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  • Jack 3:13 pm on November 23, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: adelle nazarian, , , bush legacy, , , , , , , , , , , , ,   


    Stephen K. Bannon believes that the Democratic Party’s obsession with identity politics will ultimately backfire against them. In fact, he believes this has broken the party to such a degree that it will never recover.

    The process has already begun.

    In his new book Bannon: Always the Rebel, released on Monday, Keith Koffler notes that the former White House Chief Strategist revealed a deep flaw in the Democratic Party’s hand that showed its poker face as a transparent window to the true nature of the party’s illusion of strength.

    It was through Bannon’s travel ban, which was expeditiously rolled out, that this revelation was made. The ban, quickly branded a “Muslim Ban” by the left, and some on the right, was intended to take attention off a second order that Bannon believed was much more significant; the “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” order signed on January 25, which called for building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border to keep illegal aliens out.

    Bannon, with the whiteboard in his office and his eagerness to check off Trump campaign promises as accomplished, took the brunt of the blame for the administration moving too quickly. But he says the uproar had its upside: It helped create “the resistance” that Bannon believes thoroughly delegitimizes the Democratic Party with average voters it needs to win elections. He claimed he knew the outrage was coming, and that the Left had fallen into a trap. “The Left bit on it, and created the resistance, and it blew up, and now it’s part of the political movement,” Bannon said. “It’s what’s broken the Democratic Party.”

    As Koffler points out in his book on Bannon, the left’s reaction to the temporary travel ban showed that the Democratic Party “has become a mere anti-Trump party that gives aid, comfort, and protection to sometimes violent street protestors.”

    He also noted Bannon’s belief that the Democratic Party’s addiction to divisive identity politics may succeed in stirring up much noise on the fringes, but that this very tactic will work against them among the very same minority groups they are using to cause an uprising.

    President Trump’s temporary ban targeted seven terror-prone states identified by President Barack Obama’s administration, pursuant to the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015. The word “Muslim” is not once mentioned in the text of the temporary ban and it does not cover 87 percent of the world’s Muslims, who largely live in other countries than those listed.

    Koffler writes, “Concluding that the United States was now serious about deporting them, illegal immigrants stopped showing up at the border. From February to June 2017, apprehensions at the border were down 58 percent compared to the same period a year earlier.” Homeland Security Department spokesman David Lapan is quoted in the book saying, “A lot of the discussion about changes in our enforcement policy and the way we are going about doing business, we believe that has deterred people. When you get here, it is likely you are going to get caught. You are going to be returned to your country.”

    Bannon: Always the Rebel is available for purchase at bookstores and online.


  • Jack 3:23 am on November 23, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , bush legacy, , , , , , , ,   

    On “Deplorabilism” 

    There is lots of talk about a new nationalist populist worker movement.

    Supposedly, something quite new would institutionalize, define, and solidify the Trump base of aging Reagan Democrats, old Ross Perot independents, Tea Party remnants, newly disaffected Democratic workers, and a few returning libertarians and paleocons. Certainly, together they helped to swung the election in 2016.

    But what exactly would be the formal agenda of the proverbial deplorables and irredeemables? And how would it differ all that much from conservative Republicanism of generations past?

    After all, despite a much-hyped conservative civil war, a bitter primary, and a NeverTrump movement that won’t quiet, 90 percent of the Republicans in 2016 still voted for Trump. These voters assumed, like deplorable and irredeemable Democrats and Independents, that Trump would push conservative agendas. And they were largely proved correct.

    After 10 months of governance, Trump’s deregulations, a foreign policy of principled realism, energy agendas, judicial appointments, efforts at tax reform and health care recalibration, cabinet appointments, and reformulation at the Departments of Education, the EPA, and Interior seem so far conservative to the core.

    Illegal Immigration, Trade, and Realism

    In the few areas where Trump conceivably differed from his 16 primary Republican rivals—immigration, trade, and foreign policy—the 20th-century Republican/conservative orthodoxy was actually closer to Trump’s positions than to those of recent Republican nominees, John McCain or Mitt Romney.

    Vast majorities of conservatives always favored enforcement of federal immigration law rather than tolerance of sanctuary cities. They wanted to preserve legal, meritocratic, diverse, and measured immigration, not sanction open borders. And they championed the melting pot over the identity politics of the salad bowl.

    In sum, voters did not believe the United States could continue with open borders, or the idea that foreign nationals could cross the border illegally and at will, and then dictate to their hosts the circumstances of their continued residence—much less accuse their magnanimous hosts of racism and nativism for not accepting the demands of their advocates.

    All Trump did was return prior orthodoxy on border enforcement to the fore, albeit often with blunter rhetoric. He called out a loud but minority corporate interest on the Right that wanted cheap labor. And he questioned the wisdom of Republican officials who apparently saw appeasement of illegal immigration as a way to compete for the eventual votes of inevitable and huge annual influxes of illegal aliens.

    But again, the rise of the deplorables was not evidence of some new strain of xenophobia and nativism. Rather their views marked a return not just to Republican values, but also the majority position held by most Americans.

    On trade, every Republican knew that China, as well other developing and mercantile exporting countries cheated and, in effect, ignored agreements on trademarks, copyrights, and safety regulations.

    Trump riled up his base by demanding the government do what Republicans in the past had once assumed to be the commonplace view of things—although in a fashion less radical than the former tariff-policies of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Trump further opposed some of the policies of trade blocs like NAFTA. But as in the case of NATO, it is just as likely that in Art of the Deal style, Trump feigned much of his furor to give his subordinates greater leverage to renegotiate a fairer commercial and financial status quo.

    On foreign policy, Trumpism is a return to, or a refinement of, Reagan’s and the elder Bush’s principled realism: the acceptance that the United States has to protect its friends and deter its enemies, maintain the postwar order, avoid optional wars, and force allies in the West to shoulder the collective burden. A nation does not have to be perfect, but being better than the alternative, occasionally, should help it to earn American support

    Trump’s break from doctrinaire neoconservatism came not over punishing the Taliban and Saddam Hussein (despite Trump’s denials of his initial support for removing Saddam Hussein), but in seeking to rebuild both nations in the image of a Western constitutional state—a task often considered too costly in blood and treasure in the people’s strict cost/benefit analysis.

    Reactionary or Revolutionary?

    In this regard, Trumpism was again a sort of return to the Republican Party of the 1990s when the Republican-led Congress almost cut off funding for the Clinton Administration’s bombing efforts to remove Slobodan Milosevic—even as American jets were in the air over Kosovo. Certainly, in that aspect, late 20th-century Republicans were more isolationist than a 21st-century Trump.

    Again, the Trump foreign policy agenda is far closer to Ronald Reagan’s policies than past Republican nominees. Reagan in 1968, 1976, and 1980 was similarly demonized as an America First threat to Rockefeller Republicanism—whether renouncing the Panama Canal Treaty or opposing détente with the Soviet Union.

    So what drives deplorablism?

    It is not so much an ideological or even political movement as it is a spiritual and psychological frame of mind that is fed up with hypocrisies of the proverbial establishment, bicoastal cultural elites, and the deep administrative state.

    Deplorablism, Rightly Understood

    Deplorables grew furious as amnesty Democrats and especially corporate Republicans preached about the values of open borders and unchecked illegal immigration—but never quite experienced first-hand the effects their policies had on distant others. Influential advocates of lax border security tended to put their kids in private schools, lived in mostly apartheid communities, saw illegal aliens largely as cheap labor and personal servants, did not have any personal desire to live among, befriend, tutor or mentor those they championed—and assuaged their guilt by blasting their own fellow conservative with charges of xenophobia and nativism.

    I once experienced a lot of Republican orthodox disdain when I wrote Mexifornia in 2003 and discovered how unabashedly some elites believed that cheap labor should trump worries over routine lawbreaking, static wages of entry-level American laborers, and the impediments that that mass illegal immigration posed to the melting pot of assimilation and integration. In some sense, in 2003 the editorial position on illegal immigration of La Voz de Aztlan and the Wall Street Journal were almost indistinguishable.

    The deplorables were further enraged about national security that was never defined as predicated first on American interests abroad and at home. Nothing was more surreal than to read Vanity Fair in 2006 and learn that many of the architects of the Iraq War had bailed on the war in mediis rebus. Yet some of such critics had called for a preemptive strike against Iraq as early as the mid-1990s, during the Clinton Administration, as part of the Project for the New American Century agenda of preemptive war.

    But rather than to adhere to the old adage that the only thing worse than waging a bad war was to lose it, some who had sought optional wars were now perceived to have disclaimed the very ordeal that followed from the decisions they had once welcomed—even as more than 100,000 Americans were stuck fighting with vanishing elite support. “My perfect three-week invasion, your botched up occupation,” is not a legitimate fallback position once Americans are dying in the field.

    The point of calling for “fair” rather than “free” trade was to end the idea that commercial violations by rising powers were considered tolerable because they were better off in the family of nations than outside as renegades.

    In truth, the consequences of asymmetrical trade practices fell mostly on Americans who unfortunately were mired in industries considered passé, and therefore they were supposed to pass on with them. As one of “globalism’s sore losers,” I once wrote another book, Fields Without Dreams, chronicling the mass bankruptcies of farmers in a new globalized, vertically integrated world. Foreign subsidies, especially those of the European Union, had helped to crash some American commodity prices. Yet that fact was ignored, by the apology that such foreign cost-cutting at least drove down consumer prices. Foreign subsidies also supposedly forced farmers to “improve” their own domestic “productivity” to compete—and thus made us “leaner.” And ultimately we were assured that foreign subsidies would boomerang on their creators and prove self-defeating for cheating trade partners.

    All such arguments were, in theory, logical and were fine and noble thoughts. But again, they were applicable to a distant future—and to an “Other,” rather than immediately relevant to those who embraced such creative destruction agendas. These were also economic rationales that by needs ignored the cultural reality of agrarian annihilation—analogous to Hillary Clinton’s nostrums for the coal industry.

    Finally, the deplorables grew weary with sober and judicious Marquis of Queensberry campaigning rules.  Republicans had been losing nobly on the national level with presidential candidates who had not achieved 51 percent of the vote since 1988 and had lost the popular votes in five out of the last six elections—even as Republicans made substantial gains in Congressional, state, and local offices.

    Trump may have done no better in the popular vote and may have won ugly, but he won nonetheless against the odds and for now, showed that past political appeasement had done no better than fiery deterrence.

    In sum, “deplorablism” is mostly a style. The Trump agenda so far is mostly mainstream 20th-century Republicanism. To the degree it is not seen as such on trade, immigration, and foreign policy, it may be that it is far more traditionally conservative than what had become the de facto position of the 21st-century Republican Party.

    The departure from conservatism is not what the once liberal Democrat Trump has done since January, but what those who oppose him might likely do in his place.

    Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].


  • Jack 3:24 am on November 16, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: bush legacy, , , , , , , , , ,   

    Justice Required 

    No person in this country is so high that he or she is above the law. This includes Hillary Clinton.

    There is no station in life or standing in government or political aspiration that absolves someone from criminal conduct. In this way, we are all creatures of the law and are bound to obey it. An orderly society cannot function if it permits individuals to disregard the law with impunity.

    This fundamental principle, enunciated by the U.S. Supreme Court more than a century ago, is what gives sustenance to our democracy. Without it, lawlessness, chaos and tyranny at the hands of the few would inexorably ensue.

    It follows, then, that Clinton is no higher or lower than any American. She must abide by the rule of law regardless of her condition or circumstance. Running for high office, including the presidency, does not somehow establish an entitlement to legal absolution.

    Yet, this essential doctrine seemed to be entirely lost on Democrats during Tuesday’s hearing by the House Judiciary Committee in which Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified.

    Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, the ranking Democrat, asked the following question: “In a functioning democracy, is it common for the leader of the country to order the criminal justice system to retaliate against his political opponents?”

    Sessions responded that “the Department of Justice can never be used to retaliate politically against opponents and that would be wrong.”

    Conyers, a notorious partisan, appears to have deliberately misstated both the law and the facts. The Justice Department is duty-bound to investigate acts that appear to have violated criminal statutes. If there is sufficient evidence to support an indictment of charges, our system of justice demands they be brought.

    This is not retaliation, as Conyers would have people believe, but the enforcement of laws unimpeded by political motivations.

    Clinton is not exempt merely because she ran for the presidency and lost. If that were the case, anyone could rob a bank and be excused from punishment by becoming a candidate for office.

    Sessions has been lethargic in determining whether the criminal prosecution of Clinton is warranted. On July 27, Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to the attorney general demanding that he appoint a special counsel to investigate alleged wrongdoing by Clinton in the controversial sale of a uranium company to Russia. Sessions never responded. A second letter in September was also ignored.

    Finally, on the eve of his testimony, Sessions advised the committee that he had, indeed, directed senior federal prosecutors to evaluate whether a special counsel is needed. There is compelling evidence that Clinton may have used her office as secretary of state to confer a benefit to the Russian government in exchange for money.

    If a “pay-to-play” scheme helped secure the sale of 20 percent of America’s uranium assets to Russia while enriching Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton and their foundation, it would constitute various crimes including bribery, mail fraud, wire fraud and, arguably, racketeering.

    The committee has requested that a special counsel also reopen the Clinton email case to ascertain whether actions taken by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and then-FBI Director James Comey may have obstructing justice in an effort to exonerate Clinton.

    If so, then the question of whether Clinton violated the Espionage Act in mishandling 110 classified documents found on her unsecured and unauthorized personal server must be re-examined for potential criminal charges against her.

    As I have argued in columns for several months, the attorney general has no choice but to appoint a special counsel and must do so immediately. During his confirmation hearing on Jan. 10, Sessions vowed to recuse himself from any questions involving “both the Clinton email investigation and any matters involving the Clinton Foundation.”

    Therefore, he must hand the entire matter over to a special counsel in order to comply with his promise under oath and to eliminate his admitted conflict of interest.

    President Trump has criticized Sessions for his conspicuous failure to pursue investigations into Clinton and others in the Obama administration for their suspected criminality. President Trump was right to do so and is well within his constitutional authority to voice his concern.

    It is a complete myth perpetuated by the media – and reiterated by Conyers during Tuesday’s hearing – that a president may not be engaged in criminal cases at the Department of Justice. There is not a single law prohibiting him from directing the department to pursue any matter that merits criminal prosecution.

