The Wire

  • Trump explores tariffs on autos, auto parts

    Excerpt from AP:

    The Trump administration launched an investigation into whether tariffs are needed on the imports of automobiles into the United States, moving swiftly as talks over the North American Free Trade Agreement have stalled. President Donald Trump predicted earlier that U.S. automakers and auto workers would be “very happy” with the outcome of the NAFTA talks.

    The White House said in a statement Wednesday that the president had asked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to consider whether the imports of automobiles, including trucks, and automotive parts threaten U.S. national security. The president said in the statement that “core industries such as automobiles and automotive parts are critical to our strength as a Nation.”

    The U.S. remains far apart on the talks over rewriting the trade pact with Canada and Mexico, with the discussions at an impasse over rules for car production. The initiation of the trade investigation could be seen as an attempt to gain leverage in the talks with the two U.S. neighbors. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that efforts to renegotiate the trade agreement could spill into next year.

  • Alice Martin stresses experience in campaign for attorney general

    Excerpt from Montgomery Advertiser:

    Before Alice Martin was an attorney, she was a nurse.

    “The nurses have the minute-by-minute contact with the patients, versus the doctors making rounds in the morning and afternoon,” Martin said in a recent interview. “It was so important to be the eyes for the physicians when they weren’t there, so you could tell them more than what you could chart.”

    While she ended up going into the law, Martin said her time as a psychiatric nurse proved valuable in a career where she’s worked as a private attorney, a prosecutor and a judge.

    “I used it in criminal cases when I was looking at autopsy reports, in forensic reports,” she said. “You can use it because it’s so much easier to communicate with doctors and nurses when you’re defending them in liability cases.”

    It goes with Martin’s chief argument in her campaign for attorney general: She has a resume no other candidate can match.

  • Roy Moore postpones news conference to announce new lawsuit

    Excerpt from AL.com:

    There won’t be an announcement today of a new lawsuit by Roy Moore today after all.

    Moore’s defense team issued another press release Thursday morning, postponing the news conference scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday in Gadsden.

    The full statement from Moore’s attorneys:

    “The announcement of new charges against additional defendants in this matter will be postponed due to delay of cases already pending before two separate courts of the state, as well as at the Alabama Supreme Court, making it inadvisable to proceed at this time.

    “We fully intend to announce new charges against new defendants in the coming months.”

1 hour ago

How the Russia investigation helps Trump

(Wikicommons, G. Skidmore/Flickr)

This week, for the first time in months, a generic ballot poll showed Republicans beating Democrats in the midterm elections.

According to Reuters, Republicans are now leading by six points. And while that poll is obviously an outlier, the movement of the generic ballot in the direction of Republicans isn’t: The average lead for Democrats has been dropping steadily since late February, from a nine-point lead to a four-point lead.

Why?

Certainly, the economy has something to do with it: The job market continues to boom; the stock market continues to hover around 25,000; and GDP continues to grow steadily. And, certainly, foreign policy has something to do with it: There are no catastrophic foreign wars on the horizon, and President Trump’s gutsy calls to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal and move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem resulted in zero serious backlash.

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Democrats opposed the Trump tax cuts and have whined incessantly about Trump’s Middle East foreign policy, even going so far as to demonstrate a certain level of warmth toward terrorist group Hamas. This isn’t exactly brilliant politicking.

But there’s another reason Democrats seem to be dropping like a stone, too: their Russia obsession. The reality is most Americans think the Russia investigation is going nowhere. As of early May, just 44 percent of Americans though the FBI special counsel investigation of President Trump and his associates is justified; fifty-three percent thought that the investigation is politically motivated. Three-quarters of Americans think Trump should cooperate with the probe, but Americans are skeptical that there is a there there.

And so far, Americans have been right. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has resulted in indictments of Trump associates on a charge of lying to the FBI, but there have been no indictments related to the original brief of his investigation: election collusion with the Russians. Meanwhile, each day seems to bring new headlines regarding the extent of the FBI investigation, dating all the way back to mid-2016. Americans aren’t going to read all the details of the various stories — they’re just going to take away that law enforcement was all over the Trump campaign, has come up with nothing thus far and continues to hound the Trump White House.

Furthermore, Democrats are getting discouraged. They were promised a deus ex machina — an alien force that would swoop in to end the Trump presidency. They hoped it would be Mueller; they were convinced the election was stolen. It wasn’t, and it’s unlikely Mueller will end Trump’s presidency.

So when Trump fulminates about the supposed sins of the “deep state,” few Americans are exercised. Most shrug; some even nod along. Democrats seethe but have no new fodder for their ire — and every day that passes with the media chumming the waters and coming up empty drives down enthusiasm even more. And Trump’s focus on Russia means that he spends less time tweeting about other topics — which helps him, since he’s less likely to make a grave error on those fronts.

If Mueller truly has nothing, there’s a serious case to be made that the Russia collusion investigation actually helped Trump more than it hurt him. And Democrats might just have to come up with a plan for dealing with Trump’s policies other than praying for an avenging angel to frog-march him from the White House.

Ben Shapiro, 34, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

20 hours ago

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers says he has seen no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, calls it a distraction

(M. Rogers/Facebook)

As the calls to investigate the investigators continue to grow, America has clearly started to tire of non-stop news coverage and the politicking off of the narrative of the narrative that the Russians and Trump campaign colluded to steal the election from Hillary Clinton. Congressman Mike Rogers was asked on WVNN this morning if he has seen ANYTHING that leads him to believe actual collusion took place:

“None, and this town leaks like a sieve. If there was anything it would have been leaked months ago. They have nothing. All they can do is keep this cloud out there in the fake news media that there’s some corruption going on between the Trump Administration and the Russian government and there is no evidence of that. This is all about trying to keep people distracted from all the good things the Trump administration has been doing.”

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Why this matters: Rogers is hardly the first Alabama politician to make this statement. Congressman Mo Brooks called for the probe to end soon. As this drags on, Americans have soured on House Democrats, giving Republicans an edge for the first time. The investigation has gone from collusion, to Internet ads, to financial crimes committed by people years before the campaign, to a porn star’s payment, to a former attorney trying to sell access, and all along NOTHING proving collusion has been brought forward while plenty of information continues to come out.

Like Rogers, America is over this.

Listen to the interview here:

How to avoid going ‘wobbly’ on the truth

(Pixabay)

Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:

REX TILLERSON ON HOW TO KEEP COUNTRY FROM GOING “WOBBLY”

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, there’s a little town in Virginia which you’ve visited many times, Lexington, Virginia, the home of Washington and Lee College but also the home of the Virginia Military Institute. It was at that place that former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was invited to come and give the commencement speech to the students.

He said, “If our leaders are to conceal the truth or we, as people, become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we, as America citizens, are on the pathway to relinquishing our freedom.”

He went on to say, “If we, as a people — a free people — go wobbly on the truth even on what may seem to be the most trivial of matters, we go wobbly on America.”

DR. REEDER: Well, yeah, wobbly until it all falls down. Now, I know everybody is reading this as a statement he is making concerning his previous boss, which is the president of the United States when he served as secretary of state, and I think that deserves analysis but that’s not where I want to go today.

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I think the removal of Secretary of State Tillerson, while he was on a mission by the president and his claim he did not know that was going to happen, that certainly is an interesting story of leadership, and this particular president’s style and Mr. Tillerson, who has come out of the corporate world in order to be the Secretary of State at the request of President Trump.

And I think that’s a story, but what I think he’s done is put his finger on something very, very truthful. It’s interesting that it should be done in that particular area because you’ve got Virginia Military Institute and you’ve got, next to it, Washington and Lee College, both of which have very stringent honor codes and, noteworthy, continue to this day, to some degree, both of those colleges.

OUR COUNTRY’S LEGACY IS OF UPRIGHT LEADERS 

One of the previous presidents, as many know, of Washington and Lee College was Robert E. Lee and, in his presidency, he was asked about the honor code. And he affirmed it, but then he said, “Really, you only need one and that is you ought to conduct yourself as a Christian gentleman.” And by the way, these are student-affirmed and student-enforced in both cases.

Here’s the way Jesus said it: Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Don’t be nuanced, trying to technically say the right thing but communicate the wrong thing or don’t say the right thing in the wrong way.

The way I try to say it is this: Say what you mean, mean what you say and never be mean when you say it. And that’s what I think Tillerson is saying, at least on the say what you mean and mean what you say.

LACK OF TRUST IN POLITICIANS IS THE NORM NOW

When a leader says something, it’s got to be trustworthy. It has become almost accepted fact the proverbial, “How do you know when a politician is lying? If he’s moving his mouth.” And, while that’s a joke, it is also a very sad joke.

It ought to be the exact opposite. Our first president, now, whether he actually cut down that cherry tree or not and then turned himself in… but the fact that things like that develop around a man tells you something about the man. And the story of Abraham Lincoln, who walked all those miles to return the coin because it wasn’t his — the stories abound of the truthfulness and trustworthiness.

You can’t be trustworthy if you can’t tell the truth and one of the things that is so important for a country such as this one that is based upon law is that, if you lose trust in those who lead you, then everything goes wobbly.

TRUST IN LEADERSHIP VS LEADERSHIP CRISIS

Well, how do you attempt to undo the wobbliness? Well, what happens in a country like ours is the same thing that happens in a family and the same thing that happens in a business and, by the way — since I’m a pastor — the same thing that happens in a church. If you lose trust in the soul and the gravitas and the truthfulness of your leaders and your leadership, once you lose that trust, the next step is to multiply legislation and regulations in order to attempt to maintain order.

And so, what do you see in our country now? You see reems and reems and reems of regulations, and legislations and lawsuits and that’s how the country now tries to maintain order. It used to be you didn’t need a 20-page contract — it was a handshake.

It used to be you could just write it out on a page and, “Is that what you said?” “Yeah, that’s what I said,” “Is that what you said?” “Yeah.” “Alright, let’s sign it.” You didn’t have to have 15 different statements for 13 different agencies to sign and seal and get a notary in order to cover any possible loopholes when the reality is, once you get into legislation and regulation to cover loopholes because people aren’t trustworthy, well, those same people just create more loopholes and now you’ve multiplied more legislation and regulation.

If a company, if a church, if a family has leaders that are trustworthy and that speak the truth, are reliable and you know that, what they’re saying, they actually say what they mean, mean what they say and would never be mean when they say it, then you don’t need all of those regulations and you don’t need all of that legislation and you certainly don’t need all of the lawsuits in order to try to restrain people.

Therefore, Mr. Tillerson’s statement is that a nation goes wobbly if its leaders do not speak the truth and speak the truth in terms of what actually is really happening — this is reality, we don’t have an alternate reality that we’re trying to create verbally. Here is what’s happening, here are the facts and then people are trustworthy to affirm them and to report them.

INTEGRITY-FILLED JOURNALISTS ARE CRITICAL, TOO

By the way, not only in the three branches of our government do we need that kind of leadership — in the judicial, in the legislative and in the executive branch on the local, state and national level — but, Tom, we need it in what many have called the fourth estate of our government and that is journalism.

