Black Friday is upon us, and — in keeping with tradition — so are the attendant brawls, melees,…
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Wising Up to the 'Black Friday Con'

Black Friday is upon us, and — in keeping with tradition — so are the attendant brawls, melees, assaults, thefts and general mayhem.

Nevertheless, Black Friday appears a bit more sedate this year overall. Reuters reports:

Bargain hunters found relatively little competition compared with previous years. Some had already shopped Thursday evening, reflecting a new normal of U.S. holiday shopping, where stores open up with deals on Thanksgiving itself, rather than waiting until Black Friday.

Retailers "have taken the sense of urgency out for consumers by spreading their promotions throughout the year and what we are seeing is a result of that," said Jeff Simpson, director of the retail practice at Deloitte. Traffic in stores was light on Friday, while Thursday missed his expectations…[more]

November 27, 2015 • 02:29 pm

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Notable Quotes

Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!

— Center for Individual Freedom
— Center for Individual Freedom
Posted November 25, 2015 • 13:32 pm
On Obama's Last Year in Office:

"Insidiously and inadvertently, Barack Obama is alienating the people and moving the country to the right. If he keeps it up, by 2017 it will be a reactionary nation. But, counterintuitive as it seems, that is fine with Obama: Apres nous le deluge.

"By sheer force of his personality, Obama has managed to lose the Democratic Senate and House. State legislatures and governorships are now predominantly Republican. Obama's own favorable ratings rarely top 45 percent. In his mind, great men, whether Socrates or Jesus, were never appreciated in their time. So it is not surprising that he is not, as he presses full speed ahead. ...

"The more contrarian he becomes, and the more he opposes the wishes of the vast majority of the American people, all the more Obama envisions himself speaking truth to power and becoming iconic of something rather than the reality that he is becoming proof of nothing.

"Hold on. We haven't seen anything yet."

— Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution Senior Fellow and Nationally Syndicated Columnist
— Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution Senior Fellow and Nationally Syndicated Columnist
Posted November 24, 2015 • 12:52 pm
On Afghanistan, Syria and ISIL:

"It took us two months in late 2001 to overthrow the Taliban/Al Qaeda regime in Afghanistan. The reasons for our success in 2001 and our lack of success in 2014-15 are twofold: a far more intense air campaign and an indigenous ground force, led by Special Operations and CIA advisers, that could rapidly exploit the effects of air power. We conducted as many airstrikes in two months in Afghanistan in 2001 as we have in 16 months in Iraq and Syria. We should increase our strike tempo and weight of attacks significantly to bring both mass and precision to bear on ISIL's stronghold.

"Airstrikes are not enough, however. We must leverage the moderate Syrian opposition -- and they do exist in the tens of thousands -- to dislodge ISIL and Al Qaeda'€™s Syrian affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, from their territory. As we did in Afghanistan, we must support the moderate opposition with overwhelming air power, substantially increase the flow of arms to the moderate opposition, and place special operations and intelligence advisers with them. With American assistance, a much smaller insurgent force defeated the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. With our many Sunni partners, we can do the same in Syria."

— Michael Vickers, Former Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Special Forces and CIA Operations Officer
— Michael Vickers, Former Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Special Forces and CIA Operations Officer
Posted November 23, 2015 • 13:09 pm
On President Obama's Theater of the Absurd:

"Obama knew the media would take their eye off the ball if he distracted them with a passion play about GOP bigotry. He ridiculed Republicans for their cowardice and cruelty in raising concerns about the potential security threats posed by Syrian refugees. Never mind that such caution is informed in part by warnings from the heads of Obama's CIA, FBI, and DHS. Obama ludicrously mocked the idea that we prioritize Christian refugees -- victims of Islamic State genocide -- as an Islamophobic 'religious test' that was 'not American,' even though his administration already gives special preference to Yazidi refugees from Iraq and federal law requires taking religion into account when screening refugees. For Obama, politics ends at the water's edge, unless he's speaking abroad.

"Obama's dithering sparked the refugee crisis. He's now using a smattering of refugees as a cynical prop to prove he's the hero of his own morality tale. The reality is that he's a villain in his own theater of the absurd. And we're the suckers in the audience falling for it."

— Jonah Goldberg, National Review Senior Editor
— Jonah Goldberg, National Review Senior Editor
Posted November 20, 2015 • 12:43 pm
On President Obama and the Syrian Refugee Debate:

"If you've watched President Obama's various speeches and press conferences over the past few days, you can be forgiven for coming away with the distinct impression that he doesn't like you. ...

"If you doubt any portion of our current refugee policy, you're 'hysterical.' Never mind that a recent poll showed 13 percent of Syrian refugees declaring a 'positive' or 'somewhat positive' view of ISIS, or that at least one of the Paris attackers apparently arrived in France posing as a refugee. Never mind the 26 charges of terrorism brought up against foreign-born individuals in the U.S. in the past year, as Sen. Jeff Sessions documented this week, or the fact that in October, FBI Director James Comey testified that our current system likely can't effectively vet Syrian refugees.

