In case you missed it, the Senate voted down an amendment requiring a secure border fence. What a shock.
They rejected building a 700 mile double-tier border fence that Congress already authorized to build seven years ago. The Washington Times reported that "the 54-39 vote to reject the fence shows the core of the immigration deal is holding. The vote broke mostly along party lines, though five Republicans, including Sen. Marco Rubio and the rest of the bill's authors, voted against the fence, and two Democrats voted for it.
Republicans had offered the fence as a way to build the confidence of voters skeptical that the government will enforce its laws, but opponents said building more fencing is costly, would take too long, and shouldn't be dictated by Washington. "I think we should leave that to the best judgment of the Border Patrol," said Sen. John McCain, one of the eight senators who wrote the immigration bill." more >>
Naive observers of the recent Iranian presidential election call it a "game-changer." Such optimism warrants a sober assessment of the election, Hassan Rouhani, and the context within which he operates.
An unelected body of 12 Islamic jurists selected eight candidates (after rejecting over 600 for being women, religious minorities, or inadequately zealous). Rouhani, a 64-year old regime loyalist, was the most "moderate" of the final voter options. But he led the crackdown on a 1999 student uprising and helped the regime to advance its nuclear-weapons program.
Had Mir Mousavi, the reformist leader of the 2009 green movement, been released from house arrest and allowed to compete freely against Rouhani, Mousavi would have likely won by epic margins. Rouhani's electoral victory was essentially just a protest vote against Khameini. more >>
The semester at Liberty University was barely over when I decided to fly half way around the world to see for myself what was happening among the world's most war torn people -- the Syrians.
As Liberty University's Vice President responsible for our Center for Global Engagement, it's part of my job to further our mission to inspire and empower our students to make this world a better place. This year our students have provided medical care for impoverished people in Africa, taught English to young leaders in Asia, and have produced a thousand smiles on the faces of a thousand children around the world. From Rwanda to Bosnia, and in dozens of nations in between, our students they have helped people, and the students have been beating down my door for more than a year asking what more we can do for Syria.
So, I decided to find out for myself. more >>
Edward Snowden, the ex-CIA whistleblower responsible for "the biggest intelligence leak in the National Security Agency's (NSA) history," denied allegations that he was a Chinese spy.
During a Monday question-and-answer session with Britain's newspaper The Guardian, Snowden said, "No. I have had no contact with the Chinese government. Just like with the Guardian and the Washington Post, I only work with journalists."
Last week, members of the United States House of Representatives Intelligence Committee questioned Snowden's connection with China. "We need to ask a lot more questions about his motives, his connections, where he ended up, why he is there, how he is sustaining himself while he is there and is the Chinese government fully cooperating," said Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.). more >>
We should take notice when self-professed atheist billionaire and globalist profiteer, George Soros, is the quiet funder of a curious "Evangelical Immigration Table" campaign to promote yet another massive and mysterious piece of legislation in Congress. This time it is the "Gang of 8" Schumer-Rubio immigration bill (S. 744).
Through the Evangelical Immigration Table (EIT), a project of the Soros-funded National Immigration Forum (NIF), progressive activists such as Sojourners founder, Jim Wallis, are well-funded to lobby for the Gang of 8 legislation that would almost immediately legalize about 11 million immigrants first, with promises of better law enforcement later.
Another 20 million immigrants, mostly family members, are likely to follow within ten years. A $250,000 national radio campaign by the Table features several evangelical leaders reading from Matthew 25, "I was a stranger, and you welcomed me ..." more >>
Last August, President Obama declared that the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons was a "red line." About four months later, Aljazeera released unconfirmed reports that a gas attack killed seven civilians in a rebel-held neighborhood of Homs. Last April, the UK, France, and Israel each claimed that there was evidence that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons in Aleppo, Homs, and/or Damascus. By April 25th, the U.S intelligence assessment was that the Assad regime had likely used sarin gas, but President Obama dodged his red line by announcing that a thorough investigation was still needed (as if the Syrian government would ever allow one). Meanwhile, reports from foreign intelligence agencies and journalists continued to corroborate the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime. So why did Obama's requirement of a thorough investigation to confirm the crossing of his red line suddenly vanish last Friday?
Viewed through the lens of domestic politics, Obama's Syria epiphany looks conveniently timed to deflect attention from an ever-swelling wave of scandals: Benghazi-gate, IRS-gate, AP/Fox-gate, and now NSA-gate and State Department prostitution-gate. As the film "Wag The Dog" highlights, international crises are great at diverting attention from domestic scandals.
But from the perspective of the Syrian rebels, the timing and nature of U.S. military assistance may be viewed as either too little, too late, or a cynical attempt to ensure a perpetual stalemate. After all, the outgunned rebels have needed lethal weapons from the U.S. for over two years. Chemical weapons use by the Assad regime is old news. So what has changed? The Syrian regime recently defeated rebel forces at the crucial battle in Qusayr, a town providing a strategic supply conduit for rebel forces in Homs. After the military gains enabled by the robust battlefield support of Iran-backed Hezbollah, the Syrian regime is now preparing for a major offensive to retake Aleppo. With another crushing blow to a key rebel stronghold, the regime could ultimately prevail in the conflict, unless the U.S. provides just enough rebel support to restore the pre-Qusayr stalemate. more >>