Is Anyone In Charge At The White House? BY VICTOR DAVIS HANSON

What’s gone wrong with the government in the past month? Just about everything, from the fundamental to the ridiculous.

Benjamin Netanyahu visited the U.S. to warn Congress about the dangers of a nuclear Iran. He spoke without the invitation of an irritated President Obama, who claimed he did not even watch the address on television.

Obama declined even to meet with the Israeli prime minister, announcing that it would have been improper for him to have such a meeting so close to Netanyahu’s re-election bid.

But if Obama was so concerned about not influencing the Israeli elections, why, according to some accounts, is a Senate panel launching an investigation into whether Obama’s State Department gave grant money to a nonprofit organization that sought to unseat Netanyahu with the help of former Obama campaign operatives?

Then, 47 Republican senators signed an unusual letter to the Iranian theocracy, reminding it that any agreement on Iran’s nuclear program negotiated with the Obama administration would have to first clear Congress.

Obama shot back that the senators’ letter was undue interference that aided the Iranians. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton agreed that the senators were either empowering Iranian hard-liners or sabotaging the diplomatic efforts of their own president. Secretary of State John Kerry concurred.

Still, the Senate may pass new sanctions against Iran if it feels that Obama has been too lax in its negotiations or usurped senatorial treaty oversight.

Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., bucked Obama and expressed doubt about administration concessions to the Iranians. Other Democrats could join him. But almost immediately after weighing in on Iran, Menendez found himself the target of a federal investigation into purported corruption.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is bogged down in another trademark Clinton scandal. Clinton never used a standard government email account while secretary. And rather than submit her actual emails to the State Department back in December, Clinton submitted 55,000 printed pages of emails — making it harder for those emails to be searched.

Apparently, Clinton also wished to decide which of her private-server communications to release to the government, but only when congressional investigators and watchdog groups demanded them after her tenure ended.

Clinton’s implausible press conference last week only made things worse. She proved unable to explain her unusual behavior and seemed ignorant about how government email works and is secured.

Abroad, Syria, Iran and the Islamic State are battling for what’s left of the Syrian-Iraqi borderlands after the we abruptly pulled out all our peacekeepers from Iraq.

Read More At Investor’s Business Daily:

DHS released another 30,000 criminal aliens onto streets By Stephen Dinan

Federal immigration officers released another 30,000 immigrants with criminal records last year, following the 36,000 it released in 2013, the government announced Wednesday — though it promised to take steps to cut down on the problem.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that handles detention and removal of illegal immigrants, said it will no longer allow overcrowding to be the main reason a dangerous illegal immigrant is released, and will require a top supervisor to approve the cases of any serious criminals that officers want to release.

Overall, ICE released 30,558 criminal aliens in fiscal year 2014, which is down from the 36,007 criminals released a year before.

The 2013 releases prompted an outcry, and the latest news that the releases continue is likely to renew the calls for ICE to get a handle on its actions.

New ICE Director Sarah R. Saldana said the number “still concerns me.”

“I am determined to continue to take every possible measure to ensure the public’s safety and the removal of dangerous criminals,” she said in announcing the new steps.

ICE said it had little discretion over most of the criminals it released. The agency said that under a previous court decision, immigrants whose home countries won’t take them back cannot be held indefinitely, so they have to be released after a period of time.

Republicans in Congress have proposed rewriting the law to allow for longer detention of serious criminals, and they have called on the Obama administration to use existing powers to deny visas to leaders of countries that refuse to take their citizens back.

But the administration has declined to take those steps.

Those released from custody are generally supposed to be monitored, and Ms. Saldana vowed to stiffen those procedures to try to ensure those that are released are not able to commit new crimes.

ICE didn’t release a breakdown of criminal offenses of the new 30,000 on Wednesday, but among the 36,000 released in 2013 were 193 homicide convictions, 426 sexual assault convictions, 303 kidnapping convictions and 16,070 convictions for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

ICE said that most of the homicide convictions were court-ordered.

Jessica Vaughan, policy director at the Center for Immigration Studies, which exposed the first batch of 36,000 releases, said Wednesday that giving supervisors more review of each case isn’t a solution, it’s the root of the problem.

“In fact, it’s the supervisors who are ordering the releases, and the intent of the supervision is to make sure that officers in the field are not detaining people — not the other way around,” she said. “The problem is most definitely the policies, not the officers. Creating more levels of review and red tape is not going to solve that problem.”

