17 thoughts on “News/Politics 1-8-20

  1. Poor Andrea needs a new talking point, as do others pushing this.


    “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shot down a question from NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell Tuesday morning after she asked him if he planned to push back on President Trump’s threat to attack Iranian cultural sites.

    Mitchell cited Trump’s call to target the cultural sites if the country hits American targets, noting that U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper had pushed back on the idea because it would violate “the laws of armed conflict.”

    “I’m wondering whether you would also push back in your advice or in your role,” Mitchell asked during a press conference with the secretary of state.

    “You’re not really wondering, Andrea,” Pompeo responded breezily. “You’re not really wondering. I was unambiguous on Sunday. It is completely consistent with what the president has said.”

    “We will take — every action we take will be consistent with the international rule of law,” he continued. “The American people can rest assured that that’s the case.”

    Pompeo argued that it is the Iranian government—not the U.S.— that has done serious damage to Persian culture by denying religious and cultural freedoms with their oppressive regime.

    “Let me tell you what’s done damage to the Persian culture. It’s not the United States of America. It’s the Ayatollah,” Pompeo said. “If you want to look at who has denied religious freedom, if you want to know who has denied the Persian culture which is rich and steeped in history and intellect, and they’ve denied the capacity for that culture to continue.”

    The Sec. of State also pointed out that Iran denies its citizens the right to celebrate certain holidays and mourn the deaths of family members killed by the regime.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. And since I brought up oppressive regimes….


    “Xi’s China Ends 2019 With The Worst Religious Persecution In The Country’s History

    Increased religious persecution in China has failed to curtail the growing number of Christians, which has reached more than 100 million today — more than the 90 million members of the Chinese Communist Party.”

    “Dec. 30, 2019, was a day when people who live in the free world were busy planning ahead and getting ready for New Year’s Eve celebrations. But for China’s outspoken Wang Yi, the founding pastor of China’s most famous house church, the Early Rain Covenant Church, there was no such celebration. After being detained by Chinese authorities for more than a year without an actual charge, in a closed-door legal proceeding Wang was sentenced to nine years in prison for trumped up convictions of “inciting subversion of state power” and “illegal business activities.”

    Throughout the proceeding, Wang’s lawyer wasn’t allowed to defend him. In addition to jail time, Wang will be stripped of his political rights for four years, and the Chinese government will confiscate about $7,000 worth of his personal assets. According to Bob Fu, president of China Aid, a U.S.-based nonprofit organization advocating for basic rights of Chinese Christians, Wang’s sentence is the harshest of any house church leaders in China.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And yet some people think we shoud bow to China at every turn.

    Nonsense. Point out who they really are.


    “The Deadly Cost of ‘Free’ Trade

    A growing pile of studies and a growing pile of corpses show that the debate over trade—specifically trade with Red China—cannot be limited to a dissection of economic indices, profit and loss statements, and “increased shareholder value.””

    “The debate over trade largely has been framed in economic terms. We’re told consumers will pay more for—well, you name it—because of President Trump’s tariffs (even though the data show inflation is nonexistent). But a new study shows that trade policies do exact a steep price on Americans.

    We are paying for it with American lives. But it’s for previous administrations’ trade policies.

    A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association examined 112 counties near automobile plants, primarily in the industrial Midwest and South, from 1999 to 2016. A quarter of the counties were near a plant that closed. Researchers compared overdose deaths before and after plant closures.

    Opioid overdose deaths in counties where automobile plants had closed were 85 percent higher than in counties where they hadn’t.

    The study’s “findings highlight the potential importance of eroding economic opportunity as a factor in the U.S. opioid overdose crisis,” the authors conclude. “From 1999 to 2016, automotive assembly plant closures were associated with increases in opioid overdose mortality.”

    The study found non-Hispanic white men suffered the largest increase in overdose deaths.

    This is in line with previous studies that found a correlation between deindustrialization and mortality rates, with a sharper increase in mortality rates among blue-collar white men.

    Americans were surprised when the Centers for Disease Control revealed American life expectancy in 2015 fell, and fell fastest for white blue-collar men and women.

