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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Friday, October 25, 2019

What are the House Democrats Afraid of?

by Newt Gingrich: Watching the unconstitutional House Democratic impeachment process, which Senator Sasse of Nebraska described as a “partisan clown show,” you have to ask yourself, ‘What are the Democrats afraid of?’

If they had a good case, they would be proudly putting it out in the open so every American can learn the facts that will convince them to support impeaching the duly elected President of the United States.

In fact, the Democrats seem to have a pathetic case that keeps falling apart.

After the Mueller investigation failed to find President Trump guilty, the Democrats could have turned to legislating and fighting over real issues, like healthcare.

After all, in 1998 we were faced with Ken Starr’s Independent Counsel report which stated that President Clinton was GUILTY on 11 —that is right eleven—counts including perjury, which is a felony.

If Mueller’s report had used the word guilty 11 times the Republicans would have been forced to join in on a serious investigation of the White House.

However, when Mueller did not use the word guilty ONCE, the need for an investigation ended.

Then, as the Democrats squirmed under the attacks of their activists who were determined that President Trump should be impeached just for being President Trump, they found a new excuse to investigate.

Adam Schiff, who had been consistently dishonest and wrong for two years of Russian collusion stories suddenly had a whistleblower who was anti-Trump.

The Democrats were ecstatic.

They now had an excuse to make their hard core, left-wing, anti-Trump partisans happy.

Speaker Pelosi was so eager to appease the Left she announced the investigation before they had the whistleblower’s report and before they had seen the transcript of President Trump’s phone call with the new, reform-focused Ukrainian president.

The whistleblower was going to be the centerpiece of the case against Trump. Except it turned out he had met with Schiff’s people before submitting his letter. Then it turned out he had no firsthand knowledge of the items he was complaining about. Then it turned out there were a number of factual falsehoods in the letter. Then it turned out he was a Democrat who disliked Trump. Then it turned out he had worked with Vice President Biden in the White House.

Today, there are reports that after five different disclosures undermining his credibility, the House Democrats may not even call him to testify.

This means that the person who was the excuse for the whole investigation is now so discredited the House Democrats know he would be an embarrassment and would make even more of a mockery of their phony impeachment effort.

In some ways the collapse of the whistleblower is reminiscent of the collapse of the attacks on Judge Kavanaugh. Big opening smear, wildly hostile headlines, excited anti-Trump talking heads, and then the balloon loses air, the case collapses and it is on to the next dishonest smear.

The secret nature of the Schiff kangaroo court really means we know nothing for certain about any of the witnesses or their testimony.

Consider the case of Bill Taylor, a very reputable senior diplomat.

As Marc Thiessen reported: “Cellphones are not permitted inside a SCIF. Yet somehow what appear to be cellphone photos of his prepared statement were leaked to the news media.
“But the full transcript of his deposition — including his answers to questions from Republicans challenging his accusations — remains under lock and key in that SCIF. The President’s counsel is not allowed to see it, much less be present at the deposition to cross-examine the witness. So, Democrats are leaking derogatory information about the president, while restricting public access to potentially exculpatory information, all while denying him the right to see or challenge testimony against him.”Yet despite the selective leaks by the Democrats, Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy reported that “In 90 seconds, we had John Ratcliffe destroy [acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill] Taylor’s whole argument.”

Yet McCarthy was gagged by the Democrats’ rules. He asserted, “We can’t really talk about it.”

Ratcliffe said flatly on Fox News there were new details brought to light but said nothing “worthy of impeachment.”

Ratcliffe went on to assert, “The one thing that you find out in this process is all this information is just like that whistleblower… everything is second-, third-, and fourth-hand information.”

The Democrats’ partisan impeachment inquiry is an un-American, unconstitutional process which violates the Due Process clause of the Bill of Rights. As we are watching in Iowa, accused murderers who are illegal immigrants are being granted more protection of their right to due process than the President of the United States.

Every House Democrat must be made to bear the burden of supporting this kangaroo court “partisan clown show.”

Every House Democrat should be asked “what are you afraid of that you can’t let the American people see the facts and decide for themselves?”
Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) is a former Georgia Congressman and Speaker of the U.S. House. He co-authored and was the chief architect of the "Contract with America" and a major leader in the Republican victory in the 1994 congressional elections. He is noted speaker and writer. This commentary was shared via Gingrich Productions.

Tags: Newt Gingrich, commentary, What are, House Democrats, Afraid of To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Court Filing: With Lisa Page's Help, FBI Framed Flynn by Doctoring His Interview

Michael Thomas Flynn
Lt General, Retired, U.S. Army
by Benjamin Arie: Michael Flynn was one of the first figures to fall from the Trump administration. Back in February 2017, the former general resigned as national security advisor after less than a month, marring the beginning of the administration.

At the time, Flynn was charged with making false statements to the FBI about his conversations with Russian officials.

A plea deal was reached between Flynn and then-special counsel Robert Mueller — but from the start, many observers on the right have wondered if he was essentially set up.

Now, it appears that there could be far more to the Flynn saga.

An eye-opening court document filed by the former retired general’s attorney on Thursday claims that the FBI purposely altered key evidence, especially notes from interviews with Flynn, in order to take down the Trump administration official on false pretenses.

“The entire case stemmed from that FBI interview where Flynn was asked about his conversations with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak,” Fox News reported.

The Washington Times also appeared to confirm Fox’s reporting.

“Flynn ultimately pleaded guilty to making false statements regarding those conversations during his interview, as part of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation,” Fox continued.

The bombshell court filing alleges the central interview on which the anti-Flynn case was based wasn’t accurate, but was changed to exaggerate what the Trump official had actually told investigators.

Flynn’s legal team “alleged that FBI officials manipulated Flynn’s FBI 302 — a form used by agents to report or summarize interviews,” Fox explained. “It’s not clear who may have done the alleged editing, though ex-FBI agent Peter Strzok was involved in the original interview.”

Yes, the case has once again brought up two names familiar to anyone who followed the Mueller fiasco: Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Both former members of the FBI have already been revealed through text messages to be anti-Trump figures — and illicit lovers — who discussed their disdain for the president.

Both figures may have their proverbial fingerprints on the scandal, considering that Strzok is the one who interviewed Flynn and Page allegedly admitted to editing the crucial 302 form, after claiming that she didn’t recall doing so.

“That evidence, Flynn’s legal team alleges, includes an apparent admission by former FBI lawyer Lisa Page — who resigned after being discovered having an affair with agent Peter Strzok, with whom she shared anti-trump texts — that she had edited the 302 — something that she allegedly told FBI investigators she did not recall,” Breitbart reported.

If the court filing is correct, the FBI changed wording on the 302 form to put words in Flynn’s mouth which dramatically changed the case.

“Those changes added an unequivocal statement that ‘Flynn stated he did not’ — in response to whether Mr. Flynn had asked Kislyak to vote in a certain manner or slow down the UN vote [on sanctions],” the document prepared by Flynn’s legal team said.

