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  • Jack 4:04 am on December 14, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , trey gowdy, , us politics   

    Reps Jim Jordan & Trey Gowdy Question Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein 

     
  • Jack 4:00 am on December 14, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: dick morris, , us politics   

    Proof: The Deep State & Bruce Ohr Orchestrated The Dossier! 

     
  • Jack 3:41 am on December 14, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , us politics   

    “What The Hell Is Going On?” 

    Trey Gowdy Absolutely Destroys Farcical Mueller Probe In Epic Monologue

    Link: http://bit.ly/2BnWdXU

     
  • Jack 3:11 am on December 14, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , us politics,   

    Fake Truth 

    The most effective way for the media to have refuted Donald Trump’s 24/7 accusations of “fake news” would have been to publish disinterested, factually based accounts of his presidency. The Trump record should have been set straight through logic and evidence.

    So one would think after a year of disseminating fake news aimed at Donald Trump (Melania Trump was leaving the White House; Donald Trump had removed the bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the West Wing; Trump planned to send troops into Mexico, etc.) that Washington and New York journalists would be especially scrupulous in their reporting to avoid substantiating one of Trump’s favorite refrains.

    Instead, either blinded by real hatred or hyper-partisanship or both, much of the media has redoubled their reporting of rumor and fictions as facts—at least if they empower preconceived and useful bias against Trump. But after the year-long tit-for-tat with the president, the media has earned less public support in polls than has the president. It is the age-old nature of politicians of every stripe to exaggerate and mislead, but the duty of journalists to keep them honest—not to trump their yarns.

    A Dangerous Tic

    Last week, ABC News erroneously reported that Michael Flynn, in a supposed new role of cooperation with the prosecution, was prepared to testify that Trump, while still a candidate, ordered him improperly to contact (and, by inference, to collude with) Russian government officials.

    For a while, the startling news sent the stock market into a fall of over 300 points. Was the purported pro-business Trump agenda shortly to be derailed by “proof” of a possible impeachable offense? A little while later, however, ABC was forced to retract that story, to suspend Brian Ross (the reporter involved), and to offer a correction that Trump actually had been president-elect at the time of the contact and completely within his elected purview to reach out to foreign governments.

    Reuters, likewise eager to fuel the narrative of a colluding Trump, asserted that the Mueller investigators had subpoenaed Deutsche Bank records of Trump and his family. Again, the leaked inference was that the inquiry suddenly was coming near to hard evidence of Trump wrongdoing and was thus entering its penultimate stage. In truth, Mueller has more routinely subpoenaed the records of Trump associates, not Trump himself or his family.

    In the most egregious example of peddling fake news, CNN reported that candidate Trump had once received an email entrée to unreleased Wikileaks documents—again suggesting some sort of collusion with Russian or pro-Russian interests. But that narrative was soon discredited, too. CNN failed to note that the email was sent 10 days later than it had originally reported, and instead referred to information already released into the public domain by Wikileaks.

    In this same brief period, Washington Post reporter David Weigel, perhaps eager to suggest that Trump’s popularity among his base was at last waning, tweeted a sardonic captioned photo of half-empty seats at a Trump rally in Pensacola, Florida. He soon offered a retraction and noted his tweeted image wrongly showed the venue well before the actual start of the event—a fact he surely must have known.

    The mainstream media has developed a dangerous tic: the more it warns about the dangers of Donald Trump deprecating the press for its fake news accounts, the more it cannot help itself in rushing out another news story about Trump that is poorly sourced and not fact-checked—and thereby substantiating his original accusation. The more it accuses Trump of exaggeration and prevarication, the more it fails to double- and triple-check its very accusations.

    Lies Live On

    Other unfortunate symptoms of the current epidemic of false assertions are the now familiar rounds of accusations of prejudice and bias in reporting of “events” that are soon revealed to be manufactured or staged. Next come the sometimes strange reactions to such retractions and corrections. In September, five cadets at the Air Force Academy alleged that racist threats were posted on their doors. That prompted Superintendent Lt. General Jay Silveria to lecture the student body with the stirring admonition, “If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out.” Silveria became a virtue-signaling rock star when his YouTube sermon went viral—only later to learn that the cadets themselves had staged the supposed hate threats.

    Not much later, Marquie Little, a seaman on a U.S. aircraft carrier, posted photos that seemed to show his bed on the George H.W. Bush covered in trash and racial slurs. “I proudly serve the Navy and this is what I’m receiving in return,” Little lamented in a post. Later, Navy officials revealed Little himself had likely concocted the harassment.

    The late Michael Brown likely never uttered the refrain “Hands up, don’t shoot”—a veritable rallying cry that persists for a variety of social justice movements. The Duke lacrosse players were not, as alleged, racist rapists. A University of Virginia fraternity was not a den of jock sexual predators, as Rolling Stone reported. Nor was Lena Dunham, as she wrote, sexually traumatized by a right-wing assaulter while a student at Oberlin.

    What accounts for the latest epidemic of fake news and false allegations of prejudicial behavior? Examples above have preceded Trump’s presidency, but recently the trend has been reenergized by it.

    The singular media hatred of Trump’s style and agenda have galvanized wider elite resistance, in which a willingness to achieve perceived noble ends of removing Trump should justify almost any means necessary. In such a larger climate of “the Resistance,” we have witnessed a new assassination chic of threatening the president, coupled with sometimes vulgar attacks on the Trump family. A spate of supposed racial harassment fosters a narrative of renewed intolerance in the age of Trump.

    Fake news also channels the resistance of universities, Hollywood, and political operatives. And just as we have witnessed efforts to sue to overturn the tally of voting machines, and to nullify the Electoral College, or witness a House vote on impeachment, talk of invoking the 25th Amendment, and calls to sue under the emoluments clause, so, too, the media has substituted its original mission of disinterested reporting to keep everyone honest for one of trying to nullify the 2016 presidential election. Journalists such as Jim Rutenberg of the New York Times and Christiane Amanpour of CNN have at least confessed that, in such trying Trump times, journalists of character can no longer easily remain merely disinterested reporters.

    Second, for over a generation, postmodernism in the universities has seeped into the larger culture. The new relativism has postulated absolute facts and uncontested “truths.” do not exist as anything other than “social constructs.” Assertions of truth instead reflect the efforts of a race/class/gender-based hegemony to construct self-serving narratives. (Never mind that asserting there is no truth is, itself, an assertion of truth.) Today, the elites believe that a cadre of mostly white, male, and rich sanctions its narratives with uncontested and unearned authority, through which it further oppresses in insidious fashion the relatively powerless “Other.”

    “Truths” Bigger Than Facts

    Instead, “truth” consists of endless “my truth” claims versus “your truth” claims. Competing stories are then adjudicated by respective accesses to power—the ultimate arbiter of whether one particular narrative wins authority over another.

    In this context, if a sailor or cadet concocts a racist attack, what great difference do rather insignificant details of narrative make in the wider scheme of social justice and equality, given the larger and historical “true” canvass of racism?

    Upon the revelation that the cadets at the Air Force Academy faked their stories, Gen. Silveria seemed not especially bothered by it. Instead, he renewed his calls for increased awareness of racism at the academy—as if the fake news account could (or even should) have been true and thus an occasion for remediation: “Regardless of the circumstances under which those words were written, they were written, and that deserved to be addressed . . . You can never over-emphasize the need for a culture of dignity and respect—and those who don’t understand those concepts aren’t welcome here.” A noble sentiment to be sure, but are words written in falsity just as valid as those written in truth?

    When Brian Ross constructed a falsehood, or David Weigel concocted a fantasy about poor attendance at a Trump rally, the details apparently did not matter so much as the attention to the larger “Truth”: Trump surely must have collided with the Russians, or Trump by this point certainly must have been losing crowd appeal, so it does not matter all that much how reality is conveyed.

    On the one hand, larger “truths” exist of cosmic social justice; on the other, bothersome so-called “facts” are largely predicated on the prejudices and resistance of the powerful who unduly give them authenticity. In such a postmodern environment, the “truth” that Donald Trump is purportedly a reactionary sexist and bigot is what mostly matters, not the bothersome details of counter-progressive narratives or stories that in one-dimensional fashion claim to follow rules of evidence, but instead serve an illiberal reality over a liberal one. What do a few dates on the calendar matter, concerning when Michael Flynn consulted with the Russians—given the larger truth that they surely once sought to deny Hillary Clinton the presidency?

    In our brave new world, fake news is the truest news. Staged oppressions serve to remind us of the real ones. The higher “good,” not the lower facts, is all that matters.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) Fake News Firehose: Science Proves Media Are Not Making ‘Honest Mistakes’ About Trump

     
  • Jack 3:40 am on December 13, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , us politics,   

    Investigative Disaster 

    Special prosecutors, investigators, and counsels are usually a bad idea. They are admissions that constitutionally mandated institutions don’t work — and can be rescued only by supposed superhuman moralists, who are without the innate biases inherent in human nature.

    The record from Lawrence Walsh to Ken Starr to Patrick Fitzgerald suggests otherwise. Originally narrow mandates inevitably expand — on the cynical theory that everyone has something embarrassing to hide. Promised “short” timelines and limited budgets are quickly forgotten. Prosecutors search for ever new crimes to justify the expense and public expectations of the special-counsel appointment.

    Soon the investigators need to be investigated for their own conflicts of interest, as if we need special-special or really, really special prosecutors. Special investigations often quickly turn Soviet, in the sense of “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.”

    Special Counsel Robert Mueller has led what seems to be an exemplary life of public service. No doubt he believes that as a disinterested investigator he can get to the bottom of the once contentious charge of “Russian collusion” in the 2016 election. But can he?

    A Mandate Gone Wild

    Something has gone terribly wrong with the Mueller investigation.

    The investigation is venturing well beyond the original mandate of rooting out evidence of Russian collusion. Indeed, the word “collusion” is now rarely invoked at all. It has given way to its successor, “obstruction.” The latter likely will soon beget yet another catchphrase to justify the next iteration of the investigations.

    There seems far less special investigatory concern with the far more likely Russian collusion in the matters of the origins and dissemination of the Fusion GPS/Steele dossier, and its possible role in the Obama-administration gambit of improper or illegal surveilling, unmasking, and leaking of the names of American citizens.

    Leaks from the Mueller investigation so far abound. They have seemed calibrated to create a public consensus that particular individuals are currently under investigation, likely to be indicted — or indeed likely guilty.

    These public worries are not groundless. They are deeply rooted in the nature and liberal composition of the Mueller investigative team — whose left-leaning appointments just months ago had understandably made the liberal media giddy with anticipation from the outset. Wired, for instance, published this headline on June 14: “Robert Mueller Chooses His Investigatory Dream Team.” Vox, on August 22, wrote: “Meet the all-star legal team who may take down Trump.” The Daily Beast, two day later, chimed in: “Inside Robert Mueller’s Army.”

    Whose ‘Army,’ Whose ‘Dream Team,’ and Whose ‘All-Stars’?

    Special Counsel Mueller was himself appointed in rather strange circumstances. Former FBI director James Comey (now reduced to ankle-biting the president on Twitter with Wikipedia-like quotes) stated under oath that he had deliberately leaked his own confidential notes about conversations with President Trump, hoping to prompt appointment of a special investigator to investigate a president — whom he said, also under oath, that he was not investigating.

    Comey’s ploy worked all too well. Department of Justice officials, now in the Trump Justice Department but who once served in Barack Obama’s administration, selected Comey’s close friend and long associate Robert Mueller as investigator. From that germination, an innate conflict of interest was born — given that Mueller’s appointment assumed that Comey himself would not come under his own investigation, a supposition that may be increasingly untenable.

    Okay — but one such conflict of interest swallow does not make a discredited spring.

    But then there was the weird position of Comey subordinate and deputy director of the FBI Andrew McCabe. He ran the Washington, D.C., office that was involved in the Clinton email investigations. For some strange reason, McCabe did not recuse himself from the email investigation until one week before the presidential election, even though just months earlier his wife, Jill McCabe, had announced her Democratic campaign for a state senate seat in Virginia — and had received a huge donation of more than $675,000 from the political organizations of Governor Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton supporter and intimate. Like it or not, the behavior of the FBI during the Clinton email investigations also extends to the Russian-collusion probe, especially as it pertains to the Clinton-funded Fusion GPS/Steele dossier.

