Thursday, June 8, 2017

When There Is No There Only A Fool Would Try and Find Something.

Food for thought! (See 1 below.)
More lies from U.N Secretary General.  Guess he believes if you repeat them often enough they turn into truths.

This is the successful strategy Democrats employ but then they have the mass media to help them.(See 2 below.)
I suspect the Comey event will fail to live up to its billing because there is nothing there and the Democrats will try and making something out of basically nothing and that means they will stretch and look foolish.

Some Texas Rep. has already said he will begin impeachment filings.  How very pathetic.

Who’s Conspiracy Mongering Now?

Every presidency is a mixed bag, but today’s intelligence follies cross a Rubicon.

ByHolman W. Jenkins, Jr.

The president who tweeted last week to complain about his “covfefe” last year ran a campaign. Whatever you like to believe about certain Trump companions and their conversations with Russian persons, nothing about it suggested an organization capable of participating in an arch conspiracy with a foreign intelligence agency. The campaign was a typically disorganized, free-form, low-budget Trump production. People came and went with head-spinning speed while having distressingly little effect on the candidate.
That’s why the storm that is getting ready to break may have a lot less to do with Trump collusion than you think. House Intelligence Committee subpoenas name three former Obama officials related to the “unmasking” of Americans captured in the vast electronic trawl supposedly undertaken purely for foreign intelligence purposes.

One subpoena concerns former U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power, with no intelligence responsibilities but personally close to President Obama. Why?

This comes amid a report from the U.S.’s Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court about a pattern of Obama violations of the privacy of Americans “incidentally” caught up in foreign surveillance. We already know of one unmasking illegally leaked to the press for political purposes, Mike Flynn.

More important, we know one case of foreign intelligence seen by U.S. officials turning out to be a Russian plant, i.e., the fake document concerning Hillary Clinton that prompted James Comey’s intervention in the campaign.

So add two questions to the list. Did Obama officials use allegations about Trump-Russia connections as an excuse to abuse intelligence collection for political purposes, and how much intelligence that caught their interest was actually fake intelligence planted by Russia? The obvious case being the scurrilous Trump dossier that was widely circulated internally and leaked to the media.

You can doubt his perspicacity, but Mr. Trump’s view of Russia is far from inexplicable, and voters got a full blast of it during the campaign. Vladimir Putin walks all over the U.S. because our leaders are weak. Russia relations were a specific case of the general Trumpian pitch. He is a strong leader who, with his amazing personality, would transform bad situations into good ones.

Improved relations with Russia have been the aim of every president since the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and indeed every president since FDR.

Presidents and presidents-elect have been using secret emissaries and back channels forever.
If the Trump campaign directed or cooperated in illegal acts by Russia, that would be collusion in the sense of contributing to a crime. If Mr. Flynn promised privately what Trump was saying publicly, that he would seek better relations with Russia, as a deliberate inducement to encourage Russian meddling in the race, most of us would consider that an impeachable offense.

But unable to substantiate any such allegation, the media reach for an error so bad it has a name—the equivocation fallacy. Thus Jared Kushner is accused of, after the election, trying to “collude” with Russia in settling the Syrian war—the ad absurdum case of trying to make those seven letters c-o-l-l-u-d-e substitute for proof of something nefarious.

The qualifications for president are light and Donald Trump meets them all. He’s a natural-born U.S. citizen of the requisite age. He received a majority of the electoral vote. U.S. voters are entitled to elect someone whom their fellow citizens consider an idiot, and may even have good reason for doing so since every election is a binary choice between X and Y.

Let’s also recognize that the U.S. voter has hit very few home runs in 228 years. Presidents are a mixed bag—always. Even Obama idolaters by now should be rethinking how he spent his first two years, which ended up throwing away the last six and helped bring Mr. Trump to power (ironically, thanks to many frustrated “hope and change” Obama voters in the Midwest).

And certainly nothing about Sarbanes-Oxley, the Medicare drug benefit, the Iraq war, or the Department of Homeland Security makes us particularly long for George W. Bush.

Mr. Trump is many things, but he’s not an idiot. He has a deep, instinctive understanding of New York political, real estate and media culture, and, like many presidents, now is struggling to apply his mostly irrelevant knowledge to a job he is poorly prepared for. He still strikes us as a good bet not to finish his term—his age, his temperament, the anti-synergy between his business interests and his White House life, the latter not helped by his classy in-laws.

But unless you think everything was hunky dory, or unless you’re a member of the class for whom his status is a threat to your status, his election was exactly what you want in a democracy, a timely message from the electorate to the class of people who make it their profession to try to lead us. Never mind what fairer-minded historians write, even liberal ones will say the seminal fact of Mr. Trump’s time was how quickly his critics sank to his conspiracy-mongering level and worse.


UN Secretary-General Launches Slanderous Attack on Israel

At this time 50 years ago, Israel was fighting the Six Day War and conquering territories. Since then it has returned the Sinai to Egypt, withdrawn from Gaza, retained control of the Golan Heights, and created a self-governing Palestinian entity in part of the West Bank while retaining overall security control there.

This 50-year anniversary has seen a flood of statements lauding or lamenting the Six Day War and its outcomes for Israel. Statements of the former kind emphasize that the war gave Israel defensible borders, a close alliance with the United States (by showing that Israel was a regional power), and, eventually, peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan.

Among the best in this vein were op-eds by Michael Oren and Bret Stephens.

Statements of the latter kind bemoan Israel’s “occupation” of the Palestinians and describe it as a disaster that has to end -- fast. And UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres offers some of the most egregious remarks in this vein

“This occupation,” Guterres writes:
… has imposed a heavy humanitarian and development burden on the Palestinian people. Among them are generation after generation of Palestinians who have been compelled to grow up and live in ever more crowded refugee camps, many in abject poverty, and with little or no prospect of a better life for their children.
Further, he writes:
Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will remove a driver of violent extremism and terrorism in the Middle East and open the doors to cooperation, security, prosperity and human rights for all.
Let’s start with Guterres’ first claim about the alleged misery of Palestinian life since Israel took over the territory.

A few days before Guterres posted his statement, popular Israeli columnist Ben-Dror Yemini published a piece called “The truth about the occupation.” Yemini is not a right-winger; he wants Israel to eventually withdraw from most of the West Bank and separate from the Palestinians. But he also wants the discourse to be based on truth and not propaganda.
Yemini looks at some key elements of Palestinian life and compares the situations before and after the “Israeli occupation” (I use the scare quotes because Israel has withdrawn from Gaza and -- except for anti-terror operations -- Area A of the West Bank):
Education: Before the Six Day War in 1967, there was not a single university in the West Bank (under Jordanian rule) and Gaza (under Egyptian rule). “Today, there are more than 50 higher education institutions in the territories.”

Infant mortality: According to a Palestinian study and World Bank figures, the rate has gone from 152-162 per 1,000 live births in 1967 to: 132 in 1974, 53-56 in 1985, less than 30 in 1993, 25 in 2002, and 18 at present.
Yemini notes:

"The sharp drop, from 1976 to 1993, took place under direct Israeli rule. The drop continued under the Palestinian Authority, but at a more moderate pace."
" … [The] infant mortality rate among the Palestinians is much lower than the global average of 31.7, and is significantly lower than the average in the Arab world -- 28."

Life expectancy: “[F]rom 48.6 in 1967 to about 73 (or 75, according to different sources) today.”
 Writes Yemini:

 "I can touch on more and more areas in which an objective examination will reveal an amazing improvement in the past 50 years. For example, in the area of water. In 1967, only four of 708 Palestinian towns and villages were connected to running water. Today, 643 communities are connected to running water (97% of the population)."

From the UN secretary-general’s description -- “a heavy humanitarian and development burden on the Palestinian people … with little or no prospect of a better life for their children” -- one would think Israel is mercilessly grinding the Palestinians down. The truth is very different.

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