“This is a deceptive manipulation because, as the notes of the agents show, Mr. Flynn was not even sure he had spoken to Russia/Kislyak on the issue. He had talked to dozens of countries,” the filing stated.

“The draft also shows that the agents moved a sentence to make it seem to be an answer to a question it was not,” the document said.

That’s potentially a very big deal, because the FBI edits allegedly made to Flynn’s interview after the fact make all the difference in the substance of the charges which were filed against the former general.

“The edits, the filing alleges, were substantive: they included a claim that Flynn said he did not discuss any sanctions with the Russian ambassador,” Breitbart summarized.

“Flynn’s lawyers allege he merely told the FBI he did not recall, and that the claim he said otherwise was added only after a transcript of his discussion with the ambassador had been leaked to the media.”

Much more needs to come out in order to confirm whether the allegations are accurate, but one has to admit the scenario does seem to match the modus operandi used by anti-Trump figures such as disgraced ex-FBI Director James Comey.

It looks increasingly certain that officials were dead set on derailing President Donald Trump’s administration, no matter what.

As we saw with the now-deflated Mueller investigation and debunked Russia dossier, Obama-era holdovers tripped over themselves to force an investigation they desperately wanted, rather than dutifully following the facts where they led.

If investigators had to cheat and edit forms in order to go after Flynn, something is terribly wrong. These allegations should trouble every American who values the rule of law, and we deserve to know the truth about what happened.
Benjamin Arie writes for The Western Journal

Tags: Court Filing, With Lisa Page's Help, FBI, Framed, Michael Flynn, Doctoring His Interview, Benjamin Arie, The Western Journal To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

17 Democrats Who Weren’t Held Accountable for Scandals by Their Constituents

Former President Barack Obama & U.S.
 Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton
(Rex Features via AP Images - PJMedia Article)
by Matt Margolis: I recently noted that Democrats have a tendency to not be held accountable despite incontrovertible evidence of their guilt. That got me thinking about how often it’s happened in my lifetime when a Democrat was caught or accused of something horrific, yet survived politically. It turns out, it’s pretty common. It’s a sad reflection of the lack of standards and ethics of the Democrat Party and the people who vote for them that so many of their elected leaders survive scandals in ways that Republicans typically don’t. That’s not to say all Democrats get by unscathed. Senator Al Franken, for example, did ultimately resign from the U.S. Senate following multiple allegations of sexual harassment, including one incident with photographic evidence. But, when you fast forward to today, Franken regrets his resignation, and many Democrats who joined in on calls for him to leave office have expressed regret as well. Bill Clinton is another example of someone who clearly broke multiple laws, and, while he was impeached, was not convicted by the U.S. Senate, and is generally still viewed upon favorably.

I have compiled a list of 17 Democrats who have defied common sense, decency, and justice to survive scandals to prove that there is something horribly wrong in their party. This list, which is by no means comprehensive, demonstrates a longstanding pattern of Democrats willing to ignore depravity in their elected leaders when they reach the ballot box.

17. (Dishonorable Mention) Joe Biden (D-DE)
Between his inappropriate touching and sniffing of women and girls, and the video evidence of him bragging about a quid pro quo with Ukrainian leaders it stands to reason that Biden’s status as frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination would have been long gone. Nope. Instead, none of his rivals dared to mention the former, and have even come to his defense over the latter. If his rivals had decided to make his quid pro quo an issue, it would leave Democrat voters no excuse not to see the scandal for what it really is, and dump Biden before the general election, where he will have to answer for it. But, hammering Biden on the Ukraine issue would give credence to Trump’s attacks, which they were unwilling to do. Democrats don't seem to care one bit, despite the evidence against him.

16. (Dishonorable Mention) Governor Ralph Northam (D-VA)
When Virginia Governor Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook was unearthed and showed him and another individual dressed in blackface and a KKK uniform, there were bipartisan calls for his resignation. He didn’t, and he remains in office. He gets a dishonorable mention on this list because he hasn’t yet faced the voters in his state since the scandal, but his approval ratings have been recovering steadily since. Simply put, Northam’s gamble to ride out the storm appears to have worked.

15. (Dishonorable Mention) Justin Fairfax (D-VA)
Northam’s Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax also gets a dishonorable mention on this list because he hasn’t yet faced the voters of his state since facing credible allegations of sexual assault by multiple women. The allegations came on top of Northam’s scandal and things were looking pretty rough for Virginia Democrats. Fairfax faced calls for resignation and threats of impeachment, but alas, he too, has ridden out the storm, it seems.

14. Gerry Studds (D-MA)
There were two Congressmen censured by the House of Representatives in 1983 for having sexual relationships with underage congressional pages—but only one's career wasn’t ended because of it. Republican Dan Crane was rightfully defeated, while Democrat Gerry Studds was reelected six more times by his constituents before retiring in 1997.

13. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL)
The disgraced former chairwoman of the DNC may have been forced to resign that post when it was revealed under her leadership the DNC improperly favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders for their party’s nomination in 2016, but she remains in Congress today despite another scandal involving one of her IT staffers. Imran Awan remained under her employ despite being under federal investigation for equipment and data theft in the House IT network. In fact, she also stonewalled the investigation and tried to get it shut down.

12. Mel Reynolds (D-IL)
In 1994, a year and a half after taking office, congressman Mel Reynolds was indicted for sexual assault, criminal sexual abuse after having a sexual relationship with an underage campaign volunteer, whom he also solicited child pornography from. He also faced charges of obstruction of justice. Despite the charges, he continued to campaign and was reelected in 1994 after having no challenger. He only resigned from Congress after his conviction.

11. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL)
During the trial of Governor Rod Blagojevich, it was revealed that Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. was involved in the scandal involving the selling of Obama’s vacant U.S. Senate seat. In 2011, the House Ethics Committee was investigating Jackson’s role in the scandal. Despite the scandal, Jackson won reelection in a landslide in 2012, without even campaigning. Months earlier he had checked into the Mayo Clinic for treatment for bipolar disorder and was absent from the campaign trail ever since. Despite overwhelming approval from his district, he resigned a few weeks later and was found guilty in February 2013.

10.William J. Jefferson (D-LA)
In 2005, Congressman William Jefferson got caught up in a corruption scandal that resulted in the FBI raiding his congressional offices and his home. $90,000 in cash was discovered in his home freezer. Despite the ongoing investigation and evidence of accepting bribes, Jefferson was reelected in 2006—the same year Democrats won back Congress on an anti-corruption platform. In 2007, he was indicted on sixteen felony corruption charges, including bribery, racketeering, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. While the voters of his district turned a blind eye to his corruption in 2006, this story does have a somewhat happy ending because he did narrowly lose reelection in 2008, and was later convicted and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

9. Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
Alcee Hastings is a former federal judge who accepted a $150,000 bribe, was impeached for bribery and perjury and went on to become a Democrat congressman. While in congress, Hastings was notorious for nepotism and was accused of sexual harassment, costing taxpayers $220,000 in a 2014 settlement that was kept under wraps until 2017. He made the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust’s (FACT) “Top 5 Worst Ethics Violators” that year. Hastings is still a sitting member of Congress, and despite his ethical failures, his endorsement of Kamala Harris for president was well received by her campaign.

