The Wire

  • Mo Brooks Wins FreedomWorks’ Prestigious 2017 FreedomFighter Award

    Excerpt from a Rep. Mo Brooks news release:

    Tuesday, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) was one of only 31 members of the U.S. House of Representatives awarded the prestigious 2017 FreedomFighter Award by FreedomWorks, a leading conservative organization with more than six million members nationwide. Only members of Congress who score better than 90% on the FreedomWorks scorecard receive the FreedomFighter Award. Congressman Brooks’ FreedomWorks score was in the top 4% of all Congressmen in 2017.

    Brooks said, “FreedomWorks is a leading organization in the conservative movement. I thank them for their work keeping members of Congress accountable and scoring key House floor votes which helps the American people better understand the impact of those votes. I was proud to receive the prestigious FreedomWorks 2017 FreedomFighter Award for my voting record in 2017. If America is to maintain its place as the greatest country in world history, more members of Congress must fight for the foundational principles that made America great. I’m fighting in Congress for those principles, and I’m glad to have a partner as effective as FreedomWorks in the fight.”

  • Black Bear Sightings Continue to Increase in Alabama

    Excerpt from an Outdoor Alabama news release:

    Add Jackson, Limestone, Marshall, Morgan and St. Clair counties to the growing list of black bear sightings in Alabama in 2018. In recent years, bears have also been recorded in Chambers, Elmore, Jefferson, Lee, Macon and Tallapoosa counties. These recent sightings are more evidence of the state’s expanding black bear population.

    Biologists from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources say the increase in sightings may be due to a combination of factors including changes in bear distribution, habitat fragmentation, seasonal movement and the summer mating season. However, most spring and summer bear sightings are of juvenile males being pushed out of their previous ranges by their mothers and other adult males.

    Historically, a small population of black bears have remained rooted in Mobile and Washington counties. Baldwin, Covington and Escambia counties on the Florida border host yet another population of bears. In northeast Alabama, bears migrating from northwest Georgia have established a small but viable population.

    “While seeing a black bear in Alabama is uncommon and exciting, it is no cause for alarm,” said Marianne Hudson, Conservation Outreach Specialist for the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF). “There has never been a black bear attack on a human in Alabama.”

    Black bears are typically secretive, shy animals that will avoid human interaction. Occasionally, a curious bear will explore a human-populated area in search of food.

    “If you are lucky enough to see a bear, simply leave it alone,” Hudson said.

  • Rep. Byrne Releases Statement on Russia

    From a Bradley Byrne news release:

    Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) issued the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, this morning in Helsinki.

    Congressman Byrne said: “I applaud President Trump’s decision to start a dialogue with President Putin and I’m glad he is making it a priority. However, we must remember that Russia is not an ally – economically or militarily. They are an adversary. The United States should not tolerate actions by the Russians that intervene in our domestic affairs or pose a threat to our national security.”

35 mins ago

President Trump congratulates Rep. Martha Roby on her runoff victory

(WH, Roby/Facebook)

President Trump took to Twitter Wednesday to congratulate Rep. Martha Roby in her House District 2 primary runoff victory against former District 2 congressman Bobby Bright.

Trump expressed that his endorsement contributed to Roby’s “landslide victory.”

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There were questions, particularly among national news commentators, about whether Roby would be able to overcome the stigma of de-endorsing President Trump in the 2016 election, but his support for her put that question largely to bed.

“I’m honored and humbled that the people of Alabama’s Second District have again placed their trust and confidence in me, and that I will have the opportunity to continue to do this job on their behalf,” Roby said in a statement, in part. “On behalf of my family and me, thank you to each person who went out to the polls today to support me.”

“Over the last year and a half, it’s been a great privilege to be a part of the conservative momentum and to work alongside my colleagues in Congress and the Trump Administration to push some very important priorities over the finish line. We are in a unique position to accomplish even more, and I’m eager to continue the fight,” she also said.

Roby faces Democrat Tabitha Isner in November.

Rep. Byrne: Americans are better off now

(Rep. Bradley Byrne/Twitter)

Two years ago, I joined other Republican House members in unveiling our “Better Way” agenda. The agenda covered everything from national security to tax reform to the economy. It was a bold vision about a different path for America that wasn’t driven by a larger, more powerful federal government. Instead, we advocated for a better way where we got government out of the way and allowed the American people to flourish.

Working with President Trump, we have held true to our promises to the American people. Two years later and with many parts of the agenda in place, we can safely say that Americans are better off now. Our communities are safer. The economy is booming. Our military is being rebuilt. Our “Better Way” is paying off.

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Our communities are safer because we have made supporting law enforcement a top priority. We have passed historic legislation to address the opioid crisis, which is having a horrible impact on communities in Alabama and throughout the country. In addition to better policy, we have invested $4 billion in grants and programs to help combat the opioid crisis.

We passed legislation to devote more resources to school safety, and we have made real progress in the fight against human trafficking. In fact, we have seen a 60 percent decline in online advertising for sex trafficking.

Also, important to keeping our communities safe, we set aside $1.5 billion for physical barriers and technology along the southern border and provided for over 90 miles of a border wall system. Border security is national security.

No one can deny that the American economy is booming. Just consider these numbers: 90% of Americans are seeing larger paychecks under our tax reform bill. 3.7 million jobs have been created since November 2016. There are 6.6 million job openings in the United States as of May 2018, meaning more jobs than job seekers. And, $4.1 billion has been saved in agency regulatory costs by rolling back burdensome government regulations.

One of my biggest concerns during the Obama Administration was the hollowing out of our military. We had planes that couldn’t fly and ships that couldn’t sail. We were not making the continuous critical investment in our military necessary to keep up with our adversaries. Thankfully, those days are over.

We have made the largest investment in our military in 15 years. This means 20,000 new troops, the largest pay increase for our service members since 2010, more training time, better equipment, new ships, and much more.

On the world stage, countries know that the United States means what we say. ISIS is on the run in the Middle East, North Korea has come to the negotiating table, and China is being held accountable for their dangerous trade practices.

Now, I want to make clear that much work remains. For example, we have to keep working to fix our broken immigration system and ensure that our borders are finally secure. We also cannot give up on our efforts to improve health care in our country. Costs remain too high and rural communities right here in Alabama are facing dangerous hospital closures.

But, despite what some on the other side of the aisle and the national news media want you to believe, the American people are better off now than they were two years ago. That is a testament to our pro-growth agenda, but, more importantly, it is a testament to the spirit and drive of the American people.

Want to know more? I encourage you to visit Better.gop to learn more about the various ways the American people are better off now.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne is a Republican from Fairhope. 

U.S. Rep. Byrne: Border security must always come first

(U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Flickr)

If you have turned on your television recently, you have probably heard about the ongoing immigration debate in our country. Here in Congress, it is an issue that has drawn much of our attention as well.

Since being elected to Congress, I have held two top principles when it comes to the immigration debate. First, I do not and will not support granting amnesty to those who are in our country illegally. Second, any immigration reform bill must start with a sincere and tangible effort to secure the border. Until the border is secure, any other immigration efforts would be in vain.

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Recently, the House voted on two separate immigration bills that were designed to help crack down on illegal immigration. One bill, the Securing America’s Future Act, earned my support. The bill included very strong border security provisions, made the E-Verify program mandatory, and satisfied President Trump’s four pillars for immigration reform. Unfortunately, the bill failed by a vote of 193 to 231.

Another bill, the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act, failed to earn my support. The bill would have created a special pathway to citizenship for over 1.8 million illegal immigrants. The legislation would have unfairly allowed these illegal immigrants to jump in front of thousands who are waiting to come into our country the right way. Thankfully, the bill did not receive the support necessary to pass.

Despite the failure of these two bills, we must not give up in our efforts to secure the border, close loopholes in our immigration system, and ensure our immigration laws are fully enforced. This issue is far too important to the safety and security of the American people.

The immigration issue has also hit close to home with reports that the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense are considering housing up to 25,000 illegal immigrants at Navy outlying airfields in south Baldwin County.

I am working with local leaders and my Alabama colleagues to once again fight this flawed proposal tooth and nail. Housing anyone in tents on the Gulf Coast during the heat of summer and the heart of hurricane season would be inhumane and a major mistake. Not to mention that these airfields lack even basic infrastructure, such as running water, housing, or restroom facilities, to provide even basic needs for detained immigrants.

I also believe we need to return these illegal immigrants to their home countries as quickly as possible. It makes no sense to bring them so far away from the border when the ultimate goal is to return them to their home countries.

Another issue that has drawn national attention is the Trump Administration’s zero tolerance policy, which says that anyone who crosses the border illegally will be prosecuted. I strongly support the policy because we are a nation of laws, and we must enforce the laws.

That said, like President Trump, I do not support separating children from their families at the border. This is why I have co-sponsored a bill from Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Congressman Dave Brat (R-VA) that would allow families to stay together while speeding up the processing and review of asylum cases. The bill would also devote funding to double the number of federal immigration judges and authorize the construction of new temporary shelters close to the border to keep families together.

As we continue to crack down on illegal immigration and ensure our borders are secure, I welcome your ideas and feedback. These are complicated and difficult issues, but they are so critical to the future of our country. We cannot become a country with open borders and no rule of law.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne is a Republican from Fairhope.

4 weeks ago

U.S. Rep. Rogers: IG report proves Mueller probe needs to be shut down

(M. Rogers/Facebook)

Folks across East Alabama may have recently seen the Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) Report findings were released.

The IG report details the mishandling of the FBI investigation involving Hillary Clinton and her private email server.

Anyone that denies that the FBI’s Clinton investigation was rigged in her favor is delusional.

The political bias clearly shown during the investigation and the double standard of justice was rampant and deliberate.

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 This is the same crooked group at the FBI that started the investigation of President Trump that led to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

So here is what we know:

Mr. Comey was FBI Director at the time the investigation was started. The IG found his actions at the FBI were insubordinate and he may currently by under investigation for leaking classified material.

