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Posts tagged ‘American Enterprise Institute’

Bolton: Hillary Would Be Worse Than Obama.


John Bolton, former ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush, believes Hillary Clinton would be worse than Barack Obama as president because she is smarter and more effective.

During an appearance on conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt’s show Tuesday,  Bolton said he agreed with former defense secretary Robert Gates that Vice President Joe Biden has been wrong on basically every single foreign policy decision made by the Obama administration.

When Hewitt asked whether he thought Biden or Hillary Clinton would make a worse president, Bolton responded, “I think Hillary Clinton would be a worse president, because she’s smarter and more effective than Biden, and would be smarter and more effective than Obama.”

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Bolton continued, “And I view her policies, she and her husband were a year ahead of me in law school. I’ve known them for a long time. And back in law school, she was very radical. Her appearance as a moderate these past ten years, I think, is due to the sophisticated political advice of Bill.”

“But I think where her heart is was Hillarycare in 1993-94, the ancestor of Obamacare. And that would be the direction of a Clinton administration,” he added.

Currently a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, Bolton also discussed his new committee, BoltonPac, established to support congressional candidates in the midterm elections who support a strong national security policy.

“Our way of life here at home depends on a strong American position internationally, and [leaders] who are willing to stand up for those positions. I think under Obama, national security has fallen off the radar screen of political issues,” he said.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Lisa Barron

 

John Bolton: Groups Will Keep Trying to Terrorize Olympics.


The terrorists who bombed a Russian city twice in the past two days, less than two months before the Winter Olympics, will likely attempt more attacks, says John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

We should be concerned. I have no doubt . . . that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin will pull out all the stops for security,” Bolton told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“But by the same token, the terrorists will respond in kind. These bombings . . . are obviously intended to show they can hit vulnerable civilian targets,” Bolton said Monday.

Story continues below video.

Earlier Monday, a suicide bomb killed at least 14 people in the city of Volgograd, just a day after an explosion at Volgograd’s main train station killed 17 people and wounded at least 35. Authorities declared both bombings terrorist attacks.

Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said he fears the terrorists “are going to do everything they can to infiltrate and make their terrorist case again.”

“I’m not myself aware of the prior Olympic games where we’ve had this level of threat of terrorism . . . If I were on the American team, I would be taking extra precaution.”

Bolton said he was disturbed by a New York Times investigative report into the attack in Benghazi, Libya, last year that killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, calling it “an editorial disguised as a news story.”

The report by David Kirkpatrick intimated the attack was the work of local militia groups and not al-Qaida.

“They should be embarrassed about this, but I’m sure they’re not. It really is a tribute to their ideology that they can put this out there and hope that it will go unchallenged,” Bolton said.

“It’s just filled, not only with the inaccuracies and contradictions, [but] it contradicts previous New York Times reporting about the involvement of al-Qaida.

“So, I am just amazed that anybody would give this thing credibility. It’s filled with irrelevant facts to make it look like a news story, but its basic conclusion isn’t supported by the reporting that’s actually done.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Bill Hoffmann

Despite Budget Deal, Atmosphere in Washington Remains Toxic.


Image: Despite Budget Deal, Atmosphere in Washington Remains Toxic

Anyone expecting a new era of good feeling to break out on Capitol Hill in the wake of this week’s bipartisan budget deal should probably forget about it.That was the clear message from most lawmakers interviewed on Friday as well as from close observers of Congress, after the deal passed through the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday on its way to the Senate.

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The budget bill, negotiated by Republican Representative Paul Ryan and Democratic Senator Patty Murray, is vague and non-specific, avoiding tough, divisive issues. But Congress’ agenda for the next year is full of specifics, including raising the debt ceiling, funding individual government programs, immigration reform and passing a farm bill.

“I think next year is tougher,” said Nebraska Republican Senator Mike Johanns. “It’s an election year. Tens of millions of dollars will be spent trashing people, and it’s hard to forget that.”

