September 20, 2017

Ben Shapiro: If Republicans Don’t Make a Move, They Deserve to Lose

Politics is the art of shifting the playing field.

This is an art Republicans simply don’t understand. Perhaps it’s because they spend so much time attempting to stop the Democratic snowball from running downhill too quickly, but Republicans in power have an unfortunate tendency to conserve their political capital rather than invest it. That’s unfortunate because political capital doesn’t accrue when you save it; it degrades. Just as sticking your cash in a mattress is a bad strategy when it comes to investment, inaction in power is a bad strategy when it comes to politics.

Democrats understand that political capital must be used, not to pass popular legislation but to fundamentally change the nature of the political game itself. Democrats do not see Obamacare — a piece of legislation that cost them the House, the Senate and, eventually, the presidency — as a disaster area. They see it as an investment in a leftist future: By making Americans accustomed to the idea that the government is responsible for universal coverage, they understand that any future failures will be attributed to lack of government, not an excess of it. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, understood that in 2013 when he attempted to block Obamacare funding. He quite rightly explained that once Obamacare went into effect, it would be nearly impossible to dismantle it. That became obvious this year, just four years after its full implementation, when congressional Republicans obviously have no political will to get rid of Obamacare at all.

This is the difference between Republicans and Democrats: Democrats see their radical legislative moves as building blocks for the future. Republicans, afraid that their carefully crafted tower of electability will come crumbling down, make no radical legislative moves.

That basic formula is playing out yet again with regard to former President Obama’s executive amnesty. Obama implemented the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, knowing full well that a Republican president could get rid of it with the stroke of a pen. But he also knew that Republicans would not want to be responsible for changing the status quo — they wouldn’t want to own the political consequences of allowing the deportation of DACA recipients.

And Obama was completely right. Republicans promised for years that they would get rid of Obama’s executive amnesty if given power. Finally, President Trump has pledged to get rid of it … in six months. And everyone knows that he is willing to trade away DACA enforcement for border-wall funding. The Democratic status quo will win out, one way or another.

Now, quickly: Name the last transformational conservative change Republicans have made — a change to the field of play; any change that would redound to the detriment of Democrats. It’s pretty tough. That’s despite Republican control of the legislature and the presidency from 2002 to 2006; that’s a longer period of unified control than Democrats had from 2008 to 2010.

Republicans have unified control of government once again. But they seem less willing to use it than ever, afraid that their tenuous control will dissipate.

That must end. If Republicans hope to set a foundation for future victory, they’ll need to do more than act as an impediment to bad Democratic ideas. They’ll need to take political risks in order to shift the playing field itself. If they don’t, they’ll lose quickly. And they’ll deserve to lose.

Ben Shapiro

Sheriff David Clarke Accepts Department of Homeland Security Post

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. will leave office next month to accept a federal appointment as an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

He will work in the department’s Office of Partnership and Engagement as a liaison with state, local and tribal law enforcement and governments.

“I’m looking forward to joining that team,” Clarke said Thursday afternoon on the Vicki McKenna talk show on 1130 WISN Radio.

Clarke campaigned around the country for then-presidential candidate Donald Trump last year and has defended the first-term Republican president against critics in the early months of his administration.

The fourth-term sheriff will start the job in June.

But as is common with the sheriff, there was drama with the appointment. It appears that Clarke may have gotten ahead of the Trump administration in his interview.

In a tweet, the Department of Homeland Security said no announcement had been made on any appointment involving Clarke.

Also, the federal staffer being replaced by Clarke — Philip A. McNamara, assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs — took to Twitter to complain about his successor.

Clarke previously had not indicated whether we planned to seek re-election.

He has come under widespread criticism locally for his inflammatory rhetoric and for spending so much time on the road as a Trump surrogate and while giving talks to conservative groups.

Clarke also has been criticized for his lack of public comments on his response to four deaths in the County Jail in 2016 or any administrative changes he might have made there.

His new federal job will not require Senate confirmation.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, who often crossed swords with the sheriff, said America deserves better than Clarke in this new post.

“For the country I love, the last thing America needs is another loud voice angrily and unproductively telling you who to blame and who not to trust,” Abele said in a statement.

In the new job, one of Clarke’s responsibilities would be to “take complaints of shortcomings in the Department of Homeland Security,” the sheriff said.

“They feel like they’re being ignored,” Clarke said of his counterparts in local law enforcement.

Clarke will work for Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired Marine general.

The department was created in the wake of 9/11. The department’s duties range from counter-terrorism to enforcing immigration laws.

Clarke said he had informed Gov. Scott Walker of his decision to take the federal post and expected to advise Walker on the appointment of a successor to complete his term.

Tom Evenson, spokesman for Walker, said his office had not yet received a formal resignation letter from Clarke. The search for a successor, Evenson said, won’t begin until Walker’s office receives that notice.

Once that happens, the governor will seek applications, a process that usually takes a couple of weeks, and then begin interviewing candidates. Applicants must live in Milwaukee County to be appointed to the post.

“The timeline for replacing a county sheriff varies with each case,” Evenson said.

Clarke’s successor will serve until the end of the current term in 2018.

Former Milwaukee Police Capt. Earnell Lucas, now a vice president of security with Major League Baseball, said Wednesday he would submit his name to Walker for appointment to the office.

“I have a deep and abiding commitment to this community, and the right experience in law enforcement and public safety to be the next Milwaukee County sheriff,” Lucas said.

Lucas has registered as a candidate for sheriff in 2018. He plans to run in the Democratic primary.

Milwaukee County Judge John Siefert said he also plans to run as a Democrat for sheriff next year. But, unlike Lucas, he will not seek an appointment from Walker.

“I assume the governor will insist that his appointee run as a Republican,” said Siefert, whose term ends in July. “I would not run as a Republican.”

Also being mentioned as a possible candidate is U.S. Marshal Kevin Carr, who served as Clarke’s top deputy for several years. He could not be reached for comment.

Clarke, a conservative who runs as a Democrat, has been elected four times.

He was first appointed sheriff in 2002 and won election to a full four-year term later that year.

He defeated challenger Chris Moews in the August 2014 Democratic primary to ensure re-election to a fourth term. No Republican challenged Clarke for the office that year, and he enjoyed conservative support.

Clarke told McKenna that he “would miss law enforcement” after a 38-year career.

He started as a patrol officer with the Milwaukee Police Department in 1978. Clarke was promoted to detective in 1989 and became lieutenant of detectives in 1992.

In 1996, Clake was promoted to police captain and named commander of the department’s 1st District. He became commanding officer of the department’s intelligence division in 1999.

By Don Behm

Mizzou Pays a Price for Appeasing the Left

Enrollment is down more than 2,000. The campus has had to take seven dormitories out of service.

Timothy Vaughn dutifully cheered the University of Missouri for a decade, sitting in the stands with his swag, two hot dogs and a Diet Coke. He estimates he attended between 60 and 85 athletic events every year—football and basketball games and even tennis matches and gymnastics meets. But after the infamous protests of fall 2015, Missouri lost this die-hard fan.

“I pledge from this day forward NOT TO contribute to the [Tiger Scholarship Fund], buy any tickets to any University of Missouri athletic event, to attend any athletic event (even if free), to give away all my MU clothes (nearly my entire wardrobe) after I have removed any logos associated with the University of Missouri, and any cards/helmets/ice buckets/flags with the University of Missouri logo on it,” Mr. Vaughn told administrators in an email four semesters ago.

