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    Charles Krauthammer Tag

    What is the line between political hyperbole and utter fantasy? Whatever it is, President Obama has completely crossed that particular Rubicon. I recently noted that his assertions that America has become more respected internationally under his watch were not quite based in reality. Now, it appears he has delusions regarding his faith:
    Speaking to, top Obama confidant David Axelrod described a moment where the president expressed exasperation to him over being derided as anti-Israel by some. “You know, I think I am the closest thing to a Jew that has ever sat in this office,” the president claimed, according to Axelrod. “For people to say that I am anti-Israel, or, even worse, anti-Semitic, it hurts.”
    Given President Obama's treatment of Bibi Netanyahu over the years, and the troubling deal with Iran that my colleague David Gerstman reviews, I must admit to being a bit perplexed.

    The Obama administration's recent claim that their strategy against ISIS is working is being met with skepticism. On Special Report Thursday night, Charles Krauthammer pointed out the farce of their position. Transcript via Real Clear Politics:
    The administration is sounding like Baghdad Bob during the invasion of Iraq. They're losing. Everybody understands that. ISIS, it wasn't only that they took over in Iraq, but it took over the town of -- the city of Amara in Syria which gives them control of half of Syria and later in the day today, they took over a crucial crossing point between Syria and Iraq, essentially erasing the frontier and making it easier to resupply Ramadi. These are huge strategic gains. They're not tactical defeats. And what Obama says, well, it's not because it's the guys trained by us who were in Ramadi, this is nuts. The idea is if you're going to have success, you have to have training and you have to have will. The idea that what the Iraqis are lacking is training is ridiculous. We've been training them for 15 years. If the troops haven't got their heart in the battle, it will not succeed. And that's what happened in Mosul when they ran away and that's what happened in Ramadi when they ran away.
    Here's the video via Newsbusters: Krauthammer isn't alone in this view.

    You may have noticed that our unbiased media is asking Republicans lots of questions about the Iraq War. Hillary Clinton is the only 2016 candidate who voted for the Iraq War as a senator; she was also directly involved with the war in her role at the State Department. Perhaps she deserves a few similar questions---when she finally decides to take one. Last night, Bill O'Reilly opened his show by discussing new initiatives America is taking to deal with ISIS, but as Charles Krauthammer pointed out, there are many questions Hillary Clinton still has to answer on this subject. As a senator, she opposed the surge in Iraq and implied that David Petraeus was lying during his congressional testimony. Does she still agree? Clinton was the secretary of state when we pulled out of Iraq in 2011. Was that a mistake?

    George Stephanopoulos worked in the Bill Clinton administration as a senior adviser. In what way is he qualified to question the author of a book which seeks to expose alleged corruption of the Clintons? Peter Schweizer holds his own in this interview despite the aggressive and skeptical questions hurled at him throughout the discussion. Stephanopoulos is not so much a journalist, he's a member of the palace guard. It's quite clear which side he's on in this situation.

    David Frum's naive delight in what he seems certain is Elizabeth Warren's completely pure and altruistic populism leads him to insist that she'll run for president, despite her repeated statements that she will notHe writes,
    By now Warren knows (assuming she didn’t know before she arrived there) that the only thing the Senate can offer somebody like her is the velvety asphyxiation of every idealistic hope. If what you like best is the sound of your own voice and the deference of those around you, then a senatorship is a wonderful job. If you’re in politics to accomplish things, the institution must be almost unbearable. Can Warren bear it? The endless talk, talk, talk? The scoldings from White House aides whenever she says or does something they deem unhelpful? The merciless editing of her speech at the next Democratic National Convention —and the surgical exclusion from the innermost council of the party leadership? That’s the “unique role in the national conversation” in which a Hillary Clinton led Democratic party will cast Elizabeth Warren. Warren's got nothing to gain from staying put in the Senate except drudgery, ineffectuality, and humiliation.
    She's simply too good for the Senate, and her beautiful soul can only be quashed and trampled in the Senate quagmire.  The only way to save herself--and America!--is to run against and beat Hillary for the Democrat nomination, and if she is as sincere as Frum believes her to be, she has no other choice but to run.  Frum explains:
    If a politician expresses ideas that are shared by literally tens of millions of people—and that are being expressed by no other first-tier political figure—she owes it to her supporters to take their cause to the open hearing and fair trial of the nation. It would be negligent and irresponsible not to do so. Elizabeth Warren belongs to that unusual group who stick by their principles even when it might cost them something, including an election. But if you’re willing to lose for your principles, surely you should be willing to try to win for them?
    However, what if Warren is not sincere but is, instead, inauthentic?

