President Trump And Afghanistan

I am sure much will be made about President Trump‘s changing his position on Afghanistan. At least he is willing to listen to those around him. I would like to leave Afghanistan behind–I have family members who have been there and may return in the future–I wonder about the wisdom of our involvement. However, there were a few things I heard in the speech the President gave last night that I thought were very encouraging.

Below are some excerpts from the speech with commentary:

That is why shortly after my inauguration, I directed Secretary of Defense Mattis and my national security team to undertake a comprehensive review of all strategic options in Afghanistan and South Asia. My original instinct was to pull out. And historically, I like following my instincts.

But all my life I’ve heard that decisions are much different when you sit behind the desk in the Oval Office, in other words, when you’re president of the United States. So I studied Afghanistan in great detail and from every conceivable angle. After many meetings, over many months, we held our final meeting last Friday at Camp David with my cabinet and generals to complete our strategy.

I arrived at three fundamental conclusion about America’s core interests in Afghanistan. First, our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives. The men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory. They deserve the tools they need and the trust they have earned to fight and to win.

He formed a study committee and actually listened to their recommendations. That is a trait of a good leader.

President Trump noted the lessons of Iraq, where early withdrawal of troops left a vacuum filled by terrorists. President Trump also acknowledged the role of Pakistan in international terrorism. He also noted that decisions have to be made on the basis of where we are–not where we would like to be.

The President further noted:

A core pillar of our new strategy is a shift from a time-based approach to one based on conditions. I’ve said it many times how counterproductive it is for the United States to announce in advance the dates we intend to begin or end military options.

We will not talk about numbers of troops or our plans for further military activities. Conditions on the ground, not arbitrary timetables, will guide our strategy from now on. America’s enemies must never know our plans or believe they can wait us out.

I will not say when we are going to attack, but attack we will.

Another fundamental pillar of our new strategy is the integration of all instruments of American power — diplomatic, economic, and military — toward a successful outcome. Someday, after an effective military effort, perhaps it will be possible to have a political settlement that includes elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan. But nobody knows if or when that will ever happen.

Anyone who is acquainted with strategy in any situation understands the wisdom of not telling your opponent what your next move is going to be.

The President also showed that he has learned the lessons of Vietnam and other wars America has fought:

Finally, my administration will ensure that you, the brave defenders of the American people, will have the necessary tools and rules of engagement to make this strategy work, and work effectively, and work quickly.

I have already lifted restrictions the previous administration placed on our war fighters that prevented the secretary of defense and our commanders in the field from fully and swiftly waging battle against the enemy.

Micromanagement from Washington, D.C., does not win battles. They’re won in the field, drawing upon the judgment and expertise of wartime commanders, and front-line soldiers, acting in real time with real authority, and with a clear mission to defeat the enemy.

That’s why we will also expand authority for American armed forces to target the terrorists and criminal networks that sow violence and chaos throughout Afghanistan. These killers need to know they have nowhere to hide, that no place is beyond the reach of American might and American arms. Retribution will be fast and powerful, as we lift restrictions and expand authorities in the field. We’re already seeing dramatic results in the campaign to defeat ISIS, including the liberation of Mosul in Iraq.

War has to be fought to win. The people in the field understand what is needed and how to accomplish what needs to be accomplished. We need to let them do what they do best.

The President also understands how an alliance is supposed to work:

America will work with the Afghan government as long as we see determination and progress. However, our commitment is not unlimited, and our support is not a blank check. The government of Afghanistan must carry their share of the military, political, and economic burden.

The American people expect to see real reforms, real progress and real results. Our patience is not unlimited. We will keep our eyes open. In abiding by the oath I took on Jan. 20, I will remain steadfast in protecting American lives and American interests.

I look forward to the day when American troops are no longer needed in Afghanistan. However, I celebrate a President who understands that we need to fight this war quickly with the goal of winning. The harder we fight, the sooner we get to bring our troops home. I believe President Trump’s policies will make a victory and a return of our troops possible.

A Much-Needed Accomplishment

The Gateway Pundit reported today that President Trump has cut the federal debt. He has not only cut the federal debt, he has cut more from the U.S. Federal debt for a longer period of time than any other President in United States history.

The article reports:

When President Trump was inaugurated on January 20, 2017 the amount of US Federal Debt owed both externally and internally was over $19 Trillion at $19,947,304,555,212.  As of August 17th the amount of US Debt had decreased by more than $100 Billion to $19,845,188,460,167.

The article points out that the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) has performed audits since 1997 of the US Debt amounts outstanding.  In their analysis they show that when accounting for US Debt Held by the Public and US Intergovernmental Debt Holdings, the amount of US Debt has increased every year since their audits began.

This is the chart of that debt history shown in the article:

The debt nearly doubled under President Obama. It is long past time to bring government spending under control.

Why Congress Failed To Repeal ObamaCare

For seven years, Republicans promised to repeal ObamaCare if voters gave them the House, the Senate, and the White House. Last week they failed to repeal ObamaCare. What were some of the things that kept them from keeping their promise.

Yesterday CBN News posted an article about some of the things about the relationship between Congress and ObamaCare that were not widely reported.

The article reports some of that history:

In 2009, when lawmakers were debating Obamacare, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, put forth an amendment calling for congressional employees to subject themselves to insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The amendment was unanimously adopted.

“The whole point of this provision was to make them feel the pain if it didn’t work,” Kerpen (Phil Kerpen, president of American Commitment) said in an interview Wednesday with CBN’s Pat Robertson.

One flaw in the final Senate bill was that the amendment did not include employer contributions. Consequently, when Obamacare passed, it terminated coverage that members and their staff previously had through the Federal Employee Health Benefit program, which subsidized about 75 percent of their health care plans.

…Senate Democrats met with President Barack Obama in 2013 to address this problem. After the meeting, Obama directed the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to issue a rule qualifying both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate as small businesses, which is a label legally only given to businesses with less than 50 employees.

Kerpen says one person filed “blatantly false documents,” which were obtained by Judicial Watch, in order to sign up 12,000 people in an exchange that should only apply to companies with 50 employees or fewer.

…When President Trump threatens to end the bailouts for members of Congress for Obamacare, he is threatening to direct the OPM to reverse Obama’s regulation allowing employer contributions to exchange plans.

If this rule is reversed, members and their staff would lose their government-funded subsidies and be subjected to paying the premiums people without employer coverage have to pay that make too much money to qualify for subsidies.

“This is mandatory work they’ve got to get done for the American people,” Kerpen said.

This is the tweet from President Trump:

I hope that the President follows through on that threat–Congress is supposed to live under the laws they pass! Insurance Companies should not be compensated for the campaign donations they make!

 

For Your Consideration

Posted on YouTube on July 24th:

Some things to consider while watching this video:

John Brennan is not an objective observer. He is part of the group that is attempting to prevent President Trump from actually implementing the policies that will improve the American economy.

If John Brennan is saying that Congress should refuse to follow any orders of President Trump if he fires Robert Mueller, where was he when President Obama was spying on Americans and violating the civil rights of Americans? Refusing to follow the orders of a President is called staging a coup. Is Brennan sure he wants to go on the record with that statement?