    This is the demographic group hit hardest by the decision to offshore our factories to China and other cheap foreign labor camps.

    The study’s lead author, Dr. Atheendar Venkataramani, professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, says he was “interested in the link between the American dream and America’s health, namely that the fading American dream actually has population health consequences.”

    He told the New York Times, “It’s an unfortunate natural experiment when you have a disintegration of an industry like this through plant closures in that it allows us to understand what the consequences of those negative events are.”

    The experiment is not “natural” in that the “disintegration of an industry” is the result of policy choices made by humans.

    And it shows free trade is literally killing us.”


  4. At least someone is trying to do something about it.


    “U.S. Hits Lowest Trade Deficit in Three Years After Decrease in Chinese Imports

    The U.S. saw its deficit with China go down “$2.2 billion in November…””

    “The Commerce Department announced today that the U.S. has hit its lowest trade deficit in three years with a decline in imports from China.

    From The Wall Street Journal:

    The foreign-trade gap in goods and services contracted 8.2% from the prior month to a seasonally adjusted $43.09 billion in November, the department said.

    That was the lowest goods and services deficit since it hit $42 billion in October 2016.

    Exports boost GDP while imports reduce it, and Tuesday’s report suggests trade is likely to make a large positive contribution to economic growth in the fourth quarter, after proving a mild drag in the third quarter. Net exports subtracted 0.14 percentage point from the third quarter’s 2.1% GDP growth rate, compared with a 0.68 percentage point drag in the second quarter.

    “Over the past year we’ve seen trade being a small drag on the economy” due to weak global growth and the trade war, said Andrew Hunter, an economist at Capital Economics. “It looks like that drag’s starting to fade” as global activity picks up and trade tensions with China ease.”


  5. The Fundamental Question Is: Why Is America Still In The Middle East?


    “D.C.’s hysteria is dangerous. The strike wasn’t necessarily wrong, but the president must tread carefully. Too much of D.C. wants him not to.”

    “D.C. is all worked up over the killing of Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s top military operator. Democrats, driven by anti-Trump madness, have taken to eulogizing Soleimani. That’s insane. Meanwhile, D.C. Republicans are ecstatic about the killing.

    Soleimani certainly deserved it. During the heyday of the Shiite uprising in Iraq, his forces were responsible for bombs that killed countless American servicemembers. It’s good that he is dead.

    Soleimani was hit because Iranian proxies were behind recent attacks in Iraq, including one that killed an American contractor. The White House hopes this will warn Iran that America means business, and that Iran will cease its meddling in Iraq and stand down. Middle America hopes this is exactly what happens.

    But D.C.’s hysteria is dangerous. The strike wasn’t necessarily wrong, but the president must tread carefully. Too much of D.C. wants him not to.

    One side is too often blinded by a hysteria about the president that precludes a rational discussion. The other side has extreme hawkishness on Iran that the American people don’t match. People can celebrate Soleimani’s death, but many of the hawks in D.C. hope there’s more to come, and will push for it.

    The Middle East’s Reality
    Shiite Muslim Iran is next door to Iraq, of which 60 percent is Shiite. Some on Twitter posted videos of Iraqis celebrating in the streets about the Soleimani strike. Except these Iraqis are likely Sunnis, who make up around 30 percent of Iraq’s population. Much of the Shiite portion is furious at Soleimani’s death.

    America is on a sectarian landmine. The big picture in the Middle East is that Shia Muslims and Sunni Muslims are locked in a 1,400 year-old civil war between the two main branches of Islam. What America has been doing in the Middle East for the last two decades, wittingly or not, is taking sides in this civil war, which could last a thousand more years. If America is sucked into open war with Iran, we would be explicitly taking a side in this religious war. But taking a side is a false choice, especially given America’s newfound energy independence.

    Iran is an evil regime, but the United States’s allies in the Middle East—including Saudi Arabia and Qatar—are all unsavory Sunni countries. Iran has not chiefly funded an organization that did mass beheadings, raped Yazidis, and drowned Christians. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and North Atlantic Treaty Organization member Turkey have. Beltway types talk about Iran being the number-one state sponsor of terror, when all the terror groups Americans have heard of—including al Qaeda and ISIS—are Sunni, and associated with our Sunni allies.”