To have journalists who do their work well and report facts factually, that is also a blessing. And our founding fathers knew that was important, which is why they created the freedom of the press to hold people accountable and the free practice of religion to mature and maintain our freedoms and call people to truthfulness and trustworthiness.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

 

22 hours ago

It’s your fault! Decatur Daily, TimesDaily blame Alabama, not illegal immigration for possible loss of US House seat

(W.Miller/YHN)

Alabama is in danger of losing one of its seven congressional seats, and it’s your fault.

That is according to a Wednesday editorial that appeared in two north Alabama newspapers, the Decatur Daily and Florence’s TimesDaily.

The editorial board of the Daily and the TimesDaily reacted to a lawsuit filed by the state of Alabama and Rep. Mo Brooks’ (R-Huntsville) against the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Census Bureau announced a day earlier. The goal of the suit is to stop illegal immigrants from being counted in the 2020 census. If they are included, it could mean the loss of a congressional seat for Alabama after the data is compiled and the U.S. House seats are apportioned.

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According to the editorial, Alabama only has itself to blame if it loses a House seat given the tack the state has taken on illegal immigration, which it argued sent the wrong message to legal immigrants.

“The rest of the South is booming, and Alabama is the only state in the Deep South that looks likely to lose a congressional seat following the 2020 census. There is a reason for this: In 2011, the state Legislature passed HB 56, a draconian measure aimed at “illegal immigration.” The law had the net effect of making Alabama look inhospitable to immigrants legal and illegal.”

There’s no question HB had its problems. It was hastily conceived legislation, and it was destined to fail in the long run because it couldn’t pass muster with the courts.

However, if the message sent from Alabama’s tough stance on immigration is to blame, why isn’t Arizona in danger of losing one of its nine congressional seats for the similar immigration legislation it passed in 2010?

Arizona’s SB 1070 had much more of the national spotlight than Alabama’s HB 56. We all remember then-Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) tangling with President Barack Obama on the tarmac at the airport in Phoenix.

Instead, Arizona is expected to gain a seat after the 2020 Census according to Bloomberg.

So much for that theory.

Beyond that incorrect assumption, this editorial is just wrong in its key criticism that Alabama was in need of improvement on how “inviting” it has made itself to immigrants.

“Instead of suing the federal government, Alabama should instead work on making itself inviting to immigrants from abroad,” the editorial added. “Otherwise, in another 10 years, it may fall even further behind the rest of the country.”

Alabamians have welcomed Hispanic immigrants to its state. A trip through Franklin County’s Russellville or Marshall County’s Albertville doesn’t seem to suggest Alabama has closed its doors to them.

The Decatur Daily and TimesDaily make the dubious claim that all people in a congressional district, legal or illegal, are constitutionally guaranteed representation and therefore Alabama and Mo Brooks don’t have a legitimate gripe. But what it ignores is why Alabamians take issue with the federal government’s handling of immigration.

A mass influx of immigrants may make newspaper editors feel good about themselves, as they drive to and from the newspaper office while listening to the intellectual ramblings over the airwaves of Alabama Public Radio.

“Ah, if our state could only be as enlightened about humanity as we are!”

Immigration policy has a significant impact on the existing communities. Schools and infrastructure are often overwhelmed, public safety concerns are increased given any new population requires police and fire protection, and on and on.

How is any of this addressed by blaming voters for electing politicians that run on frustrations with immigration? Is it wrong to challenge an advantage given to other states that encourage illegal immigration through sanctuary city and lax drivers license policies?

Rather than publish some left-wing screed that reads more like a column written by a sophomore for a college newspaper, consider things from the point of view of your readers. Consider the impact of immigration on the communities they have built and have lived in all their lives.

That doesn’t seem like too much of an ask for newspapers of record in two of Alabama’s biggest cities.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

1 day ago

How junk science puts innocent people in jail

(ReasonTV/YouTube)

On TV crime shows like “CSI,” “NCIS” and “Law & Order,” science gets the bad guys.

In real life, “science” often ensnares the innocent.

Former NYPD Detective Harry Houck gets annoyed when TV shows make forensic science look infallible.

“You watch a detective get down and look at a body (and say), ‘He’s been dead for three hours now… (H)e ate dinner four hours ago,'” scoffs Houck. “I can’t do that.”

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On TV, experts identify killers by their bite marks. In real life, experts claim they can do that.

The TV show “Cold Case Files” covered the trial of Alfred Swinton. He was convicted of murder because a bite-mark expert said his teeth matched a bite on the victim.

“A perfect match!” said Dr. Gus Karazulas, the “forensic odontologist” whose testimony clinched the conviction.

Karazulas sounded impartial and objective. “A forensic scientist is not on the side of the prosecutor or defense,” he said on “Cold Case Files.” “We look at the evidence.”

But Swinton was innocent. Lawyer Chris Fabricant helped get him released from jail by doing a DNA test, a much more reliable, less subjective form of science.

Fabricant scoffs at bite-mark testimony: “The doctor was just wrong. It’s an unreliable technique.”

The more room there is for an expert witness’s unique interpretation of the data, the more that can go wrong, says Fabricant. “Bite mark is similar to you and I looking at a cloud. I say to you, ‘John, doesn’t that cloud look like a rabbit?’ And you say, ‘Yeah, Chris, I think that does look like a rabbit.'”

That kind of junk science puts innocent people in jail.

I told Fabricant that I assumed most people in jail are guilty. Also, many people say crime is down because aggressive law enforcement has locked so many people up.

“If you think that maybe even 1 percent of convicted defendants may be innocent,” replied Fabricant, “we have 2.6 million people in prison today, (so) we are talking about tens of thousands of (innocent) people!”

Fabricant works with the Innocence Project, a group that works to get innocent people freed from prison. Through DNA evidence, the project’s lawyers have helped free 191 people.

That confident bite-mark expert who got Swinton convicted now admits he was wrong. “Bite mark evidence is junk science,” he told us via email. He resigned from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

But police still trust bite marks.

“Let’s say one tooth is missing in the front” of a bite mark, explains Houck. “You’ve got to go, well, our suspect’s got one tooth missing in the front. That’s pretty good!”

Houck says he’d demand other evidence. But not all cops do — especially when scientific “experts” say someone’s guilty.
Bite marks are just one dubious method police and prosecutors use.

FBI researchers claim fingerprints are right more than 99 percent of the time. But that still leaves plenty of wrongful convictions.

After terrorists killed 193 people in Madrid, the FBI matched a fingerprint on a terrorist’s bag to a man in Oregon named Brandon Mayfield. They arrested him. But Mayfield was innocent. Weeks later, Spanish investigators compared the prints more carefully and found the real terrorist.

Other techniques are even less accurate: carpet-fiber evidence, gun tracing, use of psychics, hair matching.

“A dog hair was associated wrongfully with a human hair,” says Fabricant. “Since the turn of this century, there have been 75 wrongful convictions (based on hair matches).”

Why do judges and lawyers accept such dubious evidence?

“We all went to law school because we don’t know science, we don’t know math,” he replied. “If somebody comes in in a white lab coat, and says, ‘I’ve been accredited by the American Board of Forensic Odontology,’ that’s good enough for government work.”

That shouldn’t be. Too much is at stake.

Jurors tend to believe people who call themselves “scientists.”

Judges should be more skeptical. They should ban junk science from courtrooms.

John Stossel is author of “No They Can’t! Why Government Fails — But Individuals Succeed.”

(JFS Productions, copyright 2018)

2 days ago

State Rep. Ainsworth on Gov. Ivey: ‘The blood is on her hands’ if we have Alabama school gun incident

(Will Ainsworth for Lt. Governor)

Gov. Kay Ivey convened a committee to study school security in the wake of the massacre at Marjory Douglas High School and the committee found that we need more school resource officers and buildings that are harder to get into.

These no-brainer solutions require funding and planning, two things no government is good at. Bottom line: there is no way these things get implemented anytime soon. But Alabama already has a model in place for allowing trained teachers to carry in classrooms, it just needs an approval from the Legislature and a signature from the governor.

State Representative Will Ainsworth isn’t holding back his criticism of Gov. Ivey’s handling of this:

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“The reason I called for [a special session] Friday after the shooting, and really it’s too late, we should have done it last session when we actually had legislation and we had the opportunity. And so, we got an opportunity with the Legislature, the governor has an opportunity to fix the problem. She’s got the study back, and I want to be real clear on this, if the Legislature and specifically Governor Kay Ivey does not do anything before school starts back in the fall and there ends up being an incident or accident, the blood is on her hands.”

Why this matters: Ainsworth is completely correct. There has been a complete lack of action on this issue in the state of Alabama and elsewhere. Florida acted after the shooting in Parkland, and Texas will do SOMETHING after the shooting in Sante Fe. To say that the outcomes of these responses are appropriate is debatable. But we are not required to wait until after we have our own funerals because of a mass shooting event at an Alabama school before we do something.

Listen to the interview here:

Government branches must hold each other accountable, not circumvent each other

(USA.gov)

Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:

FBI AND JUDICIAL SECRETS UNEARTHED – WHAT NOW?

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, last week, a report was released by The New York Times which revealed that, under the FBI director James Comey’s leadership, they used a secret program that does not require the approval of a judge to gather phone records and other documents on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

The FBI ordered phone records and other documents using national security letters, a secret type of subpoena, officials said, and at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page — Carter Page — and Mr. Papadopoulos.

That has become a politically contentious point with Mr. Trump’s allies who are questioning whether the FBI was spying on the Trump campaign and trying to entrap campaign officials.

The national security letters are controversial, in part, because they carry the force of the law but are created entirely outside of the judicial system. To issue one, an FBI official needs to attest that the information sought is relevant to a national security investigation. The letters have also been criticized because they are shrouded in secrecy.

Harry, we have three distinct branches of government — judicial, congressional and executive. Is this a breaching of those three separate branches of government?

DR. REEDER: Not so much breach, I would say, as to circumvent. Tom, when I was in the ninth grade, I have to confess I was not all that interested as I should have been in my studies, but there was one little bright star in all of this and that was Robert Woodburn — I still remember him today — who was my Civics teacher in the ninth grade. I just got drawn into it.

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FOUNDING FATHERS’ “AMERICAN EXPERIMENT” 

I was amazed at our founding fathers who had just made it very clear that they were carrying out this American experiment by, first, we’re not going to have a monarchy where one man rules and, therefore, his tyranny in the accumulation of power, and we’re not going to have an oligarchy were the elite rule in their accumulation of power and money and wealth and we’re not going to have a democracy where a mob can rule. What we’re going to have is a republic where it is a people who are agreed that, in their local government, their state government and their federal government, we will be ruled by law and, therefore, it is the law that is king.

