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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, February 07, 2020

Attacks on Trump: What Would You Do?

by Newt Gingrich: We know what President Trump did. What would you do?

Consider the situation in which President Trump finds himself.

The House Democrats have already announced they want to subpoena former National Security Adviser John Bolton. House Democrats have already made clear that they will continue to investigate and harass the president. Speaker Pelosi and other House Democrats have said they reject the Senate acquittal and will continue to say President Trump is impeached.

The bitter Democratic hostility was made clear when Speaker Pelosi refused to introduce President Trump with the historic “It is my high privilege and distinct honor” phrase and instead simply said “the President of the United States.”

As a former Speaker of the House who introduced President Bill Clinton four times with the right language, I was stunned at her petty nastiness. She is the Speaker of the whole House, not just the Speaker of the Democrats. The President was delivering a message as a Constitutional duty which calls for an annual report on the State of the Union. She was honoring the office of President not the personality of Donald Trump. She failed.

Then, to make sure we all understood the depth of her contempt and hostility toward President Trump, Speaker Pelosi publicly tore up her copy of his speech while she was still at the podium. Ironically, Pelosi’s petty bitterness was being drowned by the extraordinary speech the president had delivered.

The State of the Union drew support from 76 percent of the audience according to a CNN poll following the speech. Think of that. When even CNN must report three out of four Americans who watched the speech liked President Trump’s State of the Union, something pretty big is happening. Similarly, a CBS poll found that 75 percent of watchers approved.

The State of the Union was actually a remarkably well developed presentation that had human touches (a young girl who survived being born prematurely, a Tuskegee airmen, a soldier surprising his family with his return from Afghanistan, a young girl getting a scholarship to go to a better school, Rush Limbaugh with stage four lung cancer receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from First Lady Melania Trump – the list goes on and on).

The closing offered a positive vision of America’s future and had such emotional power that people I know had tears in their eyes listening to it.

This was the speech House Democrats decided to scorn and dismiss.

The next morning, President Trump spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast. Two-thirds of his talk was a message about the importance of religion and the importance of religious liberty. The Trump Administration has been more committed and more aggressive in defending religious liberty than any prior presidency in modern history.

However, the president went well beyond the bounds of a normal prayer breakfast speech in hitting at Speaker Pelosi – who was sitting four seats away from him. Trump specifically cited (without mentioning her name) her statement that she prayed for him – and he said he simply did not believe it. I tend to agree with President Trump. Someone who deliberately refuses to use the words “honor” and “privilege” in an introduction and then ostentatiously tears up the biggest speech of the year is probably not much into praying for the person to whom she is so publicly contemptuous.

Thursday, the president had a victory celebration over his acquittal by the Senate the day before. He gleefully held up The Washington Post, headlined “Trump Acquitted.” President Trump had every reason to feel celebratory. Over the last three years, he has withstood vicious partisan reporting. He’s dealt with illegal efforts by the leaders of the FBI to destroy him. He endured a long investigation by Robert Mueller and a team of left-wing investigators. He’s had to listen to endless lies by Rep. Adam Schiff. He sustained smears by people on his own national security staff. He faced a totally one-sided Democratic witch hunt in the House (which broke all the rules of fairness and bipartisanship). He had to watch personal friends be harassed – and in some cases brought near bankruptcy – by absurd legal expenses. Finally, he has seen his own family being unfairly attacked and ridiculed.

The question I have for you is: In this circumstance, what would you do?

President Trump won the 2016 election and thought he would be accepted as president. Instead, from the day after the election, he was hounded, derided, and attacked by a combination of so-called never-Trumpers, Democrats, and the leftwing media.

Then President Trump thought if he endured two years of an absurdly aggressive and confrontational Mueller Investigation (which included putting people in solitary confinement for months and threatening to bankrupt the president’s friends) then people would accept that he was innocent.

After a few weeks of starting to relax, suddenly there was an anonymous so-called whistleblower (who to this day is still absurdly secret even though he started the entire impeachment process). Now the topic moved from Russia to Ukraine.

But Ukraine could only be discussed where it involved President Trump. In the height of one-sided news media coverage, Vice President Joe Biden’s (recorded and well-documented) boasting that he had threatened to withhold $1 billion in foreign aid unless Ukraine fired a prosecutor investigating a company which was paying his son $50,000 a month was off limits.

After watching Schiff fabricate Trump comments that he admitted were pure fiction – and watching the House Democrats set up totally one-sided, partisan rules for impeachment hearings (counter to the Richard Nixon and Clinton impeachment precedents) – the president knew he would have to endure weeks of lies and smears knowing that in the end the Republicans in the Senate would acquit him.

However, the night before the acquittal, Speaker Pelosi behaved in such a bitter, vicious manner that it is clear the Democrats are going to continue to harass President Trump regardless of facts – or the will of the American people.

Given all of this, before you judge the president’s strong language, ask yourself this: If you had endured more than three years of constant attack, how would you respond? What words would you use?

When people think that through, I think some will be a lot more sympathetic to the president than they had been.
----------------------
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, Attacks on Trump, Trump Acquitted, What Would You Do? To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Economy Adds 225,000 Jobs as Nation Continues to Flourish

by Timothy Doescher: The U.S. economy added an impressive 225,000 jobs in January as low unemployment rates continued for all Americans.

The new jobs report shatters the experts’ predictions and continues to make the case that, because of good economic policy, America is flourishing.

This report shows that since President Donald Trump was elected in November 2016, employment gains have surpassed 100,000 jobs in 35 out of the past 38 months and have been positive for a record-setting 112 months.

As the unemployment rate ticked up slightly from 3.5% to 3.6%, the labor force participation rate jumped from 63.2% to 63.4%, adding 574,000 workers to the civilian labor force.

This suggests that while people may not have a job, they are actively looking for one, which is reflected by the increase of 183,000 in the number of Americans reentering the labor force.

The labor force participation rate for January represents the highest so far for the Trump administration. In this instance, a higher unemployment rate is a good sign; more Americans have decided to leave the sidelines of the long-term unemployed and now are looking for work.

So why are Americans jumping back into the labor force?

One factor is that the nation currently has 6.8 million jobs open, and the other is wage growth. Last month, average hourly earnings for all employees rose by 7 cents to $28.44 an hour. This was a .2% increase from December’s 2.9% growth, and keeps us at a healthy average growth rate of 3.1% over the past 12 months.

Nonmanagerial wages also are growing faster than the average. Production and nonsupervisory workers saw wage gains of 3.3% over the previous year.

In addition to drawing Americans back into the workforce, this wage growth, coupled with a slower rise in prices in recent months, suggests that consumer spending will continue to help drive economic growth.

Americans are more optimistic about their financial futures than any time in our history, according to a new Gallup survey.

Here’s where we saw gains and losses last month:

Construction: +44,000 jobs

Health Care: +36,000 jobs

Transportation and Warehousing: +28,000 jobs

Leisure and Hospitality: +36,000 jobs

Professional and Business Services: +21,000 jobs

Manufacturing: -12,000 jobs

This is a good jobs report, and the president and his conservative supporters in Congress deserve praise for implementing policies to build opportunity and more prosperity. But more needs to be done.

My Heritage Foundation colleague, Joel Griffith, found that net private domestic investment jumped more than 20% (in real terms) in 2018 vs. 2016. Partly as a result of this investment, productivity in the past year increased at the fastest clip since 2010; real wages also increased across the board.

But by the last quarter in 2019, net private investment had dropped by 9% on an annualized basis. Why? Griffith assigns part of the blame to a slowdown in global growth combined with trade uncertainties that mainly involved the Trump tariffs.

The key word in this recipe is “uncertainty.” If business leaders are uncertain about their future, they likely will hold on to their money instead of investing it and expanding. This is a move in the exact opposite direction of economic growth and better job opportunities.