She said having more supervision of those released is a good step, but said it’s even more cost-effective to use expedited removal to kick criminals out of the country faster. She said ICE’s own analysis has found that using alternatives to detention, such as electronic monitoring or a phone-in system, turns out to be expensive because it results in drawn-out cases and more fugitives who abscond.

Read more at Washington Times

Krauthammer’s Take: What’s that Queasy Feeling? ‘Early-Onset Clinton Fatigue.’

The problem for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, according to Charles Krauthammer: “She can’t run on her record.”

Quote of the Day 03/21/15

“[N]o one’s ever been able to show me any difference between democracy and brute force. It’s just a majority ganging up on a minority with the minority giving in to avoid getting massacred.” — L. Neil Smith American writer

Obama’s failed Iran policy, not protocol, is the problem By Marc A. Thiessen

So let’s get this straight: Iranian-backed rebels have overthrown the pro-American government in Yemen that was helping us fight al-Qaeda’s most dangerous branch. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has deployed its terrorist Quds Force into Iraq, and its infamous commander, Gen. Qasem Soleimani, is on the ground leading the offensive against the Islamic State. Iran is on the verge of getting the world to lift economic sanctions in exchange for a nuclear agreement so bad that it has actually united Arabs and Israelis in opposition.

And Washington is concerned with . . . protocol.

It was a violation of protocol, we are told, for House Speaker John Boehner to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to explain the dangers of the Iran accord to Congress. It was a violation of protocol for Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and 46 other Republican senators to issue an open letter to Iran’s leaders explaining that any agreement they reach with Obama might not survive his presidency.

To hell with protocol. Iran is on the march across the Middle East. The regime in Tehran is turning Iraq (a country thousands of Americas died to liberate) into an Iranian proto-satellite state. It is propping up the murderous regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria that has killed some 200,000 people. It is using proxies such as Hamas, Hezbollah and the Houthis in Yemen to conduct jihad against the West. And President Obama is trying to turn Iran into a partner in peace — promising that if Iran cooperates with the United States, it could become “a very successful regional power.”

Iran already is “a very successful regional power.” And it believes it could become even more successful if it had a nuclear weapon.

The Obama administration is negotiating an accord that would bring Iran closer to that objective. The agreement Obama is negotiating would reportedly lift sanctions on Iran without requiring the regime to dismantle a single element of its nuclear program or cease its development of intercontinental ballistic missiles. This means that when the accord expires in a decade (another disastrous concession) Iran could then break out as a nuclear power with missiles that can deliver mass destruction far beyond the Middle East. The result could be a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, as the United States’ Gulf allies race to develop a nuclear deterrent of their own to counter a nuclear Iran. And a nuclear Iran would be even more emboldened to destabilize its neighbors and seek to impose its hegemony across the region.

So let’s be clear: With all due respect to Miss Manners, protocol breaches are the least of our problems. To the contrary, we should be thankful there are still leaders in Washington like Cotton who are willing to throw their bodies on the tracks to stop the runaway train of Obama’s failed Iran policy.

On Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry declared Cotton’s open letter to Iranian leaders “unconstitutional.” Apparently Kerry is unfamiliar with a part of that document called the First Amendment. And perhaps Kerry — and all those who are complaining about protocol and constitutional violations — could answer a simple question: Would it be a violation of protocol for the Obama administration to seek the United Nations’ approval of its Iran deal while circumventing Congress? Where in the Constitution does it say that the president can get the U.N. Security Council to make an agreement legally binding on our country without the approval of the elected representatives of the American people?

Apparently the Obama administration is contemplating doing just that — using a Security Council vote on its Iran deal to impose an international legal obligation on the United States, in an effort to prevent the next president from withdrawing from the agreement and reimposing sanctions. Of course, Obama cannot, in fact, use the U.N. to bind the next president. The Constitution trumps the U.N. Charter. Congress must pass legislation implementing Security Council resolutions for them to carry force of law, and it is unlikely Congress would ever do so in this case. But the fact that the Obama administration would even consider such an end run around Congress, while accusing its Republican critics of violating the Constitution, is sheer hypocrisy. And untold damage to our nation’s security will be done, since once the international sanctions regime is dismantled, it will be impossible to reimpose.

Cotton and his GOP colleagues have every right to publicly express their opposition to the Iran accord. And if a simple press release from 47 senators is enough to blow up Obama’s nuclear deal, then good for them. The republic will be safer as a result.

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