    Okay — Washington is an incestuous place, and such conflicts of interest may be unavoidable. Perhaps McCabe himself was not really so directly involved in the FBI investigations of Clinton, and perhaps he had not even talked about the current Mueller investigations.

    But then it was announced that at least six of Mueller’s staff of 15 lawyers, who previously had donated (in some cases quite generously) to Hillary Clinton’s campaigns, were now investigating her arch foe Donald Trump.

    Okay — no doubt, such apparent conflicts of interests are not what they seem (given the overwhelming preponderance of liberal lawyers in general and in particular in Washington). After all, no one should be disqualified from government service for his or her political beliefs.

    But then we came to the inexplicable case of Peter Strzok, an FBI investigator assigned to the Mueller investigation of Russian collusion. Strzok and Lisa Page, a consulting FBI lawyer (part of Mueller’s once-ballyhooed “dream team”), were for some reason relieved from the investigation of Trump in late summer 2016. Mueller’s office refused to explain the departure of either, other than to let the media assume that the departures were both unrelated and due to normal revolving or transient appointments.

    Okay — even dream-teamers and all-stars occasionally move on, and the less said, the better.

    But then we learn that the two, while part of Mueller’s investigation of Trump, were having an extramarital affair, and exchanging some 10,000 texts, of which at least some were adamantly anti-Trump and pro-Clinton. One wonders, Why did that information, now confirmed, come out through leaks rather than through official Mueller communiqués? In other words, if there is nothing now deemed improper about the two Trump investigators’ amorous political expressions or in the anti-Trump nature of their exchanges, why was there apparently such a reluctance in August and September to avoid full disclosure concerning their abrupt departures?

    Okay — perhaps indiscreet electronic communications and affairs in the workplace are no big deal in Washington.

    But then Strzok apparently was also responsible for changing the wording of the official FBI report on the Clinton email affair. He crossed out the original finding of “grossly negligent,” which is legalese that under the statute constitutes a crime, and replaced it with “extremely careless,” which does not warrant prosecution.

    Okay — perhaps we can shrug and suggest that Strzok surely did not have the final say in such verbal gymnastics. Or perhaps his anti-Trump, pro-Clinton sentiments were not germane to his mere copy editing or his reliance on a thesaurus.

    But then we learned that Andrew Weissmann, who is another veteran prosecutor assigned to Mueller’s legal team, praised Sally Yates, an Obama-administration holdover at the Trump Department of Justice, for breaking her oath of office and refusing to carry out President Trump’s immigration order (Yates was summarily fired). “I am so proud,” he emailed Yates, on the day she publicly defied the president. “And in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respects.”

    Okay — it certainly does not look good that a disinterested government attorney investigating the president was so indiscreet as to write his admiration to a fellow Obama holdover who was fighting with Trump. But to give the anti-Trump attorneys the benefit of the doubt, perhaps Weissmann was merely reacting to Yates’s panache rather than to her shared political views?

    But then again, we learned that another attorney on the Mueller staff, Jeannie Rhee, was at one time the personal attorney of Ben Rhodes, the Obama deputy national-security adviser who is often mentioned as instrumental in making last-minute Obama-administrative-state appointments to thwart the incoming Trump administration. Rhee also provided legal counsel to the Clinton Foundation and was a generous donor to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

    Rhee seemingly could not be a disinterested investigator of Trump, given that she has had financial interests with those, past and present, who are fiercely opposed to the current likely target of her investigations.

    Okay — but perhaps in Washington’s upside-down world, lawyers are mere hired guns who have no real political loyalties and they investigate, without bias, those whose politics they detest. Why should they feel a need to be shy about their political agendas?

    But then again, most recently, it was disclosed that a senior Justice Department official, Bruce G. Ohr, connected with various ongoing investigations under the aegis of the Justice Department, was partially reassigned for his contact with the opposition-research firm responsible for the Clinton-funded, anti-Trump “dossier” — which in theory could be one catalyst for the original FBI investigation of “collusion” and thus additionally might be the reason cited to request FISA orders to surveil Trump associates during the 2016 campaign. And note that it was also never disclosed that Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, whose expertise was Russian politics and history, actually worked for Fusion GPS during the 2016 campaign, when the opposition research firm’s discredited anti-Trump dossier alleging Russian collusion was leaked shortly before Election Day 2016.

    Okay — perhaps Ohr, as part of his job, was merely learning about aspects of the dossier from one of its owners, for future reference.

    But then again, we learned of the strange career odyssey of yet another person on Mueller’s legal team, Aaron Zebley (supposedly known in the past as Mueller’s “right-hand hand”). He once served as Mueller’s chief of staff while employed at the FBI and was also assigned to both the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division and the National Security Division at the Department of Justice. In addition, Zebley served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the National Security and Terrorism Unit in Virginia. Yet Zebley, as late as 2015, represented one Justin Cooper. The latter was the IT staffer who set up Hillary Clinton’s likely illegal and unsecure server at her home, and who purportedly smashed Clinton’s various BlackBerries with a hammer in fear they would be subpoenaed. Zebley had come into contact once earlier with congressional investigators, when he was legal counsel for Cooper — and yet Zebley now is on Mueller’s team investigating Donald Trump.

    What’s Next?

    By now there are simply too many coincidental conflicts of interest and too much improper investigatory behavior to continue to give the Mueller investigation the benefit of doubt. Each is a light straw; together, they now have broken the back of the probe’s reputation.

    In inexplicable fashion, Mueller seems to have made almost no effort to select attorneys from outside Washington, from diverse private law firms across the country, who were without personal involvement with the Clinton machine, and who were politically astute or disinterested enough to keep their politics to themselves.

    Indeed, the special-counsel investigation has developed an eerie resemblance to the spate of sexual-harassment cases, in which the accused sluff off initial charges as irrelevant, unproven, or politically motivated, only to be confronted with more fresh allegations that insidiously point to a pattern of repeated behavior.

    What then is going on here?

    No one knows. We should assume that there will be almost daily new disclosures of the Mueller investigation’s conflicts of interest that were heretofore deliberately suppressed.

    Yet Donald Trump at this point would be unhinged if he were to fire Special Counsel Mueller — given that the investigators seem intent on digging their own graves through conflicts of interest, partisan politicking, leaking, improper amorous liaisons, indiscreet communications, and stonewalling the release of congressionally requested information.

    Indeed, the only remaining trajectory by which Mueller and his investigators can escape with their reputations intact is to dismiss those staff attorneys who have exhibited clear anti-Trump political sympathies, reboot the investigation, and then focus on what now seems the most likely criminal conduct: Russian and Clinton-campaign collusion in the creation of the anti-Trump Fusion GPS dossier and later possible U.S. government participation in the dissemination of it. If such a fraudulent document was used to gain court approval to surveil Trump associates, and under such cover to unmask and leak names of private U.S. citizens — at first to warp a U.S. election, and then later to thwart the work of an incoming elected administration — then Mueller will be tasked with getting to the bottom of one of the greatest political scandals in recent U.S. history. Indeed, his legacy may not be that he welcomed in known pro-Clinton, anti-Trump attorneys to investigate the Trump 2016 campaign where there was little likelihood of criminality, but that he ignored the most egregious case of government wrongdoing in the last half-century.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) Trump lawyer wants separate special prosecutor to probe DOJ-Fusion conflicts

    (2) FBI’s McCabe ‘has an Ohr problem,’ will not testify on Tuesday, source says

    (3) Inside the Trump dossier handoff: McCain’s ‘go-between’ speaks out

     
  • Jack 3:39 am on December 12, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , , us politics,   

    Sincere Advice 

    The American decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is an inspired move and the Canadian government’s decision to respond judiciously is very commendable. Nothing useful in the Middle East peace process has occurred in 25 years, but the correlation of forces in the region and the ambitions of the Arab powers have evolved. For decades, Israel’s most fanatical enemies were Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia, and the first two countries have disintegrated and Saudi Arabia is now an Israeli ally with Egypt and against Iran. The Arabs dislike the Palestinians at least as much as they dislike the Jews and the Lebanese Christians — all are considered commercial elites where they have been minorities in Arab countries, and as there are no more Jews and very few Christians in Arab countries, that animosity has abated. For decades the Arab powers used the Palestinian question as a red herring to enflame the Arab masses and distract them from the chronic misgovernment the Arab rulers were inflicting on their peoples. Now, for the first time since the British relinquished Palestine, and Jordan and France vacated Lebanon and Syria, 70 years ago, there is a physical encroachment on the Arab world, from their ancient Persian enemy.

    The Arab Spring was nonsense — the notion that democracy can easily take hold where it has never been and no institutions exist to promote it was a fantasy worthy of George W. Bush, whose aggressive championship of democracy handed Lebanon to Hezbollah and Gaza to Hamas, and contributed to the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, where it had been the 900 pound gorilla in the Arab house for 75 years. (By the dumb luck of the Brotherhood’s incompetence, the West dodged the bullet and the Egyptian army took back the government.) The only way forward is authoritarian government seeking economic growth and gradual social progress. This was essentially the course followed by the Shah of Iran, the most enlightened ruler Persia has had since Alexander the Great’s transitory regime 23 centuries ago, and he lost control of events to mad medieval theocrats. Saudi Arabia, a state that has been a joint venture between the House of Saud and the Wahhabi radical Islamic leadership, is now modernizing and becoming a benign and more secular dictatorship, leading the resistance to Iran. The new government of Saudi Arabia has proposed to the Palestinians a settlement of its affairs with Israel less generous than the Israelis have themselves offered, and it implicitly acknowledges that Jerusalem is Israeli.

    There will be no significant opposition to this move, apart from festive burnings of American flags and pictures of Donald Trump in the West Bank and Gaza. The Arab masses don’t care what happens to the Palestinians or Jerusalem (and the U.S. will presumably put its embassy in an uncontested section of Western Jerusalem). The Chinese and Russians object because they consider themselves rivals to the United States and are happy when the United States is mired in Middle Eastern conflicts as a prolonged, low-key Vietnam, as it was for 13 years under George W. Bush and Barack Obama. China has no dog in that hunt, and Russia fancies it has a role to play as champion of factions in several of the fictional or failed states in the region. The Western Europeans object because they think they have a role there as former colonial powers. In fact, there has never been a West European post-Second World War policy in that region except to await the American position and then stake out something more favourable to the Arabs.

    We have just observed the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, which Jews, or at least Israel, have generously celebrated as the first recognition of Israel’s right to a Middle Eastern homeland. In fact, and as I have had occasion to remark in the British House of Lords (I am a member of it), the British, more than any other country, created this mess by selling the same real estate to two buyers at the same time, and inciting the right to possession of both, with the professed ambition to create “a Jewish homeland” without compromising the “rights of the Palestinians.” This was moonshine and Britain checked out, leaving the new Jewish state, established on the motion of Stalin’s U.S.S.R. at the United Nations, seconded by President Truman’s America, to fight for its life. The Jewish people effectively faced a second attempt at annihilation just three years after the liberation of the Nazi death camps.

    While the Arab sections of Israel have been under-served, the Arabs enjoy liberties they cannot exercise in any predominantly Arab country and have a large representation in the Israeli Knesset and full civil rights. To some extent, Israel has carried out the second part of the Balfour Declaration and observed Palestinian rights, difficult though it is when the official policy of the Palestinian leadership is the eviction or extermination of the Jews, yet again, and as so often before. It ill behooves Britain’s prime minister, Theresa May, to say that President Trump has been “unhelpful.” The British dalliance in the Middle East was a disaster, except for British Petroleum, and ended in the ignominy of Suez in 1956, where Lester Pearson and Louis St. Laurent, with American encouragement, did what they could to salvage any decorum for Britain and France.