Deputy Director Andrew McCabe was fired and is under investigation for lying to investigators.

Special Agent Peter Strzok has clearly demonstrated his hate and contempt for President Trump through his texts.  He most recently was escorted out of the FBI headquarters.

Congressional investigators now believe FBI documents may have been altered to convict Michael Flynn after the two FBI agents that interviewed him found him to be truthful.

We are also now finding out about FBI spies being planted inside the Trump campaign along with FBI abuse of the FISA warrants.

Enough is enough.

If all of this pans out, which I believe it will, there was no original basis for appointing Robert Mueller.

As I discussed during my Fox Business interview this week, the Mueller witch hunt needs to be shut down immediately.

We cannot continue to let it go on and be a distraction for the American people and Trump Administration.

Our economy is booming, unemployment rates are low and the American Dream is back – but with this nonsense continuing on the side – it is hard to focus on our goals.

The American people deserve better.

Mike Rogers is a Republican congressman from Semmes

Please sign up for my e-Newsletter by visiting my website. To stay up to date, you can also like me on Facebook at Congressman Mike D. Rogers, follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram at RepMikeRogersAL, on Tumblr and you can also subscribe to my YouTube page at MikeRogersAL03. 

4 weeks ago

Rep. Roby: Combatting the opioid crisis at home and across the country

(AF Medical Service)

There are countless important issues currently facing our state and nation. From our ongoing conversations with North Korea to the continuing need for enhanced security at the southern border, there’s no shortage of priorities that warrant discussion. Unfortunately, there is one very serious issue that continues to make headlines: the horrific opioid epidemic that is gripping our state and the entire country.

I’m sure most of us know someone whose life has been affected by opioid abuse. Whether it’s prescription pain relievers or synthetic opioids like fentanyl, the crisis has only gotten worse. 64,070 people died from overdoses in our country in 2016, and 756 of those individuals were Alabamians. Now, in 2018, the problem has not improved. Did you know that 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioid drugs every single day? Just this year alone, it is estimated that more than 2 million Americans will suffer from opioid addiction.

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I’m pleased that last October, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. This epidemic has been wreaking havoc on communities and families across our country for far too long. While the statistics are certainly shocking, this is about so much more than numbers. Hundreds of thousands of real American people with lives, careers, and families have lost the battle with opioid drug abuse. That’s why the House has made combating this crisis a top priority over the last several years.

You may remember that back in 2016, Congress passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and the 21st Century Cures Act. Earlier this year, we provided $4 billion in government funding specifically to address the opioid crisis. Building upon this work, the House recently passed dozens of meaningful bills to further combat the opioid epidemic, and I’d like to share the four ways we are using this legislation to help fight this serious issue.

First, with the recently passed legislation, the House is focusing on treatment and recovery. Our bills improve and expand access to treatment and recovery services, provide incentives for enhanced care, and establish comprehensive opioid recovery centers. Hundreds of thousands of Americans from all walks of life are currently trapped by addiction, and it is imperative that we provide the resources to treat their addiction and help them recover.

Second, we’re aiming for prevention. Opioids are an important part of modern day medical care for pain treatment, but they are prescribed entirely too often – and at alarming rates. Our legislation addresses these high prescribing rates while enhancing prescription drug monitoring programs. We have the technology, and it’s past time we used it to more effectively address this crisis. Our legislation also encourages non-addictive opioid alternatives, when practical, to treat pain, and improves the data that allows us to identify and help at-risk patients before the problem becomes dangerously serious.

Third, we’re making efforts to better protect communities of all sizes throughout the country by giving law enforcement the tools necessary to remove dangerous drugs. Our bills also enable us to better intercept illicit opioids at international mail facilities and improve access to federal resources for local communities.

Last but certainly not least, we’re fighting fentanyl. The legislation we passed in the House allows us to better tackle these ever-changing synthetic drugs, crack down on foreign shipments of illicit drugs, and provide grants for communities to combat fentanyl that is destroying lives as we speak.

I am proud of the efforts we’ve made in the House recently to press forward in our fight against this horrible crisis gripping our state and nation, but our work is far from complete. We owe it to the more than 40,000 Americans who die every year – and their families – to push on until strong progress is made. You can read more about our work to combat the opioid epidemic by visiting www.opioidcrisis.gop.

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby is a Republican from Montgomery.

1 month ago

Trump’s historic gamble

(NBC News/YouTube)

President Donald Trump appears to belong to what might be called the Benjamin Disraeli school of diplomacy.

The British prime minister once counseled, “Everyone likes flattery; and when you come to Royalty you should lay it on with a trowel.”

At his Singapore summit, Trump smartly saluted a North Korean general and then lavished praise on Kim Jong Un as a “strong guy” with a “good personality” and a “great negotiator.” “He’s funny, and … very, very smart … and a very strategic kind of a guy. … His country does love him.”

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Predictably, Trump is being scourged for this.

Yet, during his trip to Peking in 1972, Richard Nixon did not confront Chairman Mao on his history of massacres and murder, though Nixon’s visit came in the midst of Mao’s Cultural Revolution, a nationwide pogrom.

Nor did Churchill or FDR at their wartime summits confront their ally Stalin for his legendary crimes against humanity. Both gushed over “Uncle Joe.”

Still, if the Trump-Kim camaraderie goes south and the crisis of 2017, when war seemed possible, returns, Trump, as he concedes, will be charged with naivety for having placed his trust in such a tyrant.

Yet, to Trump’s credit, we are surely at a better place than we were a year ago when Kim was testing hydrogen bombs and ICBMs, and he and Trump were trading threats and insults in what seemed the prelude to a new Korean War.

Whatever one may think of his diplomacy, Trump has, for now, lifted the specter of nuclear war from the Korean peninsula and begun a negotiating process that could lead to tolerable coexistence.

The central questions to emerge from the summit are these: What does Kim want, and what is he willing to pay for it?

Transparently, he does not want a war with the United States. That black cloud has passed over. Second, Kim and North Korea have emerged from their isolation in as dramatic a fashion as did Mao’s China in 1972.

In 2018, the North was invited to the Seoul Olympics. Kim met twice with South Korea’s president and twice with China’s Xi Jinping. Vladimir Putin’s foreign minister stopped by. And Kim had a face-to-face summit with a U.S. president, something his grandfather and father never came close to achieving.

It is unlikely Kim will be retreating back into the cloisters of the Hermit Kingdom after being courted by the world’s foremost powers.

What does Trump have on offer to induce Kim to end the lifetime of hostility? It is a long menu of what Kim can expect if he will surrender his nuclear weapons and dismantle the factories and facilities that produce them.

Among the benefits proffered: recognition of his dynasty and U.S. security guarantees, an end of sanctions, foreign investment, a peace treaty signed by the United States to replace the 65-year-old armistice and the eventual withdrawal of U.S. forces from the Korean peninsula.

Trump has already attended to one of Kim’s complaints. The joint military exercises we have conducted annually with South Korea for decades have been declared by Trump to be “war games” and “very provocative” and have been suspended.

What is being asked of Kim in return?

He must provide an inventory of all nuclear weapons and where they are hidden, surrender them all, dismantle his plutonium and uranium production plants, and shut down his testing sites, all under the watch of U.S.-approved inspectors.

He must renounce any and all nuclear weapons forever, and accept a regime of international inspections that would guarantee he never cheats on that commitment.

Here is where the crunch comes. Kim is being told that he must give up the weapons whose very possession by him are the reason why the world powers are paying him heed.

As leader of a country with a per capita income smaller than Haiti’s, Kim is being told he must surrender the weapons that placed him and North Korea in the world’s most exclusive club, to which only eight other nations belong: the U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France, India, Pakistan and Israel.

Will Kim, whose nuclear weapons have enabled him to strut on the world stage and trade insults with the president of the United States, give them up to become the leader of a poor backward nation, with half the population of South Korea and not even 4 percent of the economy of the South?

Will he give up his most reliable deterrent against an attack by the United States or China?

In the Kim-Trump relationship, this is where the rubber meets the road. Kim has seen how Americans treat nations — like Gadhafi’s Libya, Saddam’s Iraq, and Iran — that decline to develop or surrender the kind of weapons his country took decades to plan, test, produce and deploy.

Should Kim give up his nukes, what U.S. president would fly halfway around the world to meet him one-to-one?

Hence the crucial question: Will he ever really give them up?

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)

1 month ago

Our reaction to the North Korea Summit depends on our predisposition about Trump

(WH/Instagram)

It goes without saying that Democrats would view President Trump’s North Korean negotiations quite differently than Republicans, but I was honestly surprised by the strong negative reaction of Trump critics on the right.

Don’t get me wrong; some Trump critics on the right reflexively oppose everything he does or says, but my gut reaction when first learning of the summit was that even they would grudgingly acknowledge this as a positive development. But their reaction was viscerally negative, harsh, cynical, pessimistic and absolute. Either I overestimated their capacity for some fairness concerning Trump or I am radically wrong in how I interpret the summit results.

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I have witnessed an ontological certitude — both intellectual and moral — from a certain type of conservative Trump critic. These critics not only are sure of their beliefs but seem equally sure that conservative Trump supporters must have an ulterior motive because they couldn’t possibly retain their principles and support him. I believe they are way off base — their judgment clouded by their bias against Trump — but I don’t doubt that they believe they are doing what is right. However, they won’t extend us the reciprocal benefit of the doubt.

They often smear conservative Trump supporters as cultists — saying we would abandon our principles, even our commitment to national security, to support Trump or cover up his missteps or tweets. There may be some Trump supporters who appear that way, but rarely is this a cultish phenomenon, any more than is the loyalty of supporters of other strong political figures, such as Presidents Obama and Reagan.

I think the attraction to Trump is grounded in an abiding patriotism. His supporters are deeply concerned about the leftist assault on America as founded and the left’s dedication to completing its fundamental transformation of this nation. I can’t deny there’s a charisma factor, but if Trump had preached anything but a singularly pro-American message, his campaign wouldn’t have gotten off the ground.