He was not alone. Thousands of pages of emails I obtained through the Missouri Freedom of Information Act show that many alumni and other supporters were disgusted with administrators’ feeble response to the disruptions. Like Mr. Vaughn, many promised they’d stop attending athletic events. Others vowed they’d never send their children or grandchildren to the university. It now appears many of them have made good on those promises.

The commotion began in October 2015, when student activists claiming that “racism lives here” sent administrators a lengthy list of demands. Among them: The president of the University of Missouri system should resign after delivering a handwritten apology acknowledging his “white male privilege”; the curriculum should include “comprehensive racial awareness and inclusion” training; and 10% of the faculty and staff should be black.

Two weeks later, a student announced he was going on a hunger strike, and the football team refused to practice or play until the university met the demands. As protesters occupied the quad, administrators bent over backward to accommodate them, even providing a power strip so they could charge phones and a generator so they could camp in comfort. A communications instructor, Melissa Click, appeared on viral video calling for “muscle” to remove a student reporter from the quad. By Nov. 9, both the president and the chancellor of Mizzou, as the flagship Columbia campus is known, had resigned.

Donors, parents, alumni, sports fans and prospective students raged against the administration’s caving in. “At breakfast this morning, my wife and I agreed that MU is NOT a school we would even consider for our three children,” wrote Victor Wirtz, a 1978 alum, adding that the university “has devolved into the Berkeley of the Midwest.”

As classes begin this week, freshmen enrollment is down 35% since the protests, according to the latest numbers the university has publicly released. Mizzou is beginning the year with the smallest incoming class since 1999. Overall enrollment is down by more than 2,000 students, to 33,200. The campus has taken seven dormitories out of service.

The plummeting support has also cost jobs. In May, Mizzou announced it would lay off as many as 100 people and eliminate 300 more positions through retirement and attrition. Last year the university reduced its library staff and cut 50 cleaning and maintenance jobs.

Mizzou’s 2016 football season drew almost 13,000 fewer attendees than in 2015, local media reported. During basketball games, one-third of the seats in the Mizzou Arena sat empty.

The university says its teams’ losing streaks have driven away fans, state budget cuts have strained its finances, and competition from other nearby universities has contributed to its lowered enrollment. But the protests were the truly catastrophic factor, compounding the other difficulties. Administrators saw it coming during the crisis, when they fretted in emails about “a PR nightmare” and “the middle of the road people we’re losing.” The past three semesters have validated their worst fears.

This phenomenon isn’t limited to Mizzou. Private institutions like Yale and Middlebury aren’t covered by public-records laws, so they can conceal the backlash. But when public universities have released emails after giving in to campus radicals, they have consistently shown administrators face the same public outrage.

Virginia Tech received numerous phone calls and more than 100 angry emails last year after it disinvited Jason Riley, a columnist for this newspaper, from speaking on campus. “While we can respond to the people who write to us, we cannot dispel the negative impression created by the media against the president, the university, the dean and the college and the department,” one administrator woefully told his colleagues.

Virginia Tech administrators also noted that news of the debacle reached millions on Twitter, where the reactions were “overwhelmingly negative toward the university and higher education in general.” Once again, a frustrated public vowed to yank support.

Universities have consistently underestimated the power of a furious public. At the same time, they’ve overestimated the power of student activists, who have only as much influence as administrators give them. Far from avoiding controversy, administrators who respond to campus radicals with cowardice and capitulation should expect to pay a steep price for years.

6 Important Facts About Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Pardon

Liberals went nuts when President Trump recently granted 85-year old Sheriff Joe Arpaio a pardon. Many of those on the left thumbed their nose at the Constitution for 8 years, while Barack Obama committed one of the most unconstitutional acts ever by a president, when he forced Americans to buy insurance. Suddenly, they were all of a sudden concerned about the possibility that President Trump may not have adhered to our Constitution when he pardoned America’s toughest Sheriff on illegal immigration.

Attorney Dario Navarro was one of several leftists who were all of a sudden concerned about the “constitutionality” of President Trump’s actions.

Even the New York Times, who helped to sell Barack Obama’s horrific Obamacare plan is concerned about Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s pardon.

On July 25, 2016, “America’s Sheriff” Joe Arpaio was found guilty of misdemeanor criminal contempt without the benefit of a jury of his peers.

Here are a 6 interesting facts that Breitbart News laid out, regarding the Sheriff Joe Arpaio case, that every American crying “foul” over President Trump’s pardon yesterday needs to know:

The US District judge who tried the case against Sheriff Arpaio was a Bill Clinton appointee.

1. The guilty ruling, by Bill Clinton-appointed U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton, is the latest chapter of a nearly decade-long saga of legal proceedings against Sheriff Joe initiated by leftist groups opposed to his aggressive policing of illegal aliens.

The charges against 85 year old Arpaio stem from a civil rights suit demanding he cease “racial profiling” in his Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office’s immigration enforcement operations. After a federal judge issued an order demanding certain practices, Arpaio was charged with contempt for continuing to try to enforce the law as he saw fit.

The misdemeanor charge was a ploy to prevent Sheriff Arpaio from having a jury trial.

2. Because Arpaio was charged only with a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of six-months in jail, the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee him a right to trial by a jury of his peers. Arpaio and his attorneys repeatedly petitioned for a jury, only to be denied by Judge Bolton in March and again in May. Sources familiar with the proceedings have told Breitbart News the decision to charge only the misdemeanor was likely a ploy by federal prosecutors to avoid a jury trial in the community where Arpaio served as sheriff for more than 20 years

According to the NCPD President, the DOJ had no evidence to make their case against Sheriff Arpaio.

3. National Center for Police Defense (NCPD) President James Fotis, who was present in the courtroom, was highly skeptical a Phoenix jury could have ever found Arpaio guilty. He told Breitbart News:

I sat through three days of testimony and it was clear from the beginning that the DOJ had no evidence to make their case. In fact, all of the DOJ’s witnesses made it clear that Judge Snow’s order was unclear and ambiguous. There is no way a jury would have determined that the Sheriff willfully and intentionally violated the judge’s order.

“Judge Bolton’s ruling has caused me to lose my faith in the court system and the federal judicial system,” Fotis added in a NCPD press release.

Over 40,000 signatures were gathered on a petition by current and former law enforcement officers in support of Sheriff Joe Arpaio who they claimed spent his entire career upholding and defending the Constitution.

4. Fotis was hardly the first or only commentator to question the impartiality of Arpaio’s prosecution. In June, his group managed to assemble over 40,000 signatures from current and former law enforcement officers in support of Arpaio, delivering them to the Department of Justice in Washington, DC. “After devoting 56-years of his life to upholding and defending the Constitution, Sheriff Arpaio deserves our nation’s eternal gratitude — not jail time,” those petitions read.

The Judge in the case should have recused himself, but refused to do so.

5. The initial racial profiling suit that eventually led to this conviction also took on political dimensions and its conduct was criticized. The judge in that case, G. Murray Snow, ignored calls to recuse himself based on the fact his brother-in-law is a partner at Covington & Burling, the firm representing those suing Arpaio and the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office.

President Obama spent much of his 8 years in office trying to find a way to take down America’s toughest Sheriff on illegal immigrants, who also headed up an independent investigation into the alleged fake birth certificate that would prove Barack Obama was not born in the United States.

6. The decision to criminally prosecute Arpaio was taken while the DOJ was run by Attorney General Loretta Lynch. It would be highly unusual for new leadership to intervene and drop an ongoing prosecution, and no such step was taken, despite the aforementioned petitions.

