36 thoughts on “News/Politics 5-2-18

  1. Despite claims to the contrary…….


    “Despite his faults, his realism on the threat from Tehran makes him, and not Macron or Merkel, the true defender of the West.

    In the weeks after President Donald Trump was sworn in last year, German chancellor Angela Merkel was widely acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic as the real leader of the free world. This year, French president Emanuel Macron is getting some of the same buzz from foreign-policy-establishment types and liberal think tanks.

    It’s easy to see why. Both are seen as the polar opposite of Trump. Both have a more dignified demeanor, champion Western values of democracy, and enthusiastically embrace the notion of collective security rather than the president’s neo-isolationist “America First” foreign policy. In the eyes of most observers, these qualities all make them more plausible candidates for a symbolic title that would normally be the property of the American president.

    It’s true that Trump’s personal behavior and approach to foreign policy make him the American president least suited to the role of “leader of the free world” since the term was coined. But after Macron’s and Merkel’s visits to Washington last week, it’s clear that he still actually deserves the title. As the only Western leader who grasps the danger posed by the Iran nuclear deal and the need to fix it, Trump is, if only by default, playing the leadership role that U.S. presidents traditionally play.

    Much of the coverage last week centered on Macron’s and Trump’s bizarre body language and odd friendship, and the ice-cold nature of Merkel’s relationship with the president. But the subtext to both meetings was that the Europeans were trying to somehow coax Trump into behaving like a team player on Iran. Trump’s determination to either fix or pull out of the Iran nuclear deal is seen by Europeans, as well as by most American foreign-policy experts and even many of those who style themselves the “adults” in his administration, as the latest proof that he isn’t fit to lead the free world. Trump’s insistence that the pact must change — in spite of opposition from his European allies, Russia, and China, and the absolute insistence of the Iranians that they will never agree to alter it — is seen as proof of his ignorance, his lack of realism, and his petulance toward an accomplishment of the Obama administration. Macron and Merkel, and all those who have looked to them as the real leaders of the West, believe that the Iran deal is working, and that Trump’s desire to overturn it must be curbed if conflict is to be avoided.

    But while Trump may not sound like the leader of the free world, he is the one who is actually defending it, while more sophisticated Europeans and American policy experts advocate walking it into peril with eyes wide open. The Europeans’ arguments against Trump depend on a collection of dubious assumptions about the nuclear pact.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I prefer unhinged….. 🙂


    “It started with Kanye and ended with Kim, featuring Emmanuel and Angela in between: this week showed President Trump upending expectations and confounding his critics on an epic scale.

    But perhaps the most revealing thing about it all was not what it said about the president but instead the light that it shined on the army of elitists arrayed against him – in politics, the media and the foreign policy establishment. There’s something truly instructive about their reactions to the developments of the past few days.”

    “These constantly shifting poses reveal the truth about the Trump-denying elite: for them it’s not about any kind of substantive intellectual argument. It is pure, personal hatred.

    You saw the same thing played out in the context of the twin visits of President Emmanuel Macron of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.

    The truth, revealed this week, is that the elite have shown themselves to be totally superficial. Their hatred of Donald Trump is not based on policy, or real-world results, or anything at all of substance.”


  3. This seems fitting, especially after Facebook mistakenly showed their hand, and their future plans for censorship yesterday as well.


    “More than 60 conservative leaders, some more prominent than others, published a joint statement Tuesday arguing big tech companies need to do more to ensure people aren’t being unduly silenced for their ideological viewpoints.

    “Social media censorship and online restriction of conservatives and their organizations have reached a crisis level,” the message reads. “Conservative leaders now have banded together to call for equal treatment on tech and social media.”

    Signees of the missive include: Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, who is also chair of the Media Fairness Caucus; Young America’s Foundation President Ron Robinson; Retired Army Lt. Col. and former Republican congressman Allen West; president of the Heartland Institute and former House representative Tim Huelskamp; Penny Young Nance of Concerned Women for America, and several past higher-ups in former President Ronald Reagan’s administration.

    The coalition enumerates four key areas of improvement:

    First, social media companies should “provide transparency,” they argue.

    “We need detailed information so everyone can see if liberal groups and users are being treated the same as those on the right,” the statement reads. “Social media companies operate in a black-box environment, only releasing anecdotes about reports on content and users when they think it necessary.”

    Second, relevant firms should “provide clarity on ‘Hate Speech,’” the conservative factions wrote, arguing such an ill-defined term, and enforcement of such, is liable to subjectivity and thus is often unequally applied.