Now, concerning North Korea: Yes, Trump exaggerated when he tweeted that North Korea is no longer a nuclear threat, but it didn’t unsettle me, because I know he didn’t mean it literally. We know from everything else he said that he is approaching this soberly and has the long view in mind. A national security hawk, he is aware of the traps and North Korea’s history of deceit. He will insist on verification. And he has surrounded himself with very serious and brilliant foreign policy advisers devoted to America’s national security.

I’ve never done this, but let me share some of my tweets on why I am very upbeat about Trump’s negotiations with Kim Jong Un so far.

“I’m not sure, but it seems to me that the different reactions to Trump’s NK negotiations this week, especially among those on the right, are largely attributable to people’s predispositions about Trump personally — significantly more so even than other issues & it’s fascinating.”

“I think there’s a major difference between Trump rejoicing at NK’s promises & Clinton or Obama doing so. Whatever else you think about Trump, he is a patriot & is committed to America’s security & those priorities transcend his desire to just make a deal, unlike Obama & Clinton.”

“It was as if Obama was so obsessed with making a deal that he’d virtually sell us out to do so — not virtually, he actually did in some respects. No way I believe Trump would do that, on inspections or anything else. I am sure many Trump skeptics will scoff at this assessment.”

“People who are savaging Trump because nothing concrete is done yet are spitting in the wind. It’s impossible that anything concrete could be done yet. Those criticizing any deal because of difficulties in verifiability are also just naysayers. Of course there will be difficulties.”

“How is it legitimate to criticize Trump’s outline of a plan on verifiability concerns when those steps have yet to be specified? Just calm down and let the process unfold. If Trump doesn’t ensure verifiability then or is lax about it, go after him by all means. I think he will.”

“I also think there is a real chance that Kim believes Trump might take military action if Kim betrays us and goes forward. There is little chance he or his predecessors would have feared that with Democrat appeasement presidents.”
“In the end, what are the critics kvetching about? Seems to me their criticism is way more premature than Trump’s celebration. It is inconceivable that much more could have been done substantively than was done in the first meeting and Trump said much work remains.”

“Is there even one leftist critic who would oppose a Democrat president trying to work toward denuclearization? They didn’t complain when Obama’s [Iran] deal was completely done and he’d given away the farm. Trump’s deal is just in outline form & he’s given away nothing — not yet.”

“I understand people freaking out over Trump’s tweet on this, but do you REALLY believe this means he won’t do everything he can to follow up — and ensure adequate security measures are implemented, or no deal? Because I do, so his optimistic tweet is just that & nothing more.”

“If Trump didn’t give a da– about America’s national security I’d be very skeptical. But I am convinced America’s security is his foremost priority here. That is why I’m not worried — like I would be big time with Obama. And I’m right. Yep, I’m right on this.”

“It seems that some conservative Trump critics fear that conservative Trump supporters would compromise their priorities — like national security — to support Trump even if he were jeopardizing it. No way. We support him, among other reasons, precisely because he’s a security hawk.”

“We are in the beginning stages of a process that has started off with great promise. Nothing more; nothing less.”

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

1 month ago

Behind Trump’s exasperation

(WH/Flickr)

At the G-7 summit in Canada, President Donald Trump described America as “the piggy bank that everybody is robbing.”

After he left Quebec, his director of Trade and Industrial Policy, Peter Navarro, added a few parting words for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau:

“There’s a special place in hell for any foreign leader that engages in bad faith diplomacy with President Donald J. Trump and then tries to stab him in the back on the way out the door. … And that’s … what weak, dishonest Justin Trudeau did. And that comes right from Air Force One.”

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In Singapore, Trump tweeted more about that piggy bank.

“Why should I, as President of the United States, allow countries to continue to make Massive Trade Surpluses, as they have for decades … (while) the U.S. pays close to the entire cost of NATO-protecting many of these same countries that rip us off on Trade?”

To understand what drives Trump, and explains his exasperation and anger, these remarks are a good place to begin.
Our elites see America as an “indispensable nation,” the premier world power whose ordained duty it is to defend democracy, stand up to dictators and aggressors, and uphold a liberal world order.

They see U.S. wealth and power as splendid tools that fate has given them to shape the future of the planet.
Trump sees America as a nation being milked by allies who free ride on our defense effort, as they engage in trade practices that prosper their own peoples at America’s expense.

Where our elites live to play masters of the universe, Trump sees a world laughing behind America’s back, while allies exploit our magnanimity and idealism for their own national ends.

The numbers are impossible to refute and hard to explain.

Last year, the EU had a $151 billion trade surplus with the U.S. China ran a $376 billion trade surplus with the U.S., the largest in history. The world sold us $796 billion more in goods than we sold to the world.

A nation that spends more than it takes in from taxes, and consumes more of the world’s goods than it produces itself for export, year in and year out, is a nation on the way down.

We are emulating our British cousins of the 19th century.

Trump understands that this situation is not sustainable. His strength is that the people are still with him on putting America first.

Yet he faces some serious obstacles.

What is his strategy for turning a $796 billion trade deficit into a surplus? Is he prepared to impose the tariffs and import restrictions that would be required to turn America from the greatest trade-deficit nation in history to a trade-surplus nation, as we were up until the mid-1970s?

Americans are indeed carrying the lion’s share of the load of the defense of the West, and of fighting the terrorists and radical Islamists of the Middle East, and of protecting South Korea and Japan.

But if our NATO and Asian allies refuse to make the increases in defense he demands, is Trump really willing to cancel our treaty commitments, walk away from our war guarantees, and let these nations face Russia and China on their own? Could he cut that umbilical cord?

Ike’s Secretary of State John Foster Dulles spoke of conducting an “agonizing reappraisal” of U.S. commitments to defend NATO allies, if they did not contribute more money and troops.

Dulles died in 1959, and that reappraisal, threatened 60 years ago, never happened. Indeed, when the Cold War ended, out NATO allies cut defense spending again. Yet we are still subsidizing NATO in Europe and have taken on new allies since the Soviet Empire fell.

If Europe refuses to invest the money in defense Trump demands, or accept the tariffs America needs to reduce and erase its trade deficits, what does he do? Is he prepared to shut U.S. bases and pull U.S. troops out of the Baltic republics, Poland and Germany, and let the Europeans face Vladimir Putin and Russia themselves?

This is not an academic question. For the crunch that was inevitable when Trump was elected seems at hand.

He promised to negotiate with Putin and improve relations with Russia. He promised to force our NATO allies to undertake more of their own defense. He pledged to get out and stay out of Mideast wars, and begin to slash the trade deficits that we have run with the world.

And that’s what America voted for.

Now, after 500 days, he faces formidable opposition to these defining goals of his campaign, even within his own party.

Putin remains a pariah on Capitol Hill. Our allies are rejecting the tariffs Trump has imposed and threatening retaliation. Free trade Republicans reject tariffs that might raise the cost of the items U.S. companies makes abroad and then ships back to the United States.

The decisive battles between Trumpian nationalism and globalism remain ahead of us. Trump’s critical tests have yet to come.

And our exasperated president senses this.

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)

1 month ago

On IG report, Sessions speaks like a long-time law man, Trump like a politician

(Fox News, TIME/YouTube)

The amount of personal and political separation between President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has increased since yesterday, though no more directed swipes have been taken.

Both responded to the much-anticipated Department of Justice’s Inspector General report on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation with criticism of the bureau, but their words demonstrate that what is ultimately responsible for the division between them is how differently they operate in the political sphere.

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In his response to the report, Sessions offered a definite reproof of the Department of Justice.

“The Inspector General’s report reveals a number of significant errors by the senior leadership of the Department of Justice and the FBI during the previous administration,” Sessions said in a statement yesterday.

“Accordingly, this report must be seen as an opportunity for the FBI — long considered the world’s premier investigative agency — and all of us at the Department to learn from past mistakes. The Department is not above criticism, and it is accountable to the Chief Executive, Congress, and most importantly, the American people.”

Even so, he spent near as many words both praising and encouraging the institution.

“I have worked alongside the agents and employees of the FBI for decades, and it is my honor to serve with you as Attorney General,” Sessions said. “In offices throughout the country and the world, you embody the fidelity, bravery, and integrity that is your motto. Continue your mission. Achieve excellence. And understand that your work – protecting the American people at home and abroad – is your greatest legacy.”

Trump responded to the report this morning with tweets targeting former FBI director James Comey and FBI Agent Peter Strzok.

In an impromptu appearance on “Fox & Friends” this morning, Trump reinforced those criticisms while offering his support, and accepting the support, of the rank and file.

“The people in the FBI are incredible,” he told Steve Doocy. “I would bet if you took a poll, in the FBI, I would win that poll by more than anyone’s ever won a poll.”

For Sessions, all of this demands an effort to preserve the Department of Justice.

For Trump, all of this offers an opportunity for self-preservation.

@jeremywbeaman is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News

1 month ago

Trump’s triumph or Kim’s coup?

(CBS News/YouTube)

This week, President Trump went to Singapore to meet with the most repressive dictator on the planet, North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jung Un. Kim presides over a slave state of 25 million people, with gulags stacked with hundreds of thousands of political dissidents. He has diligently pursued nuclear weapons and long-range missile tests. He was greeted as a celebrity in Singapore, with President Trump shaking his hand, calling him “very smart” and “a funny guy” and generally praising him to the skies.

Fans of President Trump were ecstatic. To them, this was a breakthrough movement: an American leader sitting down with a North Korean leader, finally breaking through the clutter of the past to get down to brass tacks. To Trump critics, this was a debacle: The president handed Kim an unprecedented propaganda coup, complete with grinning photos and thumbs up before a backdrop of interpolated North Korean and American flags.