The deal was a “one-off,” said Norm Ornstein, a scholar of Congress at the conservative American Enterprise Institute.

It may avoid government shutdowns, assuming it passes the Senate next week as expected, he said. But “I don’t see any signs that the fundamentals have changed.”

That was also the message from the floor of the U.S. Senate, where Republicans, some red-faced with rage, kept berating Democrats on Friday for stripping away their right to block President Barack Obama’s judicial nominations using the filibuster, a procedural hurdle.

“The whole atmosphere here is totally poisoned, OK,” said Senator John McCain when asked as he left the floor if the budget deal changed anything.

“There’s no cooperation, there’s no comity. And it is what it is,” notwithstanding the fact that Democrats and Republicans came together to approve the budget bill.

“It can’t get much worse,” he said.

That does not bode well for the issues facing Congress as it enters its second half, with all seats in the Republican-led House and a third of those in the Democratic-led Senate up for election next November.

The political advantage of the budget agreement was its vagueness. It set overall spending levels for two years, a significant break from the recent pattern of short-term funding bills that required extension every few months, always under the threat of a government shutdown like the 16-day closure in October.

But it did not tackle the most volatile issues, such as Democratic demands for tax increases and Republican efforts to control spending on “entitlements,” such as the healthcare program for seniors, Medicare, or Social Security retirement.

While it set as a goal $1.012 trillion in spending, it did not specify how the sum would be divided up among individual programs, each of which has a constituency.

Indeed, once the budget bill is approved by the Senate, as expected next week, a more challenging and potentially acrimonious appropriations process will begin that could set off a scramble among advocates for particular interests.

“We have a heavy lift ahead of us,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, “drafting, negotiating, and passing these bills in just over one month.”

In an interview on PBS, Murray acknowledged that she and Ryan avoided the divisive questions. “You set aside the hot issues,” she noted in describing the formula for success in the negotiations.

In the immigration fight, for example, setting aside the “hot issues” might not be possible, as Democrats, including Obama, insist that any legislation contain a “pathway to citizenship” for the 11 million undocumented people living in the United States.

That presents a problem for many conservative Republicans, who see those people as having broken the law by either entering the United States illegally or overstaying their visas.

Nor did the budget deal address the bill expected in the spring to increase the nation’s borrowing limit. Conservatives, particularly those associated with the Tea Party movement, have regularly opposed the debt ceiling measure, twice bringing the government to the brink of a potential default.

Since Republican House Speaker John Boehner enraged conservatives this week by pushing through the budget deal they equated with surrender, Ornstein believes he may feel a need to mollify them by again demanding big spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.

“If you do something” that angers “the radical wing, does that give you more ability and incentive to do it again or does it require you to do something to make it clear that you really love them?” said Ornstein.

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The debt ceiling “will come up,” said Johanns. “We are going to struggle with that issue.”

“The fact that the debt ceiling fight will come right before the Republican primaries means that the fiscal battles haven’t gone away, but instead will likely heat up,” said Ron Bonjean, a former Republican leadership aide in the House.

“Republican members of Congress will want to show how conservative they are to voters back home,” he said. “This deal looks like a peaceful retreat made by both parties in order to rest up for the major battle over the debt ceiling.”

© 2013 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: Newsmax.com

Hillary ‘Inconsequential’ as Secretary of State.


Image: Hillary 'Inconsequential' as Secretary of State

By Melanie Batley

Experts are re-evaluating Hillary Clinton’s effectiveness as secretary of state, saying she left little evidence of a lasting legacy and was notable for her unwillingness to take risks.

Though Clinton was widely praised in the media in the days and weeks immediately after she stepped down, comparisons with current Secretary of State John Kerry have prompted growing questions about her leadership, reports Politico Magazine.