    To the contrary, under Article II of the Constitution the president is specifically empowered to enforce all laws – something often accomplished by instructing the Justice Department to take action. Agencies and departments in the executive branch are not independent. They are constitutionally under the direction of the president. He may tell them what to do and what not to do.

    Over the course of our nation’s history, presidents have been intimately involved in both civil and criminal cases. President Thomas Jefferson ordered his attorney general to prosecute Aaron Burr for treason. President John F. Kennedy ordered his Justice Department to intervene in multiple civil rights cases.

    A president may not abuse his office to pursue political vendettas under the guise of criminal prosecutions. But where there is sufficient evidence of illegality, he has every right to demand that the law be enforced. His failure to do so would constitute an egregious breach of his constitutional duty.

    The more we learn about the machinations of Hillary Clinton and the unscrupulous nature of her dealings as secretary of state and, later, as a presidential candidate, the more we have come to learn that the trajectory of her political career has been punctuated by a sense of privilege and entitlement that transcends the law.

    It is time she face the consequences of her actions and the scrutiny of a special counsel.


  • Jack 3:32 am on November 15, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , bush legacy, , , , , , , ,   

    The Maniae 

    America is in another of its Salem moments. Frenzy is almost a living, breathing monster. It moves from host to host, fueled by rumor, gossip, and self-righteous furor.

    The Greeks knew well of the transitory nature of these mass panics. They claimed such fits were inspired by the Maniae, the three daughters of Night who were the goddesses of insanity, madness, and crazed frenzy. We’ve seen all three of them in action throughout the past year.

    Collusion Everywhere and Nowhere

    For about six months, cable news shows, the internet, and the major newspapers ginned up the charge of “Russian collusion”—as a means of explaining the otherwise inexplicable and unacceptable defeat of Hillary Clinton by someone without either political or military experience.

    Pundits and talking heads without evidence echoed each other with ever more preposterous charges. Voting machines supposedly had been rigged by a monstrous man who later had stooped to remove the Martin Luther King bust from the West Wing. We were also told that all good souls of the Electoral College clearly should have vitiated their constitutional duties and denied Trump the presidency.

    We were lectured at the height of the collusion frenzy that Trump would be 1) impeached, 2) removed by the emoluments clause, 3) forced to resign under the 25th Amendment, or 4) simply quit in shame.

    If not, how many ways could (or should) one kill Trump? Hanging? Decapitation? Dismemberment? Combustion? Shooting? Stabbing? Jet crash? As the madness grew, no obscenity from Stephen Colbert or physical threat from Robert DeNiro or Johnny Depp or Kathy Griffin or even Snoop Dogg seemed to suffice to express hatred of Trump.

    The font of this 24/7 hysteria was the Clinton campaign’s purchase of a leaked smear job from an opposition research firm, which in turn had hired a disreputable former British intelligence agent, who had paid for concocted Russian slanders designed to disrupt an election. The Fusion GPS/Steele dossier was peddled to U.S. intelligence agencies, some of whom may have seen it as valuable political fodder and thus used it as an excuse to surveille members of the Trump campaign and in turn, unmask the names of American citizens and allow them to be leaked to the press. “Collusion” may turn out to have been sired, grown, and spread from a single, fake, and partisan document.

    But now suddenly the hysteria is cooling. Robert Mueller’s own possible ethical conflicts of interests and increasingly bizarre agendas, the Clinton Uranium One scandals, the strange exemptions given the Clinton email debacle, and House Intelligence Committee investigations into unmasking and the origins of the Steele dossier dialed back the frenzy.

    Sages in Helmets and Pads

    The hysteria then moved on to the once dormant NFL “take a knee” protests, which were reignited by Trump’s public castigation of the players.

    Soon the players’ incoherent messaging was passed off by the media as some sort of grassroots Rosa Parks civil rights movement. But as viewers turned their channels and stadia emptied, the hysterical outbursts began to cool.

    Money, not the cause of winning hearts and minds to the cause of social justice, became the greater player and owner concern. It is hard to sustain outrage about NFL racism when twentysomething multimillionaires, in a league of over 75 percent African-Americans, insult the sources of their income by refusing to stand for the National Anthem—and belatedly come to realize that the logical trajectory of their supposed principled demonstrations is their own irrelevance and eventual impoverishment.

    What cooled the NFL hysteria was the reality that the hyped story of “taking a knee” was morphing into the scarier narrative of less money, an absence of politically correct proportional representation among players, looming league downsizing, pampered athletes, traumatic brain injuries, and a public weariness with everything from ESPN to Colin Kaepernick. In other words, taking a knee reminded about 20 percent of NFL fans that there were already reasons enough to turn the channel. And so they did.

    The Maniae then passed on to more new prey.

    The Statue Busters

    About the same time came the statue hysteria. America woke up one day and decided that century-old statues of Confederate generals or archetypical southern soldiers were proof of pernicious racism. So they had to be removed—by the dead of night and by the mob if necessary. Once these iconic impediments were gone, then social justice would be achieved, as if mute stones, not beating human hearts, explain deteriorating racial relations.

    As the frenzy spread and the virtue signaling characteristically escalated, the sin of 2017 was no longer just the 156-year-old Confederate secession from the Union, but politically incorrect sin in general—a remark from Lincoln deemed racist, or the slaveholding of the Jefferson and Washington families, or indigenous peoples mistreated by Columbus. Apparently, the mob reasoned that the present generation alone could best judge the past by its own transitory standards of probity—while being exempt from future charges that it, too, will be culpable for all sorts of moral lapses and pathologies. A generation that cannot even walk in safety at night in many of its major cities or fears contracting Hepatitis A from city sidewalks does not have the pre-tech, material excuses of a Dickensian London.

    The internet, cable-TV, and social media mob predictably soon tired with statue smashing and moved on. After all, when one’s negative traits alone define a person, and present morality supersedes time and space to become the arbiter of the past, then everyone stands condemned—progressives perhaps most of all. Was not the liberal saint Margaret Sanger a eugenicist racist? Was not Woodrow Wilson a segregationist reprobate? Was not Leland Stanford a white supremacist? Are the names of such progressive icons to be Trotskyized too from statues and universities on the principle that the worst of a man defines his totality—or are there suddenly to be found extenuating circumstances?

    From Harvey to Everyone

    The next collective furor arose over Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Sometime in October 2017, the progressive film titan was abruptly condemned as sick, evil, and unhinged—after 30 years of common knowledge that he routinely sought to use his power of hiring and firing to leverage or force sexual gratification.

    Once Weinstein’s progressive armor was pierced and he was exposed as a groper, assaulter, and likely rapist, then dozens, perhaps hundreds of similar stories of powerful media and film men surfaced. Some were not only pronounced guilty of past consensual though asymmetrical sexual relationships but of abusive sexual acts and cruelty. Apparently, the mostly progressive male entertainment and media hierarchy had long equated the 1960s-era liberal legacy of “sexual freedom” with a blank check for their own sexual coercion and phallic exhibitionism. We all had assumed a continuity of Hollywood culture of updated Harry Cohns, but Hollywood’s preemptive moral finger-pointing at others apparently allowed their hypocrisies to stay in-house.

    As the collective furor grew, the net widened. More stories, but from 10, 20, 30, and 40 years past, surfaced—calibrated to the current celebrity or perceived visibility of the perpetrator. The charges initially also ranged from horrific (and quite believable) allegations of rape and gross groping and assault to what used to be called male-power rudeness and bullying—and eventually including even the occasional crudity and stupidity that can accompany seduction.

    Soon, we assumed that if our celebrities, journalists, and politicians were power-hungry sexists and worse, then all of American manhood must be, too. Everyday Joes, for now, were saved from belated and embarrassing post facto accounting only by their ordinary stations that made confessions of their sins of little collective interest.

    As in the case of the other hysterias, such collective fits cool when they begin to snare the supposedly exempt—marque reporters, famous authors, prominent politicians—and morph well beyond the original and quite legitimate charges of sexual assault to include rude come-ons and callous, narcissistic and cruel behavior. But when married couples of 40 years begin to think back about whether they too were ever crude in their 20s and 30s or exploitive in their own courtship, then everyone is guilty, and thus no one is guilty and the hysteria subsides.

    Who Polices the Police?

    Hysterias are not the same as fantasies in that they usually start with some legitimacy.

    The Russians always liked to interfere and gum up American elections. It is, after all, the credo of Vladimir Putin to be mostly against what America is mostly for. But as the Obama Administration warned in a dig at Donald Trump (shortly before the election, when it was sure that Hillary Clinton was to be its picked successor), such Russian attempts at election sabotage usually were irrelevant and largely impotent. Instead, what fed the furor was not collusion facts per se, but the idea of yet another post-election weapon to take Trump out before he could dismantle the Obama bureaucratic and executive-order legacy.

    Certainly, it is bothersome that the racist and founder of the Ku Klux Klan, the brilliant but diabolical slave-trading Nathan Bedford Forrest, is still worshiped in bronze and stone. But the stone smashers lacked the education and ethics to differentiate individual Confederates like a Forrest from a Longstreet, and so smashed boldly on.

    The distance from Lincoln to Lee narrows to almost nothing. Every mute statue becomes a sinner and fair game for the more authentic revolutionary to outdo the latest violent act.

    Dozens, perhaps hundreds of women have had their entertainment careers ruined by choosing to fight off the crude assaults of the Weinsteins and their ilk, who sometimes gravitate to the top of entertainment and media, masking their depravity by claiming progressive exemptions and penances. But at this point in the frenzy, most Americans cannot keep up with whether a puffed up and arrogant Dustin Hoffman three decades ago was an uncouth potty mouth in his celebrity trailer as he sought to seduce vulnerable women. Most of the public had long assumed such creepy Hollywood behavior anyway.

    What then causes often legitimate writs abruptly to explode into collective fits that end up either ensnaring the innocent or taking legitimate concerns beyond human reason? In our Jacobin frenzy, is it now still permitted to listen to folksy Shelby Foote in Ken Burns’ Civil War documentary, or to hear Joan Baez’s version of “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” or to read Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita? Have you or have you not ever read Death in Venice?

    Human nature is prone to a herd mentality and the politics of excess. Groupthink offers a sense of belonging and reinforcement to most people. Democracies in particular in their radical egalitarian culture and exalted sense of self-righteousness are particularly prone to shared frenzies. In volatile democratic culture, today’s sensational scoop becomes passé by tomorrow.

    Social media, smartphones, the internet, and cable news are accelerants—as we saw in the Duke Lacrosse and the Virginia fraternity cases. They do in minutes what used to take weeks, with the added fuel of anonymity. “Sources report” blare out TV journalists. Bloggers comment on rumors with their own fake names, photos, and handles, virtue signaling to each their own greater outrage. Chain email comes from pressure groups rather than from named individuals.

    In all these hysterias and frenzies, caution and moderation become proof of complicity. Calls for quiet reflection and moments of calm to weigh evidence are seen as veritable confessions of guilt or aiding and abetting the crime. To demand respect for the spirit of due process is to offer proof of one’s own culpability. One day, actor Richard Dreyfuss is furious that Kevin Spacey allegedly groped his son right under his nose. The next, Richard Dreyfuss is outraged that he is accused of allegedly earlier doing something himself far worse to a similar young aspirant.

    Hypocrisy and irony become endemic: the chargers of Russian collusion are the original colluders. The loud protesters who take a knee themselves became the targets of silent fan protests. The statue smashers can put up statues worse than what they tore down. The men who swear they are feminists do so because they are misogynists. The accuser is blamed for accusing, or for staying silent so long, or for exaggerating the ordeal; the silent non-accuser is assumed to have advanced a career through willful acquiescence. Who can sort out the crime, the collusion, the conspiracy?

    History is full of such frenzies—the stasis on Corycra, the Spanish Inquisition, the Committee of Public Safety, or the strange career of Joe McCarthy. They all can start over some legitimate grievance and all can quickly turn manic. And as we play each fit out, expect the madness to come full circle as it always does, when the spell wears off and 51 percent of people finally revolt at the very thought of tearing down Washington’s statue, or lumping together a criminal rapist with a loudmouthed sexist of 20 years past, or envisioning a multimillionaire spoiled, has-been quarterback as the next Jackie Robinson—or treating a fake-news smear document as if it were the New Testament.

    Content created by the Center for American Greatness, Inc. is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a significant audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact [email protected].


  • Jack 3:32 am on November 15, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , bush legacy, , , lloyd marcus, , , , , ,   

    Vicious Politics 

    Black Christian Conservative Republican Lloyd Marcus here. I call upon all my fellow Christians not to abandon our brother Roy Moore who is running for U.S. Senate Alabama. Right before the election, 40-year-old sexual misconduct allegations have come out against Judge Moore, which he has denied.

    Judge Moore is hated by Leftists and establishment Republicans because he is an outspoken, character-driven Christian conservative; a faithful courageous defender of our Constitution, principles and values which have made America great. Moore elected to the U.S. Senate would be extremely helpful to Trump draining the swamp and making America great again.

    Judge Moore’s unwavering commitment to biblical morals and support of Trump’s agenda makes Moore the last person fake news media, Hollywood, Democrats and RINO Republicans want to see in the U.S. Senate.

    Therefore, it is not surprising that Leftists and RINOs are clamoring for Moore to drop out of the race; claiming Moore is morally unfit to serve. These same people told us president Bill Clinton having an intern perform oral sex on him in the White House was none of our business. To defend Clinton, Leftists threw all men under the bus by claiming any man in a powerful position would say yes to sex with a starry-eyed young woman. Their narrative was particularly offensive to me because my dad and brother were men in powerful positions. Dad was the pastor of a large congregation and my brother was commissioner of a kid’s football league. Neither of them would mimic President Clinton’s adulterous philandering, sexual harassment, and sexual assaults.Leftists sold America their lie that president Clinton’s serial adultery was no big deal. Sexual immorality was the acceptable new normal for men in power (if they were democrats). Now, these same people who circled the wagons to protect Clinton are pounding on Moore’s political door with axes and pitchforks, demanding that he get out of the race over unfounded 40-year-old allegations.

    But what if the 40-year-old allegations against Judge Moore are true? Judge Moore became a Christian several years ago. His consistent behavior, standing up for religious liberty and freedom strongly suggest his conversion to Christianity was real. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away; behold all things have become new.” In other words, when Moore put his trust in Jesus and repented of his sinful life, Moore became a new man.

