The Real Key To The North Korea Negotiations

On Friday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the negotiations with North Korea over denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.  The article reminds us of the major role China has played and will play in the continuing talks.

The article reports:

…And at a press conference in Beijing with his Chinese counterpart, Mike Pompeo said, “We have made very clear that the sanctions and the economic relief that North Korea will receive will only happen after the full denuclearization, the complete denuclearization, of North Korea.”

Which is why Pompeo’s meetings in Beijing are decisive. Not only would North Korea’s nuclear program cease to exist without Chinese support. North Korea would disappear too. Some 90 percent of North Korea’s foreign trade is with China. And it was most likely China’s reluctant imposition of tough U.N. sanctions last spring that grabbed Kim’s attention. Now, with Singapore behind us, China is ready to ease the pressure. That cannot happen if denuclearization is to succeed.

Pompeo understands that in the midst of good feeling there is a tendency to look away from bad behavior, to excuse or rationalize autocratic probing for weakness and irresolution. Democracies often sacrifice both their principles and their interests in order to perpetuate abstract, meaningless, consequence-free diplomatic processes. If the Trump administration is to produce a different outcome than the Clinton, Bush, or Obama administrations, it must relax its posture only when North Korea provides tangible reasons to do so.

So you go to Beijing. Why? Because North Korea is but a part of a much larger puzzle: China’s rise to great power status.

Some might argue for going easy on Kim in order to free up resources to deal with China’s military, cultural, political, and economic challenge to American power. This gets it backward. Want to see results in North Korea? Resist Chinese hegemony. By opening up the space for strategic decision-making and pressuring China at several points at once, you make it more likely Xi Jinping will exert influence over his vassal. Just so we back off.

Indeed, China is worried that North Korea may cut its own deal with the United States and, like Vietnam and Laos, become a one-party state that nevertheless balances against the Middle Kingdom.

President Trump is the first American President to introduce a stick into the negotiations with North Korea and China (as well as a carrot). Because he is seen as an usual President, the tactic seems to be working. Hopefully it will continue to work.

The article concludes:

Let’s increase Xi’s blood pressure a little. There are plenty of options. For starters, kill the defense sequester. In addition to conducting freedom of navigation operations, penalize China for militarizing islands in the South China Sea. Levy tariffs. Sell the F-35 to Taiwan. Warn the region that, if negotiations with Kim fail, America may be forced to reintroduce the tactical nuclear missiles that were removed from the Korean peninsula in 1991.

Will China protest, and U.S. doves cry? Of course they will. But remember they did exactly the same thing last year—until maximum pressure forced China to act. And North Korea sang a different tune.

It Will Be Fun To Watch The Media’s Reaction To This

The Gateway Pundit is reporting today that Norwegians Christian Tybring-Gjedde, an MP, and former justice minister Per-Willy Amundsen have nominated President Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize. Remember that in 2009 President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He had been in office less than a year and really hadn’t accomplished much except apologizing on three continents for what he views as the sins of America and his predecessors. This was perfectly in line with those who award the prize–they have very little respect for the principles that make America free and strong.

President Trump deserves the award for beginning negotiations with Kim Jong Un. Obviously we have no idea how those negotiations will turn out, but talking is better than lobbing nuclear weapons. That is a step toward peace.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out–will the Nobel Peace Prize Committee take an honest look at the contribution to peace that President Trump has made to world peace or will they continue to allow politics to determine their choice to receive the award.

The 2018 Doomsday Clock Statement lists the North Korean nuclear program as one of the reasons the clock was moved to two minutes to midnight in 2018. It remains to be seen if the meeting this week will begin to end that threat, but at least President Trump has made a step in that direction.

Quote Of The Week

The Conservative Treehouse posted an article yesterday about the G7 meeting. I seriously doubt the American mainstream media will report this story correctly, but The Conservative Treehouse summed it up beautifully:

The underlying Trudeau trade premise is that the U.S. should be thankful for the products brought into the U.S. market by Canadians and Europeans. And Americans should express their appreciation through unilateral indulgence-fees for friendship. If President Trump does not agree to continue the cycle of abusive trade policies, the Europeans and Canadians might stop saying they are our closest and most valuable ally.

I think that about covers it!

The Smelly Swamp

Breitbart posted an article today with the following headline:

Russian Lobbyist at Don Jr. Meeting Says He ‘Might’ Have Seen John McCain at Summit Where Senator Learned of ‘Pee’ Dossier

Wow. What an incredible coincidence.

The article reports:

Russian-born Washington lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin says he might have spoken to McCain and the senator’s assistant David J. Kramer at the Halifax International Security Forum in 2016. However, Akhmetshin claimed that he did not discuss the dossier with McCain or Kramer, and that he didn’t know about the existence of the controversial dossier.

The information raises immediate questions about the possibility of dirty tricks in arranging the infamous Trump Tower meeting. This considering a recent Breitbart News report that email transcripts and other information disclosed in Akhmetshin’s testimony reveal a significant relationship between the lobbyist and the controversial Fusion GPS firm that produced the infamous, largely discredited anti-Trump dossier.

It was at the security conference in Canada in November 2016 that McCain says he was approached by Sir Andrew Wood, a former British ambassador to Moscow and friend of ex-British spy Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier.

Wood briefed McCain and Kramer, a former State Department official and longtime McCain associate who agreed to meet Steele in London for a fuller briefing on the dossier contents.

The Washington Post reported in February that after meeting with Steele, Kramer went to Washington and received the dossier document directly from Fusion GPS. McCain then passed the dossier to FBI Director James Comey.

In a New York Times oped in January, GPS co-founders Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritch wrote that they helped McCain share their anti-Trump dossier with the Obama-era intelligence community via an unnamed “emissary.”

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is becoming obvious that members of both parties were involved in the ‘insurance policy’ to derail the Trump administration. This actually makes sense when you realize the threat President Trump is to both parties–if an outsider who is not part of the ‘in crowd’ can be successful in Washington, the power of both political parties will be diminished. Most of the people in Congress are there to increase their power–not to have it diminished. We can only hope that the few members of Congress who love America more than they love their own power can drain the smelly swamp Washington has become.

An Horrific Crime That Needs To End

Gateway Pundit posted an article today about a discovery by Veterans on Patrol in Tuscon, Arizona. Veterans on Patrol is a group that searches bridges and washes to find and aid homeless. However, a homeless camp was not what they found.

The article reports:

In the middle of the Arizona desert,  they found trees with restraints on them at the site, children’s clothing a baby crib and stroller, an outdoor bathroom, pornographic material, hair dye and a five feet tall underground cave that had dresser and crates. The cave the was not big enough for an adult, but a child could easily fit inside.

