Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Pathetic Scoop and Other Inane Attempts To Smear/Impeach Trump! Being Obstructionists In Order To Recapture Power Is Sick But Is Happening.


Free people are not equal. Equal people are not free. (Think this one over and over and it makes sense!)

"A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and don't have one, you'll probably never need one again." 

The definition of the word Conundrum is: something that is puzzling or confusing.

Here are six Conundrums of socialism in the United States of America :
1. America is capitalist and greedy - yet half of the population is subsidized.
2. Half of the population is subsidized - yet they think they are victims.
3. They think they are victims - yet their representatives run the government.
4. Their representatives run the government - yet the poor keep getting poorer.
5. The poor keep getting poorer - yet they have things that people in other countries only dream about.
6. They have things that people in other countries only dream about - yet they want America to be more like those other countries.

Think about it! And that, my friends, pretty much sums up the USA in the 21st Century.

Makes you wonder who is doing the math.

These three, short sentences tell you a lot about the direction of our government for the past 7 + years and cultural environment it has created:

1. We are advised to NOT judge ALL Muslims by the actions of a few lunatics, but we are encouraged to judge ALL gun owners by the actions of a few lunatics. Funny how that works. And here's another one worth considering.

2. Seems we constantly hear about how Social Security is going to run out of money. But we never hear about welfare or food stamps running out of money ! What's interesting is the first group "worked for" their money, but the second did not ! Think about it.....and Last but not least :

3. Why are we cutting benefits for our veterans, no pay raises for our military and cutting our Army, Navy, Air Force & Coast Guard to a level lower than before WWII, but we are not stopping any of the payments or benefits to illegal aliens.
Am I the only one missing something?

"If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools.- Plato

And if you read the above quotes plus the last line, but still don't get it, or do not care what the messages say, you are truly an associate to the rule of the fools!

I am posting a comment regarding opposition to free speech on campuses. (See 1 below.)

Comey's dismissal as well as subsequent events are pure attempts to manipulate since Democrats are consumed by a desire to recapture Congress. Consequently, they are driven by an inability/unwillingness to accept Trump's election and thus, believe the best way to defeat him is to obstruct everything he attempts in carrying out his pledge to make America Great Again.

One of the ways they have chosen seems to be spread distrust and rely upon the mass media to lead the way.

The mass media folks are obsessed over the fact they no longer have absolute control over the minds of what American's think and are served by way of news interpretation. Technology, the emergence of Limbaugh, other conservative talk radio jocks and FOX have stolen their candy or, at the very least, offered them fierce competition .

The mass media know a lie or shaving the truth, if repeated often enough, can be effective. Furthermore, Trump , unlike most Republicans, is a street fighter and is more than the mass media's match when it comes to responding. However to be more effective, Trump needs to focus on and get his staff to communicate what his Cabinet and Administration are actually accomplishing and if that means freezing the mass media out by limiting and/or changing inane press conferences so be it.

Meanwhile,Trump's persona is unlike anything we have experienced in a president and his quirkiness and tweeting wind up creating un-needed self competition with execution of his mission, Not being a traditional politician, Trump believes he is obligated to do as promised. Most politicians make campaign promises knowing that is simply a means to election. Generally speaking they have no intention of implementing or the ability to carry out their campaign rhetoric.

That Trump can be his own worst enemy is evident by the manner in which he attacked Comey, and disparaged him in public.  He also continues to pay for the coarse manner in which he campaigned.

The level of mass media and Democrat obstruction and hypocrisy is unprecedented but, then, the fear of having the radical Obama agenda totally undone is frightening. The radical left remain unrelenting in their desire to destroy Capitalism and reshape America as well.

Specific to Trump's alleged Russian collusion and Comey's firing, I said the day he gave Hillary "A Pass Go" he should have been fired for misconstruing the law and usurping the role of the prosecutor.

Trump's timing gave the anti-Trumpers an opportunity to double down on their conspiracy theories . Their call for an independent commission is utterly hypocritical politics because there is no evidence Trump has broken any laws although some of his staff may have acted inappropriately once their status changed from private citizen to paid campaign advisors.

The anti-Trumper's linkage with Watergate and Nixon is meant to raise suspicions, smear Trump and even the Time Magazine report about his choice of ice cream is a pathetic scoop!

One law actually broken was the outing of Flynn by someone in the Obama administration.

Speaking of breaking laws, one of the biggest ironies is the fact that progressives and liberals are upset with Trump and his Attorney General for enforcing laws Congress passed.  America was unique in that we were established on the premise citizens would obey the rule of law.  Obama chose not to enforce laws and, in fact, he and many of his hires and appointees actually broke laws but nothing came of it because Obama's mission was to transform our country.  He did and left a mess which Trump is wrestling with and trying to rectify.(See 2, 2a and 2b below.)

I asked a dear friend and fellow memo reader what were his thoughts regarding The Comey and Russian connection and this is what he e mailed back:

"My opinion:  Obama was monitoring everything the Republicans did.  They caught some communication between Flynn and a Russian.  They thought they had something to hold over Trump.  But they didn't dare say where they got the info so they had a "leak" from one of their own in the intelligence community.  Someone in the intelligence community, maybe Comey, told Trump about all this and that's when Trump tweeted about his phones being "tapped."  Probably because he was tweeting he used that term.  The Democrats freaked and Republicans, like McCain, jumped on this to try to pressure Trump.  It probably turns out Comey was a bi-partisan leaker and had to go.That's probably why he kept him on.  He leaked to both sides to ingratiate himself with both sides. Then when Comey kept leaking about the new administration Trump fired him.

Finally, some thoughts regarding the health care issue. (See 3 and 3a below.)

First of all, health care is going to cost more continuously because technological advancements which extend life, bring about cures, are increasingly available and, thus, in demand.  We no longer have aspirin, a tongue thermometer with some penicillin as our only options. MRI's, metallurgical limb/body part replacements etc. are costly.  Get the government involved aka. Obamacare and the quality of health will decline, as it has, and the cost will soar, as it has.  Think The V.A if you are a disbeliever.