Many of the president’s supporters will suggest that tariffs are a means to an end, and that he has to impose them to make better deals. The heart behind this is understandable.

But the fact is, tariffs do not work to spur greater economic growth; they raise costs and shrink incomes. Tariffs are a tax on all Americans, not just the wealthy, and they do real harm.

The president deserves credit for easing some of the tariffs on China and pushing for more fairness in our trading relationship. But don’t stop at easing, Mr. President, go all the way.

It’s time to abandon tariffs and allow investment to flourish, not stagnate. Let’s keep the good news coming in. It’s always better to start off the first Friday of the month with a positive commentary on the jobs report, not a negative one.
----------------------
Timothy Doescher @TimothyDoescher is associate director of coalition relations at The Heritage Foundation's Institute for Economic Freedom and shared this The Daily Signal article.

Tags: Timothy Doescher, The Daily Signal, Economy Adds 225,000 Jobs, Nation Continues to Flourish To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

More Winning, Debate Night, The Ayatollah's "Final Solution"

Gary Bauer
by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: More Winning
The White House announced yesterday that U.S. forces took out Qasim al-Rimi, the leader of Al Qaeda in Yemen and a top deputy to Al-Qaeda's "supreme leader" Ayman al-Zawahiri. Al-Rimi is at least the fourth major terrorist leader taken out by the Trump Administration and our tremendous warriors. (Here, here and here.)

The Trump economy continues to defy all expectations. Last month, 225,000 new jobs were created, greatly exceeding the 158,000 predicted by most economists. Wages also rose more than expected.

For years, the so-called "experts" told us that just 125,000 to 150,000 new jobs each month was the "new normal" and the best we could hope for. These same "experts" blasted President Trump for cracking down on illegal immigration because we supposedly needed more workers. Well, there are clearly plenty of Americans still looking for work and willing to work.

By the way, House Democrats yesterday passed a bill allowing illegal immigrants to sue their employers for damages, while also allowing labor unions to recruit illegal immigrants as members. Just another example of the left putting American workers last. Thankfully, this bill is DOA in the Senate.

In other news, a federal appeals court dismissed another frivolous case filed by House Democrats against President Trump's businesses.

And finally, one of the president's primary opponents dropped out yesterday.

Donald Trump is committed to testing his claim that we would "get tired of winning" under his presidency. Just speaking for myself, there's a long away to go before I get tired of it!

In the meantime, enjoy this video. It is a good reminder of what America is all about and a great ad for Donald Trump!


The Best Is Yet To Come - Trump 2020

Debate Night
Seven candidates will take the stage tonight at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, for the eighth Democrat debate. The debate is sponsored by ABC News and will air at 8:00 PM ET. The participating candidates are:
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Senator Amy Klobuchar
  • Senator Bernie Sanders
  • Billionaire activist Tom Steyer
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren
  • Businessman Andrew Yang
There is a lot at stake in this debate for all of the candidates. According to the latest New Hampshire poll, Sanders and Buttigieg are essentially tied at 24% and 23% respectively, with Warren and Biden well behind at 13% and 11%. No other candidate received double digit support.

As a result of the continuing chaos from the Iowa caucuses (the vote count is reportedly full of errors), Sanders and Buttigieg are battling it out for the right to claim front runner status.

Meanwhile, the anointed "front runner," Joe Biden, is at risk of suffering another fourth-place "gut punch," while the other candidates are all fighting to remain relevant and viable.

Here's something to keep in mind: All the so-called "experts" who are paid big bucks to go on national television to tell us the facts of the political scene have been proven grossly wrong. Just flipping a coin would give you a better record than these folks!

We've been told for months that Joe Biden was the front runner, the inevitable nominee, the only one who could beat Donald Trump, and that electability was the only thing that mattered to Democrat primary voters. Well, none of that appears to be true.

One breaking story today is that the Biden campaign has canceled a big ad buy in South Carolina, where his campaign is confident of victory, and redirected those resources to Nevada, where Bernie Sanders is surging.

Of course, Biden could still survive, but he's clearly hanging on the edge of a cliff. He's betting on a big showing next month on Super Tuesday, but his campaign strategy never accounted for the Bloomberg blitz, which seems likely to siphon votes away from Biden.

Hold on -- it's going to be a wild ride!

Romney The Righteous
Ponder this: Mitt Romney went to the floor of the Senate to congratulate himself for his moral superiority because he voted to convict an innocent man. In my view, he's not much better than "Pete The Pious."

The Ayatollah's "Final Solution"
As you know, President Trump recently proposed a bold peace plan that envisions a strong and secure Israel, as well as a free and economically thriving Palestinian state. While no one in the Middle East wants peace more than Israelis, sadly, there are many who do not want peace with the Jewish state or even a piece of it.

This week, Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, vowed to resist the president's peace plan and to continue supporting terrorism against the "Zionist entity." Khamenei declared:

"What is the remedy [to the Trump plan]? The remedy is bold resistance. The Palestinian nation, personages and organizations should force out the Zionists and the U.S. with their selfless Jihad. This is the only effective solution. . .

"Of course, I believe that the Palestinian armed organizations are going to resist; they will continue the resistance. The solution is resistance. . .

"We, the system of the Islamic Republic, consider it to be our duty to support the Palestinian resistance groups. We are going to support them, as much as we can and with all the means at our disposal."


This is the real obstacle to peace in the Middle East, not homes for Jews in Judea and Samaria. Iran, not Israel, is the source of virtually all the chaos and instability in the Middle East.

Iran is funding Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad. Iran is propping up Assad in Syria and supporting the militias that are butchering innocent Iraqis. Iran is backing the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

While I applaud efforts to negotiate peace between Israel and the Palestinians, too often the West has misdirected its focus by asking Israel to make concessions. But Israel isn't the problem.

The Iranian regime is not interested in peace, and it will not allow Palestinians to make peace with Israel. The ayatollah has repeatedly called for his own "final solution" – a second Holocaust through the "annihilation" of the Jewish state. And that is why the Trump Administration's "maximum pressure campaign" against the ayatollah's regime is so vital.

If the Islamic Republic of Iran ends its state-sponsorship of terrorism and ends its expansionist ambitions, then and only then may there be a real chance for peace in the Middle East.
-------------------
Gary Bauer (@GaryLBauer)  is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families, More Winning, Debate Night, The Ayatollah's "Final Solution" To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Is Trump’s Unorthodoxy Becoming Orthodox?

Victor Davis Hanson
by Victor Davis Hanson: The U.S. has become no better friend to an increasing number of allies and neutrals, and no worse an adversary to a shrinking group of enemies.

When candidate Donald Trump campaigned on calling China to account for its trade piracy, observers thought he was either crazy or dangerous.

Conventional Washington wisdom had assumed that an ascendant Beijing was almost preordained to world hegemony. Trump’s tariffs and polarization of China were considered about the worst thing an American president could do.

The accepted bipartisan strategy was to accommodate, not oppose, China’s growing power. The hope was that its newfound wealth and global influence would liberalize the ruling Communist government.

Four years later, only a naif believes that. Instead, there is an emerging consensus that China’s cutthroat violations of international norms were long ago overdue for an accounting.

China’s re-education camps, its Orwellian internal surveillance, its crackdown on Hong Kong democracy activists, and its secrecy about the deadly coronavirus outbreak have all convinced the world that China has now become a dangerous international outlier.

Trump courted moderate Arab nations in forming an anti-Iranian coalition opposed to Iran’s terrorist and nuclear agendas. His policies utterly reversed the Obama administration’s estrangement from Israel and outreach to Tehran.

Last week, Trump nonchalantly offered the Palestinians a take-it-or-leave-it independent state on the West Bank, but without believing that a West Bank settlement was the key to peace in the entire Middle East.