    Before his encounter with Christ, the Apostle Paul was a bad man who killed Christians. Forty years before God used Moses to lead his people out of Egypt, Moses murdered a man. The Bible says “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). After becoming new people via their new birth in Christ, God has used everyone from former prostitutes to murderers in extraordinary ways. So how on earth can any Christian join Leftists in deeming our brother in Christ, Roy Moore, morally unfit to serve today based on 40-year-old unfounded allegations?

    It is pretty obnoxious watching the same people (Leftists) who seek to normalize and legalize every conceivable sexual perversion trying to disqualify Moore on moral grounds. As Rush Limbaugh has stated on numerous occasions, Leftists view sexual misconduct as résumé enhancement for Democrat politicians.

    Check out the glaring hypocrisy. Leftists are calling for Moore’s political head on a platter. And yet, they gave the following Democrats, for the most part, a pass for their sexual misconduct: Anthony Weiner, Eliot Spitzer, David Wu, Kwame Kilpatrick, John Edwards, Bill Clinton, David Paterson, Antonio Villaraigosa, Marc Dann, Paul J. Morrison, Gary Condit, Tim Mahoney, Roosevelt Dobbins, Neil Goldschmidt, Jim McGreevey, Bob Wise, Paul E. Patton, Mel Reynolds, Brock Adams, Chuck Robb, Gavin Newsom, Sam Adams, and Barney Frank. Fake news media did not collectively declare that the sexual misconduct of these Democrats made them unfit to serve.

    That’s the case even though Barney Frank’s boyfriend ran a prostitution business from Frank’s home. Were there serious calls for Frank to resign? Nope.

    This attack on Moore’s morals (right before the election) is a dirty trick to get a rock solid, bold, brave, and courageous conservative warrior out of the arena. My fellow Christians, please do not fall for it.

    Lloyd Marcus, The Unhyphenated American

    Author: “Confessions of a Black Conservative: How the Left has shattered the dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Black America.”

    Singer/Songwriter and Conservative Activist



  • Jack 2:49 am on November 14, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , bush legacy, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Attempted Coup? 

    We keep hearing about how angry Trump voters are destroying the Republican Party, but last week’s Schumer-show demonstrated that the people running it would rather run it into the ground than give up their grip on power. The Smart Set managed to get slaughtered on election night – let’s not sugarcoat it, we got creamed. And the dim bulbs in Congress seem determined to somehow turn tax cuts into something Republican voters hate. The GOPe makes everything worse, like pumpkin spice.

    Oh, and then there’s Roy Freaking Moore, whose creepitude led to the inevitable lecture about conservative principles, which apparently now include accepting every accusation pushed by our media enemies at face value. We know the guy is guilty of being like Jerry Seinfeld, and he may be worse and actually criminal. If he is, Moore needs to drop and the Alabama legislature needs to redo the rules to get a viable Republican into the race. But we don’t know, and the voters have a right to wonder why the GOPe was so eager to embrace a shaky claim pushed by a media we have seen lie and lie again about Republicans to help their liberal masters. All this makes it hard to come to any conclusion but that the GOP establishment thinks that the only way to defeat the virus of conservatism is to set fire to the party and hope that a few elections from now their Boehner-based, crony trough-feeding paradigm will rise again from the ashes like a K Street phoenix. It’s as if they want to get wiped out in 2018, and that’s the one objective they actually seem capable of achieving.

    Gillespie’s loss was no shock – Virginia is a blue state no matter what the hope-springs-eternal crowd keeps saying. What was a shock is that the GOP failed to anticipate the down ticket Democrat turn-out tsunami. A Frisco zillionaire targeted marginal GOP districts, pumped in money and support and caught the GOP napping. A bunch of Republican delegates lost their seats, and not by that much – but by enough. Yet, none of the GOP brain trust saw this coming, and the enemy stole a march on us. Who is getting fired for this screw-up? If the answer is “Nobody,” we might as well pack it in next year.

    It’s never good to lose, but losing will teach you more important lessons than winning. We now know that not only are Dems motivated, but they’ll be playing – with money and data support – in every marginal race. We have a year to prepare – are we doing that? What’s our strategy? Who the hell is responsible for coordinating 2018 anyway?

    Is the GOPe planning on throwing the mid-term election to teach us uppity rubes a lesson?

    Crazy? Would you put it past them? According to some of the fanatic Never Trumpers – who overlap with much of the GOPe/Conservative Inc. crew – we have some sort of moral obligation to lose as penance for not adhering to their measured, sensible guidance. Make no mistake – some of them see a defeat in 2018 as the first step back to their former glory. Think of all the cruise cabins they can sell in 2019 to folks eager to hear from superstars like Vin Weber and Eric Cantor about the great stuff the GOP will do when it controls the House again!

    One obvious answer to the 2018 problem, assuming the GOPe even feels that the fact we are on track to lose our House and maybe Senate majorities is a problem, is for our legislators to do the things they promised to do and thereby make us not hate them so much. But the big problem is that in election after election they promised us what they would do if given the chance, and then, when we gave them the chance, they revealed that they didn’t actually want to do what they promised. They are discovering that blatantly lying to your base’s collective face is a risky strategic choice.

    The GOP congressjerks couldn’t manage to undo Obamacare, despite their unequivocal promises, and now they seem intent on passing some sort of tax reform that is worse than not passing any sort of tax reform. What is this insane “taxes on a postcard” fixation? What we care about is paying less – I want a fifty page return if it saves me money. You take away deductions and our tax bills go up – and this nonsense about lowering rates is not going to undo the damage to the kind of people who usually … wait for it… vote Republican. But hey, the corporate rate will drop. Let’s all chip in for that. I know I’m glad to lose key deductions so the big donors can keep more cash.

    Now, we could always lower everyone’s rates, and “pay for it” by…brace yourself…cutting spending. Except apparently cutting the budget is off the table. Leave it to the GOPe to decide that the winning Republican message for 2018 is “Tax and Spend.”

    But hey, who says Congress can’t deliver? They’ve already delivered a year of investigations into the Trump/Putin/Chet the Unicorn collusion conspiracy. I know investigating our president in line with a liberal election defeat excuse narrative was my second biggest GOP priority following the humiliation of Felonia von Pantsuit and her supporters in the conservative cruise industry.

    My first priority, and yours, was always to give amnesty and citizenship to millions of illegal aliens, and the GOP caucus is chomping at the bit to do that. Apparently Dreamers’ dreams of taking advantage of violating our laws and eventually become loyal Democrat voters are much more important than our own conservative voters’ dreams of their mandatory crummy health insurance rates not doubling.

    And then there is Roy Moore, an outsider who I would prefer was not the nominee but I am not an Alabamian and I don’t get a say. I don’t know whether he did something 40 years ago, nor do you, but was it a smart move by the GOPe to immediately jump on-board the tumbrel taking him to the guillotine and give up on a Senate seat based upon a mere accusation? We know the case against him – he may well have done it, and there may be more shoes to drop – but why might GOP voters view this ultra-convenient revelation with suspicion? Here are some reasons:

    • A critical Senate seat is at stake, and this ancient news only dropped after it became impossible to replace him.
    • Moore denies it.
    • It is a uniquely deadly charge that cannot be refuted (or proven) except by believing one of the alleged participants.
    • We’ve seen many false sex crimes accusations.
    • We’ve seen Fusion GPS paid by Never Trumpers and/or the Democrats manufacture a fake dossier to falsely accuse the President of sex weirdness.
    • The Washington Post is a rabidly partisan liberal paper and part of a mainstream media whose members have, in the era of Trump, decreed that they are no longer to be objective put instead advocate for their partisan agenda.
    • We have not heard directly from the woman. Yes, the WaPo article contains alleged quotes, but those quotes are processed through the paper (Raise your hand if you’ve ever been misquoted – yep, that’s everyone). Her claims have not been subject to cross-examination. That makes her WaPo statements hearsay, which is traditionally viewed skeptically if admitted at all.
    • The WaPo did not reveal that one of the (legal age) girls worked for Hillary. That seems like a potentially relevant fact, right?
    • The WaPo found this woman when no one else – either in Alabama’s media or among opposition researchers over decades of Moore’s political life – did, no doubt via the extensive web of contacts that WaPo maintains in rural Alabama. Doesn’t that seem…odd? What’s the real story about how this all came out?

    I don’t know if Moore is guilty – if he is, the hell with him and let’s replace him on the ballot a la Robert Torricelli – but I know that the facts around this claim should make any reasonable person want to know more before they judge. Except not among the GOPe. In 2017’s least surprising development, John McCain demanded Moore drop out simply because he was accused. Yet when the New York Times accused McCain – he says falsely – of an affair, well, the Blue Falcon didn’t drop out of anything. And Mitt Romney, who always reminds me of a talking weasel wearing a $5,000 suit, had to pipe up and do the same. This was the same Mitt who Harry Reid lied about regarding his taxes so effectively. You’d think they’d both be sensitive to the potential for left wing smears, but no. We have two Republicans who were both falsely accused demanding that we give up a Senate seat because of an accusation the accused says is false – an accusation made on the pages of one of our greatest enemies no less. Does that seem legit?

    So what are GOP voters supposed to think when they note how these paragons of virtue signaling have not been demanding the resignation of Democrat Senator Bob Menendez, who is in the midst of a federal corruption trial – a case where there are hints their pal The Distinguished Gentleman from New Jersey cavorted with underage hookers? And the Adults In The Room wonder why their voters have nothing but contempt for them.

    As for Moore, it is properly the people of Alabama who will pass judgment. My guess is the voters of Alabama will believe Moore and choose him over the guy who wants to kill babies. I suspect that part of the reason will be to tell the GOPe that Alabamians will decide for themselves who represents them.

    What a mess. The Republican Party seems to have no interest in addressing its electile dysfunction. The Democrats are preparing for battle; the Professional Republicans are sulking because their voters won’t obey. They seem not just unable but unwilling to pass the agenda they promised the base. And whenever there’s a narrative damaging to the party to be hopped on, despite reasonable grounds for skepticism, hop on they do. If the GOP establishment wanted to lose, what would it do differently?


  • Jack 2:37 pm on November 13, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: bush legacy, , , , , , , , , , ,   


    Mr. Attorney General, it’s time to do your job.

    Why in 2016 did FBI Director James Comey call the Clinton Investigation a “matter,” not an investigation? After all, Mr. Comey wasn’t Director of the Federal Bureau of Matters.

    Why in 2016 did FBI Director Comey begin drafting an exoneration letter for Secretary Clinton, whom he called “grossly negligent” in an early draft of the letter, before completing the investigation? Before interviewing several witnesses? And before interviewing Secretary Clinton?

    Why in 2016 did James Comey and the Justice Department give Cheryl Mills, Secretary Clinton’s Chief of Staff, an immunity agreement for turning over her laptop computer? Typically, the Department would issue a subpoena or get a warrant and seize it. Why in this case did the FBI agree to destroy the laptop?

    Why in 2016—one day before the Benghazi report was released and five days before Secretary Clinton was interviewed by the FBI—did Attorney General Lynch meet with former President Clinton on the tarmac in Phoenix?

    Why in the days following the meeting, and when emailing with the public relations staff at the Justice Department, did Loretta Lynch use the pseudonym “Elizabeth Carlisle?” If your conversation with the former President was only about golf and grandchildren, then why not use your real name?

    Why was the decision on whether to charge Secretary Clinton made by FBI Director Comey and not the Attorney General?

    Why did James Comey publicize the Clinton Investigation?

    Why in 2016 did the FBI pay for the Russian Dossier? It’s been reported that in addition to the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee paying FusionGPS for the dossier, the FBI also “reimbursed” Christopher Steele, author of the dossier.

    Why was FusionGPS co-founder Glenn Simpson meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya both before and after her meeting with Donald Trump, Jr.?

    Why is the FBI so reluctant to tell Congress and the American people if the dossier was the basis for a FISA court order permitting the government to spy on Americans associated with President Trump’s campaign? If the dossier was a legitimate intelligence document relied on by the court, then why not just tell the country?

    Why on January 6, 2017 did James Comey brief President-Elect Trump on the dossier? Again, if the dossier was a legitimate intelligence document, then why wait two months after the election to inform the President-Elect?

    Why did the Obama Administration leak to CNN that Mr. Comey had briefed President-Elect Trump on the dossier? Several media outlets had the dossier prior to the briefing, yet no one would print it because most of the document could not be substantiated. In his Congressional testimony, Mr. Comey himself called the dossier “salacious and unverified.” As pointed out in The Federalist, did the fact that the FBI Director had briefed the President-Elect on the dossier give it the “legitimacy” the press needed to go ahead and print something they knew was not accurate?

    Why did the intelligence community in the final months of the Obama Administration unmask names at a record rate?

    Why, after Mr. Comey was fired on May 9, 2017, was it so critical for a Special Counsel be named to examine possible Trump/Russia collusion? So critical that James Comey leaked a government document about his conversations with President Trump through a friend to the New York Times.

    Why is the Special Counsel Robert Mueller? According to The Hill and Circa News, in 2009 and 2010, the FBI through an informant learned Russian companies seeking to do business in the United States were involved in kickbacks and bribes. Yet, FBI Director Robert Mueller did not inform Congress and did not inform the Committee of Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), the entity responsible for the decision on whether to approve the Uranium One deal.

    Why did Robert Mueller not inform CFIUS? And why did the Justice Department put a gag order on the informant?

    Finally, why won’t Attorney General Jeff Sessions—the person with the visibility and responsibility to answer these questions—do his job?

    On , twenty House Republican members of the Judiciary Committee sent a letter to the Attorney General calling for a Special Counsel to get answers to the above questions.

    On September 28, 2017, five House Republican members of the Judiciary committee met with the Attorney General and Justice Department staff to inquire about the July letter.

    The Justice Department’s response? Silence.

    It’s time for Jeff Sessions to name a Special Counsel and get answers for the American people. If not, he should step down.


  • Jack 3:49 am on November 13, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: bush legacy, , cla, , dave boyer, , dni, , , james clapper, , john brennan, , , , ,   


    President Trump said Saturday that he accepts Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials about election meddling, and doesn’t want to press him further as he seeks Moscow’s help on global hot spots such as North Korea, Syria and Ukraine.

    Mr. Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One in Vietnam that he asked Mr. Putin again about Russia’s election interference during a private meeting on the sidelines of a summit.

