Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Random Musings and Then It Began!

This is a catch up memo and then I will probably go silent again because my daughter is in town for a few days and she will be followed by her son, Kevin and his wife, Andy.  Kevin is our NBC TV Analyst in Nashville and Andy will soo graduate with a degree in home decoration.
Random Musings:

1) Did an overzealous FBI buy into the Democrat's claim Putin cotrols Trump and helped to elect him?


The FBI obtained a secret court order last summer to monitor the communications of an adviser to presidential candidate Donald Trump, part of an investigation into possible links between Russia and the campaign, law enforcement and other U.S. officials said.

The FBI and the Justice Department obtained the warrant targeting Carter Page’s communications after convincing a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge that there was probable cause to believe Page was acting as an agent of a foreign power, in this case Russia, according to the officials.

This is the clearest evidence so far that the FBI had reason to believe during the 2016 presidential campaign that a Trump campaign adviser was in touch with Russian agents. Such contacts are now at the center of an investigation into whether the campaign coordinated with the Russian government to swing the election in Trump’s favor.
Page has not been accused of any crimes, and it is unclear whether the Justice Department might later seek charges against him or others in connection with Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The counterintelligence investigation into Russian efforts to influence U.S. elections began in July, officials have said. Most such investigations don’t result in criminal charges.
The officials spoke about the court order on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss details of a counterintelligence probe.
During an interview with the Washington Post editorial page staff in March 2016, Trump identified Page, who had previously been an investment banker in Moscow, as a foreign policy adviser to his campaign. Campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks later described Page’s role as “informal.”
Page has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing in his dealings with the Trump campaign or Russia.
“This confirms all of my suspicions about unjustified, politically motivated government surveillance,” Page said in an interview Tuesday. “I have nothing to hide.” He compared surveillance of him to the eavesdropping that the FBI and Justice Department conducted against civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
The White House, FBI and Justice Department declined to comment.
FBI Director James B. Comey disclosed in public testimony to the House Intelligence Committee last month that the bureau is investigating efforts by the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
Comey said this includes investigating the “nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”
Comey declined to comment during the hearing about any individuals, including Page, who worked in Moscow for Merrill Lynch a decade ago and who has said he invested in Russian energy giant Gazprom. In a letter to Comey in September, Page had said he had sold his Gazprom investment.
During the hearing last month, Democratic lawmakers repeatedly singled out Page’s contacts in Russia as a cause for concern.
The judges who rule on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests oversee the nation’s most sensitive national security cases, and their warrants are some of the most closely guarded secrets in the world of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence gathering. Any FISA application has to be approved at the highest levels of the Justice Department and the FBI.
Applications for FISA warrants, Comey said, are often thicker than his wrists, and that thickness represents all the work Justice Department attorneys and FBI agents have to do to convince a judge that such surveillance is appropriate in an investigation.
The government’s application for the surveillance order targeting Page included a lengthy declaration that laid out investigators’ basis for believing that Page was an agent of the Russian government and knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of Moscow, officials said.
Among other things, the application cited contacts that he had with a Russian intelligence operative in New York City in 2013, officials said. Those contacts had earlier surfaced in a federal espionage case brought by the Justice Department against the intelligence operative and two other Russian agents. In addition, the application said Page had other contacts with Russian operatives that have not been publicly disclosed, officials said.

2) Trump's press secretary made a "uge" mistake when he equated Assad's actions with Hitler's but the mass media then ran with the story and provided another instance, for all to see, what holier than thou "jerks" they are.  Pelosi called for his resignation which should insure his being retained as he should.

It was a dumb mistake.  We all make them but he was gracious and sincere in his apology and acknowledgement.  Case closed unless Democrats want to continue their hypocrisy and efforts to make life difficult/miserable for Trump.

