Friday, December 30, 2016

The New Year Begins Starting With Krauthammer and Ettinger, Some Personal Predictions. Maxine Walters. Trump's First Year To Do List.

The New Year begins but the same old issues remain.

Hope everyone had a safe New Year and that your favorite football team came through victorious.
Before the New Year came to a close, I had lunch with a very old friend and fellow memo reader and we discussed politics .

While I was driving home I heard  an explanation of why Obama was the kind of president he was. The commentator pointed out Obama hated  political give and take and what it took to birth legislation and thus, why he did not work with Congress, resorted to avoiding politicians in general and used Executive  Orders to get what he wanted.  The  commentator went on to explain Obama did not have the patience it took to suffer the pains of working with those he thought less bright  and he was a loner of sort. (See 1 below.)

I cannot disagree with anything above but I doubt that these qualities make for good leadership and I believe 8 Obama years proved that to be the case.  Meanwhile, everyone is attacking Trump because he has stated Putin is very smart.  Well Putin must be "brilliant" because he constantly outsmarted Obama who is supposed to be the smartest president since Wilson, who also had a 'uge' ego.

Well, we will soon learn whether Trump's personality and leadership skills, such as they maybe, will work as he deals with Congress, at large, and even those within his own party who believe they know more than he does and have already begun to indicate they do not like being ignored as they were during the Obama years.

Can Trump overcome dissension within his own party in order to get his espoused campaign goals legislated?  If he cannot and if The Republicans allow internal discord to prevent timely change to and replacement of Obama's destructive legislation and policies, they will earn the further contempt of those "deplorables" who have given them a golden chance.

It is one thing to want to see your ideas implemented which you believe are better than what is being proposed but it is another to allow lofty egos to bring matters to a halt because this will be the goal of Democrats. This is why Obama  is meeting with Democrats.

Push back, delay and discord are the allies of Democrats and negative political strategies become enhanced and made more effective if strong Republican egos seek to overwhelm Trump.  Can Trump and Republicans avoid the traps Obama and Democrats are setting in furtherance of Obama's mythical "Smooth Transition" promise?

Stay tuned and I will do my best to enlighten with appropriate postings of others and my thoughts and opinions always buttressed by assorted acrid un-PC humor,(See above.)
So, let's begin the New Year with Charles Krauthammer and Yoram Ettinger. (See 2 and 2a below.)

A few personal predictions but do not bet on them:

a) Trump's ratings will improve as he proves he has what it takes to be president.

b) Obama will continue to be heard from the sidelines and external events will continue to impact  the implementation of Trump's domestic agenda.

c) Alabama's Football team becomes number 1 again.

d) Military confrontation in The Middle East among Israel and Hamas, and maybe Hezbollah,  is a strong possibility.

e) The press will be forced to adjust to Trump's ability to frequently convey his message by going around them and they will continue to be contentious adversaries.

f) Ryan and Trump will learn to work together to get what was voted for accomplished but The Senate will remain the sticking point because of 'uge' egos.

g) The Dow will break 20,000 and move higher but probably not exceed 21,000

h) Rep. Maxine Walters will continue to remain an embarrassment to the nation, to Congress but not to her beloved constituents and The Black Coalition she dutifully serves.
Finally, in his first year, Trump must accomplish the following domestic changes:

a) Real tax reform that unshackles small business and encourages corporate America to repatriate offshore money and use this capital for productive domestic purposes.

Simplification should also be part of any reform.

b)Incorporate some of the positive features of Obamacare and pass a healthcare bill which allows the market to operate so we return to a system of choice, competition and thus, health providers feel enthused to remain in their practices.

c) Apply rational common sense thinking to the problem of illegal immigration and return to enforcing the rule of law.

d) Rebuild our military while restricting waste as much as possible and restructure the delivery of deserved health care to The V.A.

e) Allow Agency appointees to reign in bureaucracy operatives and restrain their desire to cripple our economy with worthless red tape and implement the intent of Congress versus their own agendas.

From a foreign policy:

a) Rebuild our relationship with Israel and let the U.N know, in no uncertain terms, we will no longer fund this organization until they become more balanced in their operation.

b) Recognize deal making may be Trump's strength but he must also realize making deals with Putin does not insure he will keep his word. Putin's eyes may be blue but they are made of steel and his strategy is not benign. Don't allow your ego to permit Putin to play you as he did GW and Obama.

c)  Devise and put in place an effective strategy regarding Islamic Terrorism.

d) Rebuild faith in our word among our allies and be straight forward in clear language what we expect of them in support of our willingness to re-engage in and strengthen NATO.

e) At the same time, Trump and his advisers are implementing the above, we need to think strategically how we can live alongside N Korea and China but blunt their aggressive intentions.

f) Do what is feasible to choke  Iran's intentions and ability to develop a nuclear capability until such time the Iranians are ruled in a more democratic fashion.

Quite an awesome amount of to do's in Trump's first year considering that Congress wastes time and  opportunities because democracy is messy..