“Hillary was risk-averse; Kerry isn’t. He’s risk-ready,” Aaron David Miller, former Middle East peace negotiator for five presidents and scholar at the Wilson Center, told Politico. He suggests that political maneuvering for the 2016 presidential election “explains partly why she didn’t own a single issue of consequence.”

“She was a fine secstate but not consequential,” Miller said.

Republicans continue to criticize the former first lady for her handling of the 2012 Benghazi attacks, but overall, experts from both parties agree her service was of little consequence, according to the magazine.

“Certainly, even many of her most ardent defenders recognize Hillary Clinton had no single accomplishment at the State Department to her name, no indelible peace sealed with her handshake, no war averted, no nuclear crisis defused,” writes Susan Glasser, editor of Politico Magazine.

American Enterprise Institute‘s vice president of Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, Danielle Pletka, reinforces that view.

“The Washington consensus is that she was enormously ineffective… [though] no one was quite sure whether she was ineffective because she wanted to avoid controversy or because she wasn’t trusted by the president to do anything,” Pletka told Politico.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Bolton: Obama Fantasizes About a Responsible China.


Image: Bolton: Obama Fantasizes About a Responsible China

By Elliot Jager

China’s muscle-flexing is just one more reason why the United States cannot afford to move ahead with massive military-budget cuts,  former U.S. ambassador John Bolton says.

“We need superior Pacific Ocean air and naval power to counter Chinese aggressiveness.” he wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

Beijing‘s Nov. 23 announcement declaring the area over the Japanese-held Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea an air-defense identification zone is part of a pattern of obdurate behavior that for too long American policymakers have sought to downplay, Bolton alleges.

Vice President Joe Biden, who is visiting Asia this week, criticized but did not expressly reject the Chinese declaration. The State Department advised American carriers to comply with China’s notification requirements.

This position runs contrary to the policies of Japan and South Korea which instructed their airlines to ignore the Chinese demand.

“At the very best, these are mixed, and therefore dangerous, signals,” writes Bolton.
The Obama administration has been “fantasizing” about China’s “peaceful rise” as a “responsible stakeholder” on the world stage, Bolton says.

But, he says, China’s policies are driven by the People’s Liberation Army, the dominant force within the Communist Party — which remains the principal political and significant economic power in the country.

According to Bolton, now a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, all this “explains Beijing’s sustained increases in military budgets; its expanding nuclear and ballistic-missile arsenals; its unmatched cyber warfare program; its construction of a blue-water navy; and its anti-satellite, anti-access and area-denial weapons systems. These aren’t the marks of a ‘peaceful rise,’ especially combined with Beijing’s aggressive territorial claims.”

Bolton urges a “more realistic” American strategy on China, by having a stronger presence in the region, encouraging Japan to increase its defense and putting pressure on Beijing to oppose North Korea and Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

He called on Taiwan to publicly state that it does not recognize Beijing’s defense-zone declaration and to coordinate its stance with Japan and South Korea.

China’s latest gambit may have brought home the inherent threats and dangers of the real world to this administration.

“Joe Biden’s Asia trip could tell us if President Obama now gets it,” Bolton concludes.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

National Debt Set to Double Before Obama Leaves Office.


The national debt is set to double by the time President Barack Obama leaves office, if it continues to increase at the current rate.

In January 2009, when Obama began his first term, the federal debt was $10.6 trillion. As of this week it has increased 57 percent to $16.7 trillion, The Washington Times reported.

As Congress is faced with raising the debt ceiling by Oct. 17 or letting the government default on its bills, Obama has argued that doing so “won’t add a dime” the federal debt.

“It does not increase our debt,” Obama said. “It does not grow our deficits. All it does is allow the Treasury Department to pay for what Congress has already spent.”

These claims by the president gloss over the growing total debt, according to Alex Brill, a budget specialist of the American Enterprise Institute.

“It’s certainly not the whole story,” Brill told the Times. “We’ve seen a dramatic increase in the debt held by the public in the last four or five years, and it’s projected to only get worse.”

