Sunday, January 15, 2017

Voters' View of Our Intelligence Operatives. Random Thoughts. Judge Pirro Wails at Rosie! Sinkholes.

Voters are still capable of discerning. (See 1 and 1a below.)
On the other hand eight and out.  (See 2 below.)

In the end, screwing Netanyahu and accomplishing what Arafat wanted was more important than being an honest broker and the friend he professed to be. (See 2a below.)
Random thoughts:

Obama will leave office an angry man.  Obama will leave office believing he was cheated out of accomplishing his goals because he was black. Obama will leave office incapable of seeing his own contribution to that of which he complains. Obama will leave office having always blamed others.

Obama could have finished Rev. MLK's unfinished business but he chose another path because of his anger, because of his radical associations and mind set. Consequently, his presidency failed when it could have soared.  That is my read on his legacy but, of course, he has a different one.  History and historians will be the final judge and I believe they will find my view to be closer to reality. I will not be here to find out their judgement.

Obama accept the fact there could not have been a Trump without you.

In a similar vein, Rep. Lewis chose to besmirch his own legacy by embracing the argument that Trump is illegitimate. Lewis could have advanced the healing process but he chose to keep the wounds of political conflict open and then throw salt in them.  That was Lewis's choice and he too took the path of anger and bitterness and is less the man for having done so. (See 3 below.)

As for Maxine Waters, she too decided to demean Trump but, in her case, her behaviour is not significant because, as the black equivalent of Archie's Edith, her voice has never counted for much. She is a ding bat and thus an irrelevant one. (Also see 3 below.)

Then we come to Sen. Booker who appears to hunger for becoming president and chose to smear another Senator to gain traction. I believe Booker shot himself in the foot and needs an instructive "session" in decency and honesty.

Sen Rubio has chosen to challenge Trump's nominee  for Sec. of State because he is unwilling to join the Florida Senator in calling Putin a "war criminal." The world knows there are many "war  criminals"parading as leaders of their respective nations so why stop at Putin.

I assume Rubio chose to press the matter because:

a) He remains ticked at Trump's campaign comments


b) Believes his attempt at being virtuous will advance his cause to eventually become president.

He should attend seminars on maturity.

One last thought. The mass media are emphasizing  many of Trump's appointees, in response to questions, are saying things that are in contradiction of what Trump might think.

The way I think about this is that if Trump's appointees are the independent thinkers they appear to be that is good because I doubt they will buckle under pressure and that means Trump will get their unvarnished thinking.

Obama seemed to want echos because he thought his views were always preferable and because he was the brightest man in the room. So, why listen to the voices and views of others?  This is why he fired or forced out those who did not agree with him and particularly was this so in the case of the military.

 Atty. Gen Holder was an Obama Lackey as was Atty. Gen Lynch, as was Sec. Kerry and the list of pathetic fawners is endless.
The mass media ain't what is used to be and probably never will be again.

They have become entertainment factories.(See 4 below.)
1917 (See 5 below.)


fascinating: TLUgEXI9RYI?rel=0
1) Voters Think U.S. Intelligence Agencies Play Politics

As the debate over Russian hacking efforts during the presidential campaign continues, voters here generally approve of the job U.S. intelligence agencies are doing but also suspect that they play politics.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 47% of Likely U.S. Voters believe America’s intelligence agencies have their own political agenda.  Thirty-nine percent (39%) disagree and think they generally perform impartially. Fifteen percent (15%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Fifty-three percent (53%) of Republicans and 50% of voters not affiliated with either major political party feel U.S. spy agencies have their own political agenda. Just 39% of Democrats agree.

The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russian government-ordered hackers found and leaked damaging internal Democratic Party e-mails to help Donald Trump’s candidacy but stop short of saying they did any vote-tampering. The Obama administration and senators in both parties have expressed concern, and a Senate hearing on the subject is planned. But Trump has been dismissive of the findings and continues to call for closer ties with Russia.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of all voters rate the performance of U.S. intelligence agencies like the CIA and the NSA as good or excellent. Only 12% say they do a poor job.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls).  Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The national survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on January 5 and 8, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Among the 39% of voters who blame Hillary Clinton’s upset loss on outside factors, 21% say Russian interference was the most likely reason for her defeat.

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Democrats give U.S. intelligence agencies positive marks, compared to 52% of Republicans and 49% of unaffiliated voters.

Among voters who believe these agencies generally perform impartially, 78% rate the job they do as good or excellent. Only 44% of voters who feel the intelligence agencies have their own political agenda agree; 22% of these voters think they do a poor job.