Obama's full-blown, year-end temper tantrum

Liz Peek
Let’s be honest: President Obama is throwing a good old-fashioned foot-stomping world class temper tantrum. He is just beside himself that the stupid American voter elected Donald Trump. How could the country willfully dismiss the erudite recommendation of nearly every news organization in the nation – as well as Obama’s personal plea that not electing Hillary would be a personal insult to him? How could young people not respond to Obama’s call to “bend the arc of history in a better direction?” It is beyond comprehension.
But it happened, and Obama is having an extremely difficult time dealing with what may be his first-ever serious setback. This is a man described by his closest advisor, Valerie Jarrett, as “just too talented to do what ordinary people do.” More flattering, Jarrett noted that “I think Barack knew that he had God-given talents that were extraordinary. He knows exactly how smart he is. …” He is so smart, said Jarrett, that “he’s been bored to death his whole life.”
Very few people surround themselves with people capable of such uncompromising adoration. It isn’t healthy. But Obama is different. He has been told over and over – even by the Nobel Committee that awarded him their coveted Peace Prize on spec– that he is extraordinary. So when a man like The Donald bests him, a man Obama clearly considers a joke, he is undone.
That is certainly the way he is behaving. Not for Obama the normal gracious withdrawal into political stasis; no, he wants to prove in these waning weeks of his presidency that he was right all along. That his agenda is what The People want, even if they don’t know it. That putting America’s valuable natural resources permanently off limits is the correct thing to do, because only Obama can see the future. That taking over vast swatches of the west is in the best interests of the reluctant residents there, because only Obama will protect our environment. That publicly confronting Russia for cyber misbehavior after years of looking the other way is called for, even if it complicates diplomacy in a number of theaters. Because Obama knows best.
He also knows what is best for Israelis. Upending long-standing tradition, he has allowed our only true ally – and the only democracy -- in the Middle East to be further isolated and compromised, in the interests, we are told, of seeking a meaningful peace. The reality is that Obama fully expected that by dint of his winning personality, superior insight and sympathy for the Muslim people, to conquer the divides in that region.
He was shocked that his Cairo speech did not cause the waters to part, and the wounds to heal. And he is angry that, in his mind, Bibi Netanyahu has stood between him and fulfilling this key legacy achievement. As he revealed in 2010 to an interviewer with Time magazine, “[Getting peace in the Middle East] is just really hard”; notably, this came as a surprise.
Make no mistake: we do need to rein in Russian misbehavior. Putin is a dangerous adversary and should never have been allowed out of the penalty box inflicted by drooping oil prices. But, Obama gave him running room by putting him in charge of the Syrian debacle and making him a key figure in the Iran nuke deal. So important were those quests to Obama that our president chose to ignore Moscow’s serial aggressions and misbehavior. Indeed, after the conclusion of the Iran accord, Obama called Putin to thank him for his help. Is it any wonder that an emboldened Putin felt he could act out his hostility to Hillary Clinton?
Obama is having a difficult time passing the baton, because he thinks the baton should be his in perpetuity. Unlike most of his predecessors, Obama intends to stay involved in his party’s politics, and to continue living in the nation’s capital, better to keep his finger on the pulse. Whether Democrats want him involved, since after eight years of his leadership the party’s pulse is barely discernible, remains to be seen.  
Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin has once again outfoxed President Obama. His response to Obama’s eviction of 35 diplomats and other grave-sounding but ultimately unimportant retaliatory measures? Instead of engaging in traditional diplomatic tit for tat, the Russian leader has invited the children of U.S. diplomats to the Kremlin for a holiday party. Who looks like the adult in the room? 

Liz Peek is a writer who contributes frequently to She is a financial columnist who also writes for The Fiscal Times. For more visit

2) Obama's final, most shameful, legacy moment
By Charles Krauthammer


Palestinians walk in front of the Dome of the Rock. (Ammar Awad/Reuters)

“When the chips are down, I have Israel’s back.”
— Barack Obama, AIPAC conference, March 4, 2012
The audience — overwhelmingly Jewish, passionately pro-Israel and supremely gullible — applauded wildly. Four years later — his last election behind him, with a month to go in office and with no need to fool Jew or gentile again — Obama took the measure of Israel’s back and slid a knife into it.
People don’t quite understand the damage done to Israel by the U.S. abstention that permitted passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel over settlements. The administration pretends this is nothing but a restatement of long-standing U.S. opposition to settlements.
Nonsense. For the past 35 years, every administration, including a reelection-seeking Obama himself in 2011, has protected Israel with the U.S. veto because such a Security Council resolution gives immense legal ammunition to every boycotter, anti-Semite and zealous European prosecutor to penalize and punish Israelis.
An ordinary Israeli who lives or works in the Old City of Jerusalem becomes an international pariah, a potential outlaw. To say nothing of the soldiers of Israel’s citizen army. “Every pilot and every officer and every soldier,” said a confidant of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, “we are waiting for him at The Hague,” i.e. the International Criminal Court.
Moreover, the resolution undermines the very foundation of a half-century of American Middle East policy. What becomes of “land for peace” if the territories that Israel was to have traded for peace are, in advance, declared to be Palestinian land to which Israel has no claim?
The peace parameters enunciated so ostentatiously by Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday are nearly identical to the Clinton parameters that Yasser Arafat was offered and rejected in 2000 and that Abbas was offered by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008. Abbas, too, walked away.
Kerry mentioned none of this because it undermines his blame-Israel narrative. Yet Palestinian rejectionism works. The Security Council just declared the territories legally Palestinian — without the Palestinians having to concede anything, let alone peace. What incentive do the Palestinians have to negotiate when they can get the terms — and territory — they seek handed to them for free if they hold out long enough?
The administration claims a kind of passive innocence on the text of the resolution, as if it had come upon it at the last moment. We are to believe that the ostensible sponsors — New Zealand, Senegal, Malaysia and a Venezuela that cannot provide its own people with toilet paper, let alone food — had for months been sweating the details of Jewish housing in East Jerusalem.
Nothing new here, protests deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes: “When we see the facts on the ground, again, deep into the West Bank beyond the separation barrier, we feel compelled to speak up against those actions.”
This is a deception. Everyone knows that remote outposts are not the issue. Under any peace, they will be swept away. Even right-wing Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who lives in one of these West Bank settlements, has stated publicly that “I even agree to vacate my settlement if there really will be a two-state solution.” Where’s the obstacle to peace?
A second category of settlement is the close-in blocs that border 1967 Israel. Here, too, we know in advance how these will be disposed of: They’ll become Israeli territory and, in exchange, Israel will swap over some of its land to a Palestinian state. Where’s the obstacle to peace here?
It’s the third category of “settlement” that is the most contentious and that Security Council Resolution 2334 explicitly condemns: East Jerusalem. This is not just scandalous; it’s absurd. America acquiesces to a declaration that, as a matter of international law, the Jewish state has no claim on the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, indeed the entire Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. They belong to Palestine.
The Temple Mount is the most sacred site in all of Judaism. That it should be declared foreign to the Jewish people is as if the Security Council declared Mecca and Medina to be territory to which Islam has no claim. Such is the Orwellian universe Israel inhabits.
At the very least, Obama should have insisted that any reference to East Jerusalem be dropped from the resolution or face a U.S. veto. Why did he not? It’s incomprehensible — except as a parting shot of personal revenge on Benjamin Netanyahu. Or perhaps as a revelation of a deep-seated antipathy to Israel that simply awaited a safe political interval for public expression.
Another legacy moment for Barack Obama. And his most shameful.


Secretary Kerry’s suspension of disbelief

The term “suspension of disbelief” refers to well-intentioned subordination of documented-facts and common sense to one’s zeal and wishful-thinking: sacrificing long-term realism on the altar of oversimplification and short-term gratification and convenience.

Secretary Kerry’s December 28, 2016 speech was replete with suspension of disbelief, totally inconsistent with Middle East reality, but consistent with the Secretary’s 31-year foreign policy track record.

Secretary John Kerry’s Middle East track record:

Kerry was the top frequent-flying Senator to Damascus, allowing his own idyllic   vision of the globe and his hosts’ duplicitous rhetoric to cloud reality.  He contended that Hafez and Bashar Assad – two of the most ferocious, cold-blooded dictators in the world - were constructive leaders, referring to Bashar Assad as a generous reformer and a man of his word, while Bashar terrorized his people and facilitated the infiltration into Iraq of Islamic terrorists, whose aim was to murder Americans. In March 2011, 
Kerry stated: “My judgment is that Syria will move, Syria will change as it embraces a legitimate relationship with the US and the West….”  Indeed, Syria has changed, but contrary to Kerry’s assessment, with 400,000 deaths and 10MN refugees out of 18 million Syrians.

In his 1997 book, The New War (sold by Amazon for $0.01), Kerry demonstrated inclination to dismiss the writing on the wall when in conflict with wishful-thinking: “Terrorist organizations with specific political agendas may be encouraged and emboldened by Yasser Arafat’s transformation from outlaw to statesman.”  

In 2012, 
Kerry contended that theArab Street was transitioning toward democracy, “the most important geo-strategic shift since the fall of the Berlin Wall.”  He referred to the Arab Tsunami as an Arab Spring and to the regime change in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Yemen as youth and Facebook revolutions. Kerry supported regime-change in Libya, which has transformed Libya into a leading global platform of Islamic terrorism.

Critical pitfalls of Secretary Kerry’s roadmap to peace:

1. In his December 28, 2016 speech, Secretary Kerry maintained that the crux of the failure to conclude a peace agreement is lack of trust: “Negotiations [between Israel and the Palestinian Authority] did not fail because gaps were too wide, but because the level of trust was too low….”  

