Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Republican Pusillanimity. Will Trump Respond? N Korea Goes Bust Before Launching? Unlike Obama,Trump Supplies Allies Willing To Defend Themselves. Merit Based Immigration.

An interesting phenomena seems to be taking place unless the report of distancing by Republican Politicians from Trump is fake news. Even if this is true now that Chief of Staff Kelly is on board will matters calm down and co-operation build even with the Democrats?

It seems the vast majority of those who voted for Trump remain loyal but many Republican politicians , particularly those up for re-election, have removed themselves from supporting their president.

They claim  to be turned off by his behaviour, his tweeting and his non-traditional presidency.  I can well understand their concerns over his persona but his basic agenda remains something I continue to embrace as they should.   What is wrong with replacing Obamacare with something better?  What is wrong with reducing illegal entry and protecting our nation's borders? What is wrong with tax relief and modification that would result in stimulating our economy and bringing more equity into the mix of taxation?  What is wrong with providing choice for those seeking a better education?  What is wrong with rebuilding our military and getting NATO members to live up to their own responsibilities? What is wrong with being concerned about our deficits and seeking to increase revenue even if it means temporarily increasing the deficit? What is wrong with challenging cities and states that are unwilling to adhere to federal laws regarding their protection of illegals  and withhold funding? I could enumerate more "what's wrong with's" but I suspect you get the point.

It appears to me those Republicans failing to support their president are displaying their independence but have chosen a questionable rationale.  Further, it seems they are sending a message to voters they would rather fail in their legislative responsibilities in the mistaken belief it will go unnoticed by voters in 2018.

Worst of all is the cowardly manner in which they have not only refused to protect their president from scurrilous charges of unproven collusion but, in many instances, have actually sided with his persecution while backing away from calling for comparable efforts to prosecute instances of illegality and real collusion and bring to justice former Obama associates who allegedly were involved in this type of behaviour. You know the names: Rhodes, Lynch, Clinton, Rice Wsserman Schultz etc..

Apparently Republican establishment politicians do not understand Trump's election demonstrated Middle America does not wish to live under socialism and does not wish to embrace the Democrat's "Better Deal." They see through it as nothing more than the same old taco wrapped in new language.
More expenditures on free goodies, more deficits, lower economic growth resulting in more unemployment and a decline in middle class numbers, continued destruction of public education, a weakened military and the list of tired failed legislative/radically progressive ideas is unending.

Or, perhaps they do understand because they realize were Trump to successfully drain the swamp they too would suffer. They too would lose power, they too would have their office perks stripped away, they too would have to seek employment and earn a living as do those over whom they rule etc.

Trump is threatening them as retribution for failing to support his call for ending Obamacare. Will he carry through?  Stay Tuned. (See 1 below.)
Will N Korea go bust before they launch?  (See 2 below.)
Unlike Obama, Trump seems willing to supply beleaguered allies, willing to defend themselves, with an ability to do so. (See 3 below.)
Today Trump was apprised, by Senator's Tom Cotton and David Perdue, of proposed vast changes in legal immigration policies with a merit based focus on those who bring skills etc.  It is the first change in over 50 years and now we will see whether the proposals will be embraced by those on both sides of the aisle.
Sent by a friend and fellow memo reader.

Whether this was written by Sgt. Brown is actually irrelevant because it makes sense regardless. (See 4 below.)
Clifford May is correct.  Western Values are the best. (See 5 below.)
Words matter. (See 6 below.)
Off to Orlando, New York and Athens, Ga. No memos for about a week.  You deserve a reprieve.
Have a great weekend.

1) ObamaCare for Congress

Trump can change a rule that exempts Members from the law’s pain.

By The Editorial Board
Over the weekend Mr. Trump tweeted that “If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” He later added: “If ObamaCare is hurting people, & it is, why shouldn’t it hurt the insurance companies & why should Congress not be paying what public pays?”
Mr. Trump is alluding to a dispensation from ObamaCare for Members of Congress and their staff, and the back story is a tutorial in Washington self-dealing. A 2009 amendment from Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) forced congressional employees to obtain coverage from the Affordable Care Act exchanges. The Senate Finance Committee adopted it unanimously.
That meant Members and their staff would no longer enjoy coverage from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, which subsidizes up to 75% of the cost of a plan. The text of the Affordable Care Act says that staffers may “only” be offered plans created by the law or on the exchanges.
The law did not specify what would happen to the employer contributions, though Democrats claim this was merely a copy-editing mistake. A meltdown ensued as Members feared that staffers would be exposed to thousands of dollars more in annual health-care costs, replete with predictions that junior aides would clean out their desks en masse.
Mr. Obama intervened in 2013 and the Office of Personnel Management issued a rule that would allow employer contributions to exchange plans, not that OPM had such legal authority. One hilarious detail is that OPM certified the House and Senate as “small businesses” with fewer than 50 full-time employees, and no doubt the world would be better if that were true. This invention allowed Members to purchase plans on the District of Columbia exchange for small businesses, where employers can make contributions to premiums. This is a farce and maybe a fraud.
In last week’s Senate health-care debate, Wisconsin Republican Ron Johnson circulated an idea to block subsidies for Members, who earn at least $174,000 a year and would not receive generous taxpayer underwriting on the exchanges. The Johnson amendment would restore staff to the federal benefits program. Alas, the amendment commands almost no support. Not even Democrats want to sign up for their own policy.
But Mr. Trump could direct OPM to scrap the rule for Members, which is reversible because Mr. Obama reworked his own law through regulation that can be undone by a successor. Mr. Obama also refused to pursue a legislative fix for the problem lest Republicans demand something in return.
Revoking the rule would have the political benefit of forcing Members to live under the regime that Democrats rammed into law and Republicans have failed to fix. If Members are pained by higher premiums and fewer insurance choices, perhaps they will be inspired to fix the law for the millions who have had to endure it.
2) Nukes Won’t Save North Korea

The U.S. and South Korea’s war games are their best sanction.

By Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.
“These systems are capable of ranging Seoul without moving, and can deliver both high-explosive and chemical munitions with little or no warning.”
This would seem a pretty good deterrent given the improbable scenario, as North Korea surely understands, of a U.S. and South Korean attack on the North. Then why nukes? Penetrating North Korean rationalizations is never a sure thing, but a likely answer is to be found in the recent joint Chinese-Russian proposal of a freeze in North Korea’s missile and bomb testing in exchange for an end to U.S.-South Korean annual military exercises.
When North Korea is already spending 22% of gross domestic product to maintain its military, the cost of mobilizing in response to near-constant U.S. and South Korean maneuvers is a killing burden. Washington’s and Seoul’s war games are their most effective sanction and always have been.
North Korea upped the tempo of its training flights sixfold, to 700 a day, on the first day of the 2013 U.S. and South Korean “Key Resolve” annual maneuvers. That naturally sent Seoul’s analysts to their calculators, concluding triumphantly that the North was either draining its war reserve or starving its civilian economy of fuel.
The North especially goes ape over carrier deployments. When President Obama dispatched the USS George Washington, the North denounced “imperialist aggression” and promised “unpredictable disasters.” When President Trump sent the USS Carl Vinson, the North raged about “maniacal military provocations.”
When the U.S. and Japanese navies are operating in nearby waters, the North must keep its jets in the air and defenses mobilized. When U.S. and South Korean and (recently) Chinese troops are on the move near its border, it must activate troops in response.
Blood-curdling threats are the norm, possibly because they are cheaper than jet fuel. The North’s deputy United Nations ambassador warned earlier this year amid various Trump deployments that “thermonuclear war may break out at any moment.”
Or not. Both sides have been playing this game for a long time. Miscalculation is always possible, but much less so than in 1950.
Adm. Harry Harris, chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, said before Congress in April that the goal is to “bring Kim Jong Un to his senses, not his knees.” Tellingly, the admiral noted North Korean “shortfalls in training and equipment.”
In 2013, when Gen. Mike Flynn headed the Defense Intelligence Agency, he testified that “the North’s military suffers from logistics shortages, largely outdated equipment, and inadequate training.”
The U.S. and its allies can maintain their mobilization virtually indefinitely. North Korea can’t. Motor fuel is a sore point, but so are food, equipment, and sanitation and health care for troops in the field.
Ultimately, the Kim family regime remains in power by distributing resources to its loyalists, which actually shows every sign of being the growing priority today. In April, foreign reporters were invited to witness a ribbon cutting on a sumptuous new apartment block in Pyongyang for Kim favorites. The Chosun Ilbo, a South Korean paper, recounted the scene:
“Premier Pak Pong-ju then delivered a speech in which he claimed the opening of the street is more powerful than ‘hundreds of nuclear bombs.’ A Los Angeles Times correspondent tweeted that the street is ‘impressive’ and the skyscrapers lining it as ‘very modern’ but pointed out that the thousands of soldiers massing in the capital ‘looked severely stunted. A reminder of widespread malnutrition outside of Pyongyang.’ ”
In theory, what North Korea wants is a peace treaty ending the Korean War of 1950-53 and removal of U.S. forces from the region. Unfortunately, the North can’t afford the treaty it claims to want, because it can’t do without a U.S. threat to justify its sociopathic dictatorship.
In the end, the irresolvable dilemma is North Korea’s, not the West’s. The Kim regime doesn’t have a realistic solution for itself except to make sure the standoff goes on forever. The answer to North Korea’s nukes is a deep breath and to invest in missile defense, which the world needs anyway. The upside is likely to be a marked deterioration in its conventional forces.
In the meantime, the U.S. and South Korea maintain their long-term watching brief on the Northern regime’s effort to hold itself together. Keep up the pressure through the annual war games variously known over the years as “Team Spirit,” “Key Resolve,” “Foal Eagle” and “Ulchi-Freedom Guardian.” No regime is forever. And North Korea’s is more mercenary than most—suggesting an endgame in which the Kim family essentially sells out one day.
3)A Trump Card in Ukraine

Lethal aid would raise the cost of Putin’s military aggression.

By The Editorial Board
President Trump will soon have a chance to test that question when he receives an imminent recommendation from the State Department and Pentagon to sell Ukraine lethal, defensive weapons such as anti-tank Javelin missiles. These weapons would help Ukrainians defeat Russian armor and make it harder for Mr. Putin’s proxy forces to advance further into Ukraine’s eastern provinces, which the Russians invaded in 2014.
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has sought this kind of help for years. But Barack Obama refused on grounds that lethal aid would merely escalate the conflict; he shipped only such non-lethal aid as short-range radar and night-vision goggles. Mr. Putin escalated anyway, violating the Minsk cease-fire accords brokered by John Kerry.
The Russians have declared separatist strongholds in Donetsk and Luhansk and built up forces in the occupied areas. Kurt Volker, the U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations, told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty last week that “there are more Russian tanks in there than in Western Europe combined.” That’s in addition to Russia’s plans to deploy as many as 100,000 troops for military exercises in Belarus on NATO’s front lines this summer.
As President, Mr. Trump hasn’t been the patsy for Mr. Putin that his U.S. critics claim. He endorsed NATO’s deployment of troops to Poland and the Baltic states. Vice President Mike Pence visited Estonia Monday and affirmed the U.S. will “always” stand with its Baltic allies, and on Tuesday he said in Tbilisi that the United States “strongly condemns Russia’s occupation on Georgia’s soil.”
Mr. Trump now has a chance to show he’s no Obama echo and make Mr. Putin pay attention by helping Ukraine, which has shown it is willing to fight for independence. Russia’s invasion has cost 10,000 lives and displaced more than two million civilians. Mr. Poroshenko has plowed money into upgrading Ukraine’s armed forces, embraced U.S. military training, and quietly forged good relations with countries like Poland and Lithuania.
Opponents of lethal aid say Mr. Putin can always trump any Ukrainian effort, but then why hasn’t he done so already? Russia could occupy all of Ukraine if it wanted to, at least for a time, but it fears the political and military cost. The point of lethal aid is to raise the price Mr. Putin pays for his imperialism until he withdraws or agrees to peace under the Minsk terms.
Mr. Putin launched his attack when Kiev had no soldiers protecting the eastern border, but his proxy troops were forced to slow down when the Ukrainians organized and started to inflict casualties. The Russian doesn’t want dead soldiers arriving home before next year’s presidential election.
Bolstering Ukraine’s defenses would also send a message to Mr. Putin that Mr. Trump wants to negotiate with Russia from a position of strength. This could help the U.S. position in Syria, where Mr. Trump has been too willing to accept Russian and Iranian dominance after the fall of Islamic State. Mr. Putin took advantage of Mr. Obama after concluding the American was weak and would never push back. Selling lethal weapons to Ukraine would show the Kremlin those days are over.
4)From Sgt. Robert Brown US Army

Nobody has a "right" to serve in the Military.  Nobody. 
What makes people think the Military is an equal opportunity employer?  Very far from it.  

The Military uses prejudice regularly and consistently to deny citizens from joining for being too old or too young, too fat or too skinny, too tall or too short.  

Citizens are denied for having flat feet, or for missing or additional fingers.  Poor eyesight will disqualify you, as well as bad teeth.  Malnourished?  Drug addiction?  Bad back?  Criminal history?  Low IQ?  Anxiety?  Phobias?  Hearing damage?  Six arms?  Hear voices in your head?  Self-identify as a Unicorn?  Need a special access ramp for your wheelchair?  Can't run the required course in the required time?  Can't do the required number of push ups?
Not really a "morning person" and refuse to get out of bed before noon?   

All can be reasons for denial.  

The Military has one job.  War.  Anything else is a distraction and a liability. 

Did someone just scream "That isn't Fair"?  War is VERY unfair, there are no exceptions made for being special or challenged or socially wonderful.  

YOU change yourself to meet Military standards.  Not the other way round.  

I say again:  You don't change the Military... you must change yourself.  

The Military doesn't need to accommodate anyone with special issues.  The Military needs to Win Wars. 
If any of your personal issues are a liability that detract from readiness or lethality... Thank you for applying and good luck in future endeavors.  Who's next in line?
5) Celebrating the values of the West is right because they’re the best

Trump’s campaign for the survival of Western civilization drives the so-called ‘progressives’ crazy
On various occasions and beginning decades before he was elected president, Ronald Reagan warned that “freedom is never more than one generation from extinction.” He understood, and he wanted others to understand, that liberty is not an entitlement. It’s a rare and precious commodity that “must be fought for.”
In Europe last week, President Trump raised this issue again but he broadened it and framed it more pessimistically. “The fundamental question of our time,” he said, “is whether the West has the will to survive.”
Reactions from those who call themselves progressives ranged from the ignorant to the deranged. Jeet Heer of the New Republic, Jonathan Capehart of The Washington Post, Jamelle Bouie of Slate, Amanda Marcotte of Salon and Sarah Wildman of Vox — all accused Mr. Trump of harboring “white nationalist” and “alt-right” views and blowing “dog whistles.”
Peter Beinart, who teaches journalism and political science at the City University of New York, went further. He called Mr. Trump’s concern for the survival of Western civilization “perhaps the most shocking sentence in any presidential speech delivered on foreign soil in my lifetime.”
He objected to the president even making reference to “the West” because, he asserted in the Atlantic, it is a “racial and religious term.” To be “considered Western,” he added, “a country must be largely Christian (preferably Protestant or Catholic) and largely white.”
This is claptrap of the highest order. First, because Mr. Trump was obviously using “the West” to mean what, in a more confident era, we called the Free World. Second, because the West — a term also used to indicate the developed world, the modern world, the non-communist world, NATO and the secular world — includes the most diverse populations on the planet.
This truth should be held self-evident: Freedom, human, civil and individual rights, representative government, separation of church and state, the rule of law, pluralism and tolerance are all Western concepts, rooted in classical Greece and Rome and developed in the Enlightenment. The American Revolution began a historic attempt to build a nation-state based on them.
Non-Westerners may embrace such values. Millions of people from non-Western lands prefer to live in what Mr. Trump called “the Western community of nations” and willingly risk their lives to defend their adopted homes. By contrast, how many American and European progressives are applying for citizenship in Venezuela, Sudan, Pakistan and other non-Western countries?
What about the legacy of slavery, imperialism and colonialism? What about racism, sexism and homophobia?
Anyone with even the most cursory grasp of world history — meaning anyone who didn’t spend his/her/their college years chanting “Hey, hey, ho, ho — Western Civ has got to go!” — would know that these practices are not peculiar to the West. On the contrary, they were the norm in virtually every corner of the world from time immemorial.

It required a revolution in moral thinking to come to the conclusion that slavery, bigotry and discrimination are evils. That revolution began within the West and was led by such individuals as William Wilberforce who — trigger warning — was a white, evangelical Christian.
Slavery was abolished in Saudi Arabia only in 1962 and influential clerics in that land continue to object to the prohibition. The last nation to formally abolish slavery was the Islamic Republic of Mauritania in 1981. The jihadis of Boko Haram and the Islamic State revive the slave trade where and when they can.
Democracies not geographically Western have borrowed Western institutions, practices and beliefs. Some of the freest non-Western countries today were once colonies of the West or defeated by the West in war.
But the fall of the Berlin Wall did not transform Russia into a free country. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk intended for Turkey to join the West but Turkey’s current leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is taking his society in a different direction. I believe many Iranians today — having suffered under Shia Islamism for nearly two generations — would embrace Western values if they had the chance, but that proposition can’t be tested so long as the mullahs have the guns.
Western liberal democracy has rivals and enemies. It took a world war to stop the march of Nazism, a totalitarian ideology based on racial supremacy. It took a Cold War to stop the spread of communism, a totalitarian ideology based on class supremacy. Today, Islamism, a totalitarian ideology based on religious supremacy, threatens free peoples and those who might like to be. We don’t know what it will take to defeat Islamism. We don’t even know that it will be defeated.
Islamists regard Islamic imperialism not as a stain on their history but as a glorious legacy. They are inspired by that fact that, in 1453, the Ottoman sultan, Mehmed II, conquered the Christian capital of Constantinople, which was soon transformed into the capital of a great and growing Islamic empire and caliphate, one that would endure for centuries.
How encouraging it must be for Islamists to hear Mr. Beinart and other progressive chatterers call the West a bastion of racial and religious oppression, a civilization not worth defending. And one can only imagine what they think when those under the influence of progressives display anti-Western animus. Consider Kathy Griffin, the actress who thought it would be amusing to identify with jihadis by posing for a picture holding what appeared to be the severed and bloody head of Mr. Trump.
“Our own fight for the West does not begin on the battlefield,” the president added last week. “It begins with our minds, our wills, and our souls.” Yes, it does, and that, I’m afraid is the nub of the problem.
• Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a columnist for The Washington Times.
6) Misleading Terms Used in Middle East News Coverage and Why They Are Misleading.

Intro by David Bedein: In 1987, the Palestine Press Service, now a dormant arm of the PLO, issued a press manual for the Western media, to ask  reporters to adjust their terminology to reflect the Arab point of view in the continuing Israel-Arab war.  That PLO press initiative coincided with the outbreak of the PLO intifada uprising, when the PLO worked to change  its image from “terrorists” to “freedom fighters”.  
The terms that the PLO suggested to the media were not etched in stone at the time of Israel’s independence in 1948, nor even in the aftermath of the six day war in 1967.  
It’s just that the PLO found a way to hurt the Jewish state  in a most subtle manner, by infusing the Arab narrative into Middle East news coverage.
#1- “The West Bank” – No, it’s not. “Judea and Samaria” are not just “biblical names,” but the names the hill country of Israel was known by from ancient times, including in the U.N.’s 1947 partition resolution, until after Transjordan invaded in 1948 (and was ousted by Israel in 1967) and named it such to disassociate its inherent Jewish connection.
#2 – “East” or “traditionally Arab East” Jerusalem: Jerusalem has been the capital of three homeland states, all Jewish, in the past 3,000 years, and has had a renewed Jewish majority since 1800’s Ottoman rule.  Palestinian Arabs have never ruled any part of Jerusalem. There was no such place as “East” Jerusalem until invading Jordan seized the historical heart of the city in 1948 and expelled its Jews; until then it had never been a divided city. The eastern section of the city is where the Old City, Jewish Quarter, Temple Mount (Lately Rechristened by major media as “al-Aqsa mosque compound”) , the Western Wall, Mount of Olives cemetery, Christian Quarter and Church of the Holy Sepulcre are located. Jerusalem is Judaism’s holiest city; it is not holy to Muslims and is not mentioned once in the Qu’ran.   Only since Israel reunified the city has there been equal rights and access to religious sites of all faiths. Say rather: Jerusalem, period.
#3 – “The UN sought to create Jewish and Palestinian States:” It did not. Over and over in its 1947 partition resolution, the UN referenced “the Jewish State” and “the Arab” [not “Palestinian”] State. There are 22 independent Arab states.
#4– “Palestinian Refugees of the War that Followed Israel’s Creation,” or the “Palestinian Refugee Issue:” This suggests that an indigenous population of Arab “Palestinians” was unilaterally displaced by the 1948 five-Arab-state- army invasion for Israel’s destruction, which encouraged and ordered local Arabs to leave. Much forgotten is that more Jews were consequently expelled from vast Arab lands they had lived in for many centuries (850,000- 900,000) than Arabs left tiny Israel (500,000- 650,000).
#5 – Israel “Seized” Arab Lands in 1967: It did not. Israel acquired these territories in a defensive war from Arabs who vowed to destroy her. Israel has greater historic legal claims and rights to these lands.
#6 – Israel’s “1967 Borders:” There were no 1967 borders. They were armistice lines. The 1949 Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement expressly declared the “green line” it drew between the two sides’ ceasefire positions as a military ceasefire line only, and not a political border. The post-’67 war U.N. Resolution 242 pointedly does not demand Israel retreat from these lines.
#7 – “Israeli-Occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem:” No. The 1920 League of Nations Palestine Mandate recognized the Jewish people’s right to reconstitute its Jewish National Home in Palestine (including Judea and Samaria, and what ultimately became Jordan), and called for close settlement of the Jews on this land, where Jews have continuously lived, claiming it as their homeland, for three thousand years. At worst, the legal status is disputed, not “occupied” or “Palestinian” territories.
#8 – “Jewish Settlers and Settlements” vs. “Palestinian Residents of Neighborhoods and Villages:” Jews are not alien “settlers” implying “occupiers” in a Jerusalem that’s had a Jewish majority since mid-19th century or in the Judea-Samaria Jewish historical homeland. Israelis living there are residents who live in cities, towns and villages.
#9 –” Palestinian Arabs accept and Israel rejects a Two-State Solution:” Wrong on both counts. The U.S. and Israel define “Two States” as two states for two peoples – Jews and Arabs. Many Israelis, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, support that plan – conditioned on an end to Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. The Arabs have rejected a Palestinian Arab state living side-by-side with a Jewish state five times since 1937, and continuously deny any Israeli right to exist, no matter where its borders are drawn.
#10 – “The Palestinians:”   During the Mandate, “Palestinian” typically referred to Palestine’s Jews.  The UN’s 1947 partition resolution called Palestine’s Jews and its Arabs “the two Palestinian peoples.” Palestinian Arabs – ancestrally, culturally, linguistically and religiously are akin to neighboring regional Arabs – began claiming exclusive “Palestinian peoplehood” only in the 1960s.  Post-1967 war UN resolution 242 does not mention “Palestinians.” Most Palestinian Arabs cannot trace their own lineage to the land back more than 4 generations.
**Lee Bender and Jerome Verlin are co-President and former Vice President, respectively, of the Zionist Organization of America-Greater Philadelphia District, and they are the co-authors of the book Pressing Israel: Media Bias Exposed From A-Z (Pavilion Press) and co-developers of the website and mobile app,

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