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One of the things that Rick Perry hasn’t gotten credit for is his moving 1,000 National Guardsmen to the Tex-Mex border. It isn’t that people haven’t commented on Gov. Perry’s decision. It’s that there’s been too much second guessing of his decision:

The governor is simply trying to grab headlines, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest replied.

He said the administration hopes “Gov. Perry will not just take these kinds of steps that are generating the kind of headlines I suspect he intended, but will actually take the kinds of steps that will be constructive to solving the problem over the long term.”

Like most of the stuff coming from this administration, Earnest’s comments are BS. It isn’t that Gov. Perry is trying to grab cheesy headlines. It’s that he’s trying to fix a problem created by the federal government that’s spilled into his lap:

Deploying 1,000 Guardsmen “has nothing to do with unaccompanied minors or children crossing the border,” Perry said, because data show “only 20 percent of those apprehended crossing the border illegally are children.”

The Texas Department of Safety found that 203,000 illegal immigrants were arrested and charged with more than 640,000 crimes since 2008, Perry told the Trib. “Of those crimes, 3,000 were homicides and nearly 8,000 were sexual assaults,” he said. “Thousands of lives have been shattered forever, that shouldn’t have (been), if the federal government had done its job.”

Thanks to President Obama’s indifference to protecting Americans, literally thousands of Texans’ lives have been ruined. The Texas Department of Safety’s statistics are irrefutable. The children flooding in are just part of the crisis. The biggest part of the crisis, though, is that thousands of illegal immigrants have committed heinous crimes that’ve ruined people’s lives.

Border Patrol data show that the number of children entering Texas illegally has grown from about 5,000 in 2012 to more than 50,000 this year. “Inaction encourages other minors to place themselves in extremely dangerous situations,” Perry wrote in his letter to the president. “…Every day of delay risks more lives. Every child allowed to remain encourages hundreds more to attempt the journey.”

President Obama doesn’t see this as a humanitarian crisis as much as he sees it as a political opportunity. He wanted tens of thousands of illegal immigrants to flood into the US in the hopes of forcing Republicans to pass “comprehensive immigration reform.” President Obama’s problem is that the crisis got tons of press, which made it look like a) the administration tried manufacturing this crisis and b) this administration and other Democrats don’t care about consistently enforcing the border.

Republicans have repeatedly said that they won’t pass immigration reform until enforcing the border becomes a high priority for this administration. That isn’t something pro-open borders organizations like La Raza or pro-open borders legislators like Luis Guttierez are interested in.

That’s their problem. The overwhelming majority of people polled demand that the border be secured before talking about legalizing the illegal immigrants already in the country.

It’s gotten to the point that Republicans get better grades on immigration than Democrats get. Gov. Perry might run for president in 2016. At this point, he should because he’s getting high marks for taking border security seriously. He’s taking his law enforcement responsibilities seriously, too, which is more than they think about President Obama.

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Then-Sen. Obama and then-Sen. Hillary Clinton both railed against President Bush’s confrontation of terrorists where they lived. They both preached the gospel of “smart diplomacy.” Six years later, we now know that “smart diplomacy” is just a euphemism for appeasement and retreat, if not outright isolationim.

Nowhere is the failure of the Obama-Clinton “smart diplomacy” foreign policy more apparent than in Libya. Walter Russell Mead’s article highlights that failure succinctly by quoting a State Department travel advisory:

The security situation in Libya remains unpredictable and unstable. The Libyan government has not been able to adequately build its military and police forces and improve security following the 2011 revolution. Many military-grade weapons remain in the hands of private individuals, including antiaircraft weapons that may be used against civilian aviation. Crime levels remain high in many parts of the country. In addition to the threat of crime, various groups have called for attacks against U.S. citizens and U.S. interests in Libya. Extremist groups in Libya have made several specific threats this year against U.S. government officials, citizens, and interests in Libya. Because of the presumption that foreigners, especially U.S. citizens, in Libya may be associated with the U.S. government or U.S. NGOs, travelers should be aware that they may be targeted for kidnapping, violent attacks, or death. U.S. citizens currently in Libya should exercise extreme caution and depart immediately.