 

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Wins Presidential Pardon

President Trump granted a pardon to Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., on Friday.

Arpaio, 85, was recently found guilty of criminal contempt for defying a judge’s order to stop traffic patrols that allegedly targeted immigrants.

He had been charged with misdemeanor contempt of court for allegedly willfully defying a judge’s order in 2011 and prolonging his patrols for another 17 months.

Arpaio acknowledged extending the patrols, but insisted it wasn’t intentional, blaming one of his former attorneys for not properly explaining the importance of the court order and brushing off the conviction as a “petty crime.”

He was expected to be sentenced on Oct. 5 and faced up to six months in jail if convicted.

“Sheriff Joe Arpaio is now 85 years old, and after more than 50 years of admirable service to our Nation, he is worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon,” the White House said in a statement.

Known for his controversial takes on many issues, including his “birther” campaign against former President Barack Obama and for housing inmates in desert tent camps, Arpaio is best known for his approach to battling illegal immigration. In 2009 he claimed to have arrested 30,000 illegal immigrants since starting his efforts in 2005.

At a rally in Phoenix, on Tuesday, the president asked supporters in the crowd if Arpaio was “convicted for doing his job?”

The crowd cheered.

“He should have had a jury, but I’ll make a prediction: He’ll be just fine,” Trump said. “But I won’t do it tonight, because I don’t want to cause any controversy.”

“We’ll see what happens,” Arpaio said amid discussion of the pardon.

“[I]t doesn’t matter because I’m still going to support him as long as he is the president of the United States because that’s the way I am,” Arpaio said. “I don’t desert for political reasons. I’ll stick with him.”

During the presidential campaign, Arpaio showered Trump with support. Trump, meanwhile, has invoked Arpaio’s name in his calls for tougher immigration enforcement and used some of the same immigration rhetoric and advocated for tactics that made the former Arizona lawman a national name a decade earlier.

Arpaio appeared for Trump at rallies in Iowa, Nevada and Arizona, including a huge gathering in the affluent Phoenix suburb where the sheriff lives. Arpaio also gave a speech at the Republican National Convention in which he said Trump would prevent immigrants from sneaking into the country.

FoxNews.com / The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Jerry Lewis, Comedy Legend, Dies at 91

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock (3791639j) Jerry Lewis

Jerry Lewis, the brash slapstick comic who teamed with Dean Martin in the 1950s and later starred in “The Nutty Professor” and “The Bellboy” before launching the Muscular Dystrophy telethon, has died in Las Vegas. He was 91.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John Katsilometes reported that he died at his home at 9:15 a.m. and his agent confirmed the news.

Over the past 10 years of his life, the cranky icon’s reputation soured as he was forced to apologize for making a gay slur on camera during the 2007 telethon, continued to make racist and misogynistic jokes into his ’90s, and didn’t hesitate to share his right-wing political views.

He appeared in a few later films such as Martin Scorsese’s “The King of Comedy,” but Lewis was largely offscreen from the late ’60s on and was more active with his annual Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy telethon, for which he raised more than $2.45 billion before being relieved of his role as leader of the telethon in 2011. As late as 2016, he continued to perform in Las Vegas, where he first did his comedy routine in 1949.

The high regard in which his comic abilities were held in France — he received the Legion of Honor award in 1983 — became a running joke in the U.S. long after Lewis’ style of broad physical comedy fell out of fashion. His final film, “Max Rose,” screened at France’s Cannes Film Festival in 2013.

The telethon, like other aspects of Lewis’ life, was beset by controversy. The comic’s offstage persona was anything but humorous. He was, by his own admission, an impatient man, and over the years battled numerous illnesses and a prescription drug dependency. His parting with Martin in 1956 after 10 years as a duo was acrimonious. And the telethons were awash in claims that there was a disparity between the money pledged and the money collected.

Lewis’ pairing with Martin, featuring their improvisatory backbiting and physical chicanery, was an instant hit in 1946. When producer Hal Wallis saw them performing at the Copacabana and at Slapsie Maxie’s in Hollywood, he saw the potential for a new Bob Hope and Bing Crosby and signed them to a Paramount Pictures contract.

For the next 10 years, Martin and Lewis turned out one silly film after the next starting with “My Friend Irma” in 1949 and including “The Caddy,” “The Stooge,” “Artists and Models” and “Pardners.” None of their films grossed less than $5 million, a handy sum in those days.

The premises of the films grew tired, and the more Martin and Lewis worked together, the more disparate they appeared. In 1956, after their film “Hollywood or Bust,” they made their last dual appearance at the Copacabana.

By the time of their breakup, Martin had a prosperous career as a recording artist and actor. And soon Lewis, too, was a hot solo ticket.

Shortly after they broke up, Lewis filled in for an ailing Judy Garland in Las Vegas. Over the next five years Lewis developed a slicker, more sophisticated stage persona and would continue to play Vegas until 2016.

Onscreen he made a go of it in such films as “The Delicate Delinquent” and “Rock-a-Bye Baby.” Lewis even had a million-selling single in the “Rock-a-Bye Your Baby” title track, which led to several albums on Decca Records.

He then extended his efforts into writing, producing and directing films. The first two, 1961’s “The Ladies Man” and 1962’s “The Errand Boy,” showed him at his best. His talents also dovetailed with director Frank Tashlin’s style in films such as “Cinderfella” and “The Disorderly Orderly.”

“The Nutty Professor” (1963) was his biggest success ever, grossing $19 million. But by then his mugging and exaggerated body gyrations had become out of control, as had the syrupy moments in his films.

Lewis signed a nonexclusive deal with Columbia that resulted in several uninspired films such as “Three on a Couch,” “The Big Mouth” and “Don’t Raise the Bridge, Lower the River.” Even Lewis had to admit, “Jerry Lewis is never just OK or adequate; he’s either very funny or he’s awful.”

While Americans largely dismissed him, Lewis had developed a following at French film journals Cahiers du Cinema and Positif.

He was born Joseph Levitch in Newark, N.J. Both his parents were in show business and, at the age of 5, Lewis made his debut at a Borscht Belt hotel singing “Brother Can You Spare a Dime?”

Perhaps because his parents spent a great deal of time on the road, Lewis was demanding attention through humor by the time he was attending Irvington High School in New Jersey. By age 15 he was pantomiming operatic and popular songs and was booked into a burlesque house in Buffalo.

In 1942 he tried out his comic pantomiming at Brown’s Hotel in upstate New York, where he was also working the summer as a bellboy. Comic Irving Kaye was sufficiently impressed to land Lewis some bookings and became his road manager.

Lewis met the young singer Dean Martin at New York nightclub the Glass Hatt and was first paired with him in 1946. Afters years of rupture, Martin made a surprise appearance on the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon in 1976, and the pair reconciled after the death of Martin’s son in the late 1980s. (Martin died in 1995.)

In the early ’70s he continued to direct uninspired fare such as “Which Way to the Front?” and then tried a serious film, “The Day the Clown Cried,” though he famously shelved the completed work (some footage of it finally surfaced in 2013). He attempted a live TV variety show that failed, as did an attempt at a Broadway musical, “Feeling No Pain”; it was followed by the acrimonious “Hellzapoppin,” which was ditched out of town in Boston at a loss of $1.25 million.