    “Every time he sees me he says ‘I didn’t do that’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” the president said. “I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country. He says that very strongly, he really seems to be insulted by it and he says he didn’t do it. You can only ask so many times. He said he absolutely did not meddle in our election.”

    The president suggested he puts more stock in Mr. Putin than in three former U.S. officials who stated Russia interfered in the election — former CIA Director John Brennan, fired FBI Director James B. Comey and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

    “They’re political hacks,” Mr. Trump said. “So you look at it, and then you have Brennan, you have Clapper and you have Comey. Comey’s proven now to be a liar and he’s proven to be a leaker. And you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with that. Now, you are not going to get into an argument, you are going to start talking about Syria and the Ukraine.”

    Mr. Trump blamed the tensions with Russia on Democrats and Hillary Clinton, who as secretary of state had clumsily tried to “reset” relations with Russia by displaying a large button with “reset” spelled incorrectly in Russian.

    “She hit that reset button, it was a joke. But she tried and she failed,” the president said. “Sometimes you don’t have chemistry with someone you don’t. But [President] Obama did not have the right chemistry and Hilary was in way over her head. Russia could really help us and the Democrats wanted to have a good relationship with Russia but they couldn’t do it because they didn’t have the talent, they didn’t have the chemistry to do it, they didn’t have what it takes.”

    He said it’s a “shame” that Democrats tried to ruin U.S. relations with Moscow with allegations of election meddling — allegations which are supported by U.S. intelligence agencies.

    “That whole thing was set up by the Democrats,” Mr. Trump said. “Look at [Clinton campaign chairman John] Podesta, look at all the things that they have done with the phony dossier. Those are the big events.”

    He added, “There is a time when I think Putin and I president Putin and I would have a great relationship and that would be great for both countries. And it would take a lot of danger out of this world. It’s a dangerous time – this isn’t small stuff. This is a very dangerous time. Having a great relationship or even a good relationship with the president of Russia – Hillary tried it, she failed, nobody mentions it.”

    The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee paid in 2016 for a dossier with information about Mr. Trump from Russian sources, including salacious claims about Mr. Trump’s travels to Russia.

    Mr. Trump said he doesn’t intend to pursue the election issue with Mr. Putin any longer because there are challenges around the world to solve with Russia’s help, such as the agreement he reached with Mr. Putin on Saturday to join forces in defeating the Islamic State in Syria, and on the nuclear threat posed by North Korea.

    “Look, I can’t stand there and argue with him, I would rather have him get out of Syria, I would rather get to work with him on the Ukraine rather than arguing about whether or not [Russia meddled in the election],” he said. “This is really an artificial barrier that’s put in front of us for solving problems with Russia. You have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he has nothing to do with that. Now, you are not going to get into an argument, you are going to start talking about Syria and the Ukraine.”

    He said he has “a good feeling toward getting things done” with Mr. Putin.

    “If we had a relationship with Russia, that would be a good thing,” he said. “In fact it would be a great thing, not a bad thing, because he could really help us on North Korea. We have a big problem with North Korea and China is helping us. And because of the lack of the relationship that we have with Russia, because of this artificial thing that’s happening with this Democratic-inspired thing. We could really be helped a lot with Russia having to do with North Korea. You know you are talking about millions and millions of lives. This isn’t baby stuff, this is the real deal. And if Russia helped us in addition to China, that problem would go away a lot faster.”

    He said China is cooperating with the U.S. by cutting off oil supplies to North Korea and reducing other trade.

    “But Russia on the other hand may be making up the difference,” he said.


    See Also:

    (1) Former intel chiefs Brennan, Clapper unload on President Trump (Ed: This pair look in the photo like a pair of lifers to me.)

    (2) Turns out Trump didn’t ruin America’s economy

    (3) World ‘transfixed’: Each Trump tweet gets an average 98,000 likes says new study

    (4) Donald Trump Signals Concern Over CNN and AT&T Merger

    (5) Report: Bodyguard Says Trump Rejected Offer of Russian Women

    (6) WATCH — Breitbart’s Kassam Tells Kansas Conservatives: ‘Trump’s Instincts Are Right, He Must Proscribe Muslim Brotherhood Now’

    (7) Paul Ryan Rebukes 13 GOP Reps Who Urge No-Strings Amnesty Giveaway

  • Jack 3:48 am on November 13, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: bush legacy, , , , , , , , , , , , , world media,   

    Media Frenzy 

    Roy Moore...

    Roy Moore in the stocks.

    The News can kill you. The News of the day is now a weapon as deadly as any other.

    “Who, What, Where, When and Why” the 5-Ws the News was weaned on are now: “TAKE HIM (HER) DOWN!”

    Does “pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it“, sound familiar to you?

    It’s Rule Number 12 in Lucifer-loving Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.

    It was Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton who most recently put Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals into play, and we all know that the Establishment plays forever. Rule 12 further advises followers to “cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.”

    It can easily be added that the far left already owned the institutions anyway.

    Irrefutable proof of how the powers that be own, manufacture and weaponize the news can be found in just one sentence on senatorial candidate Roy Moore’s Wikipedia bio:

    “According to Vox, if Moore is elected, he is likely to be the most far-right Senator, “far afield from even the most conservative Republican currently in the Senate”.

    But the mainstream media wants you to believe Moore’s going down because of his alleged indiscreet sexual misconduct with teens when he was a 30-year-old, single Assistant District Attorney.

    It’s not that Moore was a sexual predator in his callow youth, it’s not even that one of his accusers supposedly works as a housekeeper at the Obama’s new D.C. house, or even that another accuser supposedly worked the Hillary Clinton campaign as a sign language interpreter.

    They are the juicy tidbits that hide the real reason the left is targeting Moore and keeping the masses distracted until after December 12:“If elected, he is likely to be the most far-right Senator,far afield from even the most conservative Republican currently in the Senate”.

    The MSM manipulate the masses into thinking what the MSM want them to think: If you Google a person’s name, their Wikipedia bio comes up first. If you Google for a news item, CNN comes up first!

    Former judge, Roy Moore is the latest victim of the Alinsky freeze , polarize and personalize it target , but it was only made to look like it happened overnight.

    But Moore became the far left’s Enemy Numero Uno back in the days when he was a judge: the judge who dared to have nailed on his courtroom wall, a plaque imprinted with God’s Ten Commandments.

    Forced to take the plaque down by a posse of leftists and atheist fellow travellers back in 2003, he’s been a moving target with a Giant X on his back ever since.

    Add to the irony of this controversy the immortal words of Jesus who said “If you love me, keep my commandments” and that Commandment No. Nine reads: “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”.

    When truth is barred from argument and debate, its defenders are left dead in the water.

    The truth didn’t matter anymore by the time Obama came into power. Standbys in place for centuries like the hand-on-the-bible oath sworn by all those testifying in a court of law to “ tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth” were now passé because some recite the oath, but go on to lie in testimony anyway.

    Telling the truth means nothing to politicians who got to where they did by lieilyingng to the people they were elected to serve.

    There’s a curious timeline on how Moore became the News du jour for anyone still pondering “what happened”?
    Continued below…
    The News Can Kill You is the debut of ‘Character Assassination by Allegation’

    Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, still holding saturation status in the mainstream media, was outed by mainly female Hollywood sexual harassment victims 20 years on, within a week of Stephen Paddock killing 59, and injuring many others in Las Vegas on October 1st.

    This week, Roy Moore fell victim to allegations of being a child molester—some 40 years on.

    Was Hollywood setting the scene? Did 20 years later, pave the way for the credibility of 40 years later?

    The News Can Kill You is the debut of ‘Character Assassination by Allegation’. And it certainly won’t stop with Roy Moore.

    It seems that with help from Hollywood, atheists and the mainstream media, social justice warriors and assorted RINOs, the progressive left is on a kill-off-the-enemy roll.

    By suppressing it to keep it hidden, social media will move to kill off this story. But that couldn’t stop me from writing it.


    See Also:

    (1) Roy Moore vs. the Swamp

  • Jack 3:47 am on November 13, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , bush legacy, , , , , , , , texas church massacre,   

    Media Silence 

    Media outlets across the country are apparently having difficulty counting. They can’t seem to get the number of victims right in last week’s horrific Texas church massacre. While many correctly reported that 26 people were killed during Devin Patrick Kelley’s maniacal rampage, many others went to great pains to avoid reporting that an unborn child died at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, last Sunday. Or, if they did report the baby’s death, they reported it as a footnote, careful to separate the unborn child from other victims.

    Take, for instance, the Chicago Tribune, which wrote, “Kelley shot and killed 25 people at the church. Authorities have put the official toll at 26, because one of the victims was pregnant.” The newspaper didn’t want to get caught recognizing the humanity of the unborn baby, so they deferred to “authorities.” There wasn’t a deceased baby, there was a pregnant victim, according to the Tribune.

    CNN wrote that “the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs will reopen its sanctuary as a memorial on Sunday, one week after a gunman killed 25 people and an unborn child.” In other words, 25 real people and one blob of tissue.

    At USA Today, they didn’t even try to cloak their hostility toward unborn babies in clever wording. “The memorial ceremony was a block away from the First Baptist Church, which is slated for demolition after the massacre during Sunday services Nov. 5 that killed 25 people including a pregnant woman and wounded 20,” an article declared.

    The same with the New York Daily News, where they reported: “Michael Kelley, who lives just 35 miles away from Sutherland Springs, where his son killed 25 people and an unborn child at the First Baptist Church, told ABC, ‘We are grieving, our family is grieving.'” And an unborn child, as if it’s a creature belonging to another species.

    Time opted to go with word gymnastics: “Kelley shot and killed 25 people at the church. Authorities have put the official toll at 26, because one of the victims was pregnant.” Which is it, 25 people or 26? Time wouldn’t dare recognize the humanity of the slain child, though they dutifully reported what “authorities” said.

    CBS News did the same thing: “The victims included eight males and 17 females ranging in age from 1 to 77. Authorities said the 26 dead also included the unborn baby of a woman who was killed.” So 25 victims plus one unborn baby. See the subtle subterfuge?

    That “plus one” baby had a name: “Carlin Brite ‘Billy Bob’ Holcombe.” John Holcombe, who was shot in the leg but survived the shooting alongside two of his children, wrote on Facebook that the name “includes [his wife] Crystal’s pick for a girl, a boy and the nickname the kids gave the baby.” Holcombe lost a total of eight family members in the shooting.

    “Crystal was very thoughtful when coming up with these names. Carlin means small champion. ‘Billy Bob’ is the nickname the kids gave the baby,” he wrote.

    John Ellis noted earlier this week at PJM that a Texas law enacted in 2003 recognizes the humanity of unborn children, affording them all the protections of the criminal code at every stage of gestation from fertilization until birth. (The law does not apply to murders committed during a legal abortion, however.)

    Why can’t these media outlets simply say that 26 people — human beings — were killed in the attack? The answer should be obvious to anyone who’s been paying attention to the culture wars for the last 40 years. They can’t say it because they’re so firmly tethered to their lie — that the unborn child in his mother’s womb has no personhood and no rights. It’s merely a blob of cells that can be destroyed at will. Even in a time of great national tragedy, they must lead the way in defending — and even advancing— the right of a woman to choose to kill her unborn baby. To recognize that tiny baby in Texas as a victim would let to the mask drop and reveal the 40-year-long prenatal holocaust they’ve aided and abetted. As PJM’s Michael Walsh is wont to say, “The never stop, they never sleep, they never quit.”

    As Ellis explained, “Pro-abortionists get it. They will fight tooth and nail to prevent our legal system from acknowledging the personhood of babies still living in their mother’s womb. They have to wage that war in the legal realm because the fight would be over before it even started if the battle took place in our neighborhoods.”

    They fight it only in the legal realm, but also in the media and across all segments of our culture, including K-12 and higher education. They must continue to push the lie that what’s contained in a mother’s womb is not a human being, despite all evidence to the contrary. The tragedy in Texas exposes their deception — and their desperation — as more and more Americans understand that abortion is the intentional killing of a human being made in the image of God.


  • Jack 3:40 am on November 11, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: bush legacy, , , , , , , kimberly strassel, , , , , ,   

    Extreme Anger 

    The Steele dossier has already become a thing of John le Carré-like intrigue—British spies, Kremlin agents, legal cutouts, hidden bank accounts. What all this obscures is the more immediate point: The dossier amounts to one of the dirtiest tricks in U.S. political history. It was perpetrated by Team Clinton and yielded a vast payoff for Hillary’s campaign.

    The Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign hired the opposition-research firm Fusion GPS in April 2016 to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. Fusion in turn hired former U.K. spook Christopher Steele to assemble the (now largely discredited) dossier. That full dossier of allegations wasn’t made public until after the election, in January 2017. And the media and Democrats continue to peddle the line that it played no role during the election itself.

    “Details from the dossier were not reported before Election Day,” ran a recent CNN story. Hillary Clinton herself stressed the point in a recent “Daily Show” appearance. The dossier, she said, is “part of what happens in a campaign where you get information that may or may not be useful and you try to make sure anything you put out in the public arena is accurate. So this thing didn’t come out until after the election, and it’s still being evaluated.”

    This is utterly untrue. In British court documents Mr. Steele has acknowledged he briefed U.S. reporters about the dossier in September 2016. Those briefed included journalists from the New York Times , the Washington Post, Yahoo News and others. Mr. Steele, by his own admission (in an interview with Mother Jones), also gave his dossier in July 2016 to the FBI.

    Among the dossier’s contents were allegations that in early July 2016 Carter Page, sometimes described as a foreign-policy adviser to Candidate Trump, held a “secret” meeting with two high-ranking Russians connected to President Vladimir Putin. It even claimed these Russians offered to give Mr. Page a 19% share in Russia’s state oil company in return for a future President Trump lifting U.S. sanctions. This dossier allegation is ludicrous on its face. Mr. Page was at most a minor figure in the campaign and has testified under oath that he never met the two men in question or had such a conversation.

    Yet the press ran with it. On Sept. 23, 2016, Yahoo News’s Michael Isikoff published a bombshell story under the headline: “U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin.” Mr. Isikoff said “U.S. officials” had “received intelligence” about Mr. Page and Russians, and then went on to recite verbatim all the unfounded dossier allegations. He attributed all this to a “well-placed Western intelligence source,” making it sound as if this info had come from someone in government rather than from an ex-spy-for-hire.

