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Victor Davis Hanson

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WHY CIVILIZATION IN CALIFORNIA IS GOING IN REVERSE

California is becoming a Third World Country

California is becoming a Third World Country

California is imploding.

20 percent of the state’s population that lives below the poverty level.  One-third of the nation’s welfare recipients lives in California, one of four state residents was not born in the United States,  one-half of all immigrant households receives some sort of government assistance, one in four homeless people in the US lives in California.

In California, civilization is speeding in reverse—well aside from the decrepit infrastructure, dismal public schools, and sky-high home prices.

Why? Because in California, the law-abiding must adjust to the non-law-abiding. They accept a few unspoken rules of state behavior and then use their resources to navigate around them.

Those rules are:

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TO WHAT EXTENT DOES THE DEMOCRAT PARTY STILL EXIST?

trump-tweet-021818In what feels like the 27th year of the Trump-Russia-Collusion Investigation, what we have most recently learned is that a group of Russians in St. Petersburg have been trolling us since at least 2014 (what took them so long?), playing both sides against the middle.

Nevertheless, CNN et al. bleat on about Russia, Russia, Russia. I have news for Zucker, Tapper, Acosta and company.  No one's interested.  This is the boy who cried wolf times twenty.

In the process, Adam Schiff may have become the most visible Democrat on the planet, but his face is the image of slimy prevarication. He's Nixon with less hair.

Forget going from the sublime to the ridiculous. This has gone from the ludicrous to the harebrained.  The result?  Lost in a Russia-induced haze, the Democrat Party virtually no longer exists.

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WILL THE DEMOCRATS GET AWAY WITH IT?

russian-dossier-flowchartWhat is the endgame to never-ending wrongdoing?

The FISA-gate, Clinton emails, and Uranium One scandals are sort of reaching a consensus. Many things quite wrong and illegal were done by both Hillary Clinton and her entourage and members of the Obama agencies and administration — both the acts themselves and the cover-ups and omissions that ensued.

The wide-spread criminality is monumental.  The American public is becoming more aware of it by the day, and that many of the above pictured individuals and their minions need justice to be served upon them.

But will it?  Or will they skate, getting away with everything – as a growing number of cynics believe?  Here’s why it has to be the former, for the consequences of the latter would be too destructive for our Republic to bear.

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HILLARY’S DIRTIEST DIRTY TRICK IN US PRESIDENTIAL HISTORY

hillarys-dirtiest-trickFor law enforcement, Congress and even journalists, exposing misdeeds is like peeling an onion. Each layer you remove gets you closer to the truth.

So it is with the scandalous behavior of the FBI during its probe into whether President Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia in 2016. One layer at a time, we’re learning how flawed and dirty that probe was.

The latest layer is the revelations in the letter GOP Sens. Charles Grassley and Lindsey Graham wrote to the Justice Department.  There are many more layers of the onion to peel, but here’s where we are now:

It increasingly appears that the Clinton machine was the secret, original source of virtually all the allegations about Trump and Russia that led to the FBI investigation. It’s the dirtiest dirty trick ever played in presidential history.

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RUSSIAGATE IS BOTH TRAGEDY AND FARCE

farce-is-nearer-tragedyThe more we learn about #Russiagate, or what we might now call #Dossiergate, the more the whole affair comes to resemble a Ken Kesey novel.

Considers all the players in this unbelievably bizarre saga, including Sid "Vicious" Blumenthal,  Cody "The Hatchet" Shearer, James "Reinhold Niebuhr" Comey, text-messaging "Pyramus"  Peter Strzok and "Thisbe" Lisa Page, Andrew "The Vanisher" McCabe, Mark "Big Leaks" Warner, Christopher "Get Smart" Steele, Adam "Mendacity" Schiff, and Bruce and Nellie "Ratched" Ohr – not to mention the half-dozen or so other nameless people who mysteriously disappeared from the DOJ in recent days.

The more it seems the only sane person in the entire demented charade -- taking the Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) role in Kesey’s "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" -- is  Devin Nunes.

Want to know why there are so many redactions in all those FBI/DOJ documents, the ones whose contents you can't make heads or tails of while the indelible ink spills off the pages and stains your best white flokati rug forever?

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MAKE AMERICA INTO RUSSIA

putin-hillary-whispersThe Democrats have a bold plan for fighting Russia.

Accuse Republicans of treason, eavesdrop on their conversations and send them to jail. Overturn the outcome of a free election because  it had been tampered with by “foreign interests.” Demand that tech companies censor dissenting media outlets spreading “fake news” to protect “democracy”.

Good work, comrades. The bold plan is to fight Russia by… becoming Russia.

State surveillance, endless investigations and locking up political opponents under the guise of fighting foreign influences is how Vladimir Putin does business. It’s how they do it in Turkey, Venezuela and Iran.