    Texas Senator Ted Cruz became the first "official" contender to announce he is running for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016. One of the more bizarre narratives to quickly form after Cruz made his announcement, has been the comparison between him and President Barack Obama. While there are some similarities --- both first term Senators, both graduates of Harvard, both are prone to more grandiose type speeches and both lacked executive experience, that's where the comparison really ends. However, there are some who arguing Ted Cruz being a first term Senator leads to him being a bad President, were he to win the nomination and ultimately the election in 2016. This accusation is not just being thrown around by random people on social media. It's appearing in Commentary Magazine. After listing a handful of points of comparison between Cruz and Obama the post concludes:
    In short, Ted Cruz is not, except for his highly distinguished academic career and legal clerkships, dissimilar to the present incumbent of the White House. It seems to me that the last thing this country needs come January 20th, 2017, is a right-wing Barack Obama.
    Charles Krauthammer made a similar point on Fox News during Special Report saying, "We already tried a first term Senator." 

    Since Netanyahu's victory last week, the Obama administration has offered little more than a cold shoulder to Israel, and seems more interested in talking to Iran. The fact that Israel is our best ally in the region is overlooked while Obama continues working on his so-called "non-binding agreement." This morning on FOX and Friends, Tucker Carlson discussed the issue with Ann Coulter: Obama and others on the left seem to harbor a belief that things would be different if someone other than Netanyahu was the prime minister of Israel.

    Last night on Special Report with Bret Baier, Charles Krauthammer offered a frank assessment of how Obama views Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. From National Review:
    Krauthammer’s Take: ‘It’s Clear that Obama Loathes Netanyahu More than Any Other World Leader’ “This was an election between Bibi and Obama — that was on the ballot,” he said on Wednesday’s Special Report. “He did everything he could to unseat him, but he failed.” Krauthammer criticized “the pettiness and the petulance” from the Obama administration regarding Netanyahu’s victory, which included a backhanded congratulatory statement and a delayed phone call from secretary of state John Kerry rather than President Obama. “I think the reaction of the administration is now reaching levels where it’s become unseemingly,” he said... “It’s clear that Obama loathes Netanyahu more than any other world leader, meaning more than the ayatollah in Iran or Putin in Russia.”
    Watch the video:

    Charles Krauthammer began a 1999 column like this:
    Having failed to topple Saddam Hussein or Slobodan Milosevic, Bill Clinton had to settle for Benjamin Netanyahu. In a characteristic display of partisan glee, Clinton toasted political consultant Robert Shrum on Tuesday night (reports Lloyd Grove in The Washington Post) to congratulate him (and implicitly, the administration) for helping the Israeli opposition bring down the prime minister Washington loves to hate.
    Later today, if all the votes in the Israeli election are counted and the State Department-supported anti-Netanyahu group is successful in ensuring that Netanyahu is not able to form the next government, who will President Obama be toasting? True this is hypothetical question, but there's a lesson in 1999, that is relevant today. Clinton figured that once Netanyahu was out of the way he no longer had any obstacles to Middle East peace and a Nobel Peace Prize. He worked well with Ehud Barak and a year after Barak took office hosted a summit at which Barak offered a peace deal to Yasser Arafat. Arafat rejected it and two months later launched the second or Al-Aqsa intifada in which 1,100 Israelis were killed. So yes, Clinton got his wish and hundreds of Israelis paid the price.