    The Clinton campaign jumped all over it, spinning its own oppo research as a government investigation into Mr. Trump. Jennifer Palmieri, the campaign’s communications director, the next day took to television to tout the Isikoff story and cite “U.S. intelligence officials” in the same breath as Mr. Page. Other Clinton surrogates fanned out on TV and Twitter to spread the allegations.

    The Isikoff piece publicly launched the Trump-Russia collusion narrative—only 1½ months from the election—and the whole dossier operation counts as one of the greatest political stitch-ups of all time. Most campaigns content themselves with planting oppo research with media sources. The Clinton campaign commissioned a foreign ex-spy to gin up rumors, which made it to U.S. intelligence agencies, and then got reporters to cite it as government-sourced. Mrs. Clinton now dismisses the dossier as routine oppo research, ignoring that her operation specifically engineered the contents to be referred to throughout the campaign as “intelligence” or a “government investigation.”

    Making matters worse, there may be a grain of truth to that last claim. If the Washington Post’s reporting is correct, it was in the summer of 2016 that Jim Comey’s FBI obtained a wiretap warrant on Mr. Page from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. If it was the dossier that provoked that warrant, then the wrongs here are grave. Mr. Page is suing Yahoo News over that Isikoff story, but he may have a better case against the Clinton campaign and the federal government if they jointly spun a smear document into an abusive investigation.

    To that point, it is fair to ask if the entire Trump-Russia narrative—which has played a central role in our political discourse for a year, and is now resulting in a special counsel issuing unrelated indictments—is based on nothing more than a political smear document. Is there any reason to believe the FBI was probing a Trump-Russia angle before the dossier? Is there any collusion allegation that doesn’t come in some form from the dossier?

    The idea that the federal government and a special counsel were mobilized—that American citizens were monitored and continue to be investigated—based on a campaign-funded hit document is extraordinary. Especially given that to this day no one has publicly produced a single piece of evidence to support any of the dossier’s substantive allegations about Trump team members.

    So yes, Mrs. Clinton, the dossier—which you paid for—was used in the election. And we are only beginning to understand in how many ways.

    Write to kim@wsj.com.

    Appeared in the November 10, 2017, print edition.


  • Jack 3:25 pm on November 10, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: bush legacy, , , , , , , , michael flynn, , , , , unidentified sources, , , , yaron steinbuch   

    Pure Horseshit 

    Special counsel Robert Mueller is probing an alleged plot by former White House National Security Adviser Mike Flynn to seize a Muslim cleric living in the US and deliver him to Turkey in exchange for millions of dollars, according to a report.

    Under the plan, Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr., were to be paid as much as $15 million for removing Fethullah Gulen from his home in the Poconos and sending him to Turkey, sources told the Wall Street Journal.

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long pressed the US government to extradite Gulen, whom he has accused of instigating a failed coup in July 2016 and wants to face trial. Gulen has denied involvement in the coup.

    President Trump fired Flynn after just 24 days on the job when news reports revealed he had been in contact with then-Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak during the campaign and kept the White House in the dark about those meetings.

    Flynn waited until March to retroactively register with the Justice Department as a foreign agent for the work he did for a Turkish businessman.

    Last week, it was reported that Mueller has collected enough evidence to charge Flynn and his son as part of his sweeping probe into Russia interference in the 2016 presidential election and any collusion by the Trump campaign.

    Fethullah GulenAP

    The FBI has been looking into claims made by former CIA Director James Woolsey that Flynn and Turkish officials discussed a plot to kick Gulen out of the United States.

    According to a recent Reuters report, Woolsey pitched a $10 million contract to two Turkish businessmen to help discredit Gulen while Woolsey was an adviser to Trump’s election campaign.

    Woolsey was a member of Flynn’s firm, the Flynn Intel Group, according to a Justice Department filing by the firm and an archive of the company’s website.

    According to the Journal, FBI agents have asked at least four people about a meeting in mid-December at the upscale “21” Club in Manhattan where Flynn and Turkish government representatives discussed removing Gulen.

    The discussions allegedly involved the possibility of flying Gulen on a private jet to the Turkish prison island of Imrali, one of the sources who has spoken to the feds told the Journal.

    Flynn was offered upward of $15 million — to be paid directly or indirectly — if he could seal the deal, two sources familiar with the meeting told NBC News.

    Investigators also are looking into what possible role Flynn’s son may have played in the alleged plot, the network reported. Flynn Jr. worked closely with his dad at his lobbying firm.

    A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment to the Wall Street Journal.

    The elder Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, did not respond to requests by NBC News for comment. The younger Flynn’s lawyer, Barry Coburn, declined comment.

    Three people familiar with the probe told NBC News that authorities also are examining whether Flynn and other participants discussed a way to free a Turkish-Iranian gold trader, Reza Zarrab, who is jailed in the US.

    Zarrab faces federal charges that he helped Iran avoid American sanctions.

    A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment to the Wall Street Journal.

    The elder Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, did not respond to requests by NBC News for comment. The younger Flynn’s lawyer, Barry Coburn, declined comment.

    Three people familiar with the probe told NBC News that authorities also are examining whether Flynn and other participants discussed a way to free a Turkish-Iranian gold trader, Reza Zarrab, who is jailed in the US.

    Zarrab faces federal charges that he helped Iran avoid American sanctions.


  • Jack 2:35 pm on November 2, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: bush legacy, , , , , , , , , , , , ,   


    The pretense of the Democrats to derive some pleasure from the Manafort and Gates indictments and the guilty plea of George Papadopoulos is one of the more challenging attempts at moralistic theatrics Senator Chuck Schumer has attempted in the last year. It doesn’t quite measure up to bursting into tears on the Senate floor over a slightly restricted right of people from a few terrorism-afflicted or -sponsoring countries to visit America. But he did chin himself on the almost impeachable significance of the fact that someone has been charged with financial offenses and false sworn statements who, years after the actions objected to, was, for three months, the director of the Trump presidential campaign. Dream on, Senator, and be comforted by the Trump-hating media’s portentous references to “walls” that “are closing in” (the Washington Post, quoting an anonymous Republican) and to the “darkest day” (C[linton]NN) . Mr. Manafort’s lawyer declared on the courthouse steps that President Trump was correct — that there was absolutely no evidence of any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia — and went on to debunk the thought that his client had laundered money and evaded taxes by collecting it for patriation to the United States.

    The fact that, on the same day as the Manafort and Gates indictments, Tony Podesta — who was intimately connected with the Uranium One dealings that were contemporaneous with extraordinarily large pledges to the Clinton Foundation and the celebrated $500,000 speech-making payment to former president Clinton — retired as head of the firm that bears his name may indicate that Special Counsel Mueller is shifting gears with the evidence and broadening his attack, conducted by his largely Clintonian lawyer group. Gates had so little notice of what was coming that he had not even hired a criminal lawyer; he had a public defender enter his plea. I presume Mueller raced out with the Manafort-Gates charges in the hope that, if there were anything Manafort could say that would be damaging to Trump, an indictment such as this — the usual U.S. prosecutorial technique of throwing all the spaghetti at the wall (“conspiracy against the United States” is one of the more extreme charges) — will bring him to the standard plea bargain: giving extorted and false but incriminating testimony against the big target (Trump), in exchange for a reduced sentence with an immunity for perjured testimony. Mueller and his protégé James Comey are superstars in the firmament of this profoundly rotten system, but Manafort’s lawyer gave them clear notice that it won’t work.

    At the same time, to shake Podesta out of his own company, and incite rumors in the Democratic press that the Podestas are being investigated (Tony’s brother, John Podesta, was Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager), means that Mueller is already much closer to lifting the rock all the way on the Clintons and Obama than he is to finding anything vulnerable around Trump or his campaign. Mueller is at the bifurcation of the road. After over a year, there is not much more to try to find about the Trump campaign and Russia, since nothing happened and Russia’s contribution was to release a number of emails it had illegally hacked, which embarrassed but did not convict any Democrat, and to contribute $6,500 in Facebook advertisements decrying chaos in the country without supporting a candidate, in an election where the two main candidates spent $1,850,000,000 between them.

    Comey said in his appearance before the House Intelligence Committee that he had assured President Trump three times, starting on January 27, that Trump was not a target or suspect in the investigation of Russian collusion. This was three months after the FBI had taken over the so-called Steele dossier, which is now declared by the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee to be the only remaining element of the Trump-collusion argument that could furnish proof of Trump-Kremlin collusion. The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative news outlet backed by distinguished Republican financier Paul Singer, engaged Fusion GPS, the normally left-wing special-services firm that assisted Democrats in political campaigns with destructive and questionable research, to investigate Trump’s financial background and other controversial matters. The Free Beacon had abandoned Fusion as a researcher when Trump clinched the Republican nomination. The account was shopped to and taken over by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee: Christopher Steele, a retired British spy, was engaged only when the Clinton campaign and the DNC were paymasters (they paid Fusion over $9 million). Steele was paid to engage others to solicit and pay for nasty reports about Trump from Kremlin officials, who, completely unaccountable, were incentivized to produce scandalous allegations. This is the lowest-quality intelligence, the sleaziest political sandbag job, and Comey took over the file for the FBI after the election. We do not know whether the FBI paid any more for the salacious gossip of Kremlin low-lives recruited and paid by Steele, but this very dodgy information from unidentified Kremlin-gremlins is the cornerstone of the entire mighty smear job against the elected president of the United States, and it has been under FBI ownership for almost a year.

    Not only is there almost certainly nothing there; the dossier has been floating around in the public domain for almost all of this year, and no respectable news organization would touch it until BuzzFeed (so partisan it won’t accept Republican advertisements) ran it and CNN took up the hue and cry. There is nothing in the Steele dossier that any reasonable person would take seriously, and it was generated by Mrs. Clinton and her closest collaborators, all of whom have unctuously lied that they knew nothing about it. Now the authors of this outrage, which is a desecration of the entire American political process, are trying to pretend that there is still something to investigate in the Republican campaign. The congressman from the immense political pustule of HollyWeinsteinwood, Adam Schiff, says it doesn’t matter who paid for the Steele dossier; we have to chase down its allegations. The FBI has done so; there’s nothing there. The ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Mark Warner (Va.), who you know is not telling it straight when he stammers and smiles compulsively like Katie Couric but with larger teeth, warns that there will be bipartisan challenges if the president pardons his supporters. This must be the last rhetorical refuge of a prosecutor with no case.

    With the revelations that the Clintons and Democrats paid Kremlin scoundrels for a file of malicious and defamatory bile about Donald Trump, and lied about it for many months; that the FBI took it over and has used it as the basis for continued investigation; that the Obama White House might have used it for the unmasking of individuals in the Trump campaign after improper surveillance in the Trump Tower; and that this is all Comey had and Mueller now has on Trump-Kremlin collusion, we have finally come to the time for truth. Mueller must soon acknowledge that he has no evidence of Trump-Kremlin collusion and move on with his mandate to investigate the Russian attempt to influence the election in more promising areas (e.g., the Democrats; he might be doing this with the Podestas), and he must, with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, show cause why they should be allowed to continue at all, given their role in prosecution of part of the Uranium One affair.

    If they do not do that, the president should avoid the opprobrium and controversy of firing the attorney general, Jeff Sessions — who has been unspeakably ineffectual in this most important matter after recusing himself when he had misinformed Congress about speaking with Russians, but has his moments otherwise — and nominate him instead to replace General Kelly as secretary of homeland security, and name Rudolph Giuliani or someone of approximately his stature as attorney general. The new attorney general should require that Mueller and Rosenstein give adequate assurance of their reliable non-partisanship. They, or their replacements, must certainly see whether there were any inappropriate contacts between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, almost inconceivable though that now is. But the murky depths of the Clinton pay-to-play casino, Fusion-Steele campaign dirty tricks, and Obama surveillance and smearing of Trump must be plumbed. If all are found guiltless, all should rejoice. If American public life was dangerously abased and undermined by all this possible skullduggery for no valid reason, the nation must know it, and its lawmakers must take enhanced preventive measures, even as the courts punish those who would so brazenly undermine the republic.

    © 2017 Conrad Black

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    See Also:

    (1) Manafort held passports and accounts under a fake name

    (2) Laura Ingraham’s New Book Has Lessons for How We Got Trump

    (3) Trump vows to end non merit-base immigration, punish ‘animals’ who commit terror

    (4) Who Gets to Have Nuclear Weapons — and Why?

  • Jack 3:07 am on November 2, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: brainwashing, bush legacy, , , , , , party politics, , , , , , richard fernandez, social values,   

    Class Morality 

    Although Karl Marx, not Adolf Hiter, was arguably the most destructive German ever born, Bret Stephens writes in the New York Times that Western intellectuals will go to extreme lengths to deny it.

    Why is Marxism still taken seriously on college campuses and in the progressive press? … These aren’t original questions. But they’re worth asking because so many of today’s progressives remain in a permanent and dangerous state of semi-denial …

    They will insist that there is an essential difference between Nazism and Communism … balance acknowledgment of the repression and mass murder of Communism with references to its “real advances and achievements.”

    “They will write about Stalinist playwright Lillian Hellman in tones of sympathy and understanding they never extend to film director Elia Kazan” because Marxism is ostensibly a moral enterprise. However many millions it killed it meant well. The irony of this defense is that the Communist Manifesto argued morality doesn’t exist. It was simply a construct of the Party. Chapter 2 of the Manifesto says:

    When the ancient world was in its last throes, the ancient religions were overcome by Christianity. When Christian ideas succumbed in the 18th century to rationalist ideas, feudal society fought its death battle with the then revolutionary bourgeoisie. The ideas of religious liberty and freedom of conscience merely gave expression to the sway of free competition within the domain of knowledge.

    “Undoubtedly,” it will be said, “religious, moral, philosophical, and juridical ideas have been modified in the course of historical development. But religion, morality, philosophy, political science, and law, constantly survived this change.”

    “There are, besides, eternal truths, such as Freedom, Justice, etc., that are common to all states of society. But Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion, and all morality, instead of constituting them on a new basis; it therefore acts in contradiction to all past historical experience.”

    If you want to know what’s moral read the papers, the right ones of course because it’s changing all the time. There is no morality but class morality and the party defines what class morality means. Marxism styles itself not as the servant of some objective virtue but it’s maker. It defines good. Through this the Manifesto deliberately sets itself against the psalmist who acknowledges an external truth which it is man’s purpose to discover. In the familiar words “the Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” It is there. I will find it.