    This recent and contemporary bunk about Israel as an apartheid state is the last gasp of the useful idiots of primeval anti-Semitism. The Jews are the majority, unlike the Afrikaaners; the Arabs have substantial rights; and Israel was not just admitted to the United Nations as a territory and jurisdiction, like Canada and the United States and other existing countries in 1945 were, but was created by the United Nations as a Jewish state. It is the ultimate, legitimate country. The agitation about Jerusalem as capital is nonsense — the Israeli Knesset and Supreme Court are there and Russia recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in April of this year, which makes their disapproval of Trump’s move this week a bit rich, even by the unvaryingly cynical standards of the Kremlin. Prior to 1967, when the Jordanians ruled East Jerusalem and the West Bank, Jews could not pray at the Western wall, could not attend the Hebrew University at Mount Scopus or be treated at the Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus, which Jews had founded decades before, and they could not live in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem, where their ancestors had lived for 200 generations. Trump has undone the shame of Obama allowing the United Nations last year to condemn Israeli possession of these sites as “a flagrant violation of international law.”

    All has changed in the Middle East. The Palestinians no longer benefit from the patronage of the Arab leaders to keep the pot boiling with Israel — they were happy to be cannon fodder, to prevent the improvement of the wretched settler camps or the resettlement of their inhabitants, as long as it made them personally rich and world famous. They could have had a Palestinian state any time in the last 40 years if they had been prepared to recognize the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state, its raison d’être. They preferred celebrity and violence and some of their leaders have called for a new Intifada this week; presumably, this time, the population will have the intelligence to resist the call — it’s not as if the last two Intifadas were a howling success. They have been abandoned by their former patrons and Israel is geometrically stronger than it was even 20 years ago, not at all isolated, and not threatened by Iraq and Syria.

    The answer has been obvious since the Taba meetings in January 2001: the West bank becomes narrower and the Gaza Strip thicker and the Palestinians have a secure road between them. It isn’t Israel, which is primarily for the Jews, or Jordan, which is majority Palestinian but ruled by the Bedouins and the Hashemite kings, but it is a state, and with foreign assistance, which would be plentiful, and Palestinian tenacity, which is proverbial even by local standards, it would flourish. There are 198 countries in the world — not every newly created state can expect to be a Canada, Australia, or Brazil.

    Donald Trump has recognized realities and done the Palestinians a favour, if they and their ancient terrorist leadership aren’t too punch-drunk to recognize the facts: the Palestinians were used and are no longer useful. Donald Trump is a realist and is not overly concerned with the American Jewish vote, which is now infested with Jew-hating Jews anyway. The Palestinians should take what they can get while they can get it.

    National Post
    cbletters@gmail.co

    Source…

     
  • Jack 3:39 am on December 12, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , tom cotton, trial by media, us politics   

    Moore Backup 

    MONTGOMERY, Alabama — Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) backed up GOP candidate Judge Roy Moore in an interview with the Associated Press as allegations against Moore crumble amid revelations of forgery.

    In the interview published on Saturday, Cotton compared the frivolous allegations against Moore to the frivolous allegations that came out against President Donald Trump before his landslide victory over Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. Cotton said the voters would decide the veracity of the claims just like they deemed Trump to not be guilty last year, and that the news media should not determine whether or not people are guilty.

    Here is an excerpt from a much longer interview Cotton did with the Associated Press on multiple topics:

    Cotton declined to say whether he thinks equal standards apply in all cases against Franken, Moore and Trump, who has been accused by more than a dozen women of sexual misconduct and was recorded by “Access Hollywood” bragging about touching women without their consent. All three men have denied details of the accusations, if not the claims outright.

    On Moore and others, Cotton said, voters “are going to make that decision, just like the people of this country made their decision last year on Donald Trump.”

    He added that women should be able to complain of sexual assault and the accused should be able to defend themselves.

    “We shouldn’t have trial by newspaper,” he said.

    Cotton’s comments come as on Friday night in Pensacola, Florida, President Trump urged all Alabamians to vote for Roy Moore in the special Senate election Tuesday—and cast more doubt on the allegations against Moore amid the revelation that one accuser forged part of the inscription in her yearbook that she and her attorney, activist Gloria Allred, both originally attributed to Moore.

    “So did you see what happened today? Do you know the yearbook? Did you see that? There was a little mistake made. She started writing things in the yearbook,” Trump said. “Oh, what are we going to do? Gloria Allred, any time you see her, you know something’s going wrong.”

    Moore towers over radical leftist Democrat Doug Jones in the latest polling just days before the all-important election here. Former White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, is coming back to Alabama on Monday night for a closing rally in Dothan after campaigning with Judge Moore this past week in Fairhope. In his AP interview, Cotton also signaled support for Bannon’s worldview on U.S.-China relations.

    “Cotton appears to be much more in line with Steve Bannon, the former Trump adviser who has called for the United States to be ‘maniacally focused’ on an economic war against China to narrow the trade deficit and pull manufacturing jobs back to the United States,” the Associated Press wrote.

    Cotton’s comments also seriously undercut Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s efforts to undermine Moore’s campaign. After spending more than $30 million in a failed effort to defeat Moore in the primary and runoff, McConnell then orchestrated an effort to push Moore out of the race after these allegations surfaced in the Washington Post. Within minutes of the Post story, first posted weeks ago, McConnell rallied his fellow establishment GOP senators to push Moore to “step aside.” McConnell and the GOP establishment failed. Moore is still standing and is poised for victory on Tuesday.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) Steve Bannon to Campaign with Roy Moore Election Eve in Dothan, Alabama

    (2) Klein: Doug Jones is a George Soros-Tied Radical Leftist Rebranding Himself as Moderate

    (3) Most Alabama Republicans say they are voting for Roy Moore

    (4) More Clinton ties on Mueller team: One deputy attended Clinton party, another rep’d top aide

    Watch:

     
  • Jack 3:26 am on December 10, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , us politics,   

    Collusion 

    A short three hours after US President Donald Trump phoned Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas to inform him of his intention to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a number of Palestinian photojournalists received a phone call from Bethlehem.

    The callers were Palestinian “activists,” who invited the photographers to come to the city to document an “important event.” When the photographers arrived, they discovered that the “important event” was a handful of Palestinian “activists” who wanted to burn posters of Trump in front of the cameras.

    The “activists” waited patiently as the photojournalists and cameramen set up their equipment to get the “important event” on film. Shortly thereafter, the media was abuzz with reports about “angry Palestinian protesters taking to the streets to protest” Trump’s intention to move the embassy to Jerusalem and his recognition of the city as the capital of Israel. The five Palestinians who were filmed burning the Trump pictures were made to look as if they were part of a mass protest sweeping Palestinian communities.

    The incident represents yet another example of the collusion between the Palestinians and the media, whose representatives are always more than happy to serve as mouthpieces for the Palestinian propaganda machine and provide an open platform for broadcasting Palestinian threats against Israel and the US.

    Had the photographers and cameramen not shown up to the erstwhile “spontaneous” poster-burning event, the Palestinian activists would have been forced to quietly slink back to one of Bethlehem’s fine coffee shops.

    Yet, there was no worry on that score: the Palestinian activists are well aware that local and foreign reporters are starving for sensationalism — and what better fits the bill than posters of Trump going up in flames in the middle of the birthplace of Jesus, on the eve of Christmas and as thousands of Christian pilgrims and tourists are converging on the city?

    By misrepresenting the poster burning “ceremony” as a reflection of widespread Palestinian rage concerning Trump’s policy on Jerusalem, the international media is once again complicit in promoting the propaganda of Palestinian spin doctors. Palestinian leaders and spokesmen strive to create the impression that Trump’s policy regarding Jerusalem will bring the region down in flames. They also seek to send a message to the American people that their president’s policies endanger their lives. In effect, the media has volunteered to serve the Palestinian campaign of intimidation. And the media convergence on the poster-burning farce in Bethlehem is just the beginning.

    Now that the Palestinians have managed, with the help of the media, to burn these images into the minds of millions of Americans, they are planning more staged protests. The goal: to terrify the American public and force Trump to rescind his decision regarding the status of Jerusalem. This tactic of intimidation through the media is not new. In fact, it is something that has been happening for decades, largely thanks to the buy-in of the mainstream media in the West.

    Now, Palestinian and Western journalists have been invited to cover a series of protests planned by the Palestinians in the coming days and weeks in response to Trump’s policies. The journalists, including photographers and camera crews, have been handed detailed schedules of events that will take place in different parts of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The journalists have been promised more scenes of burning photos of Trump and US flags. Some of the journalists have even received tips as to the locations where “clashes” are supposed to take place between Palestinian rioters and Israel Defense Forces soldiers. In other words, the journalists have been told precisely where they need to be in order to document Palestinians throwing stones at the soldiers — and the predicted the IDF response.

    Here is the funny part. If, for whatever reason, the cameras are a no-show, the “activists” are likely to be as well. In the Palestinian world, it is all about manipulating the media and recruiting it in favor of the cause. And the cause is always bashing Israel — with bashing Trump not far behind.

    Yes, the Palestinians will protest in the coming days against Trump. Yes, they will take to the streets and throw stones at IDF soldiers. Yes, they will burn pictures of Trump and US flags. And yes, they will try to carry out terror attacks against Israelis.

    But when we sit in our living rooms and watch the news coming out of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, let us ask ourselves: How many of these “events” are, in fact, media burlesques? Why are journalists allowing themselves to be duped by the Palestinian propaganda machine, which spews hatred and violence from morning until night? And, why are the journalists exaggerating and compounding the Palestinian threats for violence and anarchy?

    First, many of the journalists want to appease their readers and editors by offering them stories that reflect negatively on Israel. Second, some of the journalists believe that writing anti-Israel stories paves the way for them to win awards from assorted professed “virtue-signaling” organizations. Third, many journalists believe that writing anti-Israel reports give them access to so-called “liberals” and a supposedly “enlightened” coterie who romanticize being “on the right side of history.” They do not want to see that 21 Muslim states have been trying for many decades to destroy one Jewish state; instead, they appear to think that if journalists are “liberal” and “open-minded,” they need to support the “underdog,” who they believe are “the Palestinians.” Fourth, many of the journalists see the conflict as being between bad guys (supposedly the Israelis) and good guys (supposedly the Palestinians) and that it is their duty to stand with the “good guys,” even if the “good guys” are engaged in violence and terrorism.

    Recently, more than 300 Muslim worshipers were massacred by Muslim terrorists while praying in a mosque in Sinai, Egypt. That tragedy was probably covered by fewer journalists than the orchestrated Trump-poster episode in Bethlehem. Where was the outcry in the Arab and Islamic world? Now, Arabs and Muslims are talking about “days of rage” in protest against Trump. Why were there no “days of rage” in the Arab and Islamic countries when more than 300 worshipers, many of them children, were massacred during Friday prayers?

    It is high time for some self-reflection on the part of the media: Do they really wish to continue serving as a mouthpiece for those Arabs and Muslims who intimidate and terrorize the West?

    Journalists are actively colluding with the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to create the false impression that World War III will erupt if the US embassy is moved to Jerusalem. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims and Christians have been massacred since the beginning of the “Arab Spring” more than six years ago. They were killed by Muslim terrorists and other Arabs. The bloodshed continues to this day in Yemen, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Egypt.

    So, make no mistake about it: the “rivers of blood” we are being promised are flowing as we speak. Yet, it is the knife that Arabs and Muslims take to one another’s throats that is the source of this crimson current, not some statement made by a US president. Perhaps that could finally be an event worth covering by the roving reporters of the region?

    Bassam Tawil is a Muslim based in the Middle East.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) Trump’s Jerusalem move triggers a global chain reaction as nations follow his lead

    (2) Trump Teaches Palestinians About the New Middle East

    (3) Trump Puts Fact Ahead of Fiction in Israel

     
  • Jack 3:06 am on December 9, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , us politics   

    Trumpophobic Idiocy 

    It is hard to believe that Trumpophobic idiocy can plumb depths more profound than it has reached in the last few days. Just as the Russian-collusion argument, which was never supported by anything except Hillary Clinton’s sulky evasions of her own responsibility for her electoral defeat, was sinking beneath the ripples the Trump-hating media had strenuously created for it, the Flynn indictment came. To anyone with any legal insight, such as Alan Dershowitz, Trey Gowdy, and Andy McCarthy (one of them should be the attorney general), it was the barefaced admission by Special Counsel Robert Mueller that, after nine months in charge of an investigation that had already been under way for eight months, he has absolutely nothing to justify continuing this charade within its original mandate to explore a Trump-Russian connection. Flynn was indicted for precisely the reason President Trump dismissed him as national-security adviser: lying about discussions with the Russians.