And then, to carry out that law or to make that law or to amend that law, there would be three branches of government. There would be the executive branch of government, which executes the law as it exists; there would be the judicial branches of government that would govern and would make rulings based upon the law and rulings concerning the lawfulness of any other proposed law in terms of the existing law; and then, finally, there would be the legislative which upholds the law, makes amendments to the law or bring forth any new law. And all of these would be accountable to their vows to the Constitution of the United States.

The executive branch of government would be elected, the legislative branch of government would be elected and then the executive and the legislative would bring forth the nominees for those who would be judges and, in some states, those judge positions where also elected — others, they would be appointed by those who had been elected in the executive and legislative branch.

Now, having put all that together in those brief moments, you have to realize that was to be implemented, to some degree, on all three levels: the local level where you would have mayors and you would have councils and you would have local judges; and then you would have it on a state level where you’d have a governor and state legislatures and state judges as well as state supreme courts; and then you would have it on the national level. Tom, part of the genius, also, was that these were not hierarchical but interdependent and accountable to each other.

Tom, there are two things that we see breached in this article that you’ve pointed out and first is how the executive branch, or runaway branches of the executive branch, attempt to circumvent the role of the judicial and then how the legislative abandons their responsibility to hold all of them accountable.

CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS ARE IMPORTANT, BUT ARE BEING ABUSED

Today, when we hear that the Congress is going to have a congressional hearing, what we basically think about is a sideshow in which various congressmen will use the opportunity to declare their talking points and lay out their next campaign and be able to make a name for themselves in what they question and how they question.

In reality, it was not there for a platform to promote our congressional members, but it was there for them to exercise oversight. They might have to have congressional hearings concerning the judicial branch or they might have to have congressional hearings concerning local and state governments on movements in the nation that need to be investigated in terms of any legislative impact. And there were congressional hearings for the executive branch, as well.

DO SPECIAL COUNSELS HELP OR HURT?

These are not moments for a showtime; these are moments to really hold people accountable: are you acting within your constitutional boundaries? I think you have said it before, most insightfully, these special prosecutors, I believe as you do, is not a good thing to do for various reasons.

Once you cut these special counsels loose and their investigative teams, with the powers of subpoena, the things that they have, they’re going to find something to validate what they’re doing and they can always argue, “I need to go down this trail because this may help me find what is happening over here that I was actually commissioned to do and investigate, but I need to investigate this because it may open up doors over here.”

Well, now they’re uncovering other things in the lives of people and in the past of people and they’re making it public and that becomes a political football to toss around. The special prosecutor is simply a statement of the cowardice or the ineptness of Congress to do their job in congressional hearings.

LET’S HOLD THESE EGREGIOUS BRANCH ACTIONS ACCOUNTABLE

Now, if there’s ever any place for clarity — moral clarity and legal clarity — it’s in the investigations that have and are and need to take place from Congress concerning how the FBI has been conducting itself and they also need to investigate how the IRS has been conducting itself.

Both have engaged in behavior that is punitive, oppressive and beyond the scope of their responsibilities but you need a Congress that will do its job, and then you need a judicial branch that will do its job and the executive branch needs to be accountable to the legislative body. And, once again, these congressional hearings have been the mechanism whereby that was supposed to be accomplished.

TOMORROW: REX TILLERSON GIVES WISE COMMENCEMENT ADVICE

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, on tomorrow’s edition of Today in Perspective, I want to take you to a little town in Virginia — Lexington, Virginia — where a lot of American history has taken place. Former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was asked to talk to the graduates of VMI last week.

DR. REEDER: He made a comment that I think is extremely important to understand and, I believe, affirm what he said. Tom, can I also just finish up today’s program by mentioning this: the accountability that’s built into our government is an accountability we all need.

NOT JUST GOVERNMENT THAT NEEDS ACCOUNTABILITY 

There are three guys I’ve been with now for 34 years in an accountability relationship. I’ve got accountability to my wife, I’ve got accountability to my family, I’ve got accountability to those whom I work with and my elders and I believe this is very important, as you and I attempt to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ.

Accountability in life as well as accountability in government, that is a great principle but, most of all, I need to know that I am accountable to the Lord. My dear friends, I want you to know — and the other day they came out with a statement — that, once you put something in the digital world, it never goes away. You can find it and you can be held accountable.

Here’s what the Lord has said: “We give an account for every word and every action. How can I stand before a holy God Who will, by no means, leave the guilty unpunished and I’m accountable and will stand before Him because it is appointed unto men once to die and then the judgment?”

Well, let me tell you the way — the way is to come to Jesus Christ, Who will remove all of the guilt and shame by having taken our judgement for us at the cross and can set you on a new life where you come before the Lord, not as a criminal at the judgment seat, but as a son and a daughter able to affirm the stewardship of new life in Jesus Christ. Come to the One who sits at the judgment seat. He’s already come and He went to the cross for you.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

2 days ago

I can help Democrats and their media allies find Russian collusion and interference

(YHN/Pixabay)

Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether President Donald Trump and the Russians colluded to rig the 2016 presidential election so far has borne little fruit. The Democrats and their media allies would love to find some Russian collusion and interference. I can help them discover some, but I doubt that they will show much interest. Here it goes.

For years, Russia has been the world’s largest oil producer. Within recent times, the U.S. has edged Russia out of the No. 1 spot. Much of the increased U.S. production is attributable to hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the shale formations in Texas and North Dakota. Now the U.S. is a net exporter of oil. Exports of oil have exceeded oil imports since 2011. This hasn’t sat well with Russia, which has taken measures to hinder our oil productivity.

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An American Spectator magazine story points to the kind of Russian collusion and domestic meddling that meets the approval of Democrats, leftists and their media allies. The story is aptly titled “Russian funding of U.S. environmental groups shows how collusion is done”. A 2014 U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee report identified that the San Francisco-based Sea Change Foundation receives funding from a Bermuda-based shell company known as Klein Ltd. Klein Ltd. was created by attorneys from Wakefield Quin, a law firm that has close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Klein Ltd. operates as a “pass-through” organization for foreign funds going into the U.S.

The IRS requires nonprofit organizations to file 990 forms that report their activities. Those 990s show that Klein Ltd. contributed $23 million to the Sea Change Foundation in 2010 and again in 2011. That’s about half of the contributions Sea Change Foundation received during those years. Those same 990 forms show that the Sea Change Foundation distributed more than $20 million in grants in 2010 and 2011 to environmental organizations. It gave more than $40 million in grants to leftist environmental groups, such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, The Sierra Club Foundation, the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, the Tides Foundation, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the World Wildlife Fund.

In return for the grant money, those leftist environmentalists were “to promote awareness of climate change,” “reduce reliance on high carbon energy,” “educate the public about climate and clean energy” and “promote climate and clean energy communications.” A U.S. House Science, Space and Technology Committee report, titled “Russian Attempts to Influence U.S. Domestic Energy Markets by Exploiting Social Media,” details that the environmental groups used the Russian money to protest the process of fracking and fight the building of the Keystone XL pipeline. If environmentalists can thwart U.S. oil production, Russia, which is a major energy supplier to Europe, stands to gain greater economic and political power.

Rep. Lamar Smith, the chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee, has raised the possibility that those complicit in the scheme to use American environmentalists to advance Russian propaganda and interests could be in violation of federal statutes that apply to foreign agents lobbying in behalf of foreign interests.

Russia is also a major supplier of natural gas to all of Europe. U.S. natural gas producers long wished to export some of their product to Europe and Japan to take advantage of higher prices. But up until 2016, they were blocked by natural gas export restrictions. In the case of natural gas, the Russians didn’t have to bribe environmentalists to do their dirty work. They had willing support from U.S. industrial giants such as Dow, Alcoa, Celanese and Nucor, members of America’s Energy Advantage.

These U.S. companies lobbied against natural gas exports, saying that it would be unpatriotic to allow unlimited natural gas exports. Export restrictions kept natural gas prices artificially low and gave U.S. manufacturing companies a raw material advantage. The lifting of export restrictions has raised natural gas prices in the U.S. but lowered them in the recipient countries and weakened Russia’s economic and political hold on Europe. In my book, that’s a good thing.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

3 days ago

Dawson: Statements about Gov Ivey ‘dangerous move’ that could ‘tank the election’

(Campaigns/YHN)

Scott Dawson, a Republican candidate for the governor of Alabama, criticized Gov. Kay Ivey and a state agency last week, for funding that went to an Alabama based LGBTQ non-profit organization. Since then, it seems as if the gubernatorial race in Alabama has been turned upside down.

In his statement Tuesday, Dawson said, “Let me be clear. The Ivey administration has betrayed Alabama values by giving nearly one million dollars of taxpayer dollars to Free2Be, an activist organization which promotes transgenderism and alternate lifestyles to Alabama’s children.”

ADECA, which administers the state’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program with funding provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, was responsible for the allocation of funds to Free2Be.

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According to ADECA, Free2Be has received nearly $1.7 million in grants from ADECA since September 2014.

Ivey responded to Dawson’s statements while at a luncheon in Tuscaloosa saying, “That’s nonsense.”

“I certainly don’t agree with the agenda or the values of that organization. The funding is federal funding. It’s been going on since 2014. There are no Alabama tax dollars involved,” Ivey told reporters.

When a reporter questioned Ivey on whether or not she was upset, Ivey responded, “Do I look upset?”

“Lookie here, he’s all over the board,” Ivey said. “He’s not getting any traction. He’s low in the polls. He’s three weeks away from the election. He’s getting desperate.”

Ivey is correct. When personal attacks are being hurled toward a rival, it signals desperation. And desperation this is. I was honestly shocked that Dawson would come forward with such bold accusations towards Ivey.

When a candidate is this close to the election, statements like these, that aren’t backed with sufficient and thorough investigation, should not be made.

During an appearance on Yellowhammer Radio’s “The Wake Up Call with Baylor and Hannah”, Dawson was questioned on his statements regarding the funding that is awarded to Free2Be.

“When we found it, we were like this just doesn’t look right, doesn’t look like it needs to be there,” Dawson said. “That’s when we started investigating the organization.”

Dawson reminded the audience that his intent in bringing up the funds was to warrant transparency for the state of Alabama.

He said, “This is just a statement about transparency. We need to make sure we know where our money is going, that we know why we are taking money, and how in the world these folks get $800,000 from ADECA.”

While I echo the statements Dawson makes here about transparency and ensuring that Alabamians know where their tax dollars are being spent, I must say that only a miniscule amount of research would have shown that ADECA grants are federally funded and in no way utilize tax payer dollars.

In closing the interview, Dawson said, “Quite honestly, you know, it was a dangerous move because it could just tank the election. I am just being forthright with you, but Alabama needs to know what’s going on in Alabama government.”

I think his comments did cost him the election. While I have great respect for Scott Dawson, I believe his coming forward with these statements was foolish. A lack of knowledge and research can really hurt you on the campaign trail and we are witnessing this right now.

It’s difficult for a GOP gubernatorial candidate to unseat a GOP incumbent who has, for the most part, had a good track record.

