Washington, D.C., carrying Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and three Korean-Americans who had been held captive in North Korea.
President Trump greeted the returning Americans and said, “These are great people. Frankly, we didn't think this was going to happen, but it did. It was important to get these people out. This is a special night for these three really great people.” He also praised North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for releasing them (without bringing up who was responsible for unjustly arresting them in the first place, or as that's known in DC, "diplomacy") and said he believes Kim “really wants to do something” about bringing North Korea “into the real world.”
Trump said the nuclear summit time and place are now set, adding, “We're starting off on a new footing. I really think we have a very good chance of doing something very meaningful, and if anybody would've said that five years ago, 10 years ago, even a year ago, you would've said, 'That's not possible.' 'My proudest achievement will be when we denuclearize that entire [Korean] peninsula.”
I sent a joking tweet this morning that there will be a new journalism award in 2018: the Pulitzer Prize for “Most Creative Way to Spin Trump Rescuing Three Americans from North Korea as a Bad Thing.” Like all good jokes, it’s just the truth told sideways. And the New York Times has already tossed its hat into the ring for that prize, even before the prisoners made it back to US soil.
The Times story on Trump’s announcement that he was pulling out of Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran was snottily headlined, “At a Key Moment, Trump’s Top Diplomat Is Again Thousands of Miles Away.” It slammed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for not being in Washington to answer calls from any European leaders who might get the vapors at the news. Now, the Times knew that Pompeo was doing something reasonably important – he was “thousands of miles away” because he was setting up a denuclearization summit with North Korea and freeing three American prisoners. They also knew that if anyone wanted to reach him, he has a cell phone – but they harrumphed that calls are sometimes dropped when he’s on his plane.
Well, I never! The very idea! Freeing Americans from forced labor prisons and ridding the world of nukes in the hands of a dangerous dictator pale before the importance of preventing some ticked-off Europeans from having to call back a second time! Why, just imagine the torture they might go through if they don’t have “Redial” buttons on their phones.
I’m not going to delve too deeply into the current media feeding frenzy over alleged payments made by various foreign companies to President Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, other than to remind some of the hysterical reporters that Cohen has other clients besides Trump and it is not illegal for private attorneys in America to do business with foreign companies.
To me, the most interesting news thus far stems from a dumb mistake made by porn star Stormy Daniels’ lawyer and CNN’s latest full-time on-air personality, Michael Avenatti. He released a list of companies that allegedly made payments to Cohen, but it turned out two of the payments were to a different Michael Cogen, who apparently did perfectly legitimate work for the companies. But that caused inquiring minds to want to know: how did the New York Times and a porn star’s lawyer obtain copies of a private citizen’s private banking records that were seized by federal agents who are supposedly entrusted with insuring their privacy?
This attempt to smear Cohen boomeranged by spurring the Treasury Department’s Inspector General to open an investigation into whether someone in the FBI illegally leaked Cohen’s private data to the media and the attorney. If so, then it should answer all those questions about whether the agency can be trusted to keep any seized, protected attorney-client privilege communications private (answer: “NO!”) The next question should be whether, when the feds seized all those records from Michael Cohen, were they at the address of the right Michael Cohen?
Those who believed that Iran could be trusted to comply with Obama's nuclear agreement and join the fraternity of responsible, civilized, modern nations should take a long, hard look at how its government is reacting to President Trump’s decision to rescind that agreement. So far, we’ve seen threats that they will order their nuclear scientists to go back to pursuing weapons-grade uranium enrichment (if it’s that easy a switch, do you really believe it wasn’t already under way?), American flags burned, the unprovoked launch of about 20 missiles at Israeli soldiers in the Golan Heights, and chants of “Death to America” (to be fair, they were chanting “Death to America” in their legislature even as Obama was pursuing the agreement, so maybe that doesn’t count.) In short, Iran's current (and let's hope, soon to be former) leaders reacted to news that America didn’t trust them to act like responsible adults with the nation equivalent of a tantrum thrown by a two-year-old who's told he can’t have ice cream for dinner.
Fortunately, Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense prevented anyone from being injured by the Iranian attack. Israel then made it clear that the adult in the room doesn’t tolerate tantrums by using fighter jets and missiles to wipe out nearly all of Iran’s infrastructure in Syria, including military compounds, intelligence operations and munitions warehouses. Israel said this is a limited operation not meant to escalate into a larger war, but they will not allow Iran to establish a military presence in Syria from which to threaten Israel.
For the record, I am currently in Israel, a nation I have visited dozens of times over the years. And for those expressed concern for my safety, thanks, but I'm fine. People often ask if I am afraid to come here. The answer is no, this is actually just about the safest place you can be in the Middle East, and this incident illustrates why.
Israel’s leaders are determined to keep their nation and its people safe, they will repel any attack and respond with devastating force, and they will ignore any unjust criticism for doing so. They are also not fooled by nations that claim to be pursuing peace as they continue pursuing their often-stated goal of eradicating Israel and the Jews from the face of the Earth – and they certainly aren’t going to pretend to believe such dangerous nonsense just to make the UN happy.
On a lighter note, if you didn’t catch the tweet I sent earlier, showing a funny sign in a Jerusalem Old City toilet, here’s a story about it that shows how such a goofy thing can tell you a great deal about the clash of cultures.
The Justice Department once again refused to share information with CIA and FBI overseers on the House Intelligence Committee about a source for alleged information on Russia that they did share with Robert Mueller. This could be leading to a legal and Constitutional showdown between the intelligence agencies and Congress.