Trump’s cancelation of the Iran deal, in particular, was met with international outrage. More global anger followed after the targeted killing of Iranian terrorist leader general Qasem Soleimani.

In short, Trump’s Middle East recalibrations won few supporters among the bipartisan establishment.

But recently, Europeans have privately started to agree that more sanctions are needed on Iran, that the world is better off with Soleimani gone, and that the West Bank is not central to regional peace.

Iran has now become a pariah. U.S.-sponsored sanctions have reduced the theocracy to near-bankruptcy. Most nations understand that if Iran kills Americans or openly starts up its nuclear program, the U.S. will inflict disproportional damage on its infrastructure — a warning that at first baffled, then angered, and now has humiliated Iran.

In other words, there is now an entirely new Middle East orthodoxy that was unimaginable just three years ago.

Suddenly the pro-Iranian, anti-Western Palestinians have few supporters. Israel and a number of prominent Arab nations are unspoken allies of convenience against Iran. And Iran itself is seemingly weaker than at any other time in the theocracy’s history.

Stranger still, instead of demanding that the U.S. leave the region, many Middle Eastern nations privately seem eager for more of a now-reluctant U.S. presence.

For the last 20 years, much of the American orthodoxy had agreed with Europe that the increasingly anti-democratic, pan-continental, and borderless European Union was the remedy to all of Europe’s past 20th-century catastrophes.

As a result, American presidents did not do much when EU nations typically racked up large trade surpluses with the U.S., often a result of asymmetrical fees, tariffs, and fines.

The U.S. largely ignored the increasingly anti-democratic and anti-American tone of the EU.

Nor did Americans object much when lackadaisical European NATO nations habitually welched on their defense-spending commitments.

Apparently, past U.S. administrations supposed that a paternalistic America would always be more eager to defend Europe than Europe would be to defend itself.

But then Trump again blew up more old assumptions.

NATO will now only survive if its members keep their word and meet their spending promises. An economically stagnant, oil-hungry, and top-heavy EU will have to make radical changes, or it will sink into irrelevance and eventually break apart.

Trump got little credit for these revolutionary changes because he is, after all, Trump — a wheeler-dealer, an ostentatious outsider, unpredictable in action, and not shy about rude talk.

But his paradoxical and successful policies — the product of conservative, anti-war, and pro-worker agendas — are gradually winning supporters and uniting disparate groups.

After all, the U.S. is beefing up its military but using it only sparingly. It hits back hard at enemies but does not hit first. For Trump, being conventional is dangerous; being unpredictable is far safer.

For all Trump’s tough talk, his ace in the hole is American soft power — based on a globally dominant economy, its global lead in the production of gas and oil, and an omnipresent cultural juggernaut.

For Trump the ex-television star, wars translate into bad ratings and worse optics. As a businessman, he believes needless conflicts get in the way of money-making and win-win deals.

The result of the new orthodoxy is that the U.S. has become no better friend to an increasing number of allies and neutrals, and no worse an adversary to a shrinking group of enemies. And yet Trump’s paradox is that America’s successful new foreign policy is as praised privately as it is caricatured publicly — at least for now.
------------------------
Victor Davis Hanson (@VDHanson) is a senior fellow, classicist and historian and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution where many of his articles are found; his focus is classics and military history. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. H/T The National Review.

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Trump vs. Sanders Will Be MAGA vs. Anti-MAGA Election

. . . Bernie Sanders supporters don't believe in God or America.
by Daniel Greenfield: What is inside the soul of a Bernie Sanders supporter?

As the socialist senator from Vermont becomes a serious candidate for the nomination, even if he never gets there, it’s important to investigate what is fueling this radical transformation of the Democrats.

A new Pew survey provides us with some valuable insights into what makes Sanders supporters tick.

The Sanders base is irreligious, whether agnostic, atheistic, or unaffiliated with any major religion.

While Sanders is, like Karl Marx, of Jewish ancestry, he has never been a practicing Jew. Instead, he has spent the bulk of his career aligning with anti-Semitic figures. His deputy press secretary had accused the “American Jewish community” of treason. He regularly campaigns with racists like John Cusack who tweeted an anti-Semitic Nazi meme. Bernie doesn’t like Jews, and Jews don’t like Bernie.

A Siena College poll showed that Jews in New York were the group least likely to support Sanders. The national numbers are better for Bernie, but even in the Pew survey, Jews are one of two religious groups that are least likely to support Sanders. The other anti-Bernie group are black Protestants.

Jews and black Protestants may like Bernie less than other religious groups, but they’re not outliers.

Bernie performs poorly with every major religious group with the exception of Hispanic Catholics. Catholics, of all backgrounds, are the religious denomination likeliest to support him. But even Hispanic Catholics are more likely to back Biden than Bernie. Where Bernie shines is in the unaffiliated category.

Like Warren, he gets the most support from unaffiliated voters who have no religious identity.

While 75% of Democrats believe that belief in God isn’t necessary to be a good a person, among Warren supporters that number rises to 93%, and hits 85% among Sanders supporters.

These developments were reflected in an earlier Pew survey which found that a majority of white Democrats were no longer Christian. While only 47% of white Democrats call themselves Christians, 10% are members of other faiths, and 42% have no religion. Sanders and Warren rely largely on the support of these white voters. While Sanders brings in a sizable Hispanic contingent, Warren does not. That’s why her supporters tend to poll as being even more extremely irreligious and hostile to religious values.

The fundamental cultural gap is equally pronounced when it comes to America.

MAGA, President Trump’s famous election slogan, is not widely shared among Democrats. Only 10% of Democrats believe that America is the greatest country in the world. That’s one reason why MAGA touches such a chord of fury among Democrats. Its premise of national greatness is foreign to them.

But 60% of Democrats do agree that America is, if not the greatest, among the greatest countries. That’s a reasonably neutral position. It’s one that even most non-Americans would agree with.

Bernie Sanders supporters however are firmly in the anti-MAGA camp. 30% of Democrats believe that other countries are better than America. Among Warren supporters, it's 43%.

Among Sanders backers, the number is 51%. A majority.

Only a majority of Sanders supporters reject the idea that America is the greatest or among the greatest nations in the world.

Democrats split over whether America should have the world’s most powerful military. But the split still narrowly favors those who say that we should maintain military supremacy. Among Warren supporters however, 65% are okay with another country becoming as militarily powerful as the United States.

And, among Sanders supporters, 59%, also a solid majority, accept that idea.

That rejection of America’s greatness also translates directly into a rejection of border security. While Democrats split over whether illegal immigration is a problem, with a majority narrowly rejecting the idea, 64% of Sanders and Warren supporters believe that illegal immigration really isn’t a problem.

What’s behind the distaste that Sanders and Warren supporters have for American exceptionalism?

American exceptionalism is based on the idea that freedom allows us to pursue our dreams, and fulfill our destinies. As the freest nation, we were formed by the meritocratic power of human potential.

Socialism however assumes that people are unable to make their way without government help.

A narrow majority of Democrats reject the idea that people can get ahead if they try hard enough. But among Sanders and Warren supporters, 64% and 71% respectively, don’t believe hard work matters.

Socialists don’t believe in America because they don’t believe in the power of human freedom. And they don’t believe in human freedom because they don’t believe in people.

They don’t believe in God, America, or the individual. They only believe in government.

What that really means is that they don’t believe that we derive our sense of purpose internally or from a higher power, but from the higher power of government. Government is the force that gives us meaning. The collective and the government shape each other in a cyclical quest for utopia.

We have spent a great deal of time looking at what lefties believe in, not what they don’t believe in. But the unbelief in the ancient verities that give our lives strength and meaning are the holes in the fabric. Radical politics fill the holes in the fabric. But the radical politics emerge because the holes are there.