Please note that the majority of the speakers at the event where this video was taken were from CBS, CNN, The New York Times, etc. My feeling is that Brennan was spouting liberal nonsense to a liberal audience.

Just for the record, it is my opinion that Mueller should be fired. He has stacked his staff with people who hold strong pro-Hillary views and turned the investigation into a far-reaching witch hunt. His funds need to be cut immediately–Congress has been investigating Russian ties to who-knows-what for a year and found nothing. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s uranium deal and President Obama’s statement to Russian President Medvedev (“This is my last election,” Obama told Medvedev. “After my election I have more flexibility.”) are ignored. It is time to stop wasting money chasing non-existent conspiracies.

Taxpayer-Funded Political Opposition Research

Bloomberg News is reporting today that special prosecutor Robert Mueller will be expanding his investigation of President Trump to include all of President Trump’s business activities before he became President. This is ridiculous. It amounts to taxpayer-funded political opposition research.

The American Thinker posted an article in June which featured the following quote from John Eastman, law professor at Chapman University:

The special counsel will not to track down the details of a crime known to have been committed and determine “who dunnit,” but will scour the personal and business affairs of a select group of people – the President of the United States, members of his family, his business associates, and members of his presidential campaign and transition teams – to see if any crime can be found (or worse, manufactured by luring someone into making a conflicting statement at some point). This is not a proper use of prosecutorial power, but a “witch hunt,” as President Trump himself correctly observed. Or, to put it more in terms of legalese, this special prosecutor has effectively been given a “writ of assistance” and the power to exercise a “general warrant” against this select group of people, including the President of the United States, recently elected by a fairly wide margin of the electoral vote.

That is the very kind of thing our Fourth Amendment was adopted to prevent. Indeed, the issuance of general warrants and writs of assistance is quite arguably the spark that ignited America‘s war for independence.

This witch hunt is just wrong. Unless Robert Mueller and his staff are sent packing, we are in danger of losing our republic to a bunch of entrenched establishment bureaucrats who behave like spoiled brats when they lose an election to an outsider.

 

If It’s Not About Money, Exactly What Is It About?

We have all heard the story of little Charlie Gard who is in the hospital in Britain suffering from mitochondrial depletion syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes brain damage and prevents muscles from developing. His parents want to remove him from the hospital and seek treatment in America. The hospital (under the British healthcare system) wants to let him ‘die with dignity.’ The parents have offers of medical treatment and care from the Vatican and from medical facilities in America. The parents evidently have the financial means to get him where he needs to be to receive the treatment. Taking him from the hospital where he currently is creates no financial burden for the hospital. So why won’t the hospital let the parents take Charlie Gard out of the hospital? To me, that is the million dollar question.

The American Thinker posted an article today about the impact of single-payer socialized health care on innovation and alternative medicine. The article reminds us that the passage of ObamaCare in 2009 helped establish the idea that health care is a right.

The article includes the following:

The day after the Obamacare vote, the senior member of the House of Representatives, Rep. John Dingell (D-MI), a strong supporter of government-run health care since he first got elected to the Congress in the mid-1950s, appeared as a guest on a local Detroit radio program. I learned about the Dingell interview courtesy of someone in Detroit who heard the broadcast and posted a comment about it at a blog that I stumbled upon. After some research, I was able to identify the Detroit talk show — it was the Paul W. Smith program on radio station WJR — and locate an audio file of the Dingell segment on WJR’s Web site before it scrolled offline.

Sure enough, as he gleefully celebrated the passage of Obamacare on Smith’s program, Dingell blurted out that the Democrats had finally learned how “to control the people:”

The harsh fact of the matter is when you’re going to pass legislation that will cover 300 [million] American people in different ways it takes a long time to do the necessary administrative steps that have to be taken to put the legislation together to control the people.

As I previously noted, the hospital in Britain has no financial interest in keeping Charlie Gard as a patient until he dies–in fact, that is probably against their financial interest. It would seem that ‘control’ might be the only obvious reason for their policy–they don’t want to allow Charlie’s parents to control the medical care their child receives.

The article further reminds us:

Nationalized mandated health care has always been a goal of the collectivist, statist, communist model of governance.

Writing in 2007 in National Review Online, Mark Steyn put it succinctly:

Socialized health care is the single biggest factor in transforming the relationship of the individual to the state.

The article concludes:

It remains to be seen if a new effort by the parents to appeal the court’s decision will prevail. In the meantime, the case illustrates several points. In a socialized, single-payer medical system like the one that has been in place in the UK since the NHS was mandated in 1948, the patient — or in this case, his parents — is not in control; the medical bureaucrats under the color of law have the final say over one’s life and death.

It is also noteworthy that innovative options that might help a patient like Charlie are emanating not from Britain — where socialism and the NHS have hindered medical innovation and impaired successful treatment outcomes — but from the United States, where the practice of medicine has yet to fall under the complete and suffocating yoke of socialism.

We are at a crossroads right now in America. We have a choice. Are we going to be the country envisioned by our Founding Fathers that was a beacon of freedom to the world or are we going to trade our freedom for government control sold to us under the guise of benefits. If the Republicans do not repeal ObamaCare, we can expect to see cases like Charlie Gard begin to appear in America.

 

Using The Appropriate Weapon To Get The Desired Results

There are wars and there are wars. Sometimes a war does not involve guns or soldiers. In the world of computers and the internet, sometimes it simply involves a computer and a very smart person. Cyber-warfare is always a threat, but economic warfare is also a very powerful weapon. As a successful businessman, President Trump is well aware of that.

On Friday, Larry Kudlow posted an article at National Review explaining how President Trump is very effectively dealing with Russia. The American media did not give a lot of coverage to President Trump’s speech in Warsaw, but I am sure the speech got the attention of the Russian leaders..

The article reports:

A few years back, in one of his finest moments, Senator John McCain said on a Sunday talk show that “Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country.” It was right when he said it, and it’s even more right today.

…But with energy prices falling, Vladimir Putin’s Russia has essentially been in a recession over the past four years. With oil at $50 a barrel or less, Russian budgets plunge deeper into debt. It’s even doubtful the Russians have enough money to upgrade their military-energy industrial complex.

…Now, Russia still has a lot of oil and gas reserves. And it uses this to bully Eastern and Western Europe. It threatens to cut off these resources if Europe dares to complain about Putin power-grabs in Crimea, eastern Ukraine, the Baltics, and elsewhere.

But enter President Donald Trump. In his brilliant speech in Warsaw, Poland, earlier this week, he called Putin’s energy bluff.

President Trump made it clear that America was willing to become a supplier of energy to Europe. The moves that will make that a reality are already taking place.

The article concludes:

In short, with the free-market policies he’s putting in place in America’s energy sector and throughout the U.S. economy, the businessman president fully intends to destroy Russia’s energy-market share.

And as that takes hold, Russia’s gas-station economy will sink further. And as that takes hold, bully-boy Putin will have to think twice about Ukraine, Poland, and the Baltics. He’ll have to think twice about his anti-American policies in the Middle East and North Korea. And he’ll have to think twice about his increasingly precarious position as the modern-day Russian tsar.

And the world may yet become a safer place.

Trump has Putin over a barrel.

And that is how you take power without firing a shot. The free market wins again.