Conservatives are much more likely than moderates and liberals to think the spy agencies have a political agenda.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of voters who Strongly Approve of President Obama’s job performance think the agencies perform impartially most of the time. Sixty-three percent (63%) of those who Strongly Disapprove of the job Obama is doing believe they play politics instead.

WikiLeaks made public the embarrassing internal Democratic Party e-mails during the campaign season, and the organization’s head Julian Assange insists that the Russians were not involved. Fifty-five percent (55%) of Republicans said in August that the media should publish the contents of the e-mails sent and received by public officials even if those e-mails are obtained illegally, but 68% of Democrats disagreed. 

The NSA was dragged into the spotlight in 2013 by Edward Snowden’s disclosure of their secret telephone and e-mail surveillance of millions of innocent Americans, but voters were generally supportive of the spy agency. Perhaps in part that’s because 62% believe protecting the country from a possible terrorist attack is more important than protecting the privacy of most Americans.

This also helps explain why voters were supportive of CIA interrogation techniques even after they were strongly criticized in a Senate report. Only 16% believe the CIA’s operations in general are too secretive.
U.S. relations with Russia have been tense over the past few years, and voters are concerned that we may be returning to a 1950s-like Cold War relationship with the former Soviet Union. Trump has said that he wants to lessen those tensions and Russia’s Vladimir Putin is a world leader that he can work with.
Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

Please sign up for the Rasmussen Reports daily e-mail update (it’s free) or follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Let us keep you up to date with the latest public opinion news.


1a)  The Trump Dossier Puts the Deep State in Deep Doo-Doo

Mr. Garfinkle of Garfinkle’s New Method Hebrew School in Milwaukee used to frequently echo King Solomon’s admonition; “There’s nothing new under the sun.” I was reminded of that this week when the rapidly unfolding “scandal” of Trump’s purported dealings with Russia hit the news. It has more than a few similarities with the Dan Rather faked-up story of GW Bush’s National Guard service where an anonymous, never-found source supposedly gave Bill Burkett a demonstrably fake report and Dan Rather ran with it. This time a Bush (Jeb) is involved but as an instigator of the story, not a victim. John McCain acts as the intermediary passing the junk on to the Intelligence Community, which makes sure it is published.

If you’re confused about it, let me put it in the context of the most reliable information I’ve been able to put together, noting that I think the story is likely to become even more clear over the next few days. As you will see, the dossier is so ridiculous, if anyone in the Intelligence Community fell for it, he’s too stupid to allow in place, and if no one did but they still played a role in publicizing it, everyone involved needs to be fired
A. Digging Up Dirt on Opponents

In September of 2015 someone -- now revealed as a Jeb Bush Super PAC donor -- paid  Fusion GPS, a Washington, D.C. outfit, to compile a dossier of dirt on Donald Trump. Fusion engaged Christopher Steele, a former MI-6 agent in London, to do the job. While early accounts of the story refer to him as a “respected source”, he has a history of dumpster diving for Democrats

Kimberley Strassel at the Wall Street Journal has been reporting on his work for some time and explains why he keeps getting hired: “to gin up the ugliest, most scurrilous claims, and then trust the click-hungry media to disseminate them. No matter how false the allegations, the subject of the attack is required to respond, wasting precious time and losing credibility.”

She warns this will be the left’s game:
But it says something about the brass-knuckle approach of the left that it would go so far as to write a dossier suggesting that Mr. Trump is a Manchurian candidate -- and then to foist that report into the hands of intelligence officials.

So the left will increasingly rely on campaigns of delegitimization designed to force opponents onto a back foot, push them off task, or even bully them out of the public arena. In the absence of a winning policy argument, this is, in their minds, the best they’ve got. Republicans had better be ready for it. 
At about the time Trump won the nomination, funds from the Bush donors were cut off. Whether this was because the report was so shoddy or the effort so unavailing isn’t clear. At that point supporters of Hillary Clinton became involved in financing the search.

Steele hadn’t been in Russia for decades and as a former British spy could not have done the work himself. So, as the account in the New York Times continues, “he hired native Russian speakers to call informants inside Russia and made surreptitious contact with his own connections in the country as well.”

Beginning in June and until December Steele delivered his findings -- a series of short memos -- to GPS. Although post-election no one was paying, Steele continued on this muckraking operation,

The memos suggested that the Russians were trying to influence Trump and stated that one of Trump’s lawyers, Michael Cohen, had met with a Russian official in Prague. (A claim Cohen has credibly rebutted.)