In denying the demand for information on the secret source for Mueller’s never-ending, ever-expanding investigation and its resultant questionable FISA court warrants and deep-night raids on private citizens, the DOJ issued this explanation:
“Disclosure of responsive information to such requests can risk severe consequences, including potential loss of human lives, damage to relationships with valued international partners, compromise of ongoing criminal investigations, and interference with intelligence activities.”
Wow! That sounds really, really serious! So I guess if someone had access to the highest level classified information that revealed intelligence sources, and that person cavalierly shared hundreds of such documents on an unsecured private email server that could be easily hacked by America’s enemies so those documents ended up in foreign hands and on highly unsecure laptops of staffers and their felonious spouses, that would be a very serious federal crime that should be thoroughly investigated and then prosecuted to the full extent of the law, wouldn’t it? Or does it all depend on who did that?
On a related note, “Clinton privilege” doesn’t just extend to avoiding investigation and prosecution for improper handling of classified information but also for improper handling of White House interns. It’s the same privilege that was extended to Harvey Weinstein, Al Franken, Eric Schneiderman and other top male Democrats, who long enjoyed an exemption from the rules of decent behavior toward women in private as long as they mouthed the approved feminist dogma in public. It’s good to see women finally standing up and speaking out against that self-serving hypocrisy, and now, add Monica Lewinsky to the list.
Note: the concept of “liberal privilege” also extends beyond sexual behavior and loose email servers.
I know it must pain the media to have to report positive news about President Trump. At last check, their coverage of him was running 91% negative (so hey, it is improving!), with former comedian Jimmy Kimmel helpfully explaining the negative slant by comparing him to the Ebola virus. They’re also distracted with whining about Trump's criticism of them (note that they think the real story is his being angry about their blatant bias and unprofessionalism, not their exhibiting blatant bias and unprofessionalism.)
His Press Secretary (you know who) had to reassure them that the White House supports freedom of the press (which she proves every day by facing that den of foaming-mouthed attack dogs), they just don’t appreciate the bias and lack of fact-checking that results in the broadcasting of fake news. This after Trump sent out a tweet about fake news that ended with “Take away credentials?” It seemed to be a pretty obvious joke designed to push their buttons and boy, did it ever.
The Press Secretary’s fairly gentle criticism brought an angry response from Bloomberg reporter and White House Press Correspondents Association President Margaret Talev, who said, “Just because the president does not like news coverage does not make it fake.” No, being fake is what makes it fake. And lately, the members of her organization have been doing about as good a job of fact-checking as she did of booking a “comedian” for her recent WHPC dinner (way to go, proving you weren’t biased with that decision – also that you can dish it out to the Press Secretary when she’s not allowed to answer back, but you sure can’t take even a tiny, watered-down dose of your own medicine.)
So with the mainstream media consumed with wall-to-wall coverage of cash-hungry porn stars and imaginary Russian collusion and their own hurt widdle feewings, I guess it’s up to me to tell you about the minor news from the White House.
First of all, after greeting the three Americans he got freed from North Korea, Trump sent out this tweet this morning:
“The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong Un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12th. We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!”
Yep, world peace sure sounds worse than the Ebola virus to me! Trump also just signed an executive order for federal agencies to boost job opportunities for veterans by prioritizing the hiring of veterans and their spouses.
Will this nightmare never end?!!
You’ve got to hand it to the leftist PC crowd: just when you think they’ve reached absolute peak crazy, they manage to burrow a little deeper into the loony bin. I wonder who has to change this lady’s diaper?
Lest you think she’s an isolated nutcase, there’s now a whole trend for treating babies as if they were adults. Would you be surprised to hear that this started in Los Angeles, spread by Hollywood celebrities (because who has better-adjusted children than Hollywood celebrities?) and is now getting popular in New York City? I assume it also serves the “progressive” goal of turning kids into neurotic wards of the state right from the cradle. Having succeeded in infantilizing adults, it’s only natural that they’re now turning their attention to adulterating infants.
That “blue wave” is getting to puddle size. In the latest Reuters generic ballot poll, the Democratic advantage is down to 1.4%.
And CNN has it down to 3%...
Historically, the Democrats have to be at least 5 points ahead in polls to show an actual advantage when the real vote is taken. Also, with all the votes counted in the Ohio primary election, the vote totals in the statewide Governor’s races were 560,258 Democrats and 700,000 Republicans.
It's still very early, and Republicans should not get complacent, but the Democratic advantage in terms of anti-Trump hysteria motivating the leftist base is being off-set by Trump’s recent wins on jobs, the economy and foreign policy and by the Democrats’ inability to articulate a platform beyond “We hate Trump and we want to go back to doing a lot of crazy things to make your life miserable again.”
For instance, Nancy Pelosi seemingly confirmed that if the Democrats retake the House in November, she intends to be Speaker again, and they’ll raise taxes back up, despite the boost the new lower rates have given to economic growth, job creation and even government revenues.
You have to give her credit: just by saying such a thing, she found a way to frighten employers into possibly cutting back hiring and expansion plans. It would be no mean feat to hurt the economy with your dumb policies when you're not even able to impose them yet. Merely the threat of imposing them could cost Americans job opportunities. That’s because, unlike Congress under Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats, private sector businesses actually have to make budgets and plan for the future.
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