I understand the motive behind Dawson’s statements. That organization does not represent what most Alabamians see fit for a way of life. I just wish Dawson had gone about things differently and spent more time looking into the matter.

Dawson, along with everyone else running for office in America, should learn that research and getting the facts straight goes a long way. While it may be too late for Dawson, others should learn of the danger of proposing baseless investigations.

Ivey, who has received endorsement from the NRA, has shied from the public eye over the past few months. When you have a good track record as the head of Alabama, you can do these types of things. Since taking office, Gov. Ivey has not had a largely negative conflict.

Ivey’s objective in this election is to ride out her past successes in hopes of another four years as Alabama’s CEO and it might just work, so long as the unsubstantiated claims continue to be tossed her way.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and host of The Weekend Briefing that airs noon-2 p.m. Saturdays on 101.1 WDYE

3 days ago

Any politician not calling for a special session on school security is committing political malpractice

(W.Miller/YHN)

The most predictable thing in America is that we will have another school shooting soon. We don’t know where it will be, but it is coming.

Every delay in addressing these issues is another day closer to more dead kids, and an eventual mass casualty event in Alabama. We can talk about hardening targets via new construction, and limiting access to guns until we are blue in the face, but these things are either expensive or not happening.

Every politician in a heated race in Alabama should be calling for a special session on school safety. State Representative and candidate for Lieutenant Governor Will Ainsworth is right on track with a real solution:

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“Every school shooting that takes place in another state around the country brings us one step closer to an active shooter attacking classrooms here, in Alabama, so the governor would be wise to call a special session this summer,” Ainsworth said.  “Signs reading ‘Gun Free Zone’ are a magnet for those who wish to do harm, so we must provide teachers with the training, knowledge, and ability to defend their students with something more lethal than a ruler and a No. 2 pencil.”

Of course there is an ad as well:

Why this matters: This is good politics and good policy. The people have decided on this. The media can pretend all they want that people are torn on this, but they are not. Americans, and Alabamians especially, understand that there is nothing stopping shooters from walking into their kids’ school today and shooting it up. The idea that allowing teachers to carry makes a child less safe is laughable, the teacher willing to do harm is not stopped by a gun-free zone. Good teachers with guns, however, are following the law and the law is protecting school shooters.

The details:

— 69 percent of Republicans are in favor of allowing teachers to carry.

— 78 percent of parents would feel more safe, or just as safe, with their child’s teacher being armed.

— The media is lying and saying there have been 22 school shootings in 2018. They include accidental discharge of a firearm in their count.

— As of May 8th, Gov. Kay Ivey had not ruled out a special session, but she has not responded to Ainsworth’s call.

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a conservative talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

Why Christians should visit holy lands

(Wikicommons)

Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, last week, we talked about the opening of the new embassy in Jerusalem by the United States. Guatemala, later in the week, also moved their embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem.

Harry, in the aftermath of what happened on that day, there were, as we talked about, a number of Palestinians that were trying to breech the security border fence in Israel and they were pushed back by Israeli soldiers. A number of Palestinians were killed.

Later last week, we found that, indeed, while there were a number of Palestinians protesting, they were infiltrated by a number of terrorists and, in fact, there’s video evidence that Hamas was paying children to be involved in that group and some of those children lost their lives.

WHY VISIT THE HOLY LAND?

DR. REEDER: Tom, I’m going to be over there while this program is airing. People ask me, “Why do you go there?” It’s a principle I’ve learned in my own life and I use it in teaching others: If you can get direct access to the environment to where things occur, you pull in all of your senses when it comes time to learn and that enhances your learning — you get insight while you’re on-site.

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As we are spending the time there, we’ll go to the various places. I have a wonderful guide that goes before us and checks all the logistics and then makes her statements about the area. She’s very knowledgeable and then she steps back. And then I start going into connecting the dots — Old Testament, New Testament, what happened here, why’d it happen here — and the providence of God.

SITES OF JESUS’ MINISTRY CAN BRING THE BIBLE TO LIFE

I take people to the city of Naan — that’s where Jesus raised the boy who was being carried out of the city. I actually have found the place where that occurred and, not long after that, interestingly, an archaeological team working from the United States working in Israel found that the gates of the city were actually right there. And the way I found it is I found the ruins of an old church that used to be there, knowing that, early on, they would build churches on sites where certain things had occurred. That’s how I found it and then archeology, there was a big article on this in Biblical Archeological Review, they begin to dig and, sure enough, they found out that here’s where the gates of Naan were.

Now, there’s a lot of reasons to weep when your only son died if you’re a widow. In the surrounding societies, widows lost their legitimacy of existence when their husband died. What could preserve them is their children, in general, but the firstborn male, in particular.

Therefore, with her husband gone and her child gone, if she actually had been in another country, many of them, they just put them out and let them die or even, in some cases, put them to death because such women were considered as a burden upon society and no longer a productive member of society.

In Israel, that was not the case because the Lord had embedded the dignity of women into the ceremonial laws, in general, and the Law of God, in particular: “Honor your father and your mother.” “Do not commit adultery” — the sanctity of marriage and, therefore, the wife’s position in a marriage, that a wife was not just property.

He raises the boy and she’s got a lot of reason for joy and the people are amazed and they say, “He’s a prophet.” What a lot of people don’t realize is that there was a great prophet by the name of Elisha and that is the very area where he ministered. He, of course, raised a widow’s son as an affirmation that he had followed Elijah, who raises a widow’s son.

And, right there in that very area, they would be fully aware of that, very sensitive to that story and, when Jesus comes in and raises up the widow’s son in that same area, no wonder they cry out, “This is the prophet of whom we have waited.” What you can see is the amazing connecting of dots of all that takes place in this rather small country, about the size of New Jersey.

WHY IS ISRAEL SO CONTROVERSIAL?

TOM LAMPRECHT: And, Harry, as we look at Israel and the miracles that took place — some of the stories that you just shared with us just now, yet today it seems to be somewhat of a powder keg ready to go off at any moment. Harry, is that coincidental or is there a spiritual implication there?

DR. REEDER: We’re constantly amazed at how accurate the Bible is, both what it has recorded as history and then what it prophesies as history. Prophecy in the Bible is pre-written history and God has already told us of these conflicts that are going to be there, the conflicts that are going to exist throughout the world, and the particular conflicts that are going to be there in terms of the enmity of the nations.

Now we should, as believers, always pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we should always promote peace in the area and we need to deal justly with all sides in the conflict that is there. And you need to remember that you have brothers and sisters who are Jewish, who are in Christ and know the Lord, and you have brothers and sisters who are Palestinian who are in Christ and know the Lord. Therefore, we’re always laboring for that peace in the area.

However, Tom, while I’m there, I hope to let people see their Bible come alive and then, when we get back, I get people writing me all the time, “Can I tell you what that means? My Bible now is so alive when I read it because I was right there,” –getting insight while you’re on-site.

One of the places that the people will go is the Golan Heights and, when we go there, we’ll be looking over into Syria. Not only is there tension on the southern border of Hamas and Egypt and the Gaza, but there’s also, as you know, quite a bit of tension with Syria because Syria has become a proxy for Iran and Iran has already attempted some incursions. We’ll be taking a look from the observation post that they allow you to look from.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO SHARE THE GOSPEL

While we’re there, we’re going to share Christ with people and we’re going to pray for Israel. Let me just also say, Tom, that 30 years ago, it was less than 1 percent of Jewish people confessed Christ as Lord and Savior. It is now believed that they’re rising up to 5 percent. Now, that doesn’t sound like much, but that is an extensive multiplication.

There’s also some evidence within the military of an underground movement of the Gospel taking place in the Israeli country and there have been a number of churches that have been able to secure some freedoms that Christian churches have not enjoyed in the past but now do enjoy, which then has opened up other doors in ministry as well.

When I pray for the peace of Jerusalem, I not only pray, certainly, for the peace among the nations and the ethnicities, but I also want to pray very specifically for the Gospel of Peace so that men and women can be right with God through the redeeming work of Jesus Christ, filled with the Spirit of God.

When you’re filled with the Spirit of God, then you have the fruit of the Spirit — love, and joy, and peace, and patience, and kindness, and goodness and faithfulness, and gentleness and self-control — and then pray that the Gospel of saving grace in Christ that brings men and women at peace with God would promote their peace with one another and then, in fact, reach out in peace, certainly not to the detriment of the security of the nation, but in order to promote the security of the nation.

And I do pray that, somehow in some way, God uses our country here, America, as a part of both of those desires that I pray for. One part is that America will have believers who are praying for and sending those who can share the Gospel throughout the land of Israel. And, secondly, that the leadership of our nation might be able to assist in some way to bring a political, and national and ethnic peace among the peoples that are there but, all the while, seeing that movement of the Gospel of peace of Jesus Christ and the redemptive work of Christ bringing the true shalom — shalom, that wonderful word of peace.

COMING UP TOMORROW: OUR GOVERNMENT BRANCHES IN JEOPARDY?

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, on tomorrow’s edition of Today in Perspective, I want to take you to a report that was released by the New York Times last week which ought to be somewhat concerning for all of us. It really describes how the separation of the three branches of our government are starting to erode.

DR. REEDER: Not only is it the law that is king in America — not any individual or any one branch of government — but how that wisdom needs to be embraced once again.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

3 days ago

A Trump doctrine for Singapore and beyond

(White House/Flickr)

After Pyongyang railed this week that the U.S.-South Korean Max Thunder military drills were a rehearsal for an invasion of the North, and imperiled the Singapore summit, the Pentagon dialed them back.

The B-52 exercises alongside F-22 stealth fighters were canceled.

But Pyongyang had other objections.

Sunday, NSC adviser John Bolton spoke of a “Libyan model” for the North’s disarmament, referring to Moammar Gadhafi’s surrender of all his weapons of mass destruction in 2004. The U.S. was invited into Libya to pick them up and cart them off, whereupon sanctions were lifted.

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As Libya was subsequently attacked by NATO and Gadhafi lynched, North Korea denounced Bolton and all this talk of the “Libyan model” of unilateral disarmament.

North Korea wants a step-by-step approach, each concession by Pyongyang to be met by a U.S. concession. And Bolton sitting beside Trump, and across the table from Kim Jong Un in Shanghai, may be inhibiting.

What was predictable and predicted has come to pass.

If we expected Kim to commit at Singapore to Bolton’s demand for “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization,” and a swift follow-through, we were deluding ourselves.

At Singapore, both sides will have demands, and both will have to offer concessions, if there is to be a deal.

What does Kim Jong Un want?

An end to U.S. and South Korean military exercises and sanctions on the North, trade and investment, U.S. recognition of his regime, a peace treaty, and the eventual removal of U.S. bases and troops.

He is likely to offer an end to the testing of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, no transfer of nuclear weapons or strategic missiles to third powers, a drawdown of troops on the DMZ, and the opening of North Korea’s borders to trade and travel.

