Trump to close the PLO building
The Wall Street Journal reports that the Trump Administration is expected to announce today that it will close the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s office in Washington. Of course, the PLO described this as a “reckless escalation” of tensions and the US doing the bidding of Israel.
Personally, I’d question why we ever allowed a terrorist-supporting organization to have an office in our nation’s capital. Naturally, the PLO insists that the groups it supports – Hamas and the PLFP (the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) – aren’t terrorists, they’re “Palestinian political parties.” For the record, both the US State Department and the EU have Hamas and the PLFP on their lists of officially-designated terrorist organizations. The PLO itself may not be designated as a terrorist group, but it supports recognized terrorist groups and actually devotes a portion of its budget to a “martyrs’ fund” that gives direct support payments to the families of people who launch suicide attacks on Israeli citizens.
This has been said many times before, but it always bears repeating in the face of the never-ending flow of pro-PLO propaganda: for all the denunciations of Israel for not doing enough for the “peace process,” the simple fact is that if the Palestinians put down their weapons and stopped trying to kill Israelis, there would be peace tomorrow. But if the Israels put down their weapons, they’d all be dead tomorrow.
About Obama's self-serving speech
When former President Barack Obama broke precedent by publicly attacking his successor and taking credit for his successes (wait, I thought Donald Trump was the only President ever to act in a classless manner and brag about his accomplishments?), the initial response was largely focused on how unprecedented that was and whether Obama did deserve credit for the economic boom – except at the liberal media outlets, which focused, as always, on how wonderful Obama was.
But now that analysts have had a few days to chew over Obama’s self-aggrandizing speech (he said the word “I” 102 times in 47 minutes– again: wait, I thought Trump was the first narcissist ever elected President), some more interesting points have come to the fore. Some pundits are even suggesting that by reminding people just how bad things were under him, Obama might have revived his reverse Midas touch that cost the Democrats so many state elections and that, to paraphrase his famous line from 2008, this was the moment when the blue wave began to recede.
Here are a few of the latest talking points:
Obama attacked Trump for his slamming of the media, which to my mind is like criticizing a boxer for punching back at his opponent. Obama’s exact words, including, of course, the words “I” and "me":
“I complained plenty about Fox News, but you never heard me threaten to shut them down, or call them ‘enemies of the people.'”
At the link, a reminder of the many ways in which Obama waged war on Fox News, repeatedly attacking their credibility, attempting to ban them from pool coverage of interviews for asking questions he didn’t want answered, and his DOJ labeling Fox reporter James Rosen as a criminal co-conspirator so they could spy on him to try to learn his source for a story – that was an example of officially branding a reporter an “enemy of the state” just for doing his job. And don’t forget the Obama DOJ’s wholesale seizure of the records of more than 20 phone lines for the Associated Press and its reporters, which the head of the AP called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion.”
As for Obama’s claim that demonizing the opposition is something he never did, I’ll bet all the conservatives bitterly clinging to their guns and religion would beg to differ – particularly the cops who were branded as racists before investigations were even conducted, the Tea Party groups harassed by the IRS, the Christians prosecuted into bankruptcy for declining to be forced to participate in same-sex weddings, and the charitable order of nuns hauled into federal court and threatened with ruinous fines for not wanting to pay for birth control and abortion drugs.
As for Obama’s claim that Trump inherited the booming economy and record-setting unemployment from him, author/blogger/corporate executive Joe Hoft dug up the numbers to show that fails to pass the smell test on virtually every level.
Comparing Trump’s and Obama’s first 600 days, a long enough period to allow a new President’s policies to start showing effects, we see the stark difference between Obama’s economic record and Trump’s. For instance, under Obama, the Dow fell by 30% during that period; under Trump, it closed at all-time highs 99 times. Under Obama, the debt-to-GDP ratio increased by 40%; under Trump, it’s actually gone down (recall that we were told the tax cut would make the debt skyrocket.)
Obama and his supporters would be quick to remind us that he inherited the economic crash of 2008, so naturally, his early numbers are worse than Trump’s. But that doesn’t explain why they remained so dismal for eight years, long after the economy should have roared back. It didn’t, thanks to typical Democratic policies: heavy regulation, crushing business mandates such as Obamacare, and huge increases in the capital gains tax and the top income tax rate. Trump has reversed all of those policies.