    “Today, hate speech means anything liberals don’t like.”

    Third and fourth, it wants Facebook, Twitter, Google, Google-owned YouTube and the like “to provide equal footing for conservatives” and “mirror the First Amendment.””

    The liberals who run Facebook, Twitter, and the like will never agree to these terms.


  4. When the history books are written, Rosenstein will be remembered as one of the heroes of this sordid era.


  5. I am glad someone brought up old Kanye West, so I can opine that now the time he drunkenly staggered onto the stage and snatched the Grammy out of Taylor Swift’s hands is only the second worst thing he has done in his lifetime.


  6. Despite some flaky endorsements and tweets, Trump’s performance score is still quite high, in my opinion. He has moved employment and real national security onto the agenda, and has not spent billions on needless foreign wars which badly destabilized sensitive regions or traded the country’s sovereignty and security for 30 pieces of silver. These seemingly simple accomplishments were apparently too difficult for our last 7 or 8 presidents at least. The price his supporters pay is to be entertainment fodder for his enemies. Christians and Southerners are accustomed to performing that function for more crass minded critics. All in all, it’s not a bad trade off.

    Trump has no need to sit down with Mueller and answer questions. No good can come of that. If Congress doesn’t like it, let them impeach.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Debra, It doesn’t matter whether Trump sits down with Mueller.

    In 1974, when it was shown that Nixon obstructed justice, he was forced to resign.

    In 1998, when it was shown that Clinton committed perjury and obstructed justice, he was impeached but partisan Democrats kept him in office.

    Today, even if Mueller could show that Trump committed perjury and obstructed an investigation of a foreign power’s interference in our election, his cult will stay with him. As long as he has 34 votes in the Senate, he is safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Speaking of Clinton, Trump and entertainment fodder, what is the meaning of “is is”?


  9. See, these are some of the other issue I have with this witch hunt. Flynn was set-up and only plead guilty so Mueller wouldn’t go after his son, but now he’s left in limbo. If he’s guilty, let him serve his time and be done. And Caputo, who committed no crimes, is being taken to the poor house.

    Mueller knows these things, yet he doesn’t care about collateral damage. He’s a piece of….. work. Same for the Dems on the Senate Intel Comm..


    “Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Tuesday requested that sentencing for former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn be delayed by at least two months.

    Mueller’s team and attorneys for Flynn submitted that Flynn is not ready for sentencing “due to the status of the special counsel’s investigation,” according to a court filing in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

    Flynn pleaded guilty in December to lying to the FBI as part of Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. As part of the plea deal, Flynn agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s ongoing investigation.”


    “Former Donald Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo slammed the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation on Tuesday, charging that the probe has cost him $125,000 and is forcing him to move from the Buffalo area in order to pay off legal bills.

    Caputo was interviewed behind closed doors on Tuesday as part of the committee’s investigation into 2016 Russian election meddling. He was also interviewed last year by the House Intelligence Committee.

    “Your investigation and others into the allegations of Trump campaign collusion with Russia are costing my family a great deal of money — more than $125,000 — and making a visceral impact on my children,” Caputo said in a prepared statement that he delivered at the end of the Senate interview, which was provided to CNN.”

    “In his statement, Caputo accused a former Senate Intelligence Committee Democratic staffer, Daniel Jones, of leading an effort to invest $50 million into continuing the Fusion GPS investigation into the opposition research dossier on Trump and Russia.

    Caputo claimed that Jones, who is now president of the Penn Quarter Group, fed the information to the committee.

    “What America needs is an investigation of the investigators,” Caputo said. “I want to know who is paying for the spies’ work and coordinating this attack on President Donald Trump? I want to know who Dan Jones is talking to across the investigations — from the FBI, to the Southern District of New York, to the OSC, to the Department of Justice, to Congress.””

    This isn’t what justice is supposed to look like.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. This one just makes me laugh. 🙂

    Looks like Mitten’s is coming around.


    “Former GOP presidential nominee and current Senate candidate Mitt Romney praised President Trump’s first year in office on Tuesday, saying it was similar to what the first year of a Romney administration would look like.

    In response to a question from a voter in Utah, Romney seemed to indicate that he largely approved of the policies pursued by the Trump administration during Trump’s first year in the White House, calling it “better than expected,” the Washington Examiner reports.”

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Kanye isn’t the only one who finally decided to leave the plantation.