    The relief of the anti-Trumpers when the Flynn indictment gave them a lifeline to keep the impeachment dream alive in the minds of the fervent was inflated by ABC News’s bulletin that Flynn had alleged that Trump had told him to contact the Russian government before the election. This in itself would not have been worrisome — anyone can speak to Russians if they want — but it led to window-rattling ululations of Trumpophobic joy. Typical of it was the action of semi-comedienne (about as humorous as Al Franken) Joy Behar (whose book, The Great Gasbag, is, surprisingly, not autobiographical): She burst into applause and generated a standing ovation from the studio audience of her daytime television program. But it was fake news: Flynn claimed nothing of the kind. The reporter who produced the story, Brian Ross, had previously been reprimanded for suggesting that a mass murderer in Colorado several years ago was a member of the Tea Party when there was no evidence for that; and, in 2001, he suggested that Saddam Hussein was behind anthrax attacks in the U.S. when there was no evidence for that, either. Last week he was forced to recant and to withdraw his story, and was suspended without pay for four weeks. Ms. Behar was left with one hand clapping. The president, as has been his custom for two years, vehemently attacked fake news, with accuracy and effect. He debunked CNN by Twitter, eliciting the righteous falsehood of the egregious Wolf Blitzer that that network had served truth to the world for “nearly four decades.” Media solidarity fragmented on that whopper, as it was pointed out by several commentators that CNN had whitewashed Saddam, in order to maintain its bureau in Baghdad after other Western media had fled or been expelled by the Iraqi tyrant in 2003. Competitor Rupert Murdoch hit home when he claimed about 15 years ago that CNN’s Havana correspondent was Fidel Castro.

    When the president tweeted on the weekend that Flynn had been fired for lying to the FBI as well as to the vice president, he succeeded in stirring up another hornets’ nest of absurd confected outrage. Democratic senators Dianne Feinstein and Richard Blumenthal (the latter of whom had campaigned in 2010 referring to his service in Vietnam, a complete fabrication) torqued themselves up to agitation about a possible prosecution of the president for violating the Logan Act, and for obstruction of justice. The Logan Act of 1799, which prohibits private citizens from unauthorized attempts to conduct U.S. foreign policy, is nonsense constitutionally, and has never yielded a conviction or even been invoked since 1852. It does appear to have been a bugbear of official anti-Trumpism, having been bandied about for some time by many Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi and the beleaguered John Conyers. There has been some speculation that its potential violation was the pretext used by the Obama administration to conduct surveillance on the Trump campaign, an activity which, when revealed by Trump in March, led to much derision. It is a contemptible, nonsensical insinuation. No one officially complained when Senator Teddy Kennedy asked Soviet leader (and former KGB head) Yuri Andropov to join sensible Americans in opposing President Reagan’s foreign and defense policy, or when former special prosecutor Archibald Cox wrote every government in the world asking them not to cooperate with President George H. W. Bush in the Gulf War in 1991. MSNBC’s synchronized foamers-at-the-mouth, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, tried to breathe new air into the flat tire of the 25th Amendment for replacing mentally and physically incompetent presidents.

    Launched on slightly sturdier legs was the claim that Trump had obstructed justice, because, if he knew that Flynn had lied to the FBI, his statement to Comey on January 27 that he hoped the FBI director would be able to avoid prosecuting Flynn was an attempt to obstruct justice, compounded by his subsequent dismissal of Comey. As Representative Gowdy explained in a television interview — having read all of Comey’s memos over the period — if Comey had thought he was being tampered with by the president, he withheld that from himself (and Comey has publicly stated that he did not feel that).

    The anti-Trumpers have been engaged in a demeaning mousetrapping exercise for a very long time. The Justice Department (in the person of subsequently fired deputy attorney general Sally Yates) apparently asked to interview Flynn, and specifically asked him about conversations with the Russians, only to check his responses against what they had already ascertained from tapping into telephone conversations of the Russian ambassador, seeking a discrepancy. Flynn was so relaxed about it that he was not accompanied by a lawyer — unusual for someone who might be accused of treason — and he probably mistakenly forgot the conversations (as the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, claimed he did with the same ambassador). But Flynn pleaded guilty to lying as a single count, presumably to get rid of the expense and strain of Mueller’s persecution in exchange for a shoestring to the special counsel to keep this sham investigation going.

    The Democratic retreat was impossible to disguise. Virginia senator Mark Warner, ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, who nine months ago was claiming there were a thousand Russian agents planting anti-Clinton comments in swing states in the election campaign, and that Russia had won Wisconsin for Trump (complete falsehoods), and claimed until recently that the Steele dossier was “taken seriously by Britain, our ally,” bumbled almost incoherently out of our television screens on the weekend about obstruction of justice. This must be the last trench of defense for this bedraggled cabal of myth-makers and slanderers. Allegations about Trump’s tax returns, the infamous Clinton-commissioned Steele dossier, the whole collusion nonsense, and the 25th Amendment foolishness have all crumbled, and we are left with a statutory relic from John Adams and an obstruction scenario that Trump described persuasively as “more fake news about another Comey lie.” This rubbish can’t have been much consolation in a week when Trump got his tax bill through the Senate; the Supreme Court allowed his immigration executive order to proceed, pending determination of the main issue; it came to light that Mueller had had to fire an overt Trump-hater, Peter Strzok (who had helped push Comey into letting Hillary Clinton go unprosecuted for more serious lies to the FBI than Flynn committed); and Roy Moore regained the lead in the Alabama Senate election.

    It is difficult to know whether President Trump deliberately pours gasoline on the fires of Democratic and conventional-media frustration with provocative tweets, or is just reckless; the most likely option is a combination of tactics and insouciance. His enemies almost always overreact and crunch their teeth into another nothingburger. He is clearly winning the long battle: Almost the entire congressional Republican caucus now accepts his leadership and is working to enact the Trump agenda that most of them opposed up to the election, and, as the tax bill shows, he is breaking through; the Democrats will shut the government down at their peril. But as he takes hold, the president should consider whether he doesn’t owe the country and his great office a de-escalation of the tweet-wars. By all means, communicate with the vast Trump constituency and ignore the dishonest media — but he could graciously forgo answering the most insignificant critics (like the ungrateful father of the basketball player he sprang from prison in China) and throwing raw meat in the faces of the Maddows, Blitzers, and Scarboroughs, entertaining though it is.

    It is also time for the visceral snobs and deranged Trump-haters to subside and allow a serious opposition to arise, that offers alternatives and does not start swinging before the ball is pitched and strike out every time. America deserves a dignified chief and a loyal opposition.

    © 2017 Conrad Black

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  • Jack 3:06 am on December 9, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , mikheil saakashvili, , , , , ukrainian politics, , us politics,   

    Loose Cannon 

    Even interventionists are regretting some of the wars into which they helped plunge the United States in this century.

    Among those wars are Afghanistan and Iraq, the longest in our history; Libya, which was left without a stable government; Syria’s civil war, a six-year human rights disaster we helped kick off by arming rebels to overthrow Bashar Assad; and Yemen, where a U.S.-backed Saudi bombing campaign and starvation blockade is causing a humanitarian catastrophe.

    Yet, twice this century, the War Party was beaten back when seeking a clash with Putin’s Russia. And the “neo-isolationists” who won those arguments served America well.

    What triggered this observation was an item on Page 1 of Wednesday’s New York Times that read in its entirety:

    “Mikheil Saakashvili, former president of Georgia, led marchers through Kiev after threatening to jump from a five-story building to evade arrest. Page A4”

    Who is Saakashvili? The wunderkind elected in 2004 in Tbilisi after a “Rose Revolution” we backed during George W. Bush’s crusade for global democracy.

    During the Beijing Olympics in August 2008, Saakashvili sent his army crashing into the tiny enclave of South Ossetia, which had broken free of Georgia when Georgia broke free of Russia.

    In overrunning the enclave, however, Saakashvili’s troops killed Russian peacekeepers. Big mistake. Within 24 hours, Putin’s tanks and troops were pouring through Roki Tunnel, running Saakashvili’s army out of South Ossetia, and occupying parts of Georgia itself.

    As defeat loomed for the neocon hero, U.S. foreign policy elites were alive with denunciations of “Russian aggression” and calls to send in the 82nd Airborne, bring Georgia into NATO, and station U.S. forces in the Caucasus.

    “We are all Georgians!” thundered John McCain.

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    Not quite. When an outcry arose against getting into a collision with Russia, Bush, reading the nation right, decided to confine U.S. protests to the nonviolent. A wise call.

    And Saakashvili? He held power until 2013, and then saw his party defeated, was charged with corruption, and fled to Ukraine. There, President Boris Poroshenko, beneficiary of the Kiev coup the U.S. had backed in 2014, put him in charge of Odessa, one of the most corrupt provinces in a country rife with corruption.

    In 2016, an exasperated Saakashvili quit, charged his patron Poroshenko with corruption, and fled Ukraine. In September, with a band of supporters, he made a forced entry back across the border.

    Here is the Times’ Andrew Higgins on his latest antics:

    “On Tuesday … Saakashvili, onetime darling of the West, took his high-wire political career to bizarre new heights when he climbed onto the roof of his five-story apartment building in the center of Kiev…

    “As … hundreds of supporters gathered below, he shouted insults at Ukraine’s leaders … and threatened to jump if security agents tried to grab him.

    “Dragged from the roof after denouncing Mr. Poroshenko as a traitor and a thief, the former Georgian leader was detained but then freed by his supporters, who … blocked a security service van before it could take Mr. Saakashvili to a Kiev detention center and allowed him to escape.

    “With a Ukrainian flag draped across his shoulders and a pair of handcuffs still attached to one of his wrists, Mr. Saakashvili then led hundreds of supporters in a march across Kiev toward Parliament. Speaking through a bullhorn he called for ‘peaceful protests’ to remove Mr. Poroshenko from office, just as protests had toppled the former President, Victor F. Yanukovych, in February 2014.”

    This reads like a script for a Peter Sellers movie in the ’60s.

    Yet this clown was president of Georgia, for whose cause in South Ossetia some in our foreign policy elite thought we should go to the brink of war with Russia.

    And there was broad support for bringing Georgia into NATO. This would have given Saakashvili an ability to ignite a confrontation with Russia, which could have forced U.S. intervention.

    Consider Ukraine. Three years ago, McCain was declaring, in support of the overthrow of the elected pro-Russian government in Kiev, “We are all Ukrainians now.”

    Following that coup, U.S. elites were urging us to confront Putin in Crimea, bring Ukraine, as well as Georgia, into NATO, and send Kiev the lethal weapons needed to defeat Russian-backed rebels in the East.

    This could have led straight to a Ukraine-Russia war, precipitated by our sending of U.S. arms.

    Do we really want to cede to folks of the temperament of Mikhail Saakashvili an ability to instigate a war with a nuclear-armed Russia, which every Cold War president was resolved to avoid, even if it meant accepting Moscow’s hegemony in Eastern Europe all the way to the Elbe?

    Watching Saakashvili losing it in the streets of Kiev like some blitzed college student should cause us to reassess the stability of all these allies to whom we have ceded a capacity to drag us into war.

    Alliances, after all, are the transmission belts of war.

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  • Jack 3:23 am on December 8, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , tammy bruce, , us politics,   

    Not Helpful 

    We know the Nov. 5 Texas church shooting massacre should never have happened. Because we can never expect a moral position from a monster who would do that, as a nation we have regulations and laws in place that should have prevented the previously convicted domestic batterer from buying his firearms.