    Time to grab our @#$# and ‘git. Leave them to their sectarian war.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Again you mean….


    “Media Beclowns Itself Spreading Fake News and Anti-Trump Propaganda During Iranian Missile Attack”

    “As Iranian missiles rained down on U.S. military targets in Iraq Tuesday night, two cable news outlets, MSNBC and CNN, spread fake news that suggested that the damage was worse than it was.

    The Pentagon confirmed that Tehran fired more than 12 ballistic missiles targeting two military bases used by US and coalition forces in Iraq.

    During a broadcast of Hardball on MSNBC, NBC News Tehran bureau chief Ali Arouzi parroted Iranian state media propaganda claiming erroneously that Iranian rockets had killed 30 American soldiers.

    “The IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] was saying that Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader of this country, was in the control center coordinating these attacks,” Arouzi told anchor Chris Matthews. “This bit I’m not sure about but Iran state media says 30 U.S. soldiers have been killed in this attack. This is not confirmed, it’s just coming from Iranian media.”

    “This is drawing people from all sides into this what is potentially the beginning of a war, Chris,” Arouzi added. “I don’t know how this is going to go in the coming hours, but it’s not looking good from the rhetoric that came out from President Trump earlier today saying that he will retaliate against any retaliation from Iran. I think we can expect an attack on Iran imminently.”

    In truth, there were no American casualties, and Middle East experts are speculating that the attack may have been a symbolic strike designed to allow Iran to save face.”


    Lying to their viewers yet again.

    Liked by 2 people



    “At Power Line, we sometimes refer to the Washington Post as an adjunct of the Democratic Party. To an even greater degree, the Post is an adjunct of official Washington — the cadre of career bureaucrats and former officials who consider it their God given right to set policy, regardless of what elected officials desire. (There is, of course, considerable overlap between official Washington and the Democratic Party).

    Thus, it’s not surprising that a few minutes after I read Steve’s post called “Trump’s sin: Conducting foreign policy without permission,” I read this Washington Post story called “Trump is short on advisers, allies as he faces Iran crisis.” In this article, the Post argues, in essence, that Trump is committing the sin of conducting foreign policy without permission.

    The Post’s article is silly. A president who lacks good foreign policy instincts can have all the advisers in the world. It won’t help. Similarly, a president with good instincts doesn’t need many advisers.

    President Trump is getting his advice mainly from Secretary of State Pompeo, whom he trusts. If Trump and Pompeo know what they are doing — and I think they do — we will be just fine. If they don’t, all the additional advisers in the world won’t help.

    This is not to say that Trump doesn’t need the help of government employees. For example, he needs intelligence from the CIA and other such agencies.

    He is getting it. The administration relied on CIA intelligence when it decided to take out Gen. Soleimani.

    The Post attacks Trump for having criticized the CIA. But much of Trump’s criticism has been of its leadership, not of the rank and file employees who collect and analyze intelligence.”


  8. Just a reminder, since half the country is blinded to the facts by their partisan hate…..

    From someone who knows first hand.


    “I Faced Soleimani’s Forces; Dems Are Mourning a War Criminal”

    “As someone who went toe-to-toe with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Afghanistan, I can assure you that Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani got exactly what he deserved when he perished in a U.S. drone strike. What he certainly doesn’t deserve is praise from Democrat lawmakers who would rather mourn a war criminal than credit President Trump for making the world safer.

    As the leader of the IRGC’s Quds Force, which has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. government, Soleimani was among America’s most vociferous and aggressive foes. He was personally responsible for the deaths of thousands, including the killing and maiming of hundreds of American soldiers. He was an evil, remorseless man, and his death is a positive development for the entire world — including his own country.

    Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, however, is currently considering a resolution that labels the strike that killed Soleimani “provocative and disproportionate,” and even seeks to curtail the president’s ability to respond to future Iranian aggression. Death, no matter the manner it is dealt to a terrorist who has planned and engaged in the murder of Americans, is never “disproportionate” — it is necessary.