The results: even after 7-1/2 years, the final two quarters of GDP growth under Obama were around 1.5%, which is abysmal. As for job creation, in the last 19 months of Obama’s reign of error, only 26,000 manufacturing jobs were created. In the first 19 months under Trump, 830,000 new manufacturing jobs were created. And in the most recent quarter, GDP growth was 4.1%.
It’s mindboggling to see Obama not only credit himself for growth over 4%, but think about this: he’s taking credit for something that he scoffed was no longer possible without a magic wand! Then again, he’s also taking credit for the return of manufacturing jobs that he told us were never coming back. If those successes really are the result of Obama’s policies, then even Obama didn’t have any faith in Obama’s policies!
Obama hits the campaign trail
As Barack Obama hits the campaign trial to try to sell Americans on returning to his failed leftist snake oil, I hope it will cause voters to tune out the constant anti-Trump propaganda and remember just how truly lousy liberal policies are. One hopeful sign is that even in California, Obama’s first campaign appearance at Anaheim Convention Center drew a meager 750 people, or one-tenth capacity of the venue. And that crowd estimate came from the George Soros-funded Think Progress, so for all we know, those might have all been MSNBC reporters.
Media bias, not Trump, shatters public trust
The Trump-hating faction of the media (which is only about 90+% at last tally) is arguing that while the “insider” books and the New York Times op-ed attacking Trump may be full of anonymous sources and easily-debunked factual errors, the sheer mass of nasty stories about Trump should be enough to undermine public trust. But it isn’t making his supporters desert him. Why?
If a powerful news outlet can find 1,000 so-called experts to tell us that the sky is green, that doesn’t make the sky green, especially when we can all look up and see that it’s blue. They can harp at us every day that President Trump is a volatile, incoherent, crazy, dangerous, incompetent dementia sufferer – in fact, that seems to be Stephen Colbert’s only job these days – but we watch Trump give hour-long off-the-cuff speeches and see the incredible gains made in job creation, economic growth and renegotiation of trade deals, while North Korea is willingly denuclearizing, and we can see with our own eyes that the sky isn’t green.
The media have destroyed their own credibility, first by being subtly biased, then by cheerleading for and protecting Bill Clinton, then plainly worshipping Obama, and finally, openly renouncing even the phony veneer of objectivity, declaring it their duty to do anything necessary to elect Hillary and defeat Trump. And now, they wonder why, after two long years of them crying wolf in unison about Trump every day, so many people no longer listen?
Congratulations to the mainstream media for finally managing to completely destroy the public’s trust. Except they’ve destroyed the public’s trust not in Trump, but in themselves.
At the link, a great article by a real Washington insider who’s seen the sort of “anonymous expose by a ‘senior’ official” sneak attacks under two different Republican Administrations, and who explains exactly where these disgruntled whiners come from and why anyone who really understands what’s going on simply ignores them.
This is what “America’s paper of record” has been reduced to by the Trump Derangement Syndrome of its editors: its anonymous op-ed on Trump has been denounced as not up to acceptable journalistic standards – by Bob Woodward!
Where are we on that North Korea deal?
We’re seeing a lot of handwringing in the media lately about President Trump being “volatile” and unpredictable, and how that might lead to World War III. Or it might be part of his well-established negotiating style to keep the other side off-balance. I guess Trump’s critics like a nice, safe, predictable style of negotiating with our enemies, where they always know exactly what we’re going to do if they provoke us: nothing whatsoever.
Apparently, though, Kim Jong-Un responds better to the potential threat of retaliation than to weak-kneed capitulation and diplomatic gasbaggery. The latest clue is that in North Korea’s 70th anniversary parade on Sunday, there were no ICBMs on display. A North Korean parade without a display of missiles is like a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade without giant balloons. But one expert on North Korea said that “Kim Jong Un showed that he did not want to antagonize President Trump.”
Imagine that, a punk dictator who’s actually afraid of a US President! Would you say that’s an indicator that America’s being made great again?
As I watch the media excoriate Trump’s personal style while he’s having incredible success, and long for the smoothness of Obama, whose Administration was like an eight-year bad dream of economic hopelessness, out-of-control government and weakness that emboldened America’s enemies, it makes me think of the popular TV show, “House MD.”
Dr. House was erratic, sarcastic and occasionally nasty, with a biting sense of humor and a terrible bedside manner. If you were doing something stupid that harmed your health or you were a doctor who got a diagnosis wrong, he relished telling you so in no uncertain terms. He once irritated a prosecutor so much that the guy raided his house in the middle of the night to try to send him to prison (sound familiar?) Yet, he was seemingly the only one capable of diagnosing and healing patients who just kept getting sicker when they were under the care of nice, conventional, business-as-usual doctors.
