Day: October 3, 2017

Homage to Catalonia


No one is likely is mistake Trump for Thomas Hobbes or for a formulator of the 1648 Peace of Westphalia that ended the European wars of religion, and called for the creation of nation states, based on territory, population, accepted central authority, and international recognition. Nevertheless, Trump’s remarks follow the lines of classical concepts of sovereignty, states that result from independence of nations that are rooted in their histories and invested in their destinies.

The Trump administration is now faced with two issues, Catalonia in Spain and the Kurds in the Middle East, that challenge the sovereignty of the states in which regions exist by their call for independence or secession from an existing state in order to create a new state. The Catalonia issue is the more immediate and pressing one, and one that may affect the behavior of regions in other countries such as Scotland in the UK, Flanders in Belgium, Quebec in Canada, the Faroe Islands under Denmark, Chechnya in Russia, “Padania” in Italy, Texas in the U.S., and even Brooklyn, allegedly the country’s fourth largest town, in New York City.

Spain is a diverse country including people with different languages and cultures, and embracing 17 provinces that have autonomy and some devolution of power. It has long been troubled by regionalist demands. The immediate problem is whether Madrid, the capital of Spain, which won the football World Cup in 2010, and has a red, yellow, red flag, will allow the secession of Catalonia, based in Barcelona, the host for the Summer Olympic Games in 1992, with its unofficial striped blue, red, yellow Estelada flag, as an independent state. If not, will Spain be faced with continuing violence and perhaps even civil war?

This kind of issue is not new in three senses. One is that a number of countries, for example Belgium, the Baltic Republics, and the Czech Republic, have emerged out of larger ones. The second is the reality that the region desiring independence may be more developed than the rest of the country, as in the case of the Czechs living under the rule of the Empire in Vienna. A third factor is that minorities in a number of countries, Lega Nord in Italy, Alsace in France, may call for some form of devolution if not absolute independence.

Relations between Catalonia and the Spanish ruler have been strained since Barcelona, its main city, fell in 1714 to Philip V, grandson of Louis XIV, and the area of Catalonia was subjected to the institutions and laws of the Crown of Castile. The problem was that Catalonia had supported the losing side, Archduke Charles of the House of Habsburg, Austria, in the war, 1701-14, against Philip of the House of Bourbon, for the Spanish throne. The region’s national holiday, the Diada, on September 11 commemorates the 1714 defeat.

In 1901, a Catalonian nationalist party was founded, based on the view that Catalonia was the most economically and culturally advanced part of the country, that its people spoke a different language and had a civil law distinct from the rest of the country, and constituted a nation of its own.

There was indeed a short-lived Catalan Republic, 1931-39, that was ended with the victory of General Francisco Franco against the Republican regime in the Spanish civil war. The Catalonian slogan, ”No pasarán” (they shall not pass) was to made famous by the Communist Dolores Ibarruri Gomez in the siege of Madrid in July 1936 during the Civil War.

In 1934, a Catalonian state in the Spanish Federal Republic was proclaimed, but this regional government, the Generalitat, headed by a president, Lluis Companys, was abolished by Franco, who also banned the official use of the Catalan language. Many Catalonians fled to France, including Companys, who was arrested by the Nazis, sent back to Spain, and executed, a martyr president.

The core problem is whether the Catalans constitute a nation. Catalonia, a wealthy region, is one of the 17 autonomous regions with considerable self-government, but it has long wanted more. The region, centered on Barcelona, has 7.5 million population, 16% of the Spanish population, accounts for 20% of Spain’s GDP, and 30% of foreign trade, is self-governing in certain areas, police, health and education, while Madrid still controls taxes, foreign policy, and infrastructures. Catalonia has its own widely admired regional police force, the 17,000 Mossos d’Esquadra, one that is responsible to the Catalan minister of the interior, in addition to the 5,000 state police.

Barcelona is now one of the world’s favorite tourist areas. It is the home of FC Barcelona, perhaps the most popular soccer team in the world, a nationalist symbol with the motto, “more than a club,” and potent rival of Real Madrid. It is also the locale of a more controversial inhabitant, the La Sagrada Familia Temple, the large unfinished Roman Catholic Church, about the structure of which there are strong mixed opinions.

For a decade, the relationship between region and state has become complex, resembling a political and constitutional crisis. In 2010, the Spanish Constitutional Court declared invalid some of the provisions for Catalan autonomy outlined in a 2006 statute, as well as in the 1978 Constitution. The Spanish courts and the central government hold that the 1978 Constitution, which was approved by 91% of voters in a turnout of 67%, is indivisible, and that the separatists are breaking the law.  Article 155 of the Constitution allows the government to suspend Catalan autonomy.

However, an unofficial non-binding vote in Catalonia in November 2014 registered 81% favoring independence, though the turnout was only 35%. In the regional election in September, 2015 the separatist parties won. In November 2015 the Catalan legislature approved, 72 to 63, a plan for secession by 2017, but the Constitutional Court suspended the plan.

Then the 54-year-old president of Catalonia, former journalist Carles Puigdemont in June 2017, a fervent advocate of Catalonia as an independent republic, announced that a binding resolution on independence would be held on October 1, 2017. The question is simple: “Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic, Yes or No?” If the vote was positive, he would declare independence from Spain within 48 hours of the vote.

Political systems differ. In 2014, a referendum on independence for Scotland was held with legal consent of the central government in London. In contrast, the central Spanish government in Madrid, headed by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, head of the conservative Popular Party, denies the legality of the Catalonian referendum of October 1st. Rajoy spoke of the “indivisible unity of the Spanish nation, the common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards.”

The Spanish government got rulings from Constitutional Tribunals that it is unconstitutional for a region to call a referendum.  The powers of the Constitutional Court were increased in 2015 so it can enforce its decisions. The Court has struck down a number of laws enacted by the Catalan parliament, and in September 2017 imposed fines on members of the Catalan election board.

The national government argues, and the majority of Spaniards and the media agree, it is upholding the rule of law that must be respected; the Catalans, however, speak of “authoritarian repression” and compare the actions by Madrid to prevent independence to the brutality of Francisco Franco in attacks on the Catalan language, culture, and political aspirations.

About 5.3 million Catalans are eligible to vote. In preparation, on September 23, 2017 Madrid put all police forces temporally under a single chain of command reporting to Madrid. Four thousand more police were sent into the area. Separatist websites were blocked, material and ten million ballots were seized, and police were told to stop public buildings from being used as polling stations. At least 14 officials working on arrangements for the referendum were arrested.

Nevertheless, most of the mayors in the 940 Catalan municipalities were proreferendum. The Catalan regional police, numbering 17,000, did not obey the court order to prevent voting if it inflamed local tensions. At the referendum on October 1, 2017 in which 2.2 million participated, 42.3% of the electorate, 90% voted for independence and 8% voted no. Yet, the violence in which about 850 Catalans were injured by the national police attempting to prevent the voting escalated the conflict over Catalonia, as well as hardening political positions in the country.

Logically, now that the official result has been announced  the next step is for it to go to the Catalan parliament, which could then adopt a motion of independence, a real possibility since separatists have a majority, 72 of 135 in the parliament. But all sides in the country are toiling with the problem, What price victory?

In a context of scenes of violence and disproportionate use of force by National police against citizens asserting their right to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, the country of Spain is divided between a national government calling for respect for law and the constitution and national unity, and the authorities and people of Catalonia declaring the right to become an independent political entity. The case is still open between Spanisn nationalists believing we’ll be together again, and secessionists responding, we get along without you very well.

In his speech on September 19, 2017 at the UN General Assembly, President Donald Trump somewhat surprisingly made some political philosophical remarks about the nation state, the best vehicle for elevating the human condition. He urged the need for “strong, independent nations that embrace their sovereignty, to promote security, prosperity, and peace for themselves and for the world.”

No one is likely is mistake Trump for Thomas Hobbes or for a formulator of the 1648 Peace of Westphalia that ended the European wars of religion, and called for the creation of nation states, based on territory, population, accepted central authority, and international recognition. Nevertheless, Trump’s remarks follow the lines of classical concepts of sovereignty, states that result from independence of nations that are rooted in their histories and invested in their destinies.

The Trump administration is now faced with two issues, Catalonia in Spain and the Kurds in the Middle East, that challenge the sovereignty of the states in which regions exist by their call for independence or secession from an existing state in order to create a new state. The Catalonia issue is the more immediate and pressing one, and one that may affect the behavior of regions in other countries such as Scotland in the UK, Flanders in Belgium, Quebec in Canada, the Faroe Islands under Denmark, Chechnya in Russia, “Padania” in Italy, Texas in the U.S., and even Brooklyn, allegedly the country’s fourth largest town, in New York City.

Spain is a diverse country including people with different languages and cultures, and embracing 17 provinces that have autonomy and some devolution of power. It has long been troubled by regionalist demands. The immediate problem is whether Madrid, the capital of Spain, which won the football World Cup in 2010, and has a red, yellow, red flag, will allow the secession of Catalonia, based in Barcelona, the host for the Summer Olympic Games in 1992, with its unofficial striped blue, red, yellow Estelada flag, as an independent state. If not, will Spain be faced with continuing violence and perhaps even civil war?

This kind of issue is not new in three senses. One is that a number of countries, for example Belgium, the Baltic Republics, and the Czech Republic, have emerged out of larger ones. The second is the reality that the region desiring independence may be more developed than the rest of the country, as in the case of the Czechs living under the rule of the Empire in Vienna. A third factor is that minorities in a number of countries, Lega Nord in Italy, Alsace in France, may call for some form of devolution if not absolute independence.