“The solar lights are what gave it away. If we hadn’t been walking on the right trail we would have never seen it, we would have walked right past it,” one of the veterans, Lewis Arthur, told Arizona local affiliate KOLD. “And we are right there and our city is right there, our children are right there and it’s not my problem if it’s not in my backyard. Now it’s in our backyard.”

After finding the encampment, the a homeless advocacy group notified Veterans For Children Rescue, “a non-profit organization whose mission is to assist law enforcement and Non-Governmental Organizations to eliminate Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking,” according to the organization’s website.

“I didn’t expect to see something this heinous and inhumane this close,” Craig Sawyer, founder of Veterans For Children, said . “I served in the military to keep things like this from happening here that’s why I risked my security, so nobody here would have to put up with this.”

Sawyer, a Marine sniper and a member of the elite Navy SEAL Team Six, founded Veterans 4 Child Rescue Foundation in 2017 and has since dedicated his life to raising awareness about child sex slavery, rescuing victims and putting child sex traffickers behind bars. He recruited an elite force with world class skill sets — former FBI, CIA, Delta Force and Seal Team 6 — to extract victims and thin the herd of sex traffickers and works with police departments to run covert operations across the country.

This hurts my heart. Child trafficking is an horrendous crime that needs to be stopped immediately if not sooner. President Trump has taken measures to fight online trafficking, but there is a lot of room for improvement. All of us need to be aware of this issue and do what we can to stop it.

 

 

The Right To Try Bill

Yesterday President Trump signed a “Right to Try” bill. The bill had been introduced in the Senate on January 24, 2017. It passed the Senate in August of 2017, The bill passed the House of Representatives in May 2018.  This is the link to view the text of the bill.

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article on the bill.

The New York Post reported:

President Trump signed a bill on Wednesday that will let terminally ill people use experimental drugs, citing the meds’ ability to save “tremendous numbers of lives.”

…The measure gives terminally ill patients the ability to seek drug treatments that​ haven’t been fully approved by the FDA.

More than 1 million Americans die from a terminal illness each year, the White House said.

During the ceremony, Trump also said that in two weeks, major drug companies will announce “voluntary drops in prices.”

Hopefully this bill will be helpful to medical research and will keep all of us healthier for longer.

The Facts Aren’t Important–Just Create Outrage

It seems as if every week there is a new dust-up about some horrible thing Donald Trump has done. Oddly enough, when these stories are disproved (as they often are), the media seems to ignore that fact. One recent example of the mainstream media’s hysteria is the missing children who came here illegally without their parents who were housed in wire cages. Somehow much of the media has ignored the fact that the pictures of children in wire cages were from 2014. President Trump wasn’t even active in politics at that point! So what is the actual truth about the missing children?

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial on the subject yesterday.

The editorial cites one blatant example of news that simply is not true:

Next, there was a picture showing a bus outfitted with child safety seats being used at an ICE family detention center in Karnes County, Texas. ABC Houston reporter Antonio Arellano tweeted the picture on Sunday, describing it as “a prison bus just for babies.”

Again, outrage ensued.

“Unconscionable and inhumane, “said Texas Sen. Sylvia Garcia. “This is what we’ve come to under Donald Trump,” said Stephen King. Others tweeted: “your new gestapo at work,” “this is what fascism looks like,” “we live in a dark period of American history,” “moral abomination.” Etc., etc.

Oops. Turns out this picture, too, was taken when Obama was president. And, the bus was actually used to take the children on field trips to places like the San Antonio Zoo, a nearby park, the movies, as well as for medical treatment and court appointments.

So much for the Trump-era inhumane prison bus for babies.

About those missing children…The editorial reports:

Back in 2008, the inspector general for the Health and Human Services department noted that HHS and Homeland Security weren’t regularly checking in on these children to make sure they were doing OK with their sponsor families. So, HHS started following up with the sponsors 30 days after the children’s release.

But, as the IG noted in a follow-up July 2017 report, HHS doesn’t always succeed in its attempts to reach the sponsors. It reported that in the first half of 2016, HHS couldn’t reach 16% of the 25,975 children placed with sponsors during those months.

In other words, under President Obama, the government “lost” 4,156 illegal immigrant children in just the first six months of 2016!

It is generally a good idea if you choose to get outraged to check your facts first.

Freeing American Hostages In Diverse Places

The Daily Caller posted an article today about one impact of the Trump Presidency that the mainstream media seems to have overlooked. Since he became President, President Trump has freed seventeen American prisoners detained by foreign governments.

The article reports:

“We’ve had 17 released, and we’re very proud of that record. Very proud. And we have others coming,” Trump said Saturday evening as he welcomed home Joshua Holt, an American citizen who had been detained in Venezuela for two years without trial.

Unlike his predecessor, the president has managed to bring these prisoners home without freeing terrorists or paying millions of dollars in suspected ransom payments.

The article lists the people brought home and the circumstances of their becoming prisoners in foreign countries. Please follow the link above to read the entire article–it is very interesting.

President Trump’s success in bringing these Americans back home is something he is to be praised for. Unfortunately I haven’t seen a lot of these stories in the mainstream media.

Have We Reached The Point Where The Cost Is Already Too High?

In 1987 The New York Times printed an article about Raymond J. Donovan, Secretary of Labor under President Reagan. The were a lot of  people in the media and in government who disliked President  Reagan almost as much as they dislike President Trump. In 1985, Donovan resigned from his Cabinet position because  charges of fraud and grand larceny were brought against him (those charges had nothing to do with his work in the Reagan administration). He was the first Cabinet member in history to be indicted. In 1987 he was cleared of all of those charges.

In 1987, The New York Times reported that Mr. Donovan had been acquitted. At the end of the trial, Mr. Donovan asked, “Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?” That is not to mention the expense of defending himself during the two and a half years of the trial. The use off the government to bully people into submission is not a new problem, but we have definitely seen an increase of attacks on people tangentially associated with Donald Trump.

Yesterday The New York Post posted an article about the impact the Mueller witch hunt has had on Carter Page.

The article reports:

FBI surveillance of former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page cost him business, income and even his girlfriend.

Page tells The Post that during the media barrage he faced in late 2016, he visited his girlfriend at her London flat, where she was “freaking out with the fake news about me.”

“Talking with her later in the evening after dinner, she told me that she didn’t want me staying there anymore, and that our relationship was over.

“So late that night,” Page continued, “I booked a last-minute hotel reservation as part of this early chapter of the redefinition of my life.”