Sporadic episodes of civil unrest have occurred throughout the country and attacks by armed groups can occur in many different areas; hotels frequented by westerners have been caught in the crossfire. Armed clashes have occurred in the areas near Tripoli International Airport, Airport Road, and Swani Road. Checkpoints controlled by militias are common outside of Tripoli, and at times inside the capital. Closures or threats of closures of international airports occur regularly, whether for maintenance, labor, or security-related incidents. Along with airports, seaports and roads can close with little or no warning. U.S. citizens should closely monitor news and check with airlines to try to travel out of Libya as quickly and safely as possible.

The status of the country’s interim government remains uncertain. The newly elected Council of Representatives is scheduled to convene by August 4, but political jockeying continues over where and when to seat the parliament. Heavy clashes between rival factions erupted in May 2014 in Benghazi and other eastern cities. In Tripoli, armed groups have contested territory near Tripoli International Airport since July 13, rendering the airport non-operational. State security institutions lack basic capabilities to prevent conflict, and there remains a possibility of further escalation.

TRANSLATION: Libya is a disaster. Contrary to President Obama’s statement that al-Qa’ida is on the run, terrorist organizations, aka militias, control Libya. In September, 2012, Benghazi was a hot spot. These days, the entire country is a hot spot.

“Smart diplomacy” has become a punch line, and the dream Team Obama had of making Democrats the go-to national security party is as dead as the passenger pigeon.

President Obama is in way over his head. He’s never been interested in learning about the different actors on the world stage. That can’t be said about Hillary. She’s been interested in the different actors on the world stage. She just hasn’t been that bright. She could’ve stood up to President Obama but she didn’t. She acquiesced in the name of political considerations.

Libya isn’t a fight that needed to be fought, though it definitely needed monitoring. Killing militias would’ve been much more advisable than killing Khadaffi.

President Obama’s favorite foreign policy straw man is that there are only 2 options: all out war or isolationism. That’s either proof that he’s a liar or that he doesn’t have a clue. It might be proof of both.

Taking out Khadaffi was stupid. Not confronting Putin is equally foolish. Smart diplomacy isn’t as smart as arming people who would love to fight for their own freedom. Why President Obama prefers giving Putin free run of eastern Europe but insists on killing north African dictators is beyond me.

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Most of the doves who’ve spoken out in favor of the Obama administration’s appeasement policy towards the Russian-Ukrainian war frequently cite the fact that there’s no appetite for the United States to get involved in another war. This isn’t surprising since strawman arguments are President Obama’s specialty.

In this instance, though, it’s a non sequitur argument.

The US can and should use its military to change the equation in eastern Ukraine. It’s just that that shouldn’t mean deploying US troops to Ukraine. It should take the form of putting the military’s most lethal weaponry in the hands of Ukrainian troops.

The Ukrainian military has been asking the US for military support for months now. President Obama has rejected their requests. With there now being no doubt that the Russians are firing on airplanes, it’s time for President Obama to stop being the wimpiest president in my lifetime. It’s time he stopped dithering.

President Reagan took down the Soviet empire. President Obama isn’t doing anything to stand in President Putin’s way to reconstitute the former Soviet empire. What’s most disturbing is that President Obama apparently doesn’t recognize the peril he’s putting our allies in.

Why doesn’t President Obama understand that Russia’s slicing up of Ukraine just emboldens President Putin to attempt to threaten other nations? Doesn’t President Obama care about foreign policy?

President Reagan brought down the Soviet empire by confronting the Soviets whenever they tried meddling in other countries’ affairs. He showed them that he was committed to arming anyone who opposed the Soviets. He forced the Soviets to spend more money on their expansionist goals than they’d anticipated.

