Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin is moving with a steady pace to establish his total control over Russia. He's now pushing a law to help him deal with the last pesky parts of the post-Soviet period of Russian history—that annoying free press. In this Washington Post story, we see that President Putin is doing in Russia what Sen. Harry Reid and fifty-three of his Senate colleagues attempted to do recently with a constitutional amendment to limit free speech.
Putin knows he is fairly free to act on the world scene and at home. President Obama is distracted. His administration is perplexed. Having waited too long to address the threat of ISIS, Mr. Obama is now leaping into the ISIS crisis with both feet. And he is even willing to make the Russians our new partner in the Middle East.
Jackson Diehl, a respected foreign affairs columnist with the Post, has offered a withering critique of the Obama administration's East European policy. There, in lands so recently freed from the smothering grip of the Russian bear, new leaders are emerging who are pulling their nations back into the Russian orbit. Think Crimea. Think Ukraine. more >>
It's becoming increasingly clear that President Obama has no intention to actually "destroy" the Islamic State. Even his much-vaunted air war represents a mere shadow of American military capabilities. Here's Max Boot in a must-read post over at Commentary, comparing the air effort in Iraq and Syria to the opening phase of the bombing campaign against al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan:
RAND's Benjamin Lambeth summed up the Afghan air campaign as follows: "[D]uring the 75 days of bombing between October 7, when Enduring Freedom began, and December 23, when the first phase of the war ended after the collapse of the Taliban, some 6,500 strike sorties were flown by CENTCOM forces altogether, out of which approximately 17,500 munitions were dropped on more than 120 fixes targets, 400 vehicles and artillery pieces, and a profusion of concentrations of Taliban and al Qaeda combatants."
Now compare with the statistics on the current U.S. aerial bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria. According to Central Command, in the 59 days between August 8, when the campaign started, and October 6, the U.S. has conducted 360 strikes utilizing 955 munitions. more >>
A 10-year-old member of the ISIS terror group has been reportedly killed while fighting in the Middle East. Going by the name Abu Obadya al-Abassi, ISIS posted a video on YouTube Wednesday announcing his death.
The YouTube video has garnered over 75,000 hits as of Friday morning and depicts photos of the boy, but no tangible confirmation of his demise, according to The Jerusalem Post.
"It should be noted that there is no independent confirmation regarding the authenticity of the clip which was posted on YouTube showing the boy dressed in military fatigues and carrying weapons," the Post reported. more >>
Five major U.S. airports are set to start examining passengers from Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea for Ebola by taking their temperatures and asking them questions. The U.S. is on high alert following the first death from the outbreak on its soil, though travel to West Africa has not been banned.
Airports that will start using the Ebola measures in the next few days include O'Hare in Chicago, JFK and Newark in the New York area, Washington's Dulles, and Atlanta's airport, BBC News reported on Thursday.
Thomas Eric Duncan who traveled to Dallas from Liberia became the first person reported to have died from the disease on Wednesday. He apparently caught Ebola while on a trip to Liberia, before returning to the U.S. and being treated unsuccessfully at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital. more >>
Of all the examples of incompetence and failure to protect Americans that the Obama administration has displayed, its failure to keep Ebola out of our country may be the worst. Obama's No. 1 job is to keep dangerous people from coming into America, and he has flunked the test.
Ebola is a particularly horrible disease. Infected patients face a death rate of 25 to 90 percent.
Long ago, our country designated Ellis Island as a place where people could be held until we decided whether or not to let them in. Disease is one of the major reasons why, over the years, thousands of people have been denied entry and returned to wherever they came from. more >>
"Wheels up, rings off." Secret Service traveling mantra
In the wake of an ongoing series of embarrassing security breaches, Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned last week. She is thinking about going into something new and exciting, like security.
The fence jumper got so far into the White House that he ran into Hillary Clinton's decorator measuring for drapes. In addition, a member of the housekeeping staff found evidence that previously undiscovered gunshots had hit the building. Joe Biden was ruled out, as he has no shot at the White House. more >>