According to FactCheck.org, the amount that the federal government owes the public is set to double as well. The government currently owes the Treasury $11.94 trillion, which is an 89.3 percent increase from the day Obama took office.

“The Obama administration has projected an annual deficit of $750 billion in the fiscal year that began Oct. 1, and $626 billion the year after,” FactCheck wrote in its third quarter update. “At that rate, the debt owed to the public will more than double during the Obama presidency.”

Several in the GOP say that increasing the debt ceiling should be coupled with spending cuts.

House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday that Republicans will not agree to raise the debt ceiling without addressing deficit spending.

“We’re not going down that path,” he told George Stephanopoulos while appearing on “This Week” on ABC. “It’s about time to deal with America’s problems. How can you raise the debt limit and do nothing about the underlying problem?”

Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma expressed a similar sentiment Tuesday.

“We are in trouble financially,” Coburn said. “We are $30 trillion in the hole, plus another $17 trillion in debt. Wouldn’t it be smart if we started addressing that problem before we blankly allow an increase in the level of the credit card?”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Courtney Coren

John Bolton: Iran Has ‘Been Lying’ for 20 Years About Weapons.


Former UN Ambassador John Bolton says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces an uphill battle in his quest to persuade the world not to trust Iran and its overtures toward nuclear disarmament.

He adds that he doesn’t believe Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s diplomatic gestures “for a minute.”

Story continues below video.

“It’s a very difficult task for Prime Minister Netanyahu. He’s trying to warn the world that this charm offense, as everybody calls it, from the new Iranian leader is a complete fraud. It’s a propaganda effort,” Bolton told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV.

“There’s no distinction between Iranian moderates and hardliners when it comes to their nuclear weapons program,” he said Wednesday.

Bolton thinks President Barack Obama, who last week spoke by phone with Rouhani, fears an Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear program more than he fears Iran’s getting nuclear weapons.

“We know what we know, but let’s be clear, there’s a lot about Iran’s program we don’t know, and all of that information that’s unknown to us is bad news,” Bolton said.

“But it’s even worse from Obama’s point of view. He knows things that are not true, and as Reagan said, that’s always the most dangerous knowledge.”

Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said he doesn’t believe in the gestures by Iran to end its nuclear weapons program.

“I don’t believe their good faith for a minute. I think they’ve been lying to us for 20 years about their nuclear weapons program,” he said.

“The most likely outcome at this point is a very bad agreement that allows Iran to continue enrichment, and they will promise, solemnly … not to go to any level closer to weapons-grade uranium, and they will open some of their facilities again to international atomic agency inspectors,” he said.

“But they won’t open the facilities they’re not going to disclose and don’t tell us about, some of which might even be in North Korea, where they’ve cooperated with North Korea on a variety of nuclear and ballistic missile-related projects.”

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Bill Hoffmann

Bolton: Iranian President Playing Obama to Buy Time to Build Bomb.


Iran‘s new president, Hasan Rouhani, is telling President Barack Obama what he wants to hear while buying time to build a nuclear bomb, says John Bolton, former U.N. ambassador and current senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

“Just as Vladimir Putin had played him for a fool over Syria, Mr. Obama was initially snubbed by Iranian President Hasan Rouhani despite frantic White House efforts to produce a handshake,” Bolton writes in a Sunday op-ed in The Wall Street Journal. 

It’s not the first time Rouhani has played the West, Bolton writes. Rouhani was Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator from 2003 to 2005, when he successfully followed the same playbook.

“By offering what appeared to be concessions, Iran acquired precious time and legitimacy to overcome scientific and technical glitches in its nuclear-weapons program, particularly at Isfahan’s uranium-conversion facility,” Bolton wrote.

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Rouhani even boasted of his successes in article and speeches. In 2006, Rouhani said, “by creating a calm environment, we were able to complete the work on Isfahan.”