As for his nuclear weapons and the facilities to produce them, these are Kim’s crown jewels. These brought him to the attention of the world and the Americans to the table. These are why President Trump is flying 10,000 miles to meet and talk with him.

And, unlike Gadhafi, Kim is not going to give them up.

Assuming the summit comes off June 12, this is the reality Trump will face in Singapore: a North Korea willing to halt the testing of nukes and ICBMs and to engage diplomatically and economically.

As for having Americans come into his country, pick up his nuclear weapons, remove them and begin intrusive inspections to ensure he has neither nuclear bombs nor the means to produce, deliver or hide them, that would be tantamount to a surrender by Kim.

Trump is not going to get that. And if he adopts a Bolton policy of “all or nothing,” he is likely to get nothing at all.

Yet, thanks to Trump’s threats and refusal to accept a “frozen conflict” on the Korean peninsula, the makings of a real deal are present, if Trump does not make the perfect the enemy of the good.

For there is nothing North Korea is likely to demand that cannot be granted, as long as the security of South Korea is assured to the degree that it can be assured, while living alongside a nuclear-armed North.

Hence, when Kim cavils or balks in Singapore, as he almost surely will, at any demand for a pre-emptive surrender of his nuclear arsenal, Trump should have a fallback position.

If we cannot have everything we want, what can we live with?

Moreover, while we are running a risk today, an intransigent North Korea that walks out would be running a risk as well.

A collapse in talks between Kim and the United States and Kim and South Korea would raise the possibility that he and his Chinese patrons could face an East Asia Cold War where South Korea and Japan also have acquired nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.

In the last analysis, the United States should be willing to accept both the concessions to the North that the South is willing to make and the risks from the North that the South is willing to take.

For, ultimately, they are the one who are going to have to live on the same peninsula with Kim and his nukes.

Trump ran on a foreign policy that may fairly be described as a Trump Doctrine: In the post-post-Cold War era, the United States will start looking out for America first.

This does not mean isolationism or the abandonment of our allies. It does mean a review and reassessment of all the guarantees we have issued to go to war on behalf of other countries, and the eventual transfer of responsibility for the defense of our friends over to our friends.

In the future, the U.S. will stop futilely imploring allies to do more for their own defense and will begin telling them that their defense is primarily their own responsibility. Our allies must cease to be our dependents.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

(Creators, copyright 2018)

4 days ago

The leftist duumvirate is subverting, not protecting, ‘our democracy’

(Pixabay)

It is increasingly clear that the Trump-hating holdovers from the Obama administration and their media enablers — together, the duumvirate — are not protecting “our democracy” but subverting it by fraudulently scandalizing and delegitimizing President Trump.

To avoid an email avalanche, let me emphasize that I know the difference between a democracy and a constitutional republic, but I am using the terminology of the Trump-hating left, which, by the way, prefers a democracy to a constitutional republic. But I digress.

As often happens, the truly bad actors (the duumvirate, in this case) are benefiting from the factual complexity involved, which they have exacerbated through disinformation, slanted reporting and outright lies.

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They went ballistic when candidate Donald Trump wouldn’t definitively answer in advance whether he would accept the presidential election results. Their fake outrage was purportedly over Trump’s ostensible willingness to allow a cloud to hang over the Clinton presidency in the event she won. But Trump was just saying that he wasn’t going to prematurely concede that no chicanery would occur that could result in his defeat.

I only bring this up to highlight the phoniness of liberals’ outrage, as shown by their engaging in exactly the same behavior for which they savaged Trump for merely considering. Ever since Trump was elected, they’ve tried to destroy and remove him and obstruct his agenda based on a mythical storyline and phantom “facts” concerning his supposed collusion with Russia to steal the election. (Actually, we now know their nefarious behavior preceded the election because they needed “insurance” in case he won.) As former U.S. Attorney Andrew McCarthy says, the government used its covert powers to investigate Trump despite having no evidence of a crime. There still is zero evidence.

Notwithstanding their misdirection to lead us off the scent, it’s becoming clear that they bootstrapped the case against Trump based on thirdhand rumors elicited from a government-placed spy in the Trump campaign and on a dossier full of innuendo and lies that was procured and purchased by the Clinton campaign under cover of a law firm and shadow corporation. What utter sleaze! Though fully aware Trump’s opponents bought the dossier and that its contents were salacious and unsubstantiated, they brazenly presented it to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to get a warrant, without disclosing any of these damning details. This duplicitous dossier was an indispensable component of the government’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant application.

James Comey, former FBI director and current self-promoter, denies that the dossier was crucial to the warrant application and pretends it was funded by Republicans. If he really believes that (and reasonable people really don’t believe he really believes that), then he is betraying a disqualifying ignorance , showing he had no business heading up this investigation — or the FBI, for that matter. This same James Comey, who is so zealous to ensnare Trump for Russian collusion that exists only in fevered leftist minds, bent over backward to exonerate Clinton for real crimes concerning the willful destruction of her emails. This same sanctimonious James Comey perniciously gamed the system by leaking memos he prepared while in the FBI to a law professor friend for the admitted purpose of triggering a special counsel investigation. Is this behavior we should expect from the nation’s top law enforcement officer, or are these the actions of some disgruntled two-bit Deep Throat wannabe trying to even the score against President Trump for firing him?

Though we know that the duumvirate will support darn near anything to advance its beloved leftist agenda, can we even fathom the magnitude of its hypocrisy in looking the other way at the gross conflicts of interest of the deep-state Trump investigators? How can anyone with a scintilla of decency not read with abject horror the email exchanges between the adulterously love-struck FBI agent Peter Strzok and top FBI aide Lisa Page? It’s undeniable that they were hellbent on shielding Clinton from justice and inflicting injustices upon Trump.

Throughout this ordeal, the government has thwarted legitimate congressional information requests by speciously invoking national security concerns and then deceitfully redacting documents it was ultimately forced to turn over — not to protect national security but to cover its own rear end. With one hand, the government claims it can’t release information concerning its spying on the Trump campaign (even claiming that congressional investigators are extorting it for the information), and with the other, it leaks this same information to friendly news outlets to mitigate the outrage coming its way when the unredacted documents are released and their duplicity is revealed.

If even a fraction of our disturbing suspicions concerning the government’s actions in this Trump investigation and pretend Clinton investigation are true, the Obama administration not only conspired to surveil, undermine and criminalize the opposition party’s presidential candidate but also has holdovers in government who are still engaged in a massive cover-up that in purpose, scope and the sheer number of important officials participating makes Watergate look like child’s play.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

5 days ago

Israel at 70: Bibi’s troubled hour of power

(YouTube)

For Bibi Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister save only founding father David Ben-Gurion, it has been a week of triumph.

Last Tuesday, President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal as Bibi had demanded. Thursday, after Iran launched 20 missiles at the Golan Heights, Bibi answered with a 70-missile attack on Iran in Syria.

“If it rains on us, it will storm on them. I hope we have finished the episode,” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, boasting that Israel’s raids hit “nearly all Iranian infrastructure in Syria.”

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The day before, Bibi was in Moscow, persuading Vladimir Putin to cancel the sale of Russia’s S-300 air defense system to Damascus.

Yesterday, in an event televised worldwide, the U.S. embassy was transferred to Jerusalem, with Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner doing the honors in what Bibi called a “glorious day.” Few can recall a time when Israel seemed in so favorable a position.

The White House and the Republican Party that controls Congress are solidly behind Israel. Egypt is cooperating to battle terrorists in Sinai.

Israel has a de facto alliance with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf royals. And the Palestinians have never been more divided, isolated and alone.

Yet, there is another side to this story, also visible this last week.

As the transfer ceremony of the Jerusalem embassy was taking place, TV split screens showed pictures of protesting Palestinians, 52 of whom were shot dead Monday, with thousands wounded by snipers. Some 40,000 had rallied against the U.S. embassy move.

Even before Monday’s body count, the Gaza Health Ministry said that, over the previous six Fridays of “March of Return” protests, 49 Palestinians had been killed and 2,240 hit by live fire from Israeli troops.

Those dead and wounded Palestinians are not likely to be forgotten in Gaza. And while Israel has never had so many Arab regimes willing to work with her in pushing back against Iran, Arab League Chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit called the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem, a “clear violation of international law.”

Gheit added: “The fall of Palestinian martyrs by the bullets of the Israeli occupation must ring an alarm … bell to any state that does not find anything wrong with the immoral and illegal stance that we are watching.”

Last week, Hezbollah, which arose in resistance to the 1982 Israeli occupation of Lebanon, and expelled the Israeli army 18 years later, won Lebanon’s elections. A Hezbollah-backed coalition will likely form the new government in Beirut.

Michael Oren, Israel’s former ambassador to the U.S. and Bibi ally, said that any attack by Hezbollah, which fought Israel to a standstill in 2006, should bring an Israeli declaration of war — on Lebanon.

While Israel launched some 100 strikes on Syria in recent years, Syrian President Bashar Assad has survived and, with the aid of Hezbollah, Iran and Russia, won his civil war.

Assad and his army and allies are far stronger now, while President Trump, Israel’s indispensable ally, speaks of bringing U.S. troops home from Syria. In polls, a majority of Americans lines up behind Israel in its clashes, but a majority also wants no more U.S. wars in the Middle East.

Also, Sunday, the U.S. sustained another major political defeat.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi lost his re-election bid. Based on early results, the winning coalition was that of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, against whose forces U.S. troops fought a decade ago.

Running second was a ticket led by a Shiite militia general close to Iran. When a new government is formed in Baghdad, the orientation of Iraq seems certain to shift away from the United States.

While the Israelis are the most powerful nation in the region, how long can they keep 2 million Palestinian Arabs confined in the penal colony that is the Gaza Strip? How long can they keep the 2 million Palestinians of the West Bank living in conditions even Israeli leaders have begun to compare to apartheid?

Across the West, especially in universities, a BDS movement to have students, companies and consumers boycott, divest and sanction Israeli-produced products has been gaining ground.

The Palestinians may have been abandoned by Arab rulers and the wider world. Yet, history teaches that people forced to survive in such conditions eventually rise in rebellion and revolution, take revenge, and exact retribution for what was done to them and their own.

Republican leaders often say that we cannot permit “any daylight” between the U.S. position and that of Israel.

But can the country that decried for decades the panicked reaction of an Ohio National Guard that shot and killed four students at Kent State University sit silent as scores of unarmed protesters are shot to death and thousands are wounded by Israeli troops in Gaza?

Bibi and Israel appear to be on a winning streak. It is difficult to see how, over the long run, it can be sustained.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

(Creators, copyright 2018)

6 days ago

OK, the Ivey/Todd/Dawson circus is over, let’s get back to the issues that actually matter

(Campaigns, YouTube)

There is no evidence Gov. Kay Ivey is gay. Former State Representative Patricia Todd lost her job as the head of a gay rights’ group in Florida as punishment for a stupid tweet. Evangelist Scott Dawson still claims he doesn’t understand the grant process, a process he held multiple press conferences about. The only candidate who struck the right note on this issue is Tommy Battle:

“We want to go back to that conversation about our great state, the great state of Alabama,” WKRG reports Battle said at a Wednesday press conference. “I decided to run for governor of the state of Alabama because I thought we could do better. I believe that with the right leadership, we can implement a vision and even develop a plan that makes Alabama a better place.”