Page believes the FBI’s mole, professor Stefan Halper, was secretly spying on him as part of a “politically motivated” investigation of Team Trump, using fake sympathy to gain his trust — all while fishing for dirt on Page’s ties to Russia, where he’d worked as an energy consultant.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be a trap,” Page said.

People who work on a political campaign should not be subject to government spying simply because they worked on a political campaign.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today that included one of President Trump’s tweets:

This is wrong. The Mueller investigation has bankrupted General Flynn, awakened Paul Manafort‘s family at gunpoint in the middle of the night, and bankrupted  Michael Caputo (article here) after he worked on the Trump campaign for a short period of time.

None of Mueller’s efforts have uncovered one shred of evidence that the Russians were working for the Trump campaign or vice versa. Mueller has terrorized American citizens in the name of justice and not been held accountable for it. It is time to turn the tables and hold Mueller accountable for his actions.

 

 

They Were For It Before They Were Against It

On Thursday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about the rising price of gasoline. It is becoming obvious that the Democrats plan to blame President Trump for the increased cost and use the issue in the 2018 mid-term elections. Well, not so fast.

The article reminds us that in the past the Democrats have supported increasing gasoline prices in the name of the phony science of global warming.

The article reminds us:

Sen. Minority Leader Charles Schumer and other Democrats plan to use this price spike to blast President Trump and, hopefully, improve their election chances in November.

“President Trump’s reckless decision to pull out of the Iran deal has led to higher oil prices,” Schumer said. “These higher oil prices are translating directly to soaring gas prices, something we know disproportionately hurts middle and lower income people.”

But Schumer, as well as the reporters covering him, should know that the high gas prices are the result of three factors that are beyond Trump’s control.

One is the fact that OPEC has tightened its production quotas to counter the huge increase in U.S. oil production thanks to the fracking revolution. Trump has been trying to boost production still more.

So what have Democrats said about gasoline prices in the past? The article reports:

As recently as 2015, Democrats were pushing to nearly double the federal gasoline tax. At the time, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that it was the perfect time to do so because “if there’s ever going to be an opportunity to raise the gas tax, the time when gas prices are so low — oil prices are so low — is the time to do it.”

Democrats in California pushed through a 12-cent-per-gallon hike in the state’s gas tax last year that Republicans are vowing to roll back if they can.

…At the same time, Democrats have pledged to impose a tax on carbon emissions of around $50 per ton of CO2 — which would go up each year at a rate faster than inflation — to combat “climate change.”

Schumer himself promised to enact a carbon tax if Hillary Clinton won and Democrats regained control of the Senate in the 2016 elections.

Well, guess what? A carbon tax of that magnitude would sharply raise gasoline prices. A report out of the University of Michigan last fall concluded that a carbon tax of $40 per ton would hike gasoline prices by 36 cents a gallon.

Higher gasoline prices impact everyone who drives a car, a truck, or a motorcycle, whether they are rich or poor. To people who depend on their car to get them to work every day, the increased price of gasoline can mean the difference between taking a family vacation or staying home. It can mean the difference between taking the family out to dinner occasionally or eating at home. Financially and mentally, the price of gasoline matters. It is unfortunate that rather than work with the President to help bring the price of gasoline down and bring financial relief to Americans, the Democrats are choosing to make gasoline prices a political issue.

Bringing Efficiency Into Federal Employment

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article about President Trump’s recent executive orders to change civil service regulations.

The article reports:

“These executive orders will make it easier for agencies to remove poor-performing employees and make sure taxpayer dollars are more efficiently used,” Mr. Bremberg said.

The move will promote efficiency, save taxpayer dollars and create better work environments for “thousands of employees who come to work each day and do a great job,” said another official.

as expected, unions objected loudly. The article reports some of the reasons for the reforms:

Office of Personnel Management data shows federal employees are 44 times less likely to be fired than a private sector worker once they’ve completed a probationary period.

A recent Government Accountability Office report showed that it takes between six months and a year to remove a federal employee for poor performance, followed by an eight-month appeals process.

The National Affairs blog posted the following this spring:

Even President Franklin Roosevelt, a friend of private-sector unionism, drew a line when it came to government workers: “Meticulous attention,” the president insisted in 1937, “should be paid to the special relations and obligations of public servants to the public itself and to the Government….The process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service.” The reason? F.D.R. believed that “[a] strike of public employees manifests nothing less than an intent on their part to obstruct the operations of government until their demands are satisfied. Such action looking toward the paralysis of government by those who have sworn to support it is unthinkable and intolerable.” Roosevelt was hardly alone in holding these views, even among the champions of organized labor. Indeed, the first president of the AFL-CIO, George Meany, believed it was “impossible to bargain collectively with the government.”

Many of our current civil service policies are the result of the unionization of government workers. It is time for that practice to end. Government workers are paid very well and should be subject to the same rules as the rest of the workforce. Unions should not be able to collective bargain with people whose political campaigns they help finance.

Not Really A Surprise

The American Spectator posted an article today that tells us everything we already knew about ObamaCare. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has just released a report about uninsured Americans.

The article reports:

Anyone with the intestinal fortitude to subject themselves to the legacy media will have seen countless “news” stories about the devastation wrought by President Trump’s “sabotage” of Obamacare. A typical headline appeared a couple of weeks ago in the Washington Post: “Americans are starting to suffer from Trump’s health-care sabotage.” This work of fiction claimed that the number of working-ageAmericans without health insurance had risen to 15.5 percent, a 3 point increase since 2016. But a report just released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), says the real number is 12.8 percent — exactly what it was in 2015.

…NBC recently reported that the total number of uninsured Americans rose by a preposterous 3.2 million in 2017. According to the CDC, however, “There was no significant change from the 2016 uninsured rate.” The percentage is, like the working age statistic, precisely what it was in 2015. NBC, parroting the Post, based its uninsured propaganda on an unreliable source.

There are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating ObamaCare. The first is that is was never about health insurance–it was about giving government control of a major sector of the American economy and a major sector of people’s lives. We have seeen how well socialized medicine works in Britain when a child isn’t even given a chance to leave the country to receive alternative medical care that could possibly save his life. ObamaCare was a planned failure that would lead to socialized medicine in America during the presidency of Hillary Clinton. We have dodged that bullet (at least temporarily).