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Here’s the truth: We don’t know what this will be yet. If it turns out that Trump has a trick up his sleeve — if it turns out that Trump has indeed convinced Kim to denuclearize and liberalize his country — then this will go down in history as a move of extraordinary genius. If, however, it’s a photo op designed to allow Trump to claim status as a diplomatic wizard, and if Kim gives up nothing while the United States legitimizes an evil tyrant and ratchets down military exercises with South Korea, it will be a debacle.

This was a high-risk, high-reward strategy.

But it doesn’t appear that the White House thinks of it that way. Instead, it seems to view the summit as an unalloyed win for President Trump no matter what happens next. Trump, they say, can always reverse himself. Trump himself made the same point: “Honestly, I think he’s going to do these things. I may be wrong. … I don’t know that I’ll ever admit that, but I’ll find some kind of an excuse.”

And herein lies the problem. Trump has a stake in not being wrong. That’s why presidents typically don’t hold face-to-face get-togethers with evil dictators until some sort of serious negotiation has already taken place. Trump is now invested in the success of his diplomacy, rather than in the strongest possible outcome alone. That’s a win for Kim, at the very least. Trump has given Kim an advance against the possibility of future concessions. If those concessions never materialize, Trump will be forced to choose between admitting he was bamboozled and brazening through the humiliation, pretending that Kim is in fact a moderate force willing to work with him.

Right now, barring additional evidence of North Korean surrender, Kim has the upper hand. That could always change tomorrow; we should hope and pray that it will. If it doesn’t, then President Trump not only won’t get a win out of the North Korean summit; he’ll have been played by a tin-pot dictator with a penchant for murdering his family members.

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)

1 month ago

U.S. Rep. Roby: House takes step to cut wasteful spending

(Representative Martha Roby/Facebook)

It’s no secret that the national debt continues to become an ever-increasing problem in this country. The number has now cleared $20 trillion, and with every dollar added, it becomes ever more critical that we find ways to cut spending and balance the budget. That’s why I’m proud that the Trump Administration recently submitted to Congress the largest rescission package in our nation’s history in an effort to cut nearly $15 billion of old government funding that is unnecessary, expired, unused, or cannot be used for its original purpose.

I support the use of the commonsense rescission tool to identify and weed out at least a portion of government waste. Title X of the 1974 Congressional Budget Impoundment Control Act gives the President authority to use this tool. The President has the ability to propose the rescinding, or cutting, of specific funds previously approved by Congress. Over the years, this smart measure has been used by presidents on both sides of the aisle, and I am glad that the Trump Administration is now utilizing this tool, too.

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I am proud to report that the House recently took action on the Administration’s rescission request by passing H.R. 3, the Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act. Before this important piece of legislation was drafted, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) worked to find wasteful, unnecessary spending that should be returned to the Treasury. Many of the funds OMB identified have been sitting around gathering dust in stagnant programs – and they aren’t just pennies and loose change.

For example, the type of funds cut by H.R. 3 include $4.3 billion from the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, which hasn’t made a loan since 2011, $523 million from the Title 17 Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program, which has not had the authority to make new loans since 2011, and $133 million from the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Extended Benefits Program, which completely expired in 2012.

Needless to say, these are all examples of unused government funding, and I am pleased the House has acted to cut them from the budget. However, there has been some misinformation spread about what the Administration’s rescission package actually does, so I’d like to set the record straight. Some have claimed that the rescission request cuts active, current funding from important programs, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) on which many families depend. This is false. Congress recently reauthorized CHIP funding for a total of ten years, and this measure does nothing to change current funding levels.

There are many federal programs that are left with significant amounts of leftover funding that should absolutely be returned to the Treasury. For the sake of our national debt, we cannot allow programs and organizations to hoard leftover, excess funding that allows them to overspend their budgets in the future.

Congress has a financial responsibility to the hardworking taxpayers, and I believe cutting unused, expired funding is a commonsense step toward getting our fiscal house in order. Every day I hear from constituents who are concerned about our mounting debt and frustrated by Washington’s unwillingness to address it. Finding financial stability will be a challenging task, but I believe the Administration’s rescission plan is a positive step in the right direction. I’m proud to have voted in favor of the measure, and I hope the Senate acts quickly.

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby is a Republican from Montgomery.

1 month ago

‘Fake news’ is not a fake term

(W.Miller/YHN)

The left and Trump-opposing right are predictably annoyed at President Trump’s persistent description of the liberal media as “fake news.” Like it or not, the term as he uses it has merit.

Trump’s opponents hysterically claim he threatens the free press when he uses that term to describe them, just as they accuse him of other alleged abuses of constitutional power. In fact, unlike President Obama, Trump has governed within his constitutional authority. If his rhetoric scares them, then maybe they should find a safe space.

Before you accuse me of your favorite discussion stopper, “whataboutism” — supposed efforts to excuse Trump’s alleged misbehavior by citing equal or worse behavior from Obama, Hillary Clinton or other Democrats — let me repeat: I am arguing that Trump has not abused his executive powers, so I’m not seeking to excuse him at all.

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As I’ve said before in response to Trump critics, not every criticism of Clinton and Obama is designed to take the heat off Trump. It is important to hold Democrats accountable, even for their past actions, and to showcase their hypocrisy.

I have often detailed President Obama’s misdeeds and the liberal media’s deliberate refusal to report on these and therefore won’t provide another comprehensive list here. But it is important for us all to understand that Democrats, as a rule, don’t much care about abuses of constitutional power — by the executive branch or by the legislative and judicial branches, not to mention the unaccountable administrative state — when they advance their leftist agenda.

Before you scoff at this, there’s a logical reason for this beyond their hyper-partisanship. They don’t care as much as we do about the Constitution — at least not as originally written. It’s undeniable from their history of supporting liberal judicial activism alone, wherein liberal judges bend, amend and upend constitutional provisions and principles when it suits their policy preferences. Liberals speciously accuse conservatives of activism when our constitutionalist judges merely reverse their lawless rulings, just as they accuse President Trump of abusing his executive authority when he dips his executive pen into White House ink to lawfully repeal Obama’s unlawful orders.

As just one example, President Obama repeatedly and publicly lamented his lack of executive authority to change immigration laws when he was trying to pressure Congress to pass the DREAM Act. But when his efforts failed, he dipped his executive pen into his executive ink and grossly abused his authority to advance his cause. And he did these types of things routinely — thwarting the will of the people by usurping the authority of Congress.

The liberal media, who hold themselves out as objective journalists, rarely, if ever, criticized Obama for such lawlessness. They are advocacy commentators disguised as journalists, and reporting on these abuses didn’t serve their agenda. Seems pretty fake to many of us. Yes, many commentators on the right are biased, as well, but they usually admit their biases rather than masquerade as objective observers.

Those who insist Trump is abusing his executive authority are the same ones who are hot and bothered about his “fake news” moniker for the liberal press, arguing that it somehow threatens the First Amendment. This is nonsense.

Trump doesn’t jeopardize anyone’s free speech rights by calling them fake. At the risk — again — of whataboutism charges, Presidents Obama and Bill Clinton were often in public fights with Fox News and conservative talk radio. Did they threaten free speech in such instances? Moreover, are critics suggesting that Trump has a constitutional or moral duty to remain silent in the face of endless criticism from the media — the media that are so preoccupied with discrediting him and undermining his agenda that they spend almost all their time on scandal-mongering and almost none on reporting substantive news?

The critics’ incessant and unsubstantiated claim that Trump is a threat to the Constitution is itself irresponsible. Most of the examples they cite have to do with his tough rhetoric rather than his actions. They just can’t stand him and have an irrational fear that he’s going to end the world, maybe even the universe.

So please, the next time someone casually asserts that Trump is a danger to the Constitution, have the person specify and connect the dots between Trump’s action or statement and an actual threat to our democracy.

And when you are considering Trump’s claim that he’s being attacked by fake news, keep in mind that the leftist media 1) aren’t honest about their biases and mask their editorial opinions as news; 2) grossly underreport substantive newsworthy events; 3) make things up about Trump — such as that first lady Melania Trump may have been in hiding to conceal evidence of physical abuse administered by this most evil of chief executives; and 4) deliberately conceal or deny indisputable evidence of Democratic abuses and corruption, the latest being the Obama administration’s clandestine assistance to Iran to facilitate its circumvention of financial sanctions — and its overt lies to the American people about it.

When it comes to political reporting, the liberal media are often fake news, so don’t just assume that Trump’s repeated claim to that effect is nothing but counterpunching noise. It’s about time someone called them on it. It’s wholly proper for the press to hold public officials accountable when necessary, but there’s nothing whatsoever wrong about a president’s holding the media accountable, as well. After all, collectively, their bully pulpit is arguably bigger than his.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

1 month ago

Boehner’s right — It’s Trump’s party now

(D. Trump/Instagram)

“There is no Republican Party. There’s a Trump party,” John Boehner told a Mackinac, Michigan, gathering of the GOP faithful last week. “The Republican Party is kind of taking a nap somewhere.”

Ex-Speaker Boehner should probably re-check the old party’s pulse, for the Bush-Boehner GOP may not just be napping. It could be comatose.

Consider. That GOP was dedicated to free trade, open borders, amnesty and using U.S. power to punish aggressors and “end tyranny in our world.” That GOP set out to create a new world order where dictatorships were threatened with “regime change,” and democratic capitalism was the new order of the ages.

Yet, Donald Trump captured the Republican nomination and won the presidency — by saying goodbye to all that.
How probable is it that a future GOP presidential candidate will revive the Bush-Boehner agenda the party rejected in 2016, run on it, win, and impose it on the party and nation?

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Bush-Boehner Republicanism appears to be as dead today as was Harding-Coolidge Republicanism after 1933. And if Trumpism is not the future of the GOP, it is hard to see what a promising GOP agenda might look like.

A brief history: In seven elections starting in 1992, Republicans won the presidency three times, but the popular vote only once, in 2004, when George W. was still basking in his “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq.