But these days it’s how the Dems do it in America.

Totalitarian states aren’t really fighting foreign influences. They’re suppressing domestic opponents. The Democrats, who were for appeasing Russia before they were against it, are doing the same thing.

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ISRAEL’S DEEP STATE TARGETS NETANYAHU WITH BOGUS CHARGES

bogus-charges-on-netanyahuThe Israeli police investigation against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shows remarkable similarities with the Special Counsel probe against President Donald Trump in the United States.

If you are appalled at the total collusion between America’s Deep State bureaucratic elite and its left-wing media elite to criminalize and smear an elected American leader, you may be astounded to know virtually the same exact thing is happening in Israel.

During the prime time news broadcasts Tuesday evening (2/13) in Israel, the dramatic news was announced that Israel Police investigators are recommending that Israel’s Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit, indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on bribery and breach of trust charges in two investigations.

Let us begin by considering the specific cases that form the bases of police recommendations against Netanyahu.

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THE CLINTON SMEAR MACHINE AND DÉJÀ VU ALL OVER AGAIN

Chief Clinton Smear Artist Cody Shearer

Chief Clinton Smear Artist Cody Shearer

In the very early nineties, the Democrats were as obsessed with cocaine as they are now are with Russia. The cocaine in question was alleged to have been bought by Vice President Dan Quayle. The 1992 election was coming up. The decades of corruption, slime and lies by the Clintons were about to pay off.

The Quayle cocaine fabrication was forgotten once it was no longer needed. It’s hard now to understand how so many reporters and politicians could be sucked in by a ridiculous smear campaign. Why does an old discredited Dem smear matter? Because it shares a number of troubling similarities with the Trump Russia smear, including the same Clinton political operative who originated both.

Yes, it’s quite possible that Christopher Steele, Russian intel operatives and all the other elements of the vast campaign were never more than window dressing on a smear from the same guy who had peddled the Dan Quayle cocaine story to help the Clintons’ original presidential campaign.  His name is Cody Shearer.

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STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES – WAS FORREST GUMP TALKING ABOUT ADAM SCHIFF?

cong-adam-schifforbrains

Congressman Adam Schifforbrains

Not since the days of Belushi and Ackroyd has there been a Saturday Night Live sketch as funny as the one performed by Russian comics Vladimir "Vovan" Kuznetsov, 30, and Alexei "Lexus" Stolyarov, 28.

Okay, it wasn't on SNL and took place on a phone call with Adam Schiff, ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee (hold that thought), but it provided some of the best deadpan comedy in years.

Some might call it a prank, but I submit it is more than that, a revelation of sorts, demonstrating a true attempt at Russian, or was it Ukrainian, collusion by Schiff. (The comics were posing as Ukrainian officials.)

And who knew the ranking member could be the best straight man since Margaret Dumont? If you haven't heard it yet, don't wait.  Here’s the video recording of the call:

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OUR INCOMPETENT IGNORANT ELITE

elitism“Elite” is now an overused smear. But it is a fair pejorative when denoting a cadre that is not a natural or truly meritocratic top echelon, but is instead a group distinguished merely by schooling, associations, residence, connections and open disdain.

If this is supposed to translate into some sort of received wisdom and acknowledged excellence, ordinary Americans may be pardoned for missing it.

Half the country no longer believes these self-appointed authorities, largely because there is no visible connection between what the self-congratulatory say and do and any commensurate discernable accomplishment.

One symptom of such a played-out elite is its blanket condemnation of the supposed blinkered middle-class—usually evident in their virtue-signaling outrage and in their inclination to contrast their own supposed enlightenment to the supposed ignorance of everyone else.

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ISLAMOFASCISTS INVADE THE SUPER BOWL

islamofascists-at-superbowlOne of the stranger aspects of the Super Bowl LII broadcast on Sunday (2/04) was the Turkish Airlines sign on the NBC Sports desk during the pre-game show.  Social media posts by fans were not particularly appreciative.

There is nothing wrong with a business or civic group advertising its message. But the uneasiness the ad caused many viewers was reasonable. Turkish Airlines is not a private business. The Turkish government owns a controlling 49.12 percent of the airline. And the Turkish government is not demonstrating affinity with America, let alone with American sports, these days.

To the contrary, although it’s a member of NATO, everywhere you look, Turkey is actively harming American interests.  That’s because Turkey today is run by an Islamofascist Dictator who hates Christians, the West, and America.  So why is he running multi-million dollar TV commercials in the country he dreams of destroying?

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TRUMP TEACHES THE GOP HOW TO FIGHT

trump-state-of-the-union-2018It’s an observation so strikingly true that you wonder why you didn’t think of it earlier. “Donald Trump,” a friend told me the other day, “is teaching the Republican Party how to fight and how to win.”

The evidence is everywhere every day, and it was on vivid display at the SOTU last night (1/31). The president remains in a fighting mood, determined to keep punching his way forward.

The Trump way starts with the passage of the historic tax cuts despite tiny Republican majorities in Congress and scare tactics from the Left. Before passage, polls showed the public was strongly opposed — but Trump pulled, pushed and bullied his party over the finish line.

The roaring results, with millions of workers already getting bonuses, pension boosts and pay hikes, vindicate his determination.

The decision by the House intelligence panel to write and release its memo on possible FBI misdeeds is yet more evidence of a new fighting spirit. Even Speaker Paul Ryan, averse to conflict by temperament and training, forcefully supported the memo’s release, saying it was time to “cleanse” the FBI.

This is not George Bush’s or John Boehner’s Republican Party. This is Trump’s GOP, as he demonstrated in spades in his first State of the Union address.

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DEMOCRATS DEMONSTRATE HOW THEY’VE BECOME THE ANTI-AMERICA PARTY

Sitting on their hands as Trump proclaims record low black unemployment

Sitting on their hands as Trump proclaims record low black unemployment

It is difficult to imagine a more galling demonstration of incivility than the Democrats in the House Chamber for Trump's SOTU speech last night (1/30).

They scowled, frowned, and sat on their hands throughout the speech. They could hardly be bothered to acknowledge the heroes in the audience when they were introduced. While the Dems brought illegal immigrants, Trump invited actual paragons of American character and the families of victims of illegal immigrant crimes, as well as a victim of North Korea.

It was embarrassing, like watching the anti-Semites in the UN stomp out of the room when Benjamin Netanyahu speaks. How is it any different? Our Democrats behave exactly like the most racist, intolerant people on the planet, and in their own Capitol.

Besides blind hatred of Trump, Democrats have one issue and one issue only, the prioritization of illegal immigrants. The Democratic Party is today the party of illegal immigrants. That is their core constituency, that is who they represent over and above Americans.

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CHANGING THE GEOGRAPHY OF POWER

Port-au-Prince Haiti – where the UN should be relocated

Port-au-Prince Haiti – where the UN should be relocated

It matters where the seats of power are located. Given the populist revolt in the United States and Europe against the so-called "global elite," it is time to refigure the geography of governmental and transnational power.

Take the United Nations.

Much of the international body's perceived negatives derive from being in the world's richest and most visible city, New York. But what if U.N. elites did not have easy access to instant television exposure, tony Manhattan digs, and who's-who networking?

Most of the world is non-Western. Many Western elites are apologetic over past sins of imperialism and colonialism.  So why not move the United Nations to Haiti, Libya or Uganda?

Liberals treasure the United Nations. Conservatives don't trust its often anti-democratic and anti-American tenor. So why not split the difference by staying in the United Nations but, after 66 years of a New York headquarters, finally allowing another country a chance at hosting the U.N.?

Washington, D.C., is often considered out of touch, both politically and geographically, with the rest of America. Given Washington's huge number of federal workers, why not disperse at least some of its agencies westward to ensure demographic diversity?

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THE REMARKABLE IRRELEVANCE OF RUSSIA AT DAVOS

“Sorry, Vlad, but you’re not invited to Davos anymore”

“Sorry, Vlad, but you’re not invited to Davos anymore”

Russian affairs used to attract outsized attention at the annual gatherings of the World Economic Forum in Davos.  Not this year.

In Davos last week, the global business elite appeared not to be interested in either the problems or opportunities connected to this troubled and trouble-making power.

Moscow’s delegation of Davos-schmoozing veterans tried to give the Russian question a new spin, but they had next to nothing to say on any of the topics at the focus of this year’s debates: whether it was the fourth industrial revolution, disturbances in world trade, or deepening inequality (which Russia exemplifies) (New Times, January 24).

At Davos, the main theme is the future of the world economy – and in that regard, Russia doesn’t matter much in 2018.

United States President Donald Trump’s keynote address was the highlight at Davos, and he didn’t even bother mentioning Russia.  Neither did British Prime Minister Theresa May nor Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  No wonder Putin didn’t attend, but sent underlings.

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TINPOT TURKISH DICTATOR HUMILIATES THE UNITED STATES

De Facto border of Northern Syria-Rojava (Western Kurdistan)

De Facto border of Northern Syria-Rojava (Western Kurdistan)

Over explicit American protests, Turkey this week attacked an American-allied Kurdish-led militia in the northern Syrian town of Afrin, killing nearly 300 fighters.

The Kurdish YPG militia were America's boots on the ground in the successful war against ISIS, and the Department of Defense earlier this month announced a plan to support a 30,000-strong force. That plan is in shambles now after Turkish fighters and tanks crushed their strong point in Afrin.

Vice President Pence's Middle East trip was one of the ultimate feel-good moments in American diplomatic history. But before we feel too good about ourselves, we should take stock our strategic humiliation in Syria.

The Turkish attack, cynically labeled "Operation Olive Branch," had Moscow's open approval, as the Russian press reported. Russian permission was required for Turkish warplanes to fly in Syrian air space. “Turkey and Russia are waging proxy war against the United States in Syria," Cengiz Çandar wrote yesterday in Al-Monitor.

With the support of Russia, China, and Iran, Tinpot Tayyip Erdogan flipped the bird to the United States of America, and got away with it.

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THE US QUIETLY SIDELINES A TURKEY IN DECLINE

Erdogan at the White House May 2017

Erdogan at the White House May 2017

On Wednesday (1/24), President Donald Trump had a long talk with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The telephone call came in the wake of Erdogan’s most recent demonstration of the fact that under his leadership, the Turkish-American alliance has become an empty shell.

The White House read-out of Trump’s conversation with Erdogan can be read in several ways.

Trump’s conversation with Erdogan appeared to be an attempt to bridge the yawning gap between the US’s policy of supporting and working with the Kurds in Syria and its deference for Erdogan and his regime.

The read-out of their conversation also reflected the distinct possibility that the Trump administration is implementing a sophisticated strategy for contending with Erdogan’s Turkey and its open and growing hostility to the US and its allies.

To understand that strategy it is first imperative to understand the present state of Turkey’s military.

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WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT THE FBI?

Lubyanka – KGB Headquarters in Moscow

Lubyanka – KGB Headquarters in Moscow

Suppose what many are now suspecting is completely true -- that the FBI, or parts of it, exonerated Hillary Clinton and her cohorts with a mock investigation, attempted to swing our presidential election against Donald Trump and then continued to undermine the new administration after they had won with illegitimate claims of Russian collusion orchestrated by sleazy political lowlifes?

While this is not quite Stalinist -- no one was tortured in Lubyanka or sent to the Gulag for life -- it's not all that distant. It's tantamount to an internal coup d'état that is still ongoing.

And just as in many coups throughout history, many of the participants are convinced they are doing the right thing, that they are on the side of justice, even though they are bending it, especially because they are bending it. The ends justify the means, as the old homicidal slogan goes.

The inside of the FBI, particularly at the higher reaches, seems to have been filled with a band of smug, self-righteous ideologues who would do anything, erase or rephrase anything, to get their way.  And then lie about it.  Either that or quote scripture.  Or form "secret societies."

Put another way, should "lying to the FBI" be a crime, when the FBI itself lies?  That's not a zen koan. That's reality.

So if -- and it's not that big an if anymore -- this story out of a spy novel (the density of Le Carré coupled with the outlandishness of Fleming) is indeed the truth, what do we do about it?  The answer is not easy.

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MYTHOLOGIES OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

myth-of-illegal-immigration[Note by JW: this is the best explanation of illegal immigration into the US extant – every American needs to read it.]

The illegal immigration debate has come to a head once again.

Until yesterday (1/22), Congress was at an impasse over a temporary spending bill that Senate Democrats refused to support unless it included a provision allowing several hundred thousand illegal aliens to remain in the United States without fear of deportation.

It’s a tiresome ploy by the Democrats, abetted by their allies in the media, using deceptive language to paint a false picture that blurs the distinction between legal and illegal, citizen and foreigner, justice and injustice.

Enough obfuscation. Here are some of the most pernicious myths of illegal immigration, debunked. For example, the vocabulary surrounding illegal immigration is both politicized and weaponized—as we have seen with “Dreamers.”

Illegal immigration is conflated with legal immigration in order to smear critics with charges of biases against the “other” rather than of simply expressing concerns over legality and sovereignty. By progressive prepping of the linguistic battlefield, some conservatives feel a continued need to “prove” they are not racists by granting more and more exemptions from immigration laws.

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THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAMERS

impossible-dreamersDreamers. You hear so much about them. Who are they?

Let’s not play word games. “Dreamers” are illegal aliens. Harsh but true. There are more than 1.3 million Dreamers living in the United States, of which 800,000 or so had registered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

They really shouldn’t be here. So they need to face the music, and start packing to leave. Shouldn’t they?

Oh, right -- we’re told they’re in this pickle through no fault of their own.  “No fault of their own” is the ultimate get-out-of-jail-free card. And someday it will gain them an E-Z Pass to oodles of special privileges.

Before we give away the store, however, we might want to think this through. We seem to know what it means to be a Dreamer. But are Dreamers really Dreamers? Or could it be that some are actually DINOs (Dreamers in Name Only)?