The major change that occurred to ObamaCare this year was the end of government subsidies to insurance companies and changing rules for insurance pools to make it easier for people to get health insurance in various groups. The real answer to health insurance is the free market–let companies compete without being over-regulated and let people know how much they are actually paying for healthcare services. It would also help to end ObamaCare completely. In order to end ObamaCare completely, the Republicans would have to learn how to get their message out over the din of the mainstream media. They would also have to develop a spine.

The article concludes:

A multi-year study dubbed the “Oregon Health Experiment,” whose results were published in the New England Journal of Medicine in May of 2014, has demonstrated that health outcomes for Medicaid patients are no better than those enjoyed by the uninsured. Scott Gottlieb, the current Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, summarized various Medicaid studies in the Wall Street Journal and also concluded that being covered by Medicaid is demonstrably worse for your health than having no coverage at all.

The CDC report doesn’t weigh in on this issue, of course. It just attempts to show us where the uninsured rate was and where it is now. But that is damning enough. It not only shows that the projections originally touted for Obamacare were wildly off the mark — it was supposed to have brought the non-elderly uninsured rate down to 7.6 percent by 2016 — it demonstrates that the Democrats and their media co-conspirators have been lying about what the real uninsured numbers are as well as President Trump’s role in their mythical increase. Not that this is new. The Democrats and the media have been lying about Obamacare from day one.

As more Americans realize that the media has been lying to them from the beginning, we may have a chance to get rid of ObamaCare. Until then, we are stuck with it.

A Massive Train Wreck Blocked The Street

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial yesterday about the two investigations that are currently going on involving President Trump. The editorial reminds us that as the media continues to breathlessly report of the Trump-Russia Collusion Scandal, there is a definite lack of actual evidence to report. Meanwhile there seems to be a lot of evidence showing that the FBI and DOJ overstepped their bounds and acted in a very partisan manner during and after the 2016 presidential campaign. However, that evidence is being purposely ignored.

The editorial cites an interesting story that illustrates the media’s focus:

National Review reporter John Fund relates an interesting story. He was waiting to go on the air and struck up a conversation with another prominent reporter in the network’s green room.

Why, he asked, aren’t reporters actively investigating the suspicious activities at the Justice Department and the FBI regarding the Trump/Russia and Hillary/email investigations?

Fund says the reporter “bluntly told me ‘There’s only room for one narrative on all this. And it’s all about Trump.’ “

You might think that reporters are chasing facts wherever they might lead, and “speaking truth to power,” especially when that power involves the CIA, FBI and Justice Department.

Instead, it’s all about the “narrative.”

The editorial reminds us of the solid results of the investigation that is getting results:

While Mueller has turned up no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, this “counternarrative” has led to: former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe fired for lying to investigators; Peter Strzok and Lisa Page booted off Mueller’s team for virulently anti-Trump texts; Deputy Assistant AG Bruce Ohr demoted after contacts with a Trump oppo-research firm came to light; the quitting of former Deputy Assistant AG David Laufman, who played a key role in both the Russia and Clinton email investigations; and FBI general counsel James Baker reassigned after evidence emerged that he’d been in contact with leftist reporter David Corn.

In other words, while the Mueller investigation sputters along, the evidence of political abuse at the FBI and Justice is piling up.

This “counternarrative” also has uncovered the fact that the FBI had a spy in the Trump campaign, and that the FBI has not been entirely forthcoming about how the Trump investigation got started, or when.

The editorial concludes:

It reminds us of the story about the cub reporter who is sent to cover a routine meeting of the local town council. The reporter later returns to the newsroom without a story. When the editor asks why there’s no story, the reporter responds: “I couldn’t get to the government building because a massive train wreck blocked the street.”

A good reporter, or at least one who isn’t hopelessly biased, would be able to see that the real story isn’t the go-nowhere Mueller investigation, but the more troubling story of abuse of power by Obama administration officials to protect Hillary Clinton and then derail the Trump presidency.

The mainstream media is going to look very foolish when the only people reporting on the train wreck are the alternative media.

Spending Money Where It Is Needed–Not For Political Purposes

The Washington Examiner posted an article today about ending the federal funding for abortion.

The article reports:

President Trump’s action last week, barring Title X family planning funds from programs and facilities that perform abortions, is thus entirely right and reasonable. For all Planned Parenthood’s gnashing of teeth, the only thing to suffer will be its own profits and the rewards of its senior executives. The public good and women’s health will, at a minimum, remain completely unaffected and, depending on your perspective, will be improved.

Trump’s decision will not reduce Title X funding at all. Rather, his policy guarantees that the limited funds available from that source will go to comprehensive community health centers all over America that provide health services Planned Parenthood doesn’t offer. There are 20 such community health centers for every Planned Parenthood affiliate. Most provide services such as mammograms that Planned Parenthood doesn’t offer. Most are also not so heavily involved and invested in partisan politics.

According to opensecrets.org, in the 2016 election cycle, Planned Parenthood (through its PAC) donated $671,048 to federal candidates (98% to Democrats, 1% to Republicans).

According to the ACLJ (American Center for Law and Justice):

Planned Parenthood just released their 2016–2017 annual report. The findings are clear: over 320,000 abortions committed in the last year; over half a billion in government funding; nearly $100 million in profit (a staggering 27% increase over the prior year). Big Abortion is big business.

Regardless of where you stand on protecting the unborn, abortion should not be a million dollar business.

It is obvious from the above numbers that Planned Parenthood does not actually need federal money–they are making a substantial profit on their own and they are supporting political candidates.

It has been my belief for a long time that entities that make political contributions should not be eligible for federal funds. This should include any political action committees (PACS) set up by those entities. This seems rather obvious to me, but evidently Congress has not yet figured it out (I guess Congress likes its donations from these entities). The idea of taking federal money and making political donations seems like money laundering to me.

 

An Honest Man Creates A Problem For The Deep State

The American Thinker posted an article today about the role of retired Admiral Mike Rogers in making things difficult for the deep state during the primary election season. The article is a perfect example of how one honest man can make a difference.

The article deals with the revelation of the identity of the spy the Obama administration had placed inside the Trump campaign during the primary and beyond.

The article reports:

Last week I reported that Internet sleuths had winkled out the name of the spy/agent provocateur that Obama’s intelligence officers had used on the Trump campaign. The New York Times and Washington Post, the Democrats’ semi-official newspapers this week megaphoned the instigators, offering up their justifications without naming his name. 

Again, the name is Stefan Halper, who, as I wrote here last week, was paid a substantial sum by the Department of Defense’s Office of Net Assessment. 

If it was for this work – and it suspiciously looks like it because the payments were made in July and September of 2016 when he was weaseling his way into the campaign – then we know we have the DNI, CIA, DOJ, FBI, Dept. of State and the Defense Department working for Hillary’s election and to smear and create a basis for further spying on Trump and his campaign. 

