Liberty & Capitalism = Free Will


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Why Regulations are definitely a factor in the decline of Entrepreneurship

This was originally posted 3 years ago — but underscores the importance of Trump succeeding in his efforts on this front.


Regulations are definitely a factor.

Small businesses, (how most new ones start out), simply can’t keep up with the paperwork required by law today. I would list all the stupid regulations and taxes and filing requirements, but it would bore you, and if you pay attention to this topic, you already know how bad it really is. Just one example, I can’t help it, in Maryland recently, they passed a rain tax, on every business with asphalt parking lots. (Basically.)

This kind of stupidity on the part of government is very dangerous. My 50 year old, little Exxon gas station had nothing to do with the problem, or even the rationale behind fixing it inherent in this law, but bypassed all that reality and tried to put this burden on me, not Exxon, not society, not the government.

The rain tax law would have hurt the one entity in the…

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Nikki Haley Brilliantly examines IRAN & JCPOA

Nikki Haley Brilliantly examines IRAN & JCPOA

Nikki Haley is a national asset.

This brilliant, thorough and candid look at Iran, it’s history, and it’s leaders — which she delivered this week, and released this text copy — Is ALSO candid about U.S. failures concerning this critical country – AND should be handed out at Trump’s next Cabinet meeting, and/or staff meeting, with a warning from Trump himself – “This is what I want work down by this office to look like.”

He would continue sternly – “No more late night interviews with hostile press where every other word starts with the letter F. Look at this speech by Ms. Haley, sitting here today and imagine you work for her and ask yourself – “Would I hand in the next document your department and/or desk is planning to release — to Ms. Haley for approval? If not, fix it. Make it that good.”

Trump would then finish up campaign style – “I want to Make America Great Again and that starts here, we need to make the American people proud of us and Ms. Haley has done that.”

Here are Ms. Haley’s remarks:

I am here today to speak about Iran and the 2015 nuclear agreement. This is a topic that should concern all Americans as it has a serious impact on our national security and the security of the world. It’s a topic that comes up frequently at the United Nations.

And it’s a topic we have been looking at carefully, including recently visiting with the Iran nuclear monitors at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.

We were impressed by the IAEA team and its efforts. Director General Amano is a very capable diplomat, and he is a serious person who clearly understands the critical nature of his task. In our discussion, Amano made an observation that stood out to me. He said that monitoring Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal is like a jigsaw puzzle. Picking up just one piece does not give you the full picture.

That’s a very appropriate metaphor and it goes well beyond the work of the IAEA. It goes to the entire way we must look at Iranian behavior and American security interests.

Many observers miss that point. They think, “Well, as long as Iran is meeting the limits on enriched uranium and centrifuges, then it’s complying with the deal.”

That’s not true. This is a jigsaw puzzle.

Next month, President Trump will once again be called upon to declare whether he finds Iran in compliance with the terms of the deal. It should be noted that this requirement to assess compliance does not come from the deal itself.

It was created by Congress in the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act, also known as the Corker-Cardin law. That’s a very important distinction to keep in mind, because many people confuse the requirements of the deal with the requirements of U.S. law.

I am not going to prejudge in any way what the President is going to decide next month. While I have discussed it with him, I do not know what decision he will make. It is his decision to make, and his alone.

It’s a complicated question. The truth is, the Iran deal has so many flaws that it’s tempting to leave it. But, the deal was constructed in a way that makes leaving it less attractive. It gave Iran what it wanted up-front, in exchange for temporary promises to deliver what we want.

That’s not good.

Iran was feeling the pinch of international sanctions in a big, big way. In the two years before the deal was signed, Iran’s GDP actually shrunk by more than four percent. In the two years since the deal, and the lifting of sanctions, Iran’s GDP has grown by nearly five percent. That’s a great deal for them. What we get from the deal is much less clear.

I am here to outline some of the critical considerations that must go into any analysis of Iranian compliance. And I hope to debunk some of the misperceptions about the decision the President will face next month.

The question of Iranian compliance is not as straight forward as many people believe. It’s not just about the technical terms of the nuclear agreement. It requires a much more thorough look.

Iranian compliance involves three different pillars. The first is the nuclear agreement itself, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA.

The second pillar is UN Security Council Resolution 2231, which endorsed the nuclear deal, but also restricted numerous other Iranian behaviors.

And the third pillar is the Corker-Cardin law, which governs the President’s relationship with Congress as it relates to Iran policy.

Before diving into these details, it’s important to lay a foundation for exactly what we’re dealing with when we talk about the Iranian regime.

Judging any international agreement begins and ends with the nature of the government that signed it. Does it respect international law? Can it be trusted to abide by its commitments? Is the agreement strong enough to withstand the regime’s attempts to cheat? Given these answers, is the agreement in the national interests of the United States?

The Islamic Republic of Iran was born in an act of international lawbreaking.
On November 4, 1979, a group of Islamic revolutionary students overran the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. In violation of international law, they held 52 American Marines and diplomats hostage for 444 days.

For the 38 years since, the Iranian regime has existed outside the community of law-abiding nations. Henry Kissinger famously said that Iran can’t decide whether it is a nation or a cause.

Since 1979, the regime has behaved like a cause – the cause of spreading revolutionary Shiite Islam by force. Its main enemy and rallying point has been and continues to be what it calls the Great Satan . . . the United States of America.