 

Just Repeal–Don’t Replace

The current ObamaCare bill is rapidly collapsing. It was designed that way. The plan was that Hillary Clinton would get elected and we would move to single-payer (totally government-controlled) healthcare. The fact that Donald Trump got elected and isn’t playing the Washington establishment’s games is a problem for those that want government healthcare. That is one of the reasons they are trying so hard to demonize him and get rid of him.

The Washington Free Beacon posted an article yesterday about the current state of ObamaCare.

The article reports:

Roughly 41 percent of counties in the United States could have only one insurer participating on the Affordable Care Act exchanges next year, according to a new analysis from Avalere Health.

This percentage is up from the lack of participation in 2017, when roughly one-third of counties, or 33 percent, had only one insurer participating on the exchanges.

According to their count, there will be 47 counties that will have no insurer participating on the exchange leaving about 34,000 consumers with no choice.

…”In addition to the cost of premiums, insurer decisions around whether or not to offer plans in the exchanges will impact shoppers,” said Caroline Pearson, senior vice president of the group. “Consumers will see fewer choices on the exchange again in 2018, with some counties at risk of having no options.”

This is not what success looks like. ObamaCare has been a failure. The best replacement would be to let the free market rule. Tax credits could be used to help lower income people afford health insurance, but the free market would make healthcare more affordable for everyone.

There are a few principles that would reform healthcare in a way that would benefit everyone–portability across state lines, tort reform, high risk pools for people with pre-existing conditions, and letting the companies with the actuary tables determine rates. The government does not have a stellar record when it comes to running things. There are very few government programs that are not wasteful, inefficient, and expensive. We don’t need another government money pit. It’s time to repeal ObamaCare. Then the debate on its replacement can begin.

Making Americans Safer

The Daily Caller posted an article today stating that the Supreme Court will review the lower court decisions blocking President Trump’s temporary travel ban on people from terrorist countries. Until the Supreme Court hears the case, the travel ban will be in effect.

The article explains exactly what the Supreme Court’s decision to take the case means:

“We grant the government’s applications to stay the injunctions, to the extent the injunctions prevent enforcement of 2(c) with respect to foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

Two classes of foreign national from the six countries named in the order may still enter the United States; aliens with relatives in America, or individuals with a meaningful connection to corporate entities and educational institutions in the United States will not be affected by the order.

“To prevent the government from pursuing that objective by enforcing 2(c) against foreign nationals unconnected to the United States would appreciably injure its interests, without alleviating obvious hardship to anyone else,” the Court wrote.

The Court also will allow the order’s ban on refugee entry to take effect, with the same exceptions it provided for the travel ban.

As such, most of the president’s order will take effect within the next few days.

Hopefully, this will limit the ability of terrorists to carry out the same type of attacks we have seen in England and Europe recently.

Circular Logic Used To Justify Breaking The Law

The following post is based on two articles–one from The New York Post yesterday and one from Scott Johnson at Power Line Blog today.

The New York Post article states that the company Fusion GPS (the company that commissioned the Russian intelligence dossier on then candidate Trump) has blocked Congressional investigators from looking at its connection to the Democratic Party.

The article at The New York Post reports:

Fusion GPS was on the payroll of an unidentified Democratic ally of Clinton when it hired a long-retired British spy to dig up dirt on Trump. In 2012, Democrats hired Fusion GPS to uncover dirt on GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. And in 2015, Democrat ally Planned Parenthood retained Fusion GPS to investigate pro-life activists protesting the abortion group.

More, federal records show a key co-founder and partner in the firm was a Hillary Clinton donor and supporter of her presidential campaign.

In September 2016, while Fusion GPS was quietly shopping the dirty dossier on Trump around Washington, its co-founder and partner Peter R. Fritsch contributed at least $1,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund and the Hillary For America campaign, Federal Election Commission data show. His wife also donated money to Hillary’s campaign.

Property records show that in June 2016, as Clinton allies bankrolled Fusion GPS, Fritsch bought a six-bedroom, five-bathroom home in Bethesda, Md., for $2.3 million.

Fritsch did not respond to requests for comment. A lawyer for Fusion GPS said the firm’s work is confidential.

Sources say Fusion GPS had its own interest, beyond those of its clients, in promulgating negative gossip about Trump.

Why is this important? Because the first FISA request to tap the Trump campaign was turned down. The second was approved after this dossier was leaked.

The Power Line article explains:

I remain convinced that the FISA warrants that were twice sought to target associates of Trump (and possibly Trump himself) are the key to blowing up the Russia narrative. As Andy McCarthy regularly points out, it was all done under the cloak of a counterintelligence (CI) investigation–and FISA techniques are at the heart of any CI investigation. Any FISA application encapsulates most of the predication for the investigation itself, and without FISA techniques the investigation likely goes nowhere. In a CI investigation focused on a foreign power, that’s not a problem since FISA on the foreign power (say, Russia) is already in place–all that needs to be done is to identify a foreign national as the agent of that power (Russia) and, presto, you get FISA coverage of anything that’s not already covered.

Where it becomes an acute problem is when the CI investigation is a ruse to cover domestic spying on political opponents. In that case FISA on the foreign power is of no use–not if, as appears to be the case, there was no significant contact or collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. If, in fact, the real target was Trump himself–and we are told that Trump himself was named in the rejected July 2016 FISA application–you need to gin up a FISA on someone who really IS in contact with Trump, no matter how far-fetched the reasoning. Carter Page? He’ll do in a pinch, right?

The Power Line article concludes with an observation on the changed culture of the FBI:

With respect to possible corruption of the FBI: I regret to say that the process began in earnest under Bush, who appointed Mueller. An acquaintance recently complained that the Bureau was no longer what it used to be, or maybe never had been. I maintained that the institutional culture was changed through the Legal Counsel Division. That’s how it always work in America, isn’t it? If you want to enforce Liberal/PC norms, you change the lawyers.

Formerly, the Bureau’s legal division, and most top administrations positions, was/were staffed with Special Agents who were lawyers. Under Mueller, outsiders were increasingly brought in, including to Legal Counsel Division. For example: Andrew Weissman, who twice did stints at the FBI, and is now a top guy on Mueller’s Special Counsel team. That kind of back and forth between the FBI and private practice and/or other agencies was previously absolutely unheard of. And the choice tells you pretty much all you need to know about Mueller…

It is time to fire the special prosecutor and his staff. They truly are on a witch hunt which was planned before President Trump was elected. If they are successful, then the votes of the American people are worthless–the bureaucrats in Washington have won.

Why Most Americans Don’t Trust Politicians

Yesterday Breitbart posted an article which illustrates why Americans don’t trust politicians.

The article reports:

In a statement delivered on the Senate floor, Grassley (Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA)) said that in March, former FBI Director James Comey had told him, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and the group of Senate and House members known as the “Gang of Eight” that the president was not under investigation.

But Schumer, who is part of the Gang of Eight, continued to tell the media Trump was under investigation, Grassley said.

 “That helped feed the media hysteria,” he said. “The Minority Leader even tried to say that the Senate shouldn’t vote on the Supreme Court nomination because the president was under investigation. And the whole time, he knew it wasn’t true.”

In once instance, Schumer told reporters on March 21, “There is a cloud now hanging over the head of the president, and while that’s happening, to have a lifetime appointment made by this president seems very unseemly and there ought to be a delay.”

