By Bernard Goldberg, with permission of the author

I can’t imagine that there are many Americans who listened to President Obama’s Oval Office speech on terrorism and when it was over took a deep breath and said, “Now I feel better.”

This isn’t entirely Mr. Obama’s fault, of course. At some level we know that what happened in San Bernardino can (and probably will) happen again someplace else in this country. No matter what the president does, it may not be enough.

But when it comes to fighting the war on terror, President Obama doesn’t exactly instill confidence. He hasn’t even used the term since January 23, 2009 – his fourth day in office.

As for the most menacing face of terror, ISIS, in Mr. Obama’s words, was the jayvee team. They were “contained.” ISIS had other ideas and attacked Paris. One hundred thirty innocents were slaughtered. Mr. Obama called it a “setback.”

For too long President Obama refused to bomb the oil fields that ISIS controlled because, according to former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell, the president was concerned about the “environmental impact.”

No one will confuse Barack Obama with Harry Truman. Or Franklin Roosevelt. Or Winston Churchill. Or Hilary Benn.

Yes, Hillary Benn, a member of Britain’s Labour Party, who recently rose up in the British House of Commons during a debate on a Conservative Party plan to bomb territory held by ISIS — and said something liberals usually don’t say.

Mr. Benn (despite his first name, it is Mr. Benn) not only challenged his own party on bombing ISIS, but also confronted his liberal colleagues who refuse to see the enemy for what it is.

“We are here faced by fascists,” he said. “Not just their calculated brutality, but their belief that they are superior to every single one of us in this chamber tonight, and all of the people that we represent. They hold us in contempt. They hold our values in contempt. They hold our belief in tolerance and decency in contempt. They hold our democracy, the means by which we will make our decision tonight, in contempt. And what we know about fascists is that they need to be defeated.”

President Obama, of course, knows that ISIS needs to be defeated. But has he ever delivered a speech with such eloquence and directness as the one by Hilary Benn? To this day, he won’t utter the words “Islamic terrorists.” During the last Democratic presidential debate, all the candidates refused to state the obvious – that we’re at war with radical Islam. And Hillary Clinton said the term was “not particularly helpful.”

None of this liberal squeamishness is resonating even with those who once supported Barack Obama. Polls show that a big majority of Americans don’t approve of the way the president is fighting terrorism in general and ISIS in particular. But even in his Oval Office speech, he offered nothing new in the way of a strategy to defeat the Islamic State.

Mike Tyson once observed that every boxer has a plan – until he gets hit in the mouth. President Obama’s plan (whatever it is) has taken more than a few shots to the mouth. But it’s as if the president actually believes that his vision of a world –where ISIS is the junior varsity and is contained and terrorism is on the run — is the real world, simply because he deems it so.

Barack Obama once got by on his magic, on a charisma that few politicians are lucky enough to possess. The magic is gone. The charisma, such as it is, no longer mesmerizes. Americans know we’re at war with Islamic terrorists, no matter how inconvenient the president and Hillary Clinton find that fact to be. And no matter how many times they refuse to even utter those words.
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By Nicolas Loris

Last week in Paris, unhealthy I had the pleasure of speaking at an event hosted by the Heartland Institute, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT). The conference, entitled “A Day of Examining the Data” brought climatologists to talk about the state of climate science and economists to talk about the importance of free market energy policy.

The press conference was met with protestors. One organization even created “Wanted” posters of the “seven biggest climate criminals attending the Conference of Parities (COP21) Paris climate summit” including folks from CEI and Heartland. (I must be on the watch list).

My remarks centered around the importance of getting energy policy right and the many, many problems that arise when policymakers get it wrong.

Conferences, such as COP21 in Paris, remind me of Albert Einstein’s famous remark on the definition of insanity: “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Year after year, leaders around the world have claimed that these sort of negotiations are the earth’s last best hope, but are they really?

We’ve been hearing politicians say this for three decades now, but what remains the same is that although developed nations want developing nations to commit to carbon cuts, they won’t.

No matter what developing nations commit to, it’s smoke and mirrors. The fact remains that developing nations, such as China and India are more concerned with economic growth. The title of a recent Reuters news report says it all: “India says Paris climate deal won’t affect plans to double coal output.”

The COP process has, however, been critical to building the narrative that drives much of today’s global warming policy. Paris and the “success” of the negotiations made that more clear than ever.

Specifically, the process has effectively penetrated the body politic of many nations with the idea that man-made global warming is a problem that world governments must act to solve. Ending the use of conventional fuels like coal, oil and natural gas is central to their solution. President Barack Obama’s CO2 regulation successes are testament to the COP processes influence.


Unfortunately for Americans (and everyone around the globe), we have paid a steep price for the creation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and attempts to decarbonize the globe’s energy use. The framework perpetuates the notion that CO2 can only be harmful.

Although the signed agreement by 195 countries to cut CO2 emissions are voluntary, it expresses that the need to reduce global warming is urgent and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and funding green technologies is the path forward to do so.

If the U.S. and other countries remains a part of the framework, respective governments will continue to regulate natural resources to raise their prices and make them less competitive and use taxpayer money to subsidize their preferred energy technologies.

We’ve already seen this happen in the U.S. over several decades. Taxpayer-funded subsidies and regulations supporting domestic and international efforts to reduce carbon dioxide are driving up energy prices, wasting taxpayer money, and distorting energy markets that reward connections to the government over market viability.


Approximately 80 percent of America’s energy needs, and 80 percent of the world’s energy needs, are met by fossil fuels. And it’s not because of any government policy or centrally-planned energy policy, but simply because these energy sources provide households and businesses with the most reliable electricity and transportation fuel at the most affordable price. Thus, decarbonizing the economy, as these international efforts and regulations from the Obama administration’s Environmental Protection Agency aim to do, has significant adverse impacts on wealth and prosperity.

And this if far from just a U.S. problem.

One of the most egregious deceptions perpetrated by the U.N. and proponents of action on climate change is the “better safe than sorry” approach.Proponents of global warming regulations argue that it’s better to have these policies in place on the off chance something bad could happen from increased manmade emissions – even if climate data shows otherwise.

In fact, the principles of the 1992 climate convention states:

“Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postponing such measures, taking into account that policies and measures to deal with climate change should be cost-effective so as to ensure global benefits at the lowest possible cost.”

Much of the sentiment exists in the Paris framework.

When you hear those words, it sounds as if the policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are pretty painless. It’s as simple as cautiously looking both ways before you cross the street. When it comes to climate change, use of the "precautionary principle" ignores the costs, risks, and unintended consequences of decarbonizing the world -- almost all the activities that drastically improve our quality of live require energy.

The overall theme of Heartland’s conference was this: Global warming policies are a costly non-solution to a non-problem. The agreement reached in Paris will only serve to implement more of those policies.


Nicola Loris is an economist, and he focuses on energy, environmental and regulatory issues as the Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow at The Heritage Foundation:


Reprinted from PA Pundits - International ( )


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