And the regime’s main weapon in pursuit of its revolutionary aims has been the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC.

Soon after the revolution, the IRGC was created to protect the revolution from its foreign and domestic enemies. The IRGC reported, not to the elected government, but to the Supreme Leader alone.

Soon after its own creation, the IRGC founded Hezbollah to spread Iran’s
influence and its revolution abroad.

Then came the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Beirut in 1983. 63 Americans were killed.

Then came the bombing of the Marine barracks. 241 Americans killed.

Then the kidnapping and murder of CIA station chief William Buckley.

In 1985, a TWA airplane was hijacked. The body of a U.S. Navy diver was dumped on the runway at the Beirut airport.

In 1988, U.S. Marine Colonel Robert Higgins, a UN peacekeeper in South Lebanon, was kidnapped and executed.

Under the IRGC’s direction, Hezbollah then expanded its lethal reach to Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas in search of victims to kill.

In 1994, a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires was bombed. 85 killed.

In 1996, a truck bomb blew up Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. Nineteen U.S. airmen killed.

Throughout the Iraq war, the number one killer of U.S. troops was improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, the deadliest of which were supplied by the IRGC. Thousands of American men and women were wounded or killed.

In 2005, Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated.

In 2011, the U.S. disrupted an IRGC plot to bomb an American restaurant less than two miles from here. The target was the Saudi Ambassador.

Today Hezbollah is doing the Iranian regime’s dirty work supporting the war crimes of Syria’s Assad. And it is building an arsenal of weapons and battle-hardened fighters in Lebanon in preparation for war.

This is the nature of the regime, and its quest to overturn the international order. Its power and influence has grown over time, even as it remains unaccountable to the Iranian people. It’s hard to find a conflict or a suffering people in the Middle East that the Iranian regime, the IRGC, or its proxies do not touch.

In parallel with its support for terrorism and proxy wars, Iran’s military has long pursued nuclear weapons, all while attempting to hide its intentions.
For decades, the Iranian military conducted a covert nuclear weapons program, undeclared and hidden from international inspectors. In 2002, Iranian dissidents revealed the existence of a uranium enrichment plant and heavy water reactor – both violations of Iran’s safeguards agreement with the IAEA.

The regime went on to break multiple promises to abide by international inspections and limits. It hid its nuclear weapons development and lied about it until it got caught.

In 2009, American, British, and French intelligence revealed the existence of a secret uranium enrichment plant deep inside a mountain, deep inside an IRGC base. The British Prime Minister summed up Iran’s behavior well, calling it, quote, “the serial deception of many years.”

It was soon after this that President Obama began negotiating a deal with Iran. The deal he struck wasn’t supposed to be just about nuclear weapons. It was meant to be an opening with Iran; a welcoming back into the community of nations.

President Obama believed that after decades of hostility to the U.S., the Iranian regime was willing to negotiate an end to its nuclear program.
Much has been written about the JCPOA. I won’t repeat it all here. Let’s just say that the agreement falls short of what was promised.

We were promised an “end” to the Iranian nuclear program. What emerged was not an end, but a pause. Under the deal, Iran will continue to enrich uranium and develop advanced centrifuges.

We were promised “anytime, anywhere” inspections of sites in Iran. The final agreement delivered much less. The promised 24/7 inspections apply only to Iran’s “declared” nuclear sites. For any undeclared but suspected sites, the regime can deny access for up to 24 days. Then there’s the deal’s expiration dates.

After ten years, the limits on uranium, advanced centrifuges, and other nuclear restrictions begin to evaporate. And in less than ten years, they have the opportunity to upgrade their capabilities in various ways.

The JCPOA is, therefore, a very flawed and very limited agreement. But even so, Iran has been caught in multiple violations over the past year and a half.

In February 2016 – just a month after the agreement was implemented – the IAEA discovered Iran had exceeded its allowable limit of heavy water. Nine months later, Iran exceeded the heavy water limit again. Both times, the Obama Administration helped Iran get back into compliance and refused to declare it a violation.

If that’s not enough, the biggest concern is that Iranian leaders – the same ones who in the past were caught operating a covert nuclear program at military sites – have stated publicly that they will refuse to allow IAEA inspections of their military sites.

How can we know Iran is complying with the deal, if inspectors are not allowed to look everywhere they should look?

Another major flaw in the JCPOA is its penalty provisions. Whether an Iranian violation is big or small – whether it is deemed to be material or non-material – the deal provides for only one penalty. That penalty is the re-imposition of sanctions.

And if sanctions are re-imposed, Iran is then freed from all the commitments it made.

Think about that. There is an absurdly circular logic to enforcement of this deal. Penalizing its violations don’t make the deal stronger, they blow it up.
Iran’s leaders know this. They are counting on the world brushing off relatively minor infractions, or even relatively major ones. They are counting on the United States and the other parties to the agreement being so invested in its success that they overlook Iranian cheating. That is exactly what our previous administration did.

It is this unwillingness to challenge Iranian behavior, for fear of damaging the nuclear agreement, that gets to the heart of the threat the deal poses to our national security.

The Iranian nuclear deal was designed to be too big to fail.

The deal drew an artificial line between the Iranian regime’s nuclear development and the rest of its lawless behavior. It said “we’ve made this deal on the nuclear side, so none of the regime’s other bad behavior is important enough to threaten the nuclear agreement.”

The result is that for advocates of the deal, everything in our relationship with the Iranian regime must now be subordinated to the preservation of the agreement.

The Iranians understand this dynamic. Just last month, when the United States imposed new sanctions in response to Iranian missile launches, Iran’s leaders threatened once again to leave the JCPOA and return to a nuclear program more advanced than the one they had before the agreement.

This arrogant threat tells us one thing. Iran’s leaders want to use the nuclear deal to hold the world hostage to its bad behavior.

This threat is a perfect example of how judging the regime’s nuclear plans strictly in terms of compliance with the JCPOA is dangerous and short-sighted. More importantly, it misses the point.

Why did we need to prevent the Iranian regime from acquiring nuclear weapons in the first place? The answer has everything to do with the nature of the regime, and the IRGC’s determination to threaten Iran’s neighbors and advance its revolution.

And that is where the other two pillars that connect us to the nuclear deal come into play.

The second pillar directly involves the United Nations.

When the nuclear agreement was signed, the Obama Administration took Iran’s non-nuclear activity – the missile development, the arms smuggling, the terrorism, the support for murderous regimes – and rolled it up into one UN Security Council resolution – 2231.

Critically, included in this supposed “non-nuclear” activity is the IRGC’s ongoing development of ballistic missile technology. You can call it “non-nuclear” all you want – missile technology cannot be separated from pursuit of a nuclear weapon.

North Korea is showing the world that right now.

Every six months, the UN Secretary General reports to the Security Council on the Iranian regime’s compliance with this so-called “non-nuclear” resolution.
Each report is filled with devastating evidence of Iranian violations. Proven arms smuggling. Violations of travel bans. Ongoing support for terrorism. Stoking of regional conflicts.

The Secretary General’s report also includes ample evidence of ballistic missile technology and launches. The regime has engaged in such launches repeatedly, including in July of this year when it launched a rocket into space that intelligence experts say can be used to develop intercontinental ballistic missile technology.

They are clearly acting in defiance of UN Resolution 2231 by developing missile technology capable of deploying nuclear warheads.

Unfortunately, as happens all too often at the UN, many member states choose to ignore blatant violations of the UN’s own resolutions.

In this way, we see how dangerously these two pillars of Iran policy work together: The international community has powerful incentives to go out of its way to assert that the Iranian regime is in “compliance” on the nuclear side. Meanwhile, the UN is too reluctant to address the regime’s so-called non-nuclear violations.

The result is that Iran’s military continues its march toward the missile technology to deliver a nuclear warhead. And the world becomes a more dangerous place.

That’s where the third pillar of our Iran nuclear policy comes in: The Corker-Cardin law.

As you recall, President Obama refused to submit the Iran deal to Congress as a treaty. He knew full well that Congress would have rejected it. In fact, majorities in both houses of Congress voted against the deal.

Among the NO votes were leading Democrats like Senators Chuck Schumer, Ben Cardin, and Bob Menendez.

Despite President Obama’s constitutionally questionable dodge of Congress, the legislative body did attempt to exercise some of its authority with passage of the Corker-Cardin law.

The law requires that the President make a certification to Congress every ninety days. But, importantly, the law asks the President to certify several things, not just one. The first is that Iran has not materially breached the JCPOA. That’s the one everyone focuses on.

But the Corker-Cardin law also requires something else; something that is often overlooked. It asks the President to certify that the suspension of sanctions against Iran is appropriate and proportionate to Iran’s nuclear measures, and that it is vital to the national security interests of the United States.

So regardless of whether one considers Iran’s violations of the JCPOA to have been material, and regardless of whether one considers Iran’s flouting of the UN resolution on its ballistic missile technology to be “non-nuclear,” U.S. law requires the President to also look at whether the Iran deal is appropriate, proportionate, and in our national security interests.

Corker-Cardin asks us to put together the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle.
Under its structure, we must consider not just the Iranian regime’s technical violations of the JCPOA, but also its violations of Resolution 2231 and its long history of aggression.

We must consider the regime’s repeated, demonstrated hostility toward the United States.

We must consider its history of deception about its nuclear program.
We must consider its ongoing development of ballistic missile technology.
And we must consider the day when the terms of the JCPOA sunset. That’s a day when Iran’s military may very well already have the missile technology to send a nuclear warhead to the United States – a technology that North Korea only recently developed.

In short, we must consider the whole picture, not simply whether Iran has exceeded the JCPOA’s limit on uranium enrichment. We must consider the whole jigsaw puzzle, not just one of its pieces.

That’s the judgment President Trump will make in October.

And if the President does not certify Iranian compliance, the Corker-Cardin law also tells us what happens next. What happens next is significantly in Congress’s hands.

This is critically important, and almost completely overlooked. If the President chooses not to certify Iranian compliance, that does not mean the United States is withdrawing from the JCPOA.

Withdrawal from the agreement is governed by the terms of the JCPOA. The Corker-Cardin law governs the relationship between the President and Congress.
If the President finds that he cannot certify Iranian compliance, it would signal one or more of the following three messages to Congress. Either the Administration believes Iran is in violation of the deal; or the lifting of sanctions against Iran is not appropriate and proportional to the regime’s behavior; or the lifting of sanctions is not in the U.S. national security interest.

Under the law, Congress then has sixty days to consider whether to re-impose sanctions on Iran.