Grassley said it was not until months later that it came to light, on May 12, when Trump revealed in a letter firing Comey that the FBI director had told him three times he was not under investigation.

Grassley also said he had asked Comey to come out and tell the public Trump was not under investigation, but he had refused to do so over a hypothetical situation where he might have to correct the record.

Now, because some of our so-called leaders in Washington refused to be honest, we have a special prosecutor spending millions of taxpayer money investigating something that never happened. Worse than that, the special prosecutor has put together a team of political hacks that will pursue political interests over truth–all at taxpayers’ expense.

It truly is time to throw the bums out and replace them with people who actually care about America more than they care about political expediency.

How Is He Doing?

Today The Gateway Pundit posted an evaluation of President Trump’s first five months in office. The evaluation will come as a shock to anyone who watches the mainstream media, but to those Americans who do their own research, the results are not surprising.

The article reports President Trump’s impact on the Stock Market:

* The DOW daily closing stock market average has risen 17% since the election on November 8th. (On November 9th the DOW closed at 18,332 – on June 16th the DOW closed at 21,384 for another all time record closing high).
* Since the Inauguration on January 20th the DOW is up 8%. (It was at 19,827 at January 20th.)
* The DOW took just 66 days to climb from 19,000 to above 21,000, the fastest 2,000 point run ever. The DOW closed above 19,000 for the first time on November 22nd and closed above 21,000 on March 1st.
* The DOW closed above 20,000 on January 25th and the March 1st rally matched the fastest-ever 1,000 point increase in the DOW at 24 days.
* On February 28th President Trump matched President Reagan’s 1987 record for most continuous closing high trading days when the DOW reached a new high for its 12th day in a row!
* The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ have both set new all-time highs during this period.
* The US Stock Market gained $2 trillion in wealth since Trump was elected!
* The S&P 500 also broke $20 Trillion for the first time in its history.
 

So how does this compare with President Obama’s first few months? The stock markets under President Obama moved in the exact opposite direction in the seven months after President Obama’s election win in November 2008.

The article then reminds us of the impact President Trump has had on the national debt:

President Trump has also had a positive impact on the overall economic outlook:

Economic Outlook

The US Manufacturing Index soared to a 33 year high in February 2017 shortly after President Trump was sworn into office. The index reached 43 in February which was the best outlook since 1983 under President Reagan.

In Obama’s first five months in office (January through May of 2009) the best manufacturing index activity rating was a negative -22.

The difference here is greater than 50% with Obama again in the wrong direction.

It is time to leave this man alone and let him do his job. Even with the garbage that is being thrown at him, he is accomplishing things that need to be accomplished. Please follow the link to The Gateway Pundit article to see the entire list of achievements since January.

 

Unfortunately The Odds Are Against An Honest Investigation

Someone once said, “It’s not the people who vote that count. It’s the people who count the votes.” The same thing applies to investigations. If you look back on the history of Watergate, which I believe is the Democratic template guiding their current activities, you find out that Archibald Cox was a close friend of the Kennedy family and that the majority of the investigators he was working with came from the Bobby Kennedy team that investigated organized crime. There was no way that this was going to be a non-partisan group. This was a group of people who wanted to see Ted Kennedy elected President. They managed to turn a fourth rate burglary into a Presidential resignation. I believe that is the primary goal of those who supported Robert Mueller as a special prosecutor to find Russian involvement in the 2016 election. The secondary goal is to tie up the Trump Administration with lawsuits so that the Trump Agenda cannot move forward. There is no desire here to do what is right for the American people. This is simply the deep state gaining a legal foothold.

Yesterday Lifezette posted an article about the team Robert Mueller is assembling.

The article lists some members of the team:

One of the hires, Jeannie Rhee, also worked as a lawyer for the Clinton Foundation and helped persuade a federal judge to block a conservative activist’s attempts to force Bill and Hillary Clinton to answer questions under oath about operations of the family-run charity.

Campaign-finance reports show that Rhee gave Clinton the maximum contributions of $2,700 in 2015 and again last year to support her presidential campaign. She also donated $2,300 to Obama in 2008 and $2,500 in 2011. While still at the Justice Department, she gave $250 to the Democratic National Committee Services Corp.

The Clinton Foundation took large amounts of money from Russia. Do you think Ms. Rhee is going to want to investigate how much of that money was used in the campaign or exactly where it came from?

The list continues:

James Quarles, who worked on the Watergate investigation as a young prosecutor, has an even longer history of supporting Democratic politicians. He gave $1,300 to Obama in 2007 and $2,300 in 2008. He also gave $2,700 to Clinton last year.

Not exactly politically neutral.

And there’s more:

Andrew Weissmann, a former Justice Department lawyer who now is at Jenner & Block, contributed $2,300 to Obama in 2008 and $2,000 to the DNC Services Corp. in 2006. Weissmann served as chief of the Justice Department’s criminal fraud section and worked on the Enron fraud case.

A fourth lawyer on Mueller’s staff, Michael Dreeben, donated $1,000 to Clinton 2006 and $250 to Obama in both 2007 and 2008. He was deputy solicitor general and has appeared many times before the Supreme Court.

I know it would be politically unwise to fire the special prosecutor, but now that it has been stated numerous times that there was no connection between the Trump campaign and Russia, why are we still paying for this investigation? Is the special prosecutor going to investigate the unmasking of American citizens after taping their phone calls? Is the special prosecutor going to find out why the DNC would not let the FBI look at their computers after claiming that Russia had hacked them? Is the special prosecutor going to finally investigate Hillary’s private server and its security risks? I seriously doubt it.

Unfortunately we are in for an extended period of political theater. The political left is not interested in seeing America succeed–they are only interested in regaining the control they lost in the last election. If you doubt this, I would like to remind you of some recent history of special prosecutors. Patrick Fitzgerald charged Scooter Libby with revealing the identity of Valerie Plame. It was known when the investigation started that Richard Armitage was the leaker, but Scooter Libby was charged on a ‘process crime.’ He said something under oath that turned out to be not true (evidently his memory was not perfect–it was a minor point). Meanwhile, Valerie Plame, undercover agent, drove to CIA Headquarters every day to go to work. This is how twisted an investigation by a special prosecutor with an agenda can get.

Fake News Has Been Rampant Since President Trump Was Elected

The National Review posted an article yesterday that cited numerous examples of lies told to the American people by our media and so-called leaders in recent months. All of the liars knew at the time of their statements that the statements were not true. The article cited multiple examples of boldfaced lies Americans were encouraged to believe.

The article reports:

But with Comey’s repeated and emphatic testimony that Trump was not under investigation, we have some new revisionist history: wildly backtracking liberals and Democrats claiming that nobody ever said Trump was under FBI investigation. And this is simply untrue. Here’s a sampling of what Democrats, liberals, and the media were saying back when Comey was privately reassuring Trump that he wasn’t under investigation:

Salon, January 20 headline: “The FBI is leading an investigation into Donald Trump’s connections with Russia” — first line, “The FBI is leading a multi-agency investigation into possible links between Russian officials and President-elect Donald Trump.” Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, March 20: “The FBI is investigating a sitting President. Been a long time since that happened.”