2. Apparently, Kerry takes lightly the failure of the Palestinian leadership to pass any of the crucial test of its commitment to peaceful coexistence – in 1993 (Oslo Accords), 2000 (Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s unprecedented proposals) and 2005 (the uprooting of all Jewish settlements from Gaza) – by responding to unparalleled Israeli territorial and diplomatic concessions with a dramatic escalation of hate education and terrorism. Such a Palestinian track record should be expected due to the notorious hate-education and incitement, which has been a most effective production-line of terrorists, and is the most authentic reflection of the Palestinian strategic goal.  

3. Contrary to the Secretary’s observation, the crux of the failure has been the inherent nature of the Palestinian leadership, highlighted by its long-term track record: from waves of anti-Jewish terrorism, through the collaboration with Nazi Germany, the USSR and the East European rogue Communist regimes, the Ayatollah Khomeini, Saddam Hussein, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela and Islamic, Asian, African, European and Latin American terror organizations.

4. While Palestinian leaders are welcome by the US State Department with a “red carpet,” Arab leaders welcome them with “shabby rugs” in response to the Palestinian violent back-stabbing of Arab hosts (Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and most painfully, Kuwait in 1990).

Kerry stated that “the two state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians…. The vote in the UN was about preserving the two-state solution…. The US did vote in accordance with our values….” However, the aforementioned Palestinian leadership track record certifies that a Palestinian state would be another rogue, violent regime, undermining US values and national security, adding fuel to the regional fire, constituting a lethal threat to the vulnerable pro-US Hashemite regime – with potential spillover into Saudi Arabia and the pro-US Gulf states – undermining stability in Egypt, upgrading the potential of a pro-Ayatollah bloc from Teheran to Ramallah, west of the Jordan River, providing port facilities to the Russian (and possibly Chinese and Iranian) navy in the Eastern Mediterranean, and adding another anti-US vote at the already anti-US UN.

6. Once again, Secretary Kerry attempts to scare the Jewish State into reckless concessions, implying that the only way to preserve Jewish demography (majority) is by conceding Jewish geography (the over-towering mountain ridges of Judea and Samaria). Once again, he reverberates inauthentic, manipulated Palestinian statistics, and therefore ignores the demographic reality in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel: an 
up-trending 66% Jewish majority, featuring an unprecedented Westernization of Arab demography and a robust Jewish demographic (fertility and net-migration).

7. Kerry misled the public when claiming that UN Security Council Resolution 242 “called for the withdrawal of Israel from territory that it occupied in 1967 in return for peace and secure borders….” 
Kerry failed to indicate that 242 did not stipulate “all the territories;” that Israel has already complied with 242 by conceded 90% of the territory by evacuating the entire Sinai Peninsula; and that Israel fought a defensive/preemptive war in 1967.  He failed to mention that in 1988 Jordan waived its claim to sovereignty over Judea and Samaria (which was recognized only by Britain and Pakistan); and that Israel possesses the best legal title over the area based on Articles 77 and 80 of the UN Charter, which upholds the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, aimed to establish a Jewish national home.

8. While Kerry attempts to coax Israel into reliance on security arrangements and guarantees, he fails to indicate that such tools are characterized by non-specificity, non-automaticity and ample escape routes, which may doom Israel on a rainy day. For example, the NATO treaty does not commit the US beyond considering steps on behalf of an attacked NATO member “as it deems necessary.”  Furthermore, in 1954, President Eisenhower concluded a defense treaty with Taiwan, to be annulled by President Carter with the support of Congress and the US Supreme Court.

The US’ and Israel’s national security, and the pursuit of peace, require long-term, tenacious commitment to realism, in defiance of oversimplification, short-term convenience and suspension of disbelief; avoiding rather than repeating critical past errors, which doomed a litany of well-meaning peace initiatives.

Refurbishing The White House. More On Kerry's Speech. Make America Green Again. Happy New Year From Me and George Carlin. (RIP)

According to what I am hearing, Muslim prayer rugs and other items, that accommodate those participating in the Muslim Religion multi-times a day, are being eliminated in The White House.

Will this include the yellow print wall paper background that appears at many press conferences?
I also hear the reason Trump has not appointed a V.A head is that he is interviewing executives of various health companies about their views of his proposing a joint approach with the private sector to address the many problems that deprive our veterans the care they deserve.

Yes, Trump will be an activist president and he will be taken to task by the mass media for being un-orthodox as well as those whose Trump's election remains a 'chicken' bone in their throat.

Trump is what the 'deplorables' sought and it appears this is what they are getting.

Also, Obama continues to spout he would have won had he run for a third term.  If truth be told, Hillary ran as a feminine version of Obama.  She embraced Obama's agenda and promised to continue his policies with some minor adjustments because she needed to appeal to and capture the Leftists in her Party and appease the different constituencies who historically and blindly follow Democrats wherever they take them.

Anti-Trumpers continue to hold onto the fact that Hillary garnered more votes.  It remains their sole life preserver and allows them a comforting response to their rejection of The Constitution and Electoral Vote.

Trump may not be able to "Make America Great Again" but at least the prospects of our being worse and continuing to decline is fading.

Three weeks and counting.

The article below supports my previous assertion Kerry remains a liar and Liberal Jews, even some of the brightest ones, bought Obama's lies. (See 1 and 1a below.)
There is an enormous amount of unraveling Trump must undertake to begin to start "Making America Competitive Again much less Great." (See 2 below.)
 Ruth Wisse is a family friend and her commentary regarding anti-Semitism legislation and the essence of Obama's connection with his attitude toward Jews and Israel, link with my own and what I have written many times.. (See 3 below.)
The Happiest, Healthiest. Safest and Best of New Years from me and George Carln (RIP) and go plant a tree and make the World Green Again.

Last memo of 2016.
1)How Barack Obama fooled Liberal Jews and betrayed them once he had their money
By: Lawrence Solomon

“(President Obama) called me into the Oval Office before the election and he said to me, ‘Alan, I want your support. And I have to tell you, I will always have Israel’s back.’ I didn’t realize that what he meant was that he’d have (Israel’s) back to stab them in the back.”
So spoke this week a livid Alan Dershowitz, the famed Harvard professor, legal scholar and criminal lawyer whose judgment American Jews have long trusted and respected. Dershowitz now realizes that Obama had repeatedly duped him, and that through his endorsements of Obama, Dershowitz in turn duped many American Jews, helping to secure Obama’s election and re-election.
Now Israel has been compromised as never before, with the United Nations through Obama’s maneuverings having declared that Jews have no right to live in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, which they have inhabited for the greater part of 3,000 years, and that Israel has no rights to its holiest sites, including the Western Wall and the Temple Mount.
Winning Jewish support wasn’t especially important to Obama and other Democrats in terms of votes — Jews represent just two per cent of the U.S. electorate, generally making their numbers inconsequential at the ballot box. But Jews are hugely important — even decisive — in their political giving. The Jewish two per cent — which is overwhelmingly liberal — accounts for about two-thirds of all donations received by the Democratic PartyPut another way, the Jewish two per cent donates twice as much to Democrats as the non-Jewish 98 per cent.
The importance of Jewish money to Democratic fortunes explains why Obama waited to make his moves against Israel until after his two presidential campaigns and the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, whom he hoped would preserve his legacy. If Jews understood his real intentions toward Israel, Obama knew, many would withdraw their financial support.
Obama’s prudent course — his only viable course — in realizing his desire to strip Israel of its paramount possessions, embodiment's of its heritage, was to keep his intentions secret, all the while upping his rhetoric that “no president has ever done more for Israel.” Obama also needed to maintain this public pretense to keep his fellow Democrats in the dark, most of whom would blanche at the thought of offending, and losing, their Jewish backers. The American public’s general sympathy for Israel, and general antipathy toward Palestinians, also made any prior anti-Israel coming out a non-starter.
Persuading Dershowitz — an important step to winning over the Jewish community — could not have been an easy feat. Shortly after Dershowitz’s first endorsement of Obama, in the 2008 presidential election, Dershowitz became alarmed at Obama’s apparent willingness to let Iran develop nuclear weapons, coming to believe that Obama’s policies were dangerous for Israel and that Obama could be “remembered in history as the Neville Chamberlain of the 21st century, the person who didn‘t see the greatest evil, didn’t recognize the greatest evil of the 20th century.”
Yet despite these concerns, coupled with pique that Obama had ties to anti-Semites and a staff that was hostile to Israel, Obama somehow managed to persuade Dershowitz that he would never, ever let Israel down. Dershowitz endorsed Obama for a second time and even campaigned for him against Mitt Romney, a true friend of Israel.

After Obama’s reelection, Dershowitz again had buyer’s remorse, becoming ever more forceful in his criticisms of Obama, calling him a bully and an inept negotiator, to the point that when they met Obama “won’t look me in the eye.” Yet Dershowitz continued to have faith in Obama’s good intentions.
Unlike America’s conservative Jews, most of whom saw Obama’s animus toward Israel early on — Obama combined a courtship of the Muslim states with deliberate slights of Israel and its prime minister — Dershowitz remained under Obama’s spell, seeing him as merely misguided, and persuadable.
The Dershowitz delusion persisted with Obama’s successor, Hillary Clinton, whom Dershowitz backed despite her own close and questionable associations, including Huma Abedin, an aide and travelling companion who had worked for a radical Muslim publication, and Sid Blumenthal, who fed Hillary with the bigoted material of his son, Max Blumenthal, “a despicable anti-Semite and a horrible person,” in Dershowitz’s estimation.

Related ‘It can either be Jewish or democratic. It cannot be both’: In parting shot, Kerry tears into Israel

With this week’s passage of the anti-Israel UN resolution, the Dershowitz infatuation with Obama is over. The famed criminal lawyer finally sees the evidence that had been in plain sight all along, and now understands the extent of Obama’s deception. It was “so nasty. He pulled a bait-and-switch,” Dershowitz laments, in explaining how Obama in private pretended that it was “the settlements deep in the West Bank” that were negotiable, not the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem, so core to Judaism and to Israel’s heritage.
Dershowitz, and with him the great majority of America’s Jews, took the bait. The rest is history. 

Daily Wire

10 Lies Secretary of State Kerry Told During His Big Middle East Peace Speech

On Wednesday, Secretary of State John Kerry gave a speech on his proposed plan for peace between Israelis and Arabs. His plan: blame the Jews, pretend that Palestinian terrorism and incitement isn’t representative of the actual Palestinian government, and then blather for 69 more minutes. His speech razed facts to the ground in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan.

Here were ten of the worst lies and lies-by-omission Kerry purveyed in his ode to lying and self-indulgence:

1. Equating Jewish Settlements and Palestinian Terrorism. Israel has been wracked by a wave of stabbings and shootings and rocket attacks from Palestinian terrorists over the last two years. Kerry spent a few minutes on that, but only in order to draw moral equivalence with Jews building additional bathrooms in East Jerusalem, the capital of Israel. “The truth is that trends on the ground, violence, terrorism, settlement expansion, and the seemingly endless occupation, they are combining to destroy hopes for peace on both sides,” Kerry said. This is nonsense. Before there were any Jewish settlements – when Israel did not control Judea, Samaria, or Gaza – the Palestine Liberation Organization called for the “liberation” of Palestine, meaning the complete destruction of Israel. The problem isn’t people building homes. It’s Palestinians murdering Jews, and refusing to accept that any home built by a Jew ought to exist in the Middle East.

2. “If The Choice Is One State, Israel Can Either Be Jewish Or Democratic. It 
Cannot Be Both.” 
This is patently absurd. There has been one state in the area between the Jordan and the Mediterranean for some 50 years. That state has been democratic. This lie rests on two absurd contentions: first, that if Israel were to annex all Judea and Samaria, Jews would be outnumbered by Arabs; second, that if Israel were to annex all lands, Israel would have to grant all Palestinian Arabs full citizenship or face status as an apartheid state. The first claim is simply false – Jews outnumber Palestinian Arabs outside of the Gaza Strip by a factor of two-to-one, and Jews now have the equivalent birth rate of Palestinian Arabs, and will soon have a higher birth rate, as Caroline Glick points out, meaning that Jewish majority status will increase, not decrease. Second, the United States does not offer citizenship to all the people living within its borders, or over territories over which it has sovereignty. Puerto Rico is governed semi-autonomously, but citizens of Puerto Rico cannot vote in presidential elections in the United States. Israel could easily grant green cards to Palestinian residents while also giving them local control of their governance without a national vote.

3. Peace Will Only Be Realized With a Palestinian Terror State. 

The notion that peace depends on the establishment of a Palestinian terror state – and that’s what will be established, given that the unity government of the Palestinians now includes Hamas and Islamic Jihad alongside Fatah – is asinine. Israel has had to blockade Gaza because Hamas controls it, and is attempting to take military shipments from Iran. Adding another Iran-backed terror proxy state to the Middle Eastern map is a great way to encourage a two-front war against Israel, given the presence of Hezbollahstan on Israel’s northern border.

4. “No American Administration Has Done More For The Security of Israel Than Barack Obama’s.” 

To put it mildly, LOL. LOLOLOLOLOL. Funny guy, this Kerry. Here’s a timeline of Obama’s “support” for Israel. That timeline doesn’t even include the Iran nuclear deal or the current UN resolution hubbub.

5. Israeli Intransigence Is The Problem. 

Nope. Not even close. In 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered 94.2 percent of Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians, a corridor that would link that territory to the Gaza Strip, land swaps that would increase Palestinian land holdings, a formula for division of Jerusalem. Abbas refused the deal. In 2000, Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered a similar deal. Yassar Arafat refused it. Palestinians have never accepted any deal offered by the Israelis. Israelis continue to offer. But the problem is clearly the mean, nasty Israelis. And by the way, that awful Netanyahu fellow offered to freeze settlements early in the Obama administration, and the Palestinians responded with violence.

6. Settlements Are Illegal. 

No, they aren’t. Kerry declared over and over that Israelis settling east of the so-called green line are living there illegally. That’s patent nonsense. He also suggested that no Jews would be allowed to live inside a new Palestinian state, because Jews would object – ignoring, of course, that Palestinians would quickly murder any Jew remaining in a Palestinian state, and Jews have a slight objection to being murdered. Right now, over a million Arabs live inside Israel. Virtually no Jews live in the Muslim world because they were expelled, and quickly absorbed into Israel.

7. Equating Palestinian Government With Israeli Government. 

Perhaps the most insane spectacle was Kerry suggesting that the Netanyahu government is beholden to the “most extreme elements” in Israeli politics, while pooh-poohing Palestinian government support for terrorism. Kerry suggested that Hamas was a troublesome rogue group as opposed to an integral part of the Palestinian unity government.