During that time, Congress could take the opportunity to debate Iran’s support for terrorism, its past nuclear activity, and its massive human rights violations, all of which are called for in Corker-Cardin.

Congress could debate whether the nuclear deal is in fact too big to fail.
We should welcome a debate over whether the JCPOA is in U.S. national security interests. The previous administration set up the deal in a way that denied us that honest and serious debate.

If the President finds that he cannot in good faith certify Iranian compliance, he would initiate a process whereby we move beyond narrow technicalities, and look at the big picture. At issue is our national security. It’s past time we had an Iran nuclear policy that acknowledged that.

Thank you.

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Trump performs a political Miracle

Trump performs a political Miracle

It took a 500-year storm from the Atlantic and a 500-year storm politically, but Trump put the two together to break a nearly mythic log jam in this country and put the middle (not the extremes on either side) of BOTH parties together in a giant coalition funding $15B in Harvey/FEMA aid, and a debt ceiling increase. This is out of the Senate and House as I write this, and on it’s way to the President, yes, I see the limo leaving now…

Some form of this coalition, in short order, will address DACA, health care, and tax reform – not to mention infrastructure.

How can this be? I’ve said all along in this blog, to derisive howls, Trump’s vision of perfect legislation is not a huge Republican win. Trump would prefer bipartisan super majorities made up of big sections from the middle of both parties.

As I wrote here months ago, that’s what winning is to him. He knows his history, he knows legislative initiative’s enacted this way survive, and grow — and all others — no matter the hoopla initially — eventually fail.

If you have not been watching Donald Trump up close, just reading the leftist loony tunes MSM, I urge you, wake up, watch him for one week, you’ll understand, he cares about this country and is trying to do the right thing — and that deserves our respect at a bare minimum.

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Stop Pretending That Orthodox Islam and Violence Aren’t Linked: Top Muslim Scholar


Stop Pretending That Orthodox Islam and Violence Aren’t Linked: Top Muslim Scholar

This piece is MUST reading…

TIME Staff

Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, has a constitution that recognizes other major religions, and practices a syncretic form of Islam that draws on not just the faith’s tenets but local spiritual and cultural traditions. As a result, the nation has long been a voice of, and for, moderation in the Islamic world.

Yet Indonesia is not without its radical elements. Though most are on the fringe, they can add up to a significant number given Indonesia’s 260-million population.

In the early 2000s, the country was terrorized by Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), a homegrown extremist organization allied with al-Qaeda. JI’s deadliest attack was the 2002 Bali bombing that killed 202 people. While JI has been neutralized, ISIS has claimed responsibility for recent, smaller terrorist incidents in the country and has inspired some Indonesians to fight in Syria — Indonesians who could pose a threat when they return home.

The country has also seen the rise of hate groups that preach intolerance and violence against local religious and ethnic minorities, which include Shia and Ahmadiya Muslims.

Among Indonesia’s most influential Islamic leaders is Yahya Cholil Staquf, 51, general secretary of the Nahdlatul Ulama, which, with about 50 million members, is the country’s biggest Muslim organization.

Yahya, who advocates a modern, moderate Islam, recently spoke with the Jakarta-based German academic and correspondent Marco Stahlhut about his religion, radicalism, and the West.

The interview, notable for Yahya’s candor, was first published on Aug. 19 in German in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Here are excerpts translated from the original Bahasa Indonesia into English by Stahlhut and provided by him.

Many Western politicians and intellectuals say that Islamist terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. What is your view?

Western politicians should stop pretending that extremism and terrorism have nothing to do with Islam. There is a clear relationship between fundamentalism, terrorism, and the basic assumptions of Islamic orthodoxy. So long as we lack consensus regarding this matter, we cannot gain victory over fundamentalist violence within Islam.

Radical Islamic movements are nothing new. They’ve appeared again and again throughout our own history in Indonesia. The West must stop ascribing any and all discussion of these issues to “Islamophobia.” Or do people want to accuse me — an Islamic scholar — of being an Islamophobe too?

What basic assumptions within traditional Islam are problematic?

The relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims, the relationship of Muslims with the state, and Muslims’ relationship to the prevailing legal system wherever they live … Within the classical tradition, the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims is assumed to be one of segregation and enmity.

Perhaps there were reasons for this during the Middle Ages, when the tenets of Islamic orthodoxy were established, but in today’s world such a doctrine is unreasonable. To the extent that Muslims adhere to this view of Islam, it renders them incapable of living harmoniously and peacefully within the multi-cultural, multi-religious societies of the 21st century.

A Western politician would likely be accused of racism for saying what you just said.

I’m not saying that Islam is the only factor causing Muslim minorities in the West to lead a segregated existence, often isolated from society as a whole. There may be other factors on the part of the host nations, such as racism, which exists everywhere in the world. But traditional Islam — which fosters an attitude of segregation and enmity toward non-Muslims — is an important factor.

And Muslims and the state?

Within the Islamic tradition, the state is a single, universal entity that unites all Muslims under the rule of one man who leads them in opposition to, and conflict with, the non-Muslim world.

So the call by radicals to establish a caliphate, including by ISIS, is not un-Islamic?