Why this matters:

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Battle got the media into covering a press conference in the middle of the “OUTING!” They thought he was going to wade into the cesspool and hit Ivey on grants to gay groups or hit Dawson for being a disingenuous guy. He didn’t. He did exactly what we all need to do, which is to focus on actual issues and campaign differences.

At his press conference Battle said he wants to talk about the “great things happening in Alabama.”  With less than three weeks left before the primary, all the candidates should do just that.

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a conservative talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

Making sense of Trump’s negotiations

(White House/Flickr)

Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:

NORTH KOREAN CAPTIVES SET FREE GIVE PSALM TO MIKE PENCE

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, a week ago, it was a special day for the United States and a special day for three men who were being held hostage by the North Koreans. When they got off the plane, one of the three handed Vice President Mike Pence a note.

Mike Pence tweeted, “It was an amazing moment I’ll never forget when three Americans stepped onto the tarmac and gave me a signed personal note with Psalm 126 on the back. To these men of faith and courage, God Bless You and welcome home.”

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Psalm 126:1-3 reads:

“When the Lord restored the fortunes of the captives of Zion, we were like those who dreamed. Then our mouth was filled with laughter,

our tongue with songs of joy.

Then they said among the nations,

‘The Lord has done great things for them.’

The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.”

DR. REEDER: As we try to look at issues around the world from a Christian World and life view, we try to do this in a commentary fashion and not in a sermonic fashion, but when I hear something like this, I am immediately wanting to go to Psalm 126 and let’s preach the Gospel from the Psalms.

The Bible records that wonderful moment when Jesus is on the road to Emmaus with his disciples and He says to them whose hearts were downcast, “Do you not know that the Scriptures had to be fulfilled?” And, beginning with Moses, with all the prophets in the psalms, He explained Himself in all the Scriptures.

OUR FAITH IS ONE OF FREEING CAPTIVES

And, of course, when you study the psalms, what you’re ultimately seeing is not only the immediate context and fulfillment of these psalms and their historic position, but you’re also seeing them point to Christ. In other words, Christ is the ultimate singer of the psalms — not David, but the great Son of David who is greater than David — and that is Christ, the King of Glory and the Savior of sinners.

When this wonderful psalm that praises God for His delivery of His covenant people and they were restored to the blessings of Zion and, as they are redeemed and delivered from their captivity, while of course that would have great promises as you look at the issue of the restoration of Israel from the Babylonian captivity, but it has even greater fulfillment when you look ultimately not to the people of God being restored after being under the disciplining hand of God from various captivities — what you ultimately have is the glorious blessing of the redeeming work of Christ who sets free His people from the captivity of our sin.

Therefore, when Israel is taken out of the bondage of Egypt and then brought to the promised land, in later years, when Israel is restored from a Babylonian captivity, this psalm takes on particular meaning for God’s covenant people who are numbered within the nation of Israel.

CHRIST BROUGHT THAT FREEDOM TO ALL NATIONS

But now God’s covenant people are brought from all the nations and what you’re looking to is not the Lord’s use of fallible instruments by His grace such as Moses, and David, and Daniel, and Nebuchadnezzar and Cyrus and all of these who are in positions of leadership that God uses because the Lord can turn the hearts of the king wheresoever He wishes even as turns the rivers to the sea.

You not only see that but what you see is the intentional work of the God of glory in sending His Son, the Redeemer of His people, the Prophet, Priest and King Who is the fulfillment of all the Scriptures and, in Him, we are delivered and brought into the ultimate Zion and we’ll be delivered finally into a new heavens and a new earth for the covenant people of God who are now being brought from all nations into the kingdom of God.

But, having looked at that glorious truth, now you back up to the initiative that is taking place out of this administration out of the basis of God’s common grace and you see a people who take a text of Scripture that refers to the blessings of God’s covenant people when they are delivered, not only historically, but also spiritually God’s people delivered into the people of God, looking at that glorious psalm that is fulfilled in Christ in the kingdom of God.

And they make an application, not an interpretation, that they feel the same way as they were in the desolation, all of the deprivations taking place — being wrongfully imprisoned in Korea — but now, as a “statement of good will” they are freed through the negotiations that have been taking place by this administration. Of course, it’s come out now that there have been some backdoor negotiations.

DO THE ENDS JUSTIFY THE MEANS?

Now, Tom, all of this begs for you and me to make some kind of comment. This, at best, in terms of accepted statecraft, is very unusual. You have a president who is tweeting out things that are, to say the least, offensive to this leader in Korea and here is Korea, who is in Asia, and this is an honor/shame culture — you just don’t abide by any acts of shame — and so everyone anticipates, when he puts out “rocket man” and all of this, that this is going to send relationships spiraling out of control and yet backdoor meetings taking place.

And then we see this monumental moment of North Korean dictator and the South Korean leadership right at the demilitarized zone, shaking hands, and these declarations, and now these peace accords that are moving forward and now promises of denuclearization taking place. He’s wily as a fox, this president is, because he’s doing these things publicly and these other things are taking place privately. Much of what we think is accepted statecraft actually, in negotiations around issues, ought to be reexamined.

IS AMERICA FIRST A CHRISTIAN MANTRA?

Now, what I don’t think should be reexamined is the call for decorum in relationships. I do not believe that you violate the dignity of human beings in order to maneuver them to a negotiating table to get the best deal that you can. And I do not believe that a commitment “to put America first” which, in its best light is, I’m going to look out for the interest of my nation first and, by the way, I expect you to look out for the interest of your nation first. I believe the best interpretation of that is you are elected to take care of your people so that should guide your negotiations.

Tom, let me share a story: My father was involved in baseball and he was on the periphery of a trade that took place between some major league baseball teams. Dad’s team got clearly the best of the trade — it was a six-player swap and the three players they got went on to have unbelievably productive seasons and the three players they gave up had unproductive seasons.

And I looked at Dad and I said to Dad, “That was a great trade.” He said, “No, son, that was a bad trade. Whenever you make a trade and whenever you do a negotiation, you want to make sure that the person you’re negotiating with gets a win. You need to get the win you need to get, but they need to get a win, too, for two reasons. First, you want to honor the dignity of the person that you’re negotiating with and secondly, if you’re not negotiating in good faith so that they come out with a positive, then they’ll never be back at another negotiating table with you. And, son, very seldom in the affairs of life do you ever settle anything that needs to be settled at one sit-down and at one negotiation.”

WE NEGOTIATE TO WIN OTHERS TO CHRIST

While I will acknowledge that that unorthodoxy is maybe a good thing from time to time, I do want to say and affirm, from a Christian world and life view, people are made in the image of God and nations are made up of people and, therefore, when we deal with people, we need to deal with them with dignity and respect. We always are looking as Christians, wanting to influence our own nation to conduct itself in such a way that, by God’s grace, it might be a bridge-building moment that we can actually create opportunities for us to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to all the nations.

And we will see not only the blessing of people who are unjustly imprisoned for political reasons delivered and see their joy expressed in that handwritten note with that Psalm 126 that was given to our vice-president, but we can see even more that people give praise to the God of glory because they are delivered from their sins and the negotiations among nations have actually opened the doors for the ambassadors of Christ to bring the Good News.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

 

6 days ago

Marginalizing Melania

(White House/Flickr)

Need more evidence that there are two Americas? Here: Left-wing hatred of Melania Trump is inversely proportional to flyover admiration for the first lady.

In just the last month, late-night clown Jimmy Kimmel mocked Trump’s Slovenian accent, CNN contributor April Ryan attacked her as “not culturally American,” former Hillary Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines derided her genteel presence at former first lady Barbara’s funeral, and horror writer Stephen King snickered at her hospitalization this week for kidney surgery.

Yet, while partisans in the political press and entertainment media work hard to stoke division against and resentment of the Trump administration, “Melania” is now among the fastest-growing baby names in the nation, according to recently released Social Security data. And a new poll by anti-Trump CNN released on Monday reported a 10 percent jump in the first lady’s favorability ratings — from 47 percent in January to 57 percent last week.

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That’s nearly 6 in 10 Americans with a positive view of FLOTUS. Uh-oh!

Imagine how much higher those impressive numbers would be if the same celeb tabloid reporters and TV hosts who slavered over the Obamas in Us magazine and on The View afforded Melania Trump the same courtesies. Imagine if the same couture divas who organized “Runway to Win” Obama campaign fundraisers and published breathless weekly reports on “Michelle Obama’s Best Looks Ever” harnessed their influence to promote Trump’s style and fashion sense.

Despite Trump’s successful career as an internationally photographed model featured in Harper’s Bazaar, GQ, Vanity Fair and Vogue, lib-dominated fashion and celebrity magazines have shunned her. Pop culture editors and producers — who turned Barack and Michelle Obama into the Beltway Brangelina, promoting their election campaign, re-election campaign, books and every last pet project — have ghosted her.

Why? Fear.

Melania Trump is not just strikingly beautiful. She is worldly, well-traveled and well-read. She speaks English, French, German, Italian and Serbian, in addition to her native Slovenian — more languages than any other woman who has served as America’s first lady. Her devotion to son Barron is exemplary. Her aversion to limelight and lack of political ambition are refreshing. So is her ability to refrain from public grievance-mongering over “sacrifices” and trade-offs made between work and home life (looking at you, Hill and ‘Chelle O).

The hostile White House press corps blames Trump’s own reticence for the publicity vacuum around her. But I believe there’s something deeper at work:

More exposure to this interesting and remarkable woman would mean more familiarity with her. More familiarity with her might mean more popularity. And God forbid there be more Republican women in the public eye who can compete with — and win against — the usual parade of militant kvetchers and moaners who pass themselves off as feminist role models.

Doubling down, both Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama have assailed all women who didn’t vote for their political agendas as brainwashed by their husbands or selfishly unenlightened. “In light of this last election, I’m concerned about us, as women, and what we think about ourselves and about each other,” Obama complained at the United State of Women summit in California last week. “What is going on in our heads where we let that happen.”

It’s called choice. It’s called rejecting the tired old ideas that some women are more equal than others or that one party has a gender-based monopoly over the other. Smug Democratic divas who unleash their contempt for independent-minded women instead of working to win them over have learned nothing from the 2016 election.

So Trump, like so many prominent GOP women before her, will continue to be snubbed, humiliated and demonized by narrative control freaks because women on the right threaten the cultural hegemony of the left. Black or white, rich or poor, centrist or “far right,” native-born or naturalized, Republican mothers, wives and daughters must be otherized and forced to stay in media-manufactured lanes.