Because the Soviet economy was pretty much worthless at the time, he forced them to spend themselves into the dust bin of history. By comparison, President Obama is essentially giving President Putin a free pass with Ukraine, which enables them to spend more money on destabilizing other neighboring countries.

There’s no reason to think that the Russian economy is any stronger today than the Soviet economy was in the 1980s. Similarly, there’s no reason to think that forcing Russia to devote most of its spending on military ventures will endear itself to the Russian people.

While President Reagan was forcing the Soviets to spend tons of money on foreign military interventions, he also undercut the Soviet government in the eyes of its people. President Obama is totally missing that opportunity.

Instead, he’s playing the 98-lb. weakling who gets sand kicked in his face while President Putin plays the part of the menacing bully. That’s why the latest Fox News poll shows people thinking that 75% of people think President Putin is getting the better of things while a pathetic 14% think President Obama is getting the better of Putin.

We need a real president. We don’t need a fundraiser-in-chief. We need a president who rethinks his strategy after it’s shown it’s a disaster.

Unfortunately, instead of having a real president that knows what to do on the world stage, we’ve got President Obama.

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Sean Davis’s article utterly demolishes the Left’s argument that the DC Circuit was willing to throw millions of people off health care because of a “drafting error.” Here’s a key portion of Davis’s demolition of that argument:

Let’s take a step back to see how plausible that explanation is. There are two types of exchanges: state-established, and federally established. The statutory authority for state-based exchanges comes in section 1311 of Obamacare. The statutory authority for a federal exchange in the event that a state chose not to establish one comes from section 1321(c) of Obamacare. Right off the bat, we have two discrete sections pertaining to two discrete types of health exchange. Was that a “drafting error”?

Then we have the specific construction of section 1321(c), which allows for the creation of a federal exchange. Nowhere does this section say that an exchange created under its authority will have the same treatment as a state-based exchange created under section 1311. At no point does it say that section 1321 plans are equivalent. Why, it’s almost as though the exchanges and the plans offered by them were not intended to receive the same treatment. Was that another “drafting error”?

Most important, we have the sections of the law providing for tax credits to help offset the cost of Obamacare’s health care plans: sections 1401, 1402, 1411, 1412, 1413, 1414, and 1415. And how do those sections establish authority to provide those tax credits? Why, they specifically state ten separate times that tax credits are available to offset the costs of state health exchange plans authorized by section 1311. And how many times are section 1321 federal exchange plans mentioned? Zero. Was that yet another “drafting error”?

Either these progressive pundits are the worst liars in the world or the person who wrote the legislation is the most inept person ever to draft legislation. I’m voting for the former, not the latter.

It’s obvious that the bill was written properly. It’s obvious that Democrats didn’t think 36 states would opt out of establishing a state-run health insurance exchange, aka HIX.

The media’s fiction that this was a drafting error is intellectually dishonest intended at painting the judges as hate-filled conservatives who don’t care about poor people. The truth is that it’s Democrats that intentionally played politics with poor people’s lives.

They’re the people who wrote the law to not include subsidies for people buying insurance through Healthcare.gov. They’re the people who didn’t see anything wrong with the bill until after it became obvious that they’d miscalculated the popularity of the HIXs. They’re the people who made faulty assumptions.

Mr. Davis has written and/or proofed standalone legislation and legislative amendments:

When I worked in the Senate, I spent countless hours reading through various appropriation and spending bills. I also drafted hundreds of amendments, as well as a standalone public law. During the years I spent reading through proposed legislation, it was not uncommon to find obvious errors in bills and amendments. Sometimes you would see a date written as 3015 instead of 2015. Sometimes a non-existent section would be referenced, or a section number in a table of contents might be wrong. Other times, you might see a dollar figure that had too few or too many zeroes (seriously, that happened). You might even find a misspelled word or an incorrect line number every now and again. Those were true “drafting errors,” the typos of the legislative world.

The deliberate creation of a separate section to authorize a separate federal entity is not a drafting error. The repeated and deliberate reference to one section but not another is not a drafting error. The refusal to grant equal authority to two programs authorized by two separate sections is not a drafting error. The decision to specifically reference section X but not section Y in a portion of a law that grants spending or tax authority is not a drafting error.

Simply put, the Left knows that they’re in real danger of having the heart of the ACA ripped from the bill. If the subsidies disappear, the ACA, aka Obamacare, disappears, too. They know that they can’t argue the law. Arguing that is foolish. Appealing to the judges’ partisanship is the only avenue they have for winning.

At the heart of this matter is the fact that Democrats made a faulty assumption. At the heart of this matter is the fact that Democrats thought this bill would be much more popular than it is. They wrote the law based on the opinion that the ACA would pressure Republicans into supporting a terrible bill.

Democrats were wrong about that.

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I wrote this post to highlight Democratic senators’ biggest problem is Harry Reid, not President Obama. When I found out this morning that the RNC is starting a #FireReid campaign on social media, I got excited. This indicates that they’re aware that Sen.Reid is toxic. This article gives us some details into the RNC’s campaign:

A banner unfurled outside of the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington is providing an unsubtle hint about the GOP’s goals for this fall. In bold letters it reads, “Stop Obama” and “Fire Reid.”

In another sign that Republicans are trying to nationalize competitive Senate races in a political environment unfavorable to Democrats, the RNC on Tuesday announced the start of its “#FireReid” campaign, aimed at winning control of the Senate and thus demoting Majority Leader Harry Reid.

“Beginning this week, we will launch robocalls in Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, and Virginia,” RNC spokeswoman Kirsten Kukowski said in a memo about the initiative.

The robo-call script will assert that a vote for the Democratic candidate, in many cases an incumbent, amounts to providing a “rubber stamp” for President Obama and Reid’s “partisan agenda.”

Additionally, the anti-Reid campaign will include “research briefings, social media, videos, interviews, and infographics” highlighting the Nevada lawmaker’s position on such issues as the Keystone XL pipeline and the Affordable Care Act.

It isn’t that Harry Reid is nationally well-known…yet. It’s that he’s said a ton of offensive and/or dishonest things that the RNC will use to paint Reid as the tyrant he is. My suggestion is that they highlight Sen. Reid’s dishonesty, his hyperpartisanship and his fierce loyalty to President Obama’s agenda.

Further, I hope the RNC shows how often Democrat senators vote with Sen. Reid, then quantify the impact they’ve had on families. Rattling off a string of statistics won’t cut it. Personalizing things is required. If the RNC does that, then Democrats will have a difficult time defending their rubber stamping the Obama/Reid agenda.

According to the RNC announcement, the GOP will also seek to depict Reid as obedient “to billionaire SuperPAC donors like Tom Steyer [who] have hurt our country and the democratic process.”

That campaign might not have the same impact as the #FireReid campaign but it might be helpful in the sense that it’ll portray Democrats as listening more to the special interests than to rank-and-file unions that want the Keystone XL Pipeline built.

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The whining on the left hasn’t stopped since the DC Circuit Court’s ruling on Halbig v. Burwell. This article is a perfect example of the Left’s whining:

The Affordable Care Act was designed to offer premium tax credits (subsidies) to people to purchase private health insurance on government-run exchanges — at least those earning up to 400% of the federal poverty level. The belief among legislators was that the exchanges would be state-based, so the section of the law authorized subsidies to those enrolled “through an Exchange established by the State.”

Simply put, this is proof that the people writing the ACA wanted one thing but didn’t write the bill properly. If they wanted everyone “earning up to 400% of the federal poverty level” to get premium supports regardless of which exchange they bought it through, they should’ve written that into the law.

The assumption that “the exchanges would be state-based” is a sloppy assumption. Sloppy assumptions make terrible laws. It isn’t the judges’ fault that Max Baucus didn’t write the bill properly. Further, it isn’t the judges’ fault that the writing of the law was shrouded in secrecy.

Had this been a transparent operation, someone might’ve caught Sen. Baucus’s mistake. Had Sen. Baucus not made a terrible assumption, if that’s what it was, the bill might’ve been written with more clarity.

Blaming Democrats’ mistakes on Republicans is pathetic. Sen. Baucus, Sen. Reid and then-Speaker Pelosi made a series of decisions that produced sloppyily-written legislation. That’s on their heads, not the judges’ heads. It’s one thing to argue intent when the legislative language isn’t clear. It’s another to argue when the legislative language includes a straightforward, declarative statement.

At that point, that straightforward, declarative statement is what judges should base their opinion on. The Democrats’ attorneys argument is essentially that Baucus, Reid and Pelosi made a mistake in writing the bill, therefore the judges should clean up their mistake.

That isn’t the court’s responsibility. If Obama, Reid and Pelosi want to fix the law, the only constitutional remedy is to submit the correction to the legislative process. I wrote yesterday that the Democrats don’t want to do that because House Republicans might actually want to include other provisions in the bill that Democrats don’t like. That’s tough. If Obama, Reid and Pelosi didn’t want Republicans to have that type of leverage, they should’ve written the bill right the first time.

Their whining now just indicates that they’re looking for a skapegoat to blame for their mistakes. It’s time for them to put on their big boy pants and accept the fact that they put together a sloppy piece of legislation. It isn’t the court’s responsibility to clean up politicians’ messes. That’s the politician’s responsibility.

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It would be wrong to blame the killing of 298 passengers on MH17 on President Obama. That blame should be firmly fixed on the Russian terrorists and the Russian military personnel who fired the surface-to-air missiles. This article, though, shows that President Obama could’ve done something that would’ve prevented that terrorist attack:

As the United States and NATO last month began to publicly acknowledge the sophisticated Russian anti-aircraft systems moving into rebel held areas of eastern Ukraine, the government in Kiev asked for gear that might be used to counter those weapons.

According to a former senior U.S. defense official who has worked closely with Ukraine’s military and a former head of state who has consulted with the government there, Kiev last month requested the radar jamming and detection equipment necessary to evade and counter the anti-aircraft systems Moscow was providing the country’s separatists.

It’s obvious that President Obama is a pacifist on the world stage. He likely said no to Kiev’s request because he didn’t want to do anything that might escalate the tensions between Russia and the Ukraine. That’s foolishness. President Obama keeps urging Putin to rejoin the community of nations. Putin keeps ignoring those pleas because he’s too busy rebuilding the Soviet empire.

It’s time President Obama to start dealing with the world that exists rather than dealing with the world he wishes exists. This isn’t a game of make believe. It’s a situation where Ukraine needs the world’s only true superpower to step up and act like the world’s only true superpower. It’s time for President Obama to stop acting like a naive child. It’s time for him to start acting like the leader of the free world.

Some senior U.S. officials asked about the Ukrainian request by The Daily Beast said they were not aware of it. Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, told The Daily Beast, “The Ukrainian government has requested support, but we’re not going to detail the types of support they have requested.”

How convenient. The most transparent administration in history won’t confirm what the Daily Beast has already reported.

President Obama’s pacifism cost those 298 people their lives. Because he wasn’t willing to deal with reality, those people died needlessly. Further, President Obama’s disdain for military action is getting people killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Had President Obama sent the radar jamming and detection equipment to Ukraine, the people flying on MH17 would likely still be alive. Had President Obama listened to his generals in Iraq and kept residual force of 30,000 troops in theater, he would’ve gotten a status-of-forces agreement with Maliki. That would’ve likely prevented ISIS from capturing a major part of Iraq.

I hope President Obama can live with himself knowing that his pacifism cost people their lives. More importantly, I hope President Obama will admit, at some time in the future, that he was wrong on most of his foreign policy decisions.

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Brian Beutler’s article attempts to make the case that Republicans might ultimately lose if the Supreme Court upholds today’s ruling:

An adverse Supreme Court ruling would throw the ACA into chaos in three dozen states, including huge states like Florida and Texas. The vast majority of beneficiaries in those states would be suddenly unable to afford their premiums (and might even be required to reimburse the government for unlawful subsidies they’ve already spent). Millions of people would drop out of the insurance marketplaces. Premiums would skyrocket for the very sick people who need coverage the most.

But that’s where the conservatives’ “victory” would turn into a big political liability for red- and purple-state Republicans. An adverse ruling would create a problem that could be fixed in two ways: With an astonishingly trivial technical corrections bill in Congress, or with Healthcare.gov states setting up their own exchanges. If you’re a Republican senator from a purple Healthcare.gov state—Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, and others—you’ll be under tremendous pressure to pass the legislative fix. If you’re a Republican governor in any Healthcare.gov state, many thousands of your constituents will expect you to both pressure Congress to fix the problem, and prepare to launch your own exchange.

Conservatives would like to believe that they could just leave something as deeply rooted as Obamacare permanently hobbled, or that they could use the ensuing chaos as leverage, to force Democrats to reopen the books, and perhaps gut the law in other ways. I think they’re miscalculating. Just as government shutdowns and debt default threats don’t create leverage because the public doesn’t support inviting chaos in pursuit of unrelated goals, I don’t think an adverse ruling in Halbig will create leverage for the GOP.

I think Beutler isn’t just wrong about the leverage. I think he’s kidding himself if he thinks this puts Republicans in a difficult position.

By the time the Supreme Court rules on this lawsuit, it’s quite possible that there will be Republican majorities in the House and Senate. If that’s the case, think of this scenario:

Congress might well change Section 36B as part of a bigger bill that’s sure to include other provisions that Republicans like and that President Obama doesn’t like.

For instance, a new bill might include a change to 36B along with a change that eliminates the medical device tax, another change that changes the definition of a Qualified Health Plan, aka QHP, and a change that reduces the penalties for the employer and individual mandates.

Employers and families would certainly love a tiny penalty for not obeying the law. Young people would love being able to buy a catatrophic policy with a HSA to cover other expenses. There’s no question that eliminating the medical device tax would make medical device manufacturers happy.

At that point, President Obama signs the bill that’s essentially a fresh start that dramatically improves the ACA or he vetoes a popular bill that forces families to pay higher insurance premiums, that doesn’t repeal an unpopular tax and he alienates major parts of his base. In my opinion, that’s ‘Rock meets hard place’ territory for President Obama. The good news is that it’s great news for employers, families and young people.

All that’s required is for Republicans to pass a bill that’s filled with popular provisions. Since a majority of people don’t like the bill’s specifics, that shouldn’t be that difficult.

Finally, Beutler insists that this is judicial activism. There’s nothing activist about the DC Circuit’s ruling. They said that Section 36B meant what it said. For the record, here’s the specific language of Section 36B:

monthly premiums for such month for 1 or more qualified health plans offered in the individual market within a State which cover the taxpayer, the taxpayer’s spouse, or any dependent (as defined in section 152) of the taxpayer and which were enrolled in through an Exchange established by the State under 1311 [1] of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

The judiciary’s first responsibility is to determine whether a law is constitutional. If it passes that test, the next test is to determine whether the statute gives the executive branch the authority to take action.

In this instance, the DC Circuit ruled that the ACA didn’t give the executive branch, in this case the IRS, the authority to change a major provision of the statute.

It isn’t radical to think that the executive branch doesn’t have the authority to rewrite specific provisions of existing statutes. If the Supreme Court validates this ruling and if President Obama wants that provision changed, there’s a simple remedy: work with Congress to change that part of the ACA.

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If I hear another pundit talk about the bad optics hurting President Obama while Israel kills terrorists and people are murdered by Russian-trained military terrorists or while south-of-the-border cartels ignore the Tex-Mex border, I’ll scream.

This isn’t about the optics of going on one fundraising junket after another. This isn’t about whether President Obama can stay in touch with his national security team.

