Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Leakers Continue To Hose Trump As Trump Continues To Shoot Holes In His Oval Raft! Ticking Off The Real News About The Inherited Mess.

Three Bob Mankoff cartoons. Now retired from New Yorke but still doing freelance.

Apparently once the left were told Trump is not personally under investigation an entire new series of "fake news" is surfacing by leakers using The Washington Post as their conduit. (The New York Times must be jealous.)

Obviously, the real news and truth is not only has Trump colluded with Putin to destroy America he is now engaged in sharing classified information with Putin's top henchmen.

Perhaps by the time Trump returns from his first trip abroad he will be greeted at Air Force One by Maxine. Waters and a U.S. Marshall serving him impeachment papers.

The length Democrats are going to bring the duly elected president of the United States down has to bring glee among our enemies and the mass media because they now have more "fake news episodes" than they can handle.

What is ironic is, Democrats apparently do not even believe The FBI is neither trustworthy nor capable of an impartial investigation. Consequently, the anti-Trump crowd are demanding an independent special prosecutor (read gumshoe) to investigate what is already being investigated because once this happens the investigation can last throughout Trump's entire time in office and 'whomever' can wander all over the landscape with no restraints because any attempt to corral will bring cries of cover-up, if mot worse.

It may take several years, perhaps decades for the anti-Trump crowd to either come to their senses or calm down  but until that occurs the mass media will have a field day, the Obama holdovers will continue to leak and make life miserable in pursuit of their goal of preventing Trump from executing his agenda.

Meanwhile, Trump is due some credit for assisting the anti-Trumpers  by proving he is a willing contributor although I suspect if someone took away his ability to "tweet" his detractors would devise a new way to hold him hostage because regaining power is their ultimate goal. In addition, Trump came into the office no more politically qualified to assume the job of president than was his predecessor.

As I posted in a previous memo: " Salena Zito said it best. “The press takes him (Trump) literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.”

Another thing the anti-Trumper crowd purposely ignores, in order to continue their nefarious goal, is to confuse conspiracy with collusion. One can engage in collusion and still be within the law but acknowledging this cuts the ground out from under the anti-Trump argument as well as their justification for an independent prosecutor etc. After all, a law has to be broken to justify appointment of an independent investigator and since no law has been broken the leftist Democrats are hard at work trying to create one, ie. Trump handled classified information carelessly - sound familiar? 

The fact that two senior cabinet members, who were present at the meeting in question, have denied Trump did any such thing they too can be accused of covering up for 'their boss.'  It is amazing how many legs this caterpillar story has grown.

What all this confirms to me is don't tick off the intelligence community because they are masters at leaking and disseminating propaganda. After all, they are the ones investigating the Russians for leaking and allegedly interfering in our election so they have to know how to do what they are investigating.

Trump may feel he can take on the left, the mass media, the intelligence community and those still loyal to Obama who remain buried in the bowels of government but he will wind up spinning his wheels and eventually lose the opportunity to carry through on his pledge to "Make America Great Again."

Lamentably, what Trump is likely to learn is the D.C swamp is too deep to be drained, too infested with wily 'gators' who are brilliant at and schooled in holding onto power and the opposition party and the mass media are incestuously engaged in obstruction.
Finally, to show how pervasive the slime of politics has seeped its way into our lives think about the "gotcha" question about health care posed to Miss USA. We have gone from watching boobs to becoming boobs!

Therefore,I am re-posting an op ed regarding health care issues because I believe it is revealing and factual but then facts are no longer acceptable to those who have their own agenda. (See 1 below.)
If anyone is interested in returning to the real world mess, Trump says he inherited and pressing issues that need addressing (resolving is getting to be less and less likely) then let me tick off a few and in no particular order of importance:

a) North Korea's growing ability to attack japan, S Korea and shortly thereafter The United States.

b)The merging of ISIS and al Qaeda and our eventual possible defeat in Afghanistan.

c) China's expansion in the South China Sea with the long term goal of dominating the Pacific Naval Region and expelling our once dominant position

d) Russia's ability to expand their influence while remaining financially bleeding except for their oil sales

e) Iran becoming a nuclear power with rocket delivery capability of creating an existential threat to Israel and other nations in the region.