8. Israel As Purported Burden To The United States. 

Kerry spent serious time talking about how the United States had subsumed its own interests in order to give military aid to Israel. Of course, the Obama administration has also given aid to the Palestinian unity terror government, and attempted to block weapons shipments in the middle of the Gaza terror war. And even the Obama administration says that such aid is good for the United States defense industry; a huge percentage of American aid to Israel is a subsidy to domestic defense contractors. Israel is America’s only democratic ally in the region.

9. The UN Resolution Changed Nothing. 

Kerry kept stating that the UN resolution didn’t do much to change the status quo. That’s false. This UN resolution said that all territories outside the 1949 Israel armistice lines – the “Auschwitz borders” – are occupied, including Jerusalem and holy sites like the Western Wall. It calls for all settlements in those areas “flagrant” violations of international law. There’s a reason Kerry pushed this thing through: ofcourse it changes things.

10. The Obama Administration’s Maneuvers Help Peace. 
This is the opposite of the truth. America’s position for two decades has been that it would not cram down a peace deal on the Israelis and Palestinians – all issues would have to be resolved through bilateral negotiations. By placing the onus for all concessions on Israel and making Israel subject to the possibility of blowback from the International Court of Justice, Obama just allowed Palestinians to abandon any pretense at negotiations and stand on their newfound “rights.”

Kerry’s speech was chock full of lies. But here’s the good news: nobody will remember it a month from now, just as nobody will remember John Kerry’s legacy beyond his slander of American soldiers in Vietnam.

Obama’s Regulations Aren’t the Only Trump Target

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act has multiplied audit costs for small firms and slowed IPOs—for what benefit?

President-Elect Donald Trump and Republican leaders in Congress have pledged to 
repeal many regulations put in place by President Obama. This would be a good start, but
 they need to go further. Overregulation didn’t start during the Obama administration.
In the spirit of bipartisanship and fostering economic and job growth, Mr. Trump and 
Congress should remove all regulatory barriers needlessly obstructing America’s 
entrepreneurs, consumers or investors, regardless of which party implemented them. 
They can start with a law signed and implemented by President George W. Bush.
In 2002 the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, or Sarbox, was rammed through Congress and signed 
by President Bush in response to the Enron and WorldCom accounting scandals. But its 
regulatory burden has fallen heaviest on small and midsize public companies. As noted 
in a 2011 report from President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, 
“Regulations aimed at protecting the public from the misrepresentations of a small 
number of large companies have unintentionally placed significant burdens on the large 
number of smaller companies.”
Academic studies and annual reports reveal that Sarbox has caused auditing costs to 
double, triple and even quadruple for many companies. A 2009 study by the Securities 
and Exchange Commission found that smaller public firms have a Sarbox cost burden 
more than seven times those of large public companies.
Since Sarbanes-Oxley’s enactment, there has been a rush to the exits from U.S. 
exchanges, and very slow traffic for initial public offerings. Yet Sarbox failed to catch 
subprime mortgage shenanigans that led to the financial crisis, prompting analysts to 
question the law’s worth even in its stated purpose of preventing financial fraud.
The recent stock-market surge obscures that over the past decade the number of firms 
listed on U.S. exchanges has dropped dramatically. In 2001, the year before Sarbox 
became law, there were more than 5,100 companies that investors could purchase on 
exchanges such as Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange. By 2015 there were just 
3,700—fewer than during the “bear market” year of 1975, when publicly traded stocks 
numbered more than 4,700. Meanwhile, non-U.S. stock listings rose 28% from 1996 to 
2012, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Another worrying sign is the ballooning size of IPOs in the U.S. In the early 1990s, Starbucks and Cisco Systems had IPOs raising less than $50 million, as did 80% 
of companies launching IPOs at the time. Both firms’ market valuations were less than 
$250 million when they went public. Entrepreneurs were able to get public capital to 
grow their firms, and average investors were able to grow wealthy with the firms they 
invested in.
A few years after Sarbox, however, 80% of firms launched IPOs greater than $50 million, according to the Obama Jobs Council report, and IPOs of greater than $1 billion 
have since become a normal occurrence. Facebook waited until it could launch an IPO of 
$16 billion and had an $80 billion market valuation before it went public in 2012. Many 
speculate that Uber may not go public until it is worth more than $100 billion.
Yet there are two reasons for optimism. First, prominent Democrats, as well as 
Republicans, have recognized the burden imposed by Sarbox and have expressed a 
willingness to tackle the problem. In 2012 President Barack Obama signed the Jump start 
Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which exempts newly listed small and midsize 
public companies from Sarbox’s internal control audits for five years after they are listed.
Second, Mr. Trump can do a lot administratively, thanks to a 2010 Supreme Court 
court ruled that members of the PCAOB are subject to at-will removal by a majority of 
members of the SEC. If the existing oversight board refuses to revise its accounting 
standard to be in line with the statute and call for a simple “attestation” of internal 
controls, instead of a full-blown audit, a 3-2 majority of SEC commissioners could fire 
current members of the board and appoint replacements.
By saying his trademark phrase “you’re fired” to the PCAOB, Mr. Trump’s SEC could 
clear a path of growth for U.S. firms to expand and tell thousands of workers, “You’re 
Mr. Berlau is a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a Washington-
based free-market think tank. Mr. Cody is a former CEI research associate.