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SNOWFLAKE FEMINISM

snowflake-feminisimThe anonymous attack on comedian Aziz Ansari, essentially for being a lousy date and inconsiderate sex partner, has led some to think that the spate of attacks on men for sexual harassment and assault might be slowing down.

Although the account by “Grace,” the pseudonymous accuser, has been defended by many, others who have supported the outing of sexual assaulters have drawn the line at lumping bad dates in with more serious sexual malfeasance.

Still others hope that the absurdity of Grace’s charges will force a rollback of the ever-escalating demonization of men guilty of nothing more than failing to fulfill a woman’s subjective expectations even when not made explicit.

Don’t count on it.  Modern feminism for years has institutionalized a fundamental incoherence.

Women are the equals of men and should have the same autonomy and agency, particularly over their sexual choices. At the same time, they need protection from men, who are empowered by a persistent “patriarchy” that encodes in women’s psyches a deference to that power.

This internal contradiction has given us the Snowflake Feminists.

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HOW TO TRUMP THE MEDIA: AVOID CONSERVATIVES’ BIGGEST MISTAKE

A good friend of mine wrote me recently. He complained about smug Leftist neighbors who are “making decisions to ‘feel good’ with virtually no regard for true factual input or testing.” I get this a lot.

If you want to understand Donald Trump, you need understand why this complaint is myopic. Once you do understand, you’ll never see politics the same way again. You’ll also begin to grasp that Leftism does work, and that you’ve just failed to understand how.

Leftism isn’t a policy machine or an economic machine. Its economic results would tell you that much in a hurry. But the machine keeps running. Which means it must work for something. The correct question is: in what way does it work?

Our Very Stable Genius in the White House seems to be the only one who has figured this out – see the YouTube above.  And now you too can learn how to Trump the Media.

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HE FIGHTS

he-fightsMy Leftist friends (as well as many ardent #NeverTrumpers) constantly ask me if I’m not bothered by Donald Trump’s lack of decorum.  They ask if I don’t think his tweets and utterances are “beneath the dignity of the office.”  Here’s my answer:

We Right-thinking people have tried dignity.  There could not have been a man of more quiet dignity than George W. Bush as he suffered the outrageous lies and politically motivated hatreds that undermined his presidency.

We tried statesmanship.  Could there be another human being on this earth who so desperately prized “collegiality” as John McCain?

We tried propriety – has there been a nicer human being ever than Mitt Romney?  And the results were always the same.

This is because, while we were playing by the rules of dignity, collegiality and propriety, the Left has been, for the past 60 years, engaged in a knife fight where the only rules are those of Saul Alinsky and the Chicago mob.

It has been a war they’ve fought with violence, the threat of violence, demagoguery and lies from day one – and through these years, the Left has been the only side fighting this war.

With Donald Trump, this all has come to an end.  Donald Trump is America’s first wartime president in the Culture War.

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PRESIDENT NOBAMA

happy-nobama-dayTrump is commonsensically undoing, piece by piece, the main components of Obama’s legacy.

Donald Trump continues to baffle. Contrary to popular supposition, the Left loathes Trump not just for what he has done. (It is often too consumed with fury to calibrate carefully the particulars of the Trump agenda.)

Rather, it despises him mostly for what he superficially represents.   Trump’s very essence wars with everything that long ago was proven to be noble, just, and correct by Vanity Fair, NPR, The New Yorker, Google, the Upper West Side, and The Daily Show.

Yet one way of understanding Trump — particularly the momentum of his first year — is through recollection of the last eight years of the Obama administration.

In reductionist terms, Trump is the un-Obama, the Nobama. Surprisingly, that is saying quite a lot more than simple reductive negativism. It is an accomplishment that he alone could have achieved.

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DID TRUMP SAY ANYTHING THAT ISN’T TRUE?

Warning courtesy of National Association of Rural Landowners NARLO

Warning courtesy of National Association of Rural Landowners NARLO

Did Trump misspeak…use a slur to make a point…and thereby arouse all those dainty Liberals into a snit?

Not far from where I’m writing this in Manhattan, the kosher butcher shop is long gone; across the street, the church that once stood tall is now boarded up.

But next to it stands a mosque newly built and freshly painted. English in the neighborhood is a foreign tongue and nobody knows Frank Sinatra.

The boys don’t play stickball. The girls in their veils don’t play hopscotch and all the cabs are driven by men from Somalia and Afghanistan.

Strangers are not greeted warmly.

That’s a snapshot of what troubles President Trump…not the mosque, but the culture shift,

Call him chauvinistic…call him profane…he doesn’t care.  Our President is fighting for America’s soul – for America’s very existence.