To complete the Trump/House analogy, who would you rather have in charge of an ailing America: the mercurial, occasionally insulting guy who actually identifies and fixes the problem, or a smooth-talking incompetent who glibly makes excuses while the country keeps deteriorating?
If you live on the East Coast, it’s not too early to prepare for Hurricane Florence. Don’t wait until the last minute to brace your home or go to the store when there’s nothing left on the shelves. If you’re advised to evacuate, do it: don’t try to “ride it out,” and for Heaven’s sake, don’t leave any animals behind to ride it out! And if you take precautions and brace for the worst, and the storm takes a turn and doesn’t hit you, don’t complain about the wasted time and effort, or the unreliable weather forecasters. Just thank God for answering prayers.
Michael Moore in the news
I’m always hesitant to credit things said about people by their ex-spouses, but Michael Moore’s ex-wife Kathleen Glynn is so certain of her case against him that she’s taken it into court. She’s suing Moore for allegedly failing to pay her required profit sharing from the movies they made together. He’s supposed to pay her 4% of the total revenue from their films, but she claims she was paid only $600 for all of 2014. To be fair, in 2014, Michael claimed to the IRS that his income was a negative $350,862, although that sounds like the result of the kind of deductions that only evil capitalists who don’t want to pay their fair share would take.
Ironically, some of the movies they made together that he’s allegedly failed to share the wealth from include “Capitalism: A Love Story,” a harsh critique of greedy capitalists, and “Sicko,” a movie extolling the free government health care in Cuba.
According to Glynn’s lawsuit, she "signed over essentially all of her interest in the fruits of the parties’ joint efforts as film-makers … in exchange for a promise of future revenue-sharing by" her husband. Yep, that’s pretty much the same deal that everyone who falls for the promises of socialism signs up for. Sounds like it’s worked out as well for her as it has for Venezuelans.
Miss America pageant ruined by politics
Add the Miss America pageant to the ever-growing list of formerly enjoyable, all-American things that “progressive” politics ruins.
Last week, I suggested that all members of the Senate should be given copies of the Constitution to carry, the way Judge Brett Kavanaugh does. Well, I think we can guess what California Sen. Kamala Harris’ response would be: No thanks!
TIME TO STOP THIS: no evidence, no crime, NO SPECIAL COUNSEL
Though I’m very grateful to readers who take time to offer their thoughts about my commentaries on the “deep state” (and, yes, that element is there), it’s always somewhat disheartening to go through them. That’s because I share your frustration about the lack of a unified system of justice, and it’s hard not to be overtaken by cynicism when it seems nothing is ever going to be done to mend it.
But as the details of the scheme to exonerate Hillary and manufacture an investigation into Donald Trump grow clearer with each passing day, one can’t help but hold out hope that “the truth will out.” Legal expert Andrew C. McCarthy has a new piece in NATIONAL REVIEW that just lays it all on the table. He acknowledges that if there had been evidence that Trump himself had anything to do with Russian interference in the 2016 election, an investigation into that would have been essential, even if it compromised his time in office. But he goes on to make the point that we have never been told this is the case, let alone been shown the evidence itself.
And the time to establish that there was evidence of a crime would have been in the very beginning, before the appointment of a special counsel.
Just how did we end up with a special counsel, anyway? As I recall, every Democrat in Washington went on every talk show in America, screaming about “Russia, Russia, Russia” and loudly calling for one. It seems every one of them got the memo. The motivation was huge –- they knew exactly what would be unleashed if they could get Trump investigated from every angle. They wanted those tax returns. They wanted privileged information. They wanted personal gossip. They wanted to tie his hands legally, to keep him from making appointments –- especially to the Supreme Court. They wanted him under oath, caught in a perjury trap and, of course, impeached or induced to resign. The appointment of a special counsel would be the first step.
But it’s not supposed to be a first step. ESTABLISHING EVIDENCE OF A CRIME COMES FIRST.
If deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had evidence of a crime, he didn’t offer it. And at this point, as McCarthy points out, millions of taxpayer dollars have been poured into the special counsel probe. Those targeted for investigation –- and even just the witnesses –- have been ruined financially by the cost of compliance with the special counsel and other courts. They’ve all got to have sharp, as in high-priced, legal representation before going before a grand jury or special counsel interrogator.