President Obama is justifiably getting hammered because he appears to be indifferent to solving the nation’s biggest crises. When Jennifer Palmieri says that President Obama didn’t want to change his schedule because he didn’t want to give “the American people…a false sense of crisis”, she’s reading from President Obama’s delusional script. I’m not worried about false crises. I’m worried about the real crises that President Obama is ignoring.

This wouldn’t be a topic of conversation if Americans got the sense that President Obama a) took his job seriously or b) knew how to handle these foreign policy crises. Clearly, he’s in over his head. Clearly, he thinks that the world is better off without the United State throwing its weight around.

It’s one thing for the White House press secretary talks about the tranquil world we’re living in. It’s another when our Secretary of State parrots that notion.

News flash to the White House: there are bad people out there committing acts of war. There are people who are flooding the United States with tons of illegal immigrants. There are militaries that are trying to gobble up other countries.

Meanwhile, President Obama meanders from hamburger shop to burger joint, from coffee shop to coffee shop while chatting with “ordinary folks.” What’s needed is a leader who understands that the world needs the United State to bring moral clarity to these crises. The world is a terrible, frightening neighborhood when appeasers like President Obama pull the United States from the world stage.

That doesn’t mean US boots on the ground. It means, in this instance, that the US arms and trains Ukrainians so that they can push back against Putin’s Russia. If the US doesn’t do that, then we should prepare for more situations where Putin’s Russia keeps expanding their campaign of militarism.

This article is exceptionally insightful in that it exposes Vladimir Putin for who he really is:

Why do many Western analysts contend that Vladimir Putin is outsmarting everybody like a skillful chess master? Can it be a massive illusion fed by Kremlin propaganda and blindly supported by analysts and policy makers? I agree with Paul Gregory that Putin deserves a failing scorecard and would add that he is erratically moving his country towards disaster. A bully is usually far from intelligent; he can be dangerous and evil, he can possess powerful resources, but that does not make him the forward-looking strategist many in the West pretend he is.

Putin’s economic model prevents him from being the international superpower he’s pretending to be. It isn’t that Russia is a superpower. It’s that it’s acting like it’s a superpower. Thinking that Putin is a chess master because he’s having his way with President Obama is like thinking you’re a tough buy because you can beat up a 5th-grader.

Putin is delusional because he thinks that the former Soviet empire was a great federation of nations. The truth is that it operated as a great federation because liberals like John Kerry, Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter treated it like a great federation.

Only President Reagan understood its fatal flaw. Only President Reagan exploited that fatal flaw. President Reagan out-strategized and outmaneuvered the giant Russian bear. He expanded the use of Radio Free Europe to talk with the citizens. He checked them militarily whenever they thought about fulfilling their expansionist ideology. Most importantly, President Reagan spoke to the dissidents’ hearts by telling them about the virtues of liberty.

Let’s understand something. Vladimir Putin is a thug. He isn’t as despicable as Stalin but he’s still a thug. Calling him a thug doesn’t mean he isn’t dangerous to smaller opponents. It just means that he’ll suffer the same fate as Gorbachev if he’s confronted by another Reagan.

The only way to deal with Moscow is to act firmly and decisively, imposing sectorial sanctions and providing serious military help to Ukraine, sharply increasing the economic and political pressure. The faster the West acts, the more lives will be saved and more destruction will be prevented.

President Reagan understood the necesssity of economic and benign military confrontation. Technically, President Reagan didn’t fire a shot to defeat the Soviet empire. That doesn’t mean he didn’t sell military weaponry to the Soviet’s neighbors. He let them know that he’d checkmate them wherever their expansionist goals took them.

There’s no denying that Putin is a major player on the international stage. There’s no denying that his expansionist goals are real. That doesn’t mean he’s the unstoppable superman that President Obama is helping through his inactions.

President Obama’s policies just make a thug look like a superpower. That doesn’t mean President Putin’s Russia is worthy of superpower status. That’s just what happens when he’s matched against a lightweight US president.

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