What fractured and overwhelmed the Bush-Boehner Republican Party?

First, demography. The mass immigration of Third World peoples that began with the 1965 immigration act, and the decline in the birth rate of native-born Americans, began to swamp the Nixon-Reagan New Majority.

Second, the collapse of the Soviet Empire and USSR removed the party’s great unifying cause from Eisenhower to Bush I — the Cold War.

After the Red Army went home, “America First” had a new appeal!

Third, faithful to the free trade cult in which they were raised, Republicans championed NAFTA, the WTO, and MFN for China.

Historians will look back in amazement at how America’s free trade zealots gave away the greatest manufacturing base the world had ever seen, as they quoted approvingly 18th- and 19th-century scribblers whose ideas had done so much to bring down their own country, Great Britain.

Between 1997 and 2017, the EU ran up, at America’s expense, trade surpluses in goods in excess of $2 trillion, while we also picked up the bill for Europe’s defense.

Between 1992 and 2016, China was allowed to run $4 trillion in trade surpluses at our expense, converting herself into the world’s first manufacturing power and denuding America of tens of thousands of factories and millions of manufacturing jobs.

In Trump’s first year, China’s trade surplus with the United States hit $375 billion. From January to March of this year, our trade deficit with China was running at close to the same astronomical rate.

“Trade deficits do not matter,” we hear from the economists.

They might explain that to Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

And perhaps someone can explain the wisdom of handing 4 percent of our GDP each year to an adversary nation, as U.S. admirals talk tough about confronting that adversary nation over islets and reefs in the South China Sea.
Why are we enriching and empowering so exorbitantly those whom we are told we may have to fight?

Fourth, under Bush II and Obama, the U.S. intervened massively in the Near and Middle East — in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen. And the forces that pushed up into those conflicts, and so disillusioned the nation that it elected Barack Obama, are back, pushing for a new war, on Iran. They may get this war, too.

Yet, given the anti-interventionist and anti-war stance of Trump’s winning campaign, and of the Bernie Sanders campaign, U.S. involvement in Middle East wars seems less America’s future than it does her past.

After his 16 months in office, it appears as though the Trump presidency, no matter how brief, is going to be a watershed moment in U.S. and world history, and in the future of the GOP.

The world is changing. NATO and the EU are showing their age. Nationalism, populism and tribalism are pervasive on the Old Continent. And America’s willingness to bear the burden of Europe’s defense, as they ride virtually free, is visibly waning.

It is hard to see why or how Republicans are ever again going to be the Bush-Boehner party that preceded the rise of Trump.

What would be the argument for returning to a repudiated platform?

Trump not only defeated 16 Bush Republicans, he presented an agenda on immigration, border security, amnesty, intervention abroad, the Middle East, NAFTA, free trade, Putin and Russia that was a rejection of what the Bush-Boehner Party had stood for and what its presidential candidates in 2008 and 2012, John McCain and Mitt Romney, had run on.

If the Republican Party is “napping,” let it slumber on, undisturbed, for its time has come and gone. We are in a new world now.

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)

1 month ago

President Trump criticizes Schumer, Obama, Pelosi: They ‘did NOTHING about North Korea …’

(Medill DC/Flickr)

As he departs for a G-7 summit meeting in Canada, and then to an even higher-stakes summit in Singapore, President Trump had nicer things to say about North Korea’s dictator than he did about congressional Democrats and U.S. allies.

In a Friday morning tweet, Trump wrote: “Obama, Schumer and Pelosi did NOTHING about North Korea, and now weak on Crime, High Tax Schumer is telling me what to do at the Summit the Dems could never set up. Schumer failed with North Korea and Iran, we don’t need his advice!”

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As CNSNews.com reported, Schumer and six other ranking Democrats sent a letter to President Trump this week, laying out conditions for a nuclear deal with North Korea.

Schumer also tweeted on Thursday that the situation in nuclear-armed North Korea “is far too dangerous for seat of the pants negotiating.”

That tweet was a response to Trump’s comment on Thursday, when a reporter asked the president, “Are you prepared for the summit with North Korea?”

“I think I’m very well prepared,” Trump responded. “I don’t think I have to prepare very much. It’s about attitude, it’s about willingness to get things done. But I think I’ve been preparing for this summit for a long time, as has the other side. I think they have been preparing for a long time, also. So this isn’t a question of preparation; it’s a question of whether or not people want it to happen, and we’ll know that very quickly.”

Later, at a joint news conference with the Japanese prime minister, President Trump said he received a “really nice” letter from North Korea’s Kim Jong Un: “It was really a very warm letter, a very nice letter. I appreciated it very much, and nothing other than, ‘We look forward to seeing you, and we look forward to the summit, and hopefully, some wonderful things will work out.’ So it was really very warm, very nice. We appreciated it.”

Trump said he anticipates “great success” at his meeting with Kim, but he also said it may take “many meetings” to reach agreement on difficult topics. He repeated that previous presidents should have solved the North Korea problem long ago: “I’m saying other presidents –long time ago, this could have been solved, in a lot easier manner, and a lot less dangerous manner. But it wasn’t, so I’ll solve it, and we’ll get it done.”

In a series of tweets about this weekend’s G-7 summit in Canada, Trump criticized U.S. allies on trade:

On Friday, he wrote:

— I am heading for Canada and the G-7 for talks that will mostly center on the long time unfair trade practiced against the United States. From there I go to Singapore and talks with North Korea on Denuclearization. Won’t be talking about the Russian Witch Hunt Hoax for a while!

— “Looking forward to straightening out unfair Trade Deals with the G-7 countries. If it doesn’t happen, we come out even better!”

— “Canada charges the U.S. a 270% tariff on Dairy Products! They didn’t tell you that, did they? Not fair to our farmers!”

On Thursday, he tweeted:

— “Why isn’t the European Union and Canada informing the public that for years they have used massive Trade Tariffs and non-monetary Trade Barriers against the U.S. Totally unfair to our farmers, workers & companies. Take down your tariffs & barriers or we will more than match you!”

— “Prime Minister Trudeau is being so indignant, bringing up the relationship that the U.S. and Canada had over the many years and all sorts of other things…but he doesn’t bring up the fact that they charge us up to 300% on dairy — hurting our Farmers, killing our Agriculture!”

— “Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers. The EU trade surplus with the U.S. is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out. Look forward to seeing them tomorrow.”

(Courtesy CNSNews.com)

1 month ago

No pardon for partisan hypocrisy

(G.Skimore/Flickr)

Quick, grab the smelling salts and clear the fainting couches.

President Trump’s pardon of conservative author Dinesh D’Souza last week violently triggered Beltway media elites. It’s peanut butter, weed pollen, gluten, manspreading, Chick-fil-A, the national anthem, and Kryptonite all rolled into one giant political allergen. Allow me to administer the rhetorical, metaphorical antihistamine.

To The Washington Post editorial board, President Trump’s use of the pardon is “another show of disrespect for the justice system.” Outspoken D’Souza was the subject of a highly politicized prosecution by former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara (now an anti-Trump resistance leader) over campaign finance violations totaling $20,000. The WaPo punditocracy grudgingly admits that the president “has constitutional power to do this” and that it is “Mr. Trump’s prerogative” to pardon individuals the newspaper considers “unsavory.”

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Yet, the editorialists fulminate that what “is offensive here is not the pardon power, but the use of it” for “arbitrary, political and unjustified” reasons.

G-U-Double F-Awww. The protesting Posties wouldn’t be capable of acknowledging an acceptable exercise of the pardon power by Trump if it body-slammed them off the ropes on UFC Fight Night.

Former Navy sailor Kristian Saucier received a Trump pardon after serving a year in prison for taking photos on his submarine to show his family where he worked (in contrast to the hands-off treatment of the classified information-breaching Clinton brigade). Too political, the pundits cry.

The late boxer Jack Johnson, America’s first black heavyweight champion, received a Trump pardon after being jailed under Jim Crow for traveling with a white woman (who later became his wife) across state lines. Publicity stunt, the bitchers bitched. Not enough, the moaners moaned. Trump’s still a racist, the grievance-mongers mongered.

Indeed, The Washington Post opinion writers have depleted their Bank of Selective Outrage accounts while spewing about Trump’s pardons. “Nothing but right-wing trolling,” harumphed Paul Waldman. “Twisted brand of mercy,” decried Ruth Marcus. “A warm-up for a constitutional crisis,” squawked Jennifer Rubin.

Spare us all the hot air, media heavers. Democrats have long wielded pardon powers to reward deep-pocketed cronies, absolve unrepentant domestic terrorists and lionize national security leakers. The “democratic values” that WaPo-lemicists claim are now under siege thanks to Trump’s pardons got crushed under the wheels of the corruptocrat bus a long, long time ago.

Self-dealing Bill Clinton handed out pardons and commutations like Pez candy to relatives like half-brother Roger Clinton (convicted of cocaine possession) and family-tied associates like his brother-in-law Hugh Rodham’s clients, including convicted cocaine distributor Carlos Vignali and convicted herbal supplement fraudster and perjurer A. Glenn Braswell; the two felons had forked over $400,000 to Rodham in legal fees to win their clemencies.

Hillary’s other brother, Tony, raked in more than $240,000 from a couple convicted of bank fraud, who he just happened to mention to his brother-in-law in the White House, who granted the pardon — after which brother Tony denied being paid for any work having to do with a pardon. Meanwhile, Madame HRC’s Senate campaign treasurer, William J. Cunningham III, pocketed $4,000 to prepare clemency for two Arkansas-based convicted tax cheats, Robert Fain and James Manning. President Clinton granted both; Hillary played dumb and feigned shock, shock that political favor-trading was going on in Clinton land.

And don’t even get me started on the putrid Marc and Denise Rich pardon scandal, overseen by Clinton/Obama alum Eric Holder.

If systemic pay-for-play pardons aren’t a “twisted brand of mercy,” what else are?