Relations between Catalonia and the Spanish ruler have been strained since Barcelona, its main city, fell in 1714 to Philip V, grandson of Louis XIV, and the area of Catalonia was subjected to the institutions and laws of the Crown of Castile. The problem was that Catalonia had supported the losing side, Archduke Charles of the House of Habsburg, Austria, in the war, 1701-14, against Philip of the House of Bourbon, for the Spanish throne. The region’s national holiday, the Diada, on September 11 commemorates the 1714 defeat.

In 1901, a Catalonian nationalist party was founded, based on the view that Catalonia was the most economically and culturally advanced part of the country, that its people spoke a different language and had a civil law distinct from the rest of the country, and constituted a nation of its own.

There was indeed a short-lived Catalan Republic, 1931-39, that was ended with the victory of General Francisco Franco against the Republican regime in the Spanish civil war. The Catalonian slogan, ”No pasarán” (they shall not pass) was to made famous by the Communist Dolores Ibarruri Gomez in the siege of Madrid in July 1936 during the Civil War.

In 1934, a Catalonian state in the Spanish Federal Republic was proclaimed, but this regional government, the Generalitat, headed by a president, Lluis Companys, was abolished by Franco, who also banned the official use of the Catalan language. Many Catalonians fled to France, including Companys, who was arrested by the Nazis, sent back to Spain, and executed, a martyr president.

The core problem is whether the Catalans constitute a nation. Catalonia, a wealthy region, is one of the 17 autonomous regions with considerable self-government, but it has long wanted more. The region, centered on Barcelona, has 7.5 million population, 16% of the Spanish population, accounts for 20% of Spain’s GDP, and 30% of foreign trade, is self-governing in certain areas, police, health and education, while Madrid still controls taxes, foreign policy, and infrastructures. Catalonia has its own widely admired regional police force, the 17,000 Mossos d’Esquadra, one that is responsible to the Catalan minister of the interior, in addition to the 5,000 state police.

Barcelona is now one of the world’s favorite tourist areas. It is the home of FC Barcelona, perhaps the most popular soccer team in the world, a nationalist symbol with the motto, “more than a club,” and potent rival of Real Madrid. It is also the locale of a more controversial inhabitant, the La Sagrada Familia Temple, the large unfinished Roman Catholic Church, about the structure of which there are strong mixed opinions.

For a decade, the relationship between region and state has become complex, resembling a political and constitutional crisis. In 2010, the Spanish Constitutional Court declared invalid some of the provisions for Catalan autonomy outlined in a 2006 statute, as well as in the 1978 Constitution. The Spanish courts and the central government hold that the 1978 Constitution, which was approved by 91% of voters in a turnout of 67%, is indivisible, and that the separatists are breaking the law.  Article 155 of the Constitution allows the government to suspend Catalan autonomy.

However, an unofficial non-binding vote in Catalonia in November 2014 registered 81% favoring independence, though the turnout was only 35%. In the regional election in September, 2015 the separatist parties won. In November 2015 the Catalan legislature approved, 72 to 63, a plan for secession by 2017, but the Constitutional Court suspended the plan.

Then the 54-year-old president of Catalonia, former journalist Carles Puigdemont in June 2017, a fervent advocate of Catalonia as an independent republic, announced that a binding resolution on independence would be held on October 1, 2017. The question is simple: “Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic, Yes or No?” If the vote was positive, he would declare independence from Spain within 48 hours of the vote.

Political systems differ. In 2014, a referendum on independence for Scotland was held with legal consent of the central government in London. In contrast, the central Spanish government in Madrid, headed by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, head of the conservative Popular Party, denies the legality of the Catalonian referendum of October 1st. Rajoy spoke of the “indivisible unity of the Spanish nation, the common and indivisible homeland of all Spaniards.”

The Spanish government got rulings from Constitutional Tribunals that it is unconstitutional for a region to call a referendum.  The powers of the Constitutional Court were increased in 2015 so it can enforce its decisions. The Court has struck down a number of laws enacted by the Catalan parliament, and in September 2017 imposed fines on members of the Catalan election board.

The national government argues, and the majority of Spaniards and the media agree, it is upholding the rule of law that must be respected; the Catalans, however, speak of “authoritarian repression” and compare the actions by Madrid to prevent independence to the brutality of Francisco Franco in attacks on the Catalan language, culture, and political aspirations.

About 5.3 million Catalans are eligible to vote. In preparation, on September 23, 2017 Madrid put all police forces temporally under a single chain of command reporting to Madrid. Four thousand more police were sent into the area. Separatist websites were blocked, material and ten million ballots were seized, and police were told to stop public buildings from being used as polling stations. At least 14 officials working on arrangements for the referendum were arrested.

Nevertheless, most of the mayors in the 940 Catalan municipalities were proreferendum. The Catalan regional police, numbering 17,000, did not obey the court order to prevent voting if it inflamed local tensions. At the referendum on October 1, 2017 in which 2.2 million participated, 42.3% of the electorate, 90% voted for independence and 8% voted no. Yet, the violence in which about 850 Catalans were injured by the national police attempting to prevent the voting escalated the conflict over Catalonia, as well as hardening political positions in the country.

Logically, now that the official result has been announced  the next step is for it to go to the Catalan parliament, which could then adopt a motion of independence, a real possibility since separatists have a majority, 72 of 135 in the parliament. But all sides in the country are toiling with the problem, What price victory?



Source link

Hey Irwin! How About Politics Lessons for Liberals?


In the New York Daily News, liberal warhorse and law school dean Irwin Chemerinksy teams with Howard Gillman to plead with fellow liberals in “First Amendment lessons for liberals” not to fall for the right-wing’s cunning plan to trick them. What with all the marchin’ and protestin’ on campus these days there is, writes Irwin:

a widespread perception that liberals are keeping conservatives from being able to speak on campus and that conservatives are the champions of free speech.

No!

That’s false. Liberals we know — at least, most of them — are forceful advocates for the free exchange of ideas.

So we’ve noticed, Irwin. Not.

In reality, conservatives such as Yiannopoulos and Coulter are thrilled when they are kept from speaking. It lets them portray themselves as victims, vilify the left as intolerant, and accuse campuses of being more concerned about indoctrination than the robust exchange of ideas.

Oh no! The worst thing in the world would be to thrill vile conservatives and allow them to successfully “portray themselves as victims!” Only liberals are allowed to play the victim game in America. It’s in some penumbra of the Constitution.

The real point of the First Amendment, we all know from college freshman indoctrination, is to let liberals protest and advocate for their little darlings, the folk that have been established, by act of liberals, to be genuine marginalized and oppressed victims needing the firm hand of government to bend the arc of history towards justice.

Which just gets us back to where we first started, Irwin, about liberals needing a lesson.

Really, what this country needs is a good five-cent Politics course, to explain to liberals why the limited government shtick of the American Founders is the last best hope for mankind — and for liberals.

Because this is the great age of dumbing things down to fit in a 140-character tweet, I have done the same thing for politics, in catchphrases that even liberals can understand.

First, Government is Force. By that I mean that every act of government is backed by men with guns. So the most benign act of government, such as Medicare’s free hospice care, is backed by force. You are forced to pay for it, and when grandma is at end-of-life she is forcibly subject to its protocols. And then there is the tax-collecting side of things, with the noble and virtuous IRS collecting $3.5 trillion from Americans in FY 2017 by force.

And when government uses force, there is a real danger that some people may experience it as injustice.

Second, Politics is Division, and the art of the politician and the activist is the art of dividing people. You know, like “taking the knee” at NFL games on the one hand and tweeting about firing the sons-of-bitches on the other. That is why the architects of modern politics proposed periodic elections. The idea was to confine the art and practice of division to an election season, and then have the running dogs in the media declare, once the election was over, that we are all Americans with one flag and one people.

But when you end up on the losing side of the political division game, it is easy to think that you are the victim of injustice, just like liberals in 2016.

Third, System is Domination. Every government program is some kind of bureaucratic system that defines and enforces, with a bureaucratic hierarchy just like an army, how certain government revenues are to be spent in support of the government’s political objectives. I need hardly remind you, Irwin, that the purpose of an army hierarchy is to put young men in a position where they are forced to risk their young lives under the command of some politician ordering an officer ordering a sergeant to force the them to advance into a maelstrom of shot and shell. Whether they like it or not.

When government is dominating you and forcing you to do things that may get you killed, it is easy to think that you are the victim of injustice, just like the liberal kids in the Sixties.

Now, one of the things I have noticed over my life is that nothing equals the outrage of a liberal being forced to pay for a government program he doesn’t like, or being accused of being unpatriotic, or dominated by some gap-toothed conservative “legislating morality.”

So my question, Irwin, is this. Given that you liberal chaps are so very sensitive when on the receiving end of government force, political division, and systemic domination, how come you chaps are so eager to inflict it all on others?

And why, Irwin, is your concern about the present “perception” of liberals being opposed to free speech read more about putting liberals in a bad light than just saying that free speech is in the Constitution, Period?

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.

In the New York Daily News, liberal warhorse and law school dean Irwin Chemerinksy teams with Howard Gillman to plead with fellow liberals in “First Amendment lessons for liberals” not to fall for the right-wing’s cunning plan to trick them. What with all the marchin’ and protestin’ on campus these days there is, writes Irwin:

a widespread perception that liberals are keeping conservatives from being able to speak on campus and that conservatives are the champions of free speech.

No!

That’s false. Liberals we know — at least, most of them — are forceful advocates for the free exchange of ideas.