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THE HOUSE CHAIRMEN’S PLAN FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM

wall-buildingFor far too long, America’s immigration system has been in shambles. The borders are not secure and laws are seldom enforced.

This dysfunction allows drug smugglers to creep into the U.S. and exacerbate the opioid epidemic. It provides human traffickers the opportunity to exploit forced labor for profit, invites transnational gangs like MS-13 to inflict violence on American neighborhoods, and offers terrorists a way into the country.

In a time when America’s enemies are seeking new ways to strike the homeland, a failed immigration system is unacceptable. Today (1/11), we will introduce legislation in the House to strengthen the border and enhance interior enforcements, making America more secure.

A priority of our legislation is to increase the security of the southern border.  Our bill would provide $30 billion to build a wall, to invest in new technology, and to improve, modernize and expand ports of entry. Here’s what else our bill does.

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WHO ARE YOU GOING TO BELIEVE — MICHAEL WOLFF OR YOUR OWN EYES?

liar-and-phonyI read as much of Michael Wolff’s "Fire and Fury" as my stomach lining could stand, and then I watched Donald Trump’s last rally of the 2016 presidential election. Groucho Marx’s old line came to mind — “Who are you going to believe; me, or your own eyes?”

He spoke in Michigan, a swing state where Hillary Clinton didn’t bother to campaign, and he hammered on the issues that decided the vote: more jobs, no Obamacare, Washington corruption. Trump was focused, confident, and ruthless.

“Hillary Clinton is the most corrupt person ever to seek the office of the Presidency of the United States…. We are finally going to close the history books on the Clintons, and their lies, schemes and corruption…. My contract with the American voter begins with a plan to end government corruption and to take our country back from the special interests…. We’re going to win today and we’re going to Washington D.C. to drain the swamp.”  

The crowd of 18,000 chanted “Drain the swamp!” back at him.

That’s the man who neither expected nor wanted to win, according to Wolff. There stood Donald Trump on the day before the election, declaring that he would win, in the middle of the state whose votes would make him win, talking about the issues on which he would win.

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TRUMP AND ROCKY BALBOA

Mosrocky-balboat Millennials are too young to be intimately familiar with the Rocky films.  The original was released in 1976 and was a huge hit, making unknown actor Sylvester Stallone an instant superstar.

Rocky Balboa, a nobody fighter gets a chance at boxing stardom by fighting the world heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed.  The fight is a P.R. stunt.  Creed needs an appeal-to-the-people fight, "a novelty."  He decides to give "a local underdog" fighter an opportunity.  "A snow-white underdog.  Very American!"

Donald Trump is the Rocky of our current political framework.  Once he announced, the late-night comics had a field day mocking the man and his candidacy.  Political elites assumed that the run was a publicity stunt.

There is a scene in Rocky in which a newswoman is interviewing Rocky at a meat locker, where Rocky's friend is employed and lets him train by hitting huge sides of beef.

Back at Apollo Creed's fancy office, no one is paying attention to the television newscast except one of Creed's trainers.  He alone sees something in Rocky – a talent and a determination no one else has yet observed.  No one listens to the trainer when he tells his boss, "This boy means business."  And to the Left’s dismay, so did Donald Trump.

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PELOSI REACTS TO THE REPUBLICAN TAX CUT

crazy-nancyIn those ubiquitous YouTube videos riffing on that famous scene from “Downfall,” Hitler flies off the handle when he learns that all is lost, so by now there’s a cottage industry of adapting that scene to the every perceived political “downfall.”

I happened to obtain a transcript of another delusional leader, Nancy Pelosi, after she had a similar reaction upon learning that the Republican tax bill was passed into law.

THE SCENE. Nancy Pelosi is seated at a desk in a crowded windowless room. Standing directly in front of Pelosi is House Democrat Whip Steny Hoyer and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. The rest of the group consists of deeply concerned Senators and Representatives.

Schumer places a large poster on her desk. It’s a list of the GOP tax bill highlights.

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AT LAST AMERICA HAS REAL PRESIDENTIAL LEADERSHIP

real-presidential-leadership-for-americaThere could be no greater contrast in leadership on the world stage and in interpreting reality than President Obama’s “lead from behind” model in Iran versus President Trump’s “lead from the front” model.

When the Iranian people demonstrated against the nation’s dictatorship in 2009, President Obama was weak and quiet. He was so interested in getting a nuclear arms deal with the dictatorship that he did not want to irritate Iran’s leaders

President Trump represents a remarkably different view of reality. He believes weakness begets weakness. He believes bad regimes are bad. He believes leaders look for opportunities and move aggressively and courageously to advance their vision of the world. He believes America is big enough and strong enough to provide real leadership.