f) America's decline as a manufacturing power partly because of strangling government rules and regulations that are overly  restrictive, tax laws that are anti-competitive, trade arrangements that are unfavorable and a work force that is willing, unemployed and increasingly aging and lacking skills 

g) Youth that are improperly schooled, increasingly lacking in knowledge of our nation's history and ideals and becoming more radicalized

h) Rampant expansion of heroin use and epidemic opioid use sweeping our nation and even reaching into rural America.

i) Increased tension between our races

j) borders that are easily penetrable by illegal immigration

k) a national balance sheet that is top heavy in debt

l) a depleted military force increasingly dependent upon worn out equipment 

m) an increasing presence of fascist behaviour on college campuses parading as defenders of entitlements and political correct nonsense that is contrary to American ideals and principles

n) a political system that is splintered and unable to function and deliver on commitments


o) I forgot, some realtor with crazy hair and a foreign born wife cheated at the polls, became president because he was in cahoots with Russia and wants to make America Great Again by taking it back to where it was before his predecessor came in and mucked things up because he, too, wanted to transform America.

In essence what once might have been soluble threats are now more likely to demand military confrontation because the genies have been allowed to escape their bottles and rest assured Trump will be blamed for any efforts that lead to armed engagements.

The problems Trump and future presidents will face have metastasized because we became inattentive and self-absorbed with enjoying our ability to spend with abandon. As was once written: Getting and spending we lay waste our power."
Back to reality. (See 2 and 2a  below.)

Finally, a posting by a friend and fellow memo reader whose thoughts I disagree with because I do not believe Godot is coming .  Furthermore, I believe every time you confront Palestinians with reality and they see the train is leaving you are more likely to place another brick on the road to peace.  By constantly caving you validate and false hope and perpetuate that which you wish to avoid.  

Embassy relocation is a tool to accomplish peace because it makes Palestinians deal with reality.(See 2 be below)


1)  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, TannerOnPolicy.com.
2)White House questions authenticity of 'Western Wall' sovereignty comments
"These comments, if true, were not authorized by the White House." WASHINGTON -- The Trump administration is denying that one of its top officials characterized the Western Wall as West Bank territory outside of established Israeli jurisdiction, after local reports claimed a US official said as much to counterparts in the prime minister's office.

"These comments, if true, were not authorized by the White House," a spokesman told The Jerusalem Post on Monday afternoon. "They do not reflect the US position, and certainly not the president's position."

Earlier on Monday, a report on Channel 2 indicated that a US official considered the Western Wall in Jerusalem — part of Judaism’s holiest site of the Temple Mount — outside of Israeli sovereignty. The wall and Temple Mount complex were taken over by Israel fifty years ago in the Six Day War, and their fate remains a core issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Netanyahu had requested joining Trump on his visit to the site, Channel 2 reported, only to be denied on these grounds.

"The statement that the Western Wall is on territory in the West Bank was astonishing. Israel has turned to the US on this matter,” an official in Netanyahu’s office said in response.

2a)  Right From Wrong: A map of the next failed ‘peace’ talks
Will Trump follow in the footsteps of his shameful predecessor and hold Israel responsible, or will he realize he’s been duped? As part of US President Donald Trump’s trip to Israel and the Palestinian Authority on May 22-23, he will meet with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem. It will be the second time this month that the two leaders have sat down to discuss the impasse in the peace process; the first took place at the White House just over a week ago.

During their chat in Washington, Abbas fed Trump his usual lies. Among these was the claim that Palestinian children are raised to be tolerant and peace-loving. That the US president did not burst out laughing at this absurdity is more a function of his being new on the job than having good manners. It is also due to his belief that he will be able to apply the “art of the deal” to the Israeli-Palestinian context and broker a successful agreement.

Trump will soon learn, however, that his methods will not work. Even a business deal cannot be forged when the true aim of one side is failure. Indeed, it is precisely the lack of Palestinian statehood that has been Abbas’ meal ticket internationally – and the only thing that has kept him the least bit relevant at home. Well, that and cultivating, honoring and paying the salaries of terrorists.

In fact, as Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) revealed Wednesday, while Abbas was sitting in the Oval Office, his Fatah faction was openly lauding suicide bombers and other murderers of Jews.

On its official Facebook page on May 3, Fatah sent “blessings” to 12 of the “heroic prisoners” currently hunger-striking in Israeli prisons. According to PMW, these included Abbas al-Sayid, mastermind of the infamous suicide bombing at a Passover Seder at the Park Hotel in Netanya, and Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences for orchestrating several deadly attacks. This did not prevent him from being reelected to the PA parliament from jail, however; on the contrary, it made him even more popular. In an embarrassing twist this week, Barghouti was caught on camera sneak-eating a candy bar and cookies, as he continued to egg on other prisoners to starve themselves.

There is nothing novel about the glorification of terrorists in the PA or about the hypocrisy of killers like Barghouti. Nor is it new for an American administration to fantasize about finding the magic formula for bringing about Palestinian peace with Israel. But it is interesting that Abbas reportedly requested of Trump that the starting point of any new talks be based on the parameters of his negotiations with prime minister Ehud Olmert in 2008. He also was said to have presented the US president with maps and other documents related to Olmert’s offer, which involved a nearly complete Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and east Jerusalem. It was an offer – as Abbas acknowledged for the first time in an interview with Israel’s Channel 10 in 2015 – which he flatly refused.

During the interview, which appeared in a three-part series about the peace talks between PLO chief Yasser Arafat and prime minister Ehud Barak in 2000 and those between Abbas and Olmert eight years later, Abbas made the preposterous statement that one of the reasons he rejected the deal was because he didn’t understand Olmert’s map. Apparently, he has been boning up on his cartography ahead of the next round of bad-faith negotiations that will be marked by and culminate in Palestinian violence.

The only question now is how Trump will respond to the inevitable failure of such negotiations, if they take place at all. Will he follow in the footsteps of his shameful predecessor and hold Israel responsible, or will he realize he’s been duped? Let us hope it is the latter.

The writer is an editor at the Gatestone Institute.

2b)Peace First, Moving the Embassy Can Wait

By Sherwin Pomerantz

In the run up to the impending visit to Israel next week of U.S. President Trump the media is full of speculation on whether he will make good on his campaign promise (and that of his predecessors) to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.  Decision time is close as the presidential waiver on delaying the move, which has been signed every six months by every U.S. president since Congress passed enabling legislation in 1998, will come to President Trump’s desk shortly for reconsideration, or not.

Likewise the press has been full of speculation of what Israel’s official position is on the matter.

Prime Minister Netanyahu, in response to the speculation, made it crystal clear again this week that he stands 100% in favor of endorsing moving the U.S. Embassy and that of every other country from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.  The Prime Minister is right to do that as it is Israel’s right to decide where its capital is located and thus, in principle, the Prime Minister cannot take any position other than to encourage foreign diplomatic missions to locate their embassies where Israel decides to designate its capital.

However, while that is the correct position for the Government of Israel to take officially, as a practical matter it would be a mistake for the U.S. to make that move at this time.  The reason every U.S. administration in the past 19 years has refused to make the move even though the legislative branch authorized it, is simply because it does not make good practical sense.  Right or wrong, thinking people know that the Arab world has the potential to go up in flames as it were should the U.S. make that move absent a peace agreement with the Palestinians.  The Palestinian street has also threatened disruptive action should the U.S. make this decision under these conditions.  So even though we who live here might see this as what normal countries with diplomatic relations do vis-à-vis where foreign embassies are located, by now we should have learned that we are not a normal country.  That’s why the U.S. has an embassy in Tel Aviv and a consulate in Jerusalem, with Israel being the only country in the world where the U.S. Consul General reports to Washington and not to the local ambassador.  

The fact is that nobody can accurately predict what will happen here and in the rest of the region should the U.S. move its embassy.  What we can rightfully ask as citizens of Israel who will need to bear the brunt of the reaction, whatever it is, is whether there is sufficient value in the move to justify the risk.  I think not and wish that those in the U.S. who are so adamant in seeing this accomplished, who are so intent on forcing the President to make this move, would be just as willing to come here and experience the resultant fallout when it occurs.  But my guess is they won’t to do that, will they?

"The transfer of the American Embassy to Jerusalem not only will not harm the peace process, but the opposite," the Prime Minister’s Office said this week.  "It will advance (the process) by correcting a historic injustice and by smashing the Palestinian fantasy that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel," it added.   So what?  We Jews do not need the flag of the U.S. to fly over the country’s embassy in Jerusalem to give us legitimacy.  As Menachem Begin once remarked:  “We don’t need legitimacy.  We exist.  Therefore, we are legitimate.”

Often, the practical overrules political correctness.  This is one of those instances.  Better to continue trying to find operational mutual accommodation between Israelis and Palestinians now and deal with the trappings of sovereignty later, rather than possibly causing a conflagration now.

As a fireman friend of mine likes to say, preventing a fire is much easier than putting it out once it starts.

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