Just ask Michael Flynn, who naively spoke to questioners without a lawyer present. He ended up being charged with lying to investigators who didn’t even think he’d lied. He lost his home –- he’s living with relatives now –- plus his job as national security advisor, and some would say his reputation, although his reputation remains sterling as far as I’m concerned. This is a man who served his country, and look how he has been treated, just because he happened to be working for this President.
That’s another problem with starting an investigation and knocking people down like dominoes to get to the President. Who’s going to want to serve in government if that’s the likely scenario? It’s just too much of a risk. There are plenty of prestigious, high-paying jobs in the private sector for talented, educated individuals who want to do well in life. The only people who will be attracted to this horror-show environment are power mongers who enjoy gaming the system.
So it’s time for everyone to look beyond their personal view of Trump and see what this is doing to our government. I supported Trump as the nominee of my party, and I’m quite pleased, even somewhat amazed, by his long list of accomplishments to date, especially given the pack of legal pit bulls chasing him and the mindless resistance from left-wing crazies. Who else would be able to stand up to all of that and still do his job? His energy and resilience are stunning.
McCarthy takes a hypothetical look at how this might have unfolded if the President were a Democrat, and he sees something very different from what is going on with Trump. He says that the question before commencing an investigation would simply be: Have the laws and rules been satisfied? (With Trump, they have NOT.) The FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election would be “aggressively pursued until its conclusion” –- after all, we do know there was some of that going on –- but a special counsel would not be deemed necessary and therefore would not be authorized.
If the counterintelligence probe happened to turn up evidence that the President had participated in a crime, it would be appropriate AT THAT TIME for a special counsel to be appointed. The regulations for special counsels do not authorize appointment for counterintelligence cases, only criminal cases, which require evidence of a crime. The attorney general (or his deputy) does not get to appoint a special counsel just because of a lot of political yammering from people who hate the President.
Are you listening, Mr. Rosenstein? Surely someone with your legal background knows this. I know this. Gregg Jarrett, in his book THE RUSSIA HOAX, makes the same point with crystal clarity. Why in God’s name did you appoint Robert Mueller?
As if that weren’t enough, for a special counsel to be appointed, there’s supposed to be a conflict of interest within the Justice Department that interferes with its ability to investigate Russian interference. But if there were, Mueller wouldn’t have passed on the two actual cases he had to the U.S. attorney’s office in DC and the National Security Division of the DOJ. At the same time, there’s plenty of conflict within the group that Mueller appointed to serve on his team; we’ve been all over that for months. McCarthy makes a great point: “...How is it appropriate to staff a special counsel probe, which is premised on avoiding a conflict of interest, with lawyers who were top officials in the Justice Department whose conduct of the same probe is under investigation?”
He spells out what we intuitively know –- that if the President were a Democrat, this would not be happening. The Democrats and the media (but I repeat myself) would be screaming bloody murder that there was no conflict of interest warranting the appointment of a special counsel. And they’d be right! But the Republicans always just get run over. Why is that? Why aren’t they demanding an answer?
Rosenstein and Mueller’s team have even had the nerve to say the guidelines for special counsels are merely that –- guidelines –- and not enforceable. So, the special counsel is God, not answerable to any rule? It gets to be as secret as it likes –- hang what it does to the President’s ability to perform his job?
McCarthy has a word for this: “preposterous.” He points out that in every special counsel since Watergate, the President and the public have been told exactly what crimes led to the investigation. In August of 2017, Rosenstein did give Mueller a memo --- still mostly secret --- offering something of a factual basis for the probe. But McCarthy says that from what we know of it, the memo simply offers allegations, not evidence that they are true.
At some point, Mueller will issue a report, which may offer fevered Democrats some excuse to impeach the President, not for crimes but for subjective behavior they just don’t appreciate. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. Mueller is supposed to report on decisions relative to crimes; that is, should they or should they not be prosecuted? That is his assignment.
As McCarthy eloquently puts it, “Mueller is a prosecutor working for the Justice Department, not counsel for a congressional impeachment committee.”
For much more detail, read his entire column. The drumbeat is getting louder, but it still isn’t nearly loud enough. This travesty has to end. Take a lesson from Democrats and make yourself heard, but this time in defense of the Constitution and our endangered justice system. Come on, Republicans, shout it with me: “Mr. Rod Rosenstein...where’s the evidence of a crime?!”
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