    But those laws failed when bureaucrats in the military failed to do the thing that bureaucrats are supposed to do best: follow procedure.

    Now we know the Air Force’s failure to submit shooter Devin Kelley’s court-martial to the FBI was not a one-off mistake; instead, it is apparently quite common for the military as a whole.

    A Department of Defense Inspector General report released Monday has revealed the extent of the incompetence of the military, in general, to report relevant courts-martial to the FBI.

    “U.S. military services collectively failed to submit reports on hundreds of qualifying court-martialed service-members to the FBI, a Monday Department of Defense Inspector General report examining procedures between 2015 and 2016 found,” the Daily Caller reports.

    “The military is required by law to submit both fingerprint cards and ‘final disposition reports’ to the FBI for certain court-martialed offenses. ‘Overall, of the 2,502 fingerprint cards required to be submitted, we identified 601 (24 percent) that were missing. Of 2,502 required final disposition reports required to be submitted, 780 (31 percent) were missing, the damning report concludes for just a single calendar year,” the Daily Caller notes.

    After the recent mass shootings, we have a replay of liberals demanding more regulations and more government involvement to stop the senseless murders. Yet, as in the aftermath of the deadly Texas shooting, we are reminded our society is willing and has been implementing controls intended to protect people from the beasts among us.

    But then we see the same gigantic, unaccountable and bureaucratic government we’re relying on to implement those rules making a deadly mockery of the entire effort.

    For anyone who still thinks we need more regulations and bigger government to implement them, consider this gem: Last year, the FBI tasked the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms with seizing 4,000 firearms from people who did not pass background checks.

    The New York Post reports, “Gun owners who were targeted by the feds were either barred from purchasing a firearm due to their criminal backgrounds, mental health issues or other various problems.

    ” ‘These are people who shouldn’t have weapons in the first place, and it just takes one to do something that could have tragic consequences,’ former ATF official David Chipman told USA Today. ‘You don’t want ATF to stand for “after the fact.” ‘ […] In total, the FBI referred 4,170 gun purchases to the ATF last year for seizure, up from the 2,892 requests that were made in 2015,” the paper reports.

    Despite this reality, liberals continue to call for more regulations, and more bureaucratic government, when it’s clear the very thing they’re arguing for does, in fact, make social problems worse.

    But then again, the goal of liberals isn’t to actually keep people safe while also protecting the constitutional rights; it’s to use chaos as the excuse to implement their unicorn-and-rainbow collective via even more government control over the American people.

    Just like how liberals and Hollywood crowed about being champions for women then ended up exposed as their victimizers, they also don’t really care about gun violence. For the left, every tragedy is simply a good crisis to be used to further their goal of a collective fascist state.

    Take, for example, the result of the Kate Steinle murder trial. A jury of San Franciscans agreed with a public defender from San Francisco and acquitted an illegal alien felon, the confessed shooter, of all crimes of violence — murder, assault and manslaughter. He was found guilty only of illegal possession of a firearm.

    What a revelation about San Francisco liberals — here they had the admitted killer, and they refused to punish him in any fashion for gun violence that took the life of a young woman.

    This columnist contends that the liberal sanctuary city policy and national debate is having more of a negative impact than we realized. The national hectoring by liberals about how illegal aliens need to be protected from the big, bad American rule of law, I contend, is contributing to a conditioned mindset among liberals that criminal illegal aliens simply should not be held responsible for anything they do.

    Their refusal to convict a man who used a firearm to kill a woman, even if not initially intended, is at least involuntary manslaughter. But no, San Franciscans let that slide, providing another example of the gobsmacking depth of liberal hypocrisy and fraud.

    Whether it be their liberal “feminist” political donors in Hollywood sexually assaulting women, or their romanticized and illegal alien criminals protected in “sanctuary cities, a” liberal leadership and policies continue to place all of us in existential danger.

    • Tammy Bruce, author and Fox News contributor, is a radio talk show host.

    Source…

     
  • Jack 3:23 am on December 8, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: chris pleasance, , , , us politics,   

    Strategic Leak? 

    The White House has discussed using experimental microwave missiles against North Korea to disable Kim Jong-un‘s nukes, it has been reported.

    In the event of a war with the dictator the Air Force could use CHAMP weapons to fry the electronics controlling Kim’s latest rockets, stopping them from being launched.

    The use of such weapons, which are not yet operational, was discussed at a White House meeting on North Korea back in August, according to NBC news.

    CHAMP stands for counter-electronics high-power advanced microwave project and was started by the Air Force Research Laboratory back in 2009.

    In 2012 one of the weapons was tested in Utah against electronic equipment that was set up to mirror the capabilities of Iran and North Korea.

    The weapon managed to wipe out everything inside the first building it targeted, including the camera recording the test, before going on to target five more buildings then crashing itself at a pre-determined site.

    This is the only test of a microwave weapon to have been declassified.

    Other tests are believed to have taken place since then to improve the weapon, including mounting it on a missile that is harder to detect and upping the power.

    A 2016 Air Force Research Laboratory document, seen by NBC, says the low-flying missile is ‘capable of flying into a contested area and disabling an adversary’s electronic systems.’

    The news comes days after Kim tested North Korea’s latest ICBM, the Hwasong-15, which is likely capable of ranging all of mainland America.

    North Korea claims the missile is capable of carrying a ‘super heavy nuclear warhead’ and can bring it down to Earth intact, though has not shown evidence of this.

    That test has been followed by the largest joint air drills ever conducted by the US and South Korean air forces in a show of power to Kim Jong-un.

    China has announced it held its own drills involving reconnaissance planes, fighter jets, and an early warning and control aircraft.

    Beijing said the drill was designed as a show of force to Washington and Seoul, though did not not say exactly when or where the exercise took place.

    Source…

     
  • Jack 10:44 am on December 6, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , hugh hewitt, , , , , , public anger, , , , , us politics, washington post   

    Action Required 

    The Post reported that a former top FBI official, Peter Strzok, who had been assigned to and then removed from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, had “exchanged politically charged texts disparaging [President] Trump and supporting Democrat Hillary Clinton” and that Strzok was “also a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server.”

    This is a blockbuster revelation, carrying the possibility of shattering public confidence in a number of long-held assumptions about the criminal-justice system generally and the FBI and the Justice Department specifically. The Justice Department should appoint a special counsel to investigate Strzok’s actions as soon as possible.

    The Strzok report comes on the heels of the widely derided Justice Department investigation into IRS discrimination against conservative groups, including the disposition of allegations against IRS senior official Lois Lerner, and after the wildly erratic behavior of then-FBI Director James B. Comey during 2016. It also follows the vote to hold then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress — the first ever against a sitting member of the Cabinet — with 17 Democrats voting in support. Mix into this battering of the Justice Department’s and FBI’s reputations the still-murky charges and counter-charges of abuse of “unmasking” powers during the waning days of the Obama era.

    As a result, a large swath of responsible center-right observers are demanding a full review of the investigation and prosecution powers wielded by the Obama-era Justice Department and FBI. Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy wrote in National Review on Saturday that President Trump should call for a second independent counsel to investigate abuse of the counterintelligence authorities under President Barack Obama, abuses he suggests were undertaken to protect the controversial Iran deal on nuclear weapons.

    This is an excellent idea. The new special counsel could also review Strzok’s texts and, more crucially, his conduct throughout 2015 and 2016. Strzok may be completely innocent of everything except an offhand joke that the straight-laced Mueller deemed necessary to punish in a display of a “Caesar’s wife” sort of purity of purpose. But if his texts to FBI lawyer Lisa Page reveal a partisan animus toward Trump or admiration for Clinton, then the bureau and the department have a huge problem on their hands and not just with Strzok and Page.

    When FBI Special Agent Robert Hanssen was revealed to have committed espionage against the United States, it didn’t mean that even one other member of the bureau was guilty of Hanssen’s sins, but it did require a painstaking review of all of Hanssen’s activities and inputs, as all of them had to be reconsidered in light of his treasonous behavior.

    If Strzok’s texts reveal deep animus toward Trump or an operational effort to tilt one or more investigations, then all of his actions have to be reviewed to assure the public’s confidence in the bureau. That one or two agents or officials of the bureau are discovered to have been acting from improper motives would be bad enough. To try and sweep those activities under the rug would be worse. Against the backdrop of other recent controversies, it would be disastrous.

    Step one is a quick publication of the questionable texts. All of them. The public has a right to know what the predicate for Mueller’s extraordinary action was. The public also deserves a detailed account of Strzok’s (and Page’s) duties and authorities during the years in question. If an NBA official was discovered to have purposefully thrown even one game, every game in which he had carried a whistle would be under the microscope. That’s how it works.

    Unless there’s a coverup.

    Nevertheless, just as Hanssen was “one bad apple” who didn’t spoil the bunch, so even an out-of-bounds Strzok doesn’t necessarily mean anything about the FBI beyond him. To get to the truth, and restore confidence in federal law enforcement, a special counsel should conduct an inquiry, bring any necessary charges and make a report — someone without ties to the president or his opponents.

    They do exist, such men and women. Former federal judges make excellent candidates. But we need one appointed right now.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) Robert Mueller’s credibility plunging as Donald Trump probe implodes

    (2) The Incredible Tale of a Reckless, Partisan FBI Agent and Our Partisan Bureaucracy

    (3) Exclusive–Former Independent Counsel Slams ‘Brazen and Blatant Political’ Investigation of President Trump

    (4) Discovery of FBI Official’s Political Bias Clouds Hillary Clinton and Mike Flynn Investigations

    (5) Enough: FBI and Justice Department Corruption Needs to End

    (6) Is Flynn’s Defection a Death Blow?

    (7) Why weren’t Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills charged when they lied to Peter Strzok and the FBI?

    (8) Another One! Mueller Deputy Was Personal Attorney of Ben Rhodes, Represented Clinton Foundation

    (9) Mueller deputy praised DOJ official after she defied Trump travel ban order: ‘I am so proud’

    (10) Report: House Intelligence Committee to Begin Writing Contempt Resolution for FBI, DOJ Officials

    Watch:

     
  • Jack 11:21 am on December 5, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , us politics,   

    Cruel Bullies 

    Observers look for some sort of common denominator that would make sense of the daily news blasts of nonconsensual sexual escapades of media, political, and Hollywood celebrities.

    No sooner are these lists of the accused compiled than they have to be updated, hourly. Long hushed, covered-up, or even forgotten sexual IEDs suddenly go off without warning and blow up a career.

    Weirder still, the now-outraged often overnight can become the outrageous.

    One moment Richard Dreyfuss expressed furor when he learned that gay actor Kevin Spacey long ago had groped his own son under the table (while the three were working on a script). The next minute, Dreyfuss himself was accused of an earlier repulsive unwanted sex act or advance toward a female subordinate.

    New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush condemns the bad behavior of journalist Mark Halperin — and then finds himself accused of similar coerced sexual behavior. Senator Al Franken’s often sanctimonious outrages over the Fox News harassers would soon apply just as easily to his own behavior. We forget that the original context of Juvenal’s famous quip “Who will police the police?” was the insidiousness of sex.

    Note these latest scandals are different from the age-old stories of consensual adultery. They are mostly not consensual affairs in the workplace, supposedly initiated by grasping subordinates or by oppressive bosses in midlife crises. Nor are they the connivances in dating and courtship — all the sort of consenting unions gone awry that are the stuff of novels and films.

    Instead, in nearly all these examples of sexual harassment, there is inherently a beauty-and-the-beast asymmetry, male arrogance — and spitefulness. What repels is not just unwanted or coerced sex acts — but the gratuitous cruelty that so often surrounds them.

    So what are the common pathologies to all these male icons — who are falling as fast as Confederate statutes a few months ago, in our earlier manifestation of collective moral frenzy?

    Was it male-menopause desperation on the part of these middle-aged men?

    Did fear of aging or death drive them to use their assumed power to get sex (of various sorts)?

    Did the terror of fading away bring Charlie Rose’s proverbial “crusty paw” out of his sleeve? His targets were almost always younger, less experienced, and attractive professional women.