…The Times: “Mr. Comey placed a criminal investigation at the doorstep of the White House and said officers would pursue it ‘no matter how long that takes.’” Russell Berman in The Atlantic, March 20 headline: “It’s Official: The FBI Is Investigating Trump’s Links to Russia”

DemocracyNow! March 22 headline on that Schumer speech: “Sen. Schumer Calls on Democrats to Boycott Neil Gorsuch Vote While Trump is Under FBI Investigation”

Rachel Maddow March 24 headline: “Schumer: Wrong to vote on Gorsuch while Trump under investigation.” Schumer told Maddow that “to have a president under investigation, appoint a lifetime appointment, it’s wrong.”

…John Aravosis at AmericaBlog, May 9 headline: “Trump fires FBI Director Comey, the man investigating Trump for treason”

The article concludes:

But in light of Comey’s repeated confirmation that the FBI was never investigating Trump during his tenure at the FBI, and that he had privately briefed both Trump and Congress to that effect, a whole lot of people — starting with Chuck Schumer and Elizabeth Warren — owe President Trump an apology.

The media and the Democrats set the narrative. It didn’t matter that it was a lie. There are still a large number of Americans who believe the FBI was investigating President Trump. That is a problem for our representative republic. How can people make educated decisions about voting when they are being lied to?

 

 

 

A New Low In Political Discourse

I really did not think that those who have decided to oppose President Trump because he had the nerve to win the 2016 election could stoop any lower. I guess I was wrong.

Mediate is reporting today about the latest production of Shakespeare in the Park in New York City. Shakespeare in the Park in the past has done wonderful things–Pirates of Penzance was absolutely awesome. Unfortunately they have forgotten that their purpose is entertainment.

Mediate reports:

Shakespeare in the Park, an annual summer program by The Public Theater that puts on plays by William Shakespeare in Central Park, kicked off May 23 with a performance of Julius Caesar.

But this rendition of Shakespeare’s tragedy comes with a twist — Caesar is played by a character that bears a striking resemblance to President Donald Trump.

…”The actor playing Caesar was dressed in a business suit, with a royal blue tie, hanging a couple inches below the belt line, with reddish-blonde hair — just like Trump,” Sheaffer (Laura Sheaffer, a sales manager at Salem Media) told Mediaite.

“I always go to Shakespeare in the park, but I wasn’t expecting to see this,” Sheaffer said, adding that the script was mostly loyal to the original Shakespeare, and that there was no explicit reference to the American president, though the intention was “blatantly obvious.”

In the scene before Caesar is assassinated, his wife Calpurnia begs him to stay away from the Senate, claiming she is having nightmares of his murder. According to Sheaffer, the actress playing Calpurnia bore a resemblance to first lady Melania Trump — replete with a “Slavic accent.”

Shaeffer also noted that in the scene, the actor playing Trump Caesar steps out of a bathtub stark naked, which she said struck her as disrespectful, and a “mockery of the office of the President.”

In the next scene the Trumpian Caesar is attacked by the Senators and stabbed to death as an American flag hovers overhead, according to Shaeffer. “They had the full murder scene onstage, and blood was spewing everywhere out of his body.”

This isn’t funny, it’s not entertainment, and it is not suitable for any audience. I don’t understand how this is acceptable as Shakespeare or as a political statement.

Blatantly Ignoring The Protocol

In the days when we elected people to the White House who at least wanted to seem like gentlemen, it was understood that when you left office, you removed yourself from the spotlight and went on your way. Former President Obama not only did not get that message, he has chosen to be a totally sore loser after his party’s candidate lost.

Last Thursday, The Washington Times posted an article about some of former President Obama’s recent antics. It is very obvious that former President Obama is working very hard to undermine the Trump Administration. Hopefully the American public is smart enough to ignore his efforts.

The article reports:

Mr. Obama joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin to lecture America and the West to quit being so beastly to the strivers of the Third World, and open wider the borders of the West. “We can’t isolate ourselves,” the former president said from a platform at the Brandenburg Gate. “We can’t hide behind a wall.”

This is the message that resonates with Mrs. Merkel and many of the Europeans, even it strikes a sour note at home and even in Britain, coming just days after the spawn of a Libyan immigrant murdered nearly two dozen Britons, including several children, and then blew himself up at a concert arena in Manchester.

 Timing is everything, as the man said, and the president in exile used his appearance in Berlin as a coming-out party after nearly six months of playing celebrity in borrowed houses across the South Seas and the Caribbean, playing at golf instead of government. But boredom set it and when Frau Merkel agreed to receive him as a fellow head of state, well, why not? She knew she could count on him to deliver platitudes and goo-goo worthy of an American president in exile.

“One way we can do a better job is to create more opportunities for people in their home countries,” Mr. Obama said. “If there are disruptions in these countries, if there is bad governance, if there is war, or if there is poverty in this new world we live in, we can’t isolate ourselves — we can’t hide behind a wall.”

The comment about the wall is an amazing statement from someone who spent serious money to build a wall around his Washington residence.

Some of former President Obama’s actions as President were questionable at best. For example:

Mr. Obama might think (though the Secret Service probably doesn’t) that he is safe from illegal immigrants up to no good simply because of who he is. But more bad timing: Only one day after the former president’s tryst with Frau Merkel, Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, revealed that Customs and Border Protection had released, at Mr. Obama’s direction, 16 members of the remarkably brutal MS-13 gang, freed to look at will for opportunities to kill and plunder.

“[The federal authorities] apprehended them, knew they were MS-13 gang members, and they processed them into our communities,” the senator told his committee.

Former President Obama’s lack of respect for the unwritten rule of removing himself from the public spotlight after leaving office is another illustration of the self-centeredness of the man. I suspect the only way he will leave the spotlight is to have the American people ignore him as irrelevant. I am hoping that will happen.

A Quick Summary Of The Trump Economy

Elections have consequences. Thank goodness that one of the consequences of the 2016 presidential election is a rollback of some of the regulations that were crippling the American economy. The Gateway Pundit has a summary of what has happened to the American economy under President Trump:

The DOW daily closing stock market average has risen nearly 14% since the election on November 8th. (On November 9th the DOW closed at 18,332 – on May 19th the DOW closed at 20,804).
* Since the Inauguration on January 20th the DOW is up 5%. (It was at 19,827 at January 20th.)
* The DOW took just 66 days to climb from 19,000 to above 21,000, the fastest 2,000 point run ever. The DOW closed above 19,000 for the first time on November 22nd and closed above 21,000 on March 1st.
* The DOW closed above 20,000 on January 25th and the March 1st rally matched the fastest-ever 1,000 point increase in the DOW at 24 days.
 * On February 28th President Trump matched President Reagan’s 1987 record for most continuous closing high trading days when the DOW reached a new high for its 12th day in a row!
* The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ have both set new all-time highs during this period.
* The US Stock Market gained $2 trillion in wealth since Trump was elected!
* The S&P 500 also broke $20 Trillion for the first time in its history.

Somehow this news has escaped the mainstream media.

The article also includes the following:

The article goes on to list job statistics and home sales statistics. I strongly suggest that you follow the link to read the entire article.

The article concludes:

In Summary

President Obama left President Trump with a weak economy and all sorts of domestic and foreign policy nightmares.  To date President Trump has had little time to address all of these messes but if he handles these as well as he has the economy Americans will soon be in a much better and safer place.