So if politicians tell you they are going to reduce your insurance premiums substantially they are lying. What they can do, among other things, is reduce cost acceleration by making changes such as:
a) allowing health policies to be taken across state lines (portability.).
b) drug development approvals can be accelerated.
c) eliminate bureaucratic rules and regulations that add cost but no health improvements
d) legal costs for mal-practice can be held to certain limits.
e) allow the free market to operate and encourage competition
f)  offer reimbursement of medical school tuition costs for those medical graduates who are willing to open practices in smaller under served communities. (Georgia does.)
g) allow the formation of group pools which should lower individual policy costs
h) once insured no cancellation of an existing policy
i) there are many other rational opportunities to reduce the growth of health costs that should be considered.

In conclusion, the mass media have gone over the edge and have become obsessed with their mission of bringing Trump down or driving him out of office.  Their irresponsibility is obscene.  What is going on with N Korea and Iran should take precedence over ice cream scoops. What China is or not doing to deter N Korea, Russia's support of Syria and expansion in the Middle East ought to be more important and informative than creating there's when there are none. Oh, and what about those pesky Islamist terrorists, ie. ISIS and  The Taliban who seem to be winning in Afghanistan and expanding in Africa?

What we are witnessing are tectonic economic, social and political shifts and realignments that are challenging our traditional institutions and they are failing and thus, becoming irrelevant. Furthermore, incompetency is less tolerated because it is more easily exposed and the mood for overlooking is no longer benign and passive The frustration regarding failed accomplishment , however, remains..

Trump is not an orthodox president but neither are the times.  He has assembled an excellent Cabinet, his administration is making progress on many fronts but America's problems are systemic and "Making America Great Again" is a clever campaign slogan but it will remain beyond reach as long as the political opposition see their mission as being destructive in order to recapture power and Trump is unable to move Congress in the direction it needs to go and at a self-defeating glacial pace which  they seem unwilling to alter.

Trump is our president.  Wanting him to fail is a sick option. He is not the best orator, syntactically speaking, but he has a pragmatic agenda that aligns with much of what America is about and what large number of Americans believe is the better path than they experienced/endured with Obama. It is time for the anti-Trumpers to suck it up and for free speech to return to our campuses.

(Avery dear friend and fellow memo reader had dinner with Tom Price recently and sent me the following: "...had dinner with HHS Secretary Tom Price last Saturday and he confirmed that, contrary to media hysteria,  the House proposed replacement for Obamacare would cover people with pre-existing conditions, would not knock 24 million off coverage and he provided much more clarity... C----"

When it comes to pre-existing conditions, I understand their emotional appeal but the fact that Americans believe they are "entitled" to everything and want the government to pay the cost is insane.

You do not purchase a car insurance policy after you have had an accident.

Once the government gets involved think about the camel whose nose gets under the tent and eventually moves, takes over and eventually leaves the mess cause after the tent becomes filled with camel excrement.

Perhaps the issue of pre-conditions can be resolved without government intervention but not likely because states cannot afford to assume the burden.

Maybe a new law could cover all with existing conditions but not insure anyone after 2017 ends thus, enticing all to purchase some form of health insurance coverage which would include the healthier young.
Happiest of Mother's Day!