In 1972 he lent his name to a string of 200 movie theaters for Network Cinema Corp., which led to bankruptcy proceedings in 1974. His heavy schedule also brought him to the verge of a nervous breakdown, serious ulcer problems and painkiller drug dependency. In 1982 he had double-bypass heart surgery and gave up his four pack-a-day smoking habit.

Lewis was offscreen until 1979’s low-budget “Hardly Working,” which he also directed; it did not reverse his fortunes. But in 1982, director Martin Scorsese harnessed the brash, cynical side of Lewis’ persona for the role of a kidnapped latenight talkshow host in “The King of Comedy.” Though he reportedly resented being upstaged by Robert De Niro and Sandra Bernhard, the film represented some of Lewis’ finest work. Another high point was a similarly caustic appearance as a lethal underworld figure on the TV series “Wiseguy.”

Most of his later film work, however, failed to impress, such as “Slapstick of Another Kind,” “Cookie” and 1992’s “American Dreamer.”

In 1995, he appeared in Peter Chelsom’s film “Funny Bones” and took over the role of the devil in a Broadway revival of “Damn Yankees,” which he took on tour in the U.S.; he then appeared in a London production of the musical.

In 2003 he provided a guest voice on an episode of “The Simpsons”; in 2006 he did an episode of “Law and Order: SVU” in which he played the insane, morally befuddled but bizarrely benevolent uncle of Det. John Munch (Richard Belzer).

Lewis long sought to create a sequel to “The Nutty Professor”; eventually, Imagine Entertainment produced and Universal released the 1996 remake starring Eddie Murphy on which Lewis was credited for the screenplay to the 1963 version and as an executive producer.

Lewis also hoped to bring a musical adaptation of “The Nutty Professor” to Broadway. By summer 2012 an ailing but still enthusiastic Lewis made his stage helming debut with such a musical, with a score by Marvin Hamlisch and a book and lyrics by Rupert Holmes, in Nashville, where it played for seven weeks.

In 2013 Lewis starred in the long-gestating project “Max Rose,” written and directed by Daniel Noah and also starring Claire Bloom, Kevin Pollak, Kerry Bishe and Mort Sahl. Lewis played a jazz pianist who recently became a widower.

In 2009, Lewis received the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences’ Jean Hersholt Award for his charitable work. In May 2014, he added his footprints to those of other screen luminaries at the Chinese Theatre.

In 1944 Lewis married former band singer Patti Palmer, with whom he had six sons, Gary, Ronnie, Scott, Anthony, Christopher and Joseph, who died in 2009. Gary for a time had a rock career as the lead singer of Gary Lewis & the Playboys. The marriage ended in divorce.

He is survived by his second wife, SanDee Pitnick, with whom he adopted a daughter.

Dems Rewriting U.S. Racial History

I was asked by a client to help her prepare a social media post addressing the violence and racial tensions in America. My client is a wonderful American icon of African decent, and a barrier-breaker in many categories. After a brief exchange, I was surprised that her understanding of American history was so lacking, so I shared the following to assist her in formulating her response:
First, let me preface that I am a Constitutionalist, politically. That means that my personal feelings about politics start and end with the Constitution. I have a doctorate in Law, and have a good understanding of US history—especially as it relates to individual liberty.
The thing about America is that it was a British colony, and the dumping ground for every horrible practice of nations of the time. Slavery was an abomination that had been practiced for thousands of years, and nearly every nation at the time was involved—especially most of the nations of Europe, and those of Africa. Irish were being enslaved and shipped to America and the Ivory Coast, followed by the African slave trade. Warring African tribes were attacking one another, and the victor would sell off the survivors of the defeated tribes to international slave traders. Under British rule, slave labor and white indentured servants (closely akin to slavery) was promoted heavily in the American colonies, and Caribbean islands owned by European nations were utilized as clearing houses for the African slave trade.
As the American colonists rebelled against European oppression, including oppression of most British subjects as well as those trapped in the slave life, a great division formed among the colonies—those who utilized slave labor (mainly in the South) and those who opposed it (mainly in the North). The attitudes were diametrically opposed, and we even find thousands of Southern black citizens owning African slaves and thousands of Northern black citizens using the wealth they had accumulated in living the American dream to help the liberation cause.
The American Revolution and the coming forth of the US Constitution cost a lot of American blood and wealth, and many compromises were necessary to get us to that point. Let me share an example of the compromises. The Southern slave holders afforded no rights to their slaves—yet, for the purposes of representation in the US Congress, they insisted that their hundreds of thousands of slaves be counted in the census, thereby providing several additional members of the House of Representatives to Southern congressional districts. Northern politicians, who felt that slavery was vile, objected, and insisted that the slaves not be counted at all, because counting them would actually give the South an unfair voting advantage in the Congress—which they would utilize to keep the slaves in bondage. An eventual compromise was reached, for the purpose of forming a national government, and slaves were eventually counted as 2/3 of a citizen—unfortunately, still resulting in too many Congressmen being appointed by Southern states. Here is the problem—now, over 200 years later, this horrible compromise is twisted into something else. It is pointed to by the Party that tried to get the slaves counted so they could keep slavery alive in the South, as the North’s attempt to block slaves from being counted as “humans.” History is stood on its head by modern propaganda and rewriting history.

Election materials produced by Democratic Party

Abraham Lincoln was the candidate of the Republican Party, which was formed on the platform of emancipation, and an end to slavery in the US. The Democratic Party did everything in their power to block Lincoln and the Republicans. Steven Spielberg (Democrat) made an excellent movie starring Daniel Day Lewis as Lincoln, accurately depicting the efforts of the Republicans to free the slaves and empower them as US citizens, and the Democrats’ many attempts to block those efforts. More than 600,000 Americans gave their lives in the fight for freedom, to emancipate the slaves of the South. Most families were horribly affected—black and white. America won, the Constitution won, and Southern Democrats were sent home licking their wounds. They continued to treat black Americans as second class citizens for generations, forming the KKK, lynching blacks and their Republican protectors for decades.
This went on until President Eisenhower. The Republicans were trying to pass civil rights and voting rights legislation, and Southern Democrats were filibustering. If you look at the voting records of the 1950s, you will be shocked at the names voting against the Republican Civil Rights legislation (Gore, Kennedy, Fulbright, etc.). At that same time, Southern Democrats were still legislating Jim Crow laws, and standing on university steps with the National Guard, keeping young black Americans out of “white” schools.

Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger preaches the gospel of Eugenics to her fellow Democrats at KKK meeting.