    Hillary's email scandal is a flashback for anyone who remembers the Bill Clinton years. Democrats have put all their eggs in one basket for Hillary in 2016 but as Charles Krauthammer observed on Special Report last night, it's like America has stepped into a time machine. From National Review:
    Krauthammer’s Take: ‘It’s the 90s All Over Again’ Charles Krauthammer said Hillary Clinton’s press conference about her exclusive use of a private e-mail account and server made it seem as if, “it’s the 1990s all over again.” He said he thinks Clinton chose to exercise total control over her communications because of President Clinton’s handling of the Whitewater scandal in the 1990s. “She is determined never to let things out of her control,” Krauthammer said on Special Report. “This is going to be stonewalling from here until Election Day.”
    Watch the video: This entire episode is a reminder that the Clintons come with baggage, but don't take my word for it.

    Back in December of 2013, Media Matters for America declared victory in its war on FOX News. Unfortunately for MMFA, American news consumers disagree. According to a new Quinnipiac poll, FOX News is doing just fine:
    Fox News Has Most Trusted Coverage, Or Not, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Tina Fey, Dennis Miller Top Choices To Replace Stewart FOX News offers the most trusted network and cable news coverage, 29 percent of American voters say, when asked to compare the major TV news outlets in a Quinnipiac University National poll released today. But when network news is examined on a case-by-case basis, FOX drops in the ratings. In the comparison rankings, CNN gets 22 percent, with NBC News and CBS News at 10 percent each, 8 percent for ABC News and 7 percent for MSNBC, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds. When asked, "Do you trust the journalistic coverage provided by FOX News," 20 percent of U.S. voters say "a great deal" and 35 percent say "somewhat." Scores for other networks are:
    NBC News - 14 percent "a great deal" and 46 percent "somewhat;" ABC News - 14 percent "a great deal" and 50 percent "somewhat;" CBS News - 14 percent "a great deal" and 50 percent "somewhat;" MSNBC - 11 percent "a great deal" and 41 percent "somewhat;" CNN - 18 percent "a great deal" and 43 percent "somewhat."
    The big winner is local television news, trusted by 19 percent of voters "a great deal" and by 52 percent "somewhat." "FOX News may be the most trusted in the network and cable news race, but they all take a back seat to your local news," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
    Bill O'Reilly made this the focus of his opening monologue last night.

    Yesterday's New York Times editorial on the emerging nuclear deal between the West and Iran is completely delusional. I will try to tackle the editorial's arguments in the order of ridiculousness, from most to least:
    Critics of any deal — including those in Congress, such as Senator Mark Kirk, a Republican of Illinois, and Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat of New Jersey; and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel — demand complete dismantlement of Iran’s program given the country’s history of lying about its efforts to produce nuclear fuel and pursue other weapons-related activities. But their desired outcome simply cannot be achieved. President George W. Bush wasn’t able to secure that goal in 2003 when Iran had only a few dozen centrifuges, the machines that enrich uranium for nuclear fuel. Now, 12 years later, Iran has an estimated 19,000 centrifuges, not to mention scores of other facilities, including some that have been hardened to withstand a military attack.
    Hold on. This is saying that a miscreant gets to determine the level of his punishment. We can't get Iran down to zero centrifuges because Iran refuses to dismantle them. This is just saying we don't have the political will to demand such a result. We haven't been able to secure that result is because we haven't tried. Certainly if we say we're going allow 6,000 or 6,500 centrifuges we're not going to get zero. But given Iran's "history of lying" we also don't know how many undeclared centrifuges it might have either. To give Iran veto power over how many centrifuges it gets to keep operating, considering its "history of lying," means that we'll be enabling it to enrich enough uranium for a nuclear bomb.

