26 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-12-18

  1. While everyone worries about Russia, Russia, Russia……..

    China is taking over, using similar tactics at universities that the Russians used with the press, albeit on a much larger scale.


    “So Russia is attempting to “meddle” in our elections and disrupt democracy, eh? In the view of some observers, specifically analysts from the Central Intelligence Agency, that’s small beer compared to what China is up to. They’re actually trying to take over our country from the inside through huge investments and influence peddling. And America isn’t their only target by a long shot. The Free Beacon takes an in-depth look at a recent CIA report which indicates that the Chinese are flushing vast amounts of capital and human resources into moving the United States to a position far more friendly to Chinese objectives.

    The CIA has issued a classified report detailing China’s far-reaching foreign influence operations campaign in the United States, which imparts financial incentives as leverage to permeate American institutions.

    In an unclassified page of the report obtained by the Washington Free Beacon, the CIA cautions against efforts by the Chinese Communist Party to stipulate funding to universities and policy institutes in exchange for academic censorship.

    “The CCP provides ‘strings-attached’ funding to academic institutions and think tanks to deter research that casts it in a negative light,” the report says. “It has used this tactic to reward pro-China viewpoints and coerce Western academic publications and conferences to self-censor. The CCP often denies visas to academics who criticize the regime, encouraging many China scholars to preemptively self-censor so they can maintain access to the country on which their research depends.”

    The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is particularly interested in American colleges and universities, where they offer extremely generous endowments provided the academics there avoid taking positions which criticize China and its objectives. This shouldn’t come as a surprise given the Chinese philosophy of indoctrinating people at an early age to gain a lifetime of loyalty from them. How better than to infiltrate academia?”


  2. Another criminal walks today due to inaction by Obama for years, and now Sessions as well.


    “Former intelligence chief James Clapper is poised to avoid charges for allegedly lying to Congress after five years of apparent inaction by the Justice Department.

    Clapper, director of national intelligence from 2010 to 2017, admitted giving “clearly erroneous” testimony about mass surveillance in March 2013, and offered differing explanations for why.

    Two criminal statutes that cover lying to Congress have five-year statutes of limitations, establishing a Monday deadline to charge Clapper, who in retirement has emerged as a leading critic of President Trump.

    The under-oath untruth was exposed by National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who sparked national debate on surveillance policy with leaks to the press.

    Many members of Congress, mostly Republicans supportive of new limits on electronic surveillance, called for Clapper to be prosecuted as the deadline neared, saying unpunished perjury jeopardizes the ability of Congress to perform oversight.

    “He admitted to lying to Congress and was unremorseful and flippant about it,” Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., told the Washington Examiner. “The integrity of our federal government is at stake because his behavior sets the standard for the entire intelligence community.”

    “Political consideration should not affect the Department of Justice from pursuing this matter,” Rep. James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said ahead of the deadline. “Complete and truthful testimony is imperative for Congress to conduct effective oversight. It is clear from the evidence and Director Clapper’s own admission that he lied.””


  3. Admitting the obvious.


    “Mention the President of the United States in day-to-day conversation and you’ll get the inevitable; a sigh, a shake of the head, a brief eulogy on how Donald Trump is unfit to be president. I’m no different. I’m the first to criticise Trump. I wouldn’t have voted for him if you’d paid me, and think he’s got some pretty damaging, regressive points of view.

    But during a recent, daily grumble about The Donald, I got thinking; if you look past the ridiculous Twitter pronouncements, and the President’s general veneer – what has he actually done? How bad has the 45th President of the United States actually been for the country?

    The answer, it might surprise you, is not that bad at all.”

    Stock market up, unemployment down. After plateauing for much of 2015 and 2016, numbers of manufacturing jobs have been on the rise since Trump’s inauguration. While Trump has perhaps taken more credit than he’s due in these areas, it would be ignorant to deny him at least some – business confidence has steadily grown under Trump’s presidency, a direct effect of tax cuts; the most comprehensive simplification of the US tax code in 30 years; and a staunch refusal to regulate the economy to the same extent as during Obama’s tenure. Through 2016-2018, regulations have grown by only 0.6 per cent, in comparison to the 1.6 per cent per annum under Obama.

    Despite Trump’s administration succeeding in getting major corporations to pay their tax bills (amounting to £339bn for the economy over the next nine years), Apple are still going through with plans to invest billions into the United States. I barely knew about Trump’s win-win on multinational corporations – most people seem more focussed on waspish gossip from around the White House than they do on promising figures coming out of it.

    On foreign policy, he’s been brash and unpredictable, but successful. He can’t take full credit for the defeat of Isis in their traditional strongholds, but they have been defeated. He can’t take full credit for defusing tensions with North Korea – but under President Trump, Kim Jong-un is becoming more receptive to talks with South Korea, and even sent a team to the Winter Olympics. His “quirky” style of diplomacy has led to, in the past few days, talk on the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and the closest thing to a peaceful North Korea we’ve seen in years. On Friday it was even announced that Trump will be meeting with Kim Jong-un.”

    “Could it be that, provided checks against the President’s more skewed policies hold firm, that Trump hasn’t actually been half-bad? Attempts to repeal Obamacare fell through due to opposition, and the Supreme Court held out against the worst of the Republicans’ travel ban plans. It’s why the Founding Fathers made so certain of checks between the different branches of government – so that the least thought-out policy proposals didn’t have a chance of passing. It’s what a lot of people forgot about, in the months after Trump was elected – presidents are unable to act rashly, impulsively. The political system is wired towards something which at least slightly resembles sense.”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Can’t win with these clowns.


    “There he goes again. President Trump just won’t listen to those who know better.

    And there they go again. The smart money set is certain that this time, the sky really is falling.

    Perhaps those lecturing the president over his tariff plans are right that he is making a colossal mistake and will regret losing his top economic advisor, Gary Cohn, over the decision.

    If nothing else, their learned references to the awful consequences of actual trade wars and to the disaster of the Smoot-Hawley broadside in 1930 make for a coherent argument against protectionism.

    Except for one thing: the critics offer no solutions for the working class Americans left behind by the bipartisan push for globalization. Their silence on the destructive impacts of the deindustrialization of America suggest they have no answers — and not much compassion for the families who pay the price of trade policies through lost jobs and hollowed-out towns.

    Moreover, their failure to focus on the plight of those families and how they factor into the president’s view of the nation shows they still don’t fully appreciate why Trump was elected. It was legions of frustrated working and middle-class voters in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin that helped him barrel through the supposedly solid blue wall of Democratic states.

    Those who forget the human impact of ideology would have benefited from watching the signing ceremony of the tariff proclamation.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Some people just can’t get over it.


    “Since President Trump’s election, the left has morphed into a bizarre mixture of fascist groups “against fascism,” free speech groups that fanatically shut-down speech with which they disagree, and pro-illegal immigrant groups that ignore DACA. Among all this counterintuitive bluster are the anti-Trump leftists who have taken their Trump Derangement Syndrome to brand-new levels of cringe-worthy derangement.”

    “Teigen is not alone in her need for psychological and emotional support for the trauma of the Trump presidency. Apparently, lefties are not only boozing it up in an effort to numb their pain but are also flocking to “cuddle parties” to “safely” cuddle with complete strangers . . . and to pay $80 for the privilege.

    Those who don’t find comfort in the bottle or in the arms of strangers have taken to prepping for the “Trumpocalypse.”

    They’re buying more guns and ammo, practicing at firing ranges, learning how to purify water, grow food, and . . . planning how to colonize Mars, debating whether to stock up on recycled toilet paper or to buy Angel Soft from the dreaded Koch brothers, and purchasing “survivalist chic” bug-out kits that include luxury chocolates and expensive face and hair care products (custom monograms available, but these cost extra).”

    Poor little snowflakes.


    “Americans who hate President Trump now have a “safe space” to “unite in love” and stand against the White House.

    The newly released website NeverTrump.Dating aims to give liberals a place to meet a woman or man who shares their disdain for the president.

    The American Liberal Council, a self-described political start-up that does not have a website, said it contacted the Trump.Dating platform and had this new site made so that Democrats and others unhappy with the Trump administration could have a unique online equivalent to Trump.Dating, a dating site for supporters of the president that was rolled out in February.

    NeverTrump.Dating states that members should be people who “will never back down to the corrupt, morally-bankrupt administration in power.”


  6. Is Trump’s tariff idea simply to lock down needed votes? And will it also benefit Republicans, despite the opposition of some to the policies? We’ll see.


    “In a recent post, my colleague Mary Chastain noted that when Trump signed the steel and aluminum tariffs, he was surrounded by American steel workers. For Trump, this was largely about keeping a campaign promise to American workers, but it could also serve him and Republicans well in the next two big elections.

    Rush Limbaugh noted the political implications:

    Democrat Nightmare! Steelworkers at Tariff Signing

    RUSH: The tariffs, the tariffs that Trump has announced yesterday. Exactly as I said, they’re negotiable from country to country. They were aimed, and Mexico and Canada were exempted in exchange for new negotiations on NAFTA. Trump had some steelworkers in the White House yesterday. I watched it. I said, “This would never happen…

    “I can’t imagine this happening with any other president. She’s been showed up, and they looked like steelworkers. They looked like Steelers fans. They looked like who they are,” and the United Steelworkers international president Leo Gerard was there. He was among them. He said, “Trump was able to see the steelworker agenda, what [Trump] did is what we’ve been fighting for for more than 30 years. … [W]hat makes me sad is we’ve been trying to get Democrats to this for more than 30 years.”

    And then Trump tweeted the following: “The workers who poured their souls into building this great nation were betrayed. But that betrayal is now over. … I’m delivering on a promise I made during the campaign.” This sent shockwaves through Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, states the Democrats thinks they’re gonna win back with ease. Shock waves are once again reverberating through what everybody used to believe were deep-blue states.

    United Steelworkers international president Leo Gerard, who Rush mentioned above, was recently on NBC News and talked about how his organization tried to get previous administrations to do this. If you want to know how bad this is for Democrats, just take note of Chuck Todd’s condescending tone.”

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is sure to be a winning strategy.



    “Earlier this week Senate Democrats introduced a tax plan designed to show what Democrats can be expected to do should they win back majorities in Congress.

    Their press release refers to their avoidance of “gimmicks and giveaways”; this appears to be a reference to the bonuses, pay raises, and private sector investment and job creation afforded by the new tax law. All of which, the Democrat proposal would roll back.

    The Democrat’s plan calls for new taxes, rolling back the death tax, cutting off the “crumbs” that are making their way into Americans’ wallets, and $1 trillion in infrastructure spending, among other items.

    The Wall Street Journal has more details:

    Senate Democrats on Wednesday proposed repealing major pieces of the just-passed tax law, in a plan that would raise taxes on corporations, estates and high-income households to pay for $1 trillion in new infrastructure spending.

    The plan will almost certainly go nowhere with Republicans in charge of Congress and the White House. But it provides a first clear signal about Democratic priorities on tax policy after the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and establishes a clear contrast for the 2018 midterm elections.

    The proposal would set the corporate tax rate at 25%, up from today’s 21% but still well below the 35% that was in place until President Donald Trump signed the new tax law in December.

    Democrats also propose to cut the estate tax exemption from $11.2 million per person back toward the $5.6 million in effect under the old tax law. They would set the top individual tax rate back at 39.6%, up from 37%, and they would expand the alternative minimum tax, a parallel tax system for top-earning households. The GOP law, which passed without a single Democratic vote, narrowed the AMT’s scope from millions of households, many in Democratic-leaning states such as New York and California, to a few hundred thousand.

    You can read the Democrats’ full proposal here.”



  8. AJ’s 417 link reminded me of Republicans 8-9 years ago. What is it about Americans of every political stripe reaching for their guns and preparing for Armageddon when the wrong person is elected? . Someone should tell them the difference between the two parties is marginal.

    The rest of the link is an excellent description of capitalism; creating a need and a supply.


  9. Trump comes to LA, should be fun



    LAPD ‘prepared for anything’ when Trump visits Southern California

    LOS ANGELES – Since President Donald Trump took office, California has been the epicenter of the resistance, home to countless protests, marches, impromptu airport rallies and, of course, commentary of various kinds of Facebook and Twitter.

    But it’s all been done at a distance, because Trump has avoided California. Until this week.

    Trump will spend Tuesday and a bit of Wednesday in Southern California, visiting prototypes for the border wall he’s vowed to build in San Diego and attending a fundraiser on Los Angeles’ Westside.

    What remains unclear is whether his brief visit will bring out major protests. Some anti-Trump activists said they intend some kind of action, but so far there have been no plans for a massive demonstration such as the women’s march last year or some of the immigration demonstrations that clogged the streets of downtown L.A. …

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The economic effect of steel tariff is debatable. Given Canada and Mexico are exempt its actual immediate effect will be pretty negligible.

    Symbolically it may be important….a blue collar union in a Republican White House. However it may prove to be ironic….a Republican sides with a blue collar union precisely as they become an endangered species in part due to Republican policies.

    Electorally it may mean little. There are only about 150 000 steel jobs left in the US and most are in Indiana and Alabama which are already Republican.

    The interesting question is will steel tariffs cost more auto jobs than created steel jobs?

    Liked by 1 person

  11. But on a more serious note….


    “Kim Jong Un desperately wants to sign a peace treaty with President Trump after their one-on-one meeting, and he’ll also invite the United States to build an embassy in the hermit kingdom, South Korea media is reporting.

    “Kim is likely to raise the possibility of a peace treaty, along with establishing diplomatic relations and nuclear disarmament, during a meeting with the U.S. leader, the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper said Monday,” Bloomberg News reported.

    North Korea and the U.S. have been in a standoff for more than 60 years. The Korean War ended not with their surrender, but instead an “armistice,” which is nothing more than a truce. The U.S. has kept a large military force in South Korea ever since.

    Koh Yu-hwan, who teaches North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul, told Bloomberg that “the U.S. wants a peace treaty at the end of the denuclearization process, while for the North, it’s the precondition for its denuclearization.”

    And if a peace treaty can be arranged, North Korea wants the U.S. to open an embassy in the nation.

    Meanwhile, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “promised dismantlement of his country’s nuclear weapons program — not merely a freeze — when he met with South Korean envoys last week in Pyongyang, multiple government sources told the JoongAng Ilbo on Sunday.”

    “Kim expressed willingness for denuclearization, which includes not only a nuclear freeze but also dismantlement,” said one source familiar with the talks. “Now is the moment where we have to wait and see if the North will actually start the process of dismantling its nuclear program.”

    U.S. officials said there will be no concessions to North Korea in advance of a planned summit between Trump and Kim, which could come by May. “Make no mistake about it, while these negotiations are going on, there will be no concession made,” Central Intelligence Agency director Mike Pompeo told “Fox News Sunday.””


  12. This article by Gerson is long. I suspect all of us will disagree with parts of it, perhaps no one more than me. However, it does a pretty good job of placing Evangelical support for Trump in the context of American Church History.


  13. No collusion.

    But facts be damned, Democrats are insisting the fishing continue, to no avail.


    “Republicans who control the House Intelligence Committee ended an investigation into the 2016 presidential election over intense objections from Democrat, saying they found no evidence of collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives.

    The committee’s GOP leaders announced their decision on Monday, adding that they plan to release a report soon on their findings. The probe — originally intended to be bipartisan — is ending even though an inquiry by Special Counsel Robert Mueller remains underway and at least four people connected to the president’s campaign are facing criminal charges.

    A draft summary of what the Republicans say will ultimately be a final report agrees with assessments by U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia conducted cyberattacks on American political institutions and sought to sow discord through social media, but not with their conclusion that the campaign was carried out to help Trump.

    “After more than a year, the committee has finished its Russia investigation and will now work on completing our report,” the chairman, Devin Nunes of California, said in a statement. “Once the committee’s final report is issued, we hope our findings and recommendations will be useful for improving security and integrity for the 2018 midterm elections.”

    Representative Adam Schiff of California, the panel’s top Democrat said Republicans on the committee have been under pressure to end the investigation and doing so now “represents yet another capitulation to the executive branch.”


  14. No evidence.


    ““We have found no evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians,” committee Republicans said as they released an overview of their probe.

    Representative Mike Conaway, who has led the panel’s investigation, said the panel had finished the interview phase of its probe.

    “You never know what you never know, but we found no reason to think that there’s something we’re missing in this regard. We’ve talked to everybody we think we need to talk to,” Conaway said in an interview on Fox News Channel.”


  15. Devin Nunes says: “No collusion.” That nitwit has had zero credibility since he ran with his hair on fire to the White House to tell the President (and the press) a bunch of important “facts” on “unmasking” that some low-level White House toady has just passed on to him.

    Adam Schiff emerges from his service as the ranking minority member on the House Intelligence Committee as a star. In January 2021 he could be the Attorney General in a new Administration. Nunes as Chairman of the Committee will forever be remembered as a disgraced dunce, perhaps the dumbest of the Trump stooges. If he weren’t in a safe Republican district, he would be defeated in November. Who knows? He may still be defeated.


  16. McMullin is right. Nunes was the primary dunce, but this was an embarrassment to the entire Republican Party, to Paul Ryan and to the Congress.


  17. Kevin B, capitalism is only a definition of an economic system. It describes a system where private interests pursue profit (or really any reward they want to pursue) with limited government intrusion. If anything “creates” under such conditions, it’s merely the producers pursuing their goal in the free market. It could be the case that all kinds of people create under that system, or that very few do, but it’s not the system, itself, that does any creating.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Oh that’s rich, McMuffin lecturing others on what’s honest. That fraud’s whole campaign was a dishonest sham to elect a Democrat. Please. He has as much credibility as you do on matters pertaining to Trump.



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