    The psalmist tries to understand reality in contrast to the progressive who decides what virtue is to be and re-evaluates the past accordingly. They are two points of view and ways of thinking with Marxism winning the argument — at least in the academy, the media and entertainment — through most of the 20th century. But in the 21st century, first slowly but with gathering speed the Internet has collapsed the Narrative and laid bare the corruption of Hollywood, politics and the media. For the first time in a century the assumption progressives are a uniquely moral people pursuing a virtuous enterprise is impossible to sustain.


  • Jack 3:07 am on November 2, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: bush legacy, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Bad Judgement? 

    Former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates were indicted by a federal grand jury on 12 counts, including conspiracy to launder a whopping $75 million, and false and misleading federal filings. They pled not guilty on Monday. In addition, Trump foreign policy advisor George Papadopolous was revealed to have pled guilty to making false statements in an FBI interview about his discussions with Russia-related contacts earlier in the year.

    Is this a huge deal? Is Trump on course to be impeached? Is it not that big of a deal and unrelated to the long-promised proof of Trump’s illegal ties to Russia? It depends on who you ask and may take some time to determine. Here are a few takeaways.

    1. Whatever It Is, It’s Not Nothing

    President Trump likes to say that Manafort wasn’t his campaign chairman for long. After Special Counsel Robert Mueller raided Manafort’s home this summer, Trump said, “He was with the campaign, as you know, for a very short period of time—for a relatively short period of time.”

    That’s true, but the two have known each other for decades and Manafort was not just the Republican candidate’s campaign chairman, but chairman of the campaign at a very important time, from mid-May to mid-August of 2016. This time period included the fraught Republican Convention at which Manafort orchestrated a harsh shutdown of grassroots Republican opposition to Trump’s nomination.

    Gates’ indictments relate to his work with Manafort, but he has his own relationship with Trump, including being an early visitor to the White House and the vice-chair of Trump’s Inaugural Committee.

    The two are accused of laundering more than $75 million in foreign funds. However you slice it, two associates of Donald Trump getting caught up in a money laundering scheme is not going to burnish the president’s image.

    2. What’s Not Surprising About The Indictments

    Today was not the first day the world learned that Manafort and Gates might have engaged in some shady financial dealings. The whole reason Manafort stepped down from the campaign in the first place was the rash of unfavorable stories about the financial consequences of his work in Ukraine. “Secret Ledger in Ukraine Lists Cash for Donald Trump’s Campaign Chief,” was one New York Times headline. In August of last year, my better half wrote about possible money laundering by Manafort.

    In light of this previously well-known and widely published news, a single count of money laundering along with charges related to many process and filing violations is perhaps less than reasonable observers might have expected.

    3. What Is Surprising About the Indictment

    The relatively restrained indictment against Manafort and Gates is mostly built around Foreign Agents Registration Act violations. Similar violations of this act are not uncommon, but criminal prosecutions for violations are uncommon. Usually the government requests a proper filing and issues a fine. Andrew McCarthy, a former federal prosecutor, says there’s “not much there” in the indictment.

    The indictment was also interesting for some of the information contained in it. There’s Manafort’s lavish spending, alleged to be the vehicle by which the duo laundered gobs of cash back to the United States. The indictment also mentions problematic behavior with “Company A” and “Company B,” reported to be the Podesta Group and Mercury Public Affairs. Both of these groups admitted in 2017 to doing work on behalf of Manafort’s Ukraine front group, work they’d been doing since 2012.

    On Monday, Tony Podesta of the Podesta Group announced he was departing the lobbying firm he founded. Podesta Group had lobbied on behalf of Uranium One, the group at the center of questions about a bribery attempt during the previous administration. Podesta is the brother of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, and a longtime Democratic operative.

    4. Are The Indictments Related To 2016 Election Collusion With Russia?

    No. The indictments are about money laundering and failing to disclose and file proper paperwork. Nothing in the indictment mentions Russia, or collusion with Russia, and nothing mentions Donald Trump. The indictments show that Mueller has moved afield from investigating Russian election meddling and collusion with Russia, although the tangential ties to the campaign and Russia may keep observers from getting too upset with him.

    5. What About George Papadopolous?

    Perhaps because the Manafort/Gates indictment was unrelated to the campaign or Trump, reporters quickly turned their attention to the more surprising news that Trump policy advisor George Papadopolous had not just pled guilty to making false statements to federal investigators, but had become what’s called a “proactive cooperator” with investigators. That means he may have been used to try to lure other Trump affiliates into false testimony or obstructions of justice.

    The guilty plea was related to a single count of Papadopolous telling investigators false things about the timing of his discussions with Russian-connected contacts. Trump defenders say that he was an insignificant volunteer with no access to Trump while Trump critics are saying this is evidence of the Trump campaign’s intent to collude.

    Former federal prosecutor McCarthy says the evidence in the plea document is exculpatory for Trump. Papadopolous was told, apparently falsely, that Russians had acquired thousands of Clinton emails. He was presumably willing to receive these emails. But if Russia had to inform a low-level campaign figure of this fact so the campaign could learn about it, that would mean they had nothing to do with the acquisition of the emails. And there is no evidence the claim was true to begin with.

    While the guilty plea isn’t in and of itself bad for Trump, Papadopolous’ work as a proactive cooperator may yield additional results.

    6. What’s Next?

    Since Manafort was always assumed to be the big target of Mueller’s probe, today’s indictments could indicate that the investigation is wrapping up. But it’s not unreasonable to wonder if other Trump affiliates will be caught up in false statement charges or money laundering charges. Or perhaps family members or affiliates of Manafort and Gates can expect charges. Company A and Company B might also face the wrath of a special prosecutor who has found evidence of failure to properly file foreign agent paperwork.

    If Mueller is serious about rooting out undisclosed lobbying work for foreign governments as well as looking at Russia’s influence in the election, the stated reason for his probe, he’ll be digging more into Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm hired by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to run the Russia-Trump dossier operation. The group has been accused of doing unregistered lobbying work on behalf of Russians.

    And let’s not forget Mike Flynn, Trump’s former national security advisor who was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for unregistered lobbying on behalf of Turkey during the campaign.

    7. Trump Is Guilty Of Bad Judgment

    It was Trump’s decision to hire Manafort, a known character, and place him at the head of his campaign. Ditto for Flynn’s role. Manafort may have been instrumental in helping Trump secure the Republican nomination, but his indictment on money laundering is not exactly an earth-shattering surprise.

    Having affiliates who behave in such ways as to get in trouble with special prosecutors is not the same thing as traitorous collusion with Russia to steal an election that Hillary Clinton was supposed to win. But while Trump has many people in his cabinet and team who have good reputations, he has not always shown good judgment with those close to him.


    See Also:

    (1) Mueller’s Thin Gruel

  • Jack 2:49 am on October 28, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: bush legacy, , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Hostile Takeover 

    “More is now required of us than to put down our thoughts in writing,” declaimed Jeff Flake in his oration against President Trump, just before he announced he will be quitting the Senate.

    Though he had lifted the title of his August anti-Trump polemic, “Conscience of a Conservative,” from Barry Goldwater, Jeff Flake is no Barry Goldwater.

    Goldwater took on the GOP establishment in the primaries, voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, defiantly declared, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice,” and then went down to defeat battling to the end after the assassination of JFK made LBJ invincible.

    The real “Mr. Conservative” was a true profile in courage.

    Flake, with only 18 percent approval in Arizona, decided to pack it in rather than get waxed in his own primary. With Falstaff, Flake appears to believe that “discretion is the better part of valor.”

    Sen. Bob Corker is another summertime soldier calling on colleagues to stand and fight Trump while he retires to Tennessee.

    It’s no wonder the establishment is viewed with such derision.

    Flake calls Trump “dangerous to our democracy.” But the real threat Trump represents is to the GOP establishment’s control of the party’s agenda and the party’s destiny.

    U.S. politics have indeed been coarsened, with Trump playing a lead role. Yet, beneath the savagery of the uncivil war in the party lies more than personal insults and personality clashes.

    This is a struggle about policy, about the future. And Trump is president because he read the party and the country right, while the Bush-McCain Republican establishment had lost touch with both.

    How could the Beltway GOP not see that its defining policies — open borders, amnesty, free trade globalism, compulsive military intervention in foreign lands for ideological ends — were alienating its coalition?

    What had a quarter century of Bushite free trade produced?

    About $12 trillion in trade deficits, $4 trillion with China alone, a loss of 55,000 plants and 6 million manufacturing jobs.

    We imported goods “Made in China,” while exporting our future.

    U.S. elites made China great again, to where Beijing is now challenging our strategic position and presence in Asia.

    Could Republicans not see the factories shutting down, or not understand why workers’ wages had failed to rise for decades?

    What did the democracy crusades “to end tyranny in our world” accomplish?

    Thousands of U.S. dead, tens of thousands of wounded, trillions of dollars sunk, and a Mideast awash in blood from Afghanistan to Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, with millions uprooted and homeless. Yet, still, the GOP establishment has not repudiated the mindset that produced this.

    With the Cold War over for a quarter of a century, what is the case now for America, $20 trillion in debt, going abroad in search of monsters to destroy?

    Consider. Bush-Obama “open borders” brought in tens of millions of Third World peoples, legally and illegally, to rising resistance from Americans forced to bear the economic and social costs.

    What was the GOP establishment’s reply to the opposition to amnesty for illegals and calls for a moratorium on legal immigration, to assimilate the tens of millions already here?

    To call them nativists and parade their moral superiority.

    Flake and Corker are being beatified by the Beltway elites, and George W. Bush and John McCain celebrated for their denunciations of Trumpism.

    Yet no two people are more responsible for the blunders of the post-Cold War era than McCain and Bush.

    About which of half a dozen wars were they right?

    Yesterday’s New York Times recognized Trump’s triumph:

    “Despite the fervor of President Trump’s Republican opponents, the president’s brand of hard-edged nationalism — with its gut-level cultural appeals and hard lines on trade and immigration — is taking root within his adopted party.”

    Moreover, a new question arises:

    Can the GOP establishment believe that if Trump falls, or they bring him down, they will inherit the estate and be welcomed home like the Prodigal Son? Do they believe their old agenda of open borders, amnesty, free trade globalism and democracy-crusading can become America’s agenda again?

    Trumpism is not a detour, after which we can all get back on the interstate to the New World Order.

    For though unpleasant, it is not unfair to say that if there was one desire common to Bernie Sanders, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump voters, it was be rid of the regime resting on top of all of us.

    Should Trump fall, and a restored establishment attempt to reimpose the old policies, there will be a truly uncivil war in this country.

    After the Trumpian revolt, there is no going back. As that most American of writers, Thomas Wolfe, put it, “You can’t go home again.”

    Traditionalists have been told that for years. Now it’s the turn of the GOP establishment to learn the truth as well.

    Goldwater lost badly, but the establishment that abandoned him never had its patrimony restored. It was the leaders they abhorred, Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, to whom the future belonged.

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    See Also:

    (1) U.S. economy grew at 3 percent rate in July-September quarter

    (2) Sen. Dean Heller trails challenger by 6 points in new poll

  • Jack 4:00 am on October 24, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: bush legacy, , , , , , , , , , , , ,   


    Though the common usage of “NeverTrump” typically refers to the failed attempted mutiny by disaffected Republicans that largely fizzled after Trump has clinched the GOP nomination, for the purposes of this article it describes those from both sides of the political spectrum, who will never acknowledge the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency.

    The Never Trumpers seem to have retreated, more or less in unison, to the last trench before they throw down their arms and run backwards for their lives: They are now invoking the 25th Amendment. This indicates that they realize the impeachment movement has failed. There is no evidence to impeach, and various unctuous congressional-committee poseurs have acknowledged that they are reduced to the Steele dossier. That source was not respectable enough to make the press in months of circulation and even Bob Woodward, who didn’t hesitate to fabricate and utter garbage about President Nixon, called it a “garbage document.” It was reviled universally for the synchronized-urinating-Muscovite-prostitutes nonsense, and languished until it was all that was left. Eventually, one dares to hope, the full story of this unutterable nonsense will come to light. The man behind it, Christopher Steele, was hired by Fusion, a generally leftist and disruptive organization, and paid by anti-Trump Republicans. When their cause was ground to powder in the Republican primaries, the flickering Steele torch passed to the Clinton campaign, and in about September, the FBI, under the Caesarean direction of James Comey, began funding Steele and interviewing his sources, who were at one remove from Steele, through shadowy intermediaries — Steele reported hearsay extracted from other hearsay, not the results of rigorous intelligence-gathering.

    The FBI was intimately familiar with this Keystone Kops file several months before the first of three affirmations, on January 27 of this year, by Comey to President Trump that Trump was not a suspect in the Russian-collusion investigation. Comey has confirmed to the Congress that he did give those assurances to Trump and that they were accurate. This incites the inference that he continued with and needlessly prolonged the Russian-collusion inquiry, at least insomuch as it involved the president, at the same time he whitewashed Clinton. And the Steele dossier is now the tottering last soldier standing in the Democratic denial therapy over the election result. Therefore, many influential Democrats, official and unofficial — including the deranged anti-Trump faction in the national media — have taken up the 25th Amendment, which could not possibly have the slightest applicability here. Donald Trump is not Julius Caesar (not that Caesar deserved what he got), and his congressional enemies are not a group of conscientious objectors to a tyranny that has usurped power. The 25th Amendment provided for the incapacitation of a president, such as occurred with Woodrow Wilson in 1919 from a series of strokes, not a parliamentary cabinet revolt that dumps a prime minister, from time to time, in Britain, Australia, and Canada.

    The relevant section of the 25th Amendment provides that if the vice president and a majority of “the principal officers of the executive departments” and two-thirds of both houses of the Congress agree that the president is physically or mentally incapable of exercising his office, he shall be replaced by the vice president until he is able to exercise it or there is an election in the normal course and a new president is elected and inaugurated. This measure was invoked only by Ronald Reagan (once) and George W. Bush (twice), in each case when they were having colonoscopies, and only for a few hours. The idea that it could have the slightest chance of being invoked and sustained against Trump (assuming the president does not have a serious health crisis) is another indication of the almost suicidal desperation of those terminally afflicted by Trump derangement syndrome.

