Sunday, June 4, 2017

The More We Pay, The More We Owe. Bolton Always My Choice. Rabbinical Advice!

Sent to me by a friend and fellow memo reader.

We need to pay more taxes so we can have more government. The more we pay the more we owe and so it goes. (See 1 below.)
Bolton was always my choice for Trump's Sec. of State.  Tillerson is a good guy but Bolton is  better and tougher. (See 2, 2a and 2b below.)
Like I have said, PC'ism is a cover for labeling those with anti-religion and anti-Mulsim beliefs. (See 3 below.)
Sound rabbinical advice - time for Trump to get "cracking" and stop being a punching bag for the mass media and hysterical Democrats who want to impeach him. (See 5 below.)
1) Opinion: Here's the tax scandal every American should be outraged over

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.
There's a massive multi-trillion dollar scandal going on nationwide that would make even Bernie Madoff blush. It's a conspiracy that involves government bureaucrats, politicians from both parties, and a big chunk of the public being left in the dark. It shatters a key liberal belief and a separate example of conservative dogma.
The scandal first was uncovered by Terry Jeffrey at CNS News when he looked at federal revenue numbers and noted that Americans are paying more than twice the amount of federal taxes they were when President John F. Kennedy first took office in 1961. Yes, that's adjusted for inflation with a jump from $4,121 per person in current dollars 46 years ago to $10,114 in 2016.
And yes, that's per person, not per taxpaying person. We're talking more than 10 grand for every one of the 323 million-plus people in the U.S.
That got me thinking about a lot of other questions, starting with: What does this mean for the tax burden for every American who actually pays federal taxes?
That's where it gets worse. In 1961 about 49 million Americans paid federal taxes. In current inflation-adjusted dollars, they paid $15,477 per taxpayer in federal taxes.
Ninety-three million Americans paid federal taxes in 2016, broadening that tax base by almost 100 percent since JFK. But the federal tax burden per taxpayer jumped to $35,053.
And now it's time to look at the political bigger picture.
There are many reasons why this is a scandal, starting with the fact that despite this tax burden reality politicians often boast about how tax rates are much lower than they were in 1961. And the next part of the scandal is the federal debt is still growing at $20 trillion and counting.
© Provided by CNBC
But the biggest reason this is a scandal is that all the new taxes that are responsible for this massive jump in our costs are hidden in the fine print. We may have lower top line income tax rates than we did in 1961, but we have so many new taxes going to the federal government that it's hard to keep track.
Granted, some of those new taxes are for generally popular programs like Medicare and Medicaid which did not exist in 1961. And Social Security, also very popular with the voters, has imposed higher tax rates over the years.
But the ugly truth is that the trust funds where those new tax revenues were supposed to be placed aren't really trust funds. Money is siphoned from them every year to pay for other government spending. The federal government just grabs a lot of that supposedly protected cash and replaces it with IOU's.
That's a big reason why both Medicare and Social Security are in fiscal danger despite those higher tax revenues. In Washington that's okay. In the real world, we call that "bait and switch."
We can also call it a "cover up" because this robbing Peter to pay Paul practice masks the reality of our real federal debt. When the unfunded liabilities like Social Security and Medicare are factored in for real, our debt is calculated by some experts to total more like $200 trillion.
But like all scandals, at least this news provides some clarity. The reason why I and some other conservatives are focusing on comparisons to Kennedy's years in office is because he was the most important Democrat to ever push for and explain the need for tax cuts. And because he was a Democrat, there's been a very long-running political debate in America about the Kennedy tax cuts and their enduring lessons for us today. When Kennedy was president, he made a strong case for cutting taxes to boost the economy. And it worked.
When President Reagan proposed cutting taxes in 1981, he insisted on using JFK's arguments in the effort. Then-presidential staffers like Larry Kudlow and Art Laffer took the lead in promoting that view. Yet liberals argued that tax rates were so high during President Kennedy's day that his call to cut them was only relative, and the Democratic icon would never advocate tax cuts in 1981 or today.
That argument should end right here now that we know Americans are effectively being taxed a twice the rate they were even in JFK's time. If President Kennedy thought that citizens and the economy were struggling under too heavy a tax burden then, it's silly to think he wouldn't think the same today when the burden has now more than doubled.
This also sadly should end the long-held conservative argument that the best thing for the taxpayer is to broaden the base and get more people to share the load. Well the total number of federal taxpayers is almost twice what it was 46 years ago but those taxpayers are paying twice as much! So much for thinning out the pain.
All of this provides more clarity that the real culprit here is government spending. We're being taxed more, period. And the reason is because the government can't stop spending our money. It's spending so much, that it plays games and deceptive tricks with popular programs like Medicare and Social Security to hide and prop up that spending. And yet, our debt keeps growing.
You don't have to be a "greedy" millionaire or billionaire to be angry about that kind of taxation. The numbers don't lie, we're all being soaked for more than twice the cash our parents had to pay. And for our trouble, we're told we have a lighter tax burden than the past.
This is why we not only need tax reform, but spending reform. Any president or Congress that doesn't get to providing both is utterly worthless.
Our World: The limits of Israeli power
The crowd at the King David responded enthusiastically to Bolton’s proposal. This is not surprising.