Free Speech and Anti-Semitism

Obama’s anti-Israel politics show the need for the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act.

President Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Sept. 30.ENLARGE
President Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Sept. 30. PHOTO: ASSOCIATED PRESS
December began with the passage by the Senate of the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act
and ended with President Obama’s betrayal of the Jewish state. In a reversal of policy,
the U.S. failed to block a United Nations Security Council measure that is arguably the
most prejudicial U.N. pronouncement since the 1975 resolution declaring that “Zionism
is a form of racism and racial discrimination.” The president’s abstention aligns
America with the malefactors against whom the Senate is trying to raise awareness.
Let us take this step by step. The Senate passed the triple-A act in response to the
escalation of anti-Jewish hostility in America, especially on the fringes of politics and i
n institutions of higher learning. University administrators protested that the legislation
 would stifle “freedom of speech.” Treating anti-Semitism as a problem of free speech
is like treating an outbreak of mumps as a problem of cosmetics. Responsible
authorities are required to check injurious epidemics.
The Senate bill itself understates the problem by treating anti-Semitism under Title VI
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race,
color or national origin. Were anti-Semitism historically a matter of discrimination
alone, it could not have generated the extermination of the Jews of Europe or the
perpetual Arab war against Israel. Discrimination is merely one byproduct of anti-
Semitism, which in modernity is a political strategy, ideology and movement forged in
19th-century Europe, adapted by 20th-century Arabs, and now spreading in our midst.
Decades after World War II, the U.S. established the Holocaust Memorial Museum
presumably to warn against genocides like the mass murder of European Jewry. But the museum inadvertently subverted its purpose. The League for Anti-Semitism was 
founded in Germany in the 1870s to oppose liberal democracy, which it called a Jewish
plot “to conquer Germany from within.” Tsarist Russia added “The Protocols of the 
Elders of Zion” and accused Jews of wanting to conquer the world. Nazism added the 
feature of Aryan supremacy. Nationalist movements adapted it to their specificities, 
and so did internationalist movements, which is why one of their leaders called anti-
Semitism the “socialism of fools.”
The Arab League’s war against Israel opposed the principle of coexistence. Arab 
leaders, having failed in their vow to push Israel into the sea, adopted the inverted 
tactics of anti-Semitism by accusing Israel of displacing the Palestinians. Much of the subsequent convulsion and violence in the Arab world can be traced to that original 
political sin of refusing coexistence.Protean anti-Semitism spans the political spectrum
and blames Jews for whatever they are said to represent. Long before the Holocaust,
anti-Semitism spawned its successor anti-Zionism. When the mufti of Jerusalem
instigated massacres of the Jews of Palestine in 1929, the Soviet leader Joseph Stalin
 hailed them as harbingers of a Communist revolution, charging Palestinian Jews with imperialism and laying the groundwork for the Soviet-Arab alliance that later
dominated the U.N. Thus was a form of politics designed in Europe and organized
against Jews in their dispersion reorganized against Jews gathered in their homeland.
Turning back to America, no one familiar with President Obama’s biography can be
surprised by his acquiescence in the anti-Jewish politics of grievance and blame.
Raised in, educated by, and exposed to the major forms of contemporary anti-Semitism,
 he would have been remarkable to have escaped its effects. He attended school in
Indonesia where, according to Pew surveys, unfavorable views of the Jews are among
the highest in the Muslim world.
This is the most obvious connection between his upbringing and his membership in the Chicago church of Jeremiah Wright, the pastor whose anti-Semitism he had to 
repudiate in order to win the White House. No less important than either of these i
nfluences were his college years at Columbia in the early 1980s—when Prof. Edward 
Said was sounding the pro-PLO drumbeat against Israel—and his association with the 
anti-Zionist hard left in Chicago.
In this respect the president is a faithful product of his education. His ruinous legacy underscores the importance of “Anti-Semitism Awareness,” whether or not passage of
the Senate’s act will be enough to arrest it. The current administration has courted the
favor of Israel’s pursuers in the hope of averting their enmity toward the U.S.
In so doing, it has licensed an anti-Israel assault on the part of some Americans
beguiled by a similar fantasy and comforted by the knowledge that Israel, because it
can least afford to relax its military defenses against their common enemies, serves as
the West’s fighting front line. In like fashion, college administrators may be glad to
have Jews absorb campus discontent that might otherwise be directed at them.
These dodges failed before and will fail again. The Jewish people has proven its ability to remain morally intact—some say exceptional—through several millennia. America’s exceptionalism is still being tested, and its submission to anti-Semitism is not a good 
sign. In failing to stand up to Israel’s and America’s common foes, President Obama
has failed the country that elected him its leader.
Ms. Wisse, a former professor of Yiddish and comparative literature at Harvard, is the author of “Jews and Power” (Schocken, 2007).