Critics assail President Trump for “bypassing the traditional review process,” which 1) is his prerogative; 2) was standard operating procedure during the Clinton years; and 3) has been questioned by watchdogs on all sides of the ideological aisle because of the inherent conflict in the federal pardon lawyer’s office being overseen by federal government prosecutors reluctant to undo any convictions.

No one did more damage to the integrity of the federal pardon attorney’s office than Eric Holder, who pressured its staff to abandon its full-scale opposition to Clinton’s clemency for 16 members of the deadly FALN Puerto Rican terrorist group and Los Macheteros. The office tossed its original report rejecting clemency at Holder’s behest and replaced it with a new and improved “neutral” memo giving Clinton cover to grant the pardons without contradicting the “traditional review process,” to borrow a phrase.

These Clinton/Holder beneficiaries were linked by the FBI to more than 130 bombings and six murders. Nearly two decades later, Holder was at the DOJ helm as attorney general when President Obama commuted the sentence of another seditious FALN terrorist, Oscar Lopez Rivera, who proudly declared to a federal judge, “I am an enemy of the United States government.”

“Unsavory” is in the eye of the beholder. So is the “arbitrary” use of the presidential pardon. Will the resistance ever acknowledge a legitimate use of this power by President Trump?

Quoth the raving ravers: Never. Never. And never more.

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

(Creators, copyright 2018)

1 month ago

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers: The border wall is the solution

(U.S. Customs & Border Protection)

As many of you may have seen recently, Fake News and liberal groups have blamed President Trump with false allegations saying his Administration is to blame for “losing” illegal immigrant children by separating them from their families.

What these groups fail to disclose is that these phonies are using photos of illegal immigrant children from 2014 when President Obama was in office and making the liberal narrative of losing children simply not true.

I would like to remind all the anti-Trump liberals that a few years back, the Obama Administration was trying to use places like Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery and the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston to house these children as they came into the country.

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I was vehemently opposed to this and wrote a letter in 2014 to then-HHS Secretary Burwell and then-DHS Secretary Johnson stating that placing these detainee children over 900 miles from the border didn’t make sense. Thankfully, children were not sent to Alabama.

We are all human and as a father of three, no one wants children to be separated from their parents. It is heart wrenching at times to watch these desperate families. However, building the border wall and blocking illegal immigration is the only surefire way to prevent these types of decisions from having to be made.

As a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee, the wall remains a priority for me. I will continue to support President Trump in this effort and help him in keeping his promise to the American people.

Many problems like drug trafficking and criminals illegally entering our country would be seriously curtailed by building the border wall.

One common sense solution to make the wall a reality is my legislation, H.R. 1813, the Border Wall Funding Act of 2017. This bill would impose a two percent fee on all remittances to South and Central America. The fees collected would go to the Treasury to be used for border security construction, including to build the wall.

Illegal immigrants use remittances every day to move money from the United States to their home countries. This legislation would make Mexico pay for the wall and give the US a dedicated money source to help fund the wall. I hope Congress will make this a priority soon.

I would like to hear from you on this or any issue.

Please sign up for my e-Newsletter. To stay up to date, you can also like me on Facebook at Congressman Mike D. Rogers, follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram at RepMikeRogersAL, on Tumblr at and you can also subscribe to my YouTube page at MikeRogersAL03.

Congressman Mike Rogers is a Republican from Semmes.

1 month ago

Trump’s commutation of a drug dealer is nothing more than celebrity worship and more is coming

(W.Miller from YouTube, Wikicommons)

Remember when Trump wanted to kill drug dealers and people applauded? (I did). Now he is letting them out of prison. Depending on who you listen to, President Donald Trump’s commutation is either a powerful statement about prison reform, an outreach to black voters, or a signal to his collusion co-conspirators that he will get them off the hook if they protect him.

It’s none of that, it is one thing and ONE THING only, celebrity worship.

Why this matters:

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One day Trump will not be president, maybe it will be in 2 years or maybe it will be in 15 years, but one day he will be gone. And then the next liberal darling moves into the White House and starts pardoning and commuting random celebrities, ideological allies and criminals. Obama already did this, and guess what, conservatives were not happy.  Trump supporters (and Republicans) will not be able to say anything without being laughed at.

This all goes without pointing out that Trump told us he was the “law and order” president, but maybe he was talking about the TV show.

The details:

— Drug reform is not about users, only 247 people or less than 0.1 percent of the federal prison population was there for possession.

— 94,421 drug traffickers made-up 51.9 percent of federal prisoners.

— President Trump has now commuted or pardoned six people so far, five of them were tied directly to some form of celebrity, only Navy Seamen Kristian Saucier was not a well-known name.

— President Barack Obama pardoned or commuted 1,927 individuals, including Alabama drug dealers who used guns in the commission of their crimes.

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

2 months ago

Roseanne, Trump and the myth of conservatives’ racism

(Inside Edition, MSNBC/YouTube)

Roseanne Barr posted what many are convinced was a racist tweet, and ABC summarily canceled her sitcom. As Roseanne is considered a Donald Trump supporter and Trump is widely accused of racism, people are loosely smearing Trump as responsible for her, however indirectly.

Maybe I’m defensive about loose charges of racism, but if so, I’ve acquired my defensiveness honestly, because racism has become the left’s favorite categorical smear of conservatives and Republicans. It’s not something I’m imagining. I’ve written about it many times, basing it on my observations of leftists and Democrats in action.

I don’t believe that Democrats are racists, but I do believe they cynically exploit racial smears against Republicans as part of their strategy to retain a disproportionate percentage of African-American and other minority voters, without which they would be reduced to a permanent minority party. Considering the closeness of so many national elections, can you imagine the electoral impact of even a small percentage of African-American voters leaving the Democratic Party and voting Republican? Trust me, Democratic apparatchiks believe it — and act accordingly. Their fear leads to such baseless, disgraceful claims as the one about how George W. Bush purposely left blacks stranded on rooftops in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina because they were black and Republicans don’t care about blacks.

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It has always particularly frosted me that conservative policies are associated with racism even though our policies, historically, expand opportunity and prosperity for African-Americans and other minorities. Indeed, we aspire to colorblindness rather than the individually degrading identity politics habitually practiced by Democrats. We’ve recently learned, for example, that African-American and Hispanic unemployment numbers are at historical lows. You would think that after a while, word would get out that Republican actions speak louder than Democratic words and there would be a mass conversion of minorities from the Democratic Party to the GOP. Frankly, I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already, not just because of the serial failure of Democratic policies and the success of Republican ones but because of the drippingly patronizing attitude Democratic politicians have toward minorities. Why aren’t minorities offended by their being used so conspicuously? My guess is that many don’t have much faith in Democrats but they’ve been convinced that Republicans and conservatives truly are racist.

Think about how outrageous my statement is — especially if it is true. But I can’t imagine a better explanation for African-Americans consistently voting in the 90 percent range for Democrats. The Democrats’ slander, by the way, doesn’t just hurt the Republican Party and, by extension, the nation; it also hurts African-Americans and other minorities who believe the lie that roughly half the nation (Republicans) is somehow against them. How can it be healthy for minorities to believe such a lie? How could it possibly lead to improved race relations? Democrats constantly preach about diversity and racial harmony, but they do more damage with their vilification than with their destructive policies, and that’s saying something.

Now back to the alleged connection between Roseanne Barr and Donald Trump. Democrats and Republican never-Trumpers are tweeting and writing that Roseanne’s disgraceful Twitter outburst should be expected in the Trump era because Trump has ushered in an era of racism — soft or hard, racism nevertheless. Plus, Roseanne is a Trump supporter, so her negatives must attach to him.

I think it’s a major stretch to call Roseanne a conservative. She clearly is not a social conservative, and I doubt she’s much of a conservative otherwise, but let’s just assume, for discussion purposes, that she is a Trump-supporting Republican.

How about the claim that Trump is a racist or has created a climate conducive to racism? Well, the accusers have their talking points, and they can tick them off with the discipline of an A student on exam day, but instead of relitigating those specific statements (or actions, such as Trump’s challenging Barack Obama’s birth certificate or calling MS-13 gang members “animals”), I’ll tell you what I think is at the root of the smear. Trump is now a Republican, and thus he is fair game to be cast as a racist for the reasons already stated. But a bigger point is that Trump’s signature policy is immigration enforcement. The left — and an increasing number of open-borders advocates on the right — associates that policy with nativism, which is a euphemism for racism, and with outright racism. In addition, many believe that Trump is an alt-right white supremacist or, at the very least, encourages the support of this group through his policies and language.

I don’t believe that Trump is a racist. I reject that his policies, including his immigration policies, are racist, and I don’t believe there is a strong alt-right movement in this nation. Call me naive.

The charge is utterly predictable from leftists, but it is regrettable that people on the right are willing to so carelessly malign Trump as a racist and then blame him for the racially charged climate in this country. I suppose it fits the Trump opponents’ narrative that Trump is the worst human being alive, someone with no redeeming character qualities, but it is lazy and reckless.

Attempts to blame Trump for Roseanne Barr’s ugly statements are the same kind of categorical slur that makes racism a sin. Attempts to denigrate Trump supporters by extension are even more objectionable, and as you can tell, I’m using mild, nonincendiary language here that understates my indignation on this issue.

But as racism is probably the worst sin with which to be branded, people ought to be especially careful not to make such claims lightly. Shame on them for trying to shame the rest of us, for we abhor real racism every bit as much as they do — probably way more, but as I say, my purpose here is not to inflame.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)

2 months ago

WH: Trump ‘looking at’ pardoning great-grandmother serving life for non-violent drug offense

(CanDoClemency.com)

President Donald Trump is looking at the possible pardon of a great-grandmother serving life without parole for a first-time, non-violent drug offense, the White House said Thursday.

The plight of 63-year-old Alice Marie Johnson was brought to the president’s attention by Kim Kardashian, who met with the president at the White House on Wednesday.