On Thursday, US President Donald Trump bowed to the foreign policy establishment and betrayed his voters. He signed a presidential waiver postponing the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem for yet another six months.

Ahead of Trump’s move, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a last-ditch bid to convince Trump to move the embassy to Jerusalem. But it was not to be.

Israel’s failure to convince Trump to do what he repeatedly promised US voters he would do during his presidential campaign shows the disparity in power between Israel and the US.

Israel lacks the power to convince foreign nations to recognize its capital – much less to locate their embassies there. The US, on the other hand, not only has the power to recognize Jerusalem and transfer its embassy to Israel’s capital whenever it wishes to do so, it also has the ability to convince dozens of other countries to immediately follow its lead.

The disparity between what the Americans can do and what Israel can do was on display on Monday evening in a glittering hall at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. There, Bar-Ilan University conferred its Guardian of Zion award on former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton. In his acceptance speech, Bolton presented his vision for the resolution of the Palestinian conflict with Israel.

Bolton’s views are important not merely because his past work at the State Department and the UN brought the US some of its only diplomatic victories in recent decades. His views are important as well because of his close relationship with Trump.

Bolton began his discussion Monday evening by rejecting the “two-state solution.” The two-state model, he noted, has been tried and has failed repeatedly for the past 70 years. There is no reason to believe that it will succeed now. This is particularly true, he said, given the lack of Palestinian social cohesion.

Hamas controls Gaza. The PLO, which is supposed to be Israel’s peace partner, barely controls parts of Judea and Samaria. At a time when more cohesive Arab societies are unraveling, the notion that a Palestinian state would survive and advance regional peace and stability is laughable, Bolton argued.

Bolton then turned to his preferred policy for resolving the Palestinian conflict with Israel, which he dubbed “the three-state solution.” Under his plan, Egypt and Jordan would work with Israel to solve the Palestinian conflict. Egypt would take over the Gaza Strip and Jordan would negotiate the status of Judea and Samaria with Israel.

The crowd at the King David responded enthusiastically to Bolton’s proposal. This is not surprising.

Since 1967, Israelis have hoped for Jordan and Egypt to work with them to solve the problem of the Arabs of Judea, Samaria and Gaza who lived under Jordanian and Egyptian occupation from 1949-1967.

Unfortunately, Israel’s support for Bolton’s plan is irrelevant. Israel is powerless to advance it. Israel cannot convince Arab nations to help it resolve the Palestinian conflict any more than it can convince the PLO to cut a peace deal with it.

Like PLO leaders, the leaders of the Arab world know that they cannot help Israel with the Palestinians.

Doing so would involve disowning the Palestinian narrative.

The Palestinian narrative claims that the Jews of Israel are colonialist interlopers who stole the land from the Palestinians, its rightful owners. The narrative makes no distinction between Tel Aviv and Hebron. All of Israel is a crime against the Arab world. All of Israel is illegitimate.

The overwhelming majority of the Arab world believes the Palestinian narrative. For an Arab leader to walk away from it or even to signal an attenuation of his fealty to it in the interest of regional peace would be the riskiest of moves.

Israel has nothing to offer Arab leaders that could induce them to take that risk.

Although it is far from certain, the US may very well have the ability to convince Arab leaders to do so. If Trump decided that this is the way to advance peace in the Arab world, chances are he would make some headway. In other words, Bolton’s three-state plan is a plan that only America can adopt. It cannot be an Israeli plan no matter how enthusiastically the public supports involving Jordan and Egypt in solving the conflict.

Given Israel’s inability to offer the Arabs anything valuable enough for Arab leaders to risk life and limb to accept in exchange for helping to solve the Palestinian conflict, as Israel considers its own options in relation to the Palestinians, it needs to limit its goals to things that it can achieve without them. In other words, the only steps that Israel can take in relation to the Palestinians are unilateral steps.

For the past 50 years, hoping that the Arabs – and since 1993, the PLO – would finally make peace with it and so settle the permanent status of Judea and Samaria, Israel refused to take any unilateral actions in relation to its permanent interests in Judea and Samaria. Rather than apply its legal code to Judea and Samaria, it opted for the stop-gap measure of installing a military government to run the areas on the basis of Jordanian law.

Between 1994 and 1996, Israel canceled the military government in the Palestinian population centers in Judea and Samaria and Gaza. In 2005, when it withdrew, it canceled the residual military government in the rest of Gaza. Since then, the only area that remains under the Israeli military government is Area C in Judea and Samaria. Area C includes all of the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, and strategically critical areas including the Jordan Valley, the Samaria mountain range and the south Hebron Hills.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Netanyahu gave an interview with Army Radio where he set out part of his vision for the permanent status of Judea and Samaria. He limited his statement to the military status of the areas. He said that under any possible future scenario, Israel must retain full security control of the areas. This, he said, is the lesson of Israel’s 2005 withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

That pullout led to the transformation of Gaza into a Hamas-controlled hub of global jihad. Moreover, under Hamas, the Palestinians turned Gaza into one big, densely populated missile-launching pad against Israel.

While justified, Netanyahu’s position obscures more than it illuminates about his long-term vision for Judea and Samaria.

What does he mean by security control? Would the IDF remain in sole control over Israel’s eastern boundaries or would it serve as an overall coordinator of foreign forces operating along the border? Would IDF forces be confined to fortified positions while the Palestinians reign free in the open areas, as was the case in southern Lebanon in the years leading up to Israel’s disastrous withdrawal in 2000? Or would the IDF have freedom of action and maintain the initiative throughout Judea and Samaria? Moreover, does Netanyahu envision the IDF remaining the only military organization operating in Judea and Samaria in the long term? Beyond the security issues that require clarification, Netanyahu’s statements make no mention of the rights of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria.

Does he believe that Jews should be permitted to live permanently in the areas that Israel controls? If so, why are they subjected to the Jordanian legal code used by the military government and which proscribes their right to purchase land and register land sales? This brings us to the issue of governance. What does Netanyahu think about the military government in Area C? Does he believe that the 50-year reign of generals should continue until the Arabs choose to resolve the Palestinian conflict with Israel? What if this means that the generals will continue to rule over hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens for another 50 or 100 or 150 years? Does he, on the other hand, prefer to transfer governance responsibility in Area C to the Palestinians and place the nearly 500,000 Israelis in the area under Palestinian control? In the course of his remarks, Bolton noted that if Jordan is responsible for the Palestinians of Judea and Samaria, the issue of Jerusalem will be removed from the equation. After all, if their capital is Amman, Israel has no reason to divide its capital city.

And this brings us back to Jerusalem, which Trump spurned on Thursday.

As is the case today, 50 years ago, Israel had no power to influence the positions of foreign governments regarding its capital city. But in contrast to its decision to establish a military government in Judea and Samaria, Israel didn’t wait for foreigners to give it permission to act where it had the power to act in order to change the status of the city and ensure its ability to govern and control its capital for generations to come.

In 1967, the government voted to expand the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem to include the eastern, northern and southern quarters that had been under Jordanian occupation since 1949.

Everyone benefited from the move – including the foreign powers that still refuse to recognize the simple fact that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

Washington and the rest of the governments of the world know that their refusal to recognize Israel’s capital does not endanger Israel or its control of Jerusalem. They are free to bow to Arab pressure, safe in the knowledge that Israel will continue to protect the unified city.

Trump’s decision to sign the waiver delaying the embassy move is a betrayal of his campaign promise, but it doesn’t change the situation in Jerusalem. Last week, Israel celebrated 50 years of sovereignty over its united capital. Jerusalem will be neither more nor less united if and when the US moves its embassy to the capital.

Perhaps Trump will eventually keep his word and move the embassy. Perhaps he will continue to breach his promise. And as far as the Palestinians are concerned, perhaps Trump adopts Bolton’s three-state plan in relation to Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Perhaps he will maintain his predecessors’ slavish devotion to the establishment of a PLO state.

Israel can’t control what Trump will do any more than it can influence what the Arabs will do. And so it needs to take a lesson not only from its bitter experience of withdrawing from Gaza, but from its positive experience of taking matters into its own hands in Jerusalem.

The time has come, at the outset of the second 50 years of Israeli control over Judea and Samaria, for Israel to take matters into its own hands. Our leaders must stop beating around the bush. They need to use the powers they have to secure Israel’s military and civilian interests in Judea and Samaria for the next 50 years as best they can. And they need to stop waiting for someone else to solve our problems for us


Want a path to peace? Pound the table at Abbas

By Jonathan S. Tobin

The most important incident during President Donald Trump’s visit to the Middle East took place out of view of the international press. At the time, it went unreported and unremarked upon. The president not only didn’t mention it publicly, he also failed to tweet about it. But Trump’s outburst of anger at Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas during their meeting in Bethlehem may have set a tone that will either create real progress toward peace or, more likely, instill a degree of realism about Israel’s antagonists that has been lacking in the new administration.

According to reports first broadcast on Israeli television and subsequently confirmed by Abbas in a meeting with PLO leaders, Trump blew up at Abbas during their meeting. Abbas had assured the president during their earlier meeting in the White House that the PA didn’t conduct incitement against Israelis and Jews. Trump had believed Abbas’s assurances, but subsequently learned Palestinian official media and schools routinely conduct incitement that helps buttress a culture of hatred that is incompatible with peace. Trump also now knows the PA pays salaries to Palestinian terrorists and their families, a total that amounts to more than $1.1 billion in just the last four years.

Instead of another love-fest with his new friend Mahmoud, the meeting in Bethlehem turned into a tense session including Trump playing Abbas a video of examples of the PA leader’s vicious attacks, as well as one statement in which Abbas confessed to incitement. According to various accounts, Trump pounded the table and yelled at Abbas while accused him of lying when he spoke of Palestinians raising their children in a “culture of peace,” when the two stood alongside each other at their White House press conference in early May.

The fact that Trump, a man with no filter or compunction about venting his spleen in public, chose not to share his anger at Abbas with the world was significant. Indeed, in his speech at the Israel Museum, which came after the stormy exchange with the Palestinian leader, Trump assured the world again that Abbas was dedicated to peace.

Moreover, in the following days, Trump’s Jewish supporters were eating crow over his decision to sign a waiver ensuring the U.S. Embassy in Israel wouldn’t be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Though the decision was no surprise, it still had to sting for those on the right who were convinced Trump’s disregard for every other rule of presidential behavior would impel him to be the first not to break a promise on Jerusalem.

These incidents paint a portrait of a president who seriously believes a peace deal is possible and wishes to do nothing that might interfere with a new round of talks. Given the reality of Palestinian intransigence—they’ve already either turned down or ignored a number of Israeli peace offers, included statehood, independence, and control over almost all of the West Bank and a share of Jerusalem—and the incitement that belatedly came to Trump’s attention, the odds of success are slim to none. If Trump really believes the missing ingredient for peace has been a master real estate dealmaker, he’s wrong. But his willingness to pound the table at Abbas is nevertheless significant.

The common thread throughout the history of peace negotiations that began with the Oslo process has been a refusal on the part of the West to hold the Palestinians accountable. Yasser Arafat made little secret of the fact that he saw the power he gained at Oslo as a stepping stone to future conflict rather than a way to end it. Though his successor Abbas wears a suit rather than military fatigues, he has played the same double game in which he sometimes talks peace while also buttressing a culture of hatred and war that ensures the continuation of the conflict.

Neither Trump nor the Saudis can bribe Abbas to act differently when the dynamic of Palestinian politics and worries about his Hamas foes tell him he must stall peace in order to survive. But a U.S. president who is willing to hold him accountable for his conduct is an innovation that can only advance the cause of peace. For too long, Abbas has gotten away with brazen lies and condoning violence while being applauded by U.S. presidents. If peace is ever to come, it will only happen when the Palestinians realize they must change. Such a moment can’t come soon enough.

Jonathan S. Tobin is opinion editor of and a contributing writer for National Review. Follow him on Twitter at: @jonathans_tobin.


Whether credible or not, the plans never came into effect as Israel emerged victorious from the conflic

One of Israel's greatest wartime secrets is due to be revealed on Monday - a so-called last gasp nuclear "doomsday operation" to avoid defeat in the imminent 1967 Six Day War. However, some are treating the reported revelation with skepticism. 

The contingency plan, nicknamed "Samson" (or "Shimshon" in Hebrew), would have allegedly involved the detonation of a nuclear device in a desolate part of the Sinai Peninsula in an incredible demonstration of Israel's military might. The operation was to be potentially used as a last-resort scenario to ensure Israel's existence in the case of a looming defeat.

The secret plans are detailed in a never-before-seen 1999 testimony of one of the senior organizers of the operation, Itzhak Yaakov - a former IDF brigadier general. Interviewed by historian Avner Cohen, the account of the Israeli plan is to be published by the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project (NPIHP) of the Wilson Center. 

"You've got an enemy, and he says he's going to throw you to the sea. You believe him," explains Yaakov in an excerpt of the testimony obtained by the New York Times. "How can you stop him? You scare him. If you've got something you can scare him with, you scare him."

Two helicopters were due to deliver the nuclear device and a command post would have been created in a nearby mountainous area. Depending on weather conditions, the explosion might have been seen as far as Cairo.

Ahead of the publication of Yaakov's testimony, deputy minister and historian Michael Oren stated that he is treating the upcoming publication with considerable skepticism. 

"I also interviewed Itzhak Yaakov, and I was not convinced that his story holds water," stated Oren, adding that serious academic research does not rely on one lone source. "If there was something, we would find additional testimonies."

Historian Cohen decided that this was the apt time, 50 years after the Six Day War, to publish the previously unheard account of the operation.

Whether credible or not, the plans never came into effect as Israel emerged victorious from the conflict.

According to the New York Times, Yaakov was arrested in 2001 on charges of "high espionage" a year after telling his story to Cohen and put on a secret trial. He  was found guilty of handing over secret information and received a two-year suspended sentence. 

Yaakov died in 2013 at age 87.
3) Enabling Murder

Western politicians worry more about being called “Islamophobic” than they do

about stopping jihadist slaughter.

Damn these jihadist murderers of children. And damn the politicians who have, in many cases, helped make these murders possible but who are quick, this time and every time, to serve up empty declarations of “solidarity”even as the bodies of innocents are still being counted.
London mayor Sadiq Khan (who recently dismissed terrorist attacks as “part and parcel of living in a big city”): “London stands with Manchester.” Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer (who, in the wake of the Pulse nightclub massacre, proclaimed a CAIR-backed “Muslim Women’s Day”—you know, the kind of event that proclaims hijabs “empowering”): Orlando “stands in solidarity with the people of the UK.” L.A. mayor Eric Garcetti (who went berserk when Trump tried to impose that temporary travel ban from a half-dozen Muslim countries): “Los Angeles stands with the people of Manchester.”
Meaningless words, all of them. But Angela Merkel takes the cake: “People in the UK can rest assured that Germany stands shoulder to shoulder with them.” Well, isn’t that . . . reassuring. In what way do such words help anybody to “rest assured” of anything? In any case, how dare she? This, after all, is the woman who opened the floodgates—the woman who, out of some twisted sense of German historical guilt, put European children in danger by inviting into the continent masses of unvetted people from the very part of the world where this monstrous evil has its roots.
Then there was this from European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker: “Once again, terrorism has sought to instill fear where there should be joy, to sow division where young people and families should be coming together in celebration.” Beneath the innocuous-seeming surface of this statement is a slick rhetorical ruse: Juncker to the contrary, these savages aren’t out to “sow division”—they’re out to kill infidels. By introducing the concept of “division,” Juncker, like so many others, is implying that the important message here is: Hey, whatever you do, don’t let this little episode put any bad thoughts about Islam into your head!
Manchester City Council leader Sir Richard Leese also spoke of “fear” and “division”: “Manchester is a proud, strong city and we will not allow terrorists who seek to sow fear and division to achieve their aims.” Guess what, pal? They did achieve their aims: they killed 22 people, including children, and injured several dozen. Dead infidels: that’s their objective, period. (Or, as you would say, full stop.)
Naturally, Manchester’s mayor, Andy Burnham, put out a statement. Burnham, as it happens, is a radical socialist who has wrung his hands for years about Islamophobia and has fought tooth and nail against a nationwide “anti-extremism” program called Prevent on the grounds that it “singles out one community for different treatment.” After yesterday’s atrocity, Burnham said: “We are grieving today, but we are strong.”
Strong? No, Mr. Burnham, you are anything but strong. You are cowards, all of you. You are more scared of being called bigots than of the prospect of children under your official protection being slaughtered by jihadists.
Three-quarters of a century ago, Britain stood shoulder to shoulder in true solidarity while under violent assault by the diabolical ideology of Nazism. Today, its leaders speak of the same kind of solidarity—but it’s nothing but talk. In Rotherham, gangs of Muslim men sexually abused 1,400 girls—and police and other officials who knew about it did nothing for years lest they be accused of racism or Islamophobia. Almost certainly, similar mass-scale rapes are still occurring right now in other British cities, with similar silence and inaction on the part of pusillanimous authorities. Today, British leaders refuse to deport imams who preach murder but ban from their shores respected writers and knowledgeable critics of Islam who dare to take on those imams and their theology.
Strength? Don’t you dare speak of strength. You have the blood of innocent children on your hands.
5) Finally: Time for Trump to Put Whining Democrats in Their Place

In the synagogue business, the few rabbis who are unfortunate enough to practice at one of the few undesirable congregations with grumbling and carping congregants (probably not at all different from what some similarly unfortunate pastors encounter among those outlier church flocks pocked with sociologically pathological congregants) are told that nothing puts the grumbles to an end like a successful building campaign.  Just get everyone absorbed with raising funds and building something – anything: a wing, an annex, a revamp of the whole building, a re-furnishing of the sanctuary...just get them all busy on a project, building something, doing something.  Keep them busy with something constructive, and they will stop grousing.
We call it the "Edifice Complex."

No fair observer can doubt that President Trump is a victim of a merciless witch hunt, with no end in sight until he is back hosting The Apprentice.  Remarkably, his approval ratings remain steady around 39 percent, the same number from before "Comey" this and "Flynn" that, before head counts at inaugurations and leaked phone calls to Australian and Mexican heads of government.  All the witch-hunting has solidified his base, and it has moved mild supporters into his camp.  Recently, Ann Coulter titled a weekly column "Every Time I Try to Be Mad at Trump, the Media Pull Me Back."    


As the president continued his travels abroad from the respective centers of the world's three most influential religions to NATO world leaders, the media followed, seeking to portray him as a rube on foreign affairs, much as they have tried to depict him on domestic matters.  We needed not doubt that, by the time he returned, the left-Democrat "Resistance" and their media stooges would be accusing Trump of having sown discord abroad, even as his supporters exhaled with joy that, finally, a strong voice of American pride had traveled overseas to assert American greatness.

The media loved the Obama model for world leadership.  In the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, send John Kerry to France with James Taylor singing "You've Got a Friend."  Obama meeting with Russians, asking them to tell "Vladimir" that Obama will cut sucker deals that hurt America after he gets re-elected.  Obama going to England and shocking the British public by continuing to ramble into a microphone while the orchestra deferentially played "God Save the Queen" in Elizabeth's presence.  Obama going to Communist Cuba and dancing the salsa in front of Castro.  And always, everywhere, apologizing for America and promising to cut America down to size so that we no longer tower over Europe and Asia and Africa and the Middle East.

I prefer a "rube" like Donald Trump, who leads from the front, drops a MOAB explosive on an ISIS hideout and terror base in Afghanistan that had been a mountain earlier in the day, and orders 59 cruise missiles launched into Syria to enforce a red line against poison weapons that he does not even have to warn about.

Now that he has returned home, the president should turn his attention to the Edifice Complex.  His administration needs to get moving on some serious legislation.  He has done great with executive orders and Cabinet and court appointments, but the time now is for some solid legislation, some real building.  He is way behind on filling scores of open federal district judgeships and openings in the federal judicial appellate circuits.  If he would only get those seats filled with the kind of judges he wants, he and the Republicans actually would start winning more federal case appeals, and justice would move back from the Obama imbalance.  Similarly, it is time for legislative initiatives like tax reform.  Once he and the GOP start getting some "building campaigns" going – health care something-or-other, real tax reform, some construction going on the border, infrastructure work – people will become engaged in that and see "stuff" happening.

It works in churches; it works in synagogues.  Get started on building some of that wall. There is nothing like a building campaign.  Maybe even sell plaques for donors to put their names on: "This brick donated by Sadie and Izzy Feldstein."

The Democrats have not been this angry since the Republicans took away their slaves.  They aim to tie up the president with one nonsensical non-scandal after another.  They allowed Eric Holder's "Fast and Furious" pass without special counsel.  No special counsel to investigate Lois Lerner and the IRS targeting of politically conservative associations.  No investigation of the Clinton bathroom email server, nor of the Huma Abedin emails of secure intelligence to her crazy husband, Carlos Danger, who not only lacked security clearance to see those emails, but was ripe to be extorted for all kinds of mischief.  No special counsel to investigate connections between Bill Clinton's million-dollar speaking engagements in the Putin universe and the concomitant conveyance of American uranium – the stuff of nuclear weapons – to the Russians.  Yet the Democrats – call them the "Obstructocrats" – now call for nothing but to impeach the president under any guise, for any reason, and just tie him up defending himself.

I cannot recall any time in the modern era, in any Western democracy, where the losing party declared itself "The Resistance" instead of the "Loyal Opposition."

In the end, it may take two things to determine whether Mr. Trump ultimately is going to be the president he set out to be and for which we elected him: (i) the midterm elections in 2018 and (ii) finally finishing what Harry Reid started and, for once and for all, ending the filibuster rule completely, even as that archaic and unconstitutional obstacle applies to legislation, too.

Certainly, the party in power typically sustains midterm losses.  If the GOP manages to hold the House and gains some of those Democrat Senate seats in red states without losing more than one or two GOP Senate seats, then President Trump will emerge with enormous authority to move forward.  It will mean that two years of concerted Democrat obstruction, which seems so successful to them and their media echo chamber in D.C., actually will not have advanced leftist interests.  The president's strength will be all the more enhanced if the GOP holds all but one or two of its Senate seats and sweeps a boatload of the red-state Democrat Senate seats.  It will be a definitive statement that, for all the garbage and "Resistance" and left op-eds and editorials, the voters outside the Beltway did not buy and are not buying any of the daily character assassinations.  It will assure President Trump and the GOP enormous momentum going forward.

By contrast, if the Democrats do well in the midterm House voting, even if they do not recapture the House but chart substantial gains, and if they hold most of their red-state Senate seats and even scoop a few of the GOP Senate seats, then they will be emboldened to intensify "The Resistance" toward 2020, and the president will be stymied.

Even so, and even then, it is one thing for voters to tell Quinnipiac and Rasmussen that they are disappointed in or do not approve of Mr. Trump (especially when the survey questions are worded in a way to elicit that response).  Quite another thing when the same voters are faced with the actual – not theoretical – alternatives for leadership: Bernie, Elizabeth Warren, other misfits and public nuisances of that ilk.  One remembers back to Richard Nixon being re-elected in 1972 by the biggest landslide ever because his opponent was Sen. George McGovern, who was not likeable, not impressive, and quite radical by the day's standards.

With or without "The Resistance," if President Trump gets re-elected in 2020, there will be hell to pay, because this man takes down names.  By then, he absolutely will be pressed to end the filibuster nonsense, finally, assuming that the GOP holds the Senate.

There is some value to a filibuster rule when it is used sparingly and judiciously.  Moreover, all sober-minded conservatives recognize that politics is cyclical, and one day the Democrats again will hold power.  But we also know that the filibuster, which has no basis in the Constitution, never was meant to require that each and every bill muster at least a 60-percent super-majority.  Rather, it was intended for the one or two moments in a term when a bill of constitutional moment was on the line, and the rule required the filibustering senator to hold the floor and speak 24 hours a day, with support from colleagues.  It never was meant for a "Resistance" to prevent a majority party from getting anything done for eight years.

In the meantime, let's get some donors to get the building fund rolling.

Rabbi Dov Fischer, an attorney and adjunct professor of law, is a senior rabbinic fellow at the Coalition for Jewish Values, congregational rabbi of Young Israel of Orange County, California, and holds prominent leadership roles in several national rabbinic and other Jewish organizations.  He has been chief articles editor of the UCLA Law Review, clerked for the Hon. Danny J. Boggs in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and served for most of the past decade on the Executive Committee of the Rabbinical Council of America.  His writings have appeared in The Weekly Standard, National Review, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Jerusalem Post, American Greatness, Frontpage Magazine, American Thinker, and Israel National News.  Other of his writings are collected at


No comments: