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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.



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.



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.



happy-new-year-2018 Welcome to the Happy New Year HFR!  2018 here we come.  It’s going to be a triumphal year with our Happy Warrior in the White House…

trump-new-year-wish How can you not love a guy like this?  No President in US history has ever been deluged with so much hate, obstruction, and lies – and he’s overcoming it all with a smile.

That he has accomplished as much if not more in his first year in office as any of his predecessors is extraordinary.  That he accomplished all that in the face of such unhinged hate is miraculous.  And with a Cheshire cat grin.

Yet as we close the book on 2017, it’s not the time to look back but to look forward.  We learn from 2017 only as clues to what the odds for 2018 may be.

Predictions about human behavior are only about possibilities.  We can know 100% for sure about things in the physical future, such as there will be a Full Moon on May 29, 2018, but not with our human future as it’s undetermined – too many decisions that have yet to be made, too many black swans that come out of nowhere.  The Crystal Ball is always cloudy.

So with that yuge caveat, let’s look at what 2018 futures are more likely than others.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.