Bolton ticked off a list of what he described as Obama’s failures over the past year.

“Mr. Obama failed in his stated objective to oust Syria’s Assad regime from power; failed to impress Assad that his ‘red line’ against using chemical weapons was serious; failed to exact retribution when that red line was crossed; failed to rally anything but small minorities in either house of Congress to support his position; and failed to grasp that agreements with the likes of Syria and Russia prolong, rather than solve, the chemical-weapons problem,” Bolton writes.

Iran’s ayatollahs know, Bolton said, that the Obama’s “all options on the table” threat against their nuclear program carries no weight.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Greg Richter

New HUD Rule Seeks to Drive Neighborhood Diversity.


The Department of Housing and Urban Development is imposing a new rule that would allow the government to track diversity in neighborhoods across the country and then push policies to change those it deems discriminatory.

The policy, called “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing,” would require the agency to gather data on segregation and discrimination in every neighborhood and try to remedy it, Fox News reports.

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan introduced the proposed federal rule at the NAACP convention in Orlando last month.

“Unfortunately, in too many of our hardest-hit communities, no matter how hard a child or her parents work, the life chances of that child, even her lifespan, is determined by the ZIP code she grows up in,” Donovan told the group. “This is simply wrong.”

Some municipal officials fear the rule may create more problems and lawsuits in towns where where fair-housing mandates have been protested as burdensome, especially where there are few vacant lots left for development, Fox reported.

Data from the discrimination database would be used along with zoning laws, housing-finance policy, infrastructure planning, and transportation to alleviate alleged discrimination and segregation, according to Fox.

The proposed rule lacks specifics, however, although it has been published in the Federal Register and is undergoing a 60-day comment period.

The rule “does not prescribe or enforce specific” policies, the Federal Register entry says.

But Ed Pinto of the American Enterprise Institute told Fox that the rule smacked of social engineering.

“This is just the latest of a series of attempts by HUD to social engineer the American people,” he said. “It started with public housing and urban renewal, which failed spectacularly back in the ’50s and ’60s.

“They tried it again in the ’90s, when they wanted to transform house finance, do away with down payments, and the result was millions of foreclosures and financial collapse,” Pinto told Fox.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Todd Beamon

Bolton: US Needs to Do More With North Korea.


President Barack Obama should authorize a U.S. search of the North Korean ship with weapons from Cuba seized last week in Panama, says former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton.

The interdiction “should open President Obama’s eyes,” Bolton, now a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, writes in The Wall Street Journal

“The seizure’s chilling implication is that significant trading exists among proliferators (and their powerful friends), despite mountains of sanctions resolutions, vaunted intelligence capabilities, and Western leaders who think dictators can be talked out of long-sought military capabilities.”

Obama’s decision to leave the investigation up to the United Nations is a mistake, Bolton says, noting he should be moving “swiftly to investigate the suspect cargo” instead of “giving way to the U.N. to evaluate possible sanctions violations.”

Bolton warns in his piece that U.N. inspectors won’t even make it to Panama until Aug. 5, which gives plenty of time for North Korean-Cuban allies China and Russia to intervene, potentially hindering U.S. counter-proliferation efforts.

It’s unclear exactly what was on the ship, Bolton notes. But the claim from Cuba and North Korea that the vessel merely was transporting obsolete weapons and equipment could well be false, he adds.

“The freighter could well represent a pattern of trafficking in weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems, with Havana purchasing Pyongyang‘s missiles, previously marketed to the Middle East and Africa, and other dangerous weaponry,” he says.

“We have no idea how often North Korean ships have made this passage, but last week obviously wasn’t the first one.”

Bolton writes that “Panama’s interdiction highlights undeniably dangerous trade among rogue states and their allies.” But, he asks, “Will President Obama use this information wisely? Or will he ignore it because it would upset his fantasy negotiations with Tehran and Pyongyang?”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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