Overall based on the above data it is clear that President Trump is doing a solid, if not excellent job.

The mainstream liberal media won’t report this, but when looking at the economy, President Trump the businessman thumps the former community organizer Barack Obama.

Despite what the media is telling us, this does not sound like a White House in chaos. It sounds like a White House that is getting the country back on a solid economic footing despite tremendous opposition from the media.

After A While It Just Gets Silly

Yesterday Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial reminding us of how many times we have watched the Democrats and the media attempt to bring down a President. It worked once. The Democrats and media liked the experience so much that they have been trying to duplicate it ever since.

The editorial reminds us:

On May 1, 1981, thousands of protesters marched in Washington to denounce President Reagan‘s economic and social policies. The event was billed as ”Days of Resistance to Roll Back Reaganism.” (Sound familiar?) At the event, at least two speakers called for impeaching Reagan.

”Our purpose is to turn this country around,” one said. ”Getting rid of Reagan is the first step.”

In early 1983, Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., said Reagan should be impeached “for incompetence.” Later that year, he called for impeaching Reagan over his military action in Grenada.

Jesse Jackson wanted Reagan impeached in 1984 for mining Nicaragua’s harbors. Texas Rep. Henry Gonzalez and six other Democrats introduced a resolution to impeach Reagan in 1987 over the Iran-Contra affair.

Gonzalez pushed to have President George H.W. Bush impeached in 1991 because of the Gulf War.

Reps. Dennis Kucinich and Robert Wexler introduced 35 articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush in 2004 that centered on the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, global warming and the 2004 elections.

Conyers filed a resolution in 2005 calling for Bush’s impeachment, and was still publicly advocating it by 2007. And Kucinich kept pushing for impeachment into Bush’s last months in office.

Most of these efforts were aided and abetted by the media. It is truly a shame that our Fourth Estate has chosen to become a Fifth Column.

The article continues:

Heck, Rep. Maxine Waters — who is currently making a big stink about impeaching Trump — first called for his impeachment before Trump was inaugurated. Rep. Alan Grayson was talking up Trump’s impeachment before he’d even secured the Republican nomination.

What is newsworthy, however, is the fact that some Democrats outside the Beltway — as well as some inside the Beltway — are urging their colleagues to get a grip.

In an interview with Politico that aired online this week, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel warned that the party’s monomaniacal focus on the president wasn’t doing anything to make Democrats more appealing to voters who cast ballots for Trump last November.

“We don’t talk about and fight for the middle class like we are,” he said. “We believe we’re for them, but they don’t — if they don’t hear we’re for them, then we got a problem.”

Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere said Emanuel “thinks everyone in Washington is too focused on the crazy around Trump to see what’s actually going on — and what’s not.”

Meanwhile, the American voters are not buying into this garbage. They are looking at the economic improvement, the reduction in regulations, and efforts to help the middle class made by the Trump Administration.

It is really wild when the sane Democrat on the subject of impeachment is Dennis Kucinich, not known for always being the most rational voice in the room. This is his comment:

“This is about the political process of the United States of America being under attack by intelligence agencies and individuals in those agencies,” he told Fox News’ Sean Hannity on Wednesday.

“You have politicization of agencies that is resulting in leaks from anonymous, unknown people and the intention is to take down a president,” he said. “Now, this is very dangerous to America. It’s a threat to our republic. It constitutes a clear and present danger to our way of life.”

The American people voted. In three years they will get to vote again. If the Democrats continue to behave like spoiled two-year-olds, they can expect to continue to lose elections. That’s fine with me.

A Few Reminders About Current Accusations

I don’t even have the words to explain how tired I am of hearing the accusation that Russia helped Donald Trump win the election. The obvious answer to this charge is ‘how?’ However, as this charge is bandied about, there are a few things that need to be noted.

The investigation into the so-called Russian interference began with an alliance between John Brennan, CIA Director, and British Intelligence. In April I reported (here) that the ex-MI6 agent who created the dossier that accused President Trump of behaving badly in Russia was being paid by Fusion GPS to perform opposition research against Donald Trump. That dossier was part of the basis for the wiretapping and investigation into Donald Trump and Russia.

I want to back up and take a look at one of the people involved in the charges against President Trump regarding Russia. I would like to note at this point that so far there is no evidence of any wrongdoing between President Trump and Russia. But let’s look at who is involved in the investigation.

John Brennan was Director of the CIA until President Trump took office. When President Trump took office, John Brennan was replaced by Mike Pompeo. It was assumed in 2016 that the next President of the United States would be Hillary Clinton. There were a lot of people in Washington doing a lot of things to ensure that they would remain in their positions under a Clinton presidency. FBI Director Comey probably would have assured his position in the new administration by his July press conference where he listed the charges against Hillary Clinton and invented a new reason not to prosecute her–she didn’t intentionally break the law. John Brennan would have preferred a Hillary Clinton presidency because she would have continued President Obama’s policies that chose to ignore the relationship between Islam and terrorism.

It is important to remember that in October 2011, then Assistant to the President for Homeland Security, John Brennan, received a letter from Farhana Khera, President and Executive Director of Muslim Advocates. The letter demanded an embargo or discontinuation of information and materials relating to Islamic-based terrorism. The letter insisted that officers, analysts, special agents, and decision-makers who created or made these materials available be fired or re-trained. In 2012, that purge was executed. Evidently, John Brennan was not serious about dealing with Islamic terrorism. President Trump obviously takes a different view.

There is a swamp in Washington that needs to be drained. All efforts to drain this swamp will be met by resistance by the Washington elite, the media, and those in the swamp seeking to retain their jobs. Please keep this in mind as you follow the news and attempt to sort fact from fiction. Keep in mind that Russia had no reason to help Donald Trump win the election and every reason to want Hillary Clinton to become President–in addition to the fact that Hillary could be blackmailed (her private server was probably hacked by at least three or four foreign powers), Hillary had been such a failure at the State Department, there was no reason to believe that she would actually accomplish anything as President. It should be noted here that frequent flyer miles are not an accomplishment.

While the media is attempting to distract us with a totally irrelevant and useless investigation of cooperation between candidate Trump and Russia, they are ignoring a lot. There have been some major accomplishments during the beginning of the Trump Administration–undoing some of the regulations that are crippling American businesses, discussions with foreign leaders that have led to some apparent cooperation between the U.S. and China, and some substantial reductions in government spending. These have been overlooked (I believe purposely) in favor of a fake scandal. It is time to realize that the mainstream media has become a force for political propaganda. Because of that, they need to be ignored.

It Wasn’t A Unilateral Decision

This article is based on two sources–an article posted at Lifezette today and an article from the BBC, also dated today.

The article at Lifezette reminds us that until President Trump fired FBI Director Comey, the Democrats wanted Director Comey fired.

The article reports:

Comey, being Comey, closed the new investigation in record time, ending the investigation two days before Election Day and enraging Republicans by publicly declaring he still would not recommend charges against Clinton.

Schumer indicated Comey’s handling of the matter was a deal-breaker.

“I do not have confidence in him any longer,” Schumer said of Comey on Nov. 2.

Schumer called Comey’s letter to Congress “appalling.”