    Few such women would probably have willingly consorted with someone like the septuagenarian Rose or the off-putting Weinstein (who had an uncanny resemblance to the late gruff American actor Kenneth McMillan, who played the creepy Baron Harkonnen in Dune)?

    Or were the prominent culprits more often liberals and progressives? Men of the Left assumed that their loudly professed feminist credentials earned them indulgences and exemptions to covet as they pleased.

    Many progressive predators assumed that if they were caught, most of the victimized women would weigh the damage that might be done to the liberal cause if they took out one of the good guys on their side. (Remember Bill Clinton’s progressive, “feminist” defenders of the 1990s.)

    Is the fuel of these accusations, then, loss of deterrence: Once a man of influence and power believes that his abstract morality can cloak his private immorality, there are few restraints left in our postmodern secular age to restrain his setting libido?

    Or was the catalyst for harassment age-old ego and narcissism?

    Being before the cameras and in the spotlight befuddled these celebrities into the delusional thought that their name recognition and petit fame meant that women — all women of every age and station — secretly wished to be part of their inner circle.

    Did they assume, despite their targets’ clearly expressed uninterest or outright resistance, that women “really” wished a Matt Lauer or Mark Halperin would flirt or make advances?

    Or was the problem occasionally rooted in the proverbial “revenge of the nerds” factor? The perpetrators were neither in their salad days nor athletes or physically robust. But mostly they were the former nerds of high school and college, who had been ignored by the dating crowd and who later excelled in writing, talking, making money, or administering.

    Once they found that their intellectual, artistic, or political niches worked like a narcotic on the naïve, perhaps they sought to make up for lost time. In other words, they would somehow do in their fifties, sixties, and seventies what they had failed to do in their twenties and thirties — now coercing with the brain and tongue what they had once failed to win with their biceps.

    Or were they just workaholic players who wished to engage in quickie impersonal sex? Their modus operandi was to skip the preliminaries and just crudely get down to business. And their warped logic was that for every ten targets that were repulsed by phallic exhibition, groping, or potty talk, there might be one who was some kindred demented spirit.

    All of the above may explain a similar pattern of behavior. But one ingredient seems missing in these analyses: gratuitous cruelty.

    Almost every allegation contains some theme of male orneriness.

    Think of the smirk on Al Franken’s face when he posed for the camera while fondling the breasts of a sleeping Leeann Tweeden. Why the need for a smile of triumph in humiliating an unaware target?

    Think of Matt Lauer’s purported sicko game of asking fellow grandees whether they would wish to marry, have sex with — or kill — his various female co-hosts? In what category would Lauer himself have fit, had his female subordinates played the same game about their bosses?

    Think of Bill Clinton allegedly smirking as he stalked out of a hotel room, advising the bleeding Juanita Broaddrick to “put some ice” on her lip that Clinton had just reportedly chewed.

    Think of Glenn Thrush fabricating stories of role reversal, to depict the victimized women as vixens for their supposed pursuit of him. Are we really to take seriously the claim of a dorky Garrison Keillor that he was groped dozens of times by nymphomaniac women, a victimhood apparently that offsets his victimizing?

    In the most macabre sense, think of the doomed Mary Jo Kopechne thrashing about in a sunken car, fighting for her young life, as the drunken driver and perpetrator — Ted Kennedy — sulked about on shore, worrying only about losing his Camelot career.

    Think of Charlie Rose’s victims who described the “fury” of his advances and his “animalistic” tactics. One victim said that Rose grabbed her hair and twisted her neck; another found herself trapped in his country house without transportation home, crying as Rose grew angry that she had not welcomed his sexual exhibitionism.

    Think of the similar sick exhibitionism of a Conyers or Weinstein. Both deliberately walked about in their underwear or in open robes, glaring at their grossed-out targets as they reacted negatively to their phallic exposure. (After how many terms in office, or after how many hit movies, did Conyers or Weinstein decide it was now an uplifting experience for a female subordinate to catch sight of his male organ?)

    Think of a Mark Halperin allegedly pressing a woman against a window, or masturbating behind a desk as he leered at her.

    The streak of malice is so frequent in all these allegations that it becomes a theme.

    Did the callousness result from the idea that such important men had a strict timetable, with not a second to be wasted by romance or even rudimentary expressions of professionalism and friendship? But why did they not even feign liking the women they coerced?

    Are feminist theoreticians on to something when they say that in these cases of sexual assault, physical gratification is only part of the equation (sometimes a small part) — that the real impetus might be the sadism of nastily humiliating someone judged weaker?

    I grew up on a farm and live there now, and for over half a century, I’ve at various times been surrounded by dogs, donkeys, horses, cows, and wild animals ranging from hawks to coyotes. One notices over the decades how animals eat and couple.

    They are utilitarian and in the human sense selfish to the core. The animal does not know where its next meal comes from, and so he bites, growls, and attacks any rival who gets too close as he almost instantaneously gulps down or swallows whole his meal.

    In matters of sex, the male animal, after an occasional rudimentary display of intention, simply approaches his target and attempts to mount; if he faces too much opposition, he tries again later or approaches another target. There is, of course, a Darwinian explanation for animal behavior. But humans are supposed to have developed over the centuries a civilized culture to repress our innate selfishness and cruelty in matters of food and sex.

    These men seemed to have enjoyed reverting to their premodern reptilian selves. Do they revert all the more easily to their instincts also because there are few marshals to take them down?

    In the old days, for every Weinstein or Charlie Rose, there would have been a get-even husband, outraged dad, family friend, big brother, or furious boyfriend who would have cornered the cowardly assaulter (called out as a “punk” or “bully”), and either knocked his block off or dressed him down. I once saw a tough old World War II veteran walk up and grab a stunned prominent local judge, raise him over his head, shake him good a few times, and say, “Listen, knock it off bothering my wife.”

    But is all that “toxic” masculinity now passé — killed off by the chaos of the Sixties and the assurances that the deep state could handle harassment? Women, we are told, don’t need deluded Gary Coopers or condescending Jimmy Stewarts around to open doors, pick up the tab, or play their historic chivalrous roles in protecting women from the cruel men among them.

    But the malicious men currently in the news knew that too often the slow-coach Human Resources Department would merely catalogue their assaults and weigh the costs and benefits of endangering the careers of rich, powerful, famous predators.

    Given that fact, lots of cowards like Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, or Harvey Weinstein did what all cruel bullies do. They attacked and humiliated the vulnerable without worry of repercussions — and they did so with wanton meanness apparently as sick relish.

    Source…

     
  • Jack 11:52 am on December 4, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: barnini chakraborty, , , , , , sanctuary cities, todd rokita, , , , us politics   

    Prison? 

    EXCLUSIVE – A Republican congressman plans to introduce a bill Monday that would threaten huge fines and prison time for elected officials accused of sheltering illegal immigrant criminals from deportation, in the wake of the not-guilty verdict in the Kate Steinle murder trial.

    Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita’s bill is one of the most aggressive pieces of legislation to date aimed at sanctuary city policies, going beyond the Justice Department’s threat to cut off grants to those jurisdictions.

    “Politicians don’t get to pick and choose what laws to comply with,” Rokita told Fox News. “Americans are dying because politicians sworn to uphold the law refuse to do so.”

    His “Stopping Lawless Actions of Politicians (SLAP) Act” would hold state and local lawmakers criminally responsible for refusing to comply with federal immigration enforcement efforts. The Republican’s bill would subject violators to a $1 million fine and up to five years in prison if they are convicted.

    “It’s time the federal government gets serious about enforcing immigration laws and holding politicians accountable who conspire to break them,” said Rokita.

    Rokita also supported “Kate’s Law” – legislation that would boost penalties for illegal immigrants who were previously deported and that was named after Steinle.

    On Thursday, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, an illegal immigrant who already had been deported back to Mexico five times, was acquitted in the 2015 murder of Steinle on a San Francisco pier.

    Zarate’s attorneys argued Zarate had found a gun that accidentally discharged, and the bullet ricocheted off the ground before hitting Steinle. Prosecutors argued Zarate intentionally shot 32-year-old Steinle.

    The killing revived a national debate over sanctuary city policies, as some lawmakers as well as Steinle’s family faulted San Francisco for releasing the suspect from a local jail without notifying federal immigration officials.

    President Trump, who frequently cited Steinle’s case on the campaign trail, called the not-guilty verdict “disgraceful” and a “complete travesty of justice.”
    Attorney General Jeff Sessions took direct aim at the city, saying San Francisco’s “decision to protect criminal aliens led to the preventable and heartbreaking death of Kate Steinle.”

    In an interview prior to Thursday’s verdict, Steinle’s family said they wanted the case out of the national spotlight. “We just want to get this over with and move on with our lives, and think about Kate on our terms,” Jim Steinle, Kate’s father, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

    Following the verdict, he said his family was shocked Zarate was convicted only of firearm possession.

    On Friday, the DOJ released an amended arrest warrant for Zarate for a supervised release violation.

    Rokita’s bill follows a similar attempt in Texas to punish local officials who ignore federal requests to hold and then potentially turn over suspects for possible deportation. That law is the subject of a federal court challenge.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) Bureau of Land Management Agent Promoted After His Gun Stolen, Used to Kill Kate Steinle

    (2) CNN’s Self-Congratulation After Trump’s Attack Only Illustrates His Point

     
  • Jack 2:21 pm on December 3, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , us politics   

    Entrapment? Possibly! 

    Ed. Note:  As a matter of general interest I once read cover to cover Sun Zu’s epic treatise “The Art Of War” followed since time immemorial by wise military and business tacticians.  The short story (aside from many other good ideas): In brief it describes the prospect of letting the enemy think they are winning,  all the while leading them exactly where you want them to go…and when the proper time arrives you turn on them and beat them to death with a very big club.

    Ghengis Khan and his armies were famous for this tactic and he conquered most of the known world of the time through it’s use.  Closer to the present, it is clear Bannon has read that book and so has Trump.

    Apparently, Mueller and Rosenstein have not, much to their NOW occurring embarrassment.  Finally we get to watch the much encouraged “fish” fight on the end of the baited hook they so eagerly devoured “lo these many months”.

    Big fish, yes (it’s a whopper).

    Bigger hook definitely (they can’t escape).

    Folks, it’s peanuts, popcorn and lot’s of beer time.

    Christmas has arrived early for Trump supporters.

    Two senior Justice Department officials have confirmed to Fox News that the department’s Office of Inspector General is reviewing the role played in the Hillary Clinton email investigation by Peter Strzok, a former deputy director for counterintelligence at the FBI who was removed from the staff of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III earlier this year, after Mueller learned that Strzok had exchanged anti-Trump texts with a colleague.

    A source close to the matter said the OIG probe, which will examine Strzok’s roles in a number of other politically sensitive cases, should be completed by “very early next year.”

    The task will be exceedingly complex, given Strzok’s consequential portfolio. He participated in the FBI’s fateful interview with Hillary Clinton on July 2, 2016 – just days before then-FBI Director James Comey announced he was declining to recommend prosecution of Mrs. Clinton in connection with her use, as secretary of state, of a private email server.

    As deputy FBI director for counterintelligence, Strzok also enjoyed liaison with various agencies in the intelligence community, including the CIA, then led by Director John Brennan.

    Key figure

    House investigators told Fox News they have long regarded Strzok as a key figure in the chain of events when the bureau, in 2016, received the infamous anti-Trump “dossier” and launched a counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the election that ultimately came to encompass FISA surveillance of a Trump campaign associate.

    The “dossier” was a compendium of salacious and largely unverified allegations about then-candidate Trump and others around him that was compiled by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS. The firm’s bank records, obtained by House investigators, revealed that the project was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.

    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, D-Calif., has sought documents and witnesses from the Department of Justice and FBI to determine what role, if any, the dossier played in the move to place a Trump campaign associate under foreign surveillance.

    Strzok himself briefed the committee on Dec. 5, 2016, the sources said, but within months of that session House Intelligence Committee investigators were contacted by an informant suggesting that there was “documentary evidence” that Strzok was purportedly obstructing the House probe into the dossier.

