Here's some potentially VERY good economic news that was lost amid the weekend news flurry.  Those…
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Some Potentially VERY Good Economic News

Here's some potentially VERY good economic news that was lost amid the weekend news flurry.  Those with "skin in the game," and who likely possess the best perspective, are betting heavily on an upturn, as highlighted by Friday's Wall Street Journal:

Corporate insiders are buying stock in their own companies at a pact not seen in years, a sign they are betting on a rebound after a coronavirus-induced rout.  More than 2,800 executives and directors have purchased nearly $1.19 billion in company stock since the beginning of March.  That's the third-highest level on both an individual and dollar basis since 1988, according to the Washington Service, which provides data analytics about trading activity by insiders."

Here's why that's important:

Because insiders typically know the…[more]

March 30, 2020 • 11:02 am

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Bush to Blame For ISIS? The Facts Tell a Different Story Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, May 21 2015
ISIS wasn't even part of popular vocabulary until several years after Bush left the White House to Obama.

"Did George W. Bush Create ISIS?" 

That's a headline question The New Yorker asked in its latest issue. 

Predictably, the Obama Administration and left-leaning apologists engage in the same blame diffusion as ISIS expands its territorial control and ghoulish body count.  Even Rand Paul, looking to boost his 2016 presidential candidacy amid a formidable field of opponents, asked, "Is Iraq more or less stable after Saddam?" 

Well, Iraq was certainly more stable when George W. Bush left office in January 2009. 

Even Obama confirmed that reality almost three full years later when he bragged in December 2011 that, "we're leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people." 

Or listen to Vice President Joe Biden, who in 2010 preposterously told CNN's Larry King that Iraq would prove one of the great achievements of his administration, rather than the predecessor administration that implemented the successful troop surge that he and Obama predicted would fail: 

"I am very optimistic about - about Iraq.  I mean, this could be one of the great achievements of this administration.  You're going to see 90,000 American troops come marching home by the end of the summer.  You're going to see a stable government in Iraq that is actually moving toward a representative government.  I've spent - I've been there seventeen times now.  I go about every two months - three months.  I know every one of the major players in all of the segments of that society.  It's impressed me.  I've been impressed how they have been deciding to use the political process rather than guns to settle their differences." 

And lest one dismiss Obama's and Biden's admissions as mere political self-promotion, listen to what former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served under both Bush and Obama, said this week: 

"The truth is, we had the situation in pretty good shape in 2010, first part of 2011.  I think the security in Iraq was pretty good.  The security forces were pretty good.  But that was because we had a presence and we had influence so we could restrain [former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's] worst instincts, which were anti-Sunni, and we could ensure that the leaders of the Iraqi security forces were competent and well-trained, instead of a bunch of political hacks, which is who Maliki's people put in place." 

Even setting those statements aside, straightforward realities refute the claim that Bush created ISIS. 

First, keep in mind that ISIS germinated in Syria, where the United States conspicuously refrained from using force to topple a murderous dictator.  Bush obviously can't be scapegoated for Syria's state of political affairs, and that example illustrates that maintaining rather than toppling a murderous Baath party dictator (which describes both Saddam Hussein and Syria's Bashir al-Assad) offered no assurance against the rise of ISIS.  That fact alone shifts a heavy burden of proof to those who claim that removing Hussein led to ISIS. 

Second, ISIS wasn't even part of popular vocabulary until several years after Bush left the White House to Obama.  As recently as January 2014, Obama indolently dismissed ISIS when he told the same New Yorker that now suggests that Bush may be to blame, "The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a J.V. team puts on Lakers uniforms, that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant."  He continued, "I think there is a distinction between the capacity and reach of a bin Laden and a network that is actively planning major terrorist plots against the homeland versus jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes, often sectarian." 

Contrary to Obama's foolish dismissal, ISIS today controls far more territory than bin Laden ever claimed.  In addition to expanding recently into Libya and Egypt, it now occupies over 50% of Syria after capturing the ancient archaeological city of Palmyra just this week. 

Third, as highlighted this week by Frederick and Kimberly Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute, neither ISIS nor any similar al-Qaeda or terrorist force has ever conquered an urban area actively defended by U.S. troops in partnership with local forces.  That illustrates that the ISIS problem is primarily one of premature withdrawal of all residual American forces, not something Bush did over a decade ago. 

For its part, the American public is increasingly pessimistic regarding the situation.  According to a new Rasmussen survey, 43% of respondents now believe that ISIS is winning its campaign in Iraq, up 5 points from just two months ago.  Only 18% state that the U.S. and its allies are winning, down 7 points from two months ago. 

Meanwhile, Obama this week demonstrated that his head is still firmly planted in the proverbial sand, admonishing a Coast Guard Academy graduating class that global warming is the global threat with which America must contend.  It's a positive sign that the electorate believes otherwise, but it's also disturbing to consider how much more ground Obama will surrender in his remaining time in office. 

Question of the Week   
In which one of the following years did Congress first meet in Washington, D.C.?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called on the federal government to take control of the medical supply market. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker demanded that President Trump take charge and said 'precious months' were wasted waiting for federal action. Some critics are even more direct in demanding a federal takeover, including a national quarantine.It is the legal version of panic shopping. Many seem…[more]
 
 
—Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law
— Jonathan Turley, George Washington University Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law
 
Liberty Poll   

Who is most to blame for the delay in passage of the critical coronavirus economic recovery (or stimulus) bill?