    At the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday, President Obama equated the horrific acts carried out by ISIS to the Christian Crusades. Nedra Pickler of AP News reported:
    Obama condemns those who seek to 'hijack religion' President Barack Obama on Thursday condemned those who seek to use religion as a rationale for carrying out violence around the world, declaring that "no god condones terror." "We are summoned to push back against those who would distort our religion for their nihilistic ends," Obama said during remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast. He singled out the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, calling the militants a "death cult," as well as those responsible for last month's terror attacks in Paris and deadly assault on a school in Pakistan... Obama had a more non-denominational message for the audience that also included prominent leaders of non-Christian faiths. The president said that while religion is a source for good around the world, people of all faiths have been willing to "hijack religion for their own murderous ends." "Unless we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ," Obama said. "In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ. "So it is not unique to one group or one religion," Obama said. "There is a tendency in us, a simple tendency that can pervert and distort our faith."
    Charles Krauthammer reacted on Special Report. Video via National Review:

    Charles Krauthammer was on the O'Reilly Factor last night to discuss the Republican contenders for 2016. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker got some kind words from Dr. K, who said that his speech in Iowa last weekend changed things. Watch: You'll notice in the video that O'Reilly and Krauthammer both reference compliments Scott Walker recently received from Rush Limbaugh. Here's a sample from Limbaugh's site:
    Scott Walker Wows 'Em in Iowa Scott Walker wowed them in Iowa at whatever this thing was, this Republican, slash, conservative, just wowed them. And you know me, folks, if you have spent any time listening to this program in the last two years, you know that I believe Scott Walker is the blueprint for the Republican Party if they are serious about beating the left. Scott Walker has shown how to do it. And apparently he showed up and he made a speech on Saturday that had people telling them it reminded them of the speech I gave at CPAC... Scott Walker has shown the Republican Party how to beat the left. Scott Walker has the blueprint for winning and winning consistently and winning big in a blue state with conservative principles that are offered with absolutely no excuses. The left, the Democrat Party, threw everything at Scott Walker trying to destroy him. They did everything they could. He not only withstood it all, he survived and triumphed over all of it. They broke rules. They got close to breaking laws. They were threatening his family personally, and he remained undeterred.
    Some bloggers are pretty excited about Walker. @rdbrewer from Ace of Spades HQ is already making campaign posters:

    Last night on Special Report with Bret Baier, Bret asked Charles Krauthammer for his thoughts on Obama's proposal to raise the capital gains tax. Krauthammer pointed out that like all things Obama says and does, this is about left wing political ideology. Via National Review:
    Krauthammer’s Take: Obama ‘Wants to Punish the Rich Regardless of Effect on Economy’ The president’s proposal to raise the capital gains tax has nothing to do with America’s economic vitality, and everything to do with ideology, says Charles Krauthammer. “Obama was asked about whether raising the capital gains tax is something he would support even — this was a famous question asked by Charlie Gibson in the run-up to the 2008 campaign — even if it lowered revenues, which it does, which is of course totally illogical; you raise taxes to bring in revenue. Obama’s answer, a famous answer, was, yes, in the name of ‘fairness.’”​ “This is a man who wants to punish the rich regardless of its effect on the economy,” said Krauthammer.
    Watch the exchange: Obama seems set on denying the reality of the new Republican-controlled Senate.

    Last night Charles Krauthammer took the outgoing Congressional leadership to task over their legacy of obstructionism. Watch: Via the Daily Caller (emphasis mine):
    ”It sounds like Schumer is saying that, for the first time in living memory, we’re going to have amendments introduced in the U.S. Senate, which is a remarkable constitutional achievement and it’s because Harry Reid is gone. The grown-ups are now in control of the Congress. This idea that we should be using American oil in America is so idiotic, it’s almost unworthy of talking about. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to use the Canadian oil and if we export it, which we will because we have a surplus, we’re going to substitute gallon by gallon American oil, it makes no sense at all.” “Look, I think what’s really important here is that Republicans are going to have a chance to show how retroactively for the last six years everything has stopped in the Senate. Democrats stopped it, Harry Reid stopped it and they effectively acted as a shield to make Obama look as if he wasn’t the one stopping stuff. Well now he’s going to be exposed because he’s going to have to exercise the veto. Schumer and the others could prevent a few of the bills from landing on the president’s desk with these ridiculous amendments on Keystone, for example. But I think it will expose them. But the days of hiding under Harry Reid’s desk are over.
    This is important, and it's not a point that should be ignored by conservatives. Starting today, we'll be holding accountable not just a newly-minted leadership, but a President who now finds himself in the minority after six comfortable years of playing pen-and-phone politics.
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