Schumer is far from the only Democrat who has questioned Comey’s judgement or called for his firing.

…”This is not fake news. Intelligence officials are hiding connections to the Russian government. There is no question,” then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said in a Dec. 10 interview on MSNBC. “Comey knew and deliberately kept this info a secret,” he said.

The MSNBC host asked Reid if Comey should resign. “Of course, yes,” Reid replied.

 Comey’s decision to publicly reopen the Clinton investigation drove Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) to also demand the FBI director resign.

“I called on FBI Director James Comey to resign his position after his recent communication with members of Congress regarding the bureau’s review of emails potentially related to Hillary Clinton’s personal email server,” Cohen wrote in a Nov. 3 op-ed published in The Hill.

It gets better.

The BBC posted a copy of the letter written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein recommending that Director Comey be fired. Follow the link above to read the entire letter.

Director Comey made some unusual decisions during the run-up to the November 2016 election. There are some valid questions as to whether or not the FBI was politicized under President Obama. It is very obvious that the Justice Department was compromised, but the jury is still out on the FBI.

I don’t know whether or not this is part of draining the swamp. I do know that draining the swamp is going to be a long term, ongoing operation, and I wish President Trump all the best in doing that.

I Will Be Surprised If ObamaCare Is Repealed

Republicans have the votes to repeal ObamaCare. They have proven that the other sixteen times they voted to repeal ObamaCare. It was safe to vote for repeal before President Trump was sworn in because they knew there would be a veto coming from the White House. Now that there won’t be a veto, they have lost the courage of their convictions (as if they actually have convictions).

ObamaCare is another entitlement program. Getting rid of an entitlement program is almost impossible. The people who are benefiting from the program don’t want to give it up (even though the people paying for it want to get rid of it as soon as possible).  That is why many Republicans want to keep ObamaCare.

Betsy McCaughey, who has actually read the original ObamaCare bill and followed the issue of ObamaCare closely, posted an article at Investor’s Business Daily today.

The article reports:

The House vote on the GOP‘s ObamaCare repeal bill vote is down to the wire, with dozens of Republicans waffling as “undecideds.” What’s the hold-up? Ninety-six percent of people who have to buy their own insurance stand to benefit from this bill, which will likely drive down premiums by double digits.

The remaining 4% — those with pre-existing conditions — will be protected by a federal fund to subsidize their insurance costs. They won’t get priced out of the market, because the fund will pay the lion’s share of their premiums.

But some Republicans are running scared. Although the bill solves two problems — lowering premiums and protecting people with pre-existing conditions — these fence sitters are worried about something else — getting re-elected.

As a member of the New York delegation put it, the issue is “optics.” They’re cowed by the media’s false reports that the GOP is abandoning people with pre-existing conditions.

It is a fact of life that in America we have a political class that would rather get re-elected than do what is best for America. That is one of the main reasons Donald Trump was elected President. Voters hoped he would change that.

The article explains how some individual states have handled healthcare reform:

New York, New Jersey and several other states ruined their individual insurance markets two decades ago by imposing community pricing, which drove out healthy buyers. Lawmakers in those states would be smart to wise up, get a waiver and offer low prices to most buyers. But don’t count on it, at least not in New York.

But several states — Alaska, Minnesota, Idaho and Oklahoma among them — have already acted, without waiting for Congress. They used state funds to help cover the sickest people, and relieve pressure on healthy premium payers. Alaska averted a 40 percent premium hike that way last year.

To summarize: The funding is adequate and the approach works. Spineless politicians whining about “optics” should look in the mirror. What’s they’re really missing is backbone.

The first repeal of ObamaCare bill was a bad bill, and its defeat was a good thing. The courageous (and correct) thing for Congress to do would be to reintroduce one of its past repeal bills and simply let the chips fall where they may. However, as that would take courage, it is highly unlikely.

This Is Not A Surprise

The Washington Free Beacon is reporting today that Iran is using the money that it was paid as part of the Iranian nuclear deal to fund an unprecedented military buildup.

The article reports:

Iran is using the billions in cash resources provided under the landmark nuclear deal to engage in an unprecedented military buildup meant to transform the Islamic Republic’s fighting force into an “offensive” juggernaut, according to a largely unreported announcement by Iranian military leaders that has sparked concern among U.S. national security insiders and sources on Capitol Hill.

Iranian officials announced late last month that Iran’s defense budget had increased by 145 percent under President Hassan Rouhani and that the military is moving forward with a massive restructuring effort aimed at making it “a forward moving force,” according to regional reports.

Iranian leaders have stated since the Iran deal was enacted that they are using the massive amounts of cash released under the agreement to fund the purchase of new military equipment and other armaments. Iran also has pursued multi-million dollar arms deals with Russia since economic sanctions were nixed as part of the deal.

Iran is not our friend and has been funding weapons used against American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan since American troops got there. We need to remember that the goal of Iran is to establish a caliphate with Iran in charge. Iran is currently working with Russia to support the current regime in Syria and is working to fight ISIS. ISIS also wants to set up a caliphate. The difference is Sunni and Shiite. ISIS is the remnants of the Baathist regime that ruled Iraq with Saddam Hussein, Sunni Muslims. Iran is Shiite Muslim.  A caliphate set up by either group would be ruled by a brutal regime according to Sharia Law–women would be second-class citizens, homosexuals would be killed, and freedom of religion would not be allowed. The establishment of that caliphate by Iran is what the large amounts of cash given to Iran by the Obama Administration will be used to attempt.

The article concludes:

One senior congressional source tracking the matter expressed concern about the safety of U.S. forces in the region, which already are routinely harassed by Iranian military personnel.

“This is certainly grounds for concern,” the source said. “An Iranian military buildup coupled with an offensive posture is a threat to the United States and our allies. This also serves as an important reminder of why the Obama administration’s cash infusion to Iran was so dangerous.”

The cash windfall provided by the United States and European countries is “fungible and hence can be used for everything from sponsoring terror proxies to developing ballistic missiles,” the source warned. “Congress will continue to take action to counter Iranian terrorism and ensure this regime never acquires a nuclear weapon.”

Iran’s military announcement has already sparked a renewed push on Capitol Hill to reimpose economic sanctions on Iran.

“The Iranians know that the party will end this fall, when Congress will pass bipartisan legislation that begins to roll back Iran’s military growth,” one senior congressional adviser working on the sanctions effort told the Free Beacon.

“The Obama administration avoided any serious action for years, and so Iran kept growing its arsenal and using it against our allies, against Syrian civilians, and increasingly against our military,” said the source. “Now they’re rushing to accomplish as much as they can before Congress and the Trump administration get around to reversing Obama’s policies.”

Let’s hope Congress reverses this policy. They haven’t shown the spine yet to reverse much of anything. If Congress cannot reverse a policy that puts American soldiers at risk, then they should be made to put on uniforms to get a new perspective.

It’s All A Matter Of Perspective

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about the American economy under President Trump. The article mentioned that the media is calling the 0.7% growth in the first quarter of 2017 a “lackluster beginning.” Somehow lost in that comment is the fact that President Trump did not take office until the end of January and that the Democrats in Congress have slow walked his cabinet appointments and obstructed anything he has attempted to do. Other than that, they have cooperated fully in helping improve the American economy.