The rise of Bernie Sanders represents not only the ascension of radical politics, but of these holes.

If Sanders becomes the nominee of his occasional party, then the 2020 election will become a collision between two factions in national life, one that believes in our nation’s greatness and one that does not.

Call it the MAGA vs anti-MAGA election.

2020 will determine whether a national faction that doesn’t believe in God or America or one that does will shape the fabric of our national life. The anti-MAGAs can’t make America great because they don’t believe that America is or ought to be great. Nor do they believe that people are capable of doing anything except demanding freebies from the government. Or receiving them from the government.

This would be true of any Democrat able to crawl through the gauntlet of Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the Sierra Club, the Human Rights Campaign, the Democracy Alliance, Black Lives Matter, the Brennan Center, Moms Demand Action, Emily’s List, and the multitude of other party gatekeepers.

But it’s particularly true of Bernie Sanders who emerged from the narrower tunnel of the DSA, Jacobin, and truly radical gatekeepers who view the Soviet Union as an ambitious, but imperfect experiment.

If Bernie Sanders becomes the nominee, the MAGAs will face the ultimate anti-MAGAs.

In 2016, Trump benefited from running as an anti-establishment candidate against an establishment politician. There were some who flocked to him because they genuinely opposed socialism and supported freedom. But others just opposed the establishment, without caring about the issues.

If Bernie Sanders becomes the nominee, then 2020 will no longer be about a clash between the establishment and the anti-establishment, whose final battle is being fought with impeachment. Instead, 2020 will be a referendum, not on the establishment, but on the future of America.

Two anti-establishment candidates, one who believes in God, country and freedom, and one who hates all three, will face off in one election to determine the future of the United States of America.
--------------------------
Daniel Greenfield (@Sultanknish) is Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an investigative journalist and writer focusing on radical Left and Islamic terrorism.

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Democrats' Blunders Help Create Favorable Winds for Trump

Michael Barone
by Michael Barone: Are we watching a great political party commit suicide?

For more than a year, Democratic candidates, up to 26 of them at one point, have been crisscrossing Iowa's 99 counties, seeking votes in Iowa's precinct caucuses.

They were duly held on Monday night. But the Iowa Democratic Party did not release any results until Tuesday, and they were only partial results -- a software glitch, we're told. But what does that say about the party's competence and judgment? Why not just use pencil and paper and adding machines with tape?

That would be too easy. Iowa's Democratic caucuses, established in 1972 to boost dovish candidates, had a complex system of regrouping supporters of candidates with less than 15% and reporting not votes but state convention delegate equivalents.

Bernie Sanders supporters protested four years ago when the Iowa party announced Hillary Clinton had beaten him by a tiny number of delegate equivalents, even though more caucus goers may have actually backed him. This year, the party agreed to provide three versions of the results including the number of attendees for each candidate. So far, it's produced nothing.

The entrance poll of first choices of those entering the caucuses showed Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg leading with 23%, followed by Joe Biden with 17%, Elizabeth Warren with 16% and Amy Klobuchar with 13%.

Those numbers should be considered approximate and subject to error, but nonetheless, the Buttigieg camp claimed victory; the Sanders campaign released partial results showing him ahead; and the Biden campaign noted that there were plenty of contests to come.

Such results must look dreadful to national Democratic Party professionals. They doubt that a 78-year-old socialist who had a heart attack last October would be a strong nominee. They doubt that a 38-year-old former small-city mayor with zero appeal to black voters can stop him.

Sanders is poised to win big in New Hampshire Feb. 11, and he could easily beat a flagging Biden in Nevada on Feb. 22. Nor does South Carolina on Feb. 29 look like a sure win for Biden, who in a Jan. 26-29 Post and Courier poll led Sanders by only a five-point margin. At this point, Biden is getting only 30% of black votes, supposedly his particular constituency.

With no official result until Thursday and arguably suspicious results over the last few days, Warren and Klobuchar did not exit the race. This ensures a crowded field in which Sanders, like Donald Trump in the early 2016 Republican primaries, could win with pluralities in one state after another. After all, he did get 43% of primary votes against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

One possibility, looking forward to the Super Tuesday and other big state primaries in March, is a race between Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg, who wisely skipped Iowa and New Hampshire and has been spending hundreds of millions on big state TV. Is either candidate ideally positioned to beat President Trump?

Maybe no Democrat is. Trump's RealClearPolitics job approval reached an all-time high of 46% last week, and a new Gallup poll has it at 49%. Moreover, that poll shows more voters with positive feelings toward the Republican Party than the Democratic Party, a contrast with many past results.

These possibly strategic upticks surely owe something to the way the Democrats bobbled impeachment. The one-sided House proceedings moved more people in the United States to oppose impeachment. The month long delay in sending the articles over to the Senate showed indecision and ineffectiveness. And the final vote Wednesday proved it was all a pointless waste of time.

In contrast, people in the U.S. see conditions in the nation improving in the Trump years. Gallup's Social Series poll shows people's satisfaction with the economy at 68%, up 22% from January 2017; satisfaction with security from terrorism up 18% from 2017; with military preparedness up 15%; and with the state of race relations up 14%.

There's plenty of material here for an updated version of former President Ronald Reagan's 1984 "Morning in America" ad, which, over gauzy, feel-good video, highlighted one improved statistic after another, with only a brief shot of the president himself.

What do the Democrats have to offer in return? Criticism of the killing of Iran's terrorist chief. Tales of economic woe at a time of record-low unemployment and what Trump can reasonably call a "blue-collar boom."

Six months ago, Democrats were savoring the humiliating defeat of Trump. Today, thanks in part to blunders from Iowa to impeachment, they fear that he, like his three predecessors, may be catching favorable winds and sailing out of the political doldrums toward reelection.
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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.

Tags: Michael Barone, editorial, Rasmussen Reports, Democrats' Blunders, Help Create, Favorable Winds, for Trump To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Are the Bells Tolling for Amy, Liz & Joe?

by Patrick Buchanan: If Sanders, with cash on hand unmatched by any rival, save billionaire Bloomberg, wins the Granite State, he becomes the progressives’ champion over rival Elizabeth Warren and is in the race all the way to the convention.

By the end of February, the race for the Democratic nomination may have come down to a choice of one of three white men.

Two are well into their 70s, and either would be the oldest president ever inaugurated. The third is a 38-year-old gay in a same-sex marriage who would be our youngest president ever.

How is it possible, if not probable, that Bernie Sanders, Michael Bloomberg and Pete Buttigieg will be the last three Democrats standing?

Consider what the Iowa caucuses produced — after the Democrats figured out how to count votes.

Sanders won the popular vote on both the first and second ballots. As of Thursday, with 547 state delegates, he was only three shy of Buttigieg’s total. And the caucus yet to report is in Sanders country.

By week’s end, Sanders could be the declared winner of Iowa. And though he was denied the bounce he would have gotten if that news had been posted Monday night, Sanders raised $25 million in January and is running a clear first in the latest New Hampshire polls.

If Sanders, with cash on hand unmatched by any rival, save billionaire Bloomberg, wins the Granite State, he becomes the progressives’ champion over rival Elizabeth Warren and is in the race all the way to the convention.

Consider the prospects of Mayor Pete.

Even before the first returns were reported in Iowa, he declared his campaign “victorious” and left for New Hampshire. By Wednesday, after two-thirds of the ballots had been counted, he appeared to have won the battle for delegates.

By Thursday, in the latest polls of New Hampshire, Buttigieg had vaulted into second place. As of now, it looks like a Buttigieg-Sanders race in New Hampshire on Tuesday, with the big losers from Iowa — Warren, Joe Biden and Amy Klobuchar — the big losers again.