“He’s looking at that one, as well. It was a brief meeting, but one that — again, he takes these things extremely seriously. That’s a power outlined by the Constitution, one in which he understands the gravity,” White House Deputy Press Secretary Hogan Gidley told reporters on board Air Force One en route to Dallas, Texas, on Thursday.

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“And much like the other cases you guys mentioned and other ones you don’t know anything about that he’s already looking into as well, I can’t get ahead of the decision that he’s going to make, but he’s looking at all those seriously. He takes them seriously, because they impact people’s lives,” he added.

Gidley was asked about the possible pardons of Martha Stewart and commutation of Democrat Rod Blagojevich’ s sentence – the former governor of Illinois.

“Two of the people the president mentioned for pardons — he’s considering Blagojevich and Martha Stewart — they both have connections to ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’ Is there a reason he’s thinking about them and not some of the other 3,000 people on the list?” a reporter asked.

“He’s thinking about all of those people. One of the things he mentioned also is that Jack Johnson, the former heavyweight champion, was one of the ones that really impacted him. It was a great disservice done to him. The president felt as though it was a wrong that needed to be righted, and he has the power, under the Constitution, to right that wrong — and that’s what he did,” Gidley said.

As CNSNews.com reported, Trump pardoned conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza on Thursday, because he felt D’Souza was “a victim of selective prosecution for violations of campaign finance laws.”

“The same applies to Dinesh D’Souza. He thought there was some selective prosecution there, reviewed the case, looked at the merits, and made the decision. He also mentioned Mr. Blagojevich and also Martha Stewart. He’s looking at those, but I can’t get ahead of his deliberations or decisions on that,” Gidley said.

“The people you mentioned, though, were all celebrities. Is that a fair way — in their own right and in different ways. Is that a fair way to view the commonalities?” a reporter asked.

“Look, there are plenty of people the president is looking at right now under the pardon process, but I don’t have anything further than that right now,” Gidley said.

(Courtesy of CNSNews.com)

2 months ago

May boom: Number of employed Americans sets 9th record under Trump

(G. Skidmore/Flickr)

“Looking forward to seeing the employment numbers at 8:30 this morning,” President Trump tweeted early Friday.

And here they are: The number of employed Americans, 155,474,000, has broken another record — for the ninth time since President Trump took office, in fact.

At the same time, the number of unemployed Americans dropped to 6,065,000, a low not seen since January 2001.

This pushed the nation’s unemployment rate down a tenth of a point to 3.8 percent, a level not seen since April 2000.

And there’s more good news: The number of employed women 16 and over set another record (72,690,000); the number of employed men 16 and over is at an all-time high (82,784,000); and so is the number of employed African-Americans (19,092,000).

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The unemployment rate for African-Americans dropped to 5.9 percent, a record low. It was 7.8 percent when President Trump took office in January 2017.

The unemployment rate for women 16+ is now at 3.6 percent, a low not seen since 1953.

In May, the nation’s civilian noninstitutionalized population, consisting of all people age 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 257,454,000. Of those, 161,539,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.

The 161,538,000 who participated in the labor force equaled 62.7 percent of the 257,454,000 civilian noninstitutionalized population. The participation rate has not budged much in recent years, mainly due to the increasing number of Baby Boom retirees.

And also on the negative side, the number of American counted as not in the labor force, meaning they neither have a job nor are looking for one, has never been higher. In May, 95,915,000 Americans were counted as not in the labor force, the seventh time the record has been broken under President Trump.

The economy added 223,000 jobs in May, a strong number. After revisions, job gains have averaged 179,000 over the last 3 months.

In May, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 8 cents to $26.92. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 71 cents, or 2.7 percent.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.5 percent), Blacks (5.9 percent), and Asians (2.1 percent) decreased in May. The jobless rates for adult women (3.3 percent), teenagers (12.8 percent), Whites (3.5 percent), and Hispanics (4.9 percent) changed little over the month.

(Courtesy of CNSNews.com)

2 months ago

Why gas prices are pumped up – and how we can lower them

(Pixabay)

Summer driving season is here, and motorists nationwide are seeing an unwelcome sign (literally): higher gas prices. As a result, politicians are playing the blame game, pointing the finger at the Trump administration for higher pain at the pump.

But what’s really going on, and is there anything policymakers can do?

The law of supply and demand explains a lot. Because oil is a globally traded commodity, different factors around the world affect the supply of and demand for oil, which in turn affects the price Americans pay at the pump.

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Demand is certainly up. According to the International Energy Agency, global oil demand increased 1.6 percent in 2017. That may not sound like a whole lot, but it’s significantly higher than the average increase of 1 percent over a decade.

It’s worth noting, by the way, that higher gas prices often result from a healthier economy. In the United States and around the world, stronger growth means businesses and families are using more oil.

On the supply side, OPEC and its friends decided to cut back production at the end of 2016 and throughout 2017, in an effort to increase prices. With 2016 output levels as the baseline, 21 countries have been reducing production by a total of nearly 1.8 million barrels per day.

Countries such as Saudi Arabia exceeded their production cuts, while others produced more oil than they said they would. The collapse of the Venezuelan and Angolan economies resulted in substantial decreases in oil production, so OPEC is easily meeting its reduction targets.

OPEC’s strategy is unlikely to be sustainable, though. The cartel has never been able to restrict supplies and control oil prices for very long, because oil comes from a diverse set of suppliers (both OPEC and non-OPEC), many of whom have a strong incentive to cheat and boost oil production above their quotas.

Even when oil prices were lower, some OPEC nations and OPEC allies failed to meet their reduction targets. If prices continue to rise, and production continues to decline in Venezuela and Angola, the incentive to cheat, or to reverse the agreement, only grows stronger. In fact, Reuters recently reported that OPEC could agree to increase its production levels at its next official meeting in June.

Another good sign: the extraordinary technological advancements now being used to extract oil in the United States is making OPEC’s strategy even more ineffective over the long term. As OPEC and its allies decided to cut production in 2017, American energy produced cranked out more supply.

The Energy Information Administration reported that U.S. crude production surpassed 9.3 million barrels per day in 2017, a 5 percent increase over 2016 levels. In November 2017, the U.S. crude oil supplies surpassed 10 million barrels per day, breaking a record high from nearly 50 years ago.

The U.S. is on pace to overtake Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s largest oil producer. In fact, the latest projection from the EIA estimates that U.S. production could reach nearly 12 million barrels per day in 2019. America’s energy revolution is a remarkable story that demonstrates the benefits of human ingenuity and entrepreneurial passion.

Nevertheless, policymakers are calling the administration to “do something” to alleviate drivers’ agony every time they fill up their tank. But higher prices driven by market forces are not a compelling reason for the federal government to intervene in energy markets.

Prices, after all, communicate information to energy producers and to energy users. Higher prices for oil incentivize companies to extract and supply more.

Moreover, higher prices also incentivize entrepreneurs to invest in innovative alternatives to oil, whether batteries, natural gas vehicles, or biofuels. Drivers will examine their consumption options as well, whether carpooling, finding alternative modes of transportation, or, over time, purchasing a more fuel-efficient vehicle.

Instead, Congress and the Trump administration policymakers should eliminate the government-imposed barriers and policies that artificially raise prices.

For instance, streamlining the permitting process for oil extraction and transportation will get more oil to the market. Transitioning environmental protection to the states will allow more efficient and accountable management. Government-imposed mandates that determine which fuel drivers must use and which ships can carry oil from coast to coast translate to higher prices at the pump and only serve to protect special interests.

Washington must refrain from non-solutions that meddle in energy markets and instead fix the distortions caused by the predecessors.

Nicolas Loris is The Heritage Foundation’s Herbert and Joyce Morgan Fellow, specializing in energy, environmental and regulatory policy analysis.

2 months ago

Is US bellicosity backfiring?

(G. Skidmore/Flickr)

U.S. threats to crush Iran and North Korea may yet work, but as of now neither Tehran nor Pyongyang appears to be intimidated.

Repeated references by NSC adviser John Bolton and Vice President Mike Pence to the “Libya model” for denuclearization of North Korea just helped sink the Singapore summit of President Trump and Kim Jong Un. To North Korea, the Libya model means the overthrow and murder of Libya strongman Col. Gadhafi, after he surrendered his WMD.

Wednesday, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui exploded at Pence’s invocation of Libya: “Vice-President Pence has made unbridled and impudent remarks that North Korea might end like Libya … I cannot suppress my surprise at such ignorant and stupid remarks.

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“Whether the U.S. will meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown is entirely dependent upon the decision and behavior of the United States.”

Yesterday, Trump canceled the Singapore summit.

Earlier this week at the Heritage Foundation, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo laid out our Plan B for Iran in a speech that called to mind Prussian Field Marshal Karl Von Moltke.

Among Pompeo’s demands: Iran must end all support for Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and Hamas in Gaza, withdraw all forces under Iranian command in Syria, and disarm its Shiite militia in Iraq.

Iran must confess its past lies about a nuclear weapons program, and account publicly for all such activity back into the 20th century.

Iran must halt all enrichment of uranium, swear never to produce plutonium, shut down its heavy water reactor, open up its military bases to inspection to prove it has no secret nuclear program, and stop testing ballistic missiles.
And unless Iran submits, she will be strangled economically.

What Pompeo delivered was an ultimatum: Iran is to abandon all its allies in all Mideast wars, or face ruin and possible war with the USA.

It is hard to recall a secretary of state using the language Pompeo deployed: “We will track down Iranian operatives and their Hezbollah proxies operating around the world and crush them. Iran will never again have carte blanche to dominate the Middle East.”

But how can Iran “dominate” a Mideast that is home to Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt, as well as U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea and Syria?

To Iran’s east is a nuclear-armed Pakistan. To its west is a nuclear-armed U.S. Fifth Fleet and a nuclear-armed Israel. Iran has no nukes, no warships to rival ours and a 1970s air force.