Word of the dossier made it to the FBI via Senator John McCain, a man with an apparently insatiable desire to betray.  McCain, who heard about the dossier from a former diplomatic colleague of Tony Blair (Sir Andrew Wood), dispatched someone (apparently former State Department official David J. Kramer) to London to pick it up, then handed it off to the FBI.

From sources as yet unknown, news of the Steele report made it to journalists who investigated and finding no verification after investigating refused to print it.

The FBI, tried to get permission to tap into a server in the Trump Tower, which was denied, then in a strangely odd act tried twice to get a warrant from FISA to tap into it. Whether this was in response to the dossier, I do not know.  Andrew McCarthy writes in National Review Online:
To summarize, it appears there were no grounds for a criminal investigation of banking violations against Trump. Presumably based on the fact that the bank or banks at issue were Russian, the Justice Department and the FBI decided to continue investigating on national-security grounds. A FISA application in which Trump was “named” was rejected by the FISA court as overbroad, notwithstanding that the FISA court usually looks kindly on government surveillance requests. A second, more narrow application, apparently not naming Trump, may have been granted five months later; the best the media can say about it, however, is that the server on which the application centers is “possibly” related to the Trump campaign’s “alleged” links to two Russian banks -- under circumstances in which the FBI has previously found no “nefarious purpose” in some (undescribed) connection between Trump Tower and at least one Russian bank (whose connection to Putin’s regime is not described). That is tissue-thin indeed. It’s a good example of why investigations properly proceed in secret and are not publicly announced unless and until the government is ready to put its money where its mouth is by charging someone. It’s a good example of why FISA surveillance is done in secret and its results are virtually never publicized -- the problem is not just the possibility of tipping off the hostile foreign power; there is also the potential of tainting U.S. persons who may have done nothing wrong. While it’s too early to say for sure, it may also be an example of what I thought would never actually happen: the government pretextually using its national-security authority to continue a criminal investigation after determining it lacked evidence of crimes.
The second thrust of the Steele “investigative” report suggested Trump had engaged in some scatological conduct while in Russia, hiring prostitutes to urinate on the bed the Obamas had used there.

These claims were not only unverifiable, they were ludicrous as well, as was the Intelligence Community’s justification for giving them one second’s worth of credence.

As Iowahawk tweeted: “Unconfirmed Denial of Unsourced Blockbuster Allegations Raises Questions, According To Insiders Who Requested Anonymity.”

At American Digest, Gerard Vanderleun explains precisely why:
1) An international business man who has spent decades in the rough and tumble world of real estate development and skyscraper construction and may be presumed to have some sophistication when it comes to wheeling and dealing with governments of all sorts throughout the world travels to
2) Moscow. Not Moscow, Idaho, but Moscow in Russia. That would be Moscow the capital of one of the most paranoid and intrusive governments in the world (Both now and for the 19th and 20th centuries). It is a society and a government with a long history of...
3) Secret police and the clandestine surveillance of its own citizens and visitors to the extent that the US was digging bugs out of the walls of its own embassy in Moscow for decades. When he gets to Moscow he stays at...
4) The Moscow Ritz-Carlton in the “Presidential Suite.” Since such accommodations are typically only taken by the filthy rich and/or representatives of foreign governments such as, say, presidents. And then this sophisticated and reasonably intelligent billionaire real estate developer...
5) Assumes that such a suite in such a capitol city of such a government has no surveillance equipment at all installed in its rooms, bathrooms, closets, and -- most importantly -- bedrooms. He then asks the hotel staff to show him...
6) The bed in which Barack Obama and his wife slept in when they were in this same “Presidential Suite.” Upon being shown the bed our businessman then...
7) Contacts two high-dollar Russian hookers (who would never, ever, have anything to do with the KGB or other intelligence organs of Russia) and instructs them to.... Wait for it....
8) Urinate on said bed in order to give said businessman some odd sort of thrill and...
9) Said businessman remains utterly positive no agency of the Russian state is running cameras and microphones from every possible angle in the master bedroom in a “Presidential Suite” in a top hotel in the capital of Russia and...
10) The two damp hookers will never, ever, reveal a word about their golden shower in the Ritz Carleton’s “Presidential Suite.”
While I know that millions of morons are nodding like the drinking bird over the glass in their deep and abiding belief in this overflowing crock, I still find it hard to believe that there are smart people out there that really are this stupid. But of course they are not that stupid, not the smart ones. Instead they know this is a crock and yet they find they must drink from it lest their #NeverTrump fantasy world dissolve.
 Sad. Their repetitive manic desperation now has foam flecking their lips and jowls as they dive down deep, and not for the last time, into this fuming septic tank of their own political sewage. Without even a snorkel. If they ever get out of the tank they will need a long, long golden shower

B. The Intelligence Community Peddles the Dirt (then feigns dismay that it makes its way into the press).
Among the morons apparently “drinking this up” besides John McCain were high officials in the Intelligence Community, which passed the rumors on to the president and key congressional staff, although -- despite conflicting reports about this -- apparently never shared it with president-elect Trump. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper claimed to have been “dismayed” that this leaked out after having passed it on. He claimed as well that the Intelligence Community “hadn’t made any judgment on whether the claims within the document were reliable”

As my online friend Cecil Turner observes:  “Former U.S. intelligence officials described the inclusion of the summary -- drawn from 'opposition research' done by a political research firm -- as highly unusual.
"Assuming, of course, that it is. The problem with this sort of thing is that it's on the borderline between unknown and unknowable. Every character involved is either anonymous or has a name that sounds pseudonymous, and the sources are professional liars.

"Roll eyes, wait for actual evidence. The fact that it leaked strongly suggests there is none.”

CNN, however, lapped it up, informed its readers of the existence of scandalous reports on Trump, and BuzzFeed, a clickbait site owned in part by NBC, then published the dossier, a portion of which, it seems, was provided by infonerd bulletin board 4 Chan.

Asked why it had published an account of this nonsense which other news agencies had refused to print because it was completely unverifiable, CNN blamed BuzzFeed, noting it had not released the details, presumably on the assumption that readers whose curiosity had been piqued by the news wouldn’t want details.

Steele has gone to ground ostensibly because he fears Russian reprisals, but I think it’s because he wants to avoid answering questions about what are obviously fabrications to satisfy political interests who paid for this shoddy product.

As John Bolton commented

Kassam asked if Bolton had ever heard of the man revealed as the creator of the dossier, former British MI6 officer Christopher Steele. “Could it be the case that somebody has just paid this guy to write these things, so this leak came out?” Kassam asked.

 “Well, actually, that thought occurred to me because it’s so bad. I haven’t found anybody, including friends who are experienced in both diplomacy and military and intelligence affairs, who haven’t just laughed at most of it,” Bolton replied.

“It’s filled with anonymous sources, single-source information and whatnot. If I were a corporate customer, and I wanted, in effect, a private investigator -- I think that’s what this firm basically is -- and I got something back like this, I would refuse to pay. You or I could sit down at a computer right now and type out these 35 pages, just let our imaginations run wild, and if somebody would pay for it, I suppose it’s nice work if you can get it,” he said.
c. Is it Just IC Incompetence or is the Deep State Deliberately Undermining Faith in Trump and Aiding a Russian Disinformation Campaign?

Glenn Greenwald (hardly a Trump fan) thinks it’s more, and on  examination of the Intelligence Community’s handling of this tripe, it’s hard to disagree with him. He points out the unprecedented support for Hillary Clinton in this “deep state,” and takes issue with their advancing the Steele memos

...the Deep State unleashed its tawdriest and most aggressive assault yet on Trump: vesting credibility in and then causing the public disclosure of a completely unvetted and unverified document, compiled by a paid, anonymous operative while he was working for both GOP and Democratic opponents of Trump, accusing Trump of a wide range of crimes, corrupt acts, and salacious private conduct. The reaction to all of this illustrates that while the Trump presidency poses grave dangers, so, too, do those who are increasingly unhinged in their flailing, slapdash, and destructive attempts to undermine it.
 Once CNN strongly hinted at these allegations, it left it to the public imagination to conjure up the dirt Russia allegedly had to blackmail and control Trump. By publishing these accusations, BuzzFeed ended that speculation. More importantly, it allowed everyone to see how dubious this document is, one the CIA and CNN had elevated into some sort of grave national security threat.

ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER it was published, the farcical nature of the “dossier” manifested. Not only was its author anonymous, but he was paid by Democrats (and, before that, by Trump’s GOP adversaries) to dig up dirt on Trump. Worse, he himself cited no evidence of any kind but instead relied on a string of other anonymous people in Russia he claims told him these things. Worse still, the document was filled with amateur errors.