    “There were hundreds of African American, Asian American, and Hispanic American conservative leaders and activists in what was a standing-room only crowd at the RNC’s LEAD Right Leadership Luncheon last week.

    “The liberal media and the left wouldn’t want to admit it, but this is what the Republican Party looks like,” RNC Spokesman Steve Guest said.”

    Liked by 1 person

  12. If it’s a peaceful march as the people running it claim, why are most of the dead known terrorists?


    “The so-called Great March of Return held every Friday for the past four weeks at the Gaza-Israel border is falsely portrayed as a peaceful civilian protest by groups like Amnesty International. That false designation has led to claims that Israel is violating international law by using live fire against “protesters” who approach the border fence.

    In fact, as we have documented weekly, the “protests” are actually military operations by Hamas and other terror groups using civilian protests as cover.

    The purpose is to cut through, burn down, or pull down the border fence so that terrorists can infiltrate Israel to carry out operations. Even when the fence is not breached, explosives are placed next to the fence for later detonation.”


  13. Oh no, those days are over, dead and buried, the left has ensured that.


    “On the domestic and foreign fronts, the Trump administration has prompted economic growth and restored U.S. deterrence. Polls show increased consumer confidence, and in some, Trump himself has gained ground. Yet good news is bad news to the Resistance and its strange continued efforts to stop an elected president in a way it failed to do in the 2016 election.

    Indeed, the aim of the so-called Resistance to Donald J. Trump is ending Trump’s presidency by any means necessary before the 2020 election. Or, barring that, it seeks to so delegitimize him that he becomes presidentially impotent. It has been only 16 months since Trump took office and, in the spirit of revolutionary fervor, almost everything has been tried to derail him. Now we are entering uncharted territory — at a time when otherwise the country is improving and the legal exposure of Trump’s opponents increases daily.

    First came the failed lawsuits after the election alleging voting-machine tampering. Then there was the doomed celebrity effort to convince some state electors not to follow their constitutional duty and to deny Trump the presidency — a gambit that, had it worked, would have wrecked the Constitution. Then came the pathetic congressional boycott of the inauguration and the shrill nationwide protests against the president.

    Next was the sad effort to introduce articles of impeachment. After that came weird attempts to cite Trump for violations of the emoluments clause of the Constitution. That puerile con was followed by plans to declare him deranged and mentally unfit so that he could be removed under the 25th Amendment. From time to time, Obama holdovers in the DOJ, National Security Council, and FBI sought to leak information, or they refused to carry out presidential orders.

    As the Resistance goes from one ploy to the next, it ignores its string of failed prior efforts, forgetting everything and learning nothing. State nullification is no longer neo-Confederate but an any-means-necessary progressive tool. Suing the government weekly is proof of revolutionary fides, not a waste of California’s taxpayer dollars.

    Anti- and Never-Trump op-ed writers have long ago run out of superlatives. Trump is the worst, most, biggest — fill in the blank — in the history of the presidency, in the history of the world, worse even than Mao, Mussolini, Stalin, or Hitler. So if Trump is a Hitler who gassed 6 million or a Stalin who starved 20 million, then logically Trump deserves what exactly?”

    “Insidiously and incrementally, we are in the process of normalizing violence against the elected president of the United States. If all this fails to delegitimize Trump, fails to destroy his health, or fails to lead to a 2018 midterm Democratic sweep and subsequent impeachment, expect even greater threats of violence. The Resistance and rabid anti-Trumpers have lost confidence in the constitutional framework of elections, and they’ve flouted the tradition by which the opposition allows the in-power party to present its case to the court of public opinion.”

    Liked by 1 person

  14. First Things takes a look at Calexit (with some refreshingly nice things to say about our state, despite its woes):


    …. The fact is, the people who are “splitting” California are those who are leaving it—as my family did several years ago. When we left California in December 2000 to move to St. Louis, the state was in crisis and couldn’t keep the lights on—literally, given rolling blackouts in an energy crisis that led, in part, to the governor’s recall in 2003. The high cost of living put the idyllic California lifestyle out of reach for many who needed to reside within commuting distance of the cities, even relatively affordable Sacramento. And, yes, laws and culture were moving leftward quickly. It’s hard to believe that only a decade ago, 52 percent of Californians voted in favor of a state constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage.

    Despite our departure and the ways California has changed, I remain in love with California’s beauty as expressed in both its natural and its historic resources. Thinking about this makes me bullish on the state and bearish on splitting.

    When my mother passed away in 2010, we flew home to Santa Rosa, a little north of San Francisco, for the funeral. I’ve always considered Santa Rosa my hometown. It’s where my parents grew up and met; where my four grandparents and two great-grandmothers lived, worked, and are buried; and where cousins, aunts, and uncles still live. Much had changed in the area, but the places I loved most had not. We drove to the redwoods along the Russian River and the beach near Bodega. We wandered the Marin Headlands and sampled the Italian cuisine in Occidental, a hidden gem of a town tucked quietly in the Coastal Range.

    Back again in 2016 to celebrate my father’s eightieth birthday in Palm Desert, we revisited the places that my wife and I had always appreciated in Southern California, specifically in Orange County, where we lived after we got married, such as the marina at Dana Point (my wife’s favorite) and the mission in San Juan Capistrano (mine).

    But it’s not just the scenery—it’s something deeper, a spirit of the place. I’m reminded of how, starting around when the American colonists were arguing with the British, St. Junipero Serra and his band of Franciscan friars erected a series of mission outposts, from San Diego north to Sonoma. Some of these missions are now state parks; some are still operating as Catholic churches. It’s often been said that reading California place names is like praying the litany of saints, and preserving and reflecting on the missions in California is an important way of understanding the historic unity of the state.

    Across the decades, from these missions to the 1848 discovery of gold in the Sierras to the relocation of the entertainment industry from New York to Hollywood to the growth of Silicon Valley, California has been fertile ground for innovation and discovery and has brought both good and ill—mostly good, fortunately—to the world.

    Living in the Midwest, I smile when someone tells me how crazy or immoral California is. As right as they may be (up to a point), I think of the many ways my beloved Flyover Country has benefited from California—whether it’s the wine we drink, the movie we just saw, or the smartphone in our pocket. I think of the many famous Californians who did great things despite their flaws.

    Splitting California will not fix it. More promising are the innovation and unity that span the state and tie it together like the California Aqueduct itself. Every county and community has a role to play, and their roles are as diverse as the counties themselves.

    Californians should reflect on their state’s cultural backbone as well, and look to the missions, which some in the state deride as dark-age dungeons to be destroyed, and call on the litany of their saints for help—especially those powerful intercessors for the two major cities, Our Lady Queen of Angels and St. Francis of Assisi. I am sure these two are kept busy interceding on behalf of the cities’ residents; for they surely know that, in the end, what ails California cannot be solved by politics. The real healing lies elsewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. “is is” is funny-looking but grammatically correct in that context. “What there is” functions as a noun phrase followed by the verb “is”. “What there is is…” is equivalent to “What exists is…”.

    There are plenty of Trump tweets with derision-worthy spelling and grammar, but this isn’t one of them.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Another American institution caves to the left. Now they can join the Girl Scouts in going full on left wing and just embrace the perversion. Now the perverts will be welcome back into leadership and the exploitation of kids will begin anew. And people are cheering for it. Sad.


    “Don’t assume their gender anymore.

    In an effort to be more inclusive, the Boy Scouts of America are dropping the “Boy” in their name altogether. Last October, the Boy Scouts unanimously voted to begin allowing girls to join, starting in 2018. And today, the program announced they’re rebranding as the Scouts BSA.

    “We wanted to land on something that evokes the past but also conveys the inclusive nature of the program going forward,” Boy Scouts Chief Scout Executive Mike Surbaugh said. “We’re trying to find the right way to say we’re here for both young men and young women.”

    The change will take effect in February 2018, around the same time girls will be allowed to start joining the Scouts.”


  17. Sure….

    What could possibly go wrong? 🙄


    “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Tuesday that the company is rolling out a program rating the trustworthiness of news organizations based on user feedback.

    Content will be ranked and either promoted or suppressed depending on its performance according to surveys filled out by Facebook members.”


  18. Why keep up the charade?

    Just give him his own show, put ’em both on payroll, and be done with it.


    “CNN has exhibited a fetish for the Stormy Daniels story, particularly for her Trump-smacking lawyer, Michael Avenatti. In less than two months (from March 7 to April 30), Avenatti has been a guest on CNN a total of 59 times – an average of more than once per day.

    MRC analysts combed through transcripts of all of CNN’s 2018 coverage looking for references to interviews with Avenatti, and then double-checked using our video archive. Since Avenatti’s first appearance on March 7, he has been interviewed on CNN a whopping 59 times, more than one-third of which (19) were with Anderson Cooper — who, of course, interviewed Stormy Daniels on CBS’s 60 Minutes back in March.