This is the story:

Former FBI agent Mark Wauck suggests Halper may have been operating under a preliminary investigation(PI), not a full Investigation (FI)

The FBI is asked–way back as early as 2015, but who knows? — to be helpful to the Dems and they agree. What they do is they hire non-government consultants with close Dem ties to do “analytical work” for them, which happens to include total access to NSA data. Advantages? For the Dems, obviously, access to EVERYTHING digital. A gold mine for modern campaign research. For the FBI there’s also an advantage. They get to play dumb — gosh, we didn’t know they were looking at all that stuff! They also don’t have to falsify anything, like making [stuff] up to “justify” opening a FI [full investigation]on an American citizen and then lying to the FISC to get a FISA on the USPER [US person] and having to continually renew the FISA and lie all over again to the FISC each renewal. And the beauty of it all is, who’s ever going to find out? And even if they do, how do you prove criminal intent?

So everything’s humming along until a pain in the a** named Mike Rogers at NSA does an audit in 4/2016, just as the real campaign season is about to start. And Rogers learns that 85% of the searches the FBI has done between 12/2015 and 4/2016 have been totally out of bounds. And he clamps down — no more non-government contractors, tight auditing on searches of NSA data. Oh sh*t! What to do, just give up? Well, not necessarily, but there’s a lot more work involved and a lot more fudging the facts. What the FBI needs to do now is get a FISA that will cover their a** and provide coverage on the GOPers going forward. That means, first get a FI on an USPER [US person] connected to the Trump campaign (who looks, in [April] or [May] 2016, like the GOP candidate) so you can then get that FISA. That’s not so easy, because they’ve got to find an USPER with that profile who they can plausibly present as a Russian spy. But they have this source named Halper.

So they first open a PI [preliminary investigation]. That allows them to legally use NatSec Letters and other investigative techniques to keep at least some of what they were doing going. But importantly this allows them to legally use Halper to try to frame people connected to the Trump campaign — IOW, find someone to open a FI on so they can then get that FISA. However the PI is framed, that’s what they’re looking to do. It has legal form, even if the real intent is to help the Dems. And you can see why this had to be a CI [counterintelligence] thing, so in a sense the Russia narrative was almost inevitable — no other bogeyman would really fit the bill, and especially on short notice.

So that’s what they do, and Halper helps them come up with Papadopoulos and Page, so by the end of July they’ve got their FI. Problem. Their first FISA is rejected, but eventually, 10/2016, they get that.

And then Trump wins and Rogers visits Trump Tower. And the Deep State has a fit.

The article also reveals the role of Virginia Senator Mark Warner in this story:

Mark Warner was also the guy caught text messaging with DC Lawyer Adam Waldman in the spring of 2017. (his first assignment) Waldman was the lawyer for the interests of Christopher Steele – the author of the dossier.

While he was working as an intermediary putting Senator Warner and Christopher Steele in contact with each other, simultaneously Adam Waldman was also representing the interests of… wait for it… Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska.

Derispaska was the Russian person approached by Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok and asked to assist in creating dirt on the Trump campaign, via Paul Manafort.

You see, Senator Mark Warner has a vested interest in making sure that no-one ever gets to the bottom of the 2016 political weaponization, spying and surveillance operation.

Senator Mark Warner was a participant in the execution of the “insurance policy” trying to remove President Trump via the Russian Collusion narrative. 

The article concludes:

Wretchard tweets something impossible to deny: “The biggest problem with politically weaponizing intelligence agencies is it CREATES a pathway for the foreign takeover of the system. If once a hostile power takes over the WH, it obtains the power to remain indefinitely.”

We now have an imaginary crime – collusion – with imaginary evidence and even imaginary defendants. What is not imaginary is the selfish effort to destroy our polity by several handfuls of men and women who abused their positions of trust for intended partisan gain that failed. Give them the hook already.

No wonder Congress is having such a hard time obtaining the documents it is entitled to!

Please follow the link to read the entire article. There are some amazing connections revealed here. There are also many people named in this article that need to suffer the consequences of their actions.

The Pieces Are Beginning To Fit Together

Townhall posted an article today that explains a lot of the pieces in the Special Prosecutor story and how those who supported Hillary Clinton for President worked together inside the government to create problems for President Trump.

The article reminds us:

On December 29, 2016, the Obama Administration – with three weeks remaining in its term – issued harsh sanctions against Russia over supposed election interference. Two compounds in the United States were closed and 35 Russian diplomats were ordered to leave the country.

In the two years since that was done, it has become obvious that the basis for the sanctions was questionable at best. So what was this all about?

The story begins with the emails showing that the Democratic primary election was rigged for Hillary Clinton. There are still questions as to whether those emails were ‘phished’ or hacked. The scandal was significant enough to cause the resignation of DNC chairperson Debbie Wasserman Schultz on the eve of the Democratic convention.

The article points out:

The FBI never bothered to test the computers for a hack.  That task was left to CrowdStrike, a private contractor whose CTO and co-founder, Dmitri Alperovitch, is a Russian ex-patriot and a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, a think tank with an anti-Russian agenda.

The Atlantic Council is funded by Ukrainian billionaire Victor Pinchuk, a $10 million donor to the Clinton Foundation.  The fix was in.  CrowdStrike dutifully reported that the Russians were behind the hack.

Lat year The Nation, a progressive publication, got a group of unaffiliated computer experts to test CrowdStrike’s hypothesis and they concluded that the email files were removed from the computer at a speed that makes an off-site download from Russia impossible.  

The saga continued:

Trump protested by stating the obvious: the federal government has “no idea” who was behind the hacks.

The FBI and CIA called him a liar, issuing a “Joint Statement” that suggested 17 intelligence agencies agree that it was the Russians. Hillary Clinton took advantage of this “intelligence assessment” in the October debate to portray Trump as Putin’s stooge.

She said, “We have 17, 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber-attacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin. And they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing.”

The media’s fact checkers excoriated Trump for lying. It was the ultimate campaign dirty trick: a joint operation by the intelligence agencies and the media against a political candidate.

The article concludes:

The machinations that followed, the secret memos and special counsel, the prosecution of Flynn anyway for what happened in his conversation, the whole sordid mess, is a cover-up.

In the inverse logic of Russian collusion, the investigation itself supplies credibility to the collusion narrative. Any attempt to end the investigation is obstruction of justice.