There came a time when certain Democratic politicians made a decision, that they could gain political power if they suddenly changed lanes and proclaimed that they, not the Republicans, were the benevolent protectors of American blacks. This was orchestrated during the presidency of JFK, and when he was murdered, President LB Johnson championed welfare state legislation, forever trapping American minorities in a permanent underclass, dependent on government handouts. His words when he signed the Great Society legislation were, “We’ll have those n___________ voting Democrat for the next 200 years.” Despicable.
Now, when I tell my children that what they are being taught at school is not historically accurate, they get this lecture. When I tell them that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a Republican, they are surprised. When I tell them that nearly all Black Americans were Republican until the Great Society legislation won them over to the Democratic Party, they are shocked. In fact, history has been so set on its ear by those seeking to rewrite it, that my children said they were told that Lincoln was a Democrat (as declared on a university plaque in Illinois), and that the KKK was started and manned by Republicans.
The Constitution is colorblind. American conservatives are colorblind. The Constitution is set in place to protect America’s citizens and the various states from federal encroachments. America’s minorities are being used as pawns by international leftists to accumulate power in the left, leaving minorities deeper in debt and more powerless with each passing year. Additionally, 3,500 minority babies are aborted in this nation every day. Who’s behind that? As Americans, we must recognize that this is a national disgrace, and I was pleased to hear Kanye West protest this fact during the election when he shouted out to American minorities to wake up to the reality of party politics and how the left is exploiting minorities without giving anything to them of value.
[Client]—what I am trying to say is that we live in a period of extreme political turmoil. The source of this turmoil is people and organizations who do not like America, and its personal liberties afforded by the US Constitution. They are doing everything they can to destroy America. The fact that you were a member of a minority, and were personally able to break racial barriers that had been in place for many years, makes you a wonderful role model—for all people, especially, though, for minority citizens, and for young ladies. My point is, that by living the American dream, and proving that the system works for everyone, through your own success, is the loudest, most positive and affirming statement you can make. I believe that if you jump into the middle of an argument that is being hyped and twisted for political purposes (yes—this is a political struggle for power, not a racial equality struggle), that the eventual fallout will have a negative impact on your stellar public persona.
History will be on the side of those who stood by America and its ideals, enshrined in the US Constitution. Those ideals do not divide Americans into any groups—not by gender, religion, race, etc. The only people who want to emphasize those distinctions and divide the people into small groups pitted against one another are people and organizations seeking to accumulate political power at the expense of those divided groups. Divide and Conquer is how they do their damage.
Most of us are members of one minority group or another. We cannot allow enemies of liberty to persuade us to turn on one another, thereby promoting their purposes. We are all Americans, and we should say nothing more than “We Are All Americans, and we have individual liberty as our common goal.” There are extremists, yes, and they want nothing more than to suck us into their sick world by spewing hate. The world is and always has been full of them—Nazis in Germany, fascists in Italy, Socialists is Russia and China, Jihadists in the Middle East. All of these groups wish to wipe out all opposition to their world domination. Their main enemy is America, because American ideals and personal liberty make it impossible for them to succeed. Therefore, they seek to conquer America by dividing Americans. They are all represented by extremist groups here in America. They take advantage of the poor, and poorly educated, and to the extent possible, they do everything in their power to keep Americans poor and ignorant.
With this in mind, do you see why I advise you to rise above the fray, and not allow your good name and great reputation to be sullied by all of this? There are tremendous powers at work in America—and we are hearing a ton of propaganda every day. Translation—you cannot count on anything the press is reporting right now. So my advice is to let others fight this propaganda war, the rewriting of history, and the rewriting of current events. I advise that your best move is to make a simple, affirmative statement . . . .
I share this letter because it is my hope that this brief explanation of race in American history serves to clarify the real issues at play in the press today. As I told my client, everything we are hearing is about power, and the politics of the accumulation of power, at the expense of the citizens of the United States–with Americans who are told they are “minorities” being manipulated to that end. Don’t be fooled by a media and press that is part of the power grab.
James Thompson is a legal scholar and political writer, and a professional ghostwriter.

Bannon Out at White House

Stephen Bannon, the chief strategist to President Trump, is expected to leave the White House, a source tells Fox News.

The New York Times also reported Friday that Trump has told aides he’s decided to remove Bannon, though it’s unclear when that might happen.

The populist Bannon formally joined Trump’s team a year ago, when the former head of Breitbart News was tapped as chief executive of the campaign. After Trump won the presidential race, Bannon was appointed to a senior adviser role at the same time Reince Priebus was named chief of staff.

The Drudge Report first reported Bannon’s exit, saying he could return to Breitbart. The New York Times then reported Trump has decided to boot Bannon.

Bannon had become increasingly isolated inside the White House following the ascension of John Kelly as chief of staff, sources inside the White House and outside advisers recently told Fox News.

Earlier this week, he gave a candid interview to a liberal magazine where he slammed some of his adversaries inside the administration.

Bannon has long been a target of mainstream Republican ire – and until now had survived even as top Trump lieutenants like Sean Spicer and Priebus have resigned.

Trump briefly addressed the speculation during a wide-ranging Q&A with reporters at Trump Tower on Tuesday afternoon, while leaving the door open as to whether Bannon would stay.

“I like Mr. Bannon, he’s a friend of mine,” Trump said, while downplaying his impact in the 2016 campaign. “I like him. He’s a good man. He’s not a racist … but we’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon.”

Fox News’  John Roberts, Alex Pappas and Serafin Gomez contributed to this report.

Trump Slams ‘Obstructionist Democrats’ as Danger to National Security

President Trump accused “Obstructionist Democrats” on Friday of hurting national security by waging court fights against his policies, in an apparent reference to the battle over his travel ban and other measures that could get renewed attention following the terror attacks in Spain.

“The Obstructionist Democrats make Security for our country very difficult. They use the courts and associated delay at all times. Must stop!” Trump tweeted, later adding: “Radical Islamic Terrorism must be stopped by whatever means necessary! The courts must give us back our protective rights. Have to be tough!”

Moments earlier, Trump had said U.S. security officials are on the lookout for any signs of trouble, while assuring that America’s borders “are far tougher than ever before.”

The president issued the message as Spanish officials make arrests and hunt for more suspects in Thursday’s attacks that killed at least 14 in central Barcelona and the resort of Cambrils.

“Homeland Security and law enforcement are on alert & closely watching for any sign of trouble. Our borders are far tougher than ever before!” Trump tweeted.

Despite his assurance on the border, his administration remains locked in a court battle with opponents of his travel ban.

The Supreme Court plans to take up the case in the fall, while allowing portions of it to go into effect.

In June, the Supreme Court partially lifted lower court injunctions against Trump’s executive order that had temporarily banned visas for citizens of six countries. The justices’ ruling exempted applicants from the ban if they could prove a “bona fide relationship” with a U.S. person or entity, but the court offered only broad guidelines as to how that should be defined.

The Trump administration then set new criteria for new visa applicants from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran and Yemen saying they must prove a relationship with a parent, spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law or sibling already in the United States to be eligible. The same requirement, with some exceptions, holds for would-be refugees from all nations who are still awaiting approval for admission to the U.S.

In Spain, a fourth person was arrested on Friday in connection with the terror attacks.

The death toll rose to 14 after a woman died following an injury when a car plowed into pedestrians in Cambrils, about 80 miles south of Barcelona. She is the first fatality of the attack in the popular seaside town.

Police shot and killed five suspects who were equipped with bomb belts in Cambrils. The belts were found later to be fake. It was not immediately clear if the Barcelona van driver was among the arrested or dead suspects.

Local government confirmed the incident in Cambrils was linked to the attack in central Barcelona, which wounded more than 100.

FoxNews.com, The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Barcelona ‘Terror Attack’: Several Wounded

DEVELOPING: Several people were injured after a white van rammed into dozens of people in a popular tourism district of Barcelona Thursday in what local police described as a likely “terror attack.”

The incident took place on Las Ramblas of Barcelona, the famous main pedestrian walk way that crosses the city. Police described the incident on Twitter as a “massive crash.”

In a photograph shown by public broadcaster RTVE, three people were lying on the ground in the street and were apparently being helped by police and others.

A grisly video of the incident appeared to show at least five people lying motionless on the ground, with legs twisted and heads bloodied.

“It was real chaos, people started running, screaming. There was a loud bang,” eyewitness Ethan Spibey told Sky News.

The Spanish newspaper El Pais quoted unnamed police sources as saying the perpetrators of the crash were holed up in a bar in Tallers Street. There was no immediate police confirmation of the report.