    In early October, Nunes personally asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – who has overseen the Trump-Russia probe since the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions – to make Strzok available to the committee for questioning, sources said.

    While Strzok’s removal from the Mueller team had been publicly reported in August, the Justice Department never disclosed the anti-Trump texts to the House investigators. The denial of access to Strzok was instead predicated, sources said, on broad “personnel” grounds.

    When a month had elapsed, House investigators – having issued three subpoenas for various witnesses and documents – formally recommended to Nunes that DOJ and FBI be held in contempt of Congress. Nunes continued pressing DOJ, including a conversation with Rosenstein as recently as last Wednesday.

    That turned out to be 12 days after DOJ and FBI had made Strzok available to the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is conducting its own parallel investigation into the allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

    Contempt citations?

    Responding to the revelations about Strzok’s texts on Saturday, Nunes said he has now directed his staff to draft contempt-of-Congress citations against Rosenstein and the new FBI director, Christopher Wray. Unless DOJ and FBI comply with all os his outstanding requests for documents and witnesses by the close of business on Monday, Nunes said, he would seek a resolution on the contempt citations before year’s end.

    “We now know why Strzok was dismissed, why the FBI and DOJ refused to provide us this explanation, and at least one reason why they previously refused to make [FBI] Deputy Director [Andrew] McCabe available to the Committee for an interview,” Nunes said in a statement.

    Early Saturday afternoon, after Strzok’s texts were cited in published reports by the New York Times and the Washington Post – and Fox News had followed up with inquiries about the department’s refusal to make Strzok available to House investigators – the Justice Department contacted the office of House Speaker Paul Ryan to establish a date for Strzok’s appearance before House Intelligence Committee staff, along with two other witnesses long sought by the Nunes team.

    Those witnesses are FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the FBI officer said to have handled Christopher Steele, the British spy who used Russian sources to compile the dossier for Fusion GPS. The official said to be Steele’s FBI handler has also appeared already before the Senate panel.

    The Justice Department maintained that the decision to clear Strzok for House interrogation had occurred a few hours prior to the appearance of the Times and Post stories.

    In addition, Rosenstein is set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Dec. 13.

    The Justice Department maintains that it has been very responsive to the House intel panel’s demands, including private briefings for panel staff by senior DOJ and FBI personnel and the production of several hundred pages of classified materials available in a secure reading room at DOJ headquarters on Oct. 31.

    Behind the scenes

    Sources said Speaker Ryan has worked quietly behind the scenes to try to resolve the clash over dossier-related evidence and witnesses between the House intel panel on the one hand and DOJ and FBI on the other. In October, however, the speaker took the unusual step of saying publicly that the two agencies were “stonewalling” Congress.

    All parties agree that some records being sought by the Nunes team belong to categories of documents that have historically never been shared with the committees that conduct oversight of the intelligence community.

    Federal officials told Fox News the requested records include “highly sensitive raw intelligence,” so sensitive that officials from foreign governments have emphasized to the U.S. the “potential danger and chilling effect” it could place on foreign intelligence sources.

    Justice Department officials noted that Nunes did not appear for a document-review session that his committee’s ranking Democrat, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., attended, and once rejected a briefing by an FBI official if the panel’s Democratic members were permitted to attend.

    Sources close to the various investigations agreed the discovery of Strzok’s texts raised important questions about his work on the Clinton email case, the Trump-Russia probe, and the dossier matter.

    “That’s why the IG is looking into all of those things,” a Justice Department official told Fox News on Saturday.

    A top House investigator asked: “If Mueller knew about the texts, what did he know about the dossier?”

    Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel, said: “Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the Special Counsel’s Office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation.”

    Carr declined to comment on the extent to which Mueller has examined the dossier and its relationship, if any, to the counterintelligence investigation that Strzok launched during the height of the campaign season.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) Mueller Investigation: Politics, Not Law Enforcement or Counterintelligence

    (2) Mulvaney scrutinizing 125 CFPB cases opened by liberal predecessor

    (3) Deep State Russia Meddling Cover-Up

    (4) Flashback: Obama State Department – ‘No Problem’ with Trump Transition Team Contacting Foreign Officials

     
  • Jack 3:06 am on December 2, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , geraldo rivera, gerry rivers, , monica showalter, political meltdown, , , , , us politics,   

    Gerry Rivers? 

    As Matt Lauer’s ouster demonstrated, the great Hollywood-media-politics sex harassment shakeout isn’t anywhere near over.  One character quite a few of us have been waiting for revelations on has been Jerry Rivers, who in a desire to show himself as more Latino than thou now calls himself Geraldo Rivera.  And sure enough, the clock has been ticking.

    The most oafish, oleaginous, left-wing, and self-aggrandizing one of them all is hard to imagine as a gentleman around the ladies.  Yet it was downright odd that he wasn’t one of the first to topple among the media group, along with Matt Lauer, Mark Halperin, Charlie Rose, Garrison Keillor, Leon Wieseltier, Jann Wenner, Michael Oreskes, Glenn Thrush, Lockhart Steele, Hamilton Fish, Matt Zimmerman, a bunch of BuzzFeed guys, and quite a few other leading lights of the mainstream media.

    Geraldo has sex harassment written all over him.

    And well, yes, the suspicion turned out to have been probably true.  Stage diva Bette Midler has come out and accused Rivers of drugging her and groping her years ago and not apologizing for it.  Or rather, reminded, given that Rivers brazenly admitted the act himself in one of his memoirs.  That makes Rivers a sex-harasser like the rest of them, and probably on the worse end of the spectrum, given that the act involved coercion, not just personal grossness.

    Imagine carrying that around with you for decades, the knowledge that this self-loving TV personality was the type of guy who’d drug and grope and walk off thinking you were just a Barbie doll and the act didn’t matter.  Pretty disgusting, isn’t it?

    Rivera was last seen defending sex-harasser Matt Lauer.  Perhaps now he can start answering some questions about what women who have come forward are saying about him.  Based on Midler’s account, he doesn’t sound much better than Lauer.

    The sex-harassment shakeout has a long, long way to go for the media bigs.  The clock is ticking on Rivera, one of its least worthy members.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) Geraldo Rivera Apologizes For Matt Lauer Comments; Fox News “Troubled” By Tweets

    (2) Sexual Assault Stirring Change in Congress, Campaigns

    (3) When the prey becomes the predator

     
  • Jack 3:11 am on November 30, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: angelo codevilla, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , us politics, ,   

    More Questions 

    The increasing energy going into the intractable issues that divide Americans is producing a vicious cycle naturally tending toward violence. Members of the bipartisan class atop our administrative-corporate state’s commanding heights believe they are entitled to rule inferior Americans, whose opinions they deem unworthy of respect. This has energized a sociopolitical revolt that has shrunk the Democratic Party’s hold on elective offices around the country and placed Republican leaders under siege by their own voters. As a result, there is no longer a major constituency for restraint.

    When Hillary Clinton put half of her opponents into a “basket of deplorables — racist, sexist, homophobic, Islamophobic, you name it,” and the other half into a basket to be pitied, she was merely explaining her party’s longstanding business model: make the Deplorables into something like outlaws, driving them to society’s margins by depriving them of recourse against the administrative state’s instruments as well as the prerogatives of major private institutions; grow programs that put more of society’s money into ruling-class hands, and use some of it to buy the Pitiables.

    Republican and independent voters are not about to be persuaded that they are deplorable or pitiable. In 2016 they wanted to force the Republican Party to fulfill its promises, and looked for candidates who would return the ruling class’ disdain — with interest.

    Donald Trump was elected to lead revolutions against the ruling class in general and the Republican establishment in particular. Mr. Trump did not create the hopes and resentments that elected him. Nor is it in any man’s power quite literally to “make America great again.” Even to try would require dismantling the ruling class that has grown upon us for three quarters of a century, and building up a different one. Nevertheless, Mr. Trump’s election fed the sentiments that elected him. But the reality of a ruling class more aggressive than ever has leavened them with disappointment and bitterness.

    The ruling class’ “resistance” to the 2016 election results expresses its evolving moral and intellectual character. Growling and barking, “Racist! Sexist! Homophobic,” and now “Nazi,” it bandies projects of which previously it had spoken softly, such as requiring all hospitals, doctors and nurses — including Catholic ones — to perform abortions or at least to training to perform them, mandating that Catholic schools admit homosexual and transgender students, and ensuring that online transactions on such websites as Airbnb comply with evolving anti-discrimination standards.

    It is also morphing the concept of “hate crime” into the criminalization of “hate speech” — meaning opposition to what these loving folks demand. In this regard, the Sept. 11 Joint Congressional Resolution identifies the political right with political violence and encourages those who wield the U.S. government’s vast powers to treat the ruling class’ sociopolitical opponents as public enemies.

    Mistakenly, the ruling class believes that Mr. Trump is the ultimate expression of a passing populism. Discredit him, crush the Deplorables, buy the Pitiables, and they can rule unopposed. But their problem was, is and will remain not Mr. Trump but the indelible resentments that they have aroused. As the Sept. 26 Alabama Republican primary showed, not even Mr. Trump himself can save the rulers from a population that has come to understand them too well.

    That is why whoever wins elections henceforth is certain to do so as the representative of one side of America, antagonistic to the other.

    Were any Democrat to be elected president in 2020 he would make Barack Obama look conservative. Radical expansion of the concept of hate speech would restrict the exercise of religion and punish reticence to conform, as well as political opposition. The public sector’s transformation into the ruling class’ private preserve would be completed. The conservative side of American life, looking back to 2017, would try its own version of “resistance.” But whereas Donald Trump responded to “resistance” with complaints, the next Democratic president’s response would be to punish opponents — ignoring court orders, marshaling friendly corporations, and even using the federal agencies’ SWAT teams against them. “Stop me if you can.” The conservative side of American life will see no alternative to civil, or even violent disobedience. Then what?

    Anyone elected in 2020 by the anti-establishment side would know that the left sees tolerance as a one-way street, that it is no longer capable of practicing it, that the Republican Party committed suicide by not fulfilling its constituencies’ desires on guns, abortion, religion, education, taxes and immigration. Hence, he has no choice but to fulfill them. The resistance of judges, bureaucrats and corporate executives would be even fiercer. A conservative administration would have no alternative but to sweep them aside. Then what?

    In either case, both sides have already transcended the American republic in their hearts. When will they do so with their hands? We have stepped over the threshold of a revolution. It is futile to speculate where it will end.

    Angelo M. Codevilla is professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University. A version of this paper was presented at a Claremont Institute symposium in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 26.

    Source…

     
  • Jack 3:10 am on November 30, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , , , , deroy murdock, , , us politics   

    Chutzpah Olympics 

    Several Americans at or near the tops of some of this country’s major institutions have become portraits in brass. How dare they behave this way? Their hubris and high-handedness are award-worthy — if nothing else, to showcase them as people not to emulate. Let’s call these the Olympics of Chutzpah.

    The 2017 gold medal for chutzpah goes to Roger Goodell. The NFL commissioner did little more than let his knees knock while leftist players turned a previously apolitical sports enterprise into a coast-to-coast social-justice workshop. Goodell should have told his league’s overpaid, childish athletes to get off their knees and reserve their activism to off-duty hours. Those who refused would be dismissed and replaced with any of the thousands of young men who would be thrilled to trade places with any of these ingrates.

    Instead, Goodell stands by cluelessly as the Bended-Knee Brigade repeatedly insults the American flag, the national anthem, and the U.S. armed forces. In so doing, they have pile-dived stadium attendance and ratings right through the 50-yard-line. Rather than resign in shame, Goodell demands a $50 million annual salary, lifetime private-jet travel, and health insurance until death, for him and his family.

    Astonishing.

    Team owners should have told him: “Just for that, you have five seconds to turn around, walk through the front door, and never show your face around here again. If not, we’ll call security.”