One person has the constitutional responsibility end this nonsense. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who himself was duped into recusing himself by since discredited intelligence, should bow to recent disclosures of impropriety and say enough is enough.

His Inspector General will be issuing a report to him sometime soon. Maybe then he will lift his recusal and start the prosecutions. People should go to jail for this.

This is a scenario generally reserved for third-world countries. It is distressing to know that we have people in government who are so unpatriotic as to engage in this sort of shenanigans. Hopefully there will be an influx of politicians into our jail cells in the near future.

The More We Know, The Worse It Gets

Yesterday The New York Times posted an article about the government spying on the presidential campaign of Donald Trump. Crossfire Hurricane was the name given to an operation that was so secret only a few in the FBI knew about it.

The New York Times reports on the operation:

…in the summer of 2016, the F.B.I. dispatched a pair of agents to London on a mission so secretive that all but a handful of officials were kept in the dark.

Their assignment, which has not been previously reported, was to meet the Australian ambassador, who had evidence that one of Donald J. Trump’s advisers knew in advance about Russian election meddling. After tense deliberations between Washington and Canberra, top Australian officials broke with diplomatic protocol and allowed the ambassador, Alexander Downer, to sit for an F.B.I. interview to describe his meeting with the campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos.

The agents summarized their highly unusual interview and sent word to Washington on Aug. 2, 2016, two days after the investigation was opened. Their report helped provide the foundation for a case that, a year ago Thursday, became the special counsel investigation. But at the time, a small group of F.B.I. officials knew it by its code name: Crossfire Hurricane.

The article reports:

Only about five Justice Department officials knew the full scope of the case, officials said, not the dozen or more who might normally be briefed on a major national security case.

That alone should set off alarms in the minds of those who worry about abuses of power in our government.

The article goes into a rather lengthy analysis of the investigation from The New York Times’ point of view. What it doesn’t say is more instructive than what it does say. The article fails to mention the very real possibility that Mr. Papadopoulos was set up to trigger the investigation or that the Comey briefing of the President was to make way for the media to report on the Russian dossier.

What the article does confirm is that spying on President Trump began during the campaign and continued after the election. The Inspector General’s report will be out at some time in the future and will confirm that Fourth Amendment rights were violated and that certain people within our intelligence agencies should go to jail.

Lost In The Partisan Hype

Guy Benson posted an article today at Townhall about the American economy under President Trump.

The article quotes a Wall Street Journal article listing economic milestones:

The number of Americans claiming new unemployment benefits has never been so low for so long.  Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the U.S., decreased by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 233,000 in the week ended April 7, the Labor Department said Thursday. This means claims have now held below 300,000 for 162 consecutive weeks, cementing the longest streak for weekly records dating back to 1967...The current streak eclipsed the previous longest stretch that ended in April 1970. Taking into account the size of the labor force, claims today compared to the late 1960s and early 1970s are much lower…The consistently low claims levels point to labor market health because they mean relatively few Americans are losing their jobs and applying for benefits to tide them over until they can find new employment. After several years of consistent job growth, firms are reluctant to let employees go in a tightening labor market in which many available workers are quickly snapped up.

Wow.

Further good news:

Trump’s speech came amid surging optimism among American manufacturers thanks to the after-effects of the GOP’s recently-implemented tax reform law. More than 93% of manufacturers have a positive outlook on their company’s prospects in the U.S. economy – the second-highest level ever recorded by the National Association of Manufacturers –  its most recent quarterly survey revealed. Meanwhile, optimism among small manufacturers was at its highest level ever recorded throughout the survey’s 20 year history; 94.5% of companies reported that they were positive about their future. Wage growth among those manufacturers surveyed also rose at the fastest pace in 17 years…The survey showed that manufacturers expected full-time employment to increase by 2.9% on average over the next year, an all-time high by the survey’s standards. Companies also said capital investments are likely to rise by 3.9% over the next 12 months, while inventories are expected to rise by 1.7%.

The two main causes for the economic boom are cutting the regulations that make it difficult for businesses to grow and changing the tax codes so that Americans get to keep more of what they earn. Small business is one of the main engines of job growth in America, and changing the way small businesses pay taxes has a very positive impact on job growth. One other factor in the economic boom is the move toward American energy independence. Low energy costs and low taxes are two things that attract foreign businesses. Because America now has both of these assets, we are more attractive as a place for foreign business to relocate. We are more competitive in the global marketplace because of the policies of President Trump. That is a really good thing.

One Rule For Thee And A Different Rule For Me

Europe is upset at President Trump’s imposing tariffs on imported steel. Well, let’s take a look at some of Europe’s past actions.

According to a story in US News in April 2017, the European Commission imposed taxes on Chinese steel exported to Europe. The taxes (or duties, if you prefer) were betwween 18.1 percent and 35.9 percent.

Meanwhile, CNN reported:

Trump said Thursday that he would impose a 25% tariff on steel imports and a 10% tariff on aluminum imports, a move that has been vociferously condemned by key US allies and trading partners.

The justification for the tariffs – national security concerns — also drew harsh criticism. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel described the administration’s reasoning as “incomprehensible.”

“The EU must respond decisively to US punitive tariffs, which endangers thousands of jobs in Europe. There should be no doubt about that in Washington,” Gabriel said on Friday.

Winterstein said the 28 countries of the EU would respond to the tariffs as a single bloc. The Commission will discuss its response when it next meets on Wednesday.

One obvious move would be to file a complaint against the US with the World Trade Organization. Analysts at UBS said Europe would have a good chance of winning, but that could take 18 months.

In the meantime, the EU could introduce “safeguard measures” if it suddenly sees a surge in steel imports, Winterstein said. These measures could include tariffs or import quotas and can be enacted quickly.

So let’s get this straight–if America imposes tariffs on steel and begins to import less of it, the European Union would move to prevent any increased steel imports to Europe–they might even impose tariffs or import quotas. What? So it’s okay for them to protect themselves from cheap steel imports, but it’s not okay for America to protect itself from cheap steel imports. Good grief! After a while, the globalists are just boring–they are so predictable.

Negotiating Just Saved Americans A Lot Of Money

The Gateway Pundit is reporting today that President Trump has reached a new deal with Boeing Corporation on the construction of two new Air Force One airplanes. The article states that the president reportedly saved the country $1.4 billion on the deal. Admittedly, $1.4 billion is only a small dent in national expenditures, but it is still a move in the right direction.

A Year Later

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an article detailing the impact of President Trump‘s economic policies. The fact that President Trump is a businessman rather than a politician has had an impact on his economic decisions and thus on the American economy. How has that worked out?