Catalan emergency services said people should not go to the area around Placa Catalunya, according to Reuters.

Witnesses told El Pais the driver ran over several people, and there were injured people lying on the ground.

El Pais, citing a police source, said the driver of the van fled the scene after the crash

One witness said the van “has trampled people while crossing the traffic light.”

The Ministry of the Interior said on Twitter: “There has just been a massive crash on the Ramblas in Barcelona by a person with a van. There are injured.”

Emergency services in Catalonia say they have asked the Metro and train services in the area to close.

Police cordoned off the broad street and shut down its stores. They asked people to stay away from the area so as not to get in the way of the emergency services. A helicopter hovered over the scene.

The U.S consulate in Barcelona said on Twitter it was “aware of a reported incident at Las Ramblas in Barcelona. Please avoid the area and monitor local police @mossos for updates.”

“Americans in Spain: If you are safe, be sure to notify friends and loved ones. If you use social media, be sure to update your status,” the consulate tweeted.

The National Counterterrorism Center, the government hub for threat analysis, confirmed to Fox News the center is monitoring the events in Barcelona and note the use of a vehicle as a weapon.

Since July 2016, vehicles have been used to ram into crowds in terror attack across Europe, killing well over 100 people in Nice, Berlin, London, and Stockholm.

Las Ramblas is a packed tourist area in central Barcelona whose central feature is a broad promenade leading to the water. The stretch is lined with numerous shops, restaurants, a sprawling market and Gaudí architecture.

People walk down a wide, pedestrianized path in the center of the street, but cars can travel on either side of the area.

Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, Judson Berger, The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Bannon Calls Far Right ‘Clowns,’ Says Enemies Are ‘Wetting Themselves’

White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon opened up in a rare interview published Wednesday by a left-leaning magazine, dismissing some of his enemies in Washington while calling the far-right elements of the Republican party “a collection of clowns.”

Bannon, the former executive chair of Breitbart, called a reporter with the magazine The American Prospect.

“Ethno-nationalism – it’s losers. It’s a fringe element,” Bannon said. “I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.”

He added, “These guys are a collection of clowns.”

In the wide-ranging interview, Bannon also said that his adversaries within the State, Defense and Treasury Departments are “wetting themselves” as he works to push them out of the administration.

Bannon said he called the writer, Robert Kuttner, because the strategist agreed with a recent article explaining how China would benefit from the nuclear threats between the U.S. and North Korea.

Bannon detailed his push to punish China with tougher trade sanctions — and talked of plans to oust opponents of the move.

“I’m changing out people at East Asian Defense; I’m getting hawks in. I’m getting Susan Thornton [acting head of East Asian and Pacific Affairs] out at State,” the strategist said.

Bannon’s interview also covered North Korea. Despite Trump’s claims of “fire and fury” against the regime, Bannon said “There’s no military solution [to North Korea’s nuclear threats], forget it.”

“Until someone solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us,” Bannon said.

Bannon has been the target of speculation across the country about his future in the Trump administration. The adviser reportedly has become increasingly isolated within the White House as new members join the ranks, and The New York Times reported this week that Bannon had not personally met with President Trump for over a week.

The same report said the president did speak with Bannon over the weekend as he tried to form a response to the violence that took place at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.

FoxNews.com

FLASHBACK: Bill Clinton Justified Sen Byrd’s KKK Membership

Now that Hillary Clinton has taken it on herself to attack Donald Trump for his toleration of white supremacists, it might behoove her to attack her own husband, who rationalized the late Sen. Robert Byrd’s (D-W.V.) membership in the Ku Klux Klan by lamely allowing Byrd was simply trying to get elected.

Clinton was speaking at Byrd’s funeral in Charleston when he slammed newspapers for focusing on Byrd’s history with the KKK. He said:

They mention that he once had a fleeting association with the Ku Klux Klan, and what does that mean? I’ll tell you what it means. He was a country boy from the hills and hollows of West Virginia. He was trying to get elected. And maybe he did something he shouldn’t have done, and he spent the rest of his life making it up. And that’s what a good person does. There are no perfect people. There certainly are no perfect politicians.

Byrd’s history with the KKK and racial prejudice was hardly “fleeting.” He started in 1942 by recruiting 150 people to a new chapter of the KKK in Sophia, West Virginia. He wrote later that a Klan official told him, “You have a talent for leadership, Bob … The country needs young men like you in the leadership of the nation.” Byrd continued, “Suddenly lights flashed in my mind! Someone important had recognized my abilities! I was only 23 or 24 years old, and the thought of a political career had never really hit me. But strike me that night, it did.” Byrd was later unanimously elected the top officer in the local Klan unit.

In December 1944, Byrd wrote to Senator Theodore G. Bilbo, “I shall never fight in the armed forces with a negro by my side … Rather I should die a thousand times, and see Old Glory trampled in the dirt never to rise again, than to see this beloved land of ours become degraded by race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds.”

In 1946, Byrd wrote a letter to a Grand Wizard of the KKK, stating, “The Klan is needed today as never before, and I am anxious to see its rebirth here in West Virginia and in every state in the nation.” He later protested in 1952 when he was running for Congress, “After about a year, I became disinterested, quit paying my dues, and dropped my membership in the organization. During the nine years that have followed, I have never been interested in the Klan.”

“He was a country boy from the hills and hollows of West Virginia. He was trying to get elected.”

Bill Clinton, rationalizing Democratic Senator Robert Byrd’s KKK history

Byrd explained decades later that he joined the KKK because he “was sorely afflicted with tunnel vision — a jejune and immature outlook — seeing only what I wanted to see because I thought the Klan could provide an outlet for my talents and ambitions,” acknowledging in 2005, “I know now I was wrong. Intolerance had no place in America. I apologized a thousand times … and I don’t mind apologizing over and over again. I can’t erase what happened.”

Pres Trump ‘Seriously Considering’ a Pardon for Sheriff Joe Arpaio

President Trump may soon issue a pardon for Joe Arpaio, the colorful former Arizona sheriff who was found guilty two weeks ago of criminal contempt for defying a state judge’s order to stop traffic patrols targeting suspected undocumented immigrants. In his final years as Maricopa County sheriff, Arpaio had emerged as a leading opponent of illegal immigration.

“I am seriously considering a pardon for Sheriff Arpaio,” the president said Sunday, during a conversation with Fox News at his club in Bedminster, N.J. “He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration. He’s a great American patriot and I hate to see what has happened to him.”

Trump said the pardon could happen in the next few days, should he decide to do so.

Arpaio, 85, was convicted by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton of misdemeanor contempt of court for willfully disregarding an Arizona judge’s order in 2011 to stop the anti-immigrant traffic patrols. Arpaio had maintained the law enforcement patrols for 17 months thereafter.

The man who built a controversial national reputation as “America’s toughest sheriff” admitted he prolonged his patrols, but insisted he did not intend to break the law because one of his former attorneys did not explain to him the full measure of restrictions contained in the court order.

He is expected to be sentenced on Oct. 5 and could face up to six months in jail. However, since he is 85 years old and has no prior convictions, some attorneys doubt he will receive any jail time.

‘Is there anyone in local law enforcement who has done more to crack down on illegal immigration than Sheriff Joe?’

– President Trump

Citing his long service as “an outstanding sheriff,” the president said Arpaio is admired by many Arizona citizens who respected his tough-on-crime approach, including forcing inmates to wear pink underwear and housing them in desert tent camps where temperatures often climbed well past 100 degrees Fahrenheit. He also controversially brought back chain gains, including a voluntary chain gang for women prisoners.