No, it is not. [ISIS’s] goal of establishing a global caliphate stands squarely within the orthodox Islamic tradition. But we live in a world of nation-states. Any attempt to create a unified Islamic state in the 21st century can only lead to chaos and violence … Many Muslims assume there is an established and immutable set of Islamic laws, which are often described as shariah. This assumption is in line with Islamic tradition, but it of course leads to serious conflict with the legal system that exists in secular nation-states.

Any [fundamentalist] view of Islam positing the traditional norms of Islamic jurisprudence as absolute [should] be rejected out of hand as false. State laws [should] have precedence.

How can that be accomplished?

Generations ago, we achieved a de facto consensus in Indonesia that Islamic teachings must be contextualized to reflect the ever-changing circumstances of time and place. The majority of Indonesian Muslims were — and I think still are — of the opinion that the various assumptions embedded within Islamic tradition must be viewed within the historical, political and social context of their emergence in the Middle Ages [in the Middle East] and not as absolute injunctions that must dictate Muslims’ behavior in the present … Which ideological opinions are “correct” is not determined solely by reflection and debate. These are struggles [about who and what is recognized as religiously authoritative]. Political elites in Indonesia routinely employ Islam as a weapon to achieve their worldly objectives.

Is it so elsewhere too?

Too many Muslims view civilization, and the peaceful co-existence of people of different faiths, as something they must combat. Many Europeans can sense this attitude among Muslims.

There’s a growing dissatisfaction in the West with respect to Muslim minorities, a growing fear of Islam. In this sense, some Western friends of mine are “Islamophobic.” They’re afraid of Islam. To be honest, I understand their fear … The West cannot force Muslims to adopt a moderate interpretation of Islam. But Western politicians should stop telling us that fundamentalism and violence have nothing to do with traditional Islam. That is simply wrong.

They don’t want to foster division in their societies between Muslims and non-Muslims, nor contribute to intolerance against Muslims.

I share this desire — that’s a primary reason I’m speaking so frankly. But the approach you describe won’t work. If you refuse to acknowledge the existence of a problem, you can’t begin to solve it. One must identify the problem and explicitly state who and what are responsible for it.

Who and what are responsible?

Over the past 50 years, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have spent massively to promote their ultra-conservative version of Islam worldwide. After allowing this to go unchallenged for so many decades, the West must finally exert decisive pressure upon the Saudis to cease this behavior … I admire Western, especially European, politicians. Their thoughts are so wonderfully humanitarian. But we live in a time when you have to think and act realistically.

The last time I was in Brussels I witnessed some Arab, perhaps North African, youth insult and harass a group of policemen. My Belgian friends remarked that such behavior has become an almost everyday occurrence in their country. Why do you allow such behavior?

What kind if impression does that make? Europe, and Germany in particular, are accepting massive numbers of refugees. Don’t misunderstand me: of course you cannot close your eyes to those in need. But the fact remains that you’re taking in millions of refugees about whom you know virtually nothing, except that they come from extremely problematic regions of the world.

I would guess that you and I agree that there is a far right wing in Western societies that would reject even a moderate, contextualized Islam.

And there’s an extreme left wing whose adherents reflexively denounce any and all talk about the connections between traditional Islam, fundamentalism and violence as de facto proof of Islamophobia. This must end. A problem that is not acknowledged cannot be solved.


Posted in Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Trump and McCain, al Baghdadi killed, Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Disinformation is a threat to our Democracy, Iran, Iranian Nuclear Deal, Iranian Nuclear deal Whip Count, ISIL, ISIS, Islamic Terrorism, Israel, Jewish Community, Jewish Electorate, Muslim Religion itself a Threat, Qassem Soleimani, Sadiq Khan is a Terrorist, Sharia law, Stop Pretending That Orthodox Islam and Violence Aren't Linked: Top Muslim Scholar, Terrorism, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Menendez Trial Update

Menendez Trial Update

If the FBI has a case against Senator Bob Menendez they should make it.

Their chicken-shit performance so far has shaken my faith in the prosecution severely.

Menendez might be dirty, I don’t know, but I do know he’s a Senator, and you don’t charge a Senator with a crime unless you have white-hot evidence, tied up neatly in a bow — if you’re reaching even an inch, I’m immediately suspicious it’s political.

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This timeline is terrifying…

Money Control South Korea has said it may have detected activity related to an intercontinental ballistic missile launch. Live updates. HIGHLIGHTS 05:03 PM IST The government on Wednesday again upgraded its estimated size of North Korea’s latest nuclear test to a yield of around 160 kilotons — more than 10 times the size of the […]

via Latest on North Korea — Russia and Japan ‘decisively condemn’ weapons tests — Peace and Freedom

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The Democratic Party is about to break into 2 pieces…

The Democratic Party is about to break into 2 pieces.

After losing the White House, a majority in the House, a majority in the Senate, and so many State legislature seats — that the Dem Caucus is at its lowest levels in 100 years, the Party’s initial response to Trump winning was embarrassingly ham-handed.

First, the Dems actually challenged the electoral process, something the Dem presidential candidate, Hillary, initially defended — and then attacked Trump for questioning. These hypocritical, hypothetical and hysterical Party positions do not go un-noticed, hence the internal Dem polling — showing an even bigger crisis coming at the ballot box in 2018.

Next they attacked Trump on Russia. From every angle, straight down a list so long I won’t repeat it, for tedium’s sake.

Putin did have a favorite, and it wasn’t Trump. Politician that Putin is, he kept a foot in the other camp, probably Manafort, but he was foisted onto Trump by the RINO establishment and was never an insider. Trump is a nightmare for Russia, North Korea and China — and it’s impossible that Putin and Xi didn’t see that coming before the election.

The choice of Russia as the center of a conspiracy narrative may have been the stupidest political manuever/blunder by a major party since Watergate. In many ways they resemble each other, as scandals go that is, not because of detail, but the poor decision-making coupled with the raw abuse of power — all in pursuit of imaginary demons.  The Dems cooked up the Russian narrative to beat Trump and it was probably their undoing just like Nixon did not need to bug the DNC, he was going to win handily without any advantages gained.

Screaming about it — after the votes were counted — will not get Trump impeached — but will most certainly get a few high level Dems jailed. That’s why Pelosi and Schumer are backpedaling as fast as possible and making this deal. The shrill screaming highlighted a humiliating evidence trail, that still may explode further — and she knows that process has become irreversible. That sentence more than other thing I have written recently explains what is happening inside the citadels of power in the US right now. Why?

Senator Chuck Grassley is hard at work following that trail and there isn’t a better bloodhound in the country, and the news from his investigation, will, in all likelihood, be many more Dem black eyes, and maybe even a few jail terms for the designated fall people like Rice and Powers. This “unmasking” and Russia narrative led like a trail of breadcrumbs to Obama and Hillary — but we don’t have the evidence yet they ordered these crimes, so patience is needed here. Either way, I sense Pelosi feels she can handle what she currently knows about, but is terrified of what she doesn’t.

Comey crossed a number of legal and ethical boundaries but was an opponent and/or double agent that had to be handled with care. If Comey choose his exit platform and timing, he could have toppled a president, Trump was careful to avoid the possibility of this happening — and he succeeded. Gorsuch is not his big victory so far, the man was a shoo-in, out-smarting Comey — and extinguishing the single greatest threat to the Presidency in his first year — was.

Next they attacked Trump because he said both sides were to blame in Charlottesville.

This just seemed like a KKK endorsement by Trump — because most people had not reviewed the video, did not know there were two sides doing the attacking — and also — the public really did not know much yet about Antifa, the terrorist organization being paid to disrupt, attack, and intimidate lawful protesters in Charlottesville, Berkeley and other cities.

The public knew a little bit about the Confederate statue removal protesters but not enough to make comprehensible his “good people on both sides” comment. Instead it looked like a further endorsement of white supremacy. Since most Liberals already think he’s a: crotch grabbing, “birther don,” fire, fury and flatulence, misogynistic pig — satan worshipping (no, no, sorry that’s them), jesus-freak, it wasn’t much of a leap for them to add; KKK, Nazi, and white supremacist to the list. Still, his phraseology was awful.

It will be interesting to see how many of these diehards are “red-pilled” and end up voting for Trump in 2020. I predict the final verdict on Trump’s first term by the American people — including the afore-mentioned Liberals, swings on an issue unknown to us all at this time and NOT mentioned here in this column at all today.

What’s left after all the smoke cleared at the battle of Charlottesville? Nancy Pelosi condemned Antifa — or a complete vindication of the President — by the most un-likely adversary. She threw in a shot at Confederate statuary, but it was a cold and lifeless attack.

Now, Trump is a bad man all over again, and his supporters are evil, because he GAVE Congress six months to fix a BLATENTLY illegal program, DACA, started under President Obama. The simple fact is, and Obama did not really deny this, President Obama ran a lawless administration on purpose, to achieve ends he admitted he couldn’t achieve any other way. Every single one of those actions violated his oath of office. Now, that I have made this political observation, feel free to personally attack me for being a racist, it’s nonsense of course, but not any more so than the rest of the Liberal narrative.

For example, the Holder “Marijuana Memo” contradicted existing Federal law, although issued by the Attorney General, it instructed stakeholders across the country in the methodology necessary to circumvent existing LAW. I did not, AND still do not agree with the laws of this country on POT, and feel furthermore, that they are a civil rights violation against minorities — HOWEVER — ignoring US law is not an option to solve the problem. This Holder/Obama Memo was popular of course, as was Obama, and so, the press simply walked away from and/or ignored its complete lack of any legal foundation.

One department of government may not instruct others on how to violate Federal law, their actual duty, whether they like this idea or not, is to obey the law, until it’s changed. This principle is at the foundation of our country. We fought a Civil War and lost 700,000 souls to change our Constitution and laws, long after slavery was no longer popular in the more heavily populated half of the country.

To ignore the importance of the rule of law is to victimize the very people you want to protect.

This has been true since this country was founded and will be true into the forseeable future if Americans have any sense left at all, which I’m betting they do, because despite this withering barrage, Trump supporters remain loyal.

All of this led up to todays announcement that Pelosi and Schumer have struck a deal on the debt ceiling, the debt limit and Harvey FEMA funding. Uh Oh. That sound you hear cracking in your skull is the Democratic Party splitting into two distinct parts, those that want to survive the next election, because they come from relatively competitive districts and all the other Democrats, who will be free to continue living in a mass hysteria bubble.

That last group will be typified and led by loony tunes Liberals like Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez (Ill.), who said Wednesday night that several House Democrats are not supportive of the agreement that Democratic leaders made with President Donald Trump earlier in the afternoon.

From MSNBC — Host Chris Hayes asked Gutierrez what his reaction was to Democratic leaders threatening to jam Republican efforts in the Senate if Republicans refused to pass legislation protecting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

DACA is a 2012 Obama-era program that deferred deportation for young illegal immigrants who traveled to the United States with their parents; several days ago, Trump announced his plan to end the program.

“The Democratic Caucus is not in sync with making this agreement with the president of the United States of America,” Gutierrez said.
“I’ve spoken to dozens of members of the Democratic Caucus and let me just say this, Chris, you know we fought hard and tenaciously to put 800,000 DREAMers in a very safe place.”

This places him squarely in opposition to Pelosi and Schumer who now have no reason, no reason whatsoever, not do exactly that: make a real deal with Trump on DACA, tax reform, even Obama care –because I predict the same core group of Democratic Senators, led by the smartest of them all — Heidi Heitkamp — will seize this opportunity to shape Trump’s legislative agenda.

Heitkamp’s long-standing (she first proposed solutions to the Obamacare problems — while Obama was President) plan was not that much different from one of the final Senate versions, and if I know Heitkamp, she already has 60 votes for it, she just couldn’t put the two groups of pledges together yet.

If you think I’m crazy, and apparently even my friends do, here’s why I believe all this is possible, from the Washington Free Beacon:

Democratic congressional leaders Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) announced earlier in the morning that they were “prepared to offer our votes for the Harvey aid package, and a short-term debt limit increase of three months,” the Washington Free Beacon reported.

They went on to say that they were optimistic that their bipartisan support would help Democrats pave a path “forward to ensure (sic) prompt delivery of Harvey aid as well as avoiding a default, while both sides work together to address government funding, DREAMers, and health care.”

There it was, did you hear it too? Let’s play the tape again as they say: ” They went on to say that they were optimistic that their bipartisan support would help Democrats pave a path “forward to ensure prompt delivery of Harvey aid as well as avoiding a default, while both sides work together to address government funding, DREAMers, and health care.”


A billion printed words, a million lies, and the log jam is broken. How do I know? Pelosi AND Schumer just said so. I have to admit, I don’t normally trust these two, and frankly, they could even renege on this, I’ve seen them do worse — but I have never seen them in a corner like this before.

They aren’t folding to pass Harvey aid, Pelosi could gum that up and make it look like Trump’s fault in a second, hell, she could tell the NYT — “Trump stole the Aid”, and they would print it page 1, above the fold, as they used to say.

But she won’t.

The push polling numbers she has been having nightmares over, leave her no options. Either she makes a deal and salvage’s the Party’s edge voters on jobs, terrorism, immigration, and the economy — or the mid-terms will permanently cripple the party.

Every shot they fired, got headlines, created a wave of huffing and puffing, but further drove the issue sensitive Independents, disenfranchised blue-collar Democrats, and RINO Republicans toward Trump, a man they are suspicious of still, but are ALL warming too. As the poll numbers mount up, showing how devastating politically it can be, to be a Never-Trumper, this new Senate coalition of 55, will grow.

Flake will be the poster boy for how stupid it is to behave this way and I expect him to become a Senate leper even before the next election, where he is ousted.

Now we’ll see Tax Reform (last 1986), Obama care Repair (Heitkamp plan), DACA become legal (a huge favor to these 800,000 AMERICANS), and real progress on a number of other fronts centering on the common ground Trump has had for YEARS with moderate Senate Democrats like Heitkamp, that favor jobs growth, energy development, higher wages, conservative law enforcement policies (she was a prosecutor) and a Liberal (but sensible) social agenda that focuses less on which toilet people use — and more on the injustices of our legal system, the real front for civil rights.

I think there’s 55  to 65 Senators in this new emerging group, with between 5 and 15 Dems (issue driven) and a loss of 2 to 6 Republicans (party unity is not a R strength), because of ideology.

Heitkamp was my first choice for President, as you may have noticed, she just didn’t get the memo from me, and did not run. She’ll get her turn, right now, Trump is exceeding my expectations.

I love this country. One day you’re in the dog house, the next day you’re on top.

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Trump Shocks Everybody – except me

Trump Shocks Everybody – except me

President Trump put his hand on the Bible and swore to uphold the Constitution and do his best for the American people and I think he meant it.

I’ve written at least 10 pieces specifically detailing the changes Trump has made to his positions – all motivated by a desire in my opinion, to do the right thing for the country. Finally, others are noticing. Here’s The Hill:

President Trump for once united Washington on Wednesday — in shock.

Republicans and Democrats alike were left scratching their heads after the president did a deal with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) over the express wishes of the most senior members of his own party.

Trump signed up to terms proposed by the Democrats on government funding, which would soon have run out, and the nation’s debt ceiling, which would soon have been hit.

Crucially, another funding measure and another hike in the debt ceiling will be required before the end of the year.

That’s a big problem for GOP leaders including Speaker Paul Ryan (Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), who wanted a longer-term deal, kicking the next likely debt-ceiling increase beyond the midterm elections in November 2018.

Why did Trump do it?

People in his orbit say that the president was demonstrating to GOP leaders that they do not have the whip hand — and that, if they repeatedly fail to move his agenda, the commander in chief is willing to look elsewhere.

“I think it’s a warning shot,” said Barry Bennett, who was a senior adviser to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. “If the Republicans can’t come together as a majority to do something, the president knows where to get more votes.”

Beyond the ranks of Trump loyalists, however, the dominant reaction was one of perplexity.

“I find it very difficult to understand,” said Doug Heye, a former communications director for the Republican National Committee. “Clearly a long-term Republican majority and the long-term health of the Republican Party are not priorities for Donald Trump.”

Jim Manley, a Democratic strategist and former aide to ex-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), pronounced himself “absolutely mystified.”

Manley added: “One of the things it shows me is that [Trump] just doesn’t care or understand how the Hill operates. There is nothing the Republican leadership hates more than rounding up votes for the debt limit. And he has now forced them to take votes twice on it.”

The move is a particular embarrassment for Ryan. On Wednesday morning, the Speaker had dismissed the parameters of the Democratic proposal as “ridiculous” and “disgraceful,” only to see the president endorse them a few hours later.

Ryan had no immediate public comment on the deal.


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Trump reaches compromise with Democratic leadership

Trump reaches compromise with Democratic leadership

I have argued over and over in this space for months now that the public, party leaders from both sides, and the media pundits have Trump all wrong, and that reaching compromises that include votes from both parties was originally — and will remain a priority — for the president.

Most of my Liberal friends think I’m actually crazy for supporting Trump, but I believe his actions are the definition of a sound political process that will produce bills, laws and policies GOOD for the country, not one party or point of view. Maybe I am crazy, but I believe in that and never thought I would have a President in the modern era — who also does – and I’m supportive of him and parts of his cabinet, for exactly that reason and no other.

Here’s The Hill piece announcing the compromise. Will my Liberal friends trash this deal as well? Probably. I didn’t used to think so, but these days, the hatred of personality’s has driven reason out of our public discourse, so I just don’t know, I’ll have to sit here with baited breath and see how this is received on both sides of the aisle.

The Hill — President Trump has reached a deal with congressional Democrats to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling through Dec. 15.

The deal, reached Wednesday at a White House meeting between congressional leaders from both parties and Trump, would attach both measures to a House bill aiding communities hit by Hurricane Harvey.

“We essentially came to a deal, and I think the deal will be very good,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One on Wednesday.

He added that “so we have an extension, which will go out to December 15th. That will include the debt ceiling, that will include the CRs, and it will include Harvey.”

Democrats were the first to announce the deal, which appeared to come despite some objections from Republicans.

“In the meeting, the president and congressional leadership agreed to pass aid for Harvey, an extension of the debt limit, and a continuing resolution both to December 15, all together,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a joint statement. 

The announcement comes after Pelosi, Schumer, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) met with Trump at the White House to discuss the fall agenda. 

“I will be adding that as an amendment to the [House] flood relief bill,” McConnell told reporters Wednesday afternoon. 

McConnell confirmed he will support the agreement. 

Other Republicans, possibly surprised to see the Republican president cut a deal with Democrats, soon raised their concerns.

“The Pelosi-Schumer-Trump deal is bad,” said Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.). 

Ryan earlier in the day called the idea of adding a three-month extension of the debt ceiling to Harvey aid “ridiculous” after the Democratic leaders proposed it. The initial Democratic offer did not mention the government funding, but it has long been seen as legislation that could be paired with a debt limit hike. 

If the deal clears Congress, the package would set up a end-of-the-year cliff on both funding the government and the debt ceiling. 

Trump’s deal with Democrats also raises new questions for both parties about what will happen next on immigration reform.

The president angered Democrats on Tuesday by announcing the end of a program, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, that allowed young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children to stay, get work permits and delay deportation.

Trump has asked Congress to provide legislation for the program as part of a broader immigration bill.

A Democratic aide said the three-month offer would allow Congress to avoid defaulting and give an initial round of recovery funding “while allowing Democrats to push their priorities in the upcoming negotiations, particularly the DREAM Act.” 

The DREAM Act would allow children brought to the United States illegally to continue to live and work freely in the country, similar to DACA.

Schumer and Pelosi added that “both sides have every intention of avoiding default in December and look forward to working together on the many issues before us.”

The deal would clear the deck of the three biggest September priorities for GOP leadership amid a packed floor schedule, but it is likely to spark outrage from rank-and-file Republicans.

Conservatives were already balking over a plan to attach a debt ceiling increase to the Harvey recovery bill that cleared the House on Wednesday. 

Ryan shot down an offer from Democrats earlier on Wednesday that would link a three-month debt ceiling increase and Harvey aid, accusing the Democrats of trying to “play politics with the debt ceiling.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), whose state was hit hard by the hurricane, refused to say how he would vote if it was attached to a debt ceiling vote but said, “the best way for that relief package to move quickly is for it to be a clean package.” 

Ryan also faced opposition within his conference to a long extension of the debt limit. 

The deal comes after the House passed a stand-alone Harvey bill in a 419-3 vote on Wednesday. That margin would likely be closer if the debt ceiling and a short-term government funding bill were added to the legislation once it reaches the Senate. 

The package would set up a tough vote for many Republicans, who want to back relief for Harvey victims but do not want to vote on legislation that raises the debt ceiling or a funding bill that but does nothing to restrict future government spending.

Republicans are expected to need help from both House and Senate Democrats to get the agreement through Congress. Even if every GOP senator voted for the deal, which is unlikely, leadership will need the support of eight Democratic senators. 


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