If the trends do not change and polls do not shift over the weekend, former Vice President Joe Biden appears headed for another “gut punch” like the one he says he suffered in Iowa.

And Biden may not get up off the canvas after this one.

Thursday, the Boston Globe/Suffolk and WHDH/Emerson polls both showed Sanders beating Biden like a drum, better than two-to-one.

Moreover, Biden’s fundraising has fallen off, and it is unlikely major donors are going to send cash to a candidate who just ran fourth in Iowa and could run fourth or fifth in New Hampshire.

Buttigieg is the candidate whose stock is rising. He has surged to second place, just six points and 10 points behind Sanders in the two latest New Hampshire polls, while Biden is lagging a distant 13 and 19 points behind Sanders.

Now, consider Klobuchar. As a senator from Minnesota, she was expected to do well, indeed, her personal best, in the neighboring state of Iowa. She ran fifth. And though she has the endorsement of the leading newspaper in New Hampshire, the Union-Leader, she, too, is trailing Sanders in the latest polls by more than three-to-one.

If Klobuchar runs fifth in Iowa and third, fourth or fifth in New Hampshire, in what state does she win her first primary? And as her fundraising has never matched that of the front-runners, where does she get the money to match Sanders or Bloomberg on Super Tuesday, now just three weeks off?

Klobuchar is now in the second tier in New Hampshire, behind Sanders and Buttigieg, but right alongside Biden and Warren. A third-, fourth- or fifth-place finish would be near-fatal for them all.

As for Warren, in her battle with Sanders to emerge as the champion of the progressive wing of the party, her third-place finish in Iowa, and her expected third-place finish in New Hampshire, at best, would seem to settle that issue for this election.

Sanders beat Warren in Iowa, raised far more money in January than she did, and is now beating her two-and-three-to one in the New Hampshire polls.

So, again, the same question is raised. Is what state does Elizabeth Warren beat her progressive rival?

There are two more lingering questions.

If Biden is thrashed in New Hampshire on Tuesday, as he was in Iowa, does he remain viable in South Carolina, where he was so strong before the New Year?

Will African American voters in South Carolina stick by Biden and his claim to be “the most electable” Democrat if he has been floored twice by Sanders and by Buttigieg, and can’t seem to win within his own party?

What I wrote before Iowa seems even more true today:

“If Bernie can beat Biden two or three times in the first four primary states in February, the last remaining roadblock on Bernie’s path to the nomination could be Mike Bloomberg’s billions.”

The Socialist vs. The Billionaire. Could either really beat The Donald?
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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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Israeli Sovereignty & the Fate of the Trump Plan

by Caroline Glick: On Wednesday morning, NeverTrump propagandist Bill Kristol told his MSNBC audience that Democratic chances of victory over US President Donald Trump will rise if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is defeated in Israel’s elections on March 2.

Along the same lines, if Netanyahu fails to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria before the election, not only will he almost certainly lose those elections, his defeat will bury Trump’s peace plan and harm Trump’s reelection chances.

To understand why this is the case it is first necessary to understand the nature of the Blue and White party and its relationship to Trump and his peace plan.

After Trump’s peace plan was published, Israelis discovered significant problems with the map attached to the plan. Among other things, the map places large sections of Highway 60, which crosses Judea and Samaria from south to north outside Israeli jurisdiction. If left uncorrected, the designation will endanger the security of tens of thousands of Israelis whose communities will be rendered isolated enclaves. Since ensuring Israel’s ability to defend itself and its citizens on a permanent basis is a major goal of the plan, this omission was obviously an oversight. Netanyahu announced this week that he has assembled a team to work on the map.

So long as the map is not adjusted, members of Likud and other parties in the right-religious bloc Netanyahu leads will be unable to vote in favor of the plan, despite their support for Trump and for the plan overall.
This then brings us to Benny Gantz and his party.

Just before Gantz traveled to Washington to meet with Trump at the White House last Monday, it came out that his top campaign strategists, Ronen Tzur and Joel Benenson had both separately published multiple posts on Twitter viciously attacking Trump. Both men compared him to Hitler, called him a Russian agent and a racist. In other words, both men parroted Democratic talking points against Trump. (After his posts were reported, Tzur claimed that he no longer believed the things he had written.)

Whereas Tzur – like every garden variety Israeli leftist politico – apparently follows the Democrats on everything related to American public affairs automatically, Benenson shapes Democratic positions. Benenson served as Barack Obama’s senior political strategist in the 2008 and 2012 elections and as Hillary Clinton’s senior political strategist in 2016.

In 2015, Wikileaks published Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta’s emails. Several email chains included internal campaign discussions in which Benenson participated. In two discussions, Benenson advised Clinton not to mention Israel in public events.

Now Benenson is directing Blue and White’s campaign, and there is little reason for surprise at the seamlessness of his move from Obama and Clinton to Gantz. The Israeli left has been intertwined with the Democratic Party.

In 2016 when Gantz was still a private citizen, he was strongly encouraged to enter the political fray by a public service company called Darcheinu, or “Our Way.”

Darcheinu is the successor to two organizations – V-15 and One Voice. One Voice was established in 2003 by Daniel Lubetsky, a Mexican-American Jewish businessman with close ties to the Obama administration. Lubetsky founded One Voice at the height of the Palestinian terror war to advance the establishment of a Palestinian state and an Israeli withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines. PLO Chief and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s son Yasser Mahmoud Abbas is a member of One Voice’s Trustees Advisory Council.

Ahead of the 2015 Knesset elections, One Voice formed V-15 as a spinoff to run a campaign to “change the government” – that is, to bring down Netanyahu. V-15’s campaign was directed by Jeremy Bird, Obama’s field director in his presidential races. It came under scrutiny from the US Senate when it was discovered that the Obama’ State Department funded its efforts.

Establishing a Palestinian state and fomenting an Israeli evacuation of Judea and Samaria replete with the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Israeli Jews from their homes is a goal all three groups share with the Democratic Party. And like the Democrats, the goal places all three groups in opposition to Trump. Trump’s plan makes the establishment of a Palestinian state contingent on significant changes in Palestinian actions and positions. It also foresees Israel retaining permanently all Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria and the areas surrounding them as well as the Jordan Valley.

In recent years, Darcheinu continued V-15’s efforts to bring down Netanyahu. In 2017-18, it sponsored the weekly leftist protests outside Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit’s home demanding he indicts Netanyahu. Darcheinu also funded and promoted the 2018 campaign by the far-left Commanders for Israeli Security calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state and an Israeli withdrawal to the 1949 armistice lines.

Until 2019, Darcheinu was led by Israeli businessman Kobi Richter. Richter was one of the central activists responsible for forming the Blue and White Party last year. In an interview with Globes, Richter said that he paid for the polls that convinced Gantz to join forces with Moshe Yaalon, Gabi Ashkenazy and Yair Lapid.

According to officials with knowledge of the events, Gantz was well-aware of the substantive problems with the map attached to the Trump peace plan when he left Washington. And it is with this knowledge in mind that we need to consider what he did when he got back.

Upon returning to Israel Gantz declared that he intended to introduce the Trump plan to the Knesset for approval. Some commentators portrayed his move as proof that he supported Trump’s peace plan. But given his awareness of the problems with the map and the implications for the political right, the opposite appears to be the case. Gantz’s announcement can better be seen as a bid to subvert and discredit Trump’s plan and to discredit Netanyahu and Trump personally.

Without corrections to the map, Likud and other right-wing lawmakers who otherwise support the plan and enthusiastically support Trump will be unable to vote in favor of it in a Knesset vote. Forcing them to oppose the plan publicly would serve several interests shared by both Blue and White and the Democrats. It would provide cover for the majority of Blue and White lawmakers who, like the Democrats wish to bury the plan. With the media scope-locked on right-wing opponents of Trump’s plan, they will avoid scrutiny of their own views.

The sight of Likud lawmakers opposing the Trump plan would discredit Netanyahu in the eyes of his voters. They would view him as incompetent and treacherous and many will avoid voting on March 2 as a result.

In light of joint opposition to the Trump plan from Likud and Blue and White lawmakers alike, center-right voters will perceive the parties as indistinguishable and follow the media’s urging to vote for Gantz.

For Trump, a Knesset defeat of his plan, followed in all likelihood by the defeat of Netanyahu would demoralize and anger Trump’s evangelical Christian base. Blue and White would move quickly to bury Trump’s plan. The Democrats would use the Knesset’s opposition to the plan and Gantz’s support for their positions as proof that Trump’s pro-Israel bona fides are skin deep and that Trump’s overall Middle East policy is misguided.

In short, advised by Benenson, after enjoying Trump’s hospitality, and benefiting from the prestige a meeting at the Oval Office confers, Gantz raised an initiative that would cause grievous political harm to Netanyahu and Trump and destroy any prospect of implementing any part of Trump’s peace plan.

And so we return to the issue of applying Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.

In light of the need to correct the mistakes in the map, it is clear that full implementation of Israeli sovereignty over the areas the Trump deal recommends will take time and will be impossible before March 2. But it is still possible to implement a significant component of the plan in a manner that will avert the damage Gantz and Benenson are seeking to cause.

Gantz has studiously worked to prevent his party from being identified with the ideological left. To achieve this goal despite the fact that the majority of his Knesset faction holds leftist and far-leftist views, Gantz has used the two center-right lawmakers from his party’s minority Telem faction as his campaign’s primary spokesmen on television. Whereas Yoaz Hendel and Zvika Hauser are pushed in front of microphones to extol the virtues of extending Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley, the majority of Blue and White lawmakers, who share Obama’s views, are hidden in the shadows.

Without changing the maps, and while postponing approval of the Trump plan itself, the Netanyahu government can pass a government decision to apply Israeli law to all Israeli cities, towns, and villages in Judea and Samaria immediately in accordance with the Trump peace plan. Doing so will energize right-wing voters. And it will also expose Blue and White.

Applying Israeli law to the Israeli communities will arouse strenuous opposition from the majority of Blue and White faction members. Their opposition to a move that the majority of Israelis support would demonstrate that despite its right-wing fig leaves, Blue and White is a leftist party. Swing voters from the center-right would get the message.

This then brings us to the Democrats. For years, despite their protestations of support for Israel and commitment to Israel’s security, the Democrats have adopted a policy towards Israel that revolves obsessively around their demand to destroy the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria and transfer the areas Jew free to the PLO. The Obama administration was so hateful towards these communities that it pushed through UN Security Council resolution 2234 that slanderously called them “illegal” after Donald Trump was elected president.

By applying Israeli law to these areas while avoiding a Knesset vote until after the map is corrected, the Netanyahu government will deny Democrats the ability to use Trump’s peace plan against him. It will also demonstrate Trump’s commitment to Israel to his evangelical base. Most importantly, applying Israeli law to the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria will take the issue of their future off the table and ensure that the Trump peace plan will survive into the next government, regardless of who wins next month.

Senior presidential advisor Jared Kushner has said that it would be best to wait until after the election to begin applying Israeli sovereignty to areas in Judea and Samaria. Under normal circumstances, he would be right. But given the larger context in which this issue must be judged, it is fairly clear that delaying the move until after the elections will cause great harm to President Trump, and effectively bury his peace plan while elevating the Israeli left and the Democrats.
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Caroline Glick is the Senior Contributing Editor of Israel Hayom and the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center's Israel Security Project. For more information on Ms. Glick's work, visit carolineglick.com.

Tags: Caroline Glick, Israel Hayom, Israeli Sovereignty, Fate of the Trump Plan To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Trump Critics Denounce Pro-Trump Blacks as ‘Sellouts’ – While Criticizing Trump for Not Having More ‘Sellouts’

Larry Elder
by Larry Elder: The Donald Trump White House put out a photograph of the president’s task force on the coronavirus. CNN promptly showed its displeasure, not with the task force’s effort but with its racial composition. There was insufficient “diversity” in the photo.

In a piece called “Coronavirus Task Force Another Example of Trump Administration’s Lack of Diversity,” CNN national political writer Brandon Tensley wrote: “Who are these experts? They’re largely the same sorts of white men (and a couple women on the sidelines) who’ve dominated the Trump administration from the very beginning.

“By contrast, former President Barack Obama’s circle of advisers in the face of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa was hardly so monochromatic. Neither was it so abysmal in terms of gender diversity. (Of course, to contextualize, Obama’s administration, on the whole, was far more diverse than Trump’s.)

“And yet, as unsurprising as the diversity issue in the Trump era has become, it’s still worth pointing out from time to time, especially as the country approaches the 2020 presidential election in earnest.

“That’s partly because the recent photos of ‘the best experts’ telegraph the kinds of people the administration deems worthy of holding power — and even being in close proximity to it.”

That’s a mouthful.

The writer implies, without proof, that more racial and ethnic diversity in the Trump administration’s coronavirus team means — by definition — a better response to dealing with this virus in particular and a more effective government in general. But there’s an interesting aspect to the Trump-White-House-lacks-diversity criticism. Minorities who do work with Trump are maligned by the very same Trump-is-a-racist critics as “sellouts,” “Uncle Toms” and “self-loathers.”

Bill Maxwell, a black columnist and editorial writer for the St. Petersburg Times, wrote a column years ago titled: “Black Republicans: Self-Loathers.” Maxwell wrote: “By all standards, some creatures are just plain strange, making us do double takes because their compositions or habits or appearances defy our sense of logic and our way of viewing reality. Take the wildebeest, the warthog, the hyena, the brown pelican, the Shar-Pei. These animals, seemingly wrought by committee, make us laugh or shake our heads. Another such creature, of the human kind — and perhaps the strangest of all — is the black Republican. …

“Black Republicans fail to understand that few white Republicans will accept them as equals. Although they will not acknowledge the truth, most white Republicans, like most other whites, view black Republicans as strange creatures.”

About Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice, who became secretaries of state under President George W. Bush, actor and left-wing activist Harry Belafonte said, “Hitler had a lot of Jews high up in the hierarchy of the Third Reich.” When president-elect Trump met with blacks, including entertainer Steve Harvey and Pastor Darrell Scott, then-CNN political pundit Marc Lamont Hill dismissed them as “mediocre Negroes.” Hill, a black Temple University professor of media studies and urban education, said: “They (the Trump transition team) keep bringing up comedians and actors and athletes to represent black interests. It’s demeaning; it’s disrespectful, and it’s condescending. Bring some people up there with expertise, Donald Trump, don’t just bring up people to entertain. … Yeah, it was a bunch of mediocre Negroes being dragged in front of TV as a photo-op for Donald Trump’s exploitative campaign against black people.”

During the George W. Bush administration, Claude Allen, a young black man, served as a domestic policy advisor. Allen, while working for Bush, got arrested and charged with stealing merchandise from stores like Target and Hecht’s. A black Los Angeles Times columnist showed little sympathy while engaging in psychoanalysis. Erin Aubry Kaplan wrote: “I don’t support conservatism in its current iteration, and I support black conservatives even less, but we cannot ignore the racial implications of this latest Republican fall from grace. … Here is a man who, like most black conservatives, has had to do an awful lot of personal and political rationalizing to pay dues. … That has unfortunately, but not always unfairly, invited comparisons to slave times, when the most loyal blacks were those who worked in closest proximity to their white masters — house Negroes, as they were derisively known. … It’s hard to imagine that such compromises and cognitive dissonance don’t exact a psychological toll at some point, and Allen’s alleged dabbling in crime might have been that point for him.”

Liberals, like Kaplan and Maxwell, consider black conservatives not merely wrong on the issues or social outcasts but sufferers of a psychological illness, an illness which, left untreated, turns black conservatives into kleptomaniacs. Then the very same liberals who malign black Trump supporters as “Uncle Toms” and psychologically unhinged social pariahs call the Trump administration “racist” for not having more psychologically unhinged social pariahs.
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Larry Elder (@larryelder) is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host, an American lawyer, writer and radio and television personality who is also known as the "Sage From South Central." To find out more about Larry Elder. Visit his website at LarryElder.com for list of other articles.

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Democrat Trump Derangement Syndrome . . .

. . . The better President Trump does the worse he’s hated by the left, it’s called Trump-derangement-syndrome. 
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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How History Will Judge the Trump Impeachment

Despicable House impeachment
manager Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA, 
called Trump a “despot” and "tyrant." 
by Hans von Spakovsky: The Senate has voted against impeaching President Donald Trump, defeating two articles of impeachment by votes of 52-48 and 53-47. Trump joins two former presidents, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, in being impeached by the House of Representatives before being acquitted by the Senate.

The House failed to produce credible evidence that the president committed any “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” or engaged in any action that justified his impeachment by the House, let alone his conviction and removal from office by the Senate.

Despite Democrats’ loss in the Senate, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Reps. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., are no doubt basking in the admiration of their liberal allies for their actions, and they are hoping that their attempt to damage the president in the eyes of the public will be successful in the 2020 election.

However, history is often an unforgiving critic.

Historians in the future may judge them far more harshly for abusing the impeachment power in the Constitution. That provision was not intended to allow 285 members of Congress—a simple House majority and two-thirds of senators—to remove a duly elected president for partisan reasons or over matters of style, no matter what his margin of victory in the last election.

Impeachment was to be used only in the direst of circumstances to remove a president clearly guilty of such serious, substantial misconduct that he posed a danger to the nation, and who was clearly unfit to continue in office until the next election when the public could make its own choice.

House Democrats did not come even close to meeting that standard.

It seems highly likely that Pelosi and company will be viewed in the same manner as historians now view the “radical Republicans” who impeached Johnson, and who came within one vote of convicting and removing him from office.

Republicans personally hated Johnson, who became president after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and they virulently disagreed with Johnson’s decision to implement Lincoln’s conciliatory policies toward the Southern states.

As Larry Schweikart and Michael Allen outline in “A Patriot’s History of the United States,” in inflammatory rhetoric reminiscent of that heard from some Democrats today, radical Republicans claimed that Johnson was a “wild-eyed dictator bent on overthrowing the government.”

Schiff was just as inflammatory when he called Trump a “despot” and the type of tyrant the Founders feared, while Nadler called Trump a “dictator.”

Last time I checked the news, I didn’t see any stories about despotic activities by this president, such as a refusal to follow court orders or the abuse of federal law enforcement power to spy on and investigate political opponents. The latter is something only the prior administration did.

Liberals can certainly criticize the president for some of his policies that they may disagree with, but claiming he is a despot and a dictator is so over the top, so far from reality, that it helped destroy whatever credibility the House managers may have had at the start of the impeachment process. Their wild exaggerations made it pretty clear this was a partisan, politically-driven impeachment.

Paul Johnson, in his book “A History of the American People,” also records that during the impeachment proceedings, Andrew Johnson was subjected to “torrents of personal abuse” and other claims that Paul Johnson characterizes as “nonsense.”

Seem familiar? It should, because Trump was also subjected to “torrents of personal abuse” by House managers during the impeachment trial.

Included among the impeachment articles adopted by the House in 1868 was a charge that Andrew Johnson had “challenged the authority” of Congress and had criticized Congress with “intemperate, inflammatory, and scandalous harangues.”

Sounds an awful lot like the House’s claim in the impeachment resolution that Trump “impeded” the House and engaged in “unprecedented, categorical, and indiscriminate defiance” of Congress.

Furthermore, the Johnson impeachment charged that the president had unlawfully removed Secretary of War Edwin Stanton (an ally of the radical Republicans) and replaced him with Ulysses S. Grant.

Although it was not in the impeachment resolution, Schiff and his compatriots spent an enormous amount of time going after the president for firing the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch (who was appointed by President Barack Obama), as if that was an abuse of power. This despite the fact that ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the president.

Once again, the parallels between the Trump and Johnson impeachments are eerie.

Historians almost universally condemn the Johnson impeachment as “rash, reckless, and unwarranted,” as Schweikart and Allen explain. As Paul Johnson says, no “constructive purpose was served by this vendetta, and the only political consequence was the discrediting of those who conducted it.”

Now that the process is over, at least for now, it is hard to come to any conclusion other than that this impeachment, which Democrats started talking about doing as soon as Trump was inaugurated, was the result of personal and political “vendettas” against the president.

Given that some polls show that Trump is now more popular with the public than at any time during his presidency, Democrats may also end up suffering the “political consequences” of their abuse of the impeachment process and the “discrediting of those who conducted it.”
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Hans von Spakovsky is an authority on a wide range of issues—including civil rights, civil justice, the First Amendment, immigration, the rule of law and government reform—as a senior legal fellow in The Heritage Foundation’s Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies and manager of the think tank’s Election Law Reform Initiative. More ARRA News Service articles by or about Hans von Spakovsky

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Obama Administration Failed At Combating Russian Election Interference, New Bipartisan Report Shows

The Senate Intelligence Committee’s Bipartisan Report Finds The Obama Administration Was Unprepared To Respond To Russian Interference, Paralyzed By Indecision, And Resorted To Ineffective Warnings The Russians Ignored

POLITICO: “Senate report faults Obama administration’s paralysis on Russian election interference” (Politico, 2/06/2020)

“The Obama administration was not ‘well-postured’ to combat Russian interference in the 2016 election and was so riven with concerns over how to handle the digital assault that it muted the government’s response, according to a new report out this morning from the Senate Intelligence Committee.” (“Senate Report Faults Obama Administration’s Paralysis On Russian Election Interference,” Politico, 2/06/2020)

The Obama Administration Was ‘Caught Flat-Footed’ by Russian Attempts To Interfere In The U.S. Election

SEN. MARK WARNER (D-VA), Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman, 2018: “As we examine the policy questions faced by the Obama administration and this Congress during the 2016 campaign, it’s evident that in many ways we were caught flat-footed at the outset and our collective response was inadequate to meet Russia’s escalation. At the end of the day, it’s hard to see the Russian influence campaign as anything but a success for Vladimir Putin.” (U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Hearing, 6/20/2018)

BIPARTISAN SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE REPORT: “The Committee found that the U.S. Government was not well-postured to counter Russian election interference activity with a full range of readily-available policy options.” (Report Of The Select Committee On Intelligence, United States Senate, On Russian Active Measures Campaigns And Interference In The 2016 U.S. Election, Volume 3: U.S. Government Response To Russian Activities, 2/06/2020)
“Despite Moscow's history of leaking politically damaging information, and the increasingly significant publication of illicitly obtained information by co-opted third parties, such as WikiLeaks, which historically had published information harmful to the United States, previous use of weaponized information alone was not sufficient for the administration to take immediate action on the DNC breach. The administration was not fully engaged until some key intelligence insights were provided by the [Intelligence Community], which shifted how the administration viewed the issue.” (Report Of The Select Committee On Intelligence, United States Senate, On Russian Active Measures Campaigns And Interference In The 2016 U.S. Election, Volume 3: U.S. Government Response To Russian Activities, 2/06/2020)
After Obama Administration Officials Were Alerted To Russian Interference Attempts, They Were Paralyzed By Indecision And Did Little To Respond

