Day: March 24, 2018

Patriotism and the Three Scoundrels


The three biggest scoundrels of the swamp – Comey, Clapper, and Brennan – have been fired, which is a good start.  And yes, it has to be said that there are good and decent, even patriotic people in the swamp, probably the majority, and that eventually, when the top layers get scraped off, we can look forward to more honest government.  But even then, as Jefferson said, we have to keep a careful eye on people who have power without responsibility.

And now the scoundrels are showing their true colors.  Now they are openly political again, without the mumbo-jumbo of the D.C. front.

So let’s examine the latest scream of defiance from John Brennan – because that might show who he really is.  We know, from his own confession, that he voted for the Communist Party of the USA earlier in life, and no congressman has so far dared to ask him the relevant question: “Are you still a communist?”

If he gave an honest answer (not likely), he might tell us why he, of all people, was picked by Bill and Hillary for the most powerful and confidential post in the world: the director of the CIA. 

Well, don’t expect a confession – not yet.  This is what we hear from corruptocrat Brennan to POTUS, his former boss and the commander in chief, Donald Trump. 

When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America…America will triumph over you.

As the left just loves to tell us, “patriotism is the last resort of a scoundrel.” 

But of course, it is Brennan and the other two stooges who are the scoundrels, who are exposed (thanks to the Strzok-Page love duet on Twitter), who are the subversive, un-American, anti-American saboteurs against our duly elected POTUS. 

So I find it interesting that Comey, Clapper, and Brennan are suddenly waving the bloody flag.  They have unanimously started to sound patriotic, and cursing POTUS Trump as “a venal, immoral, corrupt demogogue” who is scapegoating “Andy McCabe.”  Mr. Brennan is now a flag-waving patriot, and “you [POTUS] will not destroy America … America will triumph over you.” 

My word, Martha, that sounds like Senator Joe again!

Mr. Brennan is giving his mad gorilla rage.  But he is doing it in the language of patriotism, a language the left has long hated and tried to erase from America.  Brennan is a former communist, after all, and they  hated  patriotism with a bloody passion and celebrated “internationalism,” which is now called “globalism.”  From their  point of view, they are winning, and it is true that Americans have been suckered into voting for radical leftists of the worst kind: Bill and Hillary, Barack and Michelle. 

Clapper and Comey are imitating the rhetoric that used to be popular after the Civil War, when patriotic rhetoric flourished, in part to heal the bleeding wounds of a war in which 600,000 Americans died.  After 1900, Teddy Roosevelt might still give a high patriotic rant, but then it kind of faded. 

Now we know that the left doesn’t talk that way in private.  They think patriotism is a bad joke, a sucker play for the people they despise, “with their God and their guns,” as Hillary does, and Bill, and Kerry, and Obama and Michelle.  “You didn’t build that!” is the favorite Obama slogan against hardworking white America, apparently from those twenty years the Obamas spent at the feet of Jerry Wright, the hate-everything race-ranter. 

These  people do not talk patriotism in private. 

But here they are, waving the flag after they have been fired for cause by POTUS Trump.  What’s going on?

Here is a clue.  Obama’s speechwriters have not been taking a vacation.  They are pumping out Obama talking points again, and chances are that they get to visit the Obamas and Valerie Jarrett at their place in D.C. 

Because, gotta remember, Obama never, never gives up his lifelong thirst for power. 

So John Favreau, head of O’s speechwriting team, has started a media company called “Crooked Media.”  It’s amazing what these people come up with when they start freely associating, because “crooked media” is a pretty good name for the fake media that are now dominating the American mind, thanks to the most concentrated media ownership in American history. 

In the 1980s, there were almost a hundred newspaper and station owners in the United States.  Today, after historically unprecedented buyouts and consolidations, we have about half a dozen trans-national corporations, people who have no loyalty to the United States.  None at all. 

So Obama or Michelle can just get on the phone to Agitprop Central and talk about the left propaganda line those companies are supposed to take next. 

We know from the JournoList exposé (thanks to Tucker Carlson) that the left really sings from the same hymnal every day, just like the old Stalin days, with coordination among all the Biggies (NYT, WaPo, alphabets), plus – and this is important – the U.K. Guardian, the very Office for the Propagation of the Faith in the U.K.  

We are told that speechwriter John Favreau is Obama’s alter ego. 

“Barack trusts him[.] … And Barack doesn’t trust too many folks with that – the notion of surrendering that much authority over his own words.”  In Obama’s own words, Favreau is his “mind reader.” … During the campaigns, Obama was obsessed with election tracking polls, jokingly referring to them as his “daily crack.”

Turns out that their corporation, “Crooked Media” sends out a podcast, wittily called “Pod Save America” (get it? funny, no?).

What these arrogant ignoramuses are doing is ridiculing the old patriotic speeches of post-Civil War America, when the nation, with its bleeding wounds, needed the language of unity. 

Why?  Because these power-hungry plotters believe that you, conservatives, normal Americans, with your “God and your guns,” are going to fall for their scam.  

Some people will.  But we hope more people will exercise good judgment and realize that we are seeing a “back to power” campaign by the Obamas, who are plotting every day to seize the top again, maybe with the help of their plants in the U.S. government. 

Don’t put it past them.

The three biggest scoundrels of the swamp – Comey, Clapper, and Brennan – have been fired, which is a good start.  And yes, it has to be said that there are good and decent, even patriotic people in the swamp, probably the majority, and that eventually, when the top layers get scraped off, we can look forward to more honest government.  But even then, as Jefferson said, we have to keep a careful eye on people who have power without responsibility.

And now the scoundrels are showing their true colors.  Now they are openly political again, without the mumbo-jumbo of the D.C. front.

So let’s examine the latest scream of defiance from John Brennan – because that might show who he really is.  We know, from his own confession, that he voted for the Communist Party of the USA earlier in life, and no congressman has so far dared to ask him the relevant question: “Are you still a communist?”

If he gave an honest answer (not likely), he might tell us why he, of all people, was picked by Bill and Hillary for the most powerful and confidential post in the world: the director of the CIA. 

Well, don’t expect a confession – not yet.  This is what we hear from corruptocrat Brennan to POTUS, his former boss and the commander in chief, Donald Trump. 

When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America…America will triumph over you.

As the left just loves to tell us, “patriotism is the last resort of a scoundrel.” 

But of course, it is Brennan and the other two stooges who are the scoundrels, who are exposed (thanks to the Strzok-Page love duet on Twitter), who are the subversive, un-American, anti-American saboteurs against our duly elected POTUS. 

So I find it interesting that Comey, Clapper, and Brennan are suddenly waving the bloody flag.  They have unanimously started to sound patriotic, and cursing POTUS Trump as “a venal, immoral, corrupt demogogue” who is scapegoating “Andy McCabe.”  Mr. Brennan is now a flag-waving patriot, and “you [POTUS] will not destroy America … America will triumph over you.” 

My word, Martha, that sounds like Senator Joe again!

Mr. Brennan is giving his mad gorilla rage.  But he is doing it in the language of patriotism, a language the left has long hated and tried to erase from America.  Brennan is a former communist, after all, and they  hated  patriotism with a bloody passion and celebrated “internationalism,” which is now called “globalism.”  From their  point of view, they are winning, and it is true that Americans have been suckered into voting for radical leftists of the worst kind: Bill and Hillary, Barack and Michelle. 

Clapper and Comey are imitating the rhetoric that used to be popular after the Civil War, when patriotic rhetoric flourished, in part to heal the bleeding wounds of a war in which 600,000 Americans died.  After 1900, Teddy Roosevelt might still give a high patriotic rant, but then it kind of faded. 