Civil liberties and prisoner advocates as well as supporters of immigrants’ rights have criticized Arpaio for years, culminating in his prosecution. He lost his bid for reelection last year.

“Is there anyone in local law enforcement who has done more to crack down on illegal immigration than Sheriff Joe?” asked Trump. “He has protected people from crimes and saved lives. He doesn’t deserve to be treated this way.”

Stopping the flow of undocumented immigrants across the southern U.S. border was a central theme of the president’s campaign. Arpaio endorsed Trump in January 2016.

Trump indicated he may move quickly should he decide to issue a presidential pardon. “I might do it right away, maybe early this week. I am seriously thinking about it.”

Trump could decide to await the outcome of an appeal by Arpaio’s lawyers who contend their client’s case should have been decided by a jury, not a judge.

In a statement after the verdict, his attorneys stated, “The judge’s verdict is contrary to what every single witness testified in the case. Arpaio believes that a jury would have found in his favor, and that it will.”

Reached Monday for reaction to the possible pardon, Arpaio expressed surprise that Trump was aware of his legal predicament.

“I am happy he understands the case,” he told Fox News. “I would accept the pardon because I am 100 percent not guilty.”

The former sheriff said he will continue to be a strong supporter of the president regardless of whether he receives a pardon. But he also voiced concern that a pardon might cause problems for Trump, saying, “I would never ask him for a pardon, especially if it causes heat. I don’t want to do anything that would hurt the president.”

Trump has not granted any pardons so far in his presidency.

Gregg Jarrett is a Fox News Anchor and former defense attorney.

Trump Condemns All Extremists Behind Deadly Virginia Rallies

President Trump specifically condemns “white supremacists” and other extremist groups as forces behind the deadly protests and counter-protests this weekend in Virginia, a White House spokesperson said Sunday.

“The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred. Of course that includes white supremacists, KKK Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups. He called for national unity and bringing all Americans together,” the spokesperson said from Trump’s private golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

Trump was criticized by leading Democrats and Republicans for not singling out white supremacists in his comments in the immediate aftermath of the deadly clashes Saturday in Charlottesville, Va.

Heather Heyer was killed Saturday by a car that plowed into a crowd of protesters in the city’s downtown and that was allegedly driven by a white supremacist supporter. And two state troopers were killed when their helicopter, which was providing aerial surveillance of protests, crashed.

Trump made his comments before the alleged driver, 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr., was identified.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,” the president said. “It has been going on for a long time in our country — not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. “It has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America.”

Trump also called for a study of the situation, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Saturday night announced a civil rights investigation into the events surrounding the “Unite the Right” rally.

Still, lawmakers were saying Sunday that Trump should have been more forceful in his condemnation of the white supremacists behind the rally. The protests were in response to a statue of Robert E. Lee being removed.

On Saturday, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, also a Trump rival in the 2016 GOP presidential primary, tweeted: “Very important for the nation to hear describe in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., tweeted that Trump must “speak out against the poisonous resurgence of white supremacy. There are not ‘many sides’ here, just right and wrong.”

Hours before the White House statement Sunday, Ivanka Trump, a daughter of the president and a White House adviser, tweeted: “There should be no place in society for racism, white supremacy and neo-Nazis. We must all come together as Americans — and be one country UNITED. #Charlottesville.”

Trump also got support before the White House release from Mike Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor and another Trump rival in last year’s GOP presidential primary.

“Donald Trump, I thought, was very explicitly clear in condemning what happened,” he said on Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.” “He will never satisfy those who hate his every word.”

FoxNews.com

Trump: North Korea ‘Will Be Met With Fire and Fury’

North Korea ‘will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen’ if more threats emerge

President Trump has responded to reports of North Korea’s nuclear threats, saying the regime “will be met with fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which the world has never seen before.”

Speaking from New Jersey on Tuesday, Trump also said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un “has been very threatening beyond a normal state,” adding that the regime “best not make anymore threats to the United States.”

The president’s comments come after a report was published by The Washington Post claiming North Korea has produced a compact nuclear warhead that can be placed inside one of its advanced missiles – which are already believed to be capable of reaching half of the United States.

The jarring assessment was prepared in July by the Defense Intelligence Agency, according to the Post. The Post was read parts of the DIA analysis and the document was verified by other U.S. officials, the newspaper reported.

“The [intelligence community] assesses North Korea has produced nuclear weapons for ballistic missile delivery, to include delivery by ICBM-class missiles,” an excerpt of the DIA analysis states.

Further, it is now believed that dictator Kim Jong Un may control up to 60 nuclear weapons.

The DIA report echoed some of the evaluations made in a lengthy Japanese defense white paper also revealed on Tuesday.

“It is conceivable that North Korea’s nuclear weapons program has already considerably advanced and it is possible that North Korea has already achieved the miniaturization of nuclear weapons into warheads and has acquired nuclear warheads,” Japan’s defense ministry said in the 500-page report.

The miniaturization of a nuclear warhead was one of three things U.S. officials said the regime needed to do in regards to their long-range missile tests.

Officials said North Korea also needed to be able to hit a target and demonstrate the ability to “re-enter” the earth’s atmosphere.

The regime has conducted 12 tests so far this year. One of the ICBM tests conducted in late July, in which a missile traveled 2,300 miles into space and 45 minutes into the air, was the longest and farthest ballistic missile test in the history of North Korea, officials told Fox News at the time.

“North Korea CAN miniaturize nuclear weapons for use on ballistic missiles,” leading North Korea expert Mark Fitzpatrick told Fox News. “North Korea has been working on miniaturizing a war head for 30 years now.” Fitzpatrick continued, saying that the regime is “very technically competent. It is natural that they should achieve this.”

Regarding the Post’s claim that the regime has up to 60 nuclear weapons, Fitzpatrick thinks that number is high and believes the number is closer to the 20-30 that others have estimated.

Reactions to the news highlighted the stunning advancements depicted in the reports. Some of those who’ve tangled with North Korea in the past advocated throwing diplomacy to the wayside.

“We’ve been playing the diplomatic game for a long time with #NorthKorea and it’s only given them time to advance their weapons program,” former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton tweeted.

Harry Kazianis, a columnist for the Asia Times and a senior editor at the National Interest, told Fox News’ “Happening Now” on Tuesday that North Korea was a “full-fledged” nuclear power.

But the U.S. on Saturday achieved what appeared to be a remarkable diplomatic victory, securing the unanimous approval of tough new sanctions — including votes from Russia and China.

Fox News’ Greg Palkot contributed to this report.

The Smug Bigotry of Trump-Haters

They told me if I vote for Donald Trump we would be overwhelmed with bigotry the likes of which we have never seen before.

And, boy, were they right. Little did we know, however, those obsessed in their opposition to Mr. Trump were actually speaking about themselves.

Last week was a banner one for anti-Trump bigotry. During a briefing at the White House detailing President Trump’s new immigration plan giving priority to those who, among other things, speak English, Jim Acosta, CNN’s White House correspondent, responded, “This whole notion of they have to learn English before they get to the United States, are we just going to bring in people from Great Britain and Australia?”

Mr. Acosta was widely panned for the ignorance of the remark, but it’s also an example of Michael Gerson’s phrase, “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” Coined when he was President George W. Bush’s speechwriter, it perfectly describes the smug attitude of the elite expecting the downtrodden to automatically fail, and their perpetual need for government to save them from themselves.

This cosmopolitan deceit proclaims The Other as infant, perpetually unable to help themselves.

Stephen Miller, the president’s aide, immediately confronted Mr. Acosta’s casual contempt. “This is an amazing moment,” he said, “that you think only people from Great Britain or Australia would speak English is so insulting to millions of hardworking immigrants who do speak English from all over the world.”

Exactly, but it was even more than that. Not only was he wrong on the fact of the matter (54 sovereign states have English as their official language), the soft bigotry comes in the form of expecting non-Western individuals to not be able to cope, adjust or deliver when a requirement is made of them. This cosmopolitan deceit proclaims The Other as infant, perpetually unable to help themselves.

Mr. Acosta is not alone when it comes to thinly-veiled contempt of those unlike society’s all-knowing benefactors. Stuart Rothenberg, a Trump hater and pollster with “Inside Elections,” which bills itself as a provider of “nonpartisan analysis,” tweeted this during President Trump’s rally in West Virginia: “Lots of people in West Virginia can’t support themselves or speak English.”

When confronted on Twitter about the true nature of the good, hardworking West Virginians, he agreed but then insisted they are also “close-minded, provincial, angry & easily misled.”

Soft bigotry isn’t the purview of liberals alone. Ironically, it appears to be an affliction of many, including those in the Republican establishment, who are the most fervent at warning people about Mr. Trump’s supposed evil, bigoted bias.

In February 2016 the National Review delivered their now infamous “Never Trump” issue. One month later Kevin Williamson, their “roving correspondent,” wrote about rust-belt, white working-class support for Trump:

“The truth about these dysfunctional, downscale communities is that they deserve to die. Economically, they are negative assets. Morally, they are indefensible. Forget all your cheap theatrical Bruce Springsteen crap. Forget your sanctimony about struggling Rust Belt factory towns… The white American underclass is in thrall to a vicious, selfish culture whose main products are misery and used heroin needles. Donald Trump’s speeches make them feel good. So does OxyContin.”

For millions of people in this country, it’s the overbearing and incompetent government bureaucracy that steals the future from people, sucking every ounce of hope from their lives. Mr. Williamson’s disturbing sanctimony did do one thing—exposed how disconnected even the ‘conservative’ establishment had become from the heart of this nation, and explains in part why we have President Trump and not President Jeb.

It’s no wonder we don’t want the so-called “elites” controlling our health care, managing foreign policy or determining who gets in this country and why. Americans are now partisans for the country, their own families and the future, and a vote for Trump in 2016 is the result of that commitment.

In the meantime, Trump-haters on both sides of the aisle will keep pointing at the president and his team as the problem. They are wrong and will continue to fail, reminding us every day the importance of having a President Trump.

Tammy Bruce is a radio talk-show host, New York Times best-selling author and Fox News political contributor.

Trump’s Economic Comeback – 1.29 Million Jobs

Love him or hate him, job creation is happening under President Trump – 1.29 million jobs have been created since he took office in January – helped with the addition of 209K positions in July, plus June data was revised higher by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the unemployment rate dropped to 4.3%.

Trump is just getting started…. so he said in a tweet Friday following the July jobs data.

Indeed, coincidently on Friday, Toyota (TM) and Mazda announced a plan to invest $1.6 billion in a U.S. factory, in a state yet to be named. This is expected to create 4,000 jobs. Last month, Apple (AAPL) supplier Foxconn agreed to open a factory in Wisconsin, which is expected to generate 3,000 jobs and the company indicated that number could grow.

Still, some remain skeptical of the President. Newsweek’s new cover labeled him ‘Lazy Boy’. FOX Business anchor Neil Cavuto took issue with the cover, calling it “unfair to the President of the United States” while also acknowledging that POTUS is far from perfect. He also defended the way job creation and economic progress should be covered regardless of politics. “Was that all the President? No but it happened under the President and similar good things happened under Barack Obama, all the media would naturally credit Barack Obama, it flips the other way too if it doesn’t go your way,” he points out.

Even before President Trump officially took office in January he began strong arming American CEOs, some of whom, reversed plans to move jobs overseas.

In November of last year, Carrier, a unit of United Technologies (UTX) agreed to keep 1,100 jobs in Indianapolis. While the company said in a July statement Opens a New Window. that it remains committed to these jobs, a realignment of manufacturing operations will impact “600 Indianapolis jobs over the next several months” as previously announced.

Then came Ford (F), which scrapped plans to move production of the Lincoln SUV from Kentucky to Mexico, prompting the President to give a shout out tweet to scion Bill Ford.

The President is also attempting to revive the beleaguered coal industry with the opening of the Acosta Coal Mine in Pennsylvania, the first in many years. Corsa CEO George Dethlefsen told FOX it will create 70 jobs.

Five of the six months since taking office, the economy has generated north of 200K jobs, the level economists like to see for a growing economy. These numbers have the White House in a celebratory mood.

Jobs Created in 2017

  • January:   216K
  • February:  232K
  • March:      50K
  • April:        207K
  • May:        145K
  • June:       231K
  • July:        209K

Source:Bureau of Labor Statistics 

“We now have created well over a million jobs since the Trump administration [has] come into office and since the election. The economy continues to grow. We got a GDP number last week of 2.6% for the quarter, unemployment rate down to 4.3%, back down to a 16-year low. Things are on course for the economy,” Gary Cohn, White House National Economic Advisor, told FOX Business’ Stuart Varney.

Not everything is as rosy as the White House would like. While jobs are growing the U.S. economy is still struggling to see sustained GDP growth above 3%, but there are signs of a rebound. An advance estimate for 2Q came in at 2.6% last month, stronger than the 1Q’s 1.2% showing.

And then there’s the question of stalled policies such as healthcare, which some say spells doom and gloom for tax reform, a cornerstone of the Trump administration’s pro-business push.

Still, despite those concerns investors like what they see so far. U.S. stocks continue to notch fresh records with the Dow Jones Industrial Average scoring a new milestone this week – 22K. Roughly $4 trillion in market value has been added to the stock market under President Trump with the S&P 500 averaging a 10.5% return for 2017 giving 401(K)s, pension funds and investment accounts a solid boost.

Suzanne O’Halloran is Managing Editor of FOXBusiness.com and a graduate of Boston College. Follow her on @suzohalloran  Opens a New Window. .

President Trump Signs Russia Sanctions Bill

President Trump on Wednesday signed a bill imposing sanctions on Russia, after the legislation overwhelmingly passed the House and Senate.

The stiff financial sanctions were championed by lawmakers in both parties, and Trump’s signature could escalate tensions with Moscow — which already has ordered a reduction in the number of U.S. diplomats in Russia.

The bill itself targets Iran and North Korea as well as Russia.

But a cornerstone of the legislation was a provision barring Trump from easing or waiving the additional penalties on Russia unless Congress agrees. The provisions were included to assuage concerns among lawmakers that the president’s push for better relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin might lead him to relax the penalties without first securing concessions from the Kremlin.

The Senate passed the bill, 98-2, two days after the House pushed the measure through by an overwhelming margin, 419-3. Both were veto proof numbers, upping pressure on Trump to sign the legislation.

The legislation is aimed at punishing Moscow for meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria, where the Kremlin has backed President Bashar Assad.

Signing a bill that penalizes Russia’s election interference would mark a significant shift for Trump. He’s repeatedly cast doubt on the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia sought to tip the election in his favor. And he’s blasted as a “witch hunt” investigations into the extