In between, Sullivan secretly jetted to the Middle Eastern nation of Oman to meet with officials from Iran, people familiar with the trip said. The July 2012 meeting is one of the Obama administration’s earliest known face-to-face contacts with Iran and reveals that Sullivan – who moved from the State Department to the White House earlier this year – was personally involved in the administration’s outreach to the Islamic republic far earlier than had been reported.
Senior administration officials had previously confirmed to The Associated Press that Sullivan and other officials held at least five secret meetings with Iran this year, paving the way for an interim nuclear agreement signed in November by Iran, the United States and five other world powers. Read more…
As world powers debate what a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran should look like, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to maintain that Israel is not bound by the interim agreement that the P5+1 and Iran struck in Geneva on November 24. Israel, says Netanyahu, “has the right and the obligation to defend itself.” One question then is whether Netanyahu actually intends to strike Iranian nuclear facilities. The other question, no less important, is whether Israel could really pull it off.
American analysts are divided on Israel’s ability to take effective military action. However, history shows that Israel’s military capabilities are typically underestimated. The Israel Defense Forces keep finding creative ways to deceive and cripple their targets by leveraging their qualitative advantages in manners that confound not only skeptical observers but also, and more important, Israel’s enemies. Read more…
It was the tail end of one of the bloodiest periods in Syrian history—what one intellectual called “the hunting time.” In Damascus, a white Peugeot 504 idled on every other corner with mukhabarat, or secret police, inside. Corruption and smuggling were ubiquitous; at least 30 percent of the country’s GDP, and probably much more, came from the black market. Everyday goods like bananas and paper tissues were hard to find; jet skis were practically unknown.
Bashar was 16 years old, a pudgy, frizzy-haired kid with chipmunk cheeks and a double chin he would never grow out of. He had his own bodyguards but was so shy about his appearance that he would cover his teeth with his hands when he smiled. Read more…
There are two reasons Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan may not survive the current government corruption scandals in Turkey. And if he does, the cost to the “Turkish model” will be enormous.
The first is, well, the corruption charges. An important key to the success of the AK, or Justice and Development, Party that Erdogan helped to create in 2001 lay in its initials: AK means “white” in Turkish, and it can also mean “pure.” Turks were sick of the unaccountable corruption of previous governments. The AK Party rode a promise of purity to power.