Now that as courageous Iranians are risking prison and even death by standing up to the dictatorship, President Trump is once again proving that he represents the opposite of President Obama’s passivity and weakness.

Further, the huge difference in the sophistication and sense of reality between the President Obama’s advisers and the President Trump’s advisers is astounding.  We have genuine presidential leadership at last.

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TRUMP HUMILIATES OBAMA ON IRAN

trump-tweet-on-obama-re-iranBack in those pre-9/11 days when I identified as a liberal, the one thing I was sure drew all my then cohort together was opposition to fascism, whether secular or religious.

Boy, was I wrong -- and never was that more clear than in June 2009 when the Green Movement demonstrators were marching through the streets of Tehran and other Iranian cities, demanding freedom from the mullahs.

The students and others marching in the streets to overthrow these tyrants desperately wanted America's help, specifically the support of our "oh-so-liberal-progressive" president. They shouted, "Obama, Obama, are you with us or are you with them?"

Obama was silent.

I can't think of a moment I was more disgusted by the acts (inaction actually) of an American president. What did he stand for? What did we stand for?  Now at last we have a president who humiliates Obama’s despicable silence.

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WILL NUCLEAR NORTH KOREA SURVIVE 2018?

For good or evil, we may snkorea-survive-2018ee radical changes in North Korea in 2018.

The beefed-up United Nations sanctions by midyear could lead to widespread North Korean hunger, as well as the virtual end of the country's industry and transportation.

In the past, the West had called off such existential sanctions and rushed in cash and humanitarian aid on news of growing starvation. Would it now if the bleak alternative was a lunatic's nuclear missile possibly striking San Diego or Seattle?

China has always been unwilling to give up pit bull North Korea as its client. The Kim dynasty has proved especially useful over the past 30 years for aggravating and distracting the Chinese communist government's archenemy, Japan, and its chief rival, the United States.

Beijing's sponsorship of the rogue nuclear regime in North Korea could increasingly become bad business, given global anxieties over the many possible trajectories of North Korea nuclear missiles.

What are some likely scenarios for 2018?  Here are five.

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CHINA’S ENERGY CRISIS

china-energy-crisisNorthern China is facing an energy crisis this winter due to shortfalls in heating gas.  Many schools have not had heating since November 15—though the average temperature during the day has been close to, or below freezing. These schools were required to remove coal-fired heating ahead of the winter season as part of a larger initiative to reduce smog and CO2 emissions.

As the world’s top consumer and producer of coal, this is no easy task. In fact, China consumes four times as much coal as all of Europe (including Russia) and Central Asia combined.

By contrast, Chinese consumption of natural gas in 2016 was eight times its level in 2000.  However, the attempts to smoothly transition from coal to gas appears to have failed and are the root cause of the current gas shortfall. Across China, the price of liquefied natural gas (LNG) has risen by 300 percent. This is having significant downstream effects and has led to rationing.

The effects of the shortages are spreading.  This is because the shortages and accompanying spike in prices are manifestations of a larger problem.

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THE ANATOMY OF HILLARY’S MONEY-LAUNDERING SCHEME

most-corrupt-candidateIn 2014, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of my client, Alabama engineer Shaun McCutcheon, in his challenge to the Federal Election Commission's (FEC) outdated "aggregate limits," which effectively limited how many candidates any one donor could support (McCutcheon v. FEC).

Anti-speech liberals railed against McCutcheon's win, arguing it would create supersized "Joint Fundraising Committees" (JFCs). In court, they claimed these JFCs would allow a single donor to cut a multimillion-dollar check, and the JFC would then route funds through dozens of participating state parties, who would then funnel it back to the final recipient.

Democracy 21 President Fred Wertheimer claimed the Supreme Court's McCutcheon v. FEC ruling would lead to "the system of legalized bribery recreated that existed prior to Watergate." The Supreme Court, in ruling for us, flatly stated such a scheme would still be illegal.

The Democrats' response? Hold my beer.  What SCOTUS declared illegal in McCutcheon is exactly what Hillary and the Dems did – and we can prove it.

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THE PARTY OF THE RICH WILL PAY IN 2018

party-of-the-rich Just before the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 passed last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told us what she thought of the bill in the proverbial "no uncertain terms" –

“In this holy time, the moral obscenity and unrepentant greed of the GOP tax scam stands out even more clearly...  This GOP tax scam is simply theft, monumental, brazen theft from the American middle class and from every person who aspires to reach it. The GOP tax scam is not a vote for an investment in growth or jobs. It is a vote to install a permanent plutocracy in our nation.”
Did Pelosi actually believe this hortatory bilge or was she just banking on the stupidity of the American public and the unyielding support of the Democrats' ever-loyal media claque?

Well, the latter is almost always reliable – for when it comes to "permanent plutocracy in our nation" few should know more about that than Nancy.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, she has a net worth of $196 million.