3) As for Trump, with the passing of each day he grows into the office. He warned Bannon recently to get his act together, he did what Obama never could, he sent a clear warning to Assad, his excellent Cabinet are making life uncomfortable for our adversaries as they have arranged and placed the shoe on the other foot and even China told N Korea to behave and abstained from vetoing a U.N.Resolution aimed at Syria and thus, did not support Russia . (See A below.)

4) The nation is awash in over bookings.  I went for an MRI today.  My appointment was scheduled for 2:30 and I arrived on time and was taken at 3:45 and was finished at 5:45.  There were 5 other people ahead of me. I have a new name for Memorial Hospital - United Memorial.

The personnel were efficient and courteous and I was not dragged out of the hospital by my feet.  Could have been worse I guess.

Doctors are notorious for over booking but some try more than others to be on time.

5)The markets are biding time.  Quarterly earnings should be acceptable but the inability to get a health care bill passed and the impact this has on tax overhaul legislation could end the Trump Rally.

Trump came into office with no well defined Republican and/or Democrat constituency.  He has little support within his own party because it is divided and The Democrats are not going to give him any support because they are angry, petty and mean spirited.  They are more interested in being aggrieved than doing right by America.

In time, I suspect voters will tire of the intransigent ways of their politicians and will send a clear message both party's you better get your collective acts together and support Trump in his efforts to right the ship of state.

The mass media are also acting like the "turkeys" they are.  They like every thing defined, neat, tied up and clean but the world is not like that and Obama left Trump a mess. His Tomahawk assault on Syria leaves unanswered as to what is next but next is largely out of Trumps hands. He has made clear what he will do if Assad uses gas again.  Beyond that, there is not much he should explain except he has made it clear what his long term goal is, ie. Assad's Regime is over and ISIS remains the enemy we want to annihilate.

Tillerson is working on some improved accommodation with Russia which is meat balled between Syria and Iran. Not a good position to be in when it comes to the world's view.

I noted previously, Trump would have a brief holiday and then the mistakes, errors and purposeful anti-American aspects of Obama's actions would hit the fan, and so they have.

Trump has been a good president to date and he has been excellent in implementing , or trying to, his campaign pledges. That alone earns him high marks.

6)  Hard to believe they can pull this off: (See below.)

Elite US Navy Seal squad that killed Osama bin Laden ‘is training up in South Korea to take out Kim Jong-un’

THE crack US Navy Seal team that killed Osama bin Laden is reportedly training to take out North Korean tyrant Kim Jong-un.

Seal Team Six is taking part in secretive drills alongside other elite US forces in South Korea amid rising tensions with Pyongyang, reports.
US Navy Seals are reportedly training up in case they are called upon for action in North Korea
The elite fighting force is considered the world’s best alongside the SAS
And they are thought to be training to take out potential target Kim Jong-un
US military officials confirmed “ground, air, naval and special operations” are taking part in “several joint and combined field training operations” which involve up to 17,000 troops.
And South Korean newspaper JoongAng Daily has claimed the teams would take part in a drill to simulate the removal of Kim Jong-un.
But US officials denied the elite troopers are preparing a raid to take out Kim.
Asked about drills, Former US Navy Commander Gary Ross said: “There are variety of Special Operations Forces (SOF) participating in Foal Eagle, as they do in most regional exercises.”
“Foal Eagle is a regularly-scheduled, annual exercise that is the culmination of many months of planning and it is not being conducted in response to the current situation on peninsula.”
The special operations teams are thought to also include the Army Rangers, Delta Force and Green Berets.
The training started one day after US deployed its state-of-the-art THAAD missile defence system to the region.

7) Let's hear from Tomas Friedman. (See B below.)

Why is Trump taking on the Palestinians Issue at this time? (See C below.)

There was a very famous New York real estate developer who choked on too big a piece of steak and he died. Trump has enough on his plate for the moment, in my humble opinion. (See D Below.)
And that is when it started. (See E Below.)