Yet, this U.S.-Iran confrontation, triggered by Trump’s trashing of the nuclear deal and Pompeo’s ultimatum, is likely to end one of three ways:

First, Tehran capitulates, which is unlikely, as President Hassan Rouhani retorted to Pompeo: “Who are you to decide for Iran and the world? We will continue our path with the support of our nation.” Added Ayatollah Khamenei, “Iran’s presence in the region is our strategic depth.”

Second, Iran defies U.S. sanctions and continues to support its allies in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen. This would seem likely to lead to collisions and war.

Third, the U.S. could back off its maximalist demands, as Trump backed off Bolton’s demand that Kim Jong Un accept the Libyan model of total and verifiable disarmament before any sanctions are lifted.

Where, then, are we headed?

While our NATO allies are incensed by Trump’s threat to impose secondary sanctions if they do not re-impose sanctions on Tehran, the Europeans are likely to cave in to America’s demands. For Europe to choose Iran over a U.S. that has protected Europe since the Cold War began and is an indispensable market for Europe’s goods would be madness.

Vladimir Putin appears to want no part of an Iran-Israel or U.S.-Iran war and has told Bashar Assad that Russia will not be selling Damascus his S-300 air defense system. Putin has secured his bases in Syria and wants to keep them.

As for the Chinese, she will take advantage of the West’s ostracism of Iran by drawing Iran closer to her own orbit.

Is there a compromise to be had?

Perhaps, for some of Pompeo’s demands accord with the interests of Iran, which cannot want a war with the United States, or with Israel, which would likely lead to war with the United States.

Iran could agree to release Western prisoners, move Shiite militia in Syria away from the Golan Heights, accept verifiable restrictions on tests of longer-range missiles and establish deconfliction rules for U.S. and Iranian warships in the Persian Gulf.

Reward: aid from the West and renewed diplomatic relations with the United States.

Surely, a partial, verifiable nuclear disarmament of North Korea is preferable to war on the peninsula. And, surely, a new nuclear deal with Iran with restrictions on missiles is preferable to war in the Gulf.

Again, we cannot make the perfect the enemy of the good.

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)

2 months ago

Greens file lawsuit to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline from being built

(NYT/YouTube)

Environmental groups have taken to the judicial system in their latest attempt to derail construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

TransCanada Corporation has dealt with years of delays and stonewalling from those opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline project. The Calgary-based energy company was relatively unknown until it proposed to make an additional line to its extensive pipeline system that runs through the U.S. and Canada. TransCanada entered the national spotlight ever since opposition to Keystone XL became a rallying cry for climate change activists, with numerous protests organized to halt the project.

The Obama White House officially rejected the pipeline in 2015, claiming it wouldn’t do much for the U.S. economy or energy security. But not long after entering office, President Donald Trump reversed this decision and gave Keystone the green light to begin construction.

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The president’s support for Keystone has not scuttled activists’ hopes of preventing it. Environmental organizations — such as Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club and others — initiated a lawsuit in March 2017, claiming Trump’s approval of Keystone was unlawful. Their case is being held in the U.S. District Court for the District of Montana.

Attorneys for the Trump administration on Thursday defended approval of the project in a Montana courtroom. Environmentalists and some Native American groups are asking U.S. District Judge Brian Morris to overturn the pipeline’s approval decision.

“In approving Keystone XL, the Trump administration unlawfully ignored that it would be a disaster for our climate, wildlife and clean water,” senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity Jared Margolis said in a statement released Thursday. “Regulators failed to fully consider this pipeline’s profound threats to the environment and endangered species, including the iconic whooping crane, which would be devastated by the project’s power lines. The government failed to do its job, and this terrible project must be stopped.”

In another Thursday statement, a spokesman for the Natural Resources Defense Council appeared to say her organization would oppose Keystone no matter where on the map it was placed.

“The Trump administration barreled into office eager to appease big polluters, and fast. So fast it acted illegally by approving the KXL project even before it had an approved route,” stated Jackie Prange, a senior attorney at the NRDC. “But no route will ever be safe. Wherever it goes, this dangerous pipeline will always pose an unacceptable risk to water supplies for farmers, ranchers, indigenous people, and communities. We intend to stop it once, and for all.”

Keystone is also battling a separate legal challenge in Nebraska. Landowners are challenging the Nebraska Public Service Commission’s approval of a route through the state.

Keystone is expected to cost around $8 billion to complete. Beginning in Alberta, it will extend through Montana, South Dakota and Nebraska, and will transport up to 830,000 barrels of crude a day.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

2 months ago

The real story: Destroying Trump and protecting Clinton

(G. Skidmore/Flickr)

You don’t need to believe that the special counsel investigating President Donald Trump is a terrible person to conclude that the Obama administration and Clinton machine (and later their holdovers during the Trump administration) politicized and weaponized federal agencies to protect Hillary Clinton and damage Trump.

So if you just can’t shake your instinct that Robert Mueller is the epitome of virtue and professionalism, hold fast to it, but consider the litany of facts that prove serious and abundant malfeasance on the part of the Obama-Clinton “deep state” actors.

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The Department of Justice, especially the FBI, bent over backward to protect Clinton and bent over forward to harm Trump. Despite those efforts, the stubborn facts have emerged, thanks to patriots relentlessly pursuing the truth. More will be revealed as the Obama-Clinton glass house continues to shatter, but there’s already enough to make an objective person gasp. If Clinton had won the election, this evidence would have remained buried, and the power-abusing left would have been emboldened to continue to thwart the rule of law and target its opponents. Before you say it’s preposterous that Obama or Clinton would have politicized and weaponized government agencies, remember the actions of Obama’s IRS and EPA.

As for protecting Clinton, consider this partial list:

–Then-FBI Director James Comey wrote a letter exonerating her in advance of interviewing her and other key witnesses.

–Comey presented a strong case against her yet shielded her from prosecution.

–Comey claimed that Christopher Steele’s dossier was not an indispensable part of the FISA warrant application, when everyone has admitted it was. He said he didn’t know that the Clintons had paid for the dossier.

–Comey earlier said there was no spying against Trump and later said there was but the “informants” were carefully regulated.

–The FBI gave immunity like candy in the Clinton case and allowed two fact witnesses to sit in on the belated Clinton interview as her lawyers.

–The FBI claimed to have lost five months’ worth of texts between adulterous FBI honchos Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, which the inspector general found in less than a week.

–Then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch met privately with Bill Clinton while Hillary was under investigation. Lynch instructed Comey to refer to the Clinton investigation as a “matter” instead of an investigation.

–Strzok texted Page after Trump and Clinton became the nominees, “Now the pressure really starts to finish MYE” — meaning “midyear exam,” the FBI’s code word for the Clinton email probe. Page responded, “It sure does.” They were desperate to wrap up the Clinton investigation to prevent Trump’s election. Page was legal counsel to then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. The lovebirds noted that Obama wanted “to know everything.” As Newt Gingrich said, with all that was going on under his watch, it’s inconceivable that Obama and his adviser Valerie Jarrett didn’t know about it.

As for stopping, removing or disabling Trump, consider this partial list:

–The FBI planted a spy or spies in the Trump campaign with no real evidence (beyond wishful thinking, anecdotal minutiae and hearsay rumors) that there was any nefarious connection between the campaign and Russia. It appears these spies were there not just to eavesdrop but to lure the Trump campaign into the very conduct they were pretending to investigate — trying to “honey-trap” them.

–The government opened a counterintelligence investigation against Trump without any evidence of a crime.

–Based on a disgraceful leak from Comey, the DOJ appointed a special counsel to investigate the Trump campaign without any evidence of a crime and without specifying any crime in the appointment memo — and such specificity is required by law. Recognizing this, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein surreptitiously amended his appointment memo, but he still won’t reveal its content to congressional investigators.

–The FBI deceived the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court four times by presenting the Steele dossier, paid for by the Clinton machine and based on unsubstantiated opposition research, as legitimate evidence and disclosing none of its origins to the court. It also fraudulently presented a news article sourced to the same Christopher Steele as corroborating the dossier. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requires substantiated evidence; it’s a strict standard because of the extraordinary encroachments on privacy it entails. The FBI also concealed from the court that Steele had been fired by the FBI.

–The government has been stonewalling and scapegoating Rep. Devin Nunes and other congressional investigators for jeopardizing national security in demanding that documents be unredacted. Invariably, when the redactions are removed, we see that no security interests were involved but that the government was seeking to conceal embarrassing actions of government officials. The government slandered Nunes for outing the FBI mole, whose existence it had previously deceitfully denied, when it leaked facts facilitating his outing.

–The Obama administration engaged in unprecedented and egregious unmaskings.

–Five or six DOJ/FBI officials have been fired, demoted or reassigned.

–The FBI agents didn’t believe that Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, lied to them, yet the special counsel pressured him into a guilty plea.

–Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper lied to Congress but later denied he had lied, claiming he was thinking about something other than what he was being questioned about. That would be lame from any witness, but from a man of Clapper’s caliber, it is stunning. Clapper also said, disingenuously, that the government’s intent was not to spy on the Trump camp but to find out what Russia was doing. Then why did the government try to entrap campaign members, and why did Clapper earlier deny there were spies in the campaign? If the government’s goal was to protect the campaigns from Russian influence, why didn’t it plant spies in the Clinton campaign, as well? Why didn’t it warn the Trump campaign of the possible interference — unless its goal was to damage Trump and protect Clinton, as opposed to safeguarding national security?

–The Obama administration opened up a Logan Act case against the campaign opponent (Trump) of its would-be successor (Clinton). This is unprecedented and astonishing.

–The Obama holdouts in the DOJ and FBI are still stonewalling and misrepresenting the facts — especially as to the origin of the Trump investigation.

That Hillary Clinton wasn’t disciplined or prosecuted for her security breaches and deliberately destroying relevant evidence, among other things, is beyond disturbing. That Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the presidency at this point seems fantastical.

David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney.

(Creators, copyright 2018)