    As the unfathomable idiocy of the Russian collusion fades into Special Counsel Mueller’s trying to protect his protégé and successor, James Comey, from being exposed for his misconduct toward both presidential candidates, and to keep FBI witnesses out of congressional hearings, the Never Trumpers have started to lose control of the Trump-is-evil narrative. They have fallen back to a redefinition in use of the 25th Amendment to make incapacity to govern synonymous with disagreement with the liberal political class that has ruled America since the Reagan era and whose failures and pretensions caused the aggrieved people to carry Donald Trump to the leadership of the Republicans and on to the White House. The criminalization of policy differences almost shattered the division of powers and the efficacy of the federal system during the Watergate affair and after, in the Iran-Contra and Whitewater episodes. Now, the successors to those assaults on the presidency are trying to take a precautious device used up to now only during presidential rectal examinations under sedation, to adapt it as a method of sidelining Trump in favor of his vice president.

    Even some benign and reasonable people who seek to be fair, and do give the president a chance, are inconsolably shocked by the president’s outbursts of unseemly spontaneity, and have concluded that he cannot succeed as president. Recourse to the 25th Amendment would not remove Trump: It would be like the madness of King George III, and he would be writing Congress every month demanding to have the full exercise of the presidency back. The whole concept, spiked up by Tennessee senator Bob Corker’s outrageous reflections on Trump’s mental stability, is touted now by The New Yorker magazine, still feverish with Obama deprivation. It is too preposterous to bear thinking about it further.

    Another indication of the extremis in which the OBushton Regency Emeritus is now floundering is the apparent full-immersion death plunge of credibility Hillary Clinton has taken in her trip to England. In a foreign country, as if it would not be reported at home, she ascribed her electoral defeat to widespread American misogyny and Russian hacking, WikiLeaks, and other interventions, and to the animus of James Comey, unremembered now for having spared her a criminal trial. None of it makes much sense and is overshadowed anyway by the sudden collapse of a giant Hollywood façade. Harvey Weinstein was expelled from the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, and fired from his own company, which seems to be about to go into liquidation, just two weeks after a New York Times exposé of his alleged rape and harassment of many star-candidate actresses. The idea of waiting for a trial to determine whether someone is guilty of a crime is as obsolete as assembling some evidence when proposing the impeachment or removal for reason of incompetence of a president one disagrees with or finds distasteful. Whatever the truth about Weinstein, Hollywood instantly produced a full marquee of consummate hypocrites, wailing their surprise at what all of them have apparently known for decades. Here again, Weinstein beneficiary Hillary Clinton oozed shock and outrage, as if her husband had been Good Housekeeping’s husband of the century.

    Donald Trump is so hyperactive, so unflaggingly energetic, and so determined and resourceful that no outsider knows when he is play-acting for a purpose, letting off steam; being serious; or being silly. Having chastised the Republican leaders of the Congress as inept (deservedly), he this week embraced Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, and had a pal-in ceremony with him while effortlessly answering questions from all comers in the press in the White House Rose Garden for 45 minutes. It was a boffo performance: Trump was equable, fluent, and in close agreement with the Senate leader. The president seemed very calm and sensible. The productive session with Schumer and Pelosi about DACA (people who were brought illegally into the country as minors) and the debt ceiling a few weeks ago, while unleashing Steve Bannon to attack Republican senators and promote primary opponents and the Trump agenda but leaving the president with plausible deniability, appears to have mellowed formerly standoffish senators. The long chicken game between the Congress stalling Trump and the president holding their feet to the fire to avoid being portrayed as ineffectual seems to have Trump well embarked on the passage of his tax bill, doubtless with a few amendments, but with the core of simpler and lower taxes unaltered.

    The 25th Amendment is as insane a step to consider as was the effort to produce a materially changed vote in a recount in Wisconsin, and as was the national advertising campaign to change the minds of a few members of the Electoral College pledged to Donald Trump. Millions were spent reaching a few people around the country and Hillary Clinton, whose campaign bankrolled the effort, lost more electoral votes from it than Trump did. We seem to be living in a time of routine recourse to mad political nostrums. Hillary Clinton has become so esoteric that her claim to lead the Never Trumpers is in jeopardy. As I mentioned above, she was in London this week, promoting her book (a labored recitation of her blameless victimhood in her loss of the election last year). The British generally would believe anything absurd about America and especially its new president, and she trotted out her explanation of her election defeat as the responsibility of everyone except herself. Certainly, she implied, the skill of Donald Trump had nothing to do with it, and public discontent with policies she espoused had nothing to do with it either. That section of the people that she had not infamously consigned as “deplorable” simply “had” to stay strong for three more years and then, all together, they would expel the miscreants. The victorious candidate in the last election lost no time in urging her, for his sake if not the country’s, to run again for president.

    © 2017 Conrad Black

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    See Also:

    (1) 10 Times CNN Told Us An Apple Was A Banana


  • Jack 4:48 am on October 23, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: bush legacy, , , , , , ,   

    Disaster Averted 


    Donald Trump is president. Some in the Republican Party can’t get over that fact. But they should. Who else but Donald Trump could take this much political heat, and still fight for what matters most — the spirit of America?

    Some anti-Trumpers, like Sen. John McCain and George W. Bush, both of whom just delivered public remarks painting this White House in negative lights — without naming names, of course — will never support this president.

    They won’t because they’re creatures of the very swamp, the very establishment and entrenched political swamp that Trump vowed to drain while serving as president.

    Forget them; they don’t count. Their spots will never change. They’re part of a movement, a larger movement, that seeks to instill Big Government at the expense of individual rights — and later, Bigger Government, at the expense of national sovereign rights.

    They’ll never like Trump, no matter what, because Make America Great Again counters that globalist view.

    But there are other anti-Trumpers among the conservative base in America who could change — who should change — their anti-Trump viewpoints. They balk with distaste at some of Trump’s statements, some of his tweets, some of his past behaviors and dealings.

    But they’re missing the forest for the trees.

    There’s a larger picture to consider, one that begins with this question: What other Republican would be able to withstand what Trump is currently withstanding?

    What other politician out there could suffer the daily attacks of this president, yet emerge from the fray with an even deeper commitment to win?

    Look at the slate of candidates the Republicans ran.

    You think Sen. Marco Rubio, had he won the White House, would be able to stand tall against the tide of anti-Republican forces on Capitol Hill and restrain from doing too-liberal dealings with the liberals? He already proved himself a deal-cutter when he worked with Democrats to bring about an amnesty plan he then quickly denied was amnesty.

    How about John Kasich — the guy who’s already walked hand-in-hand with the despicable Joe Biden down the Civil Talk Aisle, pretending a meeting of left-right minds that only exists in their agenda-driven imaginations. You think he’d be able to resist Sen. Chuck Schumer’s onslaughts and attacks? Or Nancy Pelosi’s?

    There’s always Mitt Romney, of course, the guy the establishment-minded GOP wanted to bring in to replace Trump at the last minute of the campaign — as if the former Massachusetts governor hadn’t already caved on health care and served as the left’s go-to example of how Obamacare could work in the states.

    Think of some of the other candidates Trump faced and beat back in 2016: Lindsey Graham. Chris Christie. Jeb Bush. Their common denominators?

    They were all much-preferred by the establishment GOPers. But they were also skilled politicians in the art of the behind-closed-door deals. They were true card-carrying members of the Wheel-and-Deal Club.

    They would’ve caved to Dems on Day One. Trump?

    In the eyes of both conservative and liberal critics, Trump may not be diplomatic. He may not have the fanciest, most elegant, smoothest-talking manner of speech. He may tweet too much for some tastes — tweet too harshly for others. He may appear the bulldog at the United Nations, the pit bull to Iran and North Korea — the watchdog to a dishonest press. He may call out political enemies in the vein of a street fighter; talk the trash political talk to his detractors. And he may in fact in the past have uttered vulgarities, treated women with less than Miss Manners-perfect etiquette, and behaved in a manner that was as far removed from proper Christian virtue as practically possible.

    But listen up, slow-walking would-be Trump backers: Those are the trees.

    The forest is this: America. Comes. First.

    And Trump is consistent on that note, carrying that message to political reality by doing things like pulling America from the Paris Accord; putting the United Nations in its place; staring down the faces of wicked North Korea and Iran leaders; fighting for tax reform, Obamacare repeal and border control — even against the very Republicans who are supposed to be on his side with these issues. He’s brought forward a Supreme Court justice who can counter the liberal leaners. He’s reviving the economy with a pro-business, anti-regulatory atmosphere message. He’s issuing executive orders to counter Barack Obama’s egregious overreach with executive orders.

    He’s calling on Americans to say “Merry Christmas,” not “Happy Holidays,” for crying out loud.

    The forest — all forest stuff.

    The forest is the spirit of America; the trees, the silly sidebar, sometime petty, always partisan and ever-changing political fights. The forest doesn’t change; the trees do.

    Let’s remember that presidents come and go. But it’s the spirit that we want to last. It’s the spirit of America — the one that says our rights come from God, not government — that is worthy of saving.

    Trump may not be a perfect president. But he is a president who fights that forest fight — for the spirit of America. And he does so very often against great odds, at a time in history when few others in the political world would or even could.


  • Jack 4:00 pm on October 12, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: bush legacy, , , , ryan mauro, , us-iraq relations,   

    Strategic Blunder? 

    The U.S. is still poking the eyes of the Kurds in Iraq for their referendum on independence, with the State Department declaring that the Kurds’ vote is “illegitimate” and that America opposes an independent state for the Kurds.

    “The vote and the results lack legitimacy and we continue to support a united, federal, democratic and prosperous Iraq,” said U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson.

    White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders defended the Trump Administration’s position using the absurd defense that a unified Iraq can “push back on Iran.”

    Question: How has that worked since out since 2003?

    The U.S. already took a position closer to that of Iran, Turkey, Qatar and various Islamists by expressing its staunch opposition to the Kurdish referendum, which was merely an expression of the desire for independence and not even a formal declaration of statehood.

    Then, as the pro-American Kurds celebrated in the streets and enjoyed casting ballots in a region where many cannot, the U.S. State Department rubbed salt in the wound by expressing its “great disappointment” when it could have said nothing or moved on. Iran’s propaganda outlets were happy to broadcast the U.S.’ comments.

    And now—even after the referendum has already happened with 93% of Iraqi Kurds voting in favor of independence—we’re telling three million Kurds who cast ballots that their emotional and historical actions are “illegitimate.”

    This doesn’t make any sense. In fact, it’s stupid.

    Israel, on the other hand, is openly supporting Kurdish statehood. Not just the referendum, but actual statehood.

    The U.S., meanwhile, is incoherently endorsing eventual Palestinian statehood while actively opposing the very principle of Kurdish statehood.

    This is the biggest difference of opinion between the U.S. and Israel since the Obama Administration’s nuclear deal with Iran and blaming of Israel for the Middle East peace process’ failure.

    In fact, the Trump Administration is blaming the Kurds for undermining the war on ISIS just like the Obama Administration blamed Israel for undermining the war on terrorism.

    As our Kurdish affairs analyst Zach Huff pointed out, the argument that the Kurdish referendum jeopardized progress against ISIS has no basis in the reality on the ground.

    “The only territory still held by ISIS and bordering Iraqi Kurdistan is the Hawija pocket, which the [Kurdish] Peshmerga are set to liberate as early as this month. ISIS’s abilities to wage offensive operations was eradicated long ago. Perhaps ISIS is now just a convenient excuse,” he wrote.

    As mentioned by Huff, what’s more damaging to the fight against ISIS is that “America’s $22 million in direct aid to the Iraqi Kurdish forces runs dry this month, while cash, arms and humanitarian aid still flows to Baghdad and the Iranian-backed Islamist proxies with which it operates in tandem. It is unknown when or if additional American aid for the Kurds will arrive.”

    The other argument for the State Department’s position is that the U.S. needs Turkey, Iraq and Qatar because of our military presences there, such as the Incirlik air base in Turkey and the Al-Udeid air base in Qatar.

    Those who take that position have it backwards. The existence of those bases should make them cater to us because we are protecting them, not the other way around.

    The perceived dependency upon those bases only makes it more urgent for us to relocate our bases to an independent Iraqi Kurdistan, the Kurdish-controlled areas of Syria and the United Arab Emirates, which is offering itself as an alternative to Qatar.

    The leader of the Kurdistan National Assembly in Syria told the Clarion Project that the West “need[s] to promote the values that they preach and practice. When they do that, the only solution is the Kurds, who can stop the Shia Crescent and prevent the Neo-Ottoman Empire from forming.”

    Siding with Kurdistan also makes economic sense. Its economy is growing and it is often referred to as the “next Dubai.” Analysts are upbeat about its prospects next year. Those who visit there, as I did earlier this year, can feel the sense of excitement and opportunity, that of a confident, modern population eager to wow the world with its success in a region where the news fuels perpetual pessimism.

    Iraqi Kurdistan is described as “one of the most pro-American places on the planet.”

    Their vision—one spoken with passion and out in the open—is to have an independent state so they can ally with the West, enjoy peace with Israel and stand against Islamism and the regimes in Iran, Turkey and Syria. The words “secular democracy” roll off the tongues of average, young Kurds unlike American peers where such vocabulary is only confined to the intellectuals in political science clubs.

    The Kurds are proud pioneers of women’s rights in the region. In Syria, Kurds are fighting side-by-side with Christians. Syrian Kurdish forces even declared their “deep respect for human rights, including the rights of homosexuals” in a time and place where executing gays is still popular.

    Polling shows that 75% of Kurds believe Iraq would be better of it did more to separate religion and politics (only 22% disagreed). Only 11% of Kurds agree that the government should only have laws derived from Sharia.

    An independent Kurdistan is the best prospect for a Muslim-majority country in the region that opposes Islamism and secular authoritarians who usually end up supporting Islamist terrorists and extremist propaganda anyway.

    The Kurds have shown that they are happy to be a bold, combative yet responsible voice in the Islamist and anti-Western wilderness.

    When Al-Azhar University in Egypt condemned the referendum, the Kurds punched the most influential Sunni religious institution for its “crocodile tears.” The Kurds said that they have done more to help Sunnis in Iraq than Al-Azhar has.

    The Kurdish Regional Government even went so far as to tell Al-Azhar, “Do not lecture us on coexistence. We are the leaders in this field.”

    “Why would it be halal for you, the Arabs, to have more than 20 countries and haram for us, the Kurds, whose population is more than 40 million to have a state? What would this do to your position?” the KRG said.