The article reminds us:

CBS and the Associated Press tell us the first quarter’s “lackluster beginning … marks the first quarterly economic report card for President Donald Trump, who has vowed to rev up the U.S. economy.”

The Wall Street Journal, which should know better, called the number “the broadest report card on the economy in the nearly 100 days since President Donald Trump took office pledging a return to faster growth. …”

Bloomberg correctly stated that “the first-quarter figure isn’t a verdict on President Donald Trump’s policies,” but then added that economists are “generally skeptical that growth will reach his goal of 3% to 4% on a sustained basis.”

To start with, it’s simply not correct on any level to call this GDP number a “report card” on Trump. He hasn’t been in office long enough to take credit or blame for the GDP number, which, as any economist will tell you, is heavily influenced by policies in place well before the number ever comes out. That means President Obama.

The article contrasts the skepticism about President Trump with the mainstream media’s fawning over President Obama when he took office:

We tried to find mainstream media critiques of Obama’s policies early in 2009, but there were virtually none. In Obama’s defense, he did face a 6.1% decline in GDP in his first quarter. But no one blamed him for that. Instead, there was lavish praise, even as he stumbled from error to error. They blamed Bush.

For instance, the Media Research Center quotes Time’s Joe Klein, who wrote: “The legislative achievements have been stupendous — the $789 billion stimulus bill, the budget plan that is still being hammered out (and may, ultimately, include the next landmark safety-net program, universal health insurance).”

The article correctly concludes:

Eight years later, here is Obama’s “report card”: Slowest economic expansion for any president since the Great Depression, averaging just 2%, with no annual growth of more than 3%. More than $6 trillion in deficits, and a doubling of the nation’s debt to $20 trillion. A decline in real median household incomes of more than $4,000. Drops in homeownership to the lowest level since 1966. Labor participation rates near three-decade lows.

Sure, give Trump some time, and he’ll generate his own grades. But the first quarter GDP number has little or nothing to do with him, and the media’s bias is showing in suggesting it does.

There is a reason many Americans are tuning out the mainstream media in droves. If the mainstream media continues on its present path, there will be about two or three people actually paying attention to what they say.

 

The Ever-Changing Story

There are some serious problems with the actions of the Obama Administration in terms of unmasking American citizens making phone calls. It is not an incredible coincidence that the unmasked citizens were people closely connected to the Trump presidential campaign. One name that has continually been mentioned as part of this unmasking is Susan Rice. She appeared on the Sunday News Shows (hasn’t she done that before?) today to explain her innocence.

The details are posted at Hot Air today.

Ms. Rice stated this morning:

Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice denied President Donald Trump’s claim that she tried to unmask Americans in an attempt to implicate Trump campaign officials, adding that she never did anything “untoward with respect to the intelligence” she received.

During an interview with CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” airing Sunday morning, Rice said Trump’s accusation is “absolutely false” and that members of Congress have not found anything inappropriate in the situation.

“I think now we’ve had subsequently members of Congress on the intelligence committees on both sides of the aisle take a look at the information that apparently was the basis for Chairman [Devin] Nunes’ concern, and say publicly that they didn’t see anything that was unusual or untoward,” Rice said, referring to the California Republican.

But what has she said before? The article reports:

You may recall that when the story first broke Rice spoke to Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC and at least heavily implied that Trump’s initial accusations were all some sort of fever swamp fantasies. (What she actually said was that she never leaked anything.) But before very long the details which emerged told a very different story. Within days it was revealed that she had, in fact, actively sought to have names revealed to her even if they had originally been picked up “incidentally.” Eventually we reached the point where the best they could say was that it appeared that she hadn’t done anything that was technically illegal.

Now, in the fashion so typical of politicians (as opposed to national security experts), she’s answering an entirely different question. Yes, she did get that information but she never did anything “unusual or untoward” with it. And why would we be so suspicious as to think she might have seen some value in data collected on people associated with the guy who was then in a heated battle to defeat the candidate who was promising to carry on her boss’s legacy? Perish the thought.

If the Justice Department has actually become the Justice Department rather than a political arm of the Democrat party, someone will be charged with a crime in this matter. The leaking of the names and information to the media was illegal. The leaking of the information was exactly what some members of Congress warned about when the Patriot Act was passed–that there would be eavesdropping on Americans that would be used for political purposes. What happened during the 2016 presidential campaign is an example of this. If no one is held accountable, it will continue to happen. That is not good news.

 

Has Sovereignty Become An Issue?

Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article today about the repeal of ObamaCare. That’s not so unusual, but some of the source of the pushback against the repeal is interesting.

The article reports:

Dana Milbank reports, with glee, that the United Nations “has contacted the Trump administration as part of an investigation into whether repealing [Obamacare] without an adequate substitute for the millions who would lose health coverage would be a violation of several international conventions that bind the United States.” The warning comes from the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner on Human Rights in Geneva.

The U.N. Human Rights Commission (now known as the Human Rights Council) purports to “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights,“ Its members include China, Cuba, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.

This would be laughable if it were not serious. So what is happening here? President Trump is not a globalist. Unfortunately for a number of decades, the American government has been run by globalists. Our recent Presidents have been in step with the United Nations and have done things that have put our national sovereignty in jeopardy. Evidently the globalist elites at the United Nations now feel that they have a valid voice on the American political landscape. That’s a notion that needs to be put to rest very quickly. It is a little upsetting to think that countries with such dismal human rights records as China, Cuba, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela feel free to criticize America because America does not want socialism. Let’s look at what poverty looks like in those countries versus what poverty looks like in America.

The article goes on to report:

By way of illustration, one of the provisions the U.N. relies on in this case is Article 5(e) of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, ratified by the U.S. in 1994. It calls on states to “guarantee the right of everyone” to, among other things, “public health, medical care, social security and social services” without regard to race or color.

It is not far-fetched to imagine lawsuits in U.S. courts based on claims that the government is violating this kind of “obligation” to which America agreed. How far-fetched is it to imagine left-liberal judges seriously entertaining such lawsuits? Not very, in my view.

In reality, pre-Obamacare America offered health care to everyone without regard to race or color. It provided poor Americans with free health care via Medicaid. Millions of other Americans received health insurance from their employer. The rest (except those with pre-existing conditions, a matter of real concern) were free to purchase health insurance, if they so desired. The market offered plans that were not expensive — my wife had one — at least not compared to the ones Americans are required to purchase under the Obamacare regime.

No one was denied health insurance due to race or color. Nor, to my knowledge, was anyone denied service — e.g. at an emergency room — on that basis.

The article concludes:

The U.N., through its “investigation,” is claiming the right to evaluate Obamacare replacement packages. In effect, it asserts the right to assess whether the replacement incentives measure up to the Obamacare incentives (inadequate though these are).

The U.N.’s infringement on our democracy is obvious.

It’s not surprising that elites in the rest of the world want to dictate to America. It’s not surprising that many of the left want such leftist elites to dictate to us. What’s surprising is that America has gone as far as it has to provide the tools with which claims like those being made by these elite, via bureaucrats in Geneva, can be asserted with a straight face.

When the United Nations begins to attempt to interfere in internal politics of its member countries, it is time for the United Nations to go away. We need to withdraw our membership, make them pay their parking tickets, and kick them out of the country.