David Goldman, who did support Trump, was more succinct: “Warning the intelligence communities about salacious and politically motivated leaks: the president-elect threatened to drag their shenanigans into the daylight. No one has ever done that to the spooks before. I'm lovin' it.”

In any event, McCain's much-touted hearings on Russian interference with the election should prove to be a million laughs.  He obviously believed this nonsense was credible enough to seek it out and pass it on, so I hardly imagine he’s in a position to make credible calls on what the hearings involving these now discredited documents reveal or on  the wisdom and good faith  of the officials involved in leaking them


Eight Was Enough

The Obama years, which left us divided and angry,
paved the way for the ascent of Donald J. Trump.
IT wasn’t supposed to end this way for Democrats.

Eight years ago, Barack Obama won the presidency promising to transform America. A supremely self-confident politician, Mr. Obama was the object of extravagant hopes that he nurtured and encouraged.

After his Super Tuesday primary victories in 2008, Mr. Obama said that the movement he began would “ring out across this land as a hymn that will heal this nation, repair this world, make this time different than all the rest.” He would slow the rise of the oceans, end wars abroad and bridge political divisions at home. For his supporters, Mr. Obama was almost a figure of myth, comparable to Lincoln. When he won the presidency, nothing seemed beyond his reach.

Yet after two terms of the Obama presidency, the Democratic Party is weaker than it has been since the 1920s. Republicans now control the presidency, the Senate, the House and a strong majority of governorships and state legislatures. President Obama’s repeated personal appeals to his supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton in order to preserve his legacy failed to put her over the top. The man who seemed to hold such promise for his party ended up taking a scythe to it.

What happened?

For some of the president’s admirers, the answer is that America has become benighted and bigoted. For others, the culprit is the Republican Party, which obstructed Mr. Obama at every turn. And for still others, like Mr. Obama, the problem is that his administration didn’t do enough to advertise its greatness.

Even if you believe there are elements of truth in these explanations, they still amount to excuses. The same country that twice elected Mr. Obama did not suddenly become a nation of deplorables. In his first two years, with Democrats firmly in control of the House and Senate, Mr. Obama won the passage of his sweeping legislative agenda, including the Affordable Care Act, the stimulus package, financial regulations, the extension of jobless benefits and more. As for selling his policies, President Obama was constantly making his case.
The decimation of the Democratic Party came because Mr. Obama turned out to be great at poetry and bad at prose.

Start with the economy. It’s true that he inherited a wicked recession, that unemployment is much lower than when he entered office and that the stock market has reached an all-time high. On the flip side, the economic recovery has been unusually weak, with annual growth never exceeding 3 percent. (Until Mr. Obama, every president since Herbert Hoover had at least one year of 3 percent growth.) The labor force participation rate is at the lowest it has been since the 1970s. Since 2008, real wages have remained the same or fallen for the bottom four-fifths.

To make matters worse, the Obama presidency has been characterized by injurious incompetence, in particular with regard to his signature achievement, Obamacare. The unveiling of the website was a disaster, and the promises the president made — that Americans could keep their doctors and plans if they chose to — were false. Mr. Obama guaranteed lower insurance costs to families and lower health costs to the taxpayer; instead, costs rose. Several of the state-run exchanges appear to be headed for collapse.

Overseas, the Obama years have been defined by spreading disorder and chaos, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, with nations collapsing and borders dissolving. More terrorist safe havens have been 
established than ever before. Russia and China have become more aggressive and significantly increased their geopolitical influence. America is now held in brazen contempt by our enemies and mistrusted by many of our allies.

Yet in some respects the greatest failure of the Obama years is in the area where many people thought he would excel. Mr. Obama made the centerpiece of his 2008 campaign a promise to end a politics that “breeds division and conflict and cynicism.” In February of that year, I praised him for “a message that, at its core, is about unity and hope rather than division and resentment.” Yet he leaves office with America more conflicted and cynical than when he took office. More than 70 percent of Americans say the country is either more divided or no more united than it was in 2009. Race relations are the worst in decades, and our nation is as polarized as it has been in the modern era.

It would be silly to lay all the blame for this at the feet of Mr. Obama. Republicans have been rhetorically reckless at times, and President-elect Donald Trump has coarsened public discourse and set Americans against one another in ways that were once unimaginable. But Mr. Obama came first, and he played a role in where we are.

In his farewell address last week, President Obama said that for the sake of our democracy we need to heed the advice of the fictional character Atticus Finch, who said, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view.”