    The best example of the Kurds’ boldness and modernism is the issue of peace with Israel, publicly rejecting the main jihadist narrative calling for its destruction and demonization.

    Unlike Arab states who secretly cooperate with Israel while publicly bashing Jews and the “Zionist conspiracy against Islam,” the Kurds are openly friendly to Israel and proud of their historical ties with Jews.

    You’ll hear this sentiment on the streets and from Kurdish officials. Last year, the Kurds boasted of holding Iraq’s first Holocaust Remembrance Day to combat the region’s pervasive Holocaust denial.

    As Aki Peritz writes in the Huffington Post, President Barazani of Iraqi Kurdistan has publicly welcomed the opening of an Israeli consulate in his region and said, “Establishing relations with between the Kurds and Israel is not a crime.”

    The second-most influential Kurdish leader, former Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, infuriated Iraqi leaders by shaking the hand of the Israeli Defense Minister in 2008. He refused to apologize or resign as they demanded.

    The Kurdish Foreign Minister relishes in how Kurdistan has been described as a “second Israel,” decrying how “this island of democracy [Israel] was seen as a germ.”

    “We have no problems with Israel. They have not harmed us. We can’t be hating them because Arabs hate them,” Falah Mustafa Bakir said.

    For decades, the Kurds have matched their words with actions by having extensive ties with Israel and actively cultivating a friendly relationship. A new Kurdish pipeline is delivering oil to Israel.

    The peace between stateless Kurds and Israel is even stronger than that of the states of Egypt and Jordan. As explained by Seth Franzman, an expert in Israel who travels often to Iraqi Kurdistan, “There is warmth on the street level.”

    If for no other reason, President Trump should endorse Kurdish independence because of the direction of the political winds.

    Democrats like New York Senator Chuck Schumer and Alan Dershowitz agree with conservative Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ) who has introduced a bill to endorse Kurdish statehood. Conservative Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Ralph Lee Abraham (R-LA) have signed on as cosponsors. Libertarian Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) endorsed a Kurdish state back in 2015.

    A time of choosing is coming for the United States. Israel has chosen the side of the Kurds. The Iranian Supreme Leader is saying that Iran, Turkey and Iraq must jointly act against the Kurds.

    If the U.S. doesn’t want to endorse immediate independence for Iraqi Kurdistan, then it can at least make it an official objective of U.S. policy as it has with the Palestinians. And the State Department certainly doesn’t have to keep unnecessarily jabbing the Kurds over the referendum.

    As Zach Huff wrote, “In Kurdistan—America’s staunchest regional ally alongside Israel—this deep respect for America and President Trump is beginning to fray. The Kurdish babies and businesses named after President Trump is a trend that likely ended” after the U.S. condemned the referendum.

    The Trump Administration’s declination to embrace Kurdish aspirations for statehood is its biggest strategic blunder so far and, very possibly, of the rest of its time in office.


  • Jack 2:31 pm on October 10, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: bush legacy, , , , , , , , ,   

    Pure Bunk 

    Over many years, I have had occasional exchanges of friendly fire with Lawrence Martin of The Globe and Mail, who has been sent back to Washington to report on the Trump phenomenon. We first met when he was that newspaper’s Washington bureau chief in 1979, and reported to a large group of Globe and Mail dinner guests that Teddy Kennedy might wrest the Democratic nomination from incumbent president Jimmy Carter, but that either would easily defeat former California governor Ronald Reagan should the Republicans be so unwise as to nominate him for president.

    Still, Lawrence is a competent journeyman reporter and is more thorough and writes better than most journalists. He is not pretentiously worldly nor a washed out cynic, like many in his craft. Nor does he consider every single assignment an opportunity to cause an upheaval, destroy a career, or lift the rock on an enormous and unsuspected infestation of official venality. All in all, as far as I know him, he is a pleasant and intelligent person who tries to do his job honestly.

    But like most foreign journalists assigned to cover the U.S. capitol, he has very little grasp of the extent or potential force of U.S. public discontent. Very few people imagined that Donald Trump could succeed in taking the Republican nomination last year and then the election, campaigning as he was against the entire political class: all factions of both parties, the Bushes as much as the Clintons and Obama, against Hollywood, Wall Street, the national media, the lobbyists, all, he said, complicit in the inexcusable decline of America. All had been responsible for a slow response to the threat of terrorism, a decade of fruitless and costly war in the Middle East that had raised the strength of Iran and generated a huge humanitarian tragedy, the near-collapse of the world financial system, and explosion of debt, a flat-lined economy, increasing poverty and violence in the United States, and a foreign policy of retreat, bluster, apologies to Islam and vanishing “red lines.”

    Canadians generally know the Americans better than other foreigners do, because of proximity and in many respects, similarity. But Canada had to winkle its independence from the British without so annoying the British that that country failed to offer us its protection against a rising America, had to work out a frequently unstable internal relationship between English and French-speaking populations, and has generally been over-shadowed by the United States. For these reasons, it has never had quite as firm a belief as its neighbour in its national right to always become a richer and better country, with minor ups and downs, but with each generation better off than the last in a country stronger in the world.

    This has been the national psychology and mythos of the United States, and despite terrible crises, in particular the Civil War, it has never wavered from that mission and conviction of what was its rightful objective. Woe to any political party that fails to maintain the country on that upward path, held since the country’s earliest times to be its pre-destined course.

    When the shabby Democratic compromise with the southern states — to keep them in the country while indulging them the moral outrage of slavery — finally came unstuck, Americans rewarded Lincoln’s suppression of the insurrection and emancipation of the slaves by electing his new Republican Party 14 times in the next 18 elections (78 per cent of the elections between 1860 and 1928). The country finally became so angry at the Republican authorship of the Great Depression, as well as Prohibition and isolationism, that they elected the Democrats, Franklin D. Roosevelt and his followers, in seven of the next nine elections (also 78 per cent of those between 1932 and 1964). And Americans were so disappointed in the Vietnam War and other sources of domestic discord they blamed on the Democrats that they elected Republicans in five of the next six elections (83 per cent of them between 1968 and 1988).

    The cycles keep getting shorter, and the presidency has changed every two terms since then: Clinton was somewhat popular but ultimately rather disappointing; George W. Bush was never especially popular and was ultimately considered a failure. Barack Obama was fairly popular and the country was rightly relieved to have dispensed with the colour bar to its highest office, but he is not generally seen as a successful president. Each of these presidents started with control of Congress and the voters took it away from them. This is the context — 20 years of gradually intensifying disappointment — in which Donald Trump became the first president never to have sought or held any public office or military command.

    The relevance of all this to Lawrence Martin is that, in The Globe and Mail on Thursday, he wrote that the Republican party “is on its deathbed,” and that “Trump is isolating himself from important power centres with his approach to governing,” and compares this to the demise of the Canadian federal Progressive Conservatives in the 1990s.

    This is all bunk. From 1896 to 1984 (rise of Laurier to retirement of Pierre Trudeau), the Liberals governed  for 66 years out of 88, largely on their formula of making federalism work for Quebec while running elsewhere as the only party that could keep Quebec in the country. (It had some similarity to the Jefferson-Jackson formula of winning elections by sweeping the South while picking up enough northerners who were prepared to placate the South, but was less corrupt because of the evil of slavery.) Brian Mulroney shattered the Liberal stranglehold on Quebec (which the Liberals have not regained), but as he tried to complete the approval of a new constitution by adoption of the Meech Lake formula, western elements who resented Quebec and some partisan Liberals who resented compromises with Pierre Trudeau’s version of federalism, sabotaged the effort. Western conservatives defected to the Reform Party, and Quebec’s conservatives angrily ran into the arms of the separatists or Liberals, producing the greatest federalist crisis the country has had.

    This bears no comparison with current political conditions in the United States. Trump ran against the Republican caucuses in the Congress and his party’s leaders there; Speaker Paul Ryan in the House of Representatives and Senator Mitch McConnell, reciprocated his disdain. His health-care reform was stopped by three senators for different reasons: the personal antagonism with John McCain; Rand Paul’s refusal to vote for anything that isn’t perfect; and the fuzzy Susan Collins hearing the Maine forest murmurs.

    If Trump can deal with this arithmetic over his tax bill, most of the rest of his program, a radically anti-political correctness series of moderate measures, will flow through after the tax log-jam is broken. If he does not, the battle will move to the mid-term elections next year between the Democratic claim that Trump is ineffectual and reactionary, and his claim that he only needs a few senators to enact his mandate against the crooks of both parties clinging to the official furniture between immersions of their snouts in the public trough. The Democrats have 25 senators up for re-election next year, against only 10 Republicans, and under either scenario, Trump should win, and 30 years of gridlock between the Congress and the White House should end.

    At that point, as Lawrence Martin must know, since all politics works this way, everybody scrambles aboard the winning side. As for the claim of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign in the 2015 election, even I, inured as I am to this nonsense, could scarcely credit my senses when I saw the leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee say on Wednesday that it depended on the Steele dossier. This, some readers may recall, was the origin of the “Golden Shower” — no, not the fixtures in the Trump Tower — the allegation that Trump had orchestrated a group of prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room to urinate on a bed because the Obamas had once slept in it. The dossier was commissioned by a Democratic provider of campaign services, Fusion Inc., and there is increasing evidence that the FBI had a hand in it. Steele himself, an Englishman, has told the U.S. Senate to stuff its summons to appear. The media fiction about a chance of impeaching the president has vanished, except perhaps in Lawrence Martin’s mind, because the Democrats are staring down the barrel of much more serious legal problems than Trump is. Special counsel Robert Mueller is now busier trying to keep FBI witnesses from testifying before Congressional committees, and in shakedowns on people over actions long before there was any Trump campaign, than in anything near the president.

    What will happen, in Mr. Lincoln’s phrase, will be “less fundamental and astounding” than Lawrence foresees. Trump will complete his ambitious takeover of the Republicans, enact most of his program; American decline will stop, and the squalor and grandeur of American politics will continue as it has since the only time a major U.S. political party (the Whigs) actually vanished, 165 years ago.

    © 2017 Conrad Black

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    See Also:

    The Decline of American Political Discourse

  • Jack 12:51 pm on September 29, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: abc, , bush legacy, , cnn, , george neumayr, , karl rove, , msnbc, , ,   

    “Bush’s Brain!” 

    Cable television is littered with “Republican consultants” who hate Republicans and consult no one. To the extent that they even worked on Republican campaigns, they were losing ones. MSNBC and CNN are a veritable jobs program for these frauds, sending them out almost on the hour to second the talking points of their liberal patrons.

    One of the principal goals of the liberal media is to give unsolicited advice to Republicans that will hurt them and help Democrats. Usually the advice consists of urging the GOP to run de facto Democrats who call themselves Republicans. So, naturally, the media treated the victory of Roy Moore as ominous news for the GOP. Out came its farm team of phony Republican consultants to bat around “the issues his victory raises.” This occasioned a lot of insiderish babble about “Todd Akin,” as if audiences vividly remembered his campaign and the supposedly monstrous lesson the GOP learned from his defeat.

    A positive — the populist energy behind Moore’s victory — was quickly turned into a negative in the media’s coverage. “Roy Moore’s victory in the Alabama Senate primary sent shock waves through the Republican establishment Wednesday, portending a GOP civil war as outsider candidates in other states threaten to challenge incumbents,” reported the Los Angeles Times gravely. “The potential showdowns are reminiscent of the tea party uprising that just a few years ago cost Republicans the majority in the Senate. Now President Trump’s populist rise to power — honed by his former advisor Stephen K. Bannon — has generated a new wave of long-shot candidates capable of upending the 2018 midterms.”

    Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that this is true. Who cares? If Moore “threatens” a GOP majority in the Senate, it is a meaningless one. The rank-and-file is supposed to be terrified at the prospect of losing a “majority” led by the likes of Susan Collins?

    In truth, the only thing Moore threatens to do is to turn a useless majority into an effective one, and that the media can’t abide. Consequently, it pushes the lie that the populism of the Tea Party and Trump pose a grave risk to the GOP.

    The Times story reads like propaganda its reporter cobbled together after a conference call with a who’s who of failed Republican consultants:

    On Capitol Hill, Republicans braced for more incumbents to resign rather than face challenging nomination fights.

    As a result, Republican professionals who until recently felt that their control of the Senate was secure because the states holding elections in 2018 mostly lean red have started to worry. The departure of incumbents and the rise of candidates who Democrats easily can attack as extreme might put their majority at risk, they fear. At minimum, the new wave of challengers likely means more money spent and a Senate Republican Caucus that will lean further right, and be harder to control, after the next election.

    So here we have “Republican professionals” who played no role in bringing the GOP to power full of “worry” that they may lose it. But the last sentence in that paragraph is even more absurd: even if the Moores win, they will “be harder to control.” To whom does that phrase refer? The aforementioned vaguely described Republican professionals? The editors at the Los Angeles Times? Hosts on MSNBC? Senators “harder to control” is the media’s euphemism for Republicans who might actually vote for Republican bills.

    It is good news, not bad news, that Republican consultants and pols who wasted millions of dollars on Luther Strange’s run have less influence over the GOP. Only the liberal media would have the gall to put that kind of spin on Moore’s grassroots victory. All of the media’s prattle about a “civil war” in the GOP, which is surely one of the longest civil wars in history (the media has been reporting on it since the Goldwater run), is designed to defeat Republicans or neutralize them.

    The media could not care less about the GOP’s “majority” status. It simply wants to block conservatives from participation in politics. Notice that the moment one of them wins a race the audience is immediately told they are “losers” bad for their party. And who supplies this analysis and prognostication? Largely, “Republican consultants” who have never won a major race in their lives or from the Karl Roves who still try and dine out on hollow victories from years ago. Rove’s latest column is a hatchet job on Moore and an attempt to con the GOP grassroots. He pretends to share their disgust with the GOP’s dysfunction, never mentioning that he supported the squishes responsible for it. His smear of Moore and any “copycats” he might inspire — containing the usual blather about wasted resources in contested primaries — is intended not to reform a feckless GOP but to protect its most entitled members.


    See Also:

    (1) Exclusive — Citizens United For Conservative Patrick Morrisey Over Mitch McConnell-Backed Evan Jenkins in West Virginia Senate Battle

    (2) Distrust of Senate grows within GOP

    (3) Nightmare Scenario for GOP as Tax Overhaul Hits Resistance

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