    By comparison, CNN hosted House Democrat Adam Schiff (CA) – who had been a favorite of the network – ten times during the months of March and April. That would be a generous portion of airtime for any politician, but it was barely one-sixth the exposure granted to a lawyer overwhelmingly known for representing a porn star.”


  19. Nice.

    He runs his mouth, people take him up on his invitation, and now someone else is to blame for the mess his mouth created.

    Typical liberal.


    “Over the weekend we looked at a spot of trouble that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has run into on the illegal immigration front. There are significant numbers of primarily Nigerian “tourists” who are obtaining visitor visas to come to the United States and then promptly heading to an obscure, unofficial border crossing on the northern end of New York state. Once there, they cross into Canada illegally and request refugee status. Up until now, the Canadians have claimed it as a point of pride to quickly accept and resettle the new arrivals while bashing President Trump for his “immigrant unfriendly” policies. But now Canada is running out of room and resources to take them all in and the Prime Minister would like us to do a better job of screening them.

    That announcement provoked a lot of questions for Trudeau in his country’s Parliament yesterday. People were demanding answers as to how the situation has gotten so far out of hand and what Trudeau planned to do about it. All he seemed to have for an answer is that it’s the fault of the United States. (Reuters)

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his ministers faced questions in parliament on Tuesday a day after Reuters reported that Canada wants the legal authority to turn back thousands of asylum seekers crossing the border illegally.

    A Canadian official familiar with the matter told Reuters that Canada wants to amend a bilateral agreement to allow it to block border-crossing refugee claimants but that the United States is not cooperating.

    Under the Safe Third Country Agreement, or STCA, asylum seekers who arrive at a formal Canada-U.S. border crossing going in either direction are turned back and told to apply for asylum in the first country they arrived in.

    Canada wants the agreement rewritten to apply to the entire border.”

    Yeah, it sure sucks when your southern neighbors won’t work with you to fix a problem, huh? Hey, governing is hard.


  20. For the time being, at least, the girls in Boy Scouts are in their own packs, not mixed in with the boys.


  21. Kevin, Look at the last “is”. Look at the number of items following. It is a humorous and odd construction. I think it should be “is are”. Look at your example: “what exist are …”

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Since Kevin D. Williamson left, David French is the best writer at NR. This article details the religious gap among white and minority Democrats.


  23. A great first step toward peace. 🙂


    “According to a report in the Financial Times, North Korea released three American detainees. Kim Dong Chul, Kim Hak-song, Kim Sang Duk (aka Tony Kim) were released from labor camps and sent to Pyongyang for medical treatment.

    The release complies with one of President Trump’s requests prior to the upcoming summit.”

    Liked by 1 person

  24. An interesting supplement to my 9:36 post.


  25. Like

  26. Kayne West jumped the sharked when accosted Taylor Swift. He’s been a walking punchline ever since. Like other hasbeens, Nugent, Baio, etc he’s hitched his fading star to the Republicans in attempt to be relevant.


  27. Not a fan of Trudeau but I do approve of his refugee policy and as do a slight majority of Canadians. However Trump needs to remember the loophole goes both ways.


  28. HRW, After my son heard today that Alex Jones had more backers than Ben Shapiro in their little feud, he was looking fondly at Alberta and British Columbia. I still like Chile, but if Trump actually starts a trade war, you will see a jump in immigrants from the US.


  29. Ricky, you may be right. I thought about the plural items following “What there is is” and wondered if it should be “What there is are”, which sounds even weirder to me. “Is” is sometimes used to equate a singular in front of it with a plural after it. A more clear example would be, “The school is a place to learn for the students and a place to teach for the teachers.” “The school” is singular so “is” is appropriate, even though what follows is plural. In the above case I guess the question is what “What there is” is. If “What there is” is singular, then “is” is right. But if “What there is” is plural, then “are” is right. Or maybe “What there is” is so unclear in number that it should take its cue from what follows, in which case “What there is are…” is right.

    Stream of consciousness in the middle of the night…

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Kevin, I woke up also. Good analysis. I hope you are now back asleep and that I will soon be also.


  31. Kevin, I’m still awake, so I will try again to analyze the sentence. I think the problem can be seen in the first five words: “What there is is negotiations” More follows, but is superfluous. ‘There are negotiations” is correct, but “There is negotiations” is not. I believe that you are correct that “What there is” is unclear in number so takes its cue from what follows as does “There”. For example: “There is one” and “There are twenty”. Now I am sleepy. Good night.

    Liked by 1 person

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