8. Jack Murtha (D-PA)
The late Jack Murtha was an unindicted co-conspirator in the infamous Abscam scandal. He was caught on FBI video considering taking a $50,000 bribe from who he believed to be representatives from Arab sheiks wanting to get into America. The full-length video of the damning exchange was made public in 2006. Murtha was also suspected for years of funneling earmarks to sham companies and nonprofits of his friends and allies. Despite the huge dark cloud of scandal over Murtha, he was repeatedly reelected before dying while in office in 2010.

7. Charlie Rangel (D-NY)
Charlie Rangel was one of those Democrats who was so corrupt but came from such a deep blue district he would never face the wrath of his constituents. He’s won his elections to Congress never less than with 80 percent of the vote, and often with over 95 percent. Not once did the voters of his districts (his represented several due to reapportionment over the years) ever give him the boot. Rangel accepted donations from companies with interests before Congress for a center to be named after himself. He repeatedly failed to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars in income, including income from a beachfront villa in the Dominican Republican he owned for 20 years. He also owned four rent-controlled apartments in Harlem and was improperly using one as a campaign office. In November 2010, the House Ethics Committee found him guilty on 11 counts of violating House ethics rules, was later censured, but remained in office until January 2017, not because he was defeated at the ballot box, but because he decided not to run for reelection.

6. Barney Frank (D-MA)
In the mid-1980s, Congressman Barney Frank hired a male prostitute, named Steve Gobie, who stayed at his home and ran a prostitution service from Frank’s home. Frank claimed he didn’t know what was going on in his own home, but he still illegally paid for sex, and used his position to fix parking tickets for Gobie and for attempting to influence the terms of Gobie’s probation. Attempts to censure and expel Frank from Congress failed, but he was officially reprimanded in 1990. He was repeatedly reelected by his district until his retirement from Congress in 2013.

5. Keith Ellison (D-MN)
In 2018, Congressman Keith Ellison, who was also the deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, was elected state attorney general despite multiple allegations of domestic violence from his ex-girlfriend. There were medical records to support her allegation, and a corroborating witness—her son, who initially publicized the allegation on Facebook. Despite the scandal, Ellison remained Deputy Chair of the DNC until his resignation after winning his election as Attorney General of Minnesota.

4. Bob Menendez (D-NJ)
Multiple scandals have cast a dark cloud over Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey, and yet he managed to survive. In 2012, he was accused of having sex with underage prostitutes in the Dominican Republic. While the media has sought to discredit these claims, federal prosecutors still believe that Menendez may be guilty. In 2015, Menendez was indicted on corruption charges. Though he resigned as ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, he did not resign from the U.S. Senate. His trial ended in a mistrial, and he was re-elected to another six-year term in 2018.

3. Hillary Clinton (D-NY)
Hillary Clinton may have lost the 2016 election, but things could have been worse for her if the Justice Department under Barack Obama hadn’t been so politicized. Thanks to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey, Hillary was never going to be held accountable for her illegal private server and mishandling of classified and top secret information that would have had anyone else indicted. In fact, FBI Director James Comey had drafted her exoneration letter before Hillary had even been interviewed by the FBI.

2. Ted Kennedy (D-MA)
Ted Kennedy pulled off the shocking feat of causing the death of a woman and leaving the scene of an accident and coming out unscathed. Sure, it ended his hopes of ever becoming president, but since the 1969 accident on Chappaquiddick Island in Massachusetts, he remained in the U.S. Senate until his death in 2009, having become one of its most prominent and influential members.

1. Barack Obama (D-IL)
Obama was easily the most scandal-plagued president in history, but with the help of the media you’d never know it. From the beginning of his presidency, it was clear Obama was getting a free pass to abuse power. He broke the law when he discussed the selling of his Senate seat with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, when he fired an Inspector General, and when he bribed Joe Sestak not to run for the U.S. Senate. His administration routinely obstructed investigations, gave green energy companies that donated to his campaign millions of taxpayer dollars, covered up the extent of the damage of the BP oil spill and the truth about the Benghazi attack. And that’s just a few things from his first term. Despite these scandals and the fact he failed to get the economy back on track, he was reelected in 2012. His rampant corruption continued through his second term, culminating in, perhaps, the most egregious scandal of them all, the illegal spying on the presidential campaign of Donald Trump. Despite his rampant corruption and lousy record as president, he’s still revered by most in the Democratic Party.
Matt Margolis  (@MattMargolis) writes for PJMedia. He the co-author of the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama and the author of the book Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama's Legacy

Tags: Matt Margolis, PJMedia, 17 Democrats, Who Weren’t Held Accountable, for Scandals, by Their Constituents To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

The Perils of Downscale Political Parties

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: Political parties, and their travails, have been much on my mind recently as I've been speaking to radio and television interviewers about my new book, "How America's Political Parties Change (And How They Don't)."

The book thesis is that our two parties, founded in 1832 and 1854, have often changed positions on issues but have retained their basic character in a nation that has expanded from 25 million people to almost 330 million.

The Republican Party has always been centered around a constituency of people thought of as typical Americans who are not by themselves a majority. The Democratic Party has always been a coalition of disparate peoples not considered typical Americans but who, when they stick together, can form a majority.

Last week I wrote about the Democratic Party's travails, as its latest presidential debate revealed sharp disagreements between different groups in the Democratic coalition. Much of the discord arises from the emergence of affluent white college graduates -- gentry liberals -- as the dominant force in both raising money and generating ideas.

Republicans' travails arise also from the changing character in their core constituency. From the Eisenhower years to the Reagan years, it was centered on the relatively affluent. Since the 1990s, it has been changing, tilting more toward the religiously devout and economically downscale.

That change, as Ernest Hemingway said of bankruptcy, happened first gradually and then suddenly, starting with the baby-boom tussles of Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich and then climaxing in the baby-boom Armageddon between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

With his distinctive positions on trade and immigration, candidate Trump increased Republican percentages from non-college-graduate whites and captured 100 more electoral votes than Mitt Romney did as the nominee in 2012. This downscale Republican Party supports President Trump even more steadfastly than 1970s Republicans supported Richard Nixon.

But a downscale party attracts articulate attackers and lacks institutional support. That's true of Donald Trump's Republicans and, across the Atlantic, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservatives, as Johnson struggles to implement Brexit, the solemn June 2016 verdict of the British electorate to leave the European Union.

Brexit was opposed by elites and minorities in metro London, Scotland and Northern Ireland but was supported by 57% of voters in England outside London, which is 70% of the UK. Similarly, Hillary Clinton beat Trump 65 to 30% in metro New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco. But he carried the other 85% of the country by a 49-45% margin.

Downscale parties tend to have few champions among the chattering classes. In Britain, most of the print presses and the BBC, the latter of which every TV owner is forced to subsidize, heap ridicule and scorn on Brexit and its supporters. The financial elite and entertainment celebrities take a similar view.