Yet Mr. Obama never seemed to consider things from a different point of view from his own. He has shown withering disdain for his opponents, constantly impugning their motives even as he testified to the purity of his own. It was his arrogance that proved to be Mr. Obama’s undoing. (Even leaders of his own party felt Mr. Obama’s derision, as if dealing with them was somehow beneath him.) Mr. Obama dismissed those who disagreed with him like a professor forced to deal with simple-minded, wayward students. He warned us against retreating into our bubbles, but he was never able to escape his own.

During the Obama presidency, many people felt unheard and alienated. They are the kind of Americans Mr. Obama had in mind in 2008 when he talked about “bitter” people clinging to their “guns or religion.”

Barack Obama is among the most talented campaigners we have ever seen. But as president, he failed in a manner and on a scale that damaged his party, undermined faith in the institutions of government and left the nation more riven than he found it. For most Americans, the economy has been listless. All this helped create the conditions that allowed a cynical demagogue to rise up and succeed him, one who will undo the achievements he most prizes.

In many ways Barack Obama and Donald Trump could not be more different. Mr. Obama is equable and graceful; Mr. Trump is erratic and graceless. Yet one cannot make sense of the incoming presidency without understanding the failures of the outgoing one.

Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, served in the last three Republican administrations and is a contributing opinion writer.


The Radical-in-Chief's war on Israel ensues unabated.

By Kenneth Levin

At the Camp David talks in July, 2000 hosted by President Clinton, Yasser Arafat rejected the proposals for a final status agreement put forward by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and offering Arafat virtually all the territories beyond the pre-1967 armistice lines. He rejected as well Clinton’s suggested amendments to Barak’s offer. Nor did Arafat submit any alternative proposals.
The reason for Arafat’s tack was not difficult to discern for anyone who had been paying attention to what the Palestinian leader had been saying and doing since the inception of the Oslo Accords in 1993.  It was not that he was unwilling to take control of more territory and add to the forty percent of the West Bank and most of Gaza already handed him by Israel. Rather, the problem for Arafat was that the Camp David talks were cast as “end of conflict” negotiations. It was understood that any territorial agreement would be accompanied by Arafat signing away all further Palestinian claims against Israel, and this was something Arafat had no intention of doing.
Arafat had made clear his goals for the Oslo process at its very inception. On the night of the signing of the initial Oslo agreements on the White House lawn in September, 1993, he was on Jordanian television from Washington explaining to his fellow Palestinians and to the wider Arab world that Oslo was the first phase of the Palestine National Council’s 1974 program. This was a reference to the so-called Plan of Phases, according to which the Palestine Liberation Organization would acquire whatever territory it could gain by negotiations, then use that land as a base for pursuing its ultimate goal of Israel’s destruction. Arafat made at least a dozen references to this perception of Oslo within a month of that broadcast, and he and his associates referred to it many times thereafter. Once established in Gaza in July, 1994, Arafat also became involved in promoting the increased terror to which Israel was subjected in the ensuing months.
In the wake of abandoning Camp David, Arafat undertook a two-pronged strategy to advance his objectives. He unleashed a still more intense, indeed unprecedented, terror war against Israel, both to weaken Israeli resolve and, potentially, to win world sympathy as Israel’s response, against assailants imbedded within the Palestinian civilian population, would inevitably - he anticipated - cause large-scale civilian casualties.
He also undertook a diplomatic campaign to win international, particularly European, support for recognition of all lands beyond the pre-1967 lines as “Palestine”; in effect, granting it all to the Palestinians without the bilateral negotiations and agreements called for in the Oslo accords and without the Palestinians having to foreswear future, additional claims against Israel culminating ultimately in her dissolution.
But Arafat’s diplomatic gambit did not work. Most importantly, in response to Clinton’s placing the onus on Arafat for Camp David’s failure and Clinton’s opposing the recognition Arafat sought, the Europeans being solicited by Arafat would not sign on to his agenda.
Arafat’s longtime associate and successor as head of Fatah and the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has continued to pursue Arafat’s course. He has insisted repeatedly that he will never recognize the legitimacy of the Jewish state within any borders. He has used the media, mosques and schools under his control to promote the message that the Jews have no legitimate claim to any of the land under Israel’s aegis; that they are alien usurpers whose presence must be extirpated.
It appears Abbas does not directly organize terror attacks on Israelis, and he has publicly opposed terror; not for ethical reasons but because he sees it as counter-productive. Nevertheless, he has indirectly promoted terror by, for example, falsely claiming that Israel is threatening the mosques on the Temple Mount and urging Palestinians to “defend” them against the “filthy feet” of the Jews. He also praises terrorists, names public institutions after them, uses his media, mosques and schools to urge others, especially the young, to emulate them, provides financial rewards to terrorists and their families, and gives lucrative public appointments to terrorists released from Israeli jails.