When leftists can’t win on their ideas, they resort to marginalizing the messengers of ideology they abhor — and their mates. It’s not an attractive look.

Michelle Malkin is host of “Michelle Malkin Investigates” on CRTV.com.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

7 days ago

If Trump is so terrible, why must the media lie about what he says?

(White House/Flickr)

Americans are constantly being pounded with the narrative that President Donald Trump is a loud-mouthed, brash New Yorker who says crass things. It’s true, no question about it. There is already plenty to hammer the guy on, so there is no reason for the mainstream media to continue their lying about things he says.

Look at these headlines, then read the actual Trump quotes they reference.

USA Today Headline: 

OnPolitics Today: Trump calls undocumented people ‘animals,’ rhetoric with a dark past

Actual quote:

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SHERIFF MIMS: Thank you. There could be an MS-13 member I know about — if they don’t reach a certain threshold, I cannot tell ICE about it.

THE PRESIDENT: We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we’re stopping a lot of them — but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals.

The Atlantic Headline:

Trump Defends White-Nationalist Protesters: ‘Some Very Fine People on Both Sides’

Actual quote:

“What about the alt-left that came charging at, as you say, at the alt-right?” Trump said. “Do they have any semblance of guilt?”

“I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups. But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me,” he said.

“You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists,” Trump said. “The press has treated them absolutely unfairly.”

“You also had some very fine people on both sides,” he said.

BBC Headline:

‘Drug dealers, criminals, rapists’: What Trump thinks of Mexicans

Actual quote:

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Why this matters: All three of these quotes were spun-up as wildly-offensive and racist comments. They are also all taken out of context completely. In all of these instances, Trump separates good guys from bad guys, and he makes it clear the blunt language is for the bad guys. Unfortunately, once it is fed through the national media prism in NYC and DC, the actual context and intent is completely lost.

This is why the media is losing trust every single day.

The details:

— A poll done last year indicated that 63 percent of Americans thought “traditional media outlets” spread fake news before this latest fake controversy developed. Now? That number is 77 percent.

— 90 percent of media coverage has been negative against Trump in the first four months of this year.

— In January, 67 percent of Republicans saw political bias in the news while only 26 percent of Democrats felt that way, which tells us Democrats are enjoying what the media is selling.

— A recent poll shows that 51 percent of Republicans view the American media as the “enemy of the people,” while only 22 percent of Democrats felt the same way.

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a conservative talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

Let the Alabama pastor speak … and everybody speak up too

(WVTM 13 / Facebook)

Everyone likes free speech until someone says something we find vile.

Birmingham pastor Michael Jordan of New Era Baptist Church was in the news this week, decrying Church of the Highlands’ plans to open a campus in a high crime area of the inner city, calling “the white church” racist and hypocritical.

Jordan’s interview with Birmingham NBC affiliate WVTM is shocking and divisive, and many Alabamians, black and white, are slamming him as a “racist.”

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“It’s a slavemaster church,” Jordan also said in an interview with Al.com. “I call it plantation religion, slavemaster religion. The white rich folks start a church and put a black pastor in charge of it.”

Pretty harsh words. Pretty sure that’s the last thing Church of the Highlands is trying to be. But Jordan comes across, however resentfully, however colorfully, as having sincere concerns. We don’t have to agree with him to try and understand where he’s coming from.

If someone is willing to voice such controversial statements, chances are there are other people who feel the same way but aren’t willing to say it out loud.

It’s been said the best solution to speech we don’t like is more speech, so it’s worth your time to read this op-ed by Joe Lockett, a black radio talk show host in Birmingham who stepped up to confront speech with speech, even though he might disagree with some of my points here.

Also worth reading the classic “Prayer of St. Francis” to put all this in perspective:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.

Bring truth … bring love … bring pardon … bring joy … all require action, all can be done through speech.

So … speak up.

Rachel Blackmon Bryars is managing editor of Yellowhammer News

1 week ago

Why Jerusalem matters

(W.Miller/YHN)

This week, the Trump administration inaugurated the new American embassy in Jerusalem. The celebration in Israel was palpable; the embassy move came amidst the national celebration of the 70th anniversary of the creation of the state. The streets filled with Jews of all sorts, cheering and dancing.

Meanwhile, on the Gaza border, Hamas broadened its monthlong campaign to break down the Israel border, staging border “protests” attended by thousands — including terrorists who have used the supposed protests as a staging point for violent attacks on Israeli troops and territory. Palestinian terrorists have caused mass chaos, throwing Molotov cocktails at troops, attempting to rush the border, flinging explosives and tying incendiaries to kites in an attempt to set Israeli territory alight. The Israeli Defense Forces have responded with restraint. Despite this, a few dozen Palestinians have been killed, not the hundreds or thousands Hamas would presumably prefer.

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But even as Yahya Sinwar, leader of Hamas in Gaza, suggested that “more than 100,000 people could storm the fence” between Israel and Gaza, and as 23-year-old Mohammed Mansoura announced, “We are excited to storm and get inside … to kill, throw stones,” the media covered the slow-rolling terror assault as a form of peaceful protest. A New York Times headline read “Israeli Troops Kill Dozens of Palestinian Protesters.” A Wall Street Journal headline reads “Scores Killed, Thousands Injured as Palestinians Protest US Embassy Opening In Jerusalem.”

Never mind that the riots had been going on for weeks preceding the embassy opening. Never mind that Hamas and the Palestinian Authority could quickly and permanently end all violence simply by stopping the violence. The real issue, according to the press, is President Trump and his Israeli friends.

What drives the leftist press’s coverage? Simply put, antipathy to the West. Israel is seen as an outpost of colonialism by leftists, and has been since the 1967 war. Then-President Barack Obama expressed the view well in his 2009 speech in Cairo, suggesting that Israel’s rationale relied on its “tragic history” that “culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust.” In this view, the Palestinians were shunted aside in favor of providing national reparations to Jews; the Jews took their Western ways into the heart of a foreign region.

This isn’t true. The living proof of that is Israel’s eternal connection to Jerusalem. That’s why both radical Muslims (including the Palestinian leadership) and the far left deny Israel’s historic bond with its homeland and hope desperately to stop public recognition of that bond. If Israel exists because Jewish connection pre-existed everything else, then Israel isn’t a new outpost of the West; it’s the oldest center of the West. That’s why Trump’s announcement is important: It’s a recognition that the West was founded on Jerusalem, rather than the other way around.

Peace will come when everyone recognizes what Trump has recognized: The Jewish connection to Jerusalem is unbreakable. And peace will come when Israel’s enemies realize that violence can’t change that underlying fact.

Ben Shapiro, 34, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of DailyWire.com.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

Stay married through ‘hurricane’ years, struggles — it’s worth it

(Pixabay)

Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:

NEW STUDY SAYS LONG-TERM MARRIAGES YIELD HAPPINESS

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, World Magazine has reported on a new study: Couples that stay married for the long run end up happier, according to a new study by a Pennsylvania State University sociologist.

Paul Amato and co-author Spencer James of Brigham Young University used 20 years of data from the longest-running detailed study of marriage and looked at reported rates of happiness, shared activities and discord among 1,600 spouses, including more than 200 who have been married for 40 years or more. Contrary to previous studies, that found marital quality deteriorates over time, this new study found marital quality actually improves over the years for couples who stay together.

“Positive outcomes for couples in long-term marriages are the norm,” Amato said in an interview with the Institute for Family Studies. “Contrary to what many people think, marital quality does not inevitably decline; it tends to remain high or even improve over the decades.”

DR. REEDER: When you add the dynamic of a lifestyle engaged in a local church with regularity embedded in the life of the church, it goes out the roof in terms of longevity, perseverance, happiness and affirmation of the relationships and the increasing depth of intimacy between the husband and wife.

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ALL MARRIAGES HAVE STAGES — KNOWLEDGE OF THEM IS KEY

Even as the physical and sexual dynamics begin to dissipate because of biological reasons, the emotional intimacy actually skyrockets in those days because of all that they have built upon throughout life and shared in life. And then, if they are surrounded, as I would apply, with the means of grace, preaching, and worship and fellowship then that even skyrockets it. By the way, the dip in this — I like the way the reporter said it — “the hurricane of children,” particularly in their adolescent and teenage years.

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Indeed, the report says, after a slight dip in happiness and shared activities in early marriage, the hurricane of young children and careers, for that matter, happiness and shared activities improve over the years and discord declines.

DR. REEDER: Many times, your children arrive at those challenging ages — I think it starts around 11, maybe 12, what we call “being thrown into the barrel” with your kids at that age — and that usually coincides about the same time where some career decisions happen. You’ve been in your career, you’re moving along and now, “Am I going to stay in this career, move to another one or I got to take a step forward? What am I going to do?” The challenge of time devoted to career, time devoted to children, so it’s no doubt that, during those years, that’s where the “slight dip” occurs.

HARD STAGES BECOME FRUITFUL BY BIBLICAL FOUNDATION

Actually, I would like to say when you work through those years, that’s what makes the following years so expansively and explosively enjoyable with each other. What you learn together as you went through it, what you’ve accomplished together, particularly, when you apply the Biblical principles of a man giving spiritual leadership in the home and of a woman bringing that completion of emotional health and insight into the home and that she brings order into a home.

I always share with people that I know, when a home is orderly, there is an extraordinary woman in that home. And I’m not just talking about things are neat; I’m talking about the relationships are orderly. The woman sets that pattern of orderliness and, when there is a depth of concern, then I know a man is doing his job because leadership, according to the Bible, is a servant’s heart that wants to care for people and, if there’s a man who is caring for his wife and his children, that compassionate environment begins to be seen in the home.

Now, certainly, women have that great nurturing dynamic and men have that leadership, “Here’s where we’re heading,” and all of that, but I will just say I have always noted a Christian home where the husband and wife are fulfilling their overlapping but yet unique roles, men will bring that depth of intimacy that flows from their concern for their wife and women bring that depth of order that flows from their trust in the Lord working through their husband and working through them together into the lives of their children. Those things are fleshed out in those “dip/hurricane years” where it doesn’t seem so satisfying and joyous but, yet, on the other side, there’s some things that really develop out of that.

FOCUS ON WHAT DREW YOU TO EACH OTHER AND DEVELOP IT

May I just say, anecdotally, I cannot envision my life apart from my wife, just what she means to me and, hopefully, what I can mean to her. As you know because we’ve been friends for a long time, I always tell people “long courtship, short engagements,” and, in my case, it was “short courtship, short engagement.” It was a three-month courtship and a three-month engagement and that was it.

Some have said, “Do you regret that? Would you have liked to have taken longer courtship?” Are you kidding me? If I could go back and redo it, I would just reduce it down another two or three months if I could. It has been such a great blessing for me to have enjoyed my wife. I am not only attracted to her beauty, but I am astounded by her depth — the very thing that drew me into her life — but what I’m more astounded by is what we’ve been able to develop throughout the years. Tom, when we get in the car now and go on a trip, a lot of our talk is what we’ve enjoyed together throughout the years and our anticipation of what’s in the future.