The article reports:

Stock market: The Dow Jones industrial average rose about 31% over the past year, “more than any other president since Franklin Roosevelt,” CNBC.com reminds us. Total stock market wealth added since Trump’s first inauguration: $5.5 trillion.

Jobs: Over the last year, 2.2 million jobs were added to the economy, as the unemployment rate fell from 4.8% to 4.1% currently. Minorities experienced their lowest unemployment rates ever in December 2017, after a year of solid gains. Unemployment claims, meanwhile, are at a 45-year low.

GDP: President Trump entered office amid what appeared to be a dangerously slowing economy, with just 1.2% growth in the first quarter of 2017. But growth immediately picked up, rising to 3.1% in the second quarter, 3.2% in the third quarter, and, based on recent data, 3% or higher in the final quarter of 2017 — making the longest stretch of 3%-plus GDP growth since 2005.

Tax cuts: Trump’s $1.5 trillion in tax cuts lowered the corporate marginal rate from 35% to 21%, and cut rates sharply for middle-class and lower-income Americans. The results are in: Less than three weeks after the tax bill became law, more than 164 companies — ranging from AT&T and Apple to Visa and Wal-Mart — have announced pay hikes and special bonuses for their workers. Apple stunned markets last week, announcing it would bring $245 billion back from overseas, hire about 20,000 new workers and hand out bonuses of around $2,500 for each of its employees due to tax cuts.

Confidence: Our IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index stands at 55.1, well above the 49.3 average over that measure’s lifetime, signaling continued confidence in the strength of the economy. The optimism index is close to its all-time high and has now been positive — above 50 — for 16 months. Meanwhile, a separate IBD/TIPP index for financial stress is at its lowest since we began measuring it in 2007.

Regulation: Trump fulfilled his promise to cut more rules than he enacted. Indeed, he eliminated 22 regulations for every regulation he added, cutting some $8.1 billion in costs. More important, he pulled out of the ruinous Paris Climate Deal, which the NERA economic consulting group estimated would cost the U.S. some $3 trillion in compliance costs over the lifetime of the deal.

I can’t help but wonder if those who are protesting President Trump have 401k accounts and if they have checked their balances lately. Are the people protesting invested in the American economy in any way? Do they have jobs? Are they looking for jobs? And last of all, are we again dealing with paid protesters?

Some Thoughts On Hawaii’s Mistaken Alert

Rush Limbaugh said some very interesting (and true) things about Hawaii’s false missile alert. I would like to share them here.

This is part of the transcript of what Rush Limbaugh said yesterday on his radio show:

You know, I mentioned on this program countless times that one of — you know, we all have pet peeves. And one of my biggest pet peeves is arrogant condescension. People who know less than I do who think they know more than everybody else, and they’re arrogant about it. And then they condescend, treat you like you’re an idiot, treat you like you can’t possibly know what you’re talking about.

The second — and it’s kind of related — the second pet peeve that I have is people insulting my intelligence, and it happens frequently. And we are in the midst of it right now with this explanation of what happened in Hawaii with the, “Oops, the guy hit the wrong button!” And for 34 minutes, the people of Hawaii thought they were dead. Yeah, he hit the wrong button twice.

Have any of you — don’t do this if you haven’t — have any of you on your iPhone ever had to erase the whole thing for whatever reason to start over? It’s called settings, general, reset. And there are many different things you can reset. You can reset network settings, you can reset the whole damn thing, which means that you are going to erase everything on the phone. You have to confirm that a minimum of three times.

Apple will not let you do that accidentally.  And it’s an iPhone and there’s not a single nuclear code on an iPhone.  All there is is your personal data.  All of your passwords, your settings, whatever is on the phone, if you have to erase it, which you can do, you will get three different alerts asking you if that’s what you really intend to do, if you’re really certain about it. And there are areas like this all over the iPhone.

There is a feature that hardly anybody knows about.  It’s well hidden.  It happens to be one of my favorite features that Apple will not divulge anything about.  It’s called significant locations.  I’m not even gonna bother to tell you where it is.  That’s not the point.  But you can clear the location history from your phone if you want to.  Your phone records, where you’ve been.  I happen to think that’s marvelous and magic and great and I love it.  And I use it.  Other people are paranoid about it.  They think Tim Cook is spying on everything they do, just like Zuckerberg spying on every Facebook user and the Twitter people — (laughing) it turns out the Twitter people are spying on you!  O’Keefe has yet another video from Project Veritas.

They’re collecting everything at Twitter on you, everything, including your photos.  They’re creating a sexual file of all of their users.  They’re creating a data file on everybody at Twitter, by their own admission.  More details on that.  Anyway, if you want to clear your location. Let’s say you have effectively been made paranoid about your phone recording where you’ve been.  And you find out about it, “Oh, no, I want to get rid of that.”  Okay.  You go into significant locations, and you tap on “clear history.”

You will have to do it three times.  You’ll have to confirm that’s what you want to do three times. Just like if you want to erase the whole phone, you’ll have to confirm that three times. “Are you sure you want to?”  Yes.  “Are you really, really sure?  This is gonna erase everything on your phone, and you can’t go back and undo this.  Are you sure you want to do it?”  You tap “yes.”

It comes back, “Do you really know what you’re doing here?  Are you certain that you want to take this phone and make it like it’s brand-new out of the box?”  And yet we’re told that on a nuclear warning test, the guy hit the wrong button twice.  We’re now told the guy hasn’t been fired.  He’s barely been reprimanded.  We don’t know his name.  He’s going to be reassigned.

…And we’re told, “Ah, the guy hit the wrong button.”

I just can’t accept this, not within the context of everything that has gone on that has been originated in or perpetrated by the American left and our administrative state. The Hawaii emergency management administrator, Vern Miyagi, reported one of his employees clicked the wrong button twice, said, “It’s embarrassing, but again, it’s a mistake.”

Why hasn’t it happened before? If it’s this easy to make this kind of mistake, why hasn’t it happened before? And why did it take 34 minutes to correct this mistake? People were living in abject fear, except for one guy who kept playing golf. I like that guy. He said (paraphrasing), “Even if it’s true, I’m going out doing what I love. To hell with it. I’m not hiding in some sewer drain.” But that’s what people were doing. They were hiding their kids everywhere they could. I mean, for 34 minutes the Hawaii emergency management administration allowed abject fear to percolate in the state of Hawaii.