"More importantly, never mind the fact that opposition to current refugee protocols doesn't necessarily translate into opposition to helping refugees altogether; had Obama led with an acknowledgment of the system's weaknesses and showed genuine concern towards fixing them, we might be in a different situation today. As it is, a new Bloomberg poll shows 53 percent of Americans opposing the current settlement plan."

— Heather Wilhelm, RealClearPolitics
— Heather Wilhelm, RealClearPolitics
Posted November 19, 2015 • 13:33 pm
On President Obama's Cynical Refugee Ploy:

"Obama's own policy decisions -- allowing Assad to convert peaceful demonstrations into an increasingly ugly civil war, refusing to declare safe havens and no fly zones -- were instrumental in creating the Syrian refugee crisis. This crisis is in large part the direct consequence of President Obama's decision to stand aside and watch Syria burn. For him to try and use a derisory and symbolic program to allow 10,000 refugees into the United States in order to posture as more caring than those evil Jacksonian rednecks out in the benighted sticks is one of the most cynical, cold-blooded, and nastily divisive moves an American President has made in a long time. ...

"To think that conspicuous moral posturing and holy posing over a symbolic refugee quota could turn President Obama from the goat to the hero of the Syrian crisis is absurd. Wringing your hands while Syria turns into a hell on earth, and then taking a token number of refugees, can be called many things, but decent and wise are not among them. You don'€™t have to be a xenophobe or a racist or even a Republican to reject this President's leadership on Syria policy. All you need for that is common sense and a moral compass."

Read entire article here

— Walter Russell Mead, Bard College Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities, Yale University Professor of American Foreign Policy and The American Interest Magazine Editor-at-Large
— Walter Russell Mead, Bard College Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities, Yale University Professor of American Foreign Policy and The American Interest Magazine Editor-at-Large
Posted November 18, 2015 • 13:33 pm
On the Islamic State and Relocation of Syrian Refugees:

"President Obama on Monday assailed the U.S. political backlash against resettling more Syrian refugees, especially Muslims, calling it un-American. Well, maybe he should have thought about that before he decided to do so little in Syria and let Islamic State build a vast terror sanctuary. ...

"As France is learning, Islamic State is only too happy to use the Syrian diaspora to plant its agents to kill the French. At least one of the killers on Friday is believed to have migrated from Syria through Greece and into Paris. Nearly all of the other migrants, Muslim and Christian, have no such bloody intent. But can you blame the average American for refusing to volunteer as a next door neighbor? ...

"If Mr. Obama fought Islamic State with half the vigor with which he delivers moral lectures, he'd find that a much less fearful America would welcome far more refugees."

— The Editors, The Wall Street Journal
— The Editors, The Wall Street Journal
Posted November 17, 2015 • 12:49 pm
On Democrats and the War with 'Radical Islam':

"During Saturday's debate, all three Democratic presidential candidates refused to say that the U.S. was at war with 'radical Islam.' They all bobbed and weaved as they tried to follow the PC line and avoid admitting that obvious fact. ...

"The debate on Saturday exposed the real weakness the Democratic field has on national security. None of the three candidates were willing to state the obvious: that President Obama's foreign-policy fecklessness has made America less safe. Former CIA deputy director Michael Morell told CBS News's Face the Nation on Sunday that 'it's now crystal clear to us that our strategy, our policy, vis-a-vis ISIS is not working, and it's time to look at something else.' The day before, Morell had told CBS's 48 Hours that it was now the duty of the intelligence community to confront President Obama with that news."

— John Fund, National Review
— John Fund, National Review
Posted November 16, 2015 • 13:17 pm
On the Price of Freedom:

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

— President Thomas Jefferson
— President Thomas Jefferson
Posted November 14, 2015 • 14:14 pm
On the GOP's Fox Business Network Debate:

"The Republican debate on CNBC was riveting, the way a train wreck is riveting -- you couldn't take your eyes off it. The Fox Business Network debate was merely satisfying. A serious political discussion requires a bit more work, but it repays the effort. ...

"On Tuesday, all the contenders were required to show their hand. We saw character and we saw policy. Substance is never sizzling, but the FBN debate was both revealing and sobering: Which one of these can you actually see inhabiting the Oval Office?"

— Charles Krauthammer, Syndicated Columnist
— Charles Krauthammer, Syndicated Columnist
Posted November 13, 2015 • 12:33 pm
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Wishing everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving!…[more]
—Center for Individual Freedom
— Center for Individual Freedom
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Does your family have political discussions during Thanksgiving Dinner?