    Predictably, the Democrats have been stoking fears about Iran’s potential response ever since they’ve learned about Soleimani’s death, pretending that the strike jeopardized U.S. security rather than enhanced it. It seems no liberal lawmaker is immune to the lure of political opportunism in the midst of a presidential election campaign.

    Sen. Bernie Sanders, for instance, argued that the targeted killing of Soleimani was an “assassination,” adding that the airstrike “brings us closer to another disastrous war in the Middle East that could cost countless lives and trillions more dollars.” Rep. Ilhan Omar issued a similar condemnation, claiming that the Democrats are “outraged the president would assassinate a foreign official.”

    But while the Democrats join our enemies in mourning Soleimani’s demise, those with knowledge of Soleimani’s terror campaigns are celebrating the death of a genuine war criminal.

    As I saw firsthand, the IRGC has long promoted terrorist tactics against the United States, sowing chaos and destruction across the Middle East. My own interrogation of an IRGC terror enabler in 2003 revealed that the Iranian government was funding terrorist operations against U.S. troops in Afghanistan. These operations were being directed by Soleimani himself, yet previous administrations refused to act on intelligence that would have allowed us to take him out far sooner.

    That inaction allowed Soleimani and his soldiers to cause mayhem across the Middle East, carrying out assassinations, arming U.S. adversaries, and killing hundreds of American soldiers in Iraq. Soleimani even plotted a failed terrorist operation to assassinate a Saudi official in Washington, D.C. — an act that would have likely led to countless civilian deaths right in our nation’s capital.

    Had it not been for the timely strike ordered by President Trump, Soleimani would have carried out further atrocities against U.S. troops and American interests — including an “imminent” attack that the administration claims Soleimani was preparing to launch at the time of his death.”


  9. Chas,


    “A Ukrainian Boeing-737 carrying 176 people has crashed in Iran and officials say there is no chance of finding survivors.

    Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 to Kyiv went down after taking off from Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran at 06:12 local time (02:42 GMT).

    The majority of passengers were from Iran and Canada.

    Ukraine’s Tehran embassy initially blamed engine failure but later removed the statement.

    It said any comment regarding the cause of the accident prior to a commission’s inquiry was not official. Iranian media blamed technical problems and quoted an aviation official who said no emergency had been declared.”

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The Epic Showdown has begun……

    One tells you flat out it’s satire, and folks still don’t believe it, or they aren’t witty enough to get it.

    The other pretends it’s real news, when it rarely is.

    The question of who has the fakest news will finally be decided….. 🙂


    “CNN fighting with Babylon Bee over who has the fakest news

    The Babylon Bee is an openly satire site. CNN is not, but it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference.”

    “CNN has been racing to the ratings bottom for years now, and their latest ridiculous attacks on the satiric website the Babylon Bee are sure to help them along the way.

    The wildly popular Christian satire site has come under fire from CNN before, but this time, it’s CNN that reads like satire.”


  11. Admit it, some days it’s like you’re caught in the filming of the next Sharknado sequel. There’s some much media shark jumping going on out there that I keep waiting for Ian Ziering to show up with a chainsaw. 🙂

    Yikes. 🙂

    Here’s some examples……

    CNN Gives Platform To Spokeswoman For The 1979 US Embassy Hostage-Takers To Push Iran Propaganda

    NYT’s Nicholas Kristof speculated last night that Iran ‘deliberately hit empty ground.’ Satellite photos show he was wrong

    CNN turns to Iranian hostage-taker to serve as on-air expert of the Mid-East conflict and be critical of President Trump

    ‘Unreal’: CNN brings viewers up to speed with missile strike story by passing along unverified video from Iran state media


    Everything you think you know is wrong.

    Or CNN is……. 🙂

    MSNBC got in on it too…..

    ‘Stunning you’re defending this’: Chris Hayes spins like the wind after MSNBC gets slammed for spreading Iranian propaganda

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Can’t believe I missed this one…..

    NBC News streams live coverage ‘as Gen. Qassem Soleimani is buried in his hometown of Kerman, Iran’


  13. Oh boy.

    This type of thing could lead to an escalation, if true.


    “It Looks Increasingly Likely That Iran Accidentally Shot Down That Ukrainian Airliner”



  14. Like

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