Now we know that the left doesn’t talk that way in private.  They think patriotism is a bad joke, a sucker play for the people they despise, “with their God and their guns,” as Hillary does, and Bill, and Kerry, and Obama and Michelle.  “You didn’t build that!” is the favorite Obama slogan against hardworking white America, apparently from those twenty years the Obamas spent at the feet of Jerry Wright, the hate-everything race-ranter. 

These  people do not talk patriotism in private. 

But here they are, waving the flag after they have been fired for cause by POTUS Trump.  What’s going on?

Here is a clue.  Obama’s speechwriters have not been taking a vacation.  They are pumping out Obama talking points again, and chances are that they get to visit the Obamas and Valerie Jarrett at their place in D.C. 

Because, gotta remember, Obama never, never gives up his lifelong thirst for power. 

So John Favreau, head of O’s speechwriting team, has started a media company called “Crooked Media.”  It’s amazing what these people come up with when they start freely associating, because “crooked media” is a pretty good name for the fake media that are now dominating the American mind, thanks to the most concentrated media ownership in American history. 

In the 1980s, there were almost a hundred newspaper and station owners in the United States.  Today, after historically unprecedented buyouts and consolidations, we have about half a dozen trans-national corporations, people who have no loyalty to the United States.  None at all. 

So Obama or Michelle can just get on the phone to Agitprop Central and talk about the left propaganda line those companies are supposed to take next. 

We know from the JournoList exposé (thanks to Tucker Carlson) that the left really sings from the same hymnal every day, just like the old Stalin days, with coordination among all the Biggies (NYT, WaPo, alphabets), plus – and this is important – the U.K. Guardian, the very Office for the Propagation of the Faith in the U.K.  

We are told that speechwriter John Favreau is Obama’s alter ego. 

“Barack trusts him[.] … And Barack doesn’t trust too many folks with that – the notion of surrendering that much authority over his own words.”  In Obama’s own words, Favreau is his “mind reader.” … During the campaigns, Obama was obsessed with election tracking polls, jokingly referring to them as his “daily crack.”

Turns out that their corporation, “Crooked Media” sends out a podcast, wittily called “Pod Save America” (get it? funny, no?).

What these arrogant ignoramuses are doing is ridiculing the old patriotic speeches of post-Civil War America, when the nation, with its bleeding wounds, needed the language of unity. 

Why?  Because these power-hungry plotters believe that you, conservatives, normal Americans, with your “God and your guns,” are going to fall for their scam.  

Some people will.  But we hope more people will exercise good judgment and realize that we are seeing a “back to power” campaign by the Obamas, who are plotting every day to seize the top again, maybe with the help of their plants in the U.S. government. 

Don’t put it past them.



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Good Riddance to Disloyal Mr. McMaster


The departure of national security adviser H.R. McMaster and his replacement by former U.N. ambassador John Bolton are both significant and welcome.  Bolton will be a team player on Team Trump and not someone with his own agenda who seeks the advice and counsel of those trying to undermine the Trump administration.

Leaks such as the one of the memo warning President Trump not to congratulate Vladimir Putin on Putin’s re-election will undoubtedly stop, as McMaster and his staff were viewed as the source for many of them.

The White House national security team, already facing calls for the ouster of top adviser H.R. McMaster, was tagged by a key lawmaker with leaking confidential notes ordering President Trump not to congratulate Russian President Vladimir Putin for his election win.


Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a conservative leader and foreign policy expert, expressed outrage at the leak and suggested that it and others thought to come from the national security council are crimes[.] …


Meadows said that since it dealt with a foreign leader, the leak “had to” come from the president’s national security staff, headed by McMaster.

It is no mystery why former national security adviser general Michael Flynn was unmasked by the Deep State and became the early target of a series of illegal leaks targeting Team Trump.  Flynn was an unabashed critic of President Barack Hussein Obama and someone who would take a bullet for Trump in any political battle.  The Deep State had no use for someone like Flynn and preferred someone less loyal to Trump and more accommodating to the “resistance” put in his place.  That man was to be H.R. McMaster, and the story of how he got to be President Trump’s national security adviser speaks volumes about his true loyalties.

As Israeli journalist Caroline Glick notes in a recent article:

[T]here is the issue of how McMaster got there in the first place.  Trump interviewed McMaster at Mara Lago [sic] for a half an hour.  He was under terrible pressure after firing Flynn to find someone.


And who recommended McMaster?  You won’t believe this.


Senator John McCain.  That’s right.  The NSA got his job on the basis of a recommendation from the man who just saved Obamacare.


Obviously, at this point, Trump has nothing to lose by angering McCain.  I mean what will he do?  Vote for Obamacare?

President Trump has expressed his continued support for McMaster, even after a letter McMaster sent to Benghazi liar and serial unmasker Susan Rice was revealed in which McMaster said he was perfectly fine with a person who should be a target of her very own special prosecutor retaining her security clearance.  As Fox News Politics reported on August 5:

Trump issued a statement late Friday supporting McMaster.


“General McMaster and I are working very well together,” the statement read.  “He is a good man and very pro-Israel.  I am grateful for the work he continues to do serving our country.”


McMaster already had been in the spotlight for the series of firings he’s ordered on the National Security Council.  Most recently, he ousted Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council who had been viewed as a Trump loyalist.


But Circa first reported Thursday that McMaster sent a letter giving Rice access to classified material, weeks after her alleged role was disclosed in ‘unmasking’ identities of Trump associates in intelligence reports.

McMaster may have served his country well while in uniform, but he is not serving his country well as national security adviser.  McMaster insists that the letter to Rice was a pro forma letter sent to every former national security adviser and every former president.  But Susan Rice’s record is anything but pro forma, and precedent can be broken, especially when the individual arguably should be in jail and not in public service.

McMaster’s cozy relationship with Benghazi liar Susan Rice, who thought traitor Bowe Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction” and was likely part of the cabal that unmasked Flynn, has long raised eyebrows:

Last year, McMaster drew the ire of nearly all Trump supporters when he inexplicably defended Obama flack Susan Rice’s unmasking of Trump Team members for the purposes of spying.


In addition, McMaster even went so far as to consult Susan Rice on issues and take her advice.

McMaster is virtually alone among Trump associates and supporters in thinking Susan Rice did nothing wrong in the unmasking and leaking of information on Trump officials like Flynn:

National security adviser H.R. McMaster has reportedly determined that Susan Rice, who served in his role during the Obama administration, did not do anything wrong amid accusations of “unmasking” the identities of Trump associates.


Republican lawmakers are trying to conclude whether Rice revealed the identities of Trump transition team members that were redacted in intelligence reports. Bloomberg on Thursday cited two intelligence officials saying that McMaster had found no evidence of wrongdoing.


The news comes the same day Circa reported that McMaster sent Rice a letter at the end of April informing her that she would keep her security clearance and that the National Security Council would waive her “need to know” requirement.

McMaster’s activities and personnel decisions belied his loyalty to the current administration and certainly called into question his professed pro-Israel credentials.

McMaster in contrast is deeply hostile to Israel and to Trump.  According to senior officials aware of his behavior, he constantly refers to Israel as the occupying power and insists falsely and constantly that a country named Palestine existed where Israel is located until 1948 when it was destroyed by the Jews.


Many of you will remember that a few days before Trump’s visit to Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his advisers were blindsided when the Americans suddenly told them that no Israeli official was allowed to accompany Trump to the Western Wall.


What hasn’t been reported is that it was McMaster who pressured Trump to agree not to let Netanyahu accompany him to the Western Wall.  At the time, I and other reporters were led to believe that this was the decision of rogue anti-Israel officers at the US consulate in Jerusalem.  But it wasn’t.  It was McMaster.


And even that, it works out wasn’t sufficient for McMaster.  He pressured Trump to cancel his visit to the Wall and only visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial – ala the Islamists who insist that the only reason Israel exists is European guilt over the Holocaust.

McMaster’s actions have raised the question of just whose side he is on.  As has been noted here, McMaster has retained all former Obama assistants to the president and deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, including Ben Rhodes’s staffers, as the question of who is leaking classified information for political purposes remains.  That under-covered story was brought up by retired U.S. Army colonel Tony Schaffer on Lou Dobbs’s show on Fox Business: 

Ben Rhodes and Barack Obama’s staff are still in the National Security Council. H.R. McMaster has not fired any of them.  Instead he fired the man who agrees with Trump’s agenda, Col. [Derek] Harvey.


McMaster doesn’t see it as a problem.


“There’s no such thing as a holdover,” H.R. McMaster said back in July, referring to the career professionals who stayed on the council after the presidential transition. McMaster added that career staffers are loyal to the president.


Lt. Col. [Anthony] Schaffer reacted on Fox Business.


“One of the things I heard today was H. R. McMaster has not fired a number of people who worked for Obama.  In fact, those who worked for some of the staffers, Ben Rhodes for example, well Ben Rhodes has got his staff is still there.  It’s like having a rattlesnake next to your bed and thinking somehow if you’re just nice enough to the snake it’s going to be nice.  It’s not like that.”

In a Facebook post, Glick comments on McMaster’s keeping Ben Rhodes staff members while purging Trump loyalists:

McMaster disagrees [with] and actively undermines Trump’s agenda on just about every salient issue on his agenda.  He fires all of Trump’s loyalists and replaces them with Trump’s opponents, like Kris Bauman, an Israel hater and Hamas supporter who McMaster hired to work on the Israel-Palestinian desk.  He allows anti-Israel, pro-Muslim Brotherhood, pro-Iran Obama people like Robert Malley to walk around the NSC and tell people what to do and think.  He has left Ben (reporters know nothing about foreign policy and I lied to sell them the Iran deal) Rhodes’ and Valerie Jarrett’s people in place.

Trump appreciates loyalty and is in turn loyal to those who faithfully share his agenda.  Clearly, H.R. McMaster is not.  Trump’s loyalty to him was misplaced.  A good step in draining the swamp is to replace McMaster with John Bolton, who will promote the Trump agenda and not fraternize with Trump’s political enemies.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.

The departure of national security adviser H.R. McMaster and his replacement by former U.N. ambassador John Bolton are both significant and welcome.  Bolton will be a team player on Team Trump and not someone with his own agenda who seeks the advice and counsel of those trying to undermine the Trump administration.

Leaks such as the one of the memo warning President Trump not to congratulate Vladimir Putin on Putin’s re-election will undoubtedly stop, as McMaster and his staff were viewed as the source for many of them.

The White House national security team, already facing calls for the ouster of top adviser H.R. McMaster, was tagged by a key lawmaker with leaking confidential notes ordering President Trump not to congratulate Russian President Vladimir Putin for his election win.


Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., a conservative leader and foreign policy expert, expressed outrage at the leak and suggested that it and others thought to come from the national security council are crimes[.] …


Meadows said that since it dealt with a foreign leader, the leak “had to” come from the president’s national security staff, headed by McMaster.

It is no mystery why former national security adviser general Michael Flynn was unmasked by the Deep State and became the early target of a series of illegal leaks targeting Team Trump.  Flynn was an unabashed critic of President Barack Hussein Obama and someone who would take a bullet for Trump in any political battle.  The Deep State had no use for someone like Flynn and preferred someone less loyal to Trump and more accommodating to the “resistance” put in his place.  That man was to be H.R. McMaster, and the story of how he got to be President Trump’s national security adviser speaks volumes about his true loyalties.

As Israeli journalist Caroline Glick notes in a recent article:

[T]here is the issue of how McMaster got there in the first place.  Trump interviewed McMaster at Mara Lago [sic] for a half an hour.  He was under terrible pressure after firing Flynn to find someone.


And who recommended McMaster?  You won’t believe this.


Senator John McCain.  That’s right.  The NSA got his job on the basis of a recommendation from the man who just saved Obamacare.


Obviously, at this point, Trump has nothing to lose by angering McCain.  I mean what will he do?  Vote for Obamacare?

President Trump has expressed his continued support for McMaster, even after a letter McMaster sent to Benghazi liar and serial unmasker Susan Rice was revealed in which McMaster said he was perfectly fine with a person who should be a target of her very own special prosecutor retaining her security clearance.  As Fox News Politics reported on August 5:

Trump issued a statement late Friday supporting McMaster.


“General McMaster and I are working very well together,” the statement read.  “He is a good man and very pro-Israel.  I am grateful for the work he continues to do serving our country.”


McMaster already had been in the spotlight for the series of firings he’s ordered on the National Security Council.  Most recently, he ousted Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the senior director for intelligence at the National Security Council who had been viewed as a Trump loyalist.


But Circa first reported Thursday that McMaster sent a letter giving Rice access to classified material, weeks after her alleged role was disclosed in ‘unmasking’ identities of Trump associates in intelligence reports.

McMaster may have served his country well while in uniform, but he is not serving his country well as national security adviser.  McMaster insists that the letter to Rice was a pro forma letter sent to every former national security adviser and every former president.  But Susan Rice’s record is anything but pro forma, and precedent can be broken, especially when the individual arguably should be in jail and not in public service.

McMaster’s cozy relationship with Benghazi liar Susan Rice, who thought traitor Bowe Bergdahl served with “honor and distinction” and was likely part of the cabal that unmasked Flynn, has long raised eyebrows:

Last year, McMaster drew the ire of nearly all Trump supporters when he inexplicably defended Obama flack Susan Rice’s unmasking of Trump Team members for the purposes of spying.


In addition, McMaster even went so far as to consult Susan Rice on issues and take her advice.

McMaster is virtually alone among Trump associates and supporters in thinking Susan Rice did nothing wrong in the unmasking and leaking of information on Trump officials like Flynn:

National security adviser H.R. McMaster has reportedly determined that Susan Rice, who served in his role during the Obama administration, did not do anything wrong amid accusations of “unmasking” the identities of Trump associates.


Republican lawmakers are trying to conclude whether Rice revealed the identities of Trump transition team members that were redacted in intelligence reports. Bloomberg on Thursday cited two intelligence officials saying that McMaster had found no evidence of wrongdoing.


The news comes the same day Circa reported that McMaster sent Rice a letter at the end of April informing her that she would keep her security clearance and that the National Security Council would waive her “need to know” requirement.

McMaster’s activities and personnel decisions belied his loyalty to the current administration and certainly called into question his professed pro-Israel credentials.

McMaster in contrast is deeply hostile to Israel and to Trump.  According to senior officials aware of his behavior, he constantly refers to Israel as the occupying power and insists falsely and constantly that a country named Palestine existed where Israel is located until 1948 when it was destroyed by the Jews.


Many of you will remember that a few days before Trump’s visit to Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his advisers were blindsided when the Americans suddenly told them that no Israeli official was allowed to accompany Trump to the Western Wall.


What hasn’t been reported is that it was McMaster who pressured Trump to agree not to let Netanyahu accompany him to the Western Wall.  At the time, I and other reporters were led to believe that this was the decision of rogue anti-Israel officers at the US consulate in Jerusalem.  But it wasn’t.  It was McMaster.


And even that, it works out wasn’t sufficient for McMaster.  He pressured Trump to cancel his visit to the Wall and only visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial – ala the Islamists who insist that the only reason Israel exists is European guilt over the Holocaust.

McMaster’s actions have raised the question of just whose side he is on.  As has been noted here, McMaster has retained all former Obama assistants to the president and deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, including Ben Rhodes’s staffers, as the question of who is leaking classified information for political purposes remains.  That under-covered story was brought up by retired U.S. Army colonel Tony Schaffer on Lou Dobbs’s show on Fox Business: 

Ben Rhodes and Barack Obama’s staff are still in the National Security Council. H.R. McMaster has not fired any of them.  Instead he fired the man who agrees with Trump’s agenda, Col. [Derek] Harvey.


McMaster doesn’t see it as a problem.


“There’s no such thing as a holdover,” H.R. McMaster said back in July, referring to the career professionals who stayed on the council after the presidential transition. McMaster added that career staffers are loyal to the president.


Lt. Col. [Anthony] Schaffer reacted on Fox Business.


“One of the things I heard today was H. R. McMaster has not fired a number of people who worked for Obama.  In fact, those who worked for some of the staffers, Ben Rhodes for example, well Ben Rhodes has got his staff is still there.  It’s like having a rattlesnake next to your bed and thinking somehow if you’re just nice enough to the snake it’s going to be nice.  It’s not like that.”

In a Facebook post, Glick comments on McMaster’s keeping Ben Rhodes staff members while purging Trump loyalists:

McMaster disagrees [with] and actively undermines Trump’s agenda on just about every salient issue on his agenda.  He fires all of Trump’s loyalists and replaces them with Trump’s opponents, like Kris Bauman, an Israel hater and Hamas supporter who McMaster hired to work on the Israel-Palestinian desk.  He allows anti-Israel, pro-Muslim Brotherhood, pro-Iran Obama people like Robert Malley to walk around the NSC and tell people what to do and think.  He has left Ben (reporters know nothing about foreign policy and I lied to sell them the Iran deal) Rhodes’ and Valerie Jarrett’s people in place.

Trump appreciates loyalty and is in turn loyal to those who faithfully share his agenda.  Clearly, H.R. McMaster is not.  Trump’s loyalty to him was misplaced.  A good step in draining the swamp is to replace McMaster with John Bolton, who will promote the Trump agenda and not fraternize with Trump’s political enemies.

Daniel John Sobieski is a freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, Human Events, Reason Magazine, and the Chicago Sun-Times among other publications.



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WaPo uses calculator to excuse Palestinian terrorists


Washington Post “fact checker” Glenn Kessler, in “Netanyahu goes too far in claims of Palestinian authority payments to terrorists” (3/18/18), claims that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exaggerated how much the Palestinian Authority is paying terrorists. To most in a sane world, $1.00 would be too much, but to Kessler — he prefers to split hairs – distracting from the reality of the issue by misdirection.

No more evidence is needed than seeing his attack on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by sort of disproving the exact amount that the Palestinian leadership pays its terrorists – yes terrorists – and/or the families of terrorists who attack Israelis. Reading the “fact checker” article, it isn’t even clear that Kessler proved his albeit lame point. Would Kessler blame a rape victim who claimed to scream for an hour rather than 45 minutes? 

The main question that should be asked of Kessler is, why would anyone go through such a painstaking analysis to disparage the side of the victims — to defend terrorists (which is what this article does in effect if not intent)? This “yes but” article is a defense of Palestinian terrorists which is so difficult to do that it required 2/3 of the page to solve a simple math problem! The length of the article was necessary for the Post because the obvious point — that the Palestinians pay their suicide bombers — blows a hole in the Post’s entire case against Israel – that the Palestinians are driven to this out of some emotion — say, despair — or whatever the Post uses as an excuse for them. 

Palestinian professor Bassam Banat, as the article states, reviewed the cases of 200 Palestinian suicide bombers that killed 1,676 Israelis and “found that a majority (71.5 percent) of the families of Palestinian suicide bombers” support the bombings — the murder of Israelis! That is where the article should focus. Further, the article points out that “Israeli government officials point to interrogations that they say shows that the payments are considered an inducement” to commit terror. Palestinians are given promotions as did Ali Ja’ara “after he blew himself up in a 2004 suicide attack that killed 11 people and wounded dozens,” according to the Post article.

Does Kessler truly believes that the story that needs to be told is about the amount the terrorists or their families get paid, rather than that they are terrorists at all? 

Washington Post “fact checker” Glenn Kessler, in “Netanyahu goes too far in claims of Palestinian authority payments to terrorists” (3/18/18), claims that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exaggerated how much the Palestinian Authority is paying terrorists. To most in a sane world, $1.00 would be too much, but to Kessler — he prefers to split hairs – distracting from the reality of the issue by misdirection.

No more evidence is needed than seeing his attack on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by sort of disproving the exact amount that the Palestinian leadership pays its terrorists – yes terrorists – and/or the families of terrorists who attack Israelis. Reading the “fact checker” article, it isn’t even clear that Kessler proved his albeit lame point. Would Kessler blame a rape victim who claimed to scream for an hour rather than 45 minutes? 

The main question that should be asked of Kessler is, why would anyone go through such a painstaking analysis to disparage the side of the victims — to defend terrorists (which is what this article does in effect if not intent)? This “yes but” article is a defense of Palestinian terrorists which is so difficult to do that it required 2/3 of the page to solve a simple math problem! The length of the article was necessary for the Post because the obvious point — that the Palestinians pay their suicide bombers — blows a hole in the Post’s entire case against Israel – that the Palestinians are driven to this out of some emotion — say, despair — or whatever the Post uses as an excuse for them. 

Palestinian professor Bassam Banat, as the article states, reviewed the cases of 200 Palestinian suicide bombers that killed 1,676 Israelis and “found that a majority (71.5 percent) of the families of Palestinian suicide bombers” support the bombings — the murder of Israelis! That is where the article should focus. Further, the article points out that “Israeli government officials point to interrogations that they say shows that the payments are considered an inducement” to commit terror. Palestinians are given promotions as did Ali Ja’ara “after he blew himself up in a 2004 suicide attack that killed 11 people and wounded dozens,” according to the Post article.

Does Kessler truly believes that the story that needs to be told is about the amount the terrorists or their families get paid, rather than that they are terrorists at all? 



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Trump's Strange Allies


Donald Trump has some strange domestic allies.  For want of a better term, call them the Bernie Sanders crowd (BSC).

Before you scoff, hear me out.  And for the record, this is not a dig at Trump.  Rather it is an observation of the inherent attractiveness of MAGA.

The BSC is different from the established left, which is epitomized by dinosaurs like Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and the rest of the Democratic Party.  This became evident in the 2016 primaries, when the Democratic National Committee (DNC), under the inept leadership of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, clumsily rigged primary elections and caucuses to ensure that Hillary Clinton won the party’s nomination. 

Although glossed over by the liberal media, that wound never healed.  In fact, an argument can be made that the BSC was decisive in electing Donald Trump.  Some 12 percent of those who voted for crazy Bernie in the primary ended up voting for Trump in November.  Many others stayed home on election day.  And then there were those who went off the reservation entirely and cast their ballots for Jill Stein of the Green Party.  All this helped Trump win.

So what accounts for this chasm between the BSC and the Democratic Party establishment?  A starting point is that the Sanders people are relatively young.  They come from the Millennial generation, which is generally defined as those between the ages of 20 and 35 in 2016.  The Millennials are 76 million strong, and they now slightly outnumber the Baby Boomers. 

A second point of dispute is that the BSC is not excited by the identity politics of race, sex, and gender, which is the bread and butter of the Democratic Party.  Their focus is instead centered on pocketbook issues.  Granted, a good percentage of these young people tilt toward socialism.  What motivates them the most are issues like free college tuition, a $15 minimum wage, universal Medicare coverage, soak-the-rich tax rates, and other pipe dreams.  One could sum up this outlook as wanting to stay in a cocoon like what their parents provided for them…forever.  “Snowflakes” is the term often applied to many of them.

The Sanders left also has a deep distrust for the financial, academic, and cultural elites, whereas the establishment left is more than tied to the institutions that these elites dominate.  They are those institutions.  The BSC also resents big corporations, Wall Street, and the media.  Again, these entities are mainstays of the Democratic Party.

This is not to say there isn’t considerable overlap between the BSC and the Pelosi-Schumer Democratic Party.  There is on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, gun control, tax-the-rich, gender flexibility, weak religious faith, and the like, but not so much on immigration. 

As to trade and tariffs, the Sanders left is anti-globalism and against what is commonly called free trade.  It’s not for nothing that Sanders himself has come out in support of Trump’s efforts to rearrange the trading system to be more in alignment with American interests.  He even tacitly said he supports Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs. 

The BSC has even more overlap with Trump.  The Millennials are decidedly against nation-building and foreign adventures.  And they view the Washington swamp with complete disdain because they see the swamp as being elitist and a drag on their aspirations. 

There will never be a political marriage between Donald Trump and crazy Bernie.  But that doesn’t preclude many of the BSC sneaking under the sheets to find warm comfort in the Trump agenda.  Why?  Because although the Millennials have been indoctrinated from kindergarten through college with the dogmas of liberalism, self-interest will eventually prevail.  

The Millennials are young.  They want decent careers and a chance for the lifestyle their parents had.  It may take them some time, but sooner or later, it will dawn on many (not all) of them that the only chance to obtain that is with Trump’s MAGA agenda and not the policies of the Democratic Party.   

Some might argue that the allure of the free lunch of socialism will tightly tether the BSC to the left.  No doubt it will for a number of them.  But for many others, they will come to see Barack Obama’s “Life of Julia” for the lie it is.  The Millennials will realize in time that 1) only so many can fit in the hammock of government dependency before it breaks and 2) socialism can never expanded America’s wealth; it can only diminish it, as it has everywhere it has been tried.

Critics of my view will point out news headlines that show the BSC disrupting colleges and screaming in the streets as proof of the hopelessness of the Millennials.  But ask yourself: who is presenting those pictures?  It’s the liberal media, and as always, the media have an agenda.  Just like the dishonest polls the media peddle, here the media are attempting to form opinion rather than report.

Don’t misunderstand.  I am not saying that such disruptions don’t take place.  What I am saying is that they are unrepresentative of the greater Millennial population.  When conservatives like Ann Coulter, Charles Murray, and Ben Shapiro get hooted down at a campus event, the lynch mob is not students in a STEM or business program.  Neither are they college jocks, ex-servicemen in college, or students working to pay their tuition.  If the disruptors are students at all, they come for the most part from the small whackadoodle departments on campus, egged on by a left-wing professor.  Some protesters might even have Soros money in their pockets.  As is always the case, the media will never give the public a true picture. 

The BSC will surely not come out en masse for Trump in 2020.  But neither will they be there as a monolithic voting bloc, as, say, blacks are, for any establishment Democrat.  To capture more of the BSC or at last to dissuade them from voting the Democrat line as happened in 2016, Trump does not have to accommodate their socialistic proclivities.  He merely has to keep hammering away at jobs and target messages to the Millennials of how MAGA improves the economic environment and opportunities for them.  It’s all going to come down to the economy.  My betting is that Trump can do it.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.

Donald Trump has some strange domestic allies.  For want of a better term, call them the Bernie Sanders crowd (BSC).

Before you scoff, hear me out.  And for the record, this is not a dig at Trump.  Rather it is an observation of the inherent attractiveness of MAGA.

The BSC is different from the established left, which is epitomized by dinosaurs like Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and the rest of the Democratic Party.  This became evident in the 2016 primaries, when the Democratic National Committee (DNC), under the inept leadership of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, clumsily rigged primary elections and caucuses to ensure that Hillary Clinton won the party’s nomination. 

Although glossed over by the liberal media, that wound never healed.  In fact, an argument can be made that the BSC was decisive in electing Donald Trump.  Some 12 percent of those who voted for crazy Bernie in the primary ended up voting for Trump in November.  Many others stayed home on election day.  And then there were those who went off the reservation entirely and cast their ballots for Jill Stein of the Green Party.  All this helped Trump win.

So what accounts for this chasm between the BSC and the Democratic Party establishment?  A starting point is that the Sanders people are relatively young.  They come from the Millennial generation, which is generally defined as those between the ages of 20 and 35 in 2016.  The Millennials are 76 million strong, and they now slightly outnumber the Baby Boomers. 

A second point of dispute is that the BSC is not excited by the identity politics of race, sex, and gender, which is the bread and butter of the Democratic Party.  Their focus is instead centered on pocketbook issues.  Granted, a good percentage of these young people tilt toward socialism.  What motivates them the most are issues like free college tuition, a $15 minimum wage, universal Medicare coverage, soak-the-rich tax rates, and other pipe dreams.  One could sum up this outlook as wanting to stay in a cocoon like what their parents provided for them…forever.  “Snowflakes” is the term often applied to many of them.

The Sanders left also has a deep distrust for the financial, academic, and cultural elites, whereas the establishment left is more than tied to the institutions that these elites dominate.  They are those institutions.  The BSC also resents big corporations, Wall Street, and the media.  Again, these entities are mainstays of the Democratic Party.

This is not to say there isn’t considerable overlap between the BSC and the Pelosi-Schumer Democratic Party.  There is on issues such as abortion, homosexuality, gun control, tax-the-rich, gender flexibility, weak religious faith, and the like, but not so much on immigration. 

As to trade and tariffs, the Sanders left is anti-globalism and against what is commonly called free trade.  It’s not for nothing that Sanders himself has come out in support of Trump’s efforts to rearrange the trading system to be more in alignment with American interests.  He even tacitly said he supports Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs. 

The BSC has even more overlap with Trump.  The Millennials are decidedly against nation-building and foreign adventures.  And they view the Washington swamp with complete disdain because they see the swamp as being elitist and a drag on their aspirations. 

There will never be a political marriage between Donald Trump and crazy Bernie.  But that doesn’t preclude many of the BSC sneaking under the sheets to find warm comfort in the Trump agenda.  Why?  Because although the Millennials have been indoctrinated from kindergarten through college with the dogmas of liberalism, self-interest will eventually prevail.  

The Millennials are young.  They want decent careers and a chance for the lifestyle their parents had.  It may take them some time, but sooner or later, it will dawn on many (not all) of them that the only chance to obtain that is with Trump’s MAGA agenda and not the policies of the Democratic Party.   

Some might argue that the allure of the free lunch of socialism will tightly tether the BSC to the left.  No doubt it will for a number of them.  But for many others, they will come to see Barack Obama’s “Life of Julia” for the lie it is.  The Millennials will realize in time that 1) only so many can fit in the hammock of government dependency before it breaks and 2) socialism can never expanded America’s wealth; it can only diminish it, as it has everywhere it has been tried.

Critics of my view will point out news headlines that show the BSC disrupting colleges and screaming in the streets as proof of the hopelessness of the Millennials.  But ask yourself: who is presenting those pictures?  It’s the liberal media, and as always, the media have an agenda.  Just like the dishonest polls the media peddle, here the media are attempting to form opinion rather than report.

Don’t misunderstand.  I am not saying that such disruptions don’t take place.  What I am saying is that they are unrepresentative of the greater Millennial population.  When conservatives like Ann Coulter, Charles Murray, and Ben Shapiro get hooted down at a campus event, the lynch mob is not students in a STEM or business program.  Neither are they college jocks, ex-servicemen in college, or students working to pay their tuition.  If the disruptors are students at all, they come for the most part from the small whackadoodle departments on campus, egged on by a left-wing professor.  Some protesters might even have Soros money in their pockets.  As is always the case, the media will never give the public a true picture. 

The BSC will surely not come out en masse for Trump in 2020.  But neither will they be there as a monolithic voting bloc, as, say, blacks are, for any establishment Democrat.  To capture more of the BSC or at last to dissuade them from voting the Democrat line as happened in 2016, Trump does not have to accommodate their socialistic proclivities.  He merely has to keep hammering away at jobs and target messages to the Millennials of how MAGA improves the economic environment and opportunities for them.  It’s all going to come down to the economy.  My betting is that Trump can do it.

Image: Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons.



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Once Again, I Ask: Why Vote Republican?


Every few months, Republicans behave stupidly, causing their voters to again ask themselves, “Why vote Republican?”  Supporting congressional Republicans seems an exercise in futility – Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown, ready to kick a conservative field goal, only to have Lucy pull the football away at the last second.  I have asked this question several times on these pages.

We all know the words to the Republican song we have heard every two years for the past decade.  The first verse was written in 2010, when Republicans claimed they needed to win the House so they could repeal Obamacare and cut taxes.  The band played, and America gave Republicans the House.  Obamacare marched on, and taxes weren’t cut.

The second verse came in 2014, when Republicans told voters they needed the Senate, too, since their conservative agenda was being stalled by Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer.  The band played again, and America gave Republicans the Senate.

What happened after that?  Nothing but more excuses.  Congressional Republicans, afraid of Obama’s veto pen, not to mention the media and even their own shadows, accomplished little.  They told us they needed the White House, too.

The third verse played in 2016, but with a few sour notes.  Republicans did indeed capture the White House, but it wasn’t the Republican the establishment wanted.  Never mind that their choices for president flamed out in the primaries, and even if they had won the GOP nomination, they would have been slaughtered in the general election, following the script of Romney and McCain.  Instead of a third Bush or a mailman’s son, the GOP got a bigmouth from Queens, much to their dismay.

Here we are in 2018, and the fourth verse of the song is playing.  Republicans control the White House and Congress.  Obamacare has not been repealed, and Mexico has not had to pay for a wall since there is no wall.

The omnibus spending bill sailed through Congress.  One point three trillion dollars in spending passed by the party of fiscal restraint.  Sure, there is increased military spending, but there’s only chump change for the border wall, enough funding for only 33 miles on the U.S. southern border.  Instead, Ryan’s and McConnell’s spend-a-thon provides $500 million for a 274-mile wall on Jordan’s border with Syria and Iraq, along with a wall for Tunisia, too.

Planned Parenthood is funded, as are sanctuary cities, with catch and release alive and well.  Didn’t Republicans run on defunding all of this?  It’s Lucy holding the football, and Charlie Brown taxpayers are left holding the bill.

Omni means all, which is what the congressional bill funds – all things near and dear to the Democrats.  No wonder praise is flowing from the lips of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.  The bus in omnibus is short for “busting,” which is what this bill does to the deficit.

Obama, with help from both parties in Congress, doubled the national debt in eight years.  It looks as though Ryan and McConnell are trying to double it again.  I would have thought Pelosi and Schumer were in charge of Congress with this level of spending that makes the drunken sailor look like a cheapskate.  This is a Democrat spending bill, plain and simple.

Republicans should know better.  Some of them, like Rand Paul and Louie Gohmert, do, but most Republicans, including the leadership, are happy to go along to get along.

Stupidity or deliberate?  Republicans must know that their perpetual cheap talk and empty promises, culminating in a terrible spending bill, will not help their electoral prospects in the 2018 midterms.  Many potential voters, including yours truly, will channel our inner Hillary Clinton and say to ourselves, “What difference does it make?”  We will stay home on election day – or else vote only on local issues, leaving Congress out of sight and out of mind.

To me, this is a deliberate poke in the eye to Trump-supporters.  This spending bill put Trump in a box: if he signs the bill, it becomes his; if he vetoes it, the government shutdown becomes his fault.  It’s a no-win situation for Trump, and a clever way to make Trump-supporters doubt their president, dispiriting them, disengaging from the midterms.

It turns out he did sign the bill.  His press conference was morose, with nothing to celebrate.  Not the confident Donald Trump we see at campaign rallies.  Why did he sign it?  He caved, signing the death warrant for much of his MAGA agenda as well as his popularity.  Yes, it’s only the second year of his presidency, but I’ll bet that today, he lost a lot of his supporters.  Bigly.

What happens if Trump supporters don’t turn out for Republican congressional candidates in November?  Democrats potentially take over the House and the Senate.  What happens to Trump’s agenda at that point?  Judicial appointments, border security, immigration reform, and the rest of President Trump’s agenda grind to a halt, not to mention the prospect of impeachment.

Good news for the establishment, the media, Democrats, and the donor class.  What a clever way to derail the Trump express by Republicans joining with the Democrats legislatively to thwart his agenda, the very reason why he was elected.  Matt Drudge tweeted last May after another budget deal, “Paul Ryan victory.  He blocks Trump revolution indefinitely!  All that is left is the illusion.” 

The Republicans act stupidly even at the expense of losing seats in Congress, perhaps even their majority.  Are they really that stupid, or is there an agenda at play?

Russian collusion accusations were supposed to stop Trump, as were Robert Mueller and Stormy Daniels.  So far nothing has worked.  The easiest way to stymie Trump is to separate him from his supporters.  This spending bill, signed by Trump, however reluctantly, will do exactly that.

If Republicans really wanted Trump to succeed, they would be supporting him and his agenda, acting like the majority party in Congress.  They stay silent while Robert Mueller’s witch hunt continues.  They say nothing critical of Mueller, not a word about the wasted time, effort, and money chasing Russian leprechauns.  They stay mum about the great economic news of record low unemployment and rising consumer confidence.  It’s almost as if they are embarrassed by Trump’s successes and want to keep their distance.

Again, I ask: why vote Republican?  The GOP opposes its own president and his agenda.  These Republicans have more in common with Democrats than with Donald Trump.  Through incompetence or purpose, they are sabotaging their party leader.  How different would things be with Chuck and Nancy in charge?  The spending bill would look the same – worthy of Obama or Clinton in the White House.

Why do the Democrats get what they want, even when they are in the minority?  Even Chuck Schumer acknowledged, “In a certain sense we were able to accomplish more in the minority than we had the presidency or were even in the majority.”  Why vote Republican?

Trump held his nose and signed a crappy spending bill rather than vetoing it and punching back at the establishment in typical Trumpian style.  Don’t expect Republican voters to do the same this coming November, holding their noses and voting for politicians who continue to legislate against the will of their voters.  I wonder if this is what the Republican congressional leadership wanted all along.

Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer.  Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Every few months, Republicans behave stupidly, causing their voters to again ask themselves, “Why vote Republican?”  Supporting congressional Republicans seems an exercise in futility – Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown, ready to kick a conservative field goal, only to have Lucy pull the football away at the last second.  I have asked this question several times on these pages.

We all know the words to the Republican song we have heard every two years for the past decade.  The first verse was written in 2010, when Republicans claimed they needed to win the House so they could repeal Obamacare and cut taxes.  The band played, and America gave Republicans the House.  Obamacare marched on, and taxes weren’t cut.

The second verse came in 2014, when Republicans told voters they needed the Senate, too, since their conservative agenda was being stalled by Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer.  The band played again, and America gave Republicans the Senate.

What happened after that?  Nothing but more excuses.  Congressional Republicans, afraid of Obama’s veto pen, not to mention the media and even their own shadows, accomplished little.  They told us they needed the White House, too.

The third verse played in 2016, but with a few sour notes.  Republicans did indeed capture the White House, but it wasn’t the Republican the establishment wanted.  Never mind that their choices for president flamed out in the primaries, and even if they had won the GOP nomination, they would have been slaughtered in the general election, following the script of Romney and McCain.  Instead of a third Bush or a mailman’s son, the GOP got a bigmouth from Queens, much to their dismay.

Here we are in 2018, and the fourth verse of the song is playing.  Republicans control the White House and Congress.  Obamacare has not been repealed, and Mexico has not had to pay for a wall since there is no wall.

The omnibus spending bill sailed through Congress.  One point three trillion dollars in spending passed by the party of fiscal restraint.  Sure, there is increased military spending, but there’s only chump change for the border wall, enough funding for only 33 miles on the U.S. southern border.  Instead, Ryan’s and McConnell’s spend-a-thon provides $500 million for a 274-mile wall on Jordan’s border with Syria and Iraq, along with a wall for Tunisia, too.

Planned Parenthood is funded, as are sanctuary cities, with catch and release alive and well.  Didn’t Republicans run on defunding all of this?  It’s Lucy holding the football, and Charlie Brown taxpayers are left holding the bill.

Omni means all, which is what the congressional bill funds – all things near and dear to the Democrats.  No wonder praise is flowing from the lips of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.  The bus in omnibus is short for “busting,” which is what this bill does to the deficit.

Obama, with help from both parties in Congress, doubled the national debt in eight years.  It looks as though Ryan and McConnell are trying to double it again.  I would have thought Pelosi and Schumer were in charge of Congress with this level of spending that makes the drunken sailor look like a cheapskate.  This is a Democrat spending bill, plain and simple.

Republicans should know better.  Some of them, like Rand Paul and Louie Gohmert, do, but most Republicans, including the leadership, are happy to go along to get along.

Stupidity or deliberate?  Republicans must know that their perpetual cheap talk and empty promises, culminating in a terrible spending bill, will not help their electoral prospects in the 2018 midterms.  Many potential voters, including yours truly, will channel our inner Hillary Clinton and say to ourselves, “What difference does it make?”  We will stay home on election day – or else vote only on local issues, leaving Congress out of sight and out of mind.

To me, this is a deliberate poke in the eye to Trump-supporters.  This spending bill put Trump in a box: if he signs the bill, it becomes his; if he vetoes it, the government shutdown becomes his fault.  It’s a no-win situation for Trump, and a clever way to make Trump-supporters doubt their president, dispiriting them, disengaging from the midterms.

It turns out he did sign the bill.  His press conference was morose, with nothing to celebrate.  Not the confident Donald Trump we see at campaign rallies.  Why did he sign it?  He caved, signing the death warrant for much of his MAGA agenda as well as his popularity.  Yes, it’s only the second year of his presidency, but I’ll bet that today, he lost a lot of his supporters.  Bigly.

What happens if Trump supporters don’t turn out for Republican congressional candidates in November?  Democrats potentially take over the House and the Senate.  What happens to Trump’s agenda at that point?  Judicial appointments, border security, immigration reform, and the rest of President Trump’s agenda grind to a halt, not to mention the prospect of impeachment.

Good news for the establishment, the media, Democrats, and the donor class.  What a clever way to derail the Trump express by Republicans joining with the Democrats legislatively to thwart his agenda, the very reason why he was elected.  Matt Drudge tweeted last May after another budget deal, “Paul Ryan victory.  He blocks Trump revolution indefinitely!  All that is left is the illusion.” 

The Republicans act stupidly even at the expense of losing seats in Congress, perhaps even their majority.  Are they really that stupid, or is there an agenda at play?

Russian collusion accusations were supposed to stop Trump, as were Robert Mueller and Stormy Daniels.  So far nothing has worked.  The easiest way to stymie Trump is to separate him from his supporters.  This spending bill, signed by Trump, however reluctantly, will do exactly that.

If Republicans really wanted Trump to succeed, they would be supporting him and his agenda, acting like the majority party in Congress.  They stay silent while Robert Mueller’s witch hunt continues.  They say nothing critical of Mueller, not a word about the wasted time, effort, and money chasing Russian leprechauns.  They stay mum about the great economic news of record low unemployment and rising consumer confidence.  It’s almost as if they are embarrassed by Trump’s successes and want to keep their distance.

Again, I ask: why vote Republican?  The GOP opposes its own president and his agenda.  These Republicans have more in common with Democrats than with Donald Trump.  Through incompetence or purpose, they are sabotaging their party leader.  How different would things be with Chuck and Nancy in charge?  The spending bill would look the same – worthy of Obama or Clinton in the White House.

Why do the Democrats get what they want, even when they are in the minority?  Even Chuck Schumer acknowledged, “In a certain sense we were able to accomplish more in the minority than we had the presidency or were even in the majority.”  Why vote Republican?

Trump held his nose and signed a crappy spending bill rather than vetoing it and punching back at the establishment in typical Trumpian style.  Don’t expect Republican voters to do the same this coming November, holding their noses and voting for politicians who continue to legislate against the will of their voters.  I wonder if this is what the Republican congressional leadership wanted all along.

Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer.  Follow him on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.



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'Drain the Swamp' Becomes 'Remove the Cancer'



President Trump had a good campaign slogan, but there's one problem: swamps don't metastasize.



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What Mass Shootings Mean for Good Police Work


In the weeks after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre (please don’t call it a tragedy), the concepts of service and leadership have been churning in my head. As the events have unfolded, we’ve discovered four school resource officers were ordered not to enter, but to hold outside and secure a perimeter.

I started my police career a couple of years before Columbine.  One of the first things said to me in the academy is that police are not military, but paramilitary.  We share some of the same characteristics (e.g. uniform, firearms, legal authority to use force), but we were civilian authority, not military.  And one of the points put into us at an early part of training was that when you had someone shooting inside a building, secure the area and wait for supervision, instructions, SWAT, etc.

That all changed on April 20, 1999.

Anyone who’s served knows that when the shooting starts, the tunnel vision begins, and you instantly go back to your training.  The officers in Columbine did what they were trained to do: secure the scene and wait for specialized assistance.  And in the months and years after that, police all over the country knew that the training, or doctrine, if you will, must adjust to a new threat.  If you have someone actively shooting at civilians in an area, officers must immediately engage to stop him.  And as we look into a brave new world, we know we are at a disadvantage.

A fact of life and war is that the aggressor sets the rules. Some of the characteristics of active shooters:

1. They are knowledgable of the target area, while the responders may not be.  Klebold and Harris attended Columbine High School for years and knew its layout.  Omar Mateen scouted out the Pulse Nightclub in the weeks prior to his attack in 2016.  Syed Rizwan Farook worked at the San Bernardino County health department for five years prior to the 2015 attack.

2. Active shooters are motivated not by money, but by hatred or rage against perceived offenses.  The shooters in Columbine were the “outside” group.  Elliot Rodger, sometimes known as the “Virgin Killer,” attacked sorority women for their rejection of his advances.  Micah Johnson’s murder of five cops in Dallas was in response to perceived unjustified shootings of black men by police officers.

3. Escape may not be a goal.  In Columbine, both boys apparently planned to end their lives, as did Johnson in Dallas.  However, in Las Vegas, it appears that  Stephen Paddock planned to escape, but killed himself when he knew he would be captured.  This will make stopping and negotiating with the shooters unlikely to stop the killing, as was shown in Dallas and Orlando.

4. The aggressor selects his location to his advantage.  We’ve had active shooter situations before Columbine.  On August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman climbed the clock tower at the University of Texas and started shooting.  He murdered 13 and wounded 30 (and no, it was not with an AR-15 on “full semi-automatic” mode, but with a bolt action rifle).  In February 1997, Larry Eugene Phillips, Jr. and Emil Dechebal Matasareanu, equipped with body armor, attempted to rob a Bank of America in North Hollywood, initially overpowering the first responders.

As the threats have changed, so have our responses.  Since the turn of the century, police agencies all over the country have adapted a military style of clearing a building, as well as closing and engaging a shooter.  Some question if this training and guidance was countermanded in the Douglas High School shooting.  According to recent reports, a Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) captain ordered four school resource officers to set up a perimeter, instead of engaging, which is what the BCSO states it trains its deputies to do and is in accordance with agency policy.

In the aftermath of Parkland, we as police must look at the events that unfolded last month.  It’s incumbent to review the actions taken, improve on what was done well, and correct what has to be rectified.  Initial reaction, tactics, etc. are all subject to scrutiny.  One thing must also not be overlooked: as one friend and fellow sergeant said it, “if you’re not willing to go in, turn in the badge.”

I’ll be the first to say a cop (or a soldier, for that matter) doesn’t know how he will react until the bullets start flying.  But one thing is certain: you must have your mindset right.  I’ve read in unconfirmed internet sources that Deputy Peterson was not wearing body armor.  If that is correct, he was not ready for the worst case scenario, which is what he is paid to be prepared for.

Another point I will bring out goes back to the men at Columbine.  An academy classmate ran our agency’s active shooter training a few years ago, and he made an insightful point about the officers responding to an active shooter: “I’m not going to second-guess them, but we all have a badge, and we entered this profession knowing what was expected of us.  And people have to know we will do what has to be done.”  Four SROs followed the orders of a captain while there were kids being murdered.  They will have to live with their consciences, wondering from this point forward, “Should I have just said, ‘Screw you, I’ve got to look myself in the mirror and there are kids in there’?”

Last week, I listened to a podcast from an organization called The Art of Manliness.  The host was interviewing Dale Dye, a retired Marine captain about his new book.  Dye mentioned another thing I have been pondering since.

On the day, at Quantico, Virginia, the day that I had been through Officer’s Candidate School, and been though the basic school, and I was going to be commissioned, I remember that morning getting up and getting my dress uniform ready, to go down and fall into formation and be commissioned with the other candidates, and I was shaving and I looked myself in the mirror and said, “You know, when the day comes that you can’t look your people in the eye and say, ‘Follow me, it is necessary that we die’…when that day comes, it’s the day you’re not leading anymore, and you should quit.”

It is a bit dramatic, but it is true.  Fellow peace officers, if the day comes that you cannot look yourself in the mirror and say, “I will risk life and career for the people I serve,” it is time to turn in the badge.

Michael A. Thiac is a police patrol sergeant and a retired Army intelligence officer.  When not patrolling the streets, he can be found on A Cop’s Watch.  

Image: Nick Gulotta via Flickr.

In the weeks after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre (please don’t call it a tragedy), the concepts of service and leadership have been churning in my head. As the events have unfolded, we’ve discovered four school resource officers were ordered not to enter, but to hold outside and secure a perimeter.

I started my police career a couple of years before Columbine.  One of the first things said to me in the academy is that police are not military, but paramilitary.  We share some of the same characteristics (e.g. uniform, firearms, legal authority to use force), but we were civilian authority, not military.  And one of the points put into us at an early part of training was that when you had someone shooting inside a building, secure the area and wait for supervision, instructions, SWAT, etc.

That all changed on April 20, 1999.

Anyone who’s served knows that when the shooting starts, the tunnel vision begins, and you instantly go back to your training.  The officers in Columbine did what they were trained to do: secure the scene and wait for specialized assistance.  And in the months and years after that, police all over the country knew that the training, or doctrine, if you will, must adjust to a new threat.  If you have someone actively shooting at civilians in an area, officers must immediately engage to stop him.  And as we look into a brave new world, we know we are at a disadvantage.

A fact of life and war is that the aggressor sets the rules. Some of the characteristics of active shooters:

1. They are knowledgable of the target area, while the responders may not be.  Klebold and Harris attended Columbine High School for years and knew its layout.  Omar Mateen scouted out the Pulse Nightclub in the weeks prior to his attack in 2016.  Syed Rizwan Farook worked at the San Bernardino County health department for five years prior to the 2015 attack.

2. Active shooters are motivated not by money, but by hatred or rage against perceived offenses.  The shooters in Columbine were the “outside” group.  Elliot Rodger, sometimes known as the “Virgin Killer,” attacked sorority women for their rejection of his advances.  Micah Johnson’s murder of five cops in Dallas was in response to perceived unjustified shootings of black men by police officers.

3. Escape may not be a goal.  In Columbine, both boys apparently planned to end their lives, as did Johnson in Dallas.  However, in Las Vegas, it appears that  Stephen Paddock planned to escape, but killed himself when he knew he would be captured.  This will make stopping and negotiating with the shooters unlikely to stop the killing, as was shown in Dallas and Orlando.

4. The aggressor selects his location to his advantage.  We’ve had active shooter situations before Columbine.  On August 1, 1966, Charles Whitman climbed the clock tower at the University of Texas and started shooting.  He murdered 13 and wounded 30 (and no, it was not with an AR-15 on “full semi-automatic” mode, but with a bolt action rifle).  In February 1997, Larry Eugene Phillips, Jr. and Emil Dechebal Matasareanu, equipped with body armor, attempted to rob a Bank of America in North Hollywood, initially overpowering the first responders.

As the threats have changed, so have our responses.  Since the turn of the century, police agencies all over the country have adapted a military style of clearing a building, as well as closing and engaging a shooter.  Some question if this training and guidance was countermanded in the Douglas High School shooting.  According to recent reports, a Broward County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) captain ordered four school resource officers to set up a perimeter, instead of engaging, which is what the BCSO states it trains its deputies to do and is in accordance with agency policy.

In the aftermath of Parkland, we as police must look at the events that unfolded last month.  It’s incumbent to review the actions taken, improve on what was done well, and correct what has to be rectified.  Initial reaction, tactics, etc. are all subject to scrutiny.  One thing must also not be overlooked: as one friend and fellow sergeant said it, “if you’re not willing to go in, turn in the badge.”

I’ll be the first to say a cop (or a soldier, for that matter) doesn’t know how he will react until the bullets start flying.  But one thing is certain: you must have your mindset right.  I’ve read in unconfirmed internet sources that Deputy Peterson was not wearing body armor.  If that is correct, he was not ready for the worst case scenario, which is what he is paid to be prepared for.

Another point I will bring out goes back to the men at Columbine.  An academy classmate ran our agency’s active shooter training a few years ago, and he made an insightful point about the officers responding to an active shooter: “I’m not going to second-guess them, but we all have a badge, and we entered this profession knowing what was expected of us.  And people have to know we will do what has to be done.”  Four SROs followed the orders of a captain while there were kids being murdered.  They will have to live with their consciences, wondering from this point forward, “Should I have just said, ‘Screw you, I’ve got to look myself in the mirror and there are kids in there’?”

Last week, I listened to a podcast from an organization called The Art of Manliness.  The host was interviewing Dale Dye, a retired Marine captain about his new book.  Dye mentioned another thing I have been pondering since.

On the day, at Quantico, Virginia, the day that I had been through Officer’s Candidate School, and been though the basic school, and I was going to be commissioned, I remember that morning getting up and getting my dress uniform ready, to go down and fall into formation and be commissioned with the other candidates, and I was shaving and I looked myself in the mirror and said, “You know, when the day comes that you can’t look your people in the eye and say, ‘Follow me, it is necessary that we die’…when that day comes, it’s the day you’re not leading anymore, and you should quit.”

It is a bit dramatic, but it is true.  Fellow peace officers, if the day comes that you cannot look yourself in the mirror and say, “I will risk life and career for the people I serve,” it is time to turn in the badge.

Michael A. Thiac is a police patrol sergeant and a retired Army intelligence officer.  When not patrolling the streets, he can be found on A Cop’s Watch.  

Image: Nick Gulotta via Flickr.



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