 Also, like Arafat, Abbas has sought to gain international recognition of “Palestine,” of the Palestinians’ claim to all territory beyond the pre-1967 armistice lines, and to do so without negotiating with Israel, without reaching a bilateral agreement, and, most importantly, without signing an “end of conflict” accord and foreswearing future claims against Israel.
The major difference between 2000 and now is that Barack Obama is no Bill Clinton.
On the contrary, Obama has for eight years championed the Arafat agenda. He has been virtually silent on Abbas’s refusal to recognize Israel’s legitimacy, on his refusal to negotiate with Israel, on his promotion and incitement of terror. He has consistently characterized Abbas as a moderate and peace-maker and has consistently blamed Israel for the absence of peace. He has either done nothing in the face of Abbas’s efforts to gain international recognition of “Palestine” without seeking an agreement with Israel or has actually abetted those efforts.
No less dishonest than Obama’s characterization of Abbas have been his attacks on Prime Minister Netanyahu. Obama asserts that Netanyahu has accelerated the growth of settlements and that his doing so is rapidly closing the door on a possible two-state solution. In fact, there has been less settlement growth under Netanyahu than under his predecessors, notwithstanding Secretary of State Kerry’s recent claims, and there have been no new settlements founded for decades. In addition, the Israeli leader of the Oslo process, Yitzhak Rabin, in his last speech in the Knesset before his assassination, went into some detail regarding areas in the territories Israel would have to retain in a final agreement in order to have defensible borders. The areas are virtually the same as those the current Israeli government has focused on, and Rabin did not see Israel’s retention of them as precluding establishment of a viable, independent Palestinian entity, a goal he obviously favored.
Now, using the supposed “closing door” on a two-state solution as a figleaf, Obama has choreographed and allowed to pass UN Security Council Resolution 2334. The resolution - in violation of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and the United Nations Charter, which assert Jewish rights in the relevant areas; in violation of Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, which call for the negotiation of “secure and recognized borders”; in violation of the Oslo Accords, which call for the resolving of all issues by direct, bilateral negotiations - declares that all territory beyond the pre-1967 armistice lines is Palestinian territory.
Clearly, Resolution 2334 resolves nothing. But with its passing, Obama can be seen as having notably advanced Arafat’s Plan of Phases.
Whether a new American administration can redress the harm done to genuine peace efforts, it is to be hoped that it will at least reverse eight years of postures and policies favoring those whose concept of peace is pursuing for Israel the peace of the dead.

Judge Jeanine Pirro DEMOLISHES “Mentally Unstable” Rosie O’Donnell [VIDEO]

Many of us already know that Rosie O’Donnell is a few brain cells short of fully functioning.  

In the “Justice with Judge Jeanine” Opening Statement, Judge Jeanine Pirro goes after John Lewis For Comments about Trump Being illegitimate. But Judge Jeanine saves her fire for the ‘mentally unstable’ Rosie O’Donnell.

Judge Jeanine ripped Rosie on so many levels, from Rosie’s call to impose martial law to her comments about,“Baron Trump a ten-year-old kid who amazingly was still standing at 3am when his father won the presidency “, which was “as classless and rude as it gets, and to then claim that he’s not off limits and you called Trump mentally unstable?”

Judge Jeanine, we salute you!  Rosie… not so much.
4) The 'News' Media as We Knew It Is Finished

I don't want to shock anyone, even those who already know there is something quite awry in the contemporary news media, but I have come to realize that it is not merely a temporary condition that will soon pass away, and that the problem cannot be simply repaired.

The news media, as we have known it in the three quarters of a century since World War II, is disappearing much faster than we realize.  It might soon be extinct.

I am being very specific in speaking about the "news" media.  Communications, in some older and innovative forms, will continue, but what we have understood to be "the news" will come to us in other ways, perhaps primarily as data and notifications.  Advertising, promotions, storytelling,editorial writing, gossip, etc., will  still find their way to the citizenry in a variety of formats, many of which we know today and some of which are being now invented.

I am talking only about "hard" news – that is, the communication of events, facts and other relatively objectifiable information.