Truth is, it’s the Democrats who are now the Party of the Rich – Silicon Valley, Hollywood, media, much of Wall Street – and they are going to pay for it Big Time in 2018.

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THE PAPER CIVIL WAR ON TRUMP

derrick-kahala-watsonThe original Civil War was fought by farmhands and factory workers, freed slaves and young boys turned soldiers; the new Civil War is being fought by lawyers in blue or gray suits not with bullets, but with bullet points.

From the Mueller investigation to Federal judges declaring that President Trump doesn’t have the right to control immigration policy or command the military, the cold civil war set off by the Left’s rejection of the 2016 election results has been a paper war largely waged by lawyers.

The left’s legal civil war appears to reject the authority of the Federal government. Yet despite the posturing, blue staters aren’t serious about seceding. Nor have they become newfound converts to the rights of states to go their own way when they disagree with DC.

New York and California’s #resistance apparatchiks aren’t rejecting the authority of Federal judges. They’re turning to them and relying on them. Instead they’re rejecting the authority of elected Federal officials. Their secession isn’t from the Federal government, it’s from democracy. They want a strong central government. They just aren’t willing to allow the American people to decide who gets to run it.

That’s what the Paper Civil War is about.

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THE DEATH RATTLE OF OBAMA’S REPUTATION

obama-worthlessThe members of Barack Obama’s administration in exile have become conspicuously noisy of late—even more so than usual.

Former CIA Director John Brennan accused Donald Trump and his administration of engaging in “outrageous,” “narcissistic” behavior typical of “vengeful autocrats” by threatening proportionate retaliation against countries that voted to condemn the United States in the United Nations, as though that were unprecedented.  It is not.

James Clapper, Obama’s director of national intelligence, all but alleged that the president is a Russian “asset.”  He isn’t.

Perhaps the most acerbic and incendiary series of accusations from the former Democrat president’s foreign-policy professionals were placed in the New York Times by Obama’s national security advisor, Susan Rice. In her estimation, America has abdicated its role as a “force for good.”

It’s no coincidence that these overheated condemnations accompany abundant evidence that the Trump administration is finding its legs. As the last administration’s undeserved reputation as sober-minded foreign policy rationalists is dismantled one retrospective report at a time, its jilted members are lashing out.

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A TRUMP-REAGAN DOCTRINE FOR IRAN

trump-reagan-doctrineIran’s geopolitical ascent is the most significant and dangerous development in the Middle East this century.

But while the Trump administration’s new National Security Strategy properly identifies Iran as among the important challenges to U.S. security interests, it doesn’t offer a concrete strategy on how to counter Iran’s growing regional power.

President Trump should follow the example of President Reagan, who pursued an offensive strategy to undermine the Soviet Union that included supporting indigenous anti-communist insurgents around the globe: the Reagan Doctrine.

Today, America should support indigenous forces that oppose – and seek independence from – Iranian domination: a Trump-Reagan Doctrine.

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THE TROUT IN THE MILK

clinton-criminal-cartelThere is strong circumstantial evidence that an insidious plot unprecedented in American history was hatched within the FBI and the Obama Justice Department to help elect Hillary Clinton and defeat Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

And when this apparent effort to improperly influence the election did not succeed, the suspected conspirators appear to have employed a fraudulent investigation of President Trump in an attempt to undo the election results and remove him as president.

Such a plot would show that partisans within the FBI and the Justice Department, driven by personal animus and a sense of political righteousness, surreptitiously conspired to subvert electoral democracy itself in our country.

As of now, we have no proof beyond a reasonable doubt of such a plot. But we have very strong circumstantial evidence.

And as the philosopher and writer Henry David Thoreau wrote in his journal in 1850: “Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.”

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NOW, THIS IS PRESIDENTIAL OBSTRUCTION

finance-terrorWhat if a president used his power to interfere with a federal investigation involving foreign powers committing serious crimes in the United States as well as elsewhere?

Such a thing would be considered a terrible scandal and, no doubt, lead to a federal probe by a special counsel who would be expected to get to the bottom of such a mess.

But if you think this is a reference to the investigation led by Robert Mueller into possible collusion with Russia during the 2016 campaign and obstruction of justice once President Trump took office, you’re wrong.

While proof that the Trump campaign actually plotted with Russia still has yet to be presented, evidence of another scandal involving President Barack Obama and Hezbollah, Iran and the Russians has just been uncovered in an investigative story by Politico yesterday (12/18).

The tale involves an administration decision to spike Project Cassandra, a federal probe into international drug smuggling, money laundering and terrorism by Hezbollah.  The conclusion is inescapable: the President of the United States willfully on purpose aided and abetted terrorists and drug-smuggling.

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