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, why is it in our society today that people give up so quickly on marriage?

DR. REEDER: Because they give up on everything. We live in a society today that says, “You’re entitled to happiness, not your call to holiness.” That means instant happiness — not only is everything there for you, but it’s supposed to be there immediately for you and you don’t have to work at it. “It’s mine, now, fast,” and that’s why we destroy our partners in marriage because they exist for us instead of we exist for the Lord and now we want to be used of the Lord in their life.

MENTORS FOR YOUNG COUPLES ARE VITAL

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Perhaps it might sound simplistic, but advising a young couple who are going through the hurricane challenging years of life, is it wrong just to say, “Hang in there”?

DR. REEDER: Not only, “Hang in there,” but, “Get some mentors.” That’s why I brought out at the beginning to get embedded in a good local church. And I would say to my brothers and sisters in those churches and my pastor friends, “We need to make sure we’ve got good premarital counseling in place and we need to make sure that we’ve got a way for people to develop relationships.”

One of the things we love to do at Briarwood is our Sunday Schools are called “congregational communities” and they all have older couples in them. Our young couples’ classes all have two, three or four older couples they can develop relationships with and learn from. Everybody needs fathers and grandfathers; everybody needs mothers and grandmothers in their lives. They need that all the time and so we want to give that to them.

And then you need to have a solid worship dynamic in a church that’s God-centered. The family that learns to worship God together will be able to stay together for the Lord. Worship sets the thermostat in your Christian life and that includes your marriage.

TIME TO COMMIT TO HARD WORK AGAIN — IN MARRIAGE, TOO

And then the other thing is this: it’s just like pastors give up too quickly in their churches, people give up too quickly at their job, people give up too quickly at a challenge — it’s we want it now and, if it requires effort, then I need to move onto something else.

Your marriage is going to require work — marriage is hard work — but God can enable you and God can strengthen you. He wouldn’t call you to stay together for life if He wasn’t able to keep you together for life. And, of course, it is the power of the Gospel that is life-changing and that allows our lives to change for the Lord and in relationship to each other.

LIFETIME COMMITMENT LEADS TO A LIFE OF CONTENTMENT

I told Cindy the other day, “You know, you had no business marrying me. That was about the dumbest decision you ever made of which I am eternally grateful.”

Marriage for me was like the big date — I didn’t have to take her home; now I got her. Of course, I found out pretty quickly that the big date is not a way of life. And I would wake up — literally wake up — in my first year of marriage and look and there’s Cindy and I would say, “Oh my goodness, this is the rest of my life. I’ve made a commitment. This is the rest of my life.”

That’s the way I was raised — I’d made a lifetime commitment and I’d say, “This is the rest of my life. This isn’t: take a shot and, if it doesn’t work, go try another one.” My dating life, I usually dated and I had someone different every week. So now I said, “This is my life.”

Well, I still wake up — matter of fact, I wake up more at night now than I used to — and I still look at her when I wake up and I no longer think, “This is the rest of my life.” I now think, “I’ve got so little of my life left to live with her and I’m so grateful for her.”

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

1 week ago

Don’t politicians see that raising taxes has nasty side effects?

(W.Miller/YHN)

Seattle is worried about the well-being of the poor and mentally ill people living there, so it’s going to drive businesses out of town.

OK, that’s not how the politicians describe their plan, but that’s probably how it will work out.

Members of Seattle’s city council want all big Seattle businesses to pay a tax of $500 per employee.

In response, Amazon stopped building a new complex. Construction workers joined Amazon in protesting the new tax.

On the other side are city council members like Kshama Sawant. She and members of her political party, Socialist Alternative, demonstrated in support of the tax. They chanted, “Housing is a human right!”

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Seattle does have large encampments of street people. Some are mentally ill. Some are young people looking to get stoned and live free. Some are homeless simply because they cannot afford apartments. There are many reasons for that, but one is that Amazon and other companies have brought so many new jobs to Seattle that the demand for housing exceeds the supply.

Normally, when that happens, the free market quickly solves the problem. Builders view the rising prices as a wonderful thing. They quickly build new housing to sell to the new customers. But in Seattle, and many towns in America, politicians make that very hard.

Seattle’s building code is 745 pages long.

If you want to build apartments, you better hire lawyers and “fixers” to keep you on the right side of the rules.

Seattle’s rules insist that “Welded splices shall be of ASTM A706 steel” and “foam plastic signs shall not be greater than 1/2 inch” thick.

On the majority of Seattle’s land, building any high-rise is illegal; zoning rules say only single-family houses may be built.

Want to run a cheap flophouse with single rooms? Seattle’s rules make that just about impossible.

Finally, if a landlord decides to take a building off the market, he must pay each of his tenants $3,000 in relocation costs.

No wonder there’s a housing shortage.

Seattle’s big-government restrictions created a housing problem. So now they propose to solve it with more heavy-handed government.

Seattle promises its new per-employee tax will only hit “big” companies, those grossing more than $20 million per year (about 3 percent of Seattle’s businesses).

Don’t the politicians realize that many growing companies will simply stop expanding when they get close to $20 million in income, just as companies, looking to escape Obamacare, avoid employing more than 49 workers?

Some pay lawyers to split the company into pieces. Some expand in another state. Don’t politicians see that raising taxes has nasty side effects? I guess not.

Monday, after Amazon’s pushback, the city council imposed a tax of $275 per worker instead of the originally proposed $500 tax.

They called that “compromise,” but it sounds like replacing a bad plan with a half-as-bad plan.

It’s not only government bureaucrats who are to blame. The consulting firm McKinsey weighed in with an analysis of Seattle-area homelessness and concluded the city needed to spend $400 million a year to solve the homelessness problem.

I’m sure Seattle, and many other governments, will manage to spend $400 million without solving the problem.

It’s good that Amazon pushed back against the tax. Their reminder that they could reduce or close up business if Seattle’s government got too greedy helped cut the tax roughly in half.

You can’t just keep squeezing businesses or other taxpayers forever and not expect them to try to escape. At some point, businesses will pack up and leave. Then there will be fewer paying jobs that make a city’s population less likely to be homeless in the first place.

Sawant and the other big-taxers try to make productive companies, which employ people so they can afford things like rent, sound like villains. She called Amazon’s threat to leave “extortion.” The activist group Working Washington asked Seattle’s attorney general to charge Amazon with the crime of “issuing mob-like threats.”

Mob-like threats? Amazon just wants to be left alone so it can build complexes, hire people and sell stuff.

As usual, government is the organization that sounds mob-like.

John Stossel is author of “No They Can’t! Why Government Fails — But Individuals Succeed.”

(JFS Productions, copyright 2018)

1 week ago

SHAME! State Rep. Patricia Todd, Alabama’s first openly gay lawmaker, tries to ‘out’ Gov. Kay Ivey in hateful nighttime Tweet

(MSNBC/YouTube)

With just 34 words twisted together in cruel and bitter intent, Alabama State Rep. Patricia Todd – our first openly gay lawmaker and a professional human rights activist – has shown us everything that’s wrong with politics, journalism and the awful thing called Twitter.

Here’s what Todd tweeted Tuesday night:

Folks, decent people just don’t do this

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Todd should be utterly ashamed of herself. She, of all people, should know that the club she just wielded is dripping wet with hatred and bigotry and evil. She ought to never have picked it up, but now that she has, its stink and stain are on her hands.

The journalists across the state who immediately began spreading the rumor should be ashamed of themselves, too. They, of all people, should know better than to report something so unsubstantiated. They should have all done what I wanted to do when I saw the tweet – ignore it. Alas, they didn’t, so here we are, however regrettably.

And the people who gleefully retweeted or “loved” Todd’s tweet should also be ashamed of themselves. The following bit is just for them: Next time you complain about how parts of our society have become so mean, take a look in the mirror and you’ll see who’s partly to blame.

Again, decent people don’t do this. They don’t spread it. And they don’t cheer it.

Even though she didn’t need to, Gov. Kay Ivey’s campaign was quick to respond.

“This is a disgusting lie being pushed by a paid liberal political hack,” a campaign spokesperson told me last night. “There is absolutely no truth to it.”

If good old-fashioned shame still helped people remain somewhat civilized, here’s what should happen next:

— Todd should immediately apologize to Ivey, personally.

— If she doesn’t, the Democrat Party of Alabama should demand she does so.

— Journalists in the state should take some time to examine their policies and standards. Simply because someone says something, even if that person holds some high office, doesn’t mean it should be amplified so quickly, especially without evidence or even any serious attempt to gather evidence. This isn’t why any of us got into this business, at least I hope not.

— And some of us just need to get the heck off of Twitter. It’s unhealthy. The pathway from a random thought to worldwide publication has become dangerously short, and some people obviously cannot handle the responsibility. We used to have barriers that actually helped us be more prudent in what we said, and the delay helped tame our rash nature. It used to require effort to make such a claim, and the effort helped separate the meaningful from the meaningless. Now, nothing. Every hateful or moronic utterance is treated equally. (By the way, why hasn’t Twitter suspended Todd for bullying?)

Thankfully, the silver lining was that there were a few people who responded to Todd’s tweet correctly:

Ivey is a nice lady. Sure, she’s in politics, and as they say, it ain’t “beanbag.” But she deserves better, much better than this. Anyone does.

If Todd isn’t ashamed.

If the media isn’t ashamed.

And if those who cheered them on aren’t ashamed.

Then I’ve got enough to go around.

Because this morning, I’m pretty ashamed of all of them.

@jpepperbryars is the editor of Yellowhammer News and the author of American Warfighter

1 week ago

Sports gambling in Alabama should not be used to create new spending

(YHN/Pixabay)

Alabama’s gambling mouthpieces were out in force yesterday on social media after a Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for states to regulate sports gambling. There is no question that Alabama could use this revenue, that is obvious whether you want higher taxes or not. But for some people, it will NEVER be enough, even if we “fully-funded” our needs, people would call for more. Some won’t even wait for that. The Alabama Political Reporter’s Josh Moon used this opportunity to call for more spending:

Why this matters:

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Alabamians can already gamble on sports. I placed this bet at 7:30 this morning to prove it.

Keep in mind, these are the same people that will tell you our current education system is under-funded, as is our healthcare system, and our bridges and roads too. None of that matters, they will just continue to call for new programs and new spending. No matter how much is generated, more will be demanded because the beast is never satiated.

All of this is a long shot, but Alabama has real needs, and IF Alabama is able to legalize this gaming, the money should be spent to fix our roads and bridges.

The details:

— Polarizing sports analyst claims Alabama is the #1 state per capita for sports betting.
— ESPN is tracking states preparing to enter the sports gambling market; it lists 19 states that have introduced bills or passed bills concerning this matter.
— Nevada’s Gaming Control reported there was $4.8 billion bets in Nevada sports books last year.
— DraftKings’s CEO claims there is $150 billion in illegal bets each year through black market sports books.