Understanding the Campus Free-Speech Crisis

By Stanly Kurtz 
What’s gone wrong on our college campuses and how can we fix it? This past week, Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald, a knowledgeable supporter of America’s criminal justice system and thoughtful critic of the Black Lives Matter movement, was repeatedly shouted down by protesters at UCLA, then silenced andforced to escape with a police escort the next day, during what should have been her talk at Claremont McKenna College. These incidents follow the February riot that forced the cancellation of a Milo Yiannopoulos talk at UC Berkeley, and the March shout-down at Middlebury College of conservative Charles Murray, followed by the violent attack that sent Murray’s liberal interlocutor, Professor Allison Stanger, to the hospital. The immediate lesson of the UCLA shout-down and the Claremont shut-down is that widespread condemnation by all sides of the Berkeley and Middlebury incidents has not restored campus free speech. On the contrary, America’s colleges continue their descent into low-grade anarchy.
Why is that? The immediate explanation is that leftist college students are furious at the election of Donald Trump as president. Yet often-illiberal demonstrations swept over the nation’s campuses during the 2015–16 academic year, well before Trump became a factor. The crisis of free speech has also been aggravated by a rising tide of shout-downs and disruptions of pro-Israel speakers since 2014. Before that, I reported in 2013 on a few of the more egregious silencing incidentssparked by the campus fossil-fuel divestment movement, then in full swing. In fact, I began covering campus silencing incidents for NRO in 2001, when I wrote about angry UC Berkeley students storming the offices of the Daily Californian to destroy a run of papers containing a David Horowitz ad opposing reparations for slavery.
Today’s problems are hardly new. Back in 2001, as reported by ABC News, thefts of campus newspapers had increased by 600 percent over the previous decade and campus speeches by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, anti-preferences activist Ward Connerly, and Second Amendment supporter Charlton Heston were often disrupted or canceled. Here is a very partial excerpt from David Horowitz’s description of his reception at various campuses in the early 2000s: “I once had to terminate a talk prematurely despite the presence of thirty armed police and four bodyguards at Berkeley. I had to be protected by twelve armed police and a German Shepard at the University of Michigan. I was rushed by clearly deranged individuals and saved only by the intervention of a bodyguard, twice — at M.I.T. and Princeton.” (Sixteen years later, Horowitz has become the latest example of a campus free speech shut-down.) A San Francisco Chronicle article from 2000 describes an incident at Berkeley in which 200 demonstrators broke through police barricades and blocked a talk by then-former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The incident was publicly condemned in a column by Berkeley mayor Shirley Dean and condemned as well in a joint letter by several members of the original Berkeley Free Speech Movement. These interventions by prestigious voices on the left were fueled by “cumulative frustration over several years of leftist demonstrations, particularly at the UC campus, disrupting speeches of those they view as criminal in one form or another.” Targets of UC Berkeley disruptions stretching from the mid-1980s to the year 2000 included Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and former NATO commander General Wesley Clark.
The first in this series of UC Berkeley speaker disruptions of the post-1960s era seems to have been the 1983 shout-down down of Ronald Reagan’s United Nations ambassador, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, by hecklers opposed to U.S. policy in El Salvador. Although her words were drowned out, Kirkpatrick went through the motions of reading her talk. Her follow-up Berkeley lecture was canceled, however. This incident, at a time when shout-downs were rare, sparked a national discussion and broad condemnation. Yet far from this condemnation preventing further disruptions, the virus quickly spread. Kirkpatrick was shouted down two weeks later at the University of Minnesota and her scheduled 1983 commencement address at Smith was canceled. The current era of campus shout-downs, shut-downs, and disinvitations had arrived. Yet the origins of this era lay still further back in time. The campus disruptions of the 1960s and early 1970s set the pattern for all that was to follow from the mid-1980s onward. Most important for our purposes, Yale’s Woodward Report of 1974, the classic defense of campus free speech, identified a series of shout-downs and disinvitations stretching back eleven years as the pattern that Yale would need to break. What the Woodward Report called Yale’s “failures” began in 1963 when President Kingman Brewster, “in the interest of law and order” and in deference to New Haven’s black community, canceled a scheduled talk by segregationist Alabama governor George C. Wallace at the height of the Civil Rights struggle.
Keep in mind that the report’s chairman, Yale historian C. Vann Woodward, had advised Thurgood Marshall’s legal team as it argued for school desegregation in what became the Brown vs. Board of Education decision of 1954. And Woodward’s book, The Strange Case of Jim Crow, had been dubbed “the historical bible of the civil rights movement” by Martin Luther King Jr. himself. Yet this Civil Rights hero, along with other liberal faculty members at Yale, pressured President Brewster to defend the freedom of speakers such as George Wallace.
None of this is to deny that the problem of campus shout-downs and disinvitations is getting worse. Yet it’s important to keep in mind that today’s pattern is an intensification of a long-standing crisis that has had its ups and downs since the early Sixties, but has not fundamentally changed in form for well over five decades. What’s clear after 50-some years is that the academy has proven itself incapable of solving its free-speech problem on its own. Let’s see why.
We can think of the challenges to free-speech since the Sixties as washing over our campuses in four great waves.
·         The first wave (“Young Radicals”) was made up of the illiberal and violent Sixties student radicals. Notwithstanding the views of the Free Speech Movement veterans who condemned the Berkeley Netanyahu shut-down of 2000, a great many of the Sixties radicals rejected classical-liberal conceptions of freedom in favor of a neo-Marxist analysis. In this view, free speech and constitutional democracy are tools used by the ruling class to suppress dissent and protect an oppressive society.
·         The second anti–free-speech wave (“Long March”) hit colleges in the early-to-mid 1980s, as the radicals left graduate school and took up junior faculty positions, bringing their suspicions of free speech with them. These faculty did away with required Western Civilization courses as well, helping to launch the academic “culture war” that began at Stanford in 1987. After allied leftist faculty and students succeeded in abolishing Stanford’s Western Civilization requirement in 1988, student demonstrators began demanding speech codes (partly in hopes of silencing students who had challenged them during the Western Civilization debate)
·         The third anti–free-speech wave (“Takeover”) began in the mid-1990s, as the older generation of professors began to retire. At this point, the younger and more radical generation of faculty members reached critical mass. That is, they had the numbers to control hiring. Not believing in the classical-liberal vision of a marketplace of ideas, these faculty used the tenure system, not to seek out and protect the finest scholarly representatives of diverse perspectives, but to solidify an intellectual monopoly of the Left. By the 2000s, the tenured radicals constituted a controlling majority in many social science and humanities departments, and stood as the most powerful plurality in the university as a whole.
·         The fourth anti–free-speech wave (“Transformed Generation”) consists of the late Millennial students who began demanding safe-spaces and trigger warnings around 2014, just as the number of university shout-downs and disinvitations began to spike. Free-speech advocate Gregg Lukianoff and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt attribute the new student sensitivities, in part, to parental coddling by the Baby Boomers. No doubt there is truth to this, but this college generation’s K–12 curriculum also differed dramatically from past standards.

Although Lynne Cheney, former National Endowment for the Humanities chairwoman under Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush, managed to convince the U.S. Senate to condemn the proposed new multiculturalist National History Standards of 1994, the left-leaning post-Sixties generation of K–12 teachers adopted them in practice anyway. The rest of the curriculum was also quickly remodeled along lines that stressed group conflict and America’s sins. The generation that brought us “micro-aggressions” and “white privilege” duly entered college 20 years later. The key to solving the campus free-speech crisis lies in the decade-long interregnum between the radical Sixties and the kick-off of the campus culture wars in the mid-1980s. This was also a period of relative calm in the country as a whole.
The widely praised Woodward Report of 1974 marked the effective end of the Young Radicals phase (wave one), and ushered in the decade-long restoration of campus free speech. That restoration ended with the Jeanne Kirkpatrick shout-down at Berkeley in 1983, which initiated the second wave of free-speech crisis.
What distinguished the Woodward Report of 1974 from Berkeley’s response to the Kirkpatrick shout-down of 1983 was the issue of discipline. The Woodward Report not only eloquently upheld the principle of free speech, it insisted that students who shouted down visiting speakers must be disciplined. The Woodward Report also established a sanctions policy, and a system for warning disruptive students of potential disciplinary consequences. This approach carried the day at Yale and elsewhere during the post-Sixties restoration of free speech. In effect, the Woodward Report and its positive national reception helped return the credible threat of discipline for speaker shout-downs that had been abandoned by craven administrators during the 1960s.
A decade after the Woodward Report, things changed. While the Berkeley faculty as a whole condemned the students who shouted down Jeanne Kirkpatrick in 1983, a faculty resolution to have Kirkpatrick’s hecklers punished was defeated. This was likely a concession to the many junior faculty who openly defended Kirkpatrick’s disruptors on the grounds that “oppressors” have no free-speech rights. Although many observers felt that disciplinary action against Kirkpatrick’s hecklers had to be taken, the UC Board of Regents also declined to follow up on a demand for discipline initiated by Regents’ chairman Glenn Campbell. Meanwhile, UC Berkeley chancellor Ira Heyman indicated that no disciplinary action would be taken.
With more leftist faculty streaming in over succeeding years, those who favored discipline for disruptors grew less powerful. The days when even (or especially) liberal Civil Rights heroes understood the need to grant free speech to segregationists were over. The policy of disciplinary sanctions for shout-downs instituted to national praise by Yale in 1974, definitively went by the boards at Berkeley in 1983. Speaker disruptions then slowly grew in frequency and force at Berkeley and beyond. So, the refusal to discipline the students who shouted down Kirkpatrick ultimately helped lock today’s quasi-anarchic anti-speech system into place.
The thuggishness and violence of the Sixties demonstrations at their height exceeded what we see today. Yet today’s chronic, pervasive, and steadily growing vice-grip of campus orthodoxy, punctuated and enforced by occasional shout-downs and meeting takeovers, is in its way more dangerous.
There are plenty of indications that campus free speech is more besieged nowadays than it’s been in decades. Trigger warnings, safe spaces, and microaggressions signal a cultural sea-change. Anti-Israel shout-downs and disruptions have multiplied dramatically. These are no longer occasional embarrassing episodes but the fruit of a deliberate strategy devised by influential sectors of the campus left. FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education), which keeps an index of disinvitations and shout-downs, says the overall rate of all such incidents is increasing.
Yet statistics tell only part of the story. We can’t assume a constant rate of speakers attempting to counter campus orthodoxies. Top comedians and an unknowable number of conservative speakers now avoid college campuses. At some point, a decreasing rate of shout-downs may actually indicate that free speech, along with resistance to campus orthodoxies, has been successfully crushed. And in a world of social media and the 24-hour news cycle, a few well-publicized shout-downs may suffice to chill speech and encourage violent demonstrators across the entire country. Finally, in contrast to the Sixties, today’s illiberal demonstrators, disruptive and ornery though they may seem, may actually be allied with significant sections of the faculty and administration (as KC Johnson has cogently argued).
So there are important reasons to believe that today’s free-speech crisis is locked-in and unchangeable in the absence of outside intervention. The alliance of radical students with dominant sections of the faculty (precisely those faculty members who reject classical liberalism) means that few C. Vann Woodwards remain to pressure administrators into defending free speech. Meanwhile, the ideologically based “studies” programs (various ethnic studies, women’s studies, and environmental studies majors) have grown to challenge the conventional academic departments in size and influence. This creates a large and permanent faculty and student constituency schooled in suspicion of classic liberalism.
Ultimately, the public has granted the academy certain rights and privileges — special financial and policy protections (especially tenure) — on the understanding that institutions of higher education will pursue truth under conditions of free inquiry and fairness to all points of view. There is a kind of implicit bargain or social contract here, and the academy has so consistently and persistently violated its side of the bargain that public action is now necessary.
In particular, the tenure system, designed to ensure freedom of speech and secure the marketplace of ideas, has been abused to create an illiberal intellectual monopoly. And precisely because of this monopolistic abuse of the unique privilege of academic tenure, along with the unresolved, decades-long crisis of campus free speech, the traditional policy presumption in favor of local control can no longer be sustained in this sector.
That is why state and federal legislators cannot look the other way but must act to restore our most basic liberties to the academy. And while legislation eliminating restrictive speech codes and so-called free-speech zones is very much in order, the underlying problem will not be solved until administrators are pressed to restore discipline for speaker shout-downs. The administrative refusal to discipline disruptors, which took off in the Sixties and resumed with the Kirkpatrick incident in 1983, must be reversed. Only a return to the policies and ethos of the Woodward Report offers hope. There are several state-level campus free-speech bills on offer, but only the model legislation proposed in the Goldwater Report systematically addresses the problem of discipline for campus shout-downs. I have also offered a plan to tie federal aid to higher education to a restoration of discipline for speaker shout-downs, among other things.
The tattered campus climate of free speech ultimately rests on deeper cultural shifts that must be addressed by educators over the long-term. Yet legislative action to protect campus free speech could serve as the shock that initiates cultural change. Short of legislative steps to restore discipline for disruption, even bipartisan condemnation of campus shout-downs will fail, as it has failed repeatedly in the past. The ranks of authentically liberal faculty members are far too thinned to do what Woodward and his colleagues did in 1974. Without an intervention by the public through its elected representatives, the structure of the anti-free-speech university is locked-in for the foreseeable future. After 54 years, we are indeed at an inflection point. Act now, or campus free speech will be lost for a lifetime.
— Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

2)The real collusion story
By Richard Baehr

In the six months since last November's U.S. presidential election, there has been a near ‎avalanche of innuendo-filled stories, based primarily on leaks from ‎‎"government or intelligence officials," suggesting (while providing no actual ‎evidence) there may have been nefarious activity involving Trump campaign ‎officials or supporters and the Russian government and people connected to it, to influence the election. 

One popular MSNBC cable TV host has given more ‎than half her airtime to weaving tales of how the two sides may have colluded, ‎proving mainly that a loyal left-wing audience can put up with repetition of material ‎utterly absent of substance for a long time, as long as it bashes the right ‎individual and political party. The conspiracy theory is that Donald Trump was bought by ‎the Russians, who got him elected and now he is doing their bidding. The fact that ‎the Trump administration has not behaved toward Russia or its proxies in a ‎fashion consistent with this conspiracy theory has done ‎little to quiet the true believers of the collusion litany. Neither is there any evidence ‎of Russians blocking Clinton voters from showing up in Wisconsin, Michigan, ‎Pennsylvania, or Florida, or providing troops to keep Hillary Clinton from making ‎campaign appearances in some of these states. ‎

In the last few weeks, there has been a counterpunch of sorts from Trump ‎supporters, alleging that former President Barack Obama's officials in the Justice Department and intelligence ‎services launched a surveillance operation during the campaign to potentially ‎derail the Trump campaign, and after the election, to keep the Russian story alive ‎through leaks to eager journalists, to delegitimize his presidential victory and his ‎ability to govern.
At this point, based on what is known as opposed to what is ‎believed or hoped for by partisans, it is highly likely that both themes are probably exaggerated, ‎and maybe even totally false, though the leaks from Obama loyalists still in ‎government seem to provide some support for the charge that there has been an ‎organized campaign to damage his successor.‎

In the meantime, a blockbuster story in Politico provides much new information on how far the Obama ‎team was willing to go to get a nuclear deal with Iran done, and then to please the ‎mullahs in any number of ways after the agreement was reached, to demonstrate ‎U.S. allegiance to their needs and demands. In any case, no journalist sympathetic ‎to the Obama narrative on the Iran deal would dare call it collusion. ‎

The Politico article revealed for the first time the extent of the trade the Obama ‎administration was willing to make with Iran to obtain the release of five American ‎prisoners. The U.S. announced the release of seven Iranians, ‎described by the administration as civilians, none involved with terrorism. In fact, ‎several were regarded by Obama's Justice Department as clear national security ‎threats, involved in weapons procurement. The administration also dropped ‎charges and arrest warrants against 14 other Iranians, all of them fugitives, ‎several of them also involved in weapons procurement for Iran's nuclear program, ‎‎. ‎

‎"Through action in some cases and inaction in others, ‎the White House derailed its own much-touted National ‎Counterproliferation Initiative at a time when it was ‎making unprecedented headway in thwarting Iran's ‎proliferation networks," the report said. "In addition, the Politico ‎investigation found that Justice and State department ‎officials denied or delayed requests from prosecutors ‎and agents to lure some key Iranian fugitives to friendly ‎countries so they could be arrested. Similarly, Justice ‎and State, at times in consultation with the White ‎House, slowed down efforts to extradite some suspects ‎already in custody overseas, according to current and ‎former officials and others involved in the counter‎proliferation effort."‎

When critics of the Iran deal argued that despite the agreement, Iran was ‎continuing to develop and procure long-range missiles and spread havoc through ‎its expansionist aggression in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen and support of ‎terrorism, Obama officials always chimed in that the deal only dealt with ‎eliminating the nuclear threat, and not any other issues. Of course, the deal ‎eliminated nothing. Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium was reduced, but not ‎eliminated (similar to Syria's supply of poison gases after Obama wimped out on ‎enforcing his own red line), and Iran's centrifuges, many of them now an enhanced ‎variety, continued to operate. In any case, every time a report surfaced about Iran ‎violating some term of the deal, the president's team, led by then-Secretary of ‎State John Kerry, was quick to provide a legal brief on their behalf.‎

Last week, an Iranian dissident group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, ‎which initially broke the story of the existence of Iran's nuclear weapons program ‎in 2002, chargedthat the country was operating a weaponization program for a ‎nuclear bomb at the Parchin facility, ‎which the Obama administration agreed did not need to be inspected by International Atomic Energy Agency ‎personnel. ‎
‎"Parchin is the location where the IAEA long suspected Iran ‎was conducting test explosions for nuclear detonators. In ‎October 2014, Iran finally admitted to using Parchin to test ‎exploding bridge wires, but implausibly claimed they were not ‎for weapons development," the report said. "Equally incredibly, the IAEA ‎concluded a secret side deal with Iran that allowed it to ‎collect its own samples at Parchin -- in which the IAEA in fact ‎did find evidence of enriched uranium. But despite that and ‎more evidence, the JCPOA [the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, i.e., the nuclear deal] was concluded and sanctions ‎against Parchin Chemical Industries were lifted."‎

The accusation that Trump colluded with Russia and President Vladimir Putin to ‎help him get elected (via carefully timed WikiLeaks releases) at least provides a ‎tangible reward for the alleged partnership: an election victory. What explains the ‎Obama obsession in pursuit of an agreement with Iran and the lies about what was ‎in the agreement and side deals? The answer appears to fall into one of two ‎categories, or perhaps both, neither of which would be easy to swallow for an ‎Obama partisan. The Obama team made no secret of the fact that the Iran deal ‎was to be its foreign policy and second-term version of  President Obama's health care law, the milestone ‎domestic policy "achievement" of the first term. The history of the creation, ‎passage, and political fallout from Obamacare is an instructive lesson for an analysis ‎of the Iran deal. The bill was to be passed, one way or another, even if only with ‎votes by Democrats. Problems with the new program could be addressed later, ‎finessed by administrative rules if necessary. ‎

Once the P5+1 talks on Iran became public and a deal was near, nothing was ‎going to prevent it The achievement was that a deal was made, and details were less ‎important. The parade of late concessions by the Americans in the negotiations ‎should have been no surprise. Selling the agreement to Democrats in Congress ‎turned into a loyalty issue. In other words, the Iran deal was built to solidify the ‎Obama legacy. As president, Obama made no secret of his high regard for his time ‎in office and achievements. Now he could sell this new achievement. ‎

There is, however, one more unsettling possibility. When one studies the Iran deal, ‎and what it achieved for each side, it is obvious that it is one of the most one-‎sided agreements in American diplomatic history. In exchange for lengthening ‎Iran's breakout period to a bomb by a few months for a few years, Iran had ‎all its frozen funds released, won an end to most international sanctions, ‎received a flood of foreign business interests ready to trade, obtained a fairly ‎modest inspections regime, and got a pass on every other noxious activity by the ‎regime, from provocations abroad, support for terrorism and missile development to ‎weapons purchases and sales. The administration even argued that this collection ‎of benefits would enable Iran to achieve its rightful place as part of the new ‎balance of power in the Middle East (now that the U.S. was headed out the door). ‎

Why would an American president give away so much for so little, unless he ‎believed that the rewards for Iran were needed and deserved? A simpleton might ‎say it looked as if the president was playing for the other team. Either that, or egotistical ‎legacy building. In any case, Mount Rushmore will not be calling anytime soon.

2a) What the Media Still Doesn’t Get about Plain-Talking Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s success, as a candidate and now as President, continues to confuse and befuddle the left. He was unfit as a candidate, a knuckle-dragging troglodyte, mentally ill, uncouth, clownish and inarticulate. Such a perception continues to this day, at least according to the media, their Democratic Party compatriots and high-browed #NeverTrump Republicans.

Two notables in the latter category include William Kristol and George Will. Despite their self-described conservative status, they still have no use for Donald Trump. In particular, they object to Trump's methods and styles of communication, whether his Twitter account, press conferences, interviews or speeches.

Bill Kristol, appearing on MSNBC, chastised Trump, “He chooses not to take seriously the fact that he’s now President of the United States.” He went on, “He thinks he can just do what he did as a private citizen, as a guest on talk radio, even as a candidate.” Meaning Trump shouldn’t speak his mind using plain language, rather than the silver-tongued dribble typically served up by politicians.

George Will, now a commentator at MSNBC, the same network Bill Kristol complained to, wrote in the Washington Post about Trump’s communication skills or lack of. “It is urgent for Americans to think and speak clearly about President Trump’s inability to do either,” he cleverly told his readers. He described this as a “disability,” and in scholarly prose went further observing Trump’s uncouthness as, “not merely the result of intellectual sloth but of an untrained mind bereft of information and married to stratospheric self-confidence.”
As a fellow writer, I admire George Will’s golden pen, his command of the language and excellent writing skills. No surprise. His education from Oxford and Princeton taught him well. As did Bill Kristol’s Harvard pedigree. Similarly educated readers will appreciate Will and Kristol’s intellect and colorful prose. Especially around the Beltway and in Manhattan, where the Washington Post and New York Times are local gospel.

What about in flyover country, those counties on the electoral map shining bright red, far from big cities and coastal liberal enclaves? How do George Will’s Ivy League communication skills play at the bowling alley in Michigan, or the public golf course in Mississippi, or the corner bar in Texas? I suppose few in flyover country know or care who George Will and Bill Kristol are, much less read their op-eds in the Washington Post or Weekly Standard.

Instead their preferred method of communication includes short sentences, clear ideas, saying what you mean and meaning what you say. “Build the wall.” “Make America great again.” “Bomb the hell out of ISIS.” Straightforward communication.

Compare and contrast with Trump’s primary candidates such as Jeb Bush who spent a week trying to explain his brother’s invasion of Iraq, each day with a different answer, each more confusing than the last.

Perhaps Bill and George would prefer another Ivy League-educated president such as Barack Obama. Silver-tongued while reading the teleprompter, but a stuttering mess when speaking off the cuff.  So articulate that he pronounced corpsman as corpse-man. Or his campaigning in 57 states.

Obama could sound scholarly when he wanted to, music to the ears of Bill and George. But to many his answers were long-winded and boring. Quickly tuned out by listeners. Is that effective communication? If so, then for whose benefit?

Ted Cruz, Trump’s closest competitor in the primaries, was extremely articulate. A debate champion, he spoke like a pro. How did it serve him? The smart set that despised Trump’s pedestrian talk, didn’t like Cruz’s articulateness either. Fellow #NeverTrump travelers from the National Review criticized Cruz as “a slick lawyer,” parsing his words. Huh? I thought sounding smart was a virtue in a president?

The disconnect between George Will’s world and that of the voters is vast. In his world of fellow journalists and deep thinkers within the Beltway, Trump is a carnival barker, barely able to utter a coherent thought. But not to his 65 million voters who heard him plainly and clearly, understanding exactly what he was saying. No “intellectual sloth” from an “untrained mind” as George Will thought. Instead a bond forged between candidate and voters based on a clearly communicated message. Seems that only the elites, those who only speak Ivy League, had trouble understanding Trump.

Salena Zito said it best. “The press takes him (Trump) literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.”

Trump speaks like the guy next door, or the lady at the diner. Saying what they mean and meaning what they say. Without high-browed rhetoric and verbal flourish, leaving the listener scratching her head, wondering what was actually said. Not the talk of Georgetown dinner parties or Upper West Side cocktail parties, but the talk of real people, living in the real world.

Rather than language, perhaps George Will is more upset over the fact that Donald Trump is a political outsider, not part of the establishment club. Someone not needing the approval or support of the donor class, the establishment types that Bill and George pal around with. Trump is more like the Al Czervik, the nouveau riche Rodney Dangerfield character in Caddy Shack, a plain-spoken outsider far removed from the pomp and circumstance of the pretentious local country club.

George Will and Bill Kristol may not want to listen to Trump. But tens of millions of Americans would much rather listen to Trump rather than those guys pontificating on MSNBC or the Sunday morning gab fests. Understanding that reality may be the first step for the media in understanding Trump’s election and continued popularity. Impugning those who hear President Trump quite clearly further reinforces the irrelevancy of much of what passes for journalism these days.

Brian C Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver-based physician and writer. 

2b)Trump Terrifies the Democrats, They’re Using Comey for Impeachment!
By David Horowitz

Dear Dick::

People ask me, “Are you shocked the MSNBC, CNN and the big media want President Trump impeached after firing the FBI director?”

My answer: “No, I’m not shocked. In fact, I predicted it.”
When my book “Big Agenda: President Trump’s Plan to Save America” was released just days before his inauguration, I was ridiculed.

Not one major network would have me on to discuss President Trump’s secret plan to roll back President Obama’s radical agenda.

I was told “Big Agenda” was just ridiculous — President Trump was not actually going to crack down on illegals, reform healthcare, tighten the screws on jihadists and stop Obama’s unfettered immigration of Muslim fanatics . . . he would not do what he promised during his campaign.

I was said to be “crazy” when I said Obama would lead a “government in exile” with his allies in the “deep state” to undermine and thwart President Trump at every turn.

But I am not crazy. All of this has happened and worse.

Now the Democrats and big media are using President Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director Comey and clean house at the FBI as a reason to raise the “I” word —IMPEACHMENT.

When I listen to many cable news shows it seems unreal: Trump is “insane” and “demented” and their talking heads call for his impeachment!

I made clear in "Big Agenda" that when Trump actually promulgated his plans to reform and remake Washington, the liberal establishment would simply destroy him.

No matter that Democrats like Chuck Schumer called for Comey to be fired months ago. (Frankly, they’re hypocrites!)

No matter that Comey himself admitted he probably interfered with the 2016 election and he totally mishandled Hillary Clinton’s sordid email fiasco.

No matter that Comey was clearly politicizing the Bureau for his own purposes.

No matter President Trump had every reason and right to fire Comey.

You have to understand something — this is not a political game or a political battle Democrats and the big media are waging, this is TOTAL WAR.

They want Trump stopped. Finished. Removed from office.

Trump is still fighting because many conservatives saw the truth and acted.
They showed their support for Donald Trump.

The big media, Obama allies and even some establishment Republicans hate the fact my book "Big Agenda" immediately shot to #1 on Amazon.

They hate the fact its been a runaway New York Times bestseller — now 10 weeks on this coveted list!

This is simply amazing considering the near total ban placed on me and my book!

Make no mistake about it, we are witnessing the worst nightmare of the American left.
A Republican titan of industry has left the business world to become the chief executive of the United States of America.

He was put in power by everyday Americans sick of the status quo.

Trump has made clear his interests are those of the American people.

There’s a feeling of fear about the full extent of the death blow that is being dealt to the left by Donald Trump.

The left has lost control of Congress, the Senate, the Supreme Court and the Executive Branch.

In fact over the past 8 years, Democrats have lost more than 1,000 elected offices!

That is generating a feeling that the Democratic Party as we know it may not be able to rebound from this downward spiral that they have embarked upon…especially if Trump’s agenda is successful.

Ask any pool player — it’s very intimidating for an opponent to hear a player call their shot and then effortlessly sink the ball.

Despite what the liberal media is telling you, right now, that’s exactly what Donald Trump is doing.

Trump’s agenda is no secret, and now he’s calling shots.

But many on both the right and the left were shocked to hear that Trump’s agenda is literally printed on the walls within the White House.

And as each goal is achieved, the agenda item is checked off his list. I knew this would happen because I mentored many of Trump’s top advisers.

People who had visited the White House recently have spoken about the change in atmosphere in the White House.

No longer is it strictly a place to meet with foreign dignitaries, it is a workplace where the people’s work is being done daily.

This business-like approach to setting goals and checking them off as they are achieved is new to Washington — so some scoffed. They said that this wasn’t literally being done in the Trump White House.  

These points are now literally printed on the walls.

Yours Truly,

David Horowitz
Author, "Big Agenda"


Hard Truths about Health Care

But whoever eventually comes up with a replacement for the Affordable Care Act should keep a few hard truths in mind.
1. Health care is neither a right nor a privilege; it’s a commodity. Worse, it’s a finite commodity. There are only so many doctors, so many hospitals, and so much money, and there are limits to how much these things can be expanded. That’s why no health-care system, outside Bernie Sanders’s fantasies, provides unlimited care to everyone.

Every health-care system in the world rations care in some way, either through bureaucratic fiat (Scandinavia, the U.K.), waiting lists (Canada), or price (that’s us). One can argue about which of these rationing mechanisms is fairest or most efficient, but let’s not pretend that it won’t occur.

2. Coverage is not access. Democrats like to pretend that giving everyone a piece of paper called insurance guarantees them access to the care they need. It’s sort of like magic. Say the right words, and poof, medical care appears. But in the real world it doesn’t work that way.

For example, take Medicaid, which is responsible for more than half the increase in coverage under Obamacare. Nearly a third of primary-care physicians won’t accept Medicaid patients. And when doctors do see Medicaid patients, they tend to be slower in granting appointments. Moreover, for the working poor, seeing doctors during normal office hours can be problematic. Perhaps that’s why Medicaid patients continue to use emergency rooms for routine care at a disproportionate rate. Numerous studies show that health outcomes for Medicaid patients are little better than those for the uninsured. In fact, some studies show patients faring worse under Medicaid than if they had no insurance at all.

Similarly, if Obamacare forced your insurance carrier to cut back its provider network, your shiny new coverage may no longer include the physician of your choice. And the incentive structure of Obamacare, notably its pre-existing-condition rules, encourage insurers to drop coverage for top doctors and hospital centers of excellence.

3. The uninsurable are uninsurable. Let us remember that the definition of “pre-existing condition” is: someone who is already sick. It’s a little like driving your car into a tree and then trying to retroactively buy auto insurance. It won’t work. Insurance is the business of spreading risk. But for someone who, say, has cancer, there’s no risk to spread, just cost. That’s not insurance, it’s paying for health care.

Obamacare tried to square this circle by mandating that young and healthy people buy insurance to offset the cost of providing care to those already sick. It turns out that didn’t work. Not enough healthy people signed up to pay for the influx of sick people. Insurance companies either dropped out of the market, cut back on high-quality providers, or raised premiums. All of this forced more healthy people out of the insurance pool and threatened an adverse-selection death spiral.

Republican proposals to keep the popular pre-existing-condition protections while jettisoning the mandate for coverage is only going to make the adverse-selection problem worse. It may have sounded like a moderate compromise, but it is like trying to be a little bit pregnant. It’s not going to work. The only realistic approach to dealing with pre-existing conditions is to take those people out of the insurance pool altogether and somehow pay for their care directly. There are several options for doing so, from state insurance pools to a revamped Medicaid program.

4. Medicare is not a success. Faced with the wreckage of Obamacare, Democrats are increasingly embracing the once controversial idea of “Medicare for all.” Most of them would start slowly, with a Trojan-horse “public option,” a taxpayer-subsidized plan that would undercut private insurance, but the result would still be a government-run national health-care plan based on Medicare.

Medicare is undoubtedly popular, especially with its beneficiaries. It should be. The average two-earner couple pays about $150,000 over their lifetime in Medicare taxes and premiums, while collecting almost $450,000 in benefits. Jackpot! But that disparity is one of the reasons why Medicare is running some $58 trillion in the red, after totaling all projected future liabilities. A program facing more long-term debt than most countries probably isn’t begging to be expanded.
Moreover, almost everything that people complain about with our health-care system is even more evident in Medicare. Medicare is inefficient, spending lots of money without evidence of better results. According to the landmark Dartmouth Atlas study, the counties with the highest per-patient Medicare costs showed no better outcomes than low-spending areas. Medicare over-covers routine care but stops covering you if you get really sick. It is based on an old-fashioned “fee for service” payment protocol that rewards inputs, not quality. And, its bureaucratic price controls under-reimburse doctors, shifting costs to private insurance plans, or discouraging doctors from seeing Medicare patients. About 15 percent of doctors don’t accept Medicare, and as many as a third limit the number of Medicare patients that they will treat.

5. No, we didn’t have a “free market” health-care system before Obamacare. Suggest free-market reforms to our health-care system and critics will inevitably suggest that you want to go back to the flawed system we had before Obamacare. But that system had little to do with a free market. Nearly all health care was subsidized in some way, either directly or indirectly. Actual health-care consumers paid barely 13 cents out of each dollar spent on health care, while the government directly paid for more than half of all health-care spending. This third-party and even fourth-party payment mechanism insulated consumers from the cost of their health-care choices and drove up both spending and prices.
At the same time, provider cartels, both insurers and medical professionals, used regulatory and licensing barriers to protect themselves from competition and inflate prices. Other markets in goods and services routinely produce lower prices and better quality. Health care has always been different precisely because free-market competition and consumer choice have been missing.

6. You are never going to make everyone happy. Obamacare is unpopular. The GOP replacement was unpopular. Single-payer in unpopular. In fact, one searches in vain for a health-care reform that voters will love.

Americans want widely contradictory things from health-care reform. They want the highest-quality care for everyone, with no wait, from the doctor of their choice. And they want it as cheap as possible, preferably for free. At the same time doctors, trial lawyers, hospitals, insurers  pharmaceutical companies, and government bureaucrats are all trying to protect their fiefdoms, hold onto their gains, and shift costs to others. There is simply no way to satisfy all these special interests and produce a health-care plan that will be hugely popular.
Given this reality, Republicans would be well advised to stop trying to win a popularity contest and simply do what’s right. They need to repeal Obamacare down to the last comma and semicolon, then replace it with true market-based reforms. Those plans are out there. All it would take is for them to face up to a few hard truths.

— Michael Tanner is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and the author of Going for Broke: Deficits, Debt, and the Entitlement Crisis. You can follow him on his blog,

Obamacare Architect Jonathan Gruber Blames Trump For Its Failure 

“Wait, you’re going to blame the problems with Obamacare on President Trump?”
Obamacare co-architect Jonathan Gruber, he who once credited the “stupidity of the American voter” for the passage of the sweeping health-care exchange bill, said Sunday that President Trump was to blame for its decline.

Make no mistake the bill Republicans passed to repeal Obamacare does cover pre-existing medical conditions.

However Democrats, starting with Nancy Pelosi, are communicating just the opposite. Lying to establish the mind set Republicans gave no consideration to pre-existing conditions. Again this is a total lie and misrepresents the Republican legislation. 

Democrats misrepresented and gave citizens lies about Obamacare to make Americans feel good about their flawed health care bill.

All  this never happened, and now Democrats want you to believe these lies.

The final plan will not emerge until the Senate offers it's plan and then it goes to reconciliation between the House and the Senate and House. Until then you are hearing propaganda and lies.

3a) Fact Checking Health-Care Hysteria
It’s as if Democrats didn’t even bother reading the GOP bill before attacking it.

By  Karl Rove

After the House voted last week to repeal and replace ObamaCare, Democrats quickly launched a barrage of false attacks. Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi asserted that the bill would “gut” protections for patients with pre-existing conditions. Never one to shy away from melodrama, she added: “This is deadly. This is deadly.”
Apparently the GOP proposal is the second health-care bill Mrs. Pelosi didn’t read. The legislation makes clear: “Nothing in this Act shall be construed as permitting health insurance issuers to limit access to health coverage for individuals with preexisting conditions.”
On Fox News Sunday, the MIT economist Jonathan Gruber came from a different angle, alleging it was dangerous to grant states waivers from some ObamaCare requirements. He suggested insurers could now “literally say, just because the genes you were born with, you’re going to pay more for health insurance.”
Apparently Mr. Gruber is also averse to reading. States may seek waivers from some ObamaCare provisions, but the law explicitly prohibits waivers on pre-existing-condition protections. To receive a waiver insurers must prove it would lower or stabilize premiums, increase coverage, or expand the choice of health plans.
People in waiver states who never had insurance or let their policies lapse would be guaranteed coverage, but to keep them from gaming the system, insurers could take their health into account when determining premiums. After one year, premiums would drop to the standard rate. This rare occurrence is a long way from Mr. Gruber’s charge that people would pay “many, many multiples more.”
The bill also includes $8 billion over five years to help states with waivers set up high-risk pools to cover people with expensive illnesses. Mr. Gruber dismissed this as “trivial.” Yet the Kaiser Family Foundation found in 2011—before ObamaCare kicked in—that 35 states had high-risk pools covering 226,000 people with $2.6 billion in claims. Some $1.4 billion was covered by the premiums these patients paid, and the states had to toss in only $1.2 billion. That’s $400 million less than would be available each year under the GOP bill. Even the New York Times reported that if states tapped all the bill’s available money for high-risk pools, it would total $138 billion. And who thinks 35 states will seek waivers?

This hardly exhausts Democratic complaints. Rep. Richard Neal (D., Mass.) said last week that Republicans had voted to impose an “age tax,” because the bill would allow premiums for older ObamaCare policyholders to be five times those of younger people. (Now insurers can charge older people only three times as much.) Yet the older age group’s health expenses are, on average, nearly five times as high. Today everyone under 50 on ObamaCare is paying higher premiums to subsidize the policies of those above 50.

So in reality, Republicans are repealing the “age tax” Democrats placed on the younger 80% of ObamaCare policyholders to subsidize the older 20%. This despite that older ObamaCare policyholders are in their prime earning years and likely have higher incomes, greater wealth and lower child-rearing expenses.
There is also Mr. Gruber’s startling claim that the Republican bill will cause 24 million people to lose their insurance. How can 24 million people lose ObamaCare coverage when only 11 million people bought the policies? The claim is a distortion of the Congressional Budget Office’s estimate that abolishing ObamaCare’s individual mandate would lead 24 million people to forgo purchasing insurance in the future. Freed of ObamaCare’s penalty—a 3% tax on their income—people may decide to do something else with their money.
The CBO is notoriously bad at estimating the benefits, such as lower prices, that come from a consumer-driven system. The Republican bill would enable more competition, expand health savings accounts and promote inexpensive catastrophic coverage.
Mr. Gruber was similarly misleading in claiming “the House bill cuts Medicaid by $880 billion over the next 10 years,” hinting the program would wither away. Federal Medicaid spending this fiscal year is $389 billion. Under the GOP bill, it will be $469 billion in fiscal year 2027. The bill restrains future Medicaid growth. It doesn’t reduce spending.
From his academic bubble, Mr. Gruber said last year that ObamaCare is “working as designed” and “there’s no sense in which it needs to be fixed.” Yet since its passage, Americans have lost plans and doctors and watched as their premiums and deductibles skyrocketed.
Republicans can win the health-care battle by doing two things well: First, reminding voters of ObamaCare’s many broken promises. Second, and more important, offering a practical explanation of how their plan will improve health care. It helps that Republicans have reality on their side.
Mr. Rove helped organize the political-action committee American Crossroads and is the author of “The Triumph of William McKinley ” (Simon & Schuster, 2015).


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