In America, the former reality TV celebrity who got scads of cable TV coverage while contesting Republican primaries now gets unmixed negative coverage from all but Fox News and is opposed by just about every newspaper editorial page.

Disdain for downscale parties is nothing new. Sixty years ago, when the Democratic Party was dominated by Southern whites and Northern factory workers, major newsmagazines and newspapers were complacently Republican and snidely condescending about Democrats. Arthur Schlesinger Jr.'s 1940s and 1950s writings are laced with a defensive awareness of articulate readers' disdain for the Democratic Party that corresponds to many conservative writes' attitudes today.

What's new is the downscale party's detractors' willingness to challenge the legitimacy of its victories -- something Richard Nixon and Al Gore refused to do in 1960 and 2000 -- and, even more, their sense of self-righteousness in the notion of overturning an election result. Brexit opponents in Britain brush aside 17.4 million Brexit voters as bigots or ignoramuses entitled to zero respect.

American intelligence and law enforcement personnel felt morally justified in using official powers of the Clinton campaign-purchased Steele dossier to advance the baseless Trump-Russia collusion charge. Democrats now seek to impeach Trump for his phone conversation with the Ukrainian president and for having overturned an established foreign policy.

Actually, the Constitution vests the "executive power in the president and doesn't mention the State Department. Past presidents have often sent personal envoys on politically sensitive missions -- Franklin Roosevelt sent Harry Hopkins to Winston Churchill; Richard Nixon sent Henry Kissinger to Mao Zedong.

There are signs that the people resist "the Resistance." Boris Johnson's Conservatives are well ahead in polls, and the leading Democratic presidential candidates have shown weaknesses that may trump Trump's. As Arthur Schlesinger liked to remind smug Republicans, Franklin Roosevelt's downscale Democrats did win five straight presidential elections.
Michael Barone is a Senior Political Analyst for the Washington Examiner and a Resident Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel  and co-author of The Almanac of American Politics Shared by Rasmussen Reports.

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Imperial Capital but America-First Nation

by Patrick Buchanan: Is America still the world’s last superpower with global policing obligations? Or should we shuck off this imperial role and make America, again, in Jeane Kirkpatrick’s phrase, “a normal country in a normal time”?

“Let someone else fight over this long blood-stained sand,” said President Donald Trump in an impassioned defense of his decision to cut ties to the Syrian Kurds, withdraw and end these “endless wars.”

Are our troops in Syria, then, on their way home? Well, not exactly.

Those leaving northern Syria went into Iraq. Other U.S. soldiers will stay in Syria to guard oil wells that we and the Kurds captured in the war with ISIS. Another 150 U.S. troops will remain in al-Tanf to guard Syria’s border with Iraq, at the request of Jordan and Israel.

And 2,000 more U.S. troops are being sent to Saudi Arabia to help defend the kingdom from Iran, which raises a question: Are we coming or going?

In his conflicting statements and actions, Trump seemingly seeks to mollify both sides of our national quarrel:

Is America still the world’s last superpower with global policing obligations? Or should we shuck off this imperial role and make America, again, in Jeane Kirkpatrick’s phrase, “a normal country in a normal time”?

In Middle America, anti-interventionism has carried the day. As Trump says, no declaration at his rallies is more wildly welcomed than his pledge to end our Middle East wars and bring the troops home.

But in this imperial capital, the voice of the interventionist yet prevails. The media, the foreign policy elite, the think tanks, the ethnic lobbies, the Pentagon, the State Department, Capitol Hill, are almost all interventionist, opposed to Trump’s abandonment of the Kurds. Rand Paul may echo Middle America, but Lindsey Graham speaks for the Republican establishment.

Yet the evidence seems compelling that anti-interventionism is where the country is at, and the Congress knows it.

For though the denunciations of Trump’s pullout from Syria have not ceased, one detects no campaign on Capitol Hill to authorize sending U.S. troops back to Syria, in whatever numbers are needed, to enable the Kurds to keep control of their occupied quadrant of that country.

Love of the Kurds, so audible on the Hill, does not go that far.

While surely loud, the neocons and liberal interventionists who drown out dissent in D.C. appear to lack the courage of their New World Order convictions.

In 1940-41, the anti-interventionists of “America First” succeeded in keeping us out of the world war (after Hitler and Stalin invaded Poland in September of 1939 and Britain and France went to war). Pearl Harbor united the nation, but not until Dec. 7, 1941, two years later — when America First folded its tents and enlisted.

Today, because both sides of our foreign policy quarrel have powerful constituencies, we have paralysis anew, reflected in policy.

We have enough troops in Afghanistan to prevent the Taliban from overrunning Kabul and the big cities, but not enough to win the war.

In Iraq, which we invaded in 2003 to oust Saddam Hussein and install a democracy, we brought to power the Shia and their Iranian sponsors. Now we battle Iran for political influence in Baghdad.

Across the Middle East, we have enough troops, planes and ships to prevent our expulsion, but not enough to win the wars from Syria to Yemen to Afghanistan.

Bahrain in the Persian Gulf is the home base of the U.S. Fifth Fleet. We have 13,000 troops and a major air base at Al Udeid in Qatar. U.S. Army Central Command and 13,000 U.S. troops are in Kuwait. Trump has sent more troops to Saudi Arabia, but it was the “infidel” troops’ presence on sacred Saudi soil that was among the reasons Osama bin Laden launched 9/11.

To the question, “Are we going deeper into the Middle East or coming out?” the answer is almost surely the latter.

Among the candidates who could be president in 2021 — Trump, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders — none is an interventionist of the Lindsey Graham school. Three are anti-interventionist and anti-war, which may help explain why Democrats are taking a second look at Hillary Clinton.

According to polls, Iran is first among the nations that Americans regard as an enemy. Still, there is no stomach for war with Iran. When Trump declined to order a strike on Iran — after an air and cruise missile attack shut down half of Saudi oil production — Americans, by their silent acquiescence, seemed to support our staying out.

Yet if there is no stomach in Middle America for war with Iran and a manifest desire to pull the troops out and come home, there is ferocious establishment resistance to any withdrawal of U.S. forces. This has bedeviled Trump through the three years of his presidency.

Again, it seems a stalemate is in the cards — until there is some new explosion in the Mideast, after which the final withdrawal for America will begin, as it did for the exhausted British and French empires after World War II.

That we are leaving the Middle East seems certain. Only the departure date is as yet undetermined.
Patrick Buchanan (@PatrickBuchanan) is currently a blogger, conservative columnist, political analyst, chairman of The American Cause foundation and an editor of The American Conservative. He has been a senior adviser to three Presidents, a two-time candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and was the presidential nominee of the Reform Party in 2000.

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Barr Launches Criminal Probe, Stop This Charade, Abbott Intervenes

Impeachment Partisan Charade
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: Barr Launches Criminal Probe
News broke last night that sent Deep State operatives rushing for the Maalox. The New York Times reported that the Barr/Durham investigation into the origins of the Russia collusion hoax has changed from a formal review into a criminal probe.

We noted Tuesday there were persistent reports indicating that people at the CIA have lawyered up. Now we know why.

Other reports suggested that Durham "found something" that led him to request additional resources for his investigation, and that former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper were now under scrutiny.

There is also an intriguing report from Fox News that may fill in some details. As you may recall, Barr and Durham traveled to Italy recently. While there, Italian officials played for them a taped deposition made by the mysterious Professor Joseph Mifsud.

No one knows for sure exactly how Mifsud fits into all of this, but one of his associates was an undercover U.S. agent. In the deposition, however, Misfud reportedly told authorities that his life was in danger and he needed police protection. It has also been reported that Durham possesses two cell phones that belonged to Misfud.

And last night's New York Times story included this odd line: "Mr. Durham has also asked whether C.I.A. officials might have somehow tricked the F.B.I. into opening the Russia investigation."

On Fox & Friends this morning, Geraldo Rivera made this stunning claim:

"Did Barack Obama know that the intelligence agencies were seeking to delegitimize his successor? At what point did he know? What did he authorize? What role did he play? . . .

"I predict in the next week or two, you're gonna see a run on criminal defense attorneys in Washington, D.C., by people further up the food chain in the previous administration."

Rivera also suggested that what is really fueling the Democrats' flailing impeachment charade (see next item) is the fear that Barr and Durham are actually getting close to exposing the Deep State/Democrat corruption that attempted to rig the 2016 election and take down the duly elected president.

Stay tuned, my friends. We will keep you posted!

Stop This impeachment-partisan-charade
As we told you yesterday, Senator Lindsey Graham and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have introduced a resolution calling on the House of Representatives to respect precedent and due process by ending this current impeachment charade. I am pleased to report that the resolution, S. Res. 378, has 43 co-sponsors.

Frankly, every senator should be able to support this resolution. Every senator, regardless of party, should be outraged by this hyper-partisan sham process.

Impeachment is one of the most profound responsibilities of Congress. It literally threatens to overturn an election, invalidating the votes of tens of millions of Americans. It is absolutely imperative that transparency be paramount in any impeachment effort.

Adam Schiff's Star Chamber process, where the president cannot confront his accusers, is unacceptable. The Graham-McConnell resolution makes it clear that this travesty should not continue.

The kangaroo court being deployed by House Democrats is offensive to the notion of justice. This is not a pursuit of the truth but a pursuit of smears.

Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz, a self-described "liberal Democrat" who defended Bill Clinton against impeachment and who voted for Hillary Clinton, is now accusing House Democrats of "seeking to weaponize the Constitution for partisan purposes" in this outrageous impeachment charade.

The rule of law depends upon due process -- on the legal safeguards that protects everyone, including the President of the United States. The inmates at Guantanamo Bay prison have been afforded more due process rights than this partisan witch hunt has offered President Trump.

ACTION ITEM: Call your senators now at 202-224-3121. Politely, but firmly, urge them to co-sponsor the Graham-McConnell resolution, and to call for a quick vote and passage to send a clear message to the House leadership that it must respect precedent, due process and the will of the American voters.

Abbott Intervenes
A disturbing divorce and child custody battle has been making headlines this week. Initially I hesitated to comment because it's hard to know all the facts in a messy divorce. But this has ramifications far beyond divorce law.

The case involves twin boys, one of whom allegedly claims to be transgender. The mother wants to begin the process of medically transitioning her son while the father objects. Monday, a Dallas jury decided in the mother's favor.

Wednesday night, Texas Governor Greg Abbott tweeted, "FYI the matter of 7 year old James Younger is being looked into by the Texas Attorney General's Office and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services." And yesterday the judge in the case ruled that Jeff Younger, James's father, will have some say in his son's future development.

I am glad the governor is seeking a review and I think this issue deserves more public debate. Every parent knows that children go through phases in life. Some kids say they want to be a dinosaur when they grow up. How do you "affirm" that?

But attempting to change a child's gender is life-altering and comes with serious medical issues. There is virtually no evidence to support gender reassignment. Suicide rates are not reduced by these drastic procedures. And many young people come to regret it later in life.

I do not believe that gender reassignment is the best option for adults. But I recognize society's libertarian impulses to allow adults to make their own choices.

Children, however, do not have the capacity to fully comprehend such choices and the severe consequences that come with them.

Rather than embracing this radical concept that defies basic science (our gender is genetically determined, not assigned at birth), it would be wise for society to hit the pause button and fully debate the ramifications of what this means for children.
Gary Bauer (@GaryLBauer)  is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

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My New Book: ‘Guilty by Reason of Insanity’

by David Limbaugh: While Trump-haters keep obsessing over his tweets and “manners,” we are witnessing the Democrats’ ongoing rejection of President Donald Trump’s constitutional right to govern and the people’s sovereign choice in electing him. Let’s check our priorities.

You may regard Trump’s tweet “#StopTheCoup” as political theater, but it’s not, and we need to take notice. Ever since Trump’s presidential announcement, leftists have been plotting and scheming against him.

The polite elites pooh-poohed this as fevered conspiracy hype while promoting their dream narrative that Robert Mueller had the goods on Trump for conspiring with Russia to steal the election. As soon as this myth was definitively obliterated — by none other than Mueller himself — the Trump-hunters turned to obstruction of justice as a fallback, though obstructing an investigation into something the alleged obstructer knew never occurred never made a lot of sense.

The mobs variously turned to other potential Hail Mary “high crimes” to oust Trump, like pursuing his tax returns based on no evidence of impropriety — another fishing expedition to find any impropriety that could substantiate their slander that Trump has committed impeachable offenses.

Though the sainted Mueller failed them, Democrats didn’t retreat like disgraced accusers and apologize to the country for their fraudulent witch hunt and their complicity in orchestrating it.

Unrepentant, they instantly pivoted to Ukraine-gate as yet another bogus charge in their ever-evolving crusade to oust Trump — and to divert attention from counterinvestigations that could finally expose some of them, and their allies, for doing what they’ve been falsely accusing Trump of doing: interfering with an election.

Take Rep. Adam Schiff, for example. How many times did this reckless, malicious buffoon swear, unchallenged, that he had solid evidence of Trump’s “collusion” with Russia? Has he ever been held accountable for his lies? Has anyone in the liberal media showcased his misconduct?

To the contrary, Schiff is conducting secret hearings in a private room in the congressional basement in hot pursuit of another witch hunt. His Star Chamber proceeding facilitates his selective leaking of witness testimony to make thirdhand hearsay sound like smoking guns and create the impression that this time, they really do have the goods on Trump.

Democrats act this way while not in control of both legislative chambers or the executive branch. Can you imagine what they’ll do if they defeat Trump and capture the Senate in 2020?

Well, I can imagine, and it horrifies me, which is why I have written my new book, “Guilty by Reason of Insanity: Why the Democrats Must Not Win,” to be released Oct. 29.

In the very beginning of the book, I dispel the myth that the political left and conservatives share the same goals for America but just have different ideas about how to achieve them. If this were ever true before, which I highly doubt, it is demonstrably false now. The left shows every day that it rejects the American idea and seeks to radically transform our system of government, our economy and our culture.

The two parties have distinctly different visions for America, based on conflicting worldviews. I write: “Some will object that all Americans want everyone to be prosperous, safe, free, and to live in harmony, but I’m not sure that’s even true anymore, given the left’s anti-Americanism, its intolerance and authoritarianism, its romance with socialism, its hysterical environmentalism, its preoccupation with identity politics, its radicalism on race and gender, its attempts to erase our borders, its culture of death, its devaluation of the Constitution, its hostility to Second Amendment rights, and much more.

“The Democratic Party is a vehicle of leftist extremism that poses an existential threat to America as founded — because it is at war with our first principles and traditions. It is anti-capitalist and rejects equality of opportunity in favor of a hierarchy of privileges for identity groups ranked according to their levels of alleged historical oppression. It’s a brazenly anti-life party that promotes gender anarchy, militant feminism, and hostility toward traditional male roles and masculinity itself. It prosecutes a vicious culture war punctuated by an ongoing assault on Christians’ religious liberty.”

I go into great depth about the leftists’ agenda and how they are conducting themselves, not only providing myriad examples of their insanity but exploring the intellectual and moral fallacies underlying their ideas on socialism, gender identity, race, immigration, abortion and America’s quintessential founding principles of liberty and limited government.

My goal, as with all of my books, was to make a comprehensive yet accessible case, and readers will have judge whether I succeeded. But I urge you read it because the stakes couldn’t be higher. The 2020 elections will be a referendum on everything we hold dear about this country. We must do a better job explaining our position, especially to young people mesmerized by the seductive allure of socialism and the other social justice causes of the Democratic Party, which is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the radical left. I hope this book provides ample fodder for those who want to get in this fight to preserve America as founded.
David Limbaugh is a writer, author and attorney. His latest book is "Jesus is Risen: Paul and the Early Church." Follow him on Twitter& @davidlimbaugh and his website at

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by Paul Jacob: Even people who get their information only from major network news know that, in their mad rush to promise free health care, Democratic presidential hopefuls would raise taxes for nearly everybody including the “hard-working middle class.”

How do they know?

Because at least one of the eager promisers won’t give a straight answer.

Her name is Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Like Bernie Sanders (but not Amy Klobuchar and Joe Biden) she is offering “Medicare for All,” which Fox’s Tucker Carlson calls straight-up socialism.*

George Stephanopoulos, Chris Matthews, and “other strident Democratic partisans” have been pressing her on the tax hike issue, and at the recent, fourth national primary debate, Warren continued to evade. Even Sleepy Joe knows that universal single-payer health care spending would require more taxes than can be squeezed out of the very rich and the big corporations (which Warren, Sanders, and other Democrats incessantly push). But Warren just will not say the words: yes, your taxes will go up. She continually feints to her follow-up argument, that since overall health care costs would [according to plan] go down, we would all come out ahead.

Tucker Carlson, citing an Urban Institute study, gives the answer the democratic socialists won’t: their promise would require spending 3.4 trillion tax dollars per year — $10 grand per person per year, including every child, retiree, and prison inmate.** Warren expects us to repress our common sense and believe that cramming all health care spending through the federal government will increase efficiency.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar has the right word for Medicare for All: utopian.

Noting that Obamacare failed to live up to its promises, Azar predicts the ultimate result, “Medicare for None.”

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

* And not altogether implausibly, since medicine is a fifth of the American economy and (presumably) since socialism is an economy run by government.

Tucker’s list.

Paul Jacob (@Common_Sense_PJ ) is author of Common Sense which provides daily commentary about the issues impacting America and about the citizens who are doing something about them. He is also President of the Liberty Initiative Fund (LIFe) as well as Citizens in Charge Foundation. Jacob is a contributing author on the ARRA News Service.

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Backup . . .

. . . GOP establishment back-up is looking a bit weak when it comes to defending Trump against the corrupt Democrat and their Media.
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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Did Yovanovitch lie about not giving a ‘do not prosecute’ list in Ukraine?

by Robert Romano: “As Mr. [Yuriy] Lutsenko, the former Ukrainian Prosecutor General has recently acknowledged, the notion that I created or disseminated a ‘do not prosecute’ list is completely false — a story that Mr. Lutsenko, himself, has since retracted.”

That was former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch in her Oct. 11 testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, responding to allegations made by former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko, who told The Hill’s John Solomon on March 20, “Unfortunately, from the first meeting with the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, [Yovanovitch] gave me a list of people whom we should not prosecute.”

The supposed retraction Yovanovitch appears to have been referring to is an April 17 report from the Ukrainian TheBabel publication, translated by the Unian Information Agency.

In it, Lutsenko is quoted as saying of the meeting, “The meeting [with the ambassador] took place in the PGO [Prosecutor General’s Office], at this very table in January 2017… She was accompanied, so was I. Mrs. Yovanovitch was interested in Vitaliy Kasko’s case. The fact was that Mr. Kasko’s mother got registered for official housing [in Kyiv], while she had never left Lviv. That had signs of abuse.”

Lutsenko says Yovanovitch objected to the Kasko case, and recalled her saying, “the criminal case discredited those who were fighting against corruption.”

Some retraction. Did Yovanovitch object to cases being pursued or not?

Lutsenko elaborated, “I shared the details and explained that I could not open and close cases on my own. I listed some so-called anti-corruption activists under investigation. She said it was unacceptable, as it would undermine the credibility of anti-corruption activists. I took a piece of paper, put down the listed names and said: ‘Give me a do not prosecute list.’ She said: ‘No, you got me wrong.’ I said: ‘No, I didn’t get you wrong. Such lists were earlier drawn up on Bankova Street [referring to the Yanukovych administration that was ousted in 2014], and now you give new lists on Tankova Street [referring to the U.S. embassy].’ The meeting ended. I’m afraid the emotions were not very good.”

So, in the same interview that Yovanovitch says Lutsenko retracted his statement about being told who not to prosecute, Lutsenko appears to have actually doubled down and said that Yovanovitch told him the people he was prosecuting would undermine the credibility of anti-corruption activists and was unacceptable.

Again, Lutsenko stated in the supposed retraction, “I listed some so-called anti-corruption activists under investigation. She said it was unacceptable, as it would undermine the credibility of anti-corruption activists,” and “now you give new lists…” clearly still accusing her of giving him a list.

How is that not saying there was a do-not-prosecute list? Did Yovanovitch have to sign and date such a list physically for it to be construed any other way? Lutsenko clearly thought it was a corrupt ask by a U.S. Ambassador not to prosecute certain individuals because it would look bad. And people are questioning why she was removed from her post?

The March allegation by Lutsenko of a do-not-prosecute list had come a couple of weeks after Yovanovitch on March 5 called to have anti-corruption prosecutor Nazar Kholodnytskyi fired in a speech to the Ukraine Crisis Media Center, saying, “To ensure the integrity of anticorruption institutions, the Special Anticorruption Prosecutor must be replaced,” accusing Kholodnytskyi of corruption.

On April 1, The Hill’s Solomon reported Kholodnytskyi had reopened the office’s investigation of Burisma Holdings following former Vice President Joe Biden’s Jan. 2018 statement to the Council on Foreign Relations bragging about having the former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin, Lutsenko’s predecessor, fired in March 2016 by threatening $1.2 billion of loan guarantees to then-President Petro Poroshenko.

Kholodnytskyi told Solomon, “We were able to start this case again… [But] we don’t see any result from this case one year after the reopening because of some external influence.”

As for Shokin, he told Solomon he was removed in 2016 because of his investigation of Burisma, which Biden’s son, Hunter, served on the Board of Directors of. Shokin told Solomon he had “specific plans” to investigate including “interrogations and other crime-investigation procedures into all members of the executive board, including Hunter Biden.” Shokin also noted that he was not accusing the Bidens of a crime per se, just that he had plans to investigate when he was fired.

Lutsenko told Solomon in the same April 1 interview he wanted to give the information to Attorney General William Barr.

On Sept. 26, Solomon also reported at the Hill that Ukrainian prosecutors had been attempting to get the information about Burisma and Biden to the Justice Department since 2018, worried U.S. laws had been violated: “Ukrainian prosecutors say they have tried to get this information to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) since the summer of 2018, fearing it might be evidence of possible violations of U.S. ethics laws.”

Lutsenko, in turn, corroborated that report in a Sept. 29 BBC interview stating that the concerns about Burisma and Biden were that they possibly violated U.S. laws, saying he told Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani: “I told him the same I told you — it is not my jurisdiction… It is likely to be the jurisdiction of the U.S. If you will send me a request, yes, I will give you all official information, but it is not Ukrainian jurisdiction — that was my answer.”

The U.S. and Ukraine signed a mutual legal assistance treaty in 1998.

So, there are many questions that ought to be asked of Yovanovitch, starting with Lutsenko’s supposed retraction in an interview where Lutsenko clearly stated he was told by Yovanovitch that prosecuting certain individuals would be unacceptable. Had she read the retraction or was she told about it? Maybe she just read a misleading headline. Perhaps somebody could direct her to read his statement and describe it now. Does she still think it’s a retraction, or would she care to revise her statement? Moreover, did she say prosecuting certain individuals would be unacceptable and harm their credibility or not?

Another question would be whether concerns over violations of U.S. laws at Burisma were relayed to the U.S. embassy, and if so, were they ever passed on to the Justice Department? If not, why not?

Also, was Yovanovitch aware that former Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin’s application for a travel visa to the U.S. was denied by the State Department after Giuliani pushed to get it approved in January so Shokin could share his story about being fired by Biden? Does she know why the visas were denied?

Now, perhaps those questions were all asked at the House hearings. So, it’s time to release the transcripts, Speaker Pelosi, so the American people can get the whole story. And if they were not asked, then it is up to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) to convene a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing he chairs, or for Senate Republicans to convene another Senate committee, and call Yovanovitch as a witness. What is Pelosi hiding?
Robert Romano (@LimitGovt) is the Vice President of Public Policy at Americans for Limited Government.

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Bernie Sanders Promises to Use Executive Order to Legalize Marijuana

IJR / Reuters: Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, a longtime proponent of legalized marijuana, promised on Thursday that in his first 100 days in the White House he would issue an executive order directing the drug be removed from the list of controlled federal substances.

Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, unveiled a legalization plan that would also vacate the records of those convicted of marijuana-related crimes, and invest tax revenue from legal sales of the drug in communities hit hardest by the enforcement of marijuana laws.

“We’re going to legalize marijuana and end the horrifically destructive war on drugs,” Sanders said in a statement released with his plan. “It has disproportionately targeted people of color and ruined the lives of millions of Americans.”

Sanders is one of 18 contenders seeking the Democratic nomination to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election. Most of the Democratic candidates have embraced some form of marijuana legalization, or at least decriminalization, as public opinion has shifted in recent years to majority support.

A Gallup poll earlier this month found two of every three Americans support marijuana legalization. Eleven states and the District of Columbia now allow legal recreational use, and more than 30 states have legalized it for medical use.

During his losing 2016 White House bid, Sanders became the first high-profile presidential candidate to support legalizing marijuana. The plan released on Thursday fleshed out some of the details of his approach.

As president, according to the plan, Sanders would issue an executive order directing his attorney general to declassify marijuana as a controlled substance. It is listed in the same category as heroin with drugs the federal government deems have no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.

Sanders also would introduce legislation in the U.S. Congress to make legalization permanent.

Sanders would create programs to invest in minority communities his campaign said have been disproportionately hit by enforcement of marijuana laws.

Citing statistics showing black Americans are nearly four times more likely to be arrested for possession, despite similar rates of marijuana use across the races, the plan would create a $20 billion program within the Minority Business Development Agency to provide business grants to entrepreneurs of color.

It also would create a $10 billion U.S. Department of Agriculture program to aid marijuana growing operations in communities with high arrest rates to ensure “the people victimized by criminalization see the direct benefits,” the campaign said.

The plan includes incentives to ensure the marijuana industry is not overtaken by big tobacco companies.
Editing by Bill Berkrot at IJR.

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Woke Math Aims to Teach Seattle Kids That ‘Western’ Math Is Racist

 Proposal in Seattle suggests adding ethnic
studies to math curriculum in public schools.
by Jarrett Stepman: The culture war is coming for you, whether you like it or not.

It’s no secret that American history is under attack. The ethos of leftist historian Howard Zinn has made inroads into classrooms across the country, as I explain in my book “The War on History: The Conspiracy to Rewrite America’s Past.”

But, lest you think you can escape the social justice dogmatism infecting the liberal arts, a story out of Seattle shows how social justice warriors will leave no stone unturned in their effort to fundamentally transform America.

Seattle Public Schools recently proposed adding ethnic studies into K-12 math curriculum.

That’s right—we’ve gone straight past “new math” and right to “woke math.”

The framework for this new curriculum exposes just how absurd woke math will be.

Among other things, it states that “Western” mathematics as “the only legitimate expression of mathematical identity and intelligence,” whatever that means, has been used to “disenfranchise people and communities of color.”

Robby Soave at Reason pointed out how empty and hollow the guidelines are:
It’s chock full of social justice jargon that sounds smart but is actually vapid. What does it mean to decode mathematical ‘beauty’ or ‘identify how the development of mathematics has been erased from learning in school?’ (Has it been erased? That seems like a problem for history class.)

The guidance says it will ‘re-humanize mathematics through experiential learning’ and facilitate learning ‘independently and interdependently.’ That’s a fancy way of saying almost nothing at all.
Of course, while this sort of curriculum will leave students with little actual knowledge or understanding of how to do math, it certainly serves a purpose: to radicalize young people with tales of oppression and groom them to be future social justice warriors themselves.

Among the many other lessons that the guidelines suggest are to “explain how math dictates economic oppression,” “identify economic movements that have led to liberation,” and ask the question, “How can we change mathematics from individualistic to collectivist thinking?”

Notice a pattern?

The message is that empowerment comes not from cultivating useful knowledge and abilities, but through social protest and community organizing.

Woke math is simply the latest and perhaps silliest expression of a larger agenda to turn young Americans against their country and fellow citizens, to fill them with grievance, and convince them that their key to a perfect future is through socialism.

Of course, it may be a challenge to build a green socialist utopia of high-speed rail without basic math or engineering skills, but those are mere details.

Regardless of the problems with woke math, the situation in Seattle shows why policies like school choice are so important. Parents need tools to pressure their local public schools if they are failing, or worse, trying to indoctrinate their children with ideas they oppose.

Undeniably, many of America’s institutions, starting with higher education but now trickling down through K-12, are being used to un-assimilate Americans, to boil down every issue in life to cleavages in ethnic identity rather than differences of opinion in a complex world.

It’s a sign of our times that even math is getting swept up in the larger cultural moment, but it’s also a warning: There is no escape, even behind the hard realities of numbers and science.
Jarrett Stepman (@JarrettStepman) is an contributor of The Daily Signal and co-host of The Right Side of History podcast.

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The End Of Syria’s “Pipeline War”

by ZEROHEDGE: Russia-Turkey deal establishes ‘safe zone’ along Turkish border and there will be joint Russia-Turkey military patrols.

The negotiations in Sochi were long – over six hours – tense and tough. Two leaders in a room with their interpreters and several senior Turkish ministers close by if advice was needed. The stakes were immense: a road map to pacify northeast Syria, finally.

The press conference afterwards was somewhat awkward – riffing on generalities. But there’s no question that in the end Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan managed the near impossible.

The Russia-Turkey deal establishes a safe zone along the Syrian-Turkish border – something Erdogan had been gunning for since 2014. There will be joint Russia-Turkey military patrols. The Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units), part of the rebranded, US-aligned Syrian Democratic Forces, will need to retreat and even disband, especially in the stretch between Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ayn, and they will have to abandon their much-cherished urban areas such as Kobane and Manbij. The Syrian Arab Army will be back in the whole northeast. And Syrian territorial integrity – a Putin imperative – will be preserved.

This is a Syria-Russia-Turkey win-win-win – and, inevitably, the end of a separatist-controlled Syrian Kurdistan. Significantly, Erdogan’s spokesman Fahrettin Altun stressed Syria’s “territorial integrity” and “political unity.” That kind of rhetoric from Ankara was unheard of until quite recently.

Putin immediately called Syrian President Bashar al Assad to detail the key points of the memorandum of understanding. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov once again stressed Putin’s main goal – Syrian territorial integrity – and the very hard work ahead to form a Syrian Constitutional Committee for the legal path towards a still-elusive political settlement.

Russian military police and Syrian border guards are already arriving to monitor the imperative YPG withdrawal – all the way to a depth of 30 kilometers from the Turkish border. The joint military patrols are tentatively scheduled to start next Tuesday.

On the same day this was happening in Sochi, Assad was visiting the frontline in Idlib – a de facto war zone that the Syrian army, allied with Russian air power, will eventually clear of jihadi militias, many supported by Turkey until literally yesterday. That graphically illustrates how Damascus, slowly but surely, is recovering sovereign territory after eight and a half years of war.

Who gets the oil?
For all the cliffhangers in Sochi, there was not a peep about an absolutely key element: who’s in control of Syria’s oilfields, especially after President Trump’s now-notorious tweet stating, “the US has secured the oil.” No one knows which oil. If he meant Syrian oil, that would be against international law. Not to mention Washington has no mandate – from the UN or anyone else – to occupy Syrian territory.

The Arab street is inundated with videos of the not exactly glorious exit by US troops, leaving Syria pelted by rocks and rotten tomatoes all the way to Iraqi Kurdistan, where they were greeted by a stark reminder. “All US forces that withdrew from Syria received approval to enter the Kurdistan region [only] so that they may be transported outside Iraq. There is no permission granted for these forces to stay inside Iraq,” the Iraqi military headquarters in Baghdad said.

The Pentagon said a “residual force” may remain in the Middle Euphrates river valley, side by side with Syrian Democratic Forces militias, near a few oilfields, to make sure the oil does not fall into the hands of ISIS. “Others” actually means the legitimate owner, Damascus. There’s no way the Syrian army will accept that, as it’s now fully engaged in a national drive to recover the country’s sources of food, agriculture and energy. Syria’s northern provinces have a wealth of water, hydropower dams, oil, gas and food.

As it stands, the US retreat is partial at best, also considering that a small garrison remains behind at al-Tanf, on the border with Jordan. Strategically, that does not make sense, because the al-Qaem border between Iran and Iraq is now open and thriving.
Map: Energy Consulting Group
The map above shows the position of US bases in early October, but that’s changing fast. The Syrian Army is already working to recover oilfields around Raqqa, but the strategic US base of Ash Shaddadi still seems to be in place. Until quite recently US troops were in control of Syria’s largest oilfield, al-Omar, in the northeast.

There have been accusations by Russian sources that mercenaries recruited by private US military companies trained jihadi militias such as the Maghawir al-Thawra (“Army of Free Tribes”) to sabotage Syrian oil and gas infrastructure and/or sell Syrian oil and gas to bribe tribal leaders and finance jihadi operations. The Pentagon denies it.

Gas pipeline
As I have argued for years, Syria to a large extent has been a key ‘Pipelineistan’ war – not only in terms of pipelines inside Syria, and the US preventing Damascus from commercializing its own natural resources, but most of all around the fate of the Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline which was agreed in a memorandum of understanding signed in 2012.

This pipeline has, over the years, always been a red line, not only for Washington but also for Doha, Riyadh and Ankara.

The situation should dramatically change when the $200 billion-worth of reconstruction in Syria finally takes off after a comprehensive peace deal is in place. It will be fascinating to watch the European Union – after NATO plotted for an “Assad must go” regime change operation for years – wooing Tehran, Baghdad and Damascus with financial offers for their gas.

NATO explicitly supported the Turkish offensive “Operation Peace Spring.” And we haven’t even seen the ultimate geoeconomic irony yet: NATO member, Turkey, purged of its neo-Ottoman dreams, merrily embracing the Gazprom-supported Iran-Iraq-Syria ‘Pipelineistan’ road map.
ZEROHEDGE: Leading economics blog online covering financial issues, geopolitics and trading.  This article was contributed to the ARRA News Service by James Stafford, Editor., the leading online energy news site. Its news and analysis covers all energy sectors from crude oil and natural gas to solar energy and hydro.

Tags: OilPrice, ZeroHedge, economics blog, Syria, Turkey,  pipeline war, NATO, US Forces, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

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