SEN. RICHARD BURR (R-NC), Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman: “After discovering the existence, if not the full scope, of Russia’s election interference efforts in late-2016, the Obama Administration struggled to determine the appropriate response. Frozen by ‘paralysis of analysis,’ hamstrung by constraints both real and perceived, Obama officials debated courses of action without truly taking one.” (“Senate Report Faults Obama Administration’s Paralysis On Russian Election Interference,” Politico, 2/06/2020)

“Widespread paralysis in the Obama administration prevented the U.S. from developing an effective response to combat Russian hacking in the 2016 election, according to a new, bipartisan report from the Senate Intelligence Committee.” (“Senate Report Faults Obama Administration’s Paralysis On Russian Election Interference,” Politico, 2/06/2020)

BIPARTISAN SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE REPORT: “While some policy options were ready to execute on short notice--in part because they had been developed, but not used, in response to earlier acts of Russian aggression--a more comprehensive set of options took time to formulate and prepare. The extremely restricted nature of the discussions by cabinet level officials hampered the administration's ability to prepare complex response options. Policymakers were also concerned about escalation and believed their options for sending a nuanced message to Moscow prior to the election were limited.” (Report Of The Select Committee On Intelligence, United States Senate, On Russian Active Measures Campaigns And Interference In The 2016 U.S. Election, Volume 3: U.S. Government Response To Russian Activities, 2/06/2020)

‘It Was A Decision To Not Act Before The Election’ In Response

“Secretary [of Homeland Security Jeh] Johnson recalled that, as of October 1, 2016, ‘[a]s an administration we had not reached the conclusion, yes, we will attribute to Russia, and who’s going to do it.’”< (Report Of The Select Committee On Intelligence, United States Senate, On Russian Active Measures Campaigns And Interference In The 2016 U.S. Election, Volume 3: U.S. Government Response To Russian Activities, 2/06/2020)

“[White House Chief of Staff Denis] McDonough stated that he did not recall any specific proposals for pre-election response actions though he noted that ‘it was a decision to not act before the election ... although there was work that we had to do, which obviously informed then the timing of when we do take the steps we take in December.’” (Report Of The Select Committee On Intelligence, United States Senate, On Russian Active Measures Campaigns And Interference In The 2016 U.S. Election, Volume 3: U.S. Government Response To Russian Activities, 2/06/2020)
“Several administration officials told the Committee that they believed they had exhausted the non-escalatory actions they could take prior to the election …” (Report Of The Select Committee On Intelligence, United States Senate, On Russian Active Measures Campaigns And Interference In The 2016 U.S. Election, Volume 3: U.S. Government Response To Russian Activities, 2/06/2020)

Instead, Obama Officials Repeatedly Issued Ineffective Warnings To The Russians

BIPARTISAN SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE REPORT: “Actions undertaken prior to the November 8, 2016, presidential election were limited to admonishing the Russians at various levels, providing federal assistance to secure state election infrastructure, and issuing a public statement attributing the penetration of the DNC and the disclosure of illicitly obtained information to Moscow.” (Report Of The Select Committee On Intelligence, United States Senate, On Russian Active Measures Campaigns And Interference In The 2016 U.S. Election, Volume 3: U.S. Government Response To Russian Activities, 2/06/2020)

“The Committee found that after the warnings, Russia continued its cyber activity, to include further public dissemination of stolen emails, clandestine social media-based influence operations, and penetration of state voting infrastructure through Election Day 2016.” (Report Of The Select Committee On Intelligence, United States Senate, On Russian Active Measures Campaigns And Interference In The 2016 U.S. Election, Volume 3: U.S. Government Response To Russian Activities, 2/06/2020)
After Each Warning, The Russians Simply Denied Their Involvement And Continued In Their Malign Activity

BIPARTISAN SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE REPORT: “The administration delivered at least five direct warnings to various levels of the Russian government…. In responding, Moscow denied any connection between the activities raised in the U.S. messages and Russia, adding that it too had been victim to some of the same cyber activity.” (Report Of The Select Committee On Intelligence, United States Senate, On Russian Active Measures Campaigns And Interference In The 2016 U.S. Election, Volume 3: U.S. Government Response To Russian Activities, 2/06/2020)
“Subsequent to the 2016 election, however, intelligence and other information has revealed that Russian cyber actors did in fact engage in significant additional cyber activity following the warning delivered by President Obama to President Putin during the G20 summit in early September and prior to the election.” (Report Of The Select Committee On Intelligence, United States Senate, On Russian Active Measures Campaigns And Interference In The 2016 U.S. Election, Volume 3: U.S. Government Response To Russian Activities, 2/06/2020)
President Obama’s Weakness Towards Russia Emboldened Vladimir Putin

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “A foreign adversary like Russia didn’t just wake up one day in 2016 and decide to interfere in American democracy. The meddling was the outgrowth of a long pattern of weakness and naivete that permeated all eight years of the Obama administration.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 7/11/2019)
  • SEN. McCONNELL: “The consequences of American weakness toward Russia were numerous. The more Obama gave, the more Putin took. Among those consequences, as we all know, was that Putin felt sufficiently emboldened to seek to interfere in our 2016 presidential election. Through efforts to divide Americans on social media and to hack a political party, agents of a foreign government sought to inject division, doubt, and chaos into our democracy. A sad and embarrassing episode.”< (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 7/10/2019)
BIPARTISAN SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE REPORT: “[U]nderstanding the broader geopolitical context is important. In 2013, about four years after President Obama gave a speech at Moscow's New Economic School announcing his intent to ‘reset’ relations with Russia, Moscow granted political asylum to Edward Snowden after he illegally stole and disclosed classified U.S. Government information. In 2014, Russia unlawfully invaded and occupied the Crimean Peninsula and parts of eastern Ukraine. In 2015, Russian troops landed on the ground in Syria, propping up a struggling Assad regime that had perpetuated widespread human rights violations and used unconscionable force against its own population. In 2016, Russian security forces harassed numerous U.S. diplomats in Russia, including assaulting an American diplomat in front of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. As the administration was engaging Russia to deescalate the conflict in Syria and calm tensions in Ukraine, Russia was directing its well-honed cyber capabilities and influence operations in a multi-front campaign to interfere in the elections of the United States and a number of allied nations.” (Report Of The Select Committee On Intelligence, United States Senate, On Russian Active Measures Campaigns And Interference In The 2016 U.S. Election, Volume 3: U.S. Government Response To Russian Activities, 2/06/2020)

As Far Back As 2014, ‘A New World Of Misinformation’ Was Emerging And ‘The Russians Were Using It In Increasingly Aggressive Ways’

BIPARTISAN SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE REPORT: “Special Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes told the Committee that he was involved with the response to the 2014 incident when the Russians captured a January 28, 2014, phone call between Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland and U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. A recording of that conversation was posted on YouTube one week later…. Mr. Rhodes also told the Committee that, ‘t]he Russians also engaged in influence operations against our Ambassador [to Russia], Mike McFaul, where YouTube videos would be posted or innuendo would be spread on social media.’” (Report Of The Select Committee On Intelligence, United States Senate, On Russian Active Measures Campaigns And Interference In The 2016 U.S. Election, Volume 3: U.S. Government Response To Russian Activities, 2/06/2020)

OBAMA ADMININSTRATION DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE ANTONY BLINKEN: “[I]t sort of fed the larger concern that we had that we were in a new world of misinformation ... a new world where information warfare was really the new front line, and that the Russians were using it in increasingly aggressive ways. And it was one of the ways where they could have an asymmetric advantage.” (Report Of The Select Committee On Intelligence, United States Senate, On Russian Active Measures Campaigns And Interference In The 2016 U.S. Election, Volume 3: U.S. Government Response To Russian Activities, 2/06/2020)
-------------------------------------------
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