The U.S. presidential campaign of 2016 was not a sudden news reporting phenomenon of excessive bias, but it was the apotheosis of the breakdown of journalistic fairness and credibility that had been gaining acceleration in recent years.  It was inevitable that the ideological polarity so evident today was a long time coming – not only in journalism, but in virtually every aspect of U.S. political life.

During the late campaign, in order to explain the specific reasons for the voter response to the confrontation between the two major political parties and their nominees, I put forward a number of concepts, including one that set out the existence of two American English languages that employed identical vocabularies but produced different meanings for two large groups. Candidate Donald Trump, in spite of his background, did not publicly speak the establishment (and elite) version of American English, the one spoken by most educated and professionals.  He spoke directly to less urban, working-class voters with fewer educational experiences.  The establishment print and broadcast media spoke and understood only the former and, being provoked by Trump's speaking the latter, launched a pre-emptive media coup d'├ętat in order to sabotage his campaign against Hillary Clinton.  Ironically, in the run-up to Trump securing the nomination, the same establishment media actually helped enable Trump to win – not because they knew what he was doing (and how he was adroitly using them), but because they knew he was a box office attraction and boosted ratings.

In order to eschew fair new coverage of Mr. Trump in the last four months of the 2016 campaign, the media had to abandon even the semblance of fairness.  Their problem was that the media coup was entirely in the language spoken primarily by those who already had decided to vote against Mr. Trump.  The biased news coverage not only failed to change the minds of pro-Trump voters, but also backfired with most undecided voters, many of whom found the media language and bias offensive and transparent. 

But confidence in media news reporting had long been in decline before Donald Trump appeared on the stage.  Years of incessant political correctness had been enforced in the establishment media generally, not just in news reporting, and many Americans simply did not buy this ideological product.

Self-communicating and self-congratulatory, the establishment media had little idea of how perilous their public standing was.  By overplaying their hand in the autumn of 2016, they brought the whole media credibility issue to its threshold.

The media establishment did have one major clue to their fundamental problem: falling ratings, falling circulation, falling advertising.  Their response has been to interpret these phenomena as simply a problem of technology, including the rise of the internet and social media.  The icons of the golden age of news reporting such as The New York Times; the Washington Post; and the major TV, cable, and radio networks are today often caricatures of news reporting.  They survive only because their primary audiences are in large urban centers, where their bias coincides with their readers, listeners, and viewers.  For this reason, they cannot go back to fair and balanced news reporting – because their own economic bases will not let them.  Outside these urban pockets, their national credibility is gone.

Thus, after Donald Trump was elected president, the media establishment has, in many cases, doubled down on its bias, including cooperating with the Democratic Party campaign to put down Mr. Trump's appointees and his stated initiatives even before he takes office.  Although I might disagree with some of the Democrats' efforts, they are their proper prerogative, and, I might add in fairness, Republicans have behaved similarly in the past against Democrat presidents.  But should the news media be openly cooperating with a political party?

I also want to make clear that a laudable number of those who were vehemently opposed to Mr. Trump are now adapting to the reality of his election.  That does not mean they now agree with him or support him, but they are willing to give him a chance to perform in office before criticizing him.  Those who are opinion journalists will, and should, continue to be critical and skeptical.  No politician or elected official of any party merits an uncritical free ride, and that includes Donald Trump.

My point is that those in the establishment news media who continue to confuse the front page with the editorial page are only hastening the long-term process in which traditional news media institutions are disappearing and being replaced.
5) The year is 1917 "One hundred years ago."
What a difference a century makes!
Here are some statistics for the Year 1917:

  The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.
 Fuel for cars was sold in drug stores only.
 Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
 Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
 The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
 The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower.
 The average US wage in 1910 was 22 cents per hour.
 The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
 A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year.
 A dentist $2,500 per year.
 A veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year.
 And, a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
 More than 95 percent of all births took place at home

  Ninety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!
 Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which 
  were condemned in the press AND the government as "substandard."

  Sugar cost four cents a pound.
 Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
 Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

  Most women only washed their hair once a month, And, used Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

  Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into their country for any reason.

  The Five leading causes of death were:
 1. Pneumonia and influenza
 2. Tuberculosis
 3. Diarrhea
 4. Heart disease
 5. Stroke

  The American flag had 45 stars ...
 The population of Las Vegas, Nevada was only 30.
 Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented yet.
 There was neither a Mother's Day nor a Father's Day.
 Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write.
 And, only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.

  Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter  at local corner drugstores.
 Back then pharmacists said, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives 
  buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach, bowels, and is, in   fact, a perfect guardian of health!"

 Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant   or domestic help...

  There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A. !

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