So we’ve noticed, Irwin. Not.

In reality, conservatives such as Yiannopoulos and Coulter are thrilled when they are kept from speaking. It lets them portray themselves as victims, vilify the left as intolerant, and accuse campuses of being more concerned about indoctrination than the robust exchange of ideas.

Oh no! The worst thing in the world would be to thrill vile conservatives and allow them to successfully “portray themselves as victims!” Only liberals are allowed to play the victim game in America. It’s in some penumbra of the Constitution.

The real point of the First Amendment, we all know from college freshman indoctrination, is to let liberals protest and advocate for their little darlings, the folk that have been established, by act of liberals, to be genuine marginalized and oppressed victims needing the firm hand of government to bend the arc of history towards justice.

Which just gets us back to where we first started, Irwin, about liberals needing a lesson.

Really, what this country needs is a good five-cent Politics course, to explain to liberals why the limited government shtick of the American Founders is the last best hope for mankind — and for liberals.

Because this is the great age of dumbing things down to fit in a 140-character tweet, I have done the same thing for politics, in catchphrases that even liberals can understand.

First, Government is Force. By that I mean that every act of government is backed by men with guns. So the most benign act of government, such as Medicare’s free hospice care, is backed by force. You are forced to pay for it, and when grandma is at end-of-life she is forcibly subject to its protocols. And then there is the tax-collecting side of things, with the noble and virtuous IRS collecting $3.5 trillion from Americans in FY 2017 by force.

And when government uses force, there is a real danger that some people may experience it as injustice.

Second, Politics is Division, and the art of the politician and the activist is the art of dividing people. You know, like “taking the knee” at NFL games on the one hand and tweeting about firing the sons-of-bitches on the other. That is why the architects of modern politics proposed periodic elections. The idea was to confine the art and practice of division to an election season, and then have the running dogs in the media declare, once the election was over, that we are all Americans with one flag and one people.

But when you end up on the losing side of the political division game, it is easy to think that you are the victim of injustice, just like liberals in 2016.

Third, System is Domination. Every government program is some kind of bureaucratic system that defines and enforces, with a bureaucratic hierarchy just like an army, how certain government revenues are to be spent in support of the government’s political objectives. I need hardly remind you, Irwin, that the purpose of an army hierarchy is to put young men in a position where they are forced to risk their young lives under the command of some politician ordering an officer ordering a sergeant to force the them to advance into a maelstrom of shot and shell. Whether they like it or not.

When government is dominating you and forcing you to do things that may get you killed, it is easy to think that you are the victim of injustice, just like the liberal kids in the Sixties.

Now, one of the things I have noticed over my life is that nothing equals the outrage of a liberal being forced to pay for a government program he doesn’t like, or being accused of being unpatriotic, or dominated by some gap-toothed conservative “legislating morality.”

So my question, Irwin, is this. Given that you liberal chaps are so very sensitive when on the receiving end of government force, political division, and systemic domination, how come you chaps are so eager to inflict it all on others?

And why, Irwin, is your concern about the present “perception” of liberals being opposed to free speech read more about putting liberals in a bad light than just saying that free speech is in the Constitution, Period?

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also get his American Manifesto and his Road to the Middle Class.



Source link

America's Millennial Realignment


We have witnessed realignments in the past, but the one we are in the midst of is extraordinary. It began before Trump came down the escalator but he was the first to capture it, energize it, and win office as a result. The realignment is not about him per se, as demonstrated by the nomination of Judge Roy Moore for the Alabama Senate seat. The realignment is much more.

The causes of realignment are manyfold: a national media that has become partisan leftist, the Deep State, with its own intrenched anti-American interests, the two national parties, each of which has betrayed America and her ideals in different ways.  Abetted by all the above, the betrayal of our national institutions has been brutal. And noticed by huge numbers of Americans who are the ones realigning.

The main issues spurring the realignment have been illegal immigration, bad economic policy, racialism shoved in America’s face, the elevation of nanny state shackles, the espousing of ideas destructive to the human spirit, and an arrogance of our elites that is counter to those many good things that America once stood for.

It’s a deep revulsion for everything the left has become.

It has set up a new paradigm that hasn’t been recognized or described well as of yet.  Recent signs of it include Trump’s election, the ongoing inability of the Democratic party to stand for anything other than hating Trump, the Deep State’s multiple failures, and the beginning of the primarying of the fraudulent GOP, i.e. Judge Roy Moore beating Luther Strange in Alabama, the resignation of Bob Corker, the writing on the wall for Senator Jeff Flake.  And more to come.

The 2018 buzz has begun. The Democratic party cannot win in 2018 because they cannot see that they have been rejected. They stand for nothing, and are aligned on the wrong side of history. The Republican Party is seen by its base as fraudulent, in line with its donors rather than its own professed principles.  The GOP has two choices, reform and realign or go the way of the Whigs.  2018 will be a barometer of which way this will go. The GOP cannot continue to govern against its base and the will of the American people. For them it is change or die in 2018.

The only thing that will prevent Trump from winning reelection in the biggest landslide since 1984 would be if he betrayed the principles he ran on. Those are the principles that are forcing realignment.

Illegal immigration

This was the number one issue that won Trump the presidency. It helped reclaim the Reagan Democrats, the blue-collar vote. In spite of the demagoguery of the left, it’s not about racism, it’s simply about the right of a sovereign country to maintain its borders and control who is allowed in. To blue collar Americans, it’s about having rising wages, and a better life for their children.

Unleashing the Economy

The abusive regulation and anti-business rhetoric and policy of the Obama years came home to roost in its subpar growth numbers. America felt trapped in the nanny state, with a stagnant future to look forward to. It was called the new normal, and Americans simply aren’t going to accept a vision of defeat. Americans want the freedom to be upwardly mobile, the opportunity for their children to have a better lifestyle.  Trump saw this, and his own past success became a signature.

Economic freedom is an issue for the realignment.  One of the few good things accomplished by Republicans has been the undoing of the horrid regulatory mass left by Obama. If you continue with a better our tax policy, the economy will thrive, and people will stand up and notice.

America First

In 20/20 hindsight, the Democratic party insistence on tearing down America was its biggest mistake. It has destroyed its own image to Americans, blue collar as well as the white collar middle class.  Witness what the NFL did to itself by denigrating America’s national anthem and its flag.  

RINOs, true to form, don’t understand either. America, for all its flaws, still is the best place in the world to be, still has the best ideals and ways to become great.  It’s not his idea, but Trump sees this clearly, and realignment will take this principle on, not as an unflinching demagogic “America is always best”, but through a simple recognition that American ideals are good.  

Anti-Racialism

The left needs us to be divided along racial lines. They cannot win without this division, so they shamefully push it. Witness the evolving race baiting. Opposing Obama in anything was racist. Opposing the NFL kneelers is racist. Everything Trump does is racist.  Every white American is racist, by virtue of race. Martin Luther King said “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”  The left has brutally savaged that dream by becoming race baiters. They have used the club of “racism” far too long, arriving at racialism, their pathetic attempt to balkanize America.

A big part of the realignment is a rejection of this evil racialist idea. Whites did not vote for Trump because they were racist, just like women did not vote for Trump because they were sexist. They simply rejected the idea that racialism is a good thing. There is a tremendous group of black Americans that are rejecting the Democratic Party racialist message.  Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, and Larry Elder have long soldiered in this effort. Burgess Owens is a fresh new voice in this racialist war.

A coalition that learns to defeat the race baiting is emerging. It is part of the realignment. It is a good thing.

Rejecting America’s Negative Elitism

It’s no secret that America’s elites have gone awry. Our media is so far left you can see them as bad as Pravda. Our cultural institutions are so far left they are unrecognizable. The universities, Hollywood, and the media have become arrogant, ignorant, and blind.

The realignment will capitalize on our elites’ negativity.  It’s simple: you replace negativity, their wrong choice of ideas, and their anti-Americanism with something better.

America is a country that stands for good things, including itself as a sovereign country. It will have borders, and stop illegal immigration.

America is a country that believes in equal opportunity for all. It believes in economic freedom, and the American dream to do and be better.

America believes in its ideals because they have done far more good than harm. That is why “America first” will resonate. It is still the city on a hill as described by Ronald Reagan.

America can open the door of racial equality and walk through it, rather than balkanize itself. Martin Luther King’s dream is still there to achieve. Racism in the form of Racialism needs to die.

America’s failed negative leftist elites must go.

It doesn’t matter if the GOP takes on the realignment or a new party is formed. But the realignment has come.

These two quotes from Alexis de Tocqueville are more germane than ever:

“The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.”

“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

We have witnessed realignments in the past, but the one we are in the midst of is extraordinary. It began before Trump came down the escalator but he was the first to capture it, energize it, and win office as a result. The realignment is not about him per se, as demonstrated by the nomination of Judge Roy Moore for the Alabama Senate seat. The realignment is much more.

The causes of realignment are manyfold: a national media that has become partisan leftist, the Deep State, with its own intrenched anti-American interests, the two national parties, each of which has betrayed America and her ideals in different ways.  Abetted by all the above, the betrayal of our national institutions has been brutal. And noticed by huge numbers of Americans who are the ones realigning.

The main issues spurring the realignment have been illegal immigration, bad economic policy, racialism shoved in America’s face, the elevation of nanny state shackles, the espousing of ideas destructive to the human spirit, and an arrogance of our elites that is counter to those many good things that America once stood for.

It’s a deep revulsion for everything the left has become.

It has set up a new paradigm that hasn’t been recognized or described well as of yet.  Recent signs of it include Trump’s election, the ongoing inability of the Democratic party to stand for anything other than hating Trump, the Deep State’s multiple failures, and the beginning of the primarying of the fraudulent GOP, i.e. Judge Roy Moore beating Luther Strange in Alabama, the resignation of Bob Corker, the writing on the wall for Senator Jeff Flake.  And more to come.

The 2018 buzz has begun. The Democratic party cannot win in 2018 because they cannot see that they have been rejected. They stand for nothing, and are aligned on the wrong side of history. The Republican Party is seen by its base as fraudulent, in line with its donors rather than its own professed principles.  The GOP has two choices, reform and realign or go the way of the Whigs.  2018 will be a barometer of which way this will go. The GOP cannot continue to govern against its base and the will of the American people. For them it is change or die in 2018.

The only thing that will prevent Trump from winning reelection in the biggest landslide since 1984 would be if he betrayed the principles he ran on. Those are the principles that are forcing realignment.

Illegal immigration

This was the number one issue that won Trump the presidency. It helped reclaim the Reagan Democrats, the blue-collar vote. In spite of the demagoguery of the left, it’s not about racism, it’s simply about the right of a sovereign country to maintain its borders and control who is allowed in. To blue collar Americans, it’s about having rising wages, and a better life for their children.

Unleashing the Economy

The abusive regulation and anti-business rhetoric and policy of the Obama years came home to roost in its subpar growth numbers. America felt trapped in the nanny state, with a stagnant future to look forward to. It was called the new normal, and Americans simply aren’t going to accept a vision of defeat. Americans want the freedom to be upwardly mobile, the opportunity for their children to have a better lifestyle.  Trump saw this, and his own past success became a signature.

Economic freedom is an issue for the realignment.  One of the few good things accomplished by Republicans has been the undoing of the horrid regulatory mass left by Obama. If you continue with a better our tax policy, the economy will thrive, and people will stand up and notice.

America First

In 20/20 hindsight, the Democratic party insistence on tearing down America was its biggest mistake. It has destroyed its own image to Americans, blue collar as well as the white collar middle class.  Witness what the NFL did to itself by denigrating America’s national anthem and its flag.  

RINOs, true to form, don’t understand either. America, for all its flaws, still is the best place in the world to be, still has the best ideals and ways to become great.  It’s not his idea, but Trump sees this clearly, and realignment will take this principle on, not as an unflinching demagogic “America is always best”, but through a simple recognition that American ideals are good.  

Anti-Racialism

The left needs us to be divided along racial lines. They cannot win without this division, so they shamefully push it. Witness the evolving race baiting. Opposing Obama in anything was racist. Opposing the NFL kneelers is racist. Everything Trump does is racist.  Every white American is racist, by virtue of race. Martin Luther King said “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”  The left has brutally savaged that dream by becoming race baiters. They have used the club of “racism” far too long, arriving at racialism, their pathetic attempt to balkanize America.

A big part of the realignment is a rejection of this evil racialist idea. Whites did not vote for Trump because they were racist, just like women did not vote for Trump because they were sexist. They simply rejected the idea that racialism is a good thing. There is a tremendous group of black Americans that are rejecting the Democratic Party racialist message.  Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, and Larry Elder have long soldiered in this effort. Burgess Owens is a fresh new voice in this racialist war.

A coalition that learns to defeat the race baiting is emerging. It is part of the realignment. It is a good thing.

Rejecting America’s Negative Elitism

It’s no secret that America’s elites have gone awry. Our media is so far left you can see them as bad as Pravda. Our cultural institutions are so far left they are unrecognizable. The universities, Hollywood, and the media have become arrogant, ignorant, and blind.

The realignment will capitalize on our elites’ negativity.  It’s simple: you replace negativity, their wrong choice of ideas, and their anti-Americanism with something better.

America is a country that stands for good things, including itself as a sovereign country. It will have borders, and stop illegal immigration.

America is a country that believes in equal opportunity for all. It believes in economic freedom, and the American dream to do and be better.

America believes in its ideals because they have done far more good than harm. That is why “America first” will resonate. It is still the city on a hill as described by Ronald Reagan.

America can open the door of racial equality and walk through it, rather than balkanize itself. Martin Luther King’s dream is still there to achieve. Racism in the form of Racialism needs to die.

America’s failed negative leftist elites must go.

It doesn’t matter if the GOP takes on the realignment or a new party is formed. But the realignment has come.

These two quotes from Alexis de Tocqueville are more germane than ever:

“The greatness of America lies not in being more enlightened than any other nation, but rather in her ability to repair her faults.”

“America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”



Source link

160310-csx.jpg

BATTLE INTENSIFIES OVER CHINESE TAKEOVER OF CHICAGO STOCK EXCHANGE…



The Chicago Stock Exchange is pictured. | Getty

In December 2016, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States approved the CHX deal. But in August, the SEC delayed action on the purchase and has offered no timeline for when it will make a decision. | Getty

A group of U.S. investors hoping to buy the Chicago Stock Exchange is lobbying Congress to torpedo a rival, Chinese-backed acquisition proposal that is stalled at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Lobbyists representing “Exchange Capital LLC,” a special-purpose entity for a private-equity investor group, said they helped generate a Sept. 26 letter led by Rep. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.) to the SEC raising “serious concerns” over the CHX acquisition.

Story Continued Below

Exchange Capital is being represented by Adam Olsen of Sconset Strategies and Chas Thomas of Thorn Run Partners. Thomas is a former Pittenger staffer.

Both lobbyists said they also asked members of the Senate Banking Committee to voice concerns with the CHX deal at a hearing with SEC Chairman Jay Clayton on Tuesday.

Olsen and Thomas declined to identify the rival investors for CHX, only saying that they are all American.

“I represent a group of substantial American investors who are interested in potentially acquiring the Chicago Stock Exchange,” Olsen said. “And we have been working with the relevant members of the House and Senate committees to further that goal.”

Exchange Capital paid Sconset $170,000 in 2016 and 2017, according to lobbying disclosures.

The CHX acquisition, announced in February 2016, quickly drew criticism from Republicans, including presidential candidate Donald Trump. The investor group comprises 50.5 percent U.S. owners and 49.5 percent private Chinese investors.

In December 2016, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the group of government regulators that vets international acquisitions of American assets, approved the CHX deal. But in August, the SEC delayed action on the purchase and has offered no timeline for when it will make a decision.

In a statement to POLITICO, CHX’s CEO John Kerin blasted the rival investor group.

“CHX is aware of a coordinated effort to utilize lobbying, xenophobic fake news, and other tactics to interfere with its legitimate transaction,” Kerin said. “We condemn using such methods under the guise of national security and investor protection, when the true motivation is personal gain.”

Both Olsen and Thomas denied they were involved in any covert effort to oppose the CHX deal with misattributed comment letters to the SEC.

In February, the SEC received a comment letter that appears to be from the Alliance for American Manufacturing, an advocacy group, opposing the CHX deal.

After POLITICO contacted AAM about the letter, the trade group said that what was posted on the SEC’s website was wrongly attributed to them.

“While it is clear that the Chinese acquisition of the Chicago Stock Exchange needs to be thoroughly reviewed, the Alliance for American Manufacturing did not submit this or any letter to the SEC,” said Scott Paul, president of the AAM.

And in January 2017, the Global Investigative Journalism Network got the SEC to remove a letter wrongly attributed to the group that opposed the Chicago Stock Exchange deal.

“I’d like to know who’s using our good name,” GIJN’s executive director David Kaplan said.



Source link

Crocodile Tears and Excuses from Puerto Rico and CNN


The media, having found a successful play to cripple a Republican president, is trying to run the same play against President Trump. They forget that their entire playbook has been thrown at Trump since he announced his candidacy in 2015, without any success.

Hurricane Katrina was thought to be a turning point in the George W Bush presidency. The less than stellar response from the federal government was hung around his neck. Successfully. Despite ineptitude at the state and local levels. The New Orleans mayor at the time, Ray Nagin, is now in federal prison for bribery and fraud.

They tried the Katrina pass play in Houston and Florida after their recent hurricanes, stymied by a strong defense of competent governors and other state and local officials. Relief efforts in Houston and Florida were efficient and competent. The media had to take a knee.

Puerto Rico is different. San Juan Mayor Yulin Cruz is busy bashing President Trump and hurricane relief. Anderson Cooper from CNN, Johnny on the spot, was there to feel her pain and report her criticism of Trump.

How ironic that the mayor was interviewed with a backdrop of pallets of food and water sitting in a warehouse, rather than being distributed.

Anderson didn’t ask why supplies that are so desperately needed by the people were being used as a photo prop instead.

He also didn’t comment on the fact that nine days after Hurricane Maria hit, “Less than half of the 8,000 members of the Puerto Rico National Guard are on duty” according to the Washington Post. Or how the Teamsters Union, a branch of the Democrat Party, refused to deliver supplies, instead using the hurricane as contract negotiating leverage.

Interestingly, Mayor Cruz, while speaking to Mr. Cooper, perhaps auditioning for a gig on CNN or MSNBC, was wearing a t-shirt with “Help us we are dying” written on the front.

The 2017 version of “Hands up don’t shoot”. Amazing that an island with no food, water, electricity or other basic services has a t-shirt shop up and running, printing a shirt for the mayor to wear while being interviewed on CNN. Unless Mr. Cooper brought her the t-shirt to wear specifically for the interview, which would be a new low in media propagandizing.

Also, not likely to be reported on CNN is a phone call from a female police officer in Puerto Rico to a US radio station. She was upset and sharing “how the Mayor of San Juan is politicizing the situation and not offering help.” She highlighted “corruption within government within Puerto Rico and the Municipal authority of San Juan.” Sound familiar? Mayor Nagin and New Orleans?

If AG Jeff Sessions is paying attention, maybe these accusations could be investigated by the Department of Justice. Ray Nagin’s federal prison may have a women’s prison with a few extra cells. In fact, Sessions might want to consider building an all Democrat prison given the demand. Blago. Anthony Weiner. Nagin. Senator Menendez. Maybe even Mayor Cruz.

Even two-time failed presidential candidate, Hillary “What Happened” Clinton chimed in with a tweet. “President Trump, Sec. Mattis, and DOD should send the Navy, including the USNS Comfort, to Puerto Rico now. These are American citizens.” Is the irony not lost on her that the same tweet, with just a few name changes, could have been sent during the Benghazi massacre which she presided over?

Obviously out of the loop due to her book tour, Mrs. Clinton was unaware that,

“The Navy had long been coordinating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and several Marine amphibious ships were operating off the coast.”

Washington Post resident #NeverTrump blogger Jennifer Rubin chimed in with, “Many Americans think foreign aid is a waste. Puerto Rico shows why it’s not.” Apparently not realizing that Puerto Rico is a US territory, not a foreign country. Not surprising as the Beltway media believes most of the noncoastal America is a foreign country.

Also not mentioned are the Vieques protests in 2001, led by none other than the Reverend Al Sharpton, assisted by Democrats Jesse Jackson, Robert Kennedy, JR, and Luis Gutierrez, which led to Reverend Al’s arrest and the shuttering of the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station. Imagine if, instead, it was developed into a true naval base? And how much easier and more efficient hurricane relief could have been, despite the caterwauling of the San Juan mayor.

If the media had any semblance of honesty and integrity (yes, I know I’m dreaming here), we would hear the entire story, not just the “Bush is Katrina is Trump” narrative. Sure, the federal government can be slow, certainly not as quick as Anderson Cooper getting jetted to wherever he can report on anything potentially damaging to President Trump. But that doesn’t let local government and workers off the hook.

The San Juan mayor can complain and blame, wearing a t-shirt with the latest anti-Trump hashtag, while her city languishes. Or she can do her job, as officials in Houston and South Florida did, ignoring CNN and instead shedding the virtue signaling t-shirt, putting on a normal shirt, roll up her sleeves, and serve her constituents and city.

Brian C Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn and Twitter.

The media, having found a successful play to cripple a Republican president, is trying to run the same play against President Trump. They forget that their entire playbook has been thrown at Trump since he announced his candidacy in 2015, without any success.

Hurricane Katrina was thought to be a turning point in the George W Bush presidency. The less than stellar response from the federal government was hung around his neck. Successfully. Despite ineptitude at the state and local levels. The New Orleans mayor at the time, Ray Nagin, is now in federal prison for bribery and fraud.

They tried the Katrina pass play in Houston and Florida after their recent hurricanes, stymied by a strong defense of competent governors and other state and local officials. Relief efforts in Houston and Florida were efficient and competent. The media had to take a knee.

Puerto Rico is different. San Juan Mayor Yulin Cruz is busy bashing President Trump and hurricane relief. Anderson Cooper from CNN, Johnny on the spot, was there to feel her pain and report her criticism of Trump.

How ironic that the mayor was interviewed with a backdrop of pallets of food and water sitting in a warehouse, rather than being distributed.

Anderson didn’t ask why supplies that are so desperately needed by the people were being used as a photo prop instead.

He also didn’t comment on the fact that nine days after Hurricane Maria hit, “Less than half of the 8,000 members of the Puerto Rico National Guard are on duty” according to the Washington Post. Or how the Teamsters Union, a branch of the Democrat Party, refused to deliver supplies, instead using the hurricane as contract negotiating leverage.

Interestingly, Mayor Cruz, while speaking to Mr. Cooper, perhaps auditioning for a gig on CNN or MSNBC, was wearing a t-shirt with “Help us we are dying” written on the front.

The 2017 version of “Hands up don’t shoot”. Amazing that an island with no food, water, electricity or other basic services has a t-shirt shop up and running, printing a shirt for the mayor to wear while being interviewed on CNN. Unless Mr. Cooper brought her the t-shirt to wear specifically for the interview, which would be a new low in media propagandizing.

Also, not likely to be reported on CNN is a phone call from a female police officer in Puerto Rico to a US radio station. She was upset and sharing “how the Mayor of San Juan is politicizing the situation and not offering help.” She highlighted “corruption within government within Puerto Rico and the Municipal authority of San Juan.” Sound familiar? Mayor Nagin and New Orleans?

If AG Jeff Sessions is paying attention, maybe these accusations could be investigated by the Department of Justice. Ray Nagin’s federal prison may have a women’s prison with a few extra cells. In fact, Sessions might want to consider building an all Democrat prison given the demand. Blago. Anthony Weiner. Nagin. Senator Menendez. Maybe even Mayor Cruz.

Even two-time failed presidential candidate, Hillary “What Happened” Clinton chimed in with a tweet. “President Trump, Sec. Mattis, and DOD should send the Navy, including the USNS Comfort, to Puerto Rico now. These are American citizens.” Is the irony not lost on her that the same tweet, with just a few name changes, could have been sent during the Benghazi massacre which she presided over?

Obviously out of the loop due to her book tour, Mrs. Clinton was unaware that,

“The Navy had long been coordinating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and several Marine amphibious ships were operating off the coast.”

Washington Post resident #NeverTrump blogger Jennifer Rubin chimed in with, “Many Americans think foreign aid is a waste. Puerto Rico shows why it’s not.” Apparently not realizing that Puerto Rico is a US territory, not a foreign country. Not surprising as the Beltway media believes most of the noncoastal America is a foreign country.

Also not mentioned are the Vieques protests in 2001, led by none other than the Reverend Al Sharpton, assisted by Democrats Jesse Jackson, Robert Kennedy, JR, and Luis Gutierrez, which led to Reverend Al’s arrest and the shuttering of the Roosevelt Roads Naval Station. Imagine if, instead, it was developed into a true naval base? And how much easier and more efficient hurricane relief could have been, despite the caterwauling of the San Juan mayor.

If the media had any semblance of honesty and integrity (yes, I know I’m dreaming here), we would hear the entire story, not just the “Bush is Katrina is Trump” narrative. Sure, the federal government can be slow, certainly not as quick as Anderson Cooper getting jetted to wherever he can report on anything potentially damaging to President Trump. But that doesn’t let local government and workers off the hook.

The San Juan mayor can complain and blame, wearing a t-shirt with the latest anti-Trump hashtag, while her city languishes. Or she can do her job, as officials in Houston and South Florida did, ignoring CNN and instead shedding the virtue signaling t-shirt, putting on a normal shirt, roll up her sleeves, and serve her constituents and city.

Brian C Joondeph, MD, MPS, a Denver based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn and Twitter.



Source link

The Loser of the Week Wasn't Kushner or Seuss, but the Media


Between the revelations of Ivanka Trump’s husband being female and Dr. Seuss being racist, last week was an amazing week for tabloidy mainstream news. Sadly, the media let the American public down yet again, offering cheap journalism, little context, blatant falsehoods, and inadequate corrections.

Let’s start with poor Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior advisor to President Trump.  Wired.com, described by Media Bias Fact Check as a left-of-center media source, reported that Kushner has been registered to vote as a woman since 2009.  Using this fact as the basis for their hatchet job, Wired shreds Kushner with accusations ranging from purposeful voter fraud to sheer incompetency, including this doozy:

“Is Kushner a woman? Did he just accidentally fill out the form incorrectly? Is he the victim of a malicious voter impersonation scheme? Unfortunately, there’s absolutely no way to know for sure, because he has yet to provide WIRED with a comment. But based on his recent history with paperwork, option two seems like a pretty safe bet.”

Predictably, the usual media suspects pounced on the “scandal” as breaking front-page news, including CNN and the Washington Post.

Surprisingly, New York Daily News engaged in rudimentary investigation, bothering to track down Kushner’s original voter registration. The result?  Kushner filled out the registration form correctly: The mistake was due to a data entry error by the New York Board of Elections. (Before we give New York Daily News kudos, note it has yet to update their original unflattering post on the story.)

CNN’s rather short piece, which includes two authors plus two contributors, has been updated but still contains specious jabs at Kushner and Trump about inappropriate email use and voter fraud. The Washington Post contains similar nefarious inferences as CNN but manages to go a step further, declaring that “maybe” Kushner was not responsible for the registration error.  Of course, there is no “maybe” about it, as confirmed by Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan, a Democrat.  Furthermore, The Post update is minimally and shoddily edited, with this line duplicated twice within the piece: “Democratic opposition research group American Bridge spotted the error, which was first reported by Wired on Wednesday.”

At least CNN and The Post offered some semblance of a timely correction.  Despite Wired snarkily stating it would be updated with any new information, it took three full days to edit, with the disclaimer that “it has been corrected to remove any implication that Kushner was at fault for the error.” Unfortunately, the piece still includes cheap shots at Kushner, including conjectures of voter fraud, nepotism, and a “chronic inability to correctly fill out boxes.”

Meanwhile, First Lady Melania Trump donated ten Dr. Seuss books to an elementary school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, only to have them publicly rejected by librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro, who responded:

“And then there’s the matter of the books themselves. You may not be aware of this, but Dr. Seuss is a bit of a cliché, a tired and worn ambassador for children’s literature. As First Lady of the United States, you have an incredible platform with world-class resources at your fingertips. Just down the street you have access to a phenomenal children’s librarian: Dr. Carla Hayden, the current Librarian of Congress. I have no doubt Dr. Hayden would have given you some stellar recommendations.  Another fact that many people are unaware of is that Dr. Seuss’s illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes.”

Clearly, the story here is Dr. Seuss being racist, and the appropriateness of a sanctimonious, lecture-style letter to a sitting First Lady. However, one would never know this based on the reporting of AOL (via Yahoo). AOL only suggests Mrs. Trump “slammed” a librarian whose sole motivation was to supply more contemporary books to less advantaged children. 

Such cherry-picking, meager reporting is astonishing.  No mention of racism.  No mention of Soeiro dressing up as The Cat in the Hat on her school’s twitter blog to help celebrate Seuss’ birthday.  No mention of the Democrat mayor of Seuss’ birthplace saying Soeiro’s “comments stink and are ridiculous.”  No mention of previous First Ladies reading Dr. Seuss books to children, including Michelle Obama, or if Soeiro would ever dare write Mrs. Obama a similarly toned rejection letter.  No mention of Soeiro’s responsibility to teach her students how to graciously accept gifts, also considering Mrs. Trump’s letter was addressed to the students, not their librarian.

And most overlooked of all, despite Soeiro imploring Mrs. Trump to contact Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden for book recommendations, there has been no mention of Hayden being pro-Dr. Seuss!  She must be a fan!  After all, Hayden wrote the foreword to the Library of Congress’s recent release, The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasure, described as follows:

“Packed with engaging facts on literary classics — from Ulysses to The Cat in the Hat to Shakespeare’s First Folio to The Catcher in the Rye — this package is an ode to the enduring magic and importance of books.”

​News readers desire unbiased journalism, not lazy reporting containing partisan taunts aimed at bolstering the “Trump Resistance.”  Read cautiously, folks.

Evan Boudreau is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Daily Caller.  Evan detests social media but can be reached at evanboudreaufeedback@gmail.com.

Between the revelations of Ivanka Trump’s husband being female and Dr. Seuss being racist, last week was an amazing week for tabloidy mainstream news. Sadly, the media let the American public down yet again, offering cheap journalism, little context, blatant falsehoods, and inadequate corrections.

Let’s start with poor Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior advisor to President Trump.  Wired.com, described by Media Bias Fact Check as a left-of-center media source, reported that Kushner has been registered to vote as a woman since 2009.  Using this fact as the basis for their hatchet job, Wired shreds Kushner with accusations ranging from purposeful voter fraud to sheer incompetency, including this doozy:

“Is Kushner a woman? Did he just accidentally fill out the form incorrectly? Is he the victim of a malicious voter impersonation scheme? Unfortunately, there’s absolutely no way to know for sure, because he has yet to provide WIRED with a comment. But based on his recent history with paperwork, option two seems like a pretty safe bet.”

Predictably, the usual media suspects pounced on the “scandal” as breaking front-page news, including CNN and the Washington Post.

Surprisingly, New York Daily News engaged in rudimentary investigation, bothering to track down Kushner’s original voter registration. The result?  Kushner filled out the registration form correctly: The mistake was due to a data entry error by the New York Board of Elections. (Before we give New York Daily News kudos, note it has yet to update their original unflattering post on the story.)

CNN’s rather short piece, which includes two authors plus two contributors, has been updated but still contains specious jabs at Kushner and Trump about inappropriate email use and voter fraud. The Washington Post contains similar nefarious inferences as CNN but manages to go a step further, declaring that “maybe” Kushner was not responsible for the registration error.  Of course, there is no “maybe” about it, as confirmed by Board of Elections Executive Director Michael Ryan, a Democrat.  Furthermore, The Post update is minimally and shoddily edited, with this line duplicated twice within the piece: “Democratic opposition research group American Bridge spotted the error, which was first reported by Wired on Wednesday.”

At least CNN and The Post offered some semblance of a timely correction.  Despite Wired snarkily stating it would be updated with any new information, it took three full days to edit, with the disclaimer that “it has been corrected to remove any implication that Kushner was at fault for the error.” Unfortunately, the piece still includes cheap shots at Kushner, including conjectures of voter fraud, nepotism, and a “chronic inability to correctly fill out boxes.”

Meanwhile, First Lady Melania Trump donated ten Dr. Seuss books to an elementary school in Cambridge, Massachusetts, only to have them publicly rejected by librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro, who responded:

“And then there’s the matter of the books themselves. You may not be aware of this, but Dr. Seuss is a bit of a cliché, a tired and worn ambassador for children’s literature. As First Lady of the United States, you have an incredible platform with world-class resources at your fingertips. Just down the street you have access to a phenomenal children’s librarian: Dr. Carla Hayden, the current Librarian of Congress. I have no doubt Dr. Hayden would have given you some stellar recommendations.  Another fact that many people are unaware of is that Dr. Seuss’s illustrations are steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures, and harmful stereotypes.”

Clearly, the story here is Dr. Seuss being racist, and the appropriateness of a sanctimonious, lecture-style letter to a sitting First Lady. However, one would never know this based on the reporting of AOL (via Yahoo). AOL only suggests Mrs. Trump “slammed” a librarian whose sole motivation was to supply more contemporary books to less advantaged children. 

Such cherry-picking, meager reporting is astonishing.  No mention of racism.  No mention of Soeiro dressing up as The Cat in the Hat on her school’s twitter blog to help celebrate Seuss’ birthday.  No mention of the Democrat mayor of Seuss’ birthplace saying Soeiro’s “comments stink and are ridiculous.”  No mention of previous First Ladies reading Dr. Seuss books to children, including Michelle Obama, or if Soeiro would ever dare write Mrs. Obama a similarly toned rejection letter.  No mention of Soeiro’s responsibility to teach her students how to graciously accept gifts, also considering Mrs. Trump’s letter was addressed to the students, not their librarian.

And most overlooked of all, despite Soeiro imploring Mrs. Trump to contact Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden for book recommendations, there has been no mention of Hayden being pro-Dr. Seuss!  She must be a fan!  After all, Hayden wrote the foreword to the Library of Congress’s recent release, The Card Catalog: Books, Cards, and Literary Treasure, described as follows:

“Packed with engaging facts on literary classics — from Ulysses to The Cat in the Hat to Shakespeare’s First Folio to The Catcher in the Rye — this package is an ode to the enduring magic and importance of books.”

​News readers desire unbiased journalism, not lazy reporting containing partisan taunts aimed at bolstering the “Trump Resistance.”  Read cautiously, folks.

Evan Boudreau is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The Daily Caller.  Evan detests social media but can be reached at evanboudreaufeedback@gmail.com.



Source link

The Progressive Psychology of Exploiting a Crisis


Within hours of a man carrying out a horrifyingly successful mass shooting in Las Vegas, in which the death toll as of this writing is almost sixty, Democrats are out in public demanding gun control legislation.  As disgustingly cynical as this is, it is not in the least bit surprising.  Many more will join the chorus in the coming days, while a complicit news media will keep the horror fresh to facilitate the Democrats’ exploitation of sadness and pain.

Never wishing to appear to their neo-communist handlers as weaklings inclined to put humanity before politics, or willing to pre-empt the revolution out of respect for human suffering, progressive politicians at America’s moment of “fundamental transformation” seem to want to look callous and inhuman, even as they claim to represent the interests of the suffering and downtrodden.

Rahm Emanuel’s infamous cat-out-of-the-bag moment – “never let a crisis go to waste” – has quickly evolved from an awkward instance of progressive self-revelation into the proud mantra of the American left.  Leftists are no longer even ashamed at the old accusation of “politicizing a tragedy.”  Tragedy – the bigger, the better – is the grease in their wheels.  Politicizing hardship has always been their stock in trade, and now, through years of practice, they have trained to the public to regard this extreme cynicism as the norm, so that the accusation no longer carries any meaning.

Democratic congressman Seth Moulton, refusing to participate in the moment of silence for the Las Vegas victims on the House floor, tweets this perfect example of crisis exploitation: “Now is not a moment for silence; it’s a time for action.”  Action, of course, means laws restricting individual liberty and property rights, in defiance of the U.S. Constitution.

The essence of the strategy indicated by this crisis-exploitation mantra always comes in the form of precisely this kind of exhortation: stop thinking and pass laws, right now, precipitously, without a moment to reflect on all those little matters of constitutionality and individual liberty that a thinking population would remember were intended by the Founding Fathers to serve as moral limits on the extension of government power.

A huge storm devastates a populated region?  “Stop thinking; pass laws restricting greenhouse gas emissions now!”

Hundreds of people are shot, and a nation is in shock at the inhumanity of the crime?  “Stop thinking; pass laws restricting gun ownership now!”

This is how communist revolutions, whether direct and violent or indirect and gradual, must proceed, especially in a nation with explicit structural limits in place to thwart state overreach.  Catch the population with their intellectual guard down, at a moment of feeling weak, heartbroken, forlorn, or angry, and pounce on them with demagogic cries of “Forward!”  Before they know it, they will have acceded to things no freedom-loving people would ever accept if they were thinking clearly.

The progressive advantage, however – and this explains the “ratchet mechanism” of progressivism’s advance – is that once a society has been forced or hoodwinked into increased social control, the newly restrictive conditions tend to become new psychological and moral norms quickly.  Hence, it becomes almost impossible to rescind even the most draconian assaults on the individual, as most people get “comfortable with” (i.e., inured to) living within the smaller range of personal freedom, like sheep herded into smaller and smaller pens.

When it comes to using death, hardship, and bloodshed to achieve their authoritarian aims, the only difference between “democratic” progressives and old-style communist revolutionaries is that the latter promote the death, hardship, and bloodshed directly and openly, whereas the former, in order to keep up the appearance of being respectable public servants, need to exploit the death, hardship, and bloodshed they find along the way.  They do this by “never letting a crisis go to waste” – i.e., turning any large-scale moment of pain and suffering into a rallying cry for new laws, meaning more power – for themselves, of course.

Think, finally, of the psychology behind this crisis-exploitation strategy.  If you truly believed that human suffering – particularly sudden, unanticipated suffering on a mass scale – is not merely pragmatically useful to your aims of greater government authority, but actually necessary to prodding the public toward your aims, what would your attitude have to be toward such suffering?

How, for example, would you have to train yourself to look at instances of violence and destruction if you regarded your political platform as being practically dependent on such instances as tipping points for pushing your desired legislative action?  Wouldn’t you sort of have to hope for them?  Wouldn’t you gradually come to feel that these horrors, though “regrettable,” were sort of beneficial, in the sense of being necessary conditions for the advancement of your policy agenda?  Wouldn’t you, in effect, start to find such violence and destruction desirable, at least as means to your ends?  And what would such a moral reasoning process do to your character?

Among other things, it might make you cold and calculating regarding legitimate human suffering in a moment of crisis, as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were during the Benghazi attack.  It might make you hatefully nihilistic about the value of other people’s lives, as Robert Reich was when he playfully told university students how a properly managed government health care system would simply tell sick old people, “We’re going to let you die.”

And let me be clear about this.  The perspective I am talking about is completely different from saying, “Everyone benefits from suffering” or “What does not kill me makes me stronger.”  The progressive is saying, rather, “Without other people’s suffering, I cannot further my own aims of increased power.”

Furthermore, it may well be true that certain kinds of hardship are necessary to move a population to important political action.  For example, a civilization long oppressed in conditions of what Tocqueville called soft despotism – as we are today – may well need the suffering of utter social collapse to shake it out of its submissive slumber.

But to revel in human suffering – or at least instinctively appreciate it – as the means to promoting soft despotism – i.e., as the impetus for enacting oppression through regulation – is pure inhumanity.  The psyche that could train itself to want or count on such moments of exploitable suffering is truly tyrannical in the literal sense define by Plato – namely, the condition of being ruled by irrational desire.  In such a soul, reason has been utterly usurped by power-lust – the same condition such souls seek to impose on whole societies.

Daren Jonescu writes about politics, philosophy, education, and the decline of civilization at http://darenjonescu.com.

Within hours of a man carrying out a horrifyingly successful mass shooting in Las Vegas, in which the death toll as of this writing is almost sixty, Democrats are out in public demanding gun control legislation.  As disgustingly cynical as this is, it is not in the least bit surprising.  Many more will join the chorus in the coming days, while a complicit news media will keep the horror fresh to facilitate the Democrats’ exploitation of sadness and pain.

Never wishing to appear to their neo-communist handlers as weaklings inclined to put humanity before politics, or willing to pre-empt the revolution out of respect for human suffering, progressive politicians at America’s moment of “fundamental transformation” seem to want to look callous and inhuman, even as they claim to represent the interests of the suffering and downtrodden.

Rahm Emanuel’s infamous cat-out-of-the-bag moment – “never let a crisis go to waste” – has quickly evolved from an awkward instance of progressive self-revelation into the proud mantra of the American left.  Leftists are no longer even ashamed at the old accusation of “politicizing a tragedy.”  Tragedy – the bigger, the better – is the grease in their wheels.  Politicizing hardship has always been their stock in trade, and now, through years of practice, they have trained to the public to regard this extreme cynicism as the norm, so that the accusation no longer carries any meaning.

Democratic congressman Seth Moulton, refusing to participate in the moment of silence for the Las Vegas victims on the House floor, tweets this perfect example of crisis exploitation: “Now is not a moment for silence; it’s a time for action.”  Action, of course, means laws restricting individual liberty and property rights, in defiance of the U.S. Constitution.

The essence of the strategy indicated by this crisis-exploitation mantra always comes in the form of precisely this kind of exhortation: stop thinking and pass laws, right now, precipitously, without a moment to reflect on all those little matters of constitutionality and individual liberty that a thinking population would remember were intended by the Founding Fathers to serve as moral limits on the extension of government power.

A huge storm devastates a populated region?  “Stop thinking; pass laws restricting greenhouse gas emissions now!”

Hundreds of people are shot, and a nation is in shock at the inhumanity of the crime?  “Stop thinking; pass laws restricting gun ownership now!”

This is how communist revolutions, whether direct and violent or indirect and gradual, must proceed, especially in a nation with explicit structural limits in place to thwart state overreach.  Catch the population with their intellectual guard down, at a moment of feeling weak, heartbroken, forlorn, or angry, and pounce on them with demagogic cries of “Forward!”  Before they know it, they will have acceded to things no freedom-loving people would ever accept if they were thinking clearly.

The progressive advantage, however – and this explains the “ratchet mechanism” of progressivism’s advance – is that once a society has been forced or hoodwinked into increased social control, the newly restrictive conditions tend to become new psychological and moral norms quickly.  Hence, it becomes almost impossible to rescind even the most draconian assaults on the individual, as most people get “comfortable with” (i.e., inured to) living within the smaller range of personal freedom, like sheep herded into smaller and smaller pens.

When it comes to using death, hardship, and bloodshed to achieve their authoritarian aims, the only difference between “democratic” progressives and old-style communist revolutionaries is that the latter promote the death, hardship, and bloodshed directly and openly, whereas the former, in order to keep up the appearance of being respectable public servants, need to exploit the death, hardship, and bloodshed they find along the way.  They do this by “never letting a crisis go to waste” – i.e., turning any large-scale moment of pain and suffering into a rallying cry for new laws, meaning more power – for themselves, of course.

Think, finally, of the psychology behind this crisis-exploitation strategy.  If you truly believed that human suffering – particularly sudden, unanticipated suffering on a mass scale – is not merely pragmatically useful to your aims of greater government authority, but actually necessary to prodding the public toward your aims, what would your attitude have to be toward such suffering?

How, for example, would you have to train yourself to look at instances of violence and destruction if you regarded your political platform as being practically dependent on such instances as tipping points for pushing your desired legislative action?  Wouldn’t you sort of have to hope for them?  Wouldn’t you gradually come to feel that these horrors, though “regrettable,” were sort of beneficial, in the sense of being necessary conditions for the advancement of your policy agenda?  Wouldn’t you, in effect, start to find such violence and destruction desirable, at least as means to your ends?  And what would such a moral reasoning process do to your character?

Among other things, it might make you cold and calculating regarding legitimate human suffering in a moment of crisis, as Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were during the Benghazi attack.  It might make you hatefully nihilistic about the value of other people’s lives, as Robert Reich was when he playfully told university students how a properly managed government health care system would simply tell sick old people, “We’re going to let you die.”

And let me be clear about this.  The perspective I am talking about is completely different from saying, “Everyone benefits from suffering” or “What does not kill me makes me stronger.”  The progressive is saying, rather, “Without other people’s suffering, I cannot further my own aims of increased power.”

Furthermore, it may well be true that certain kinds of hardship are necessary to move a population to important political action.  For example, a civilization long oppressed in conditions of what Tocqueville called soft despotism – as we are today – may well need the suffering of utter social collapse to shake it out of its submissive slumber.

But to revel in human suffering – or at least instinctively appreciate it – as the means to promoting soft despotism – i.e., as the impetus for enacting oppression through regulation – is pure inhumanity.  The psyche that could train itself to want or count on such moments of exploitable suffering is truly tyrannical in the literal sense define by Plato – namely, the condition of being ruled by irrational desire.  In such a soul, reason has been utterly usurped by power-lust – the same condition such souls seek to impose on whole societies.

Daren Jonescu writes about politics, philosophy, education, and the decline of civilization at http://darenjonescu.com.



Source link

facebook.jpg

MAG: Did Manafort Use Trump to Curry Favor With Putin Ally?


On the evening of April 11, 2016, two weeks after Donald Trump hired the political consultant  Paul Manafort to lead his campaign’s efforts to wrangle Republican delegates, Manafort emailed his old lieutenant Konstantin Kilimnik, who had worked for him for a decade in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.

“I assume you have shown our friends my media coverage, right?” Manafort wrote.

“Absolutely,” Kilimnik responded a few hours later from Kiev. “Every article.”

“How do we use to get whole,” Manafort asks. “Has OVD operation seen?”

According to a source close to Manafort, the initials “OVD” refer to Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska, a Russian oligarch and one of Russia’s richest men. The source also confirmed that one of the individuals repeatedly mentioned in the email exchange as an intermediary to Deripaska is an aide to the oligarch.

The emails were provided to The Atlantic on condition of anonymity. They are part of a trove of documents turned over by lawyers for Trump’s presidential campaign to investigators looking into the Kremlin’s interference in the 2016 election. A source close to Manafort confirmed their authenticity. Excerpts from these emails were first reported by The Washington Post, but the full text of these exchanges, provided to The Atlantic, shows that Manafort attempted to leverage his leadership role in the Trump campaign to curry favor with a Russian oligarch close to the Russian president, Vladimir Putin. Manafort was deeply in debt, and did not earn a salary from the Trump campaign.

There is no evidence that Deripaska met with Manafort in 2016, or knew about Manafort’s attempts to reach him. Yet the extended correspondence between Manafort and Kilimnik paints a more complete portrait of Manafort’s willingness to trade on his campaign position. Manafort is a high-profile focus of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the possibility of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. FBI agents raided Manafort’s home in July.

Deripaska had been Manafort’s client in various post-Soviet states, but the relationship soured after an investment Manafort managed for Deripaska fell apart. Manafort had represented Deripaska in Georgia and Ukraine, and his firm also represented Deripaska’s commercial interests in Montenegro.

In 2007, Manafort and his partners established a private equity fund that would acquire Ukrainian firms and merge them into larger national entities. Manafort and his partners collected over $7 million in fees for managing this fund from firms controlled by Deripaska, according to a 2014 petition filed in the Cayman Islands, filed by Deripaska’s lawyers.

In 2008, Deripaska transferred $18.9 million to the fund so  that it could purchase Black Sea Cable, a Ukrainian telecommunication company, according to the petition. It’s not clear what became of Deripaska’s investment, or if the private-equity fund actually took control of the company. In the Cayman Islands petition, his lawyers alleged the venture had been botched, and requested the “winding down of the partnership.” The petition alleges that when Deripaska asked for an accounting of the investment in 2013, Manafort simply didn’t respond. “It appears that Paul Manafort and [his deputy] Rick Gates have simply disappeared,” the Russian oligarch’s lawyers wrote.  

Manafort’s spokesman Jason Maloni has denied that Manafort had done anything wrong. “With respect to the Caymans controversy. Mr. Manafort believes the matter is dormant and will not be pursued further,” he said in a prepared statement. A search of court records shows no filings since 2015.

The emails do not specify how Manafort hoped “to get whole,” but they repeatedly refer to the matter at the heart of the Cayman Islands dispute. It is unclear from the Cayman Islands petition, or from a 2015 filing in Virginia by the liquidators appointed by the Caymans court, whether the collapse of the joint venture left Manafort in debt to Deripaska.

But according to financial records filed in Cyprus in 2015, Manafort was in debt to shell companies connected to pro-Russian interests in Ukraine for some $16 million. Maloni denies that Manafort owed funds to Deripaska, insisting instead that it was Manafort who hoped to collect on debts owed by former clients. “It’s no secret Paul was owed money going back to 2014,” Maloni said in a separate prepared statement. He described the emails as “innocuous.”

Vera Kurochkina, a spokesperson for Deripaska, offered a different account. “The suggestion that Mr. Deripaska owes money to Mr. Manafort is absurd,” she said. “Except for the contents of these emails, Mr. Manafort has never made any such claim. To the contrary, as set out in widely reported court filings, it is Mr. Manafort who has failed to provide any accounting in respect of investments for which he was responsible. Mr. Manafort is the debtor here, not the creditor.”

Despite his apparently precarious financial situation, Manafort went to work for the Trump campaign for free in March 2016. Later that year, he took out $16 million in loans against his New York properties. (The loans are now being investigated by both the Manhattan District Attorney and the New York Attorney General.) In the email exchange that took place two weeks after starting on the campaign, Manafort seemed primarily concerned with the Russian oligarch’s approval for his work with Trump—and asked for confirmation that Deripaska was indeed paying attention.

“Yes, I have been sending everything to Victor, who has been forwarding the coverage directly to OVD,” Kilimnik responded in April, referring again to Deripaska. (“Victor” is a Deripaska aide, the source close to Manafort confirmed.) “Frankly, the coverage has been much better than Trump’s,” Kilimnik wrote. “In any case it will hugely enhance your reputation no matter what happens.”

Kurochkina denied that claim. “There is no evidence that these or any other emails were sent by either Mr. Manafort or Mr. Kilimnik to Mr. Deripaska and they were not,” she said. “Mr. Deripaska had no communications, meetings, briefings, or other interactions with Mr. Manafort during, after, or in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election or for many years prior to that time.”

By the end of April, Manafort was vying for control of the Trump campaign, and was named its chairman on May 19. On July 7, two weeks before Trump accepted the Republican nomination, Manafort again wrote to Kilimnik. He forwarded questions he’d received from a reporter for the English-language Kyiv Post about Black Sea Cable—the sole investment made by the venture. Manafort asked Kilimnik, “Is there any movement on this issue with our friend?” Manafort seemed concerned about whether the journalist’s probing had caught the attention of Deripaska. A source close to Manafort confirmed to me that “our friend” indeed referred to the Russian oligarch. Kilimnik did not respond to requests for comment.

Referring to the journalist from the Kyiv Post, “I would ignore him,” Kilimnik wrote back, responding within minutes to reassure Manafort that it was just “a junior reporter” and nothing to worry about.

In the back-and-forth that followed, Kilimnik suggested that Manafort’s efforts to please Deripaska were succeeding.

“I am carefully optimistic on the issue of our biggest interest,” Kilimnik went on. “Our friend V said there is lately significantly more attention to the campaign in his boss’s mind, and he will be most likely looking for ways to reach out to you pretty soon, understanding all the time sensitivity. I am more than sure that it will be resolved and we will get back to the original relationship with V.’s boss.” The source close to Manafort confirmed that “V” is a reference to Victor, the Deripaska aide.

Manafort had spent several lucrative years working for Deripaska, both as a high-priced consultant-for-hire in former Soviet republics, and as an investor of Deripaska’s money before the collapse of their venture. Manafort jumped on the suggestion that the campaign might offer the opportunity to restore his relationship with Deripaska: “Tell V boss that if he needs private briefings we can accommodate,” he wrote back eight minutes later.

On July 8, the Kyiv Post story on Manafort and Black Sea Cable dropped, outlining in detail how Manafort’s investment on Deripaska’s behalf went “awry.” Kilimnik forwarded the story to Manafort, and added a note to soothe him. “Nothing new here, other than bad and shallow journalism,” he wrote. Manafort, however, seemed more concerned with what Deripaska might think. “You should cover V on this story and make certain that V understands that this is all BS,” Manafort writes, “and that the real facts are the ones we passed along last year.”

On July 29, a week after Trump accepted the Republican nomination, Manafort received another email from Kilimnik, this one with the subject line “Black Caviar.” “I met today with the guy who gave you your biggest black caviar jar several years ago,” Kilimnik wrote. “We spent about 5 hours talking about his story, and I have several important messages from him to you. He asked me to go and brief you on our conversation. I said I have to run it by you first, but in principle I am prepared to do it, provided that he buys me a ticket. It has to do about the future of his country, and is quite interesting. So, if you are not absolutely against the concept, please let me know which dates/places will work, even next week, and I could come and see you.”

Manafort agreed to the cryptic request, responding “Tuesday is best.”  

By this point, the correspondence between Manafort and Kilimnik had grown even more veiled. There was no longer mention of Victor or even V; the reference to Deripaska as OVD had fallen out. Yet there are two clues that may hint at the identity of the person whom Kilimnik describes as “the guy who gave you your biggest black caviar jar.” One is a reference to “his country,” apparently not the same as Kilimnik’s, who is from Ukraine. The second is the reference to jars of black caviar. Investigators believe that to be a reference to payments, The Washington Post reported.

On July 31, Kilimnik and Manafort corresponded again to firm up their plans for a dinner meeting in New York on August 2. “I need about two hours,” Kilimnik wrote to Manafort on July 31, “because it is a long caviar story to tell.”

According to The Washington Post, Manafort and Kilimnik met on August 2 at the Grand Havana Club, a Manhattan cigar club. Kilimnik told the Post that the two “discussed ‘unpaid bills’ and ‘current news.’ But he said the sessions were ‘private visits’ that were ‘in no way related to politics or the presidential campaign in the U.S.’” The emails preceding the meeting, however, suggest they had more than bills and news to discuss. Kilimnik had said he needed to relay a “long caviar story” and “several important messages” from his contact about the “future of his country.”

Just days before Kilimnik and Manafort met for cigars and caviar stories in Manhattan, Trump appeared at a campaign rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania. “Wouldn’t it be a great thing if we could get along with Russia?” he said.

Manafort was ousted from the Trump campaign later that month, following a New York Times report that Manafort’s name was listed in a secret ledger of cash payments from the ruling pro-Russian party in Ukraine, and detailing his failed venture with Deripaska. He submitted his resignation on August 19.



Source link

Why do Democrats want people to be victims?

Las Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock was a millionaire accountant who had worked at Lockheed Martin and according to an unverified copy of his voter’s registration…he was Democrat. He owned guns that most people can’t afford. He owned machine gun type weapons and it was his 2nd Amendment right to own them.

 
My beef is that Liberals don’t want law abiding citizens to own a gun they can afford. Restrictive gun laws didn’t stop Paddock, they just stop the average citizen.
 
Although most of the black people on Chicago’s east side are Democrats, I don’t think there are too many millionaires there where crime has skyrocketed and propelled Chicago to one of the nation’s most deadly cities…with the most restrictions on owning a gun.
 
Criminals of any race can and will get guns no matter what laws Democrats put in place. Only law abiding people follow laws…and that leaves them vulnerable to becoming victims. Why do Democrats want middle-class people to be victims?
 
Millionaires and billionaires can buy any kind of gun they want and slaughter whoever they want, wherever they want it seems. An average citizen who’s a Democrat or a Republican can at least have a chance with a cheap .38 special.
 

They can protect themselves and their families. When it’s time to try to protect you and your family, something is better than nothing…isn’t it? Having nothing at a time when you need something, will probably get you killed. Someone please tell me why Democrats hate black people and the middle-class?