“Vern Miyagi, the administrator, said, that he “was supposed to select the option for a drill. Instead, he chose the real thing twice. ‘A missile may impact on land or sea within minutes. This is not a drill.’” Grab audio sound bite number 17. Here is what it sounded like…

VOICE: The U.S. Pacific Command has detected a missile threat to Hawaii. A missile may impact on land or sea within minutes. This is not a drill. If you are indoors, say indoors. If you are outdoors, seek immediate shelter in a building. Remain indoors well away from windows. If you are driving, pull safely to the side of the road and seek shelter in a building or lay on the floor.

So let’s say the employee did this on purpose. Thank God America did not respond. The military would have known if there actually were missiles in the air, so they would have known the alert was a mistake. Did the military scramble? Did they know about the alert?

For the sake of argument, let’s say that the person who pushed the button thought that if he could get a dangerous response out of President Trump, President Trump could be declared unfit for office. Having watched the media for the past year, I am convinced that there are some people out there who would put the safety of America at risk to bring down President Trump. The irrational hatred of President Trump is totally amazing. Was this person willing to start World War III in order to prevent President Trump from succeeding? I don’t know. I do know that Microsoft Word won’t even let me close down its window without telling me that I am going to lose what I have typed. Surely, our missile alert system is better than that.

So How Did The Federal Debt Do This Year?

President Trump is a businessman. Regardless of whether you like him or not, he is a businessman, and successful businessmen are relatively careful about how they spend money, and how much money they spend. President Trump is no exception.

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about the impact of the Trump Presidency on the debt.

The article reports:

In spite of the fact that President Trump took over with nearly $20 trillion of debt and the related interest payments on the debt, and in spite of the federal reserve (fed) under Janet Yellen increasing interest rates by a full 1 percent since the election, President Donald Trump’s first year debt is $1.1 trillion less than Obama’s.

Here is the picture:

The article at The Gateway Pundit reports:

Right after Barack Obama was elected President, on December 16, 2008, the Federal Reserve (The Fed) lowered the Fed Funds rate by an entire percent, from 1% down to 0% . The Fed had not lowered the Fed Funds rate by such a large amount (1% ) since at least before 1990, if ever. The Fed kept this 0% rate for most of Obama’s eight years in office.

CNBC reported in December 2015 that President Obama oversaw “seven years of the most accommodative monetary policy in U.S. history” (from the Fed). The Fed Funds rate was at zero for most of Obama’s time in office. Finally, in December 2015 after the Fed announced its first increase in the Fed Funds rate during the Obama Presidency.

The only Fed Funds Rate increases since 2015 were after President Trump was elected President. The Fed increased the Fed Funds Rate on December 14, 2016, March 15th, 2017, June 14, 2017 and again on December 13, 2017. Four times the Fed has increased rates on President Trump after doing so only once on President Obama.

If the Federal Reserve was political and wanted to prevent Republican Presidents from successful economic growth and debt decreases, then the Fed would increase the Fed Funds rates during Republican Presidents’ terms while decreasing the Fed Funds rates under Democratic Presidents’ terms.

This appears to be exactly what the Fed is doing.

The article at The Gateway Pundit also notes that without the increases in the interest rate it is possible that President Trump would have a balanced budget to date.

Remember that the Federal Reserve is neither Federal nor a Reserve. It is a stranglehold on our economy held by a small group of extremely wealthy people who control our money supply. For those who are interested in learning exactly how we got the Federal Reserve, I strongly recommend reading The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin. It explains the chicanery that was involved in creating the Federal Reserve and how it was sold to the American people.

Remembering Who Our Friends Are

Yesterday Paul Mirengoff at Power Line posted an article about a recent foreign policy decision by President Trump.

The article reports:

On Wednesday, Josh Rogin of the Washington Post reported that the Trump administration has for the first time approved the commercial sale of Model M107A1 Sniper Systems, ammunition, and associated parts and accessories to Ukraine, a sale valued at $41.5 million. The Obama administration had refused to issue export licenses for lethal weapons.

Initial reports, including the Post’s, were that the sales to Ukraine would not encompass heavier weaponry such as Javelin anti-tank missiles. However, today the Post reports that Javelins will also be sold to Ukraine.

The article continues:

Russia denounced Trump’s decision on sales to Ukraine. Its Deputy Foreign Minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said the decision will only make the conflict more deadly and that Russia might be forced to respond. He also said the U.S. can no longer cast itself as a mediator, and is now “an accomplice in fueling the war.” Putin himself has warned that U.S. assistance would escalate the conflict.

In reality, Russia is behind the war. Moreover, mediation has been futile because, as Jenna Lifhits of the Weekly Standard points out, Russia has failed to implement the 2015 Minsk ceasefire agreement. It requires Russian-backed separatists to withdraw heavy weapons from the conflict’s front line and create a buffer zone.

The sale of weapons to Ukraine is a response to the failure of the 2015 cease-fire and to the fact that, according the Trump administration’s envoy for the Ukraine crisis, 2017 was the most violent year in the four year history of this conflict.

The sniper systems Trump approved for sale are needed to address a specific vulnerability of Ukrainian forces fighting Russian-backed separatists.

This is a really smart move on the part of the Trump administration.

As I reminded everyone in May 2015:

A deal was signed on February 5, 1994, by Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin, John Major and Leonid Kuchma—the then-leaders of the United States, Russia, United Kingdom and Ukraine—guaranteeing the security of Ukraine in exchange for the return of its ICBMs to Moscow’s control. The last SS-24 missiles moved from Ukrainian territory in June 1996, leaving Kiev defenseless against its nuclear-armed neighbor.

That deal, known as the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances, was not a formal treaty but a diplomatic memorandum of understanding. Still, the terms couldn’t be clearer: Russia, the U.S. and U.K. agreed “to respect the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine…reaffirm their obligation to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine, and that none of their weapons will ever be used against Ukraine.”

That agreement was broken by Russia and ignored by Britain and by the Obama administration. It is nice to see President Trump honoring it at least in part by supplying weapons to Ukraine.

The article at Power Line concludes:

The weapon sales can also plausibly be viewed as a means of gaining leverage if Russia wants seriously to negotiate a settlement in Ukraine. Putin has proposed that peacekeepers be deployed but, not surprisingly, there are major disagreements about how and where the peacekeepers would operate. The U.S. and Ukraine want peacekeepers deployed throughout the separatist-controlled regions stretching to the Ukraine-Russia border. Russia, not so much.

In any event, it’s clear that President Trump has moved boldly to advance Ukraine’s interests at the expense of Russia’s, to the displeasure of Putin. I don’t see how this move can be squared with the extreme anti-Trump rhetoric of the foolish Clapper and others who peddle a similarly hysterical line.