    The 2017 silver medal for chutzpah goes to Lois Lerner. The former IRS official presided over the political targeting and abuse of some 471 tea-party and limited-government groups that applied for 501(c)(3) non-profit status. They waited and waited and waited and waited and waited for the IRS to approve (or reject) their applications. Some tea-party outfits were instructed to list the books that their members were reading. Even more Orwellian, others were told to describe the content of their prayers. This anti-conservative discrimination was designed to keep center-right groups so dazed, confused, and poorly funded (due to their inability to solicit tax-deductible donations) that they could not educate citizens about Obama’s shortcomings before the 2012 election.

    This cynical ploy worked. These groups largely were muted. Obama won a second term for many reasons. Having the IRS put metaphorical duct tape over the mouths of these potentially vocal critics certainly helped him score four more years to cripple America.

    As the head of IRS’ tax-exempt-organizations division, Lois Lerner was this effort’s ringleader. Despite her anti–First Amendment actions, the destruction of relevant documents, and the annihilation of her computer hard drive in an AMERI-SHRED AMS-750 HD high-powered metal shredder (as Americans for Tax Reform reported), Lerner scored paid leave for five months. She kept collecting her $177,000 annual salary — $3,000 per annum more than if she were U.S. Senator Lois Lerner — without having to cope with pesky job duties or even show up at the office. (Really nice work, if you can get it.)

    Before she faced prosecution or otherwise answered for her misdeeds, Lerner retired. That clinched her cornucopia of benefits as a former federal bureaucrat, including full medical care and, the National Taxpayers Union Foundation estimates, an annual pension of $102,600.

    One would think Lerner would count her winnings and leave it at that.

    But no!

    Instead, she now wants her sworn deposition in related litigation to be sealed permanently. As if facing zero consequences for her actions were not sufficient satisfaction, she now wants to bury the records of her wrongs.

    Lerner claims that opening these records would inflame tax fighters and, thus, physically endanger her. Lerner’s attorneys point their trembling fingers at Tea Party leader Mark Meckler, who once called IRS agents “criminal thugs.”

    Meckler scoffs at this notion

    “Four years of harassing innocent American citizens for their political beliefs, and she’s scared of a guy in a cowboy hat talking to a bunch of little old ladies at a tea party event?” Meckler told the Washington Times, recalling the occasion where he made the “criminal thugs” remarks.

    The Trump Administration should apply public pressure, including an amicus curiae brief, calling on federal Judge Michael R. Barrett to release these documents. If these papers were posted online, rather than stashed in a courthouse vault, Americans could learn many more details about this grotesque abuse of power. Who knows, enough facts may emerge to trigger the prosecutions of Lerner and her conspirators.

    That would be justice.

    The 2017 bronze medal for chutzpah goes to Obama holdout Richard Cordray, the just-resigned chairman of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. He named his chief of staff, Leandra English, as his deputy just before leaving office. Cordray believed that move would make her the acting director upon his exit, until the Senate can confirm President Donald J. Trump’s potential designee as a permanent replacement. Soon thereafter, President Trump instead appointed Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney as CFPB’s acting director. The issue now heads to court.

    Liberals complain that Mulvaney is a CFPB critic who once called it “a sick, sad joke.”

    So what?

    Presidents are not limited to appointing agency heads who are enamored of those institutions. If so, Democratic chief executives would be restricted to naming war hawks, rather than doves, to the Pentagon. If Democrats have a problem with this, they should try harder in the 2020 presidential campaign.

    Trump’s appointment of Mulvaney should not be even microscopically controversial. The president of the United States appoints members of the executive branch, despite Democrats and the media (excuse the redundancy) conveniently forgetting Article II of the Constitution. After all — whether liberals like it or not — it’s the Trump administration. It’s not the Cordray administration.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) Who Watches the Watchmen?

    (2) Exclusive – Kobach: ACLU’s Latest Cause: Refusing to Stand for the Anthem in the Name of Islam

    (3) Agitprop that sows paranoia

     
  • Jack 3:10 am on November 30, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: , katie grimes, , , , , , us politics   

    Hypocrites 

    If Rep. John Conyers and Sen. Al Franken ‘deserve’ due process as Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats insist, isn’t that a privilege provided to citizens held to all of the laws of the United States?With every Congressional session, lawmakers violate Federalist #57:

    “they can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society. This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together.”

    The practice of Congress exempting itself from the laws it writes emerged as Congress began to adopt broad social policy legislation. From exempting themselves from insider trading rules, to Obamacare, to the Freedom of Information Act, to being exempted from prosecution for retaliating against employees who report safety and health hazards, to having to train employees about workplace rights and legal remedies, and record-keeping requirements for workplace injuries and illnesses, Congress gets a pass on important laws private sector businesses and states are required to adhere to – or be sued.

    As Federalist #57 said, one of the strongest points behind “they can make no law which will not have its full operation on themselves and their friends, as well as on the great mass of the society,” was this: “This has always been deemed one of the strongest bonds by which human policy can connect the rulers and the people together. It creates between them that communion of interests and sympathy of sentiments, of which few governments have furnished examples; but without which every government degenerates into tyranny.”

    And what have we today?

    “In 1964, with great fanfare, President Johnson signed the landmark Civil Rights Act, including Title VII, which for the first time protected all Americans from employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin,” attorney Gerald Skoning wrote in the Wall Street Journal in 2013. “But the law exempted Congress from its coverage, so thousands of staffers and other employees on the Hill were left with no equal-opportunity protection. Staffers could be discriminated against or sexually harassed with legal impunity.”

    Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012

    For decades, critics tried to get Congress to eliminate the exemption. Finally, when it looked as if real reform would take place and the Civil Rights Act of 1991 would be passed and Congress could remove the exemption, they punted. Efforts to eliminate the exemption failed.

    Skoning points out that it took Peter Schweizer’s book, “Throw Them All Out,” and a “60 Minutes” episode for Congress to pass the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, which banned insider trading by lawmakers and their staffs. “But just last week, while voters were focused on emotional issues such as immigration and gun control, House and Senate members voted to repeal a key provision of the so-called Stock Act—the one that required online posting of their staffs’ financial transactions,” Skoning reported in his 2013 op ed.

    As recently as 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission investigated Congress for insider trading however, Congress moved to block the investigation, undermining its own ethics rules, the Intercept reported.

    President Donald Trump has threatened to take away the Obamacare exemption from the 535 lawmakers and the more than 13,000 Congressional staffers, granted by former President Barack Obama. The bogus cries from Congress of “Health Care For All” ring hollow knowing they are exempted from the disastrous law.

    One surefire way to drain the swamp would be for Congress to lose all exemptions to laws they pass

    “Congress would be a very different institution if it were truly covered by the laws that apply to the rest of Americans,” Heritage Foundation scholar Dan Greenburg said in a 1993 speech. “Congressional coverage would give congressional employees the same workplace and equal opportunity regulations as the private sector. Congressional offices would have the same duties of record-keeping and disclosure that executive agencies have, allowing the public greater access to information about Congress. Members of Congress would share directly in the burdens and impositions of the laws they pass.”

    One surefire way to drain the swamp would be for Congress to lose all exemptions to laws they pass, and President Donald Trump is just the guy for the job.

    As for due process for Sen. Franken and Rep. Conyers, they deserve due process every bit as much as Judge Roy Moore does.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) California Fornication…

    (2) Democrat Raul Bocanegra Resigns over Sexual Harassment; Activist Runs for Seat

    (3) NPR Top News Editor David Sweeney Out over Sexual Harassment Accusations

    (4) Matt Lauer dismissal puts harsh new focus on NBC News boss Andy Lack after Trump tweet

    (5) NBC fires senior executive, who was Matt Lauer’s booker, for ‘inappropriate conduct’ with women

    (6) President Trump: ‘Investigate’ Joe Scarborough’s Dead Congressional Intern

    (7) John Conyers Is the Albatross that Democrats Deserve

    (8) Report: Congressional Black Caucus Members Trying to Convince Conyers to Resign

    (9) Donald Trump Scorches Joe Scarborough, Phil Griffin, and Andy Lack at NBC after Matt Lauer Firing

     
  • Jack 3:48 am on November 28, 2017 Permalink |
    Tags: daniel depetris, , real clear defense, , us politics   

    Failed Strategy 

    The situation with North Korea was getting critical. The lights, to use the worn-out phrase, were blinking red.

    The State Department, the Defense Department and the White House were increasingly concerned either that the North Korean regime was hiding components of its plutonium program from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), or that it would exploit any negotiating track to stall the international community while improving its nuclear capacity. The motives of the Chinese, Pyongyang’s biggest trading partner and bankroller by far, were unclear—adding more complication to a problem that was already far too complicated.

    The years in question: 1991 and 1992, when the George H. W. Bush administration was desperately searching for a policy to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and place Pyongyang under the IAEA’s supervision. Thanks to the National Security Archive, last week’s declassification of over a dozen Bush-era documents on the North Korean nuclear issue demonstrates the extent to which administration officials in Washington were frantically trying to come to a consensus policy on preventing Pyongyang from becoming a nuclear power.

    The documents also show, however, how little the North Korea discussion within the U.S. government has changed over the last twenty-five to thirty years. The talking points, policy proposals and memos that circulated throughout the interagency are composed of positions that are virtually identical to the Trump administration’s position today. Indeed, if one were to replace the names of North Korean, South Korean and American officials found in the documents with the officials who are now running things, you would find very little that is different.

    Then, like now, the White House believed that the combination of economic coercion and diplomatic engagement, backed up by unity between the United States and South Korea regarding what Pyongyang would have to do if it hoped to have normalization on the table, would entice the North Korean leadership to authorize senior-level talks on its nuclear program. An August/September 1991 Pentagon paper summarizing the basic U.S.-South Korean position could easily be described as the Trump administration’s policy today: “Both the ROKG and the USG should make use of all possible diplomatic means and international pressure to bring North Korea to implement fully the provisions of the IAEA safeguards agreement.” That safeguards agreement, the paper noted, would be the first stepping stone to denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula—Washington’s overarching objective to this day.

    And, as in the current environment, the U.S. government had to iron out the wrinkles and address the bureaucratic turf wars that typically categorizes much of the national-security policymaking process before a policy could be presented at the NSC, and ultimately to the president. Back in 1992, the main obstacle to settling on a consensus recommendation on the way forward was a fundamental disagreement between a State Department that sought to initiate a high-level, bilateral denuclearization-for-normalization dialogue with Pyongyang, and a Defense Department that wanted references to normalization deleted. Where U.S. diplomats saw a grand bargain with the Kim regime as essential to moving talks about denuclearization forward, the Pentagon saw the Bush administration as prematurely offering to establish diplomatic relations with a country renowned for breaking its promises.

    In short, what we learn from these latest disclosures is how static U.S. policy on North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program has been. Washington’s concerns over North Korea’s sincerity and China’s cooperation date back at least to the early 1990s. None of those reservations have gone away; they hover over Washington’s policymaking deliberations like smog hangs over the Los Angeles skyline.

    The major difference between 1991–92 and 2017, of course, is that the debate in the United States has ceased to focus on permanently shutting off Pyongyang’s plutonium-reprocessing program. It’s now centered on convincing the Kim regime to freeze more nuclear tests, disarming the nuclear weapons it already possesses or transferring them to the IAEA’s custody, and mothballing a program that Kim Jong-un values as the only impediment blocking the United States from doing to him what they did to Saddam Hussein and Muammar el-Qaddafi.

    After over a quarter century of failure in demanding the very same concessions from Pyongyang, and relying heavily upon the same conventional strategy (more sanctions, threats of force and diplomacy on American terms), it’s time for the United States to change the policy. The longer U.S. political leaders continue to believe that denuclearizing North Korea is realistic, the longer it will take for the White House to craft a strategy to the problem that actually has a possibility of working: Cold War–era deterrence. If mutually assured destruction worked with a far larger military, economic and political power like the Soviet Union when it had thousands of nuclear missiles pointed in the direction of the U.S. homeland and U.S. forces in Europe, perhaps it can work against an impoverished, family-run enterprise where the success of every decision is judged by how it assists in keeping the Kim family business from going in the red.

    Daniel DePetris is a fellow at Defense Priorities.

    Source…

    See Also:

    (1) South Korea Has a Secret Weapon If North Korea Starts a War

     
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