A) Obama’s ‘Complicated’ Lies About Syria
The mainstream media have not challenged the claim that chemical weapons were used by Syrian and/or Russian forces. Hence, they have been forced to explain how they were used when Obama officials previously claimed they had been removed from Syria. It’s another new low for a press corps that was eager to regurgitate whatever the Obama administration had claimed as a success in foreign policy.
The New York Times article entitled, “Weren’t Syria’s Chemical Weapons Destroyed? It’s Complicated,” is a fascinating exercise in trying to rationalize why Obama officials lied when they claimed Syria’s chemical arsenal had been eliminated.
It seems that lies are “complicated” to explain.
According to the Scott Shane article, President Barack Obama had declared that “American diplomacy, backed by the threat of force, is why Syria’s chemical weapons are being eliminated.” Later, Secretary of State John Kerry had declared, “We struck a deal where we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out.”
So they lied. Right? Wrong. It’s a complicated matter.
According to the Times, Kerry and others had tried to refer to the elimination of Syria’s “declared” stocks. This was “a nuance often lost in news reports,” the Times said.
So when Kerry talked about eliminating “100 percent” of the weapons, that isn’t really what he meant.
Shane goes on to report, with a straight face, “Despite the failure to completely eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons, Obama administration officials and outside experts considered the program fundamentally a success.”
A failure is a success.
At the time, the Times ran a story by Michael R. Gordon under the headline, “U.S. and Russia Reach Deal to Destroy Syria’s Chemical Arms.” It began: “The United States and Russia reached a sweeping agreement on Saturday that called for Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons to be removed or destroyed by the middle of 2014 and indefinitely stalled the prospect of American airstrikes.”
Those airstrikes had been threatened by Obama.
The Times said the agreement, titled “Framework for Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons,” called for the “complete elimination of all chemical weapons material and equipment” during the first half of 2014.
There doesn’t seem to be any “nuance” in that report. The phrase “complete elimination” is self-explanatory.
Here are some other references from the “Framework for Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons:”
  • Syria will submit “a comprehensive listing, including names, types, and quantities of its chemical weapons agents, types of munitions, and location and form of storage, production, and research and development facilities.”
  • “We set ambitious goals for the removal and destruction of all categories of CW related materials and equipment” (emphasis added).
The Kerry quote, “We struck a deal where we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out,” was uttered on the July 20th, 2014 edition of NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Here is more of Kerry’s statement: “Russia was constructive and helpful and worked at that effort. Russia has been constructive in helping to remove 100 percent of the declared chemical weapons from Syria. In fact, that was an agreement we made months ago. And it never faltered, even during these moments of conflict.”
NBC News, on August 18, 2014, highlighted Kerry’s statement that “the United States has finished eliminating Syrian President Bashar Assad’s declared chemical weapons arsenal aboard the U.S. cargo vessel MV Cape Ray in international waters.”
NBC also noted this Obama statement:
“Today we mark an important achievement in our ongoing effort to counter the spread of weapons of mass destruction by eliminating Syria’s declared chemical weapons stockpile.” In this statement, with the reference to “declared chemical weapons,” we see that Obama was playing fast and loose with the truth, or using “nuance,” as the Times indicated. Kerry had been using it, too.
So where were the media demands for an explanation of the use of the term “declared” and what exactly it was supposed to mean?
When Obama had issued a statement on the U.S.-Russian “Agreement on Framework for Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons,” the word “undeclared” was not there. Obama said, “This framework provides the opportunity for the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons in a transparent, expeditious, and verifiable manner, which could end the threat these weapons pose not only to the Syrian people but to the region and the world.”
Over at The Washington Post, where “democracy dies in darkness,” we find a number of stories about the alleged complete elimination of Syrian chemical weapons.
On September 15, 2013, the Post reported, “The United States and Russia agreed Saturday on a plan to bring Syrian chemical weapons under international control, a rare diplomatic victory in a brutal civil war that appears to head off a punitive U.S. military strike on Syria in the near future.” On October 31, 2013, the Post reported that inspectors “confirmed today that the government of the Syrian Arab Republic has completed the functional destruction of critical equipment for all of its declared chemical weapons production facilities and mixing/filling plants, rendering them inoperable.”
Incredibly, the Post has now run a column stating that “A chemical weapons attack in Syria exposes Trump’s Assad problem,” rather than that it exposes Obama’s failure.
The author, Ishaan Tharoor, who writes about foreign affairs for the paper, found fault with Trump officials for highlighting Obama’s failed Syria policy. “It’s seemingly a bizarre line of attack for the Trump administration to choose,” he wrote. But why? What has happened to holding the government accountable?
Obama’s policy was more than a failure. It was a carefully crafted lie, concocted with the collaboration of the Russians, which was designed to deceive the American people into believing that the weapons had been eliminated.
On the left, the media watchdog group, Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), has also been performing mental gymnastics in trying to defend the failed agreement. The group does not dispute that the Syrians used chemical weapons and that the alleged sarin attacks on the Syrian city of Idlib “strongly suggest the OPCW [Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] campaign didn’t fulfill its promise of ridding Syria of chemical weapons. But this is only a criticism of the program’s overall efficacy, not its actual existence.”
In other words, the OPCW failed, but it actually succeeded.
FAIR defended the work of the OPCW by saying that the attack could have been worse! Writer Reed Richardson said that “…it is worth pondering what greater atrocities the Syrian people might have suffered with 1,300 metric tons more chemical weapons remaining in the country…”
Of course, according to this logic, we don’t really know how many chemical weapons were left in Syria. The regime could have hundreds, or even thousands of tons of weapons still available.
Whether the Sarin attack was carried out by the regime or its Russians backers is beside the point. The media have accepted the evidence provided to them by their sources. The issue is that acceptance of this evidence blows apart their previous narrative that Obama had saved the people of Syria from future gas attacks.
Another point that has to be made is that Obama trusted the Russians to participate in the disarmament of their client state, and Obama now comes across looking like a complete dupe of the Vladimir Putin regime.
But wasn’t Trump supposed to be the Russian agent?

B)Major Choke Points in the Persian Gulf and East Asia

By George Friedman and Cheyenne Ligon
The flow of international trade has always been subject to geopolitical risk and conflicts. At all stages of the supply chain, trade inherently faces challenges posed by the geopolitical realities along a given route.
Some routes are more perilous and harder to navigate than others. One such trade route is the maritime path for delivering oil from Persian Gulf producers to East Asian consumers. It faces two critical choke points that are unavoidable given geographic constraints.
The Persian Gulf is a leading oil-producing region, accounting for 30% of global supply. Meanwhile, East Asia is a major oil-consuming region and accounts for 85% of the Persian Gulf’s exports, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). The most common route for oil deliveries between these two regions is through the Strait of Hormuz, into the Indian Ocean, and through the Strait of Malacca.
The two straits are geopolitical choke points because geographic limitations and political competition threaten access to these routes.
Before we begin…
Geopolitical Futures’ inaugural conference, The Next 4 Years: The Role of the United States in the World, took place last week in Washington, DC. Expert speakers shared deep insights exposing the challenges that face the US as a global power today.
These challenges will affect our lives, our businesses, and the way we interact with the wider world.
Key analysis at The Next 4 Years: The Role of the United States in the World included:
✔ What the critical issues are between the US and China, and where the US’s “red line” on North Korean behavior lies
✔ How oil prices may force Russia into aggressive military strategies in Europe, and how China is eating Russia’s lunch in Central Asia
✔ How the Middle East is cannibalizing itself, and what mutations we can expect to see in the Islamic State
✔ Why the EU as we know it is vanishing, and what key area of the European continent will rise as powers around it fall
✔ How 1945 set in motion a chain of events that led to the resurgence of nationalism and a growing mistrust of supranational organizations
You don’t have to miss out just because you were not in the room—you can listen to all the insight, analysis, and forecasts shared at the conference from the comfort of your own home. To get an Audio Pass and prepare for the coming changes in world order, simply click here.

Strait of Hormuz

The Strait of Hormuz is the primary maritime route through which Persian Gulf exporters—namely Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—ship their oil to external markets. Only Iran and Saudi Arabia have alternative access routes to maritime shipping lanes. The strait is 21 miles wide at its narrowest point, bordered by Iran and Oman. The EIA estimates that approximately 17 million barrels of oil per day—about 35% of all seaborne oil exports—pass through the strait. This path is also the most efficient and cost-effective route through which these producers can transport their oil to consumers in East Asia.
Persian Gulf countries depend heavily on revenue from these exports. For this reason, passage through the Strait of Hormuz is both an economic and a security issue for countries in the region. Disruptions in the strait would impede the timely shipment of oil: Exporters risk losing significant revenue and importers could face supply shortages and higher costs. The longer the disruption lasts, the greater the losses.
Disruptions could take place when Sunni and Shiite countries threaten to deny each other passage through the strait. Blocking access is a way to inflict financial damages on countries that depend on exporting goods through this area. Shiite-majority Iran has threatened to close the strait and plant naval mines to assert its power over Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states. Saudi Arabia and its allies have conducted naval drills to demonstrate their willingness and ability to retaliate should Iran follow through.
Given their financial dependence on oil revenue, Persian Gulf countries have tried to mitigate the risk associated with passing precious exports through the strait in two ways. First, they have established alternative export routes. Saudi Arabia built a pipeline that carries oil from fields in the east to refineries in the west. From there, it is shipped out through the Red Sea. Similarly, the United Arab Emirates built the Abu Dhabi Crude Oil Pipeline to bypass the Strait of Hormuz and export directly from Fujairah Port. In both cases, the pipeline capacity is not enough to relieve dependence on the Strait of Hormuz.
Second, Persian Gulf countries have built security alliances with countries that have a vested interest in keeping the strait open. These security alliances often involve a partnership with the United States. In 2016, the US received 18% of its oil imports from the Persian Gulf. Therefore, it wants to maintain safe passage of exports through the strait. The US also has the most powerful naval fleet in the world. These forces can be rapidly deployed to deter a potential blockage of the strait, since other navies in the area could not compete directly with the US Navy in a confrontation.

Strait of Malacca

The Strait of Malacca is the shortest sea route to move goods from the Persian Gulf to Asian markets. It is over  one-third shorter than the closest alternative sea-based route. This added distance would make the oil more expensive for consumers. Roughly a quarter of all oil transported by sea (more than 15 million barrels per day) passes through the Strait of Malacca, making it second only to the Strait of Hormuz in oil transport by volume.
The Strait of Malacca is 550 miles long and runs past Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. At its narrowest point, the strait is a mere 1.5 miles wide. Its narrowness makes ships more susceptible to piracy (which is prevalent in the area) and blockades.
Both Japan and China’s national economies rely heavily on oil imports that pass through the Strait of Malacca. Therefore, open access through the strait is key to their economic security. Over 80% of China’s oil imports (by sea) and around 60% of Japan’s total oil imports currently pass through the strait. These two countries have a long history of animosity and war as they competed with one another to be the dominant geopolitical power in the region. 
However, attempting to block the strait would be a double-edged sword for these regional powers. On one hand, restricting trade flow through the strait could be a way of inflicting economic pain on a rival. This could lead to an economic downturn and subsequent domestic political problems for the rival. On the other hand, initiating a blockade could set a precedent for other countries to vie for control of the strait. This could put either country’s access at risk.
To secure their economic stability, Japan and China have pursued means to guarantee safe passage of oil through the strait. Like Persian Gulf countries, Japan relies on its alliance with the United States to guarantee free navigation of goods by sea. The US Pacific Coast conducts a significant amount of trade with East Asia, and Washington relies heavily on its alliance with Tokyo to offset China’s power and any other potential threats in the region.
China’s strategy involves strengthening its military and political ties in the region. Beijing has forged strong political and economic relations with the countries that surround the Strait of Malacca, particularly Indonesia. It is also in the process of building a large navy with the goal of gaining more control of its surrounding seas.  


For both Persian Gulf exporters and East Asian consumers, the free passage of oil shipments is essential. However, these shipments must pass through two geopolitical choke points. In the Strait of Hormuz, the main risk derives from the conflict between Sunni and Shiite powers in the region. In the Strait of Malacca, it is the regional rivalry between China and Japan.
All of these countries must take measures to mitigate their risk and secure free passage through the respective straits as the effects of a blockade would be devastating to local economies. Geopolitics not only explains why such measures are necessary, but also which measures are most suitable for the countries involved.
George Friedman
George Friedman
Editor, This Week in Geopolitics
Shaked: US alliance strong, but Trump wasting time on peace deal
The justice minister and Bayit Yehudi star-MK said that the connection was strong even under the Obama administration, despite disagreements over the Palestinian issue.
The US-Israel alliance and support from the Trump administration is strong, but the president is wasting time chasing a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked told The Jerusalem Post in a recent interview.

Trump “should not waste time trying to get the ultimate peace deal done – it won’t happen,” Shaked said.

“There is very strong connection between us and the US. We are allies with common values and a true partnership, no matter who sits in the White House and on Balfour Street [in the Prime Minister’s Residence], whether with Democrats or Republicans,” said Shaked.

The justice minister and Bayit Yehudi star-MK said that the connection was strong even under the Obama administration, despite disagreements over the Palestinian issue.

However, she said Trump’s election had been a “historic chance to change the rules of the game, and not merely to impact the tactical situation.

Trump was ready for this,” asserting that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had “missed a historic chance to change everything and get rid of a Palestinian state” forming along Route 6 in Judea and Samaria.

Instead, so far it appears that the Trump-Netanyahu negotiations over settlement building have mostly excluded building outside of the settlement blocs – a position anathema to Bayit Yehudi.

Like Netanyahu, Shaked, who will speak at The Jerusalem Post Conference in New York on May 7, and others on the Right like to discuss moderate Arab Sunni states joining an alliance with Israel as a different path to peace rather than negotiations with the Palestinians.

But pressed on how this would work when all of these states still demand a two-state solution, Shaked hinted that the Sunni states may be saying something else behind closed doors, in light of their common interests with Israel economically as well as in opposing Iran.

She has also made waves recently, for the first time announcing she would someday run for prime minister and with flattering surveys showing that she could win more Knesset seats heading Bayit Yehudi than Naftali Bennett (though she has made it clear she would never run to oust him).

How did a secular woman become so popular among a religious public where men are much stronger in the public sphere? “They are completely ready for a secular woman because of how active and effective I am...

We [she and Bennett] did big things for the religious Zionist community... which no one has done... No one has been as conservative and right-wing as me” as justice minister, she said.

Would she ever leave Bayit Yehudi for the Likud to give her a better chance to become prime minister? She said she is not interested and “loves the party” of Bayit Yehudi.

Asked if she loves some of the more criticized and sensational comments by her fellow Bayit Yehudi lawmakers Bezalel Smotrich and Moti Yogev, she responded, “I don’t love everything they say, but they are mostly good MKs.”

Moving on, the discussion turned to what she recently called her “historic” victory in appointing more conservative justices to the Supreme Court.

How did Shaked achieve this victory? Shaked was pressed as to whether her threat to Supreme Court President Miriam Naor to change the law about appointing judges, so that she and the political wing of the Judicial Selection Committee could pick new justices without the current justices’ votes, got Naor to move in her direction.

Faintly smiling (and possibly flattered), Shaked said, “So you say.” However, while Shaked did not want to outright admit she had successfully pressured Naor into folding, she did add, “The law about appointing judges is not sacred. I was ready to change it. And still I think maybe I will change it.”

Aside from freeing her from having to compromise with the current justices, Shaked was asked why she would change the law.

She said, “It [the current arrangement] has good aspects regarding achieving consensus” among the different factions within the country, since all factions can block an appointment, but “sometimes we don’t pick the best candidate and pick the second best” to avoid disagreement.

Shaked bemoaned that her top pick for the court, Bar-Ilan University Prof. Gideon Sapir, was kept off the court due to fierce opposition by the current justices to his outspoken conservatism.

She was asked specifically about justice-appointee Yael Willner. In the past, Willner was opposed by the Right because she was perceived as an activist, having clerked for former Supreme Court president Dorit Beinisch.

But in this round, Willner was one of Shaked’s picks from the Right, and the Left pushed back against her, saying she might be too conservative because of her Orthodox religious beliefs.

The justice minister rejected the characterizations and said Willner was totally accepted by the Right and was picked because she is highly qualified.

While Shaked resisted “tagging” any of the justices politically, she did agree that all of the justices and judicial candidates “have a worldview. Law isn’t exact math. A judge’s worldview comes through. It is not all black and white. There is a lot of gray” in how judges make their decisions.

She said that three independent staffs had reviewed decisions and articles written by all of the candidates to allow a better feel for each candidate.

Yet even after her victory in this round of appointments, it will only be when two more justices retire in 2018 (having reached the mandatory retirement age of 70) that Shaked might be able to change the majority on the Supreme Court from activist to conservative.

Asked if she is gearing up for that battle, she was not excited to be perceived as pressuring the current justices before any negotiations on appointing their successors have taken place. She did volunteer, however, that “I assume judicial decisions will take place by the end of the year and my approach will be the same.”
One year, I decided to buy my mother-in-law a cemetery plot as a Christmas gift.
The next year, I didn't buy her a gift.
When she asked me why, I replied,
"Well, you still haven't used the gift I bought you last year!"
... and that's when the fight started ...
______________________________ __
My wife and I were watching "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" while we were in bed.
I turned to her and said, 'Do you want to have sex?'
'No,' she answered.
I then said, 'Is that your final answer?'
She didn't even look at me this time, simply saying, 'Yes.'
So I said, "Then I'd like to phone a friend."
... and that's when the fight started ...
______________________________ __
I took my wife to a restaurant.
The waiter, for some reason, took my order first.
"I'll have the rump steak, rare, please."
He said, "Aren't you worried about the mad cow?"
"Nah, she can order for herself."
... and that's when the fight started ...
______________________________ _
My wife and I were sitting at a table at her high school reunion, and she kept staring at a drunken man swigging his drink as he sat alone at a nearby table.
I asked her, "Do you know him?"
"Yes," she sighed, "he's my old boyfriend. I understand he took to drinking right after we split up those many years ago, and I hear he hasn't been sober since."
"My God!" I said, "who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?"
... and that's when the fight started ...
______________________________ __
When our lawn mower broke and wouldn't run, my wife kept hinting to me that I should get it fixed. But, somehow I always had something else to take care of first - the shed, the boat,making beer. Always something more important to me.
Finally she thought of a clever way to make her point.
When I arrived home one day, I found her seated in the tall grass, busily snipping away with a tiny  pair of sewing scissors.
I watched silently for a short time and then went into the house.
I was gone only a minute, and when I came out again I handed her a toothbrush.
I said, "When you finish cutting the grass, you  might as well sweep the driveway."
... The doctors say I will walk again, but I will always have a limp ...
My wife sat down next to me as I was flipping channels.
She asked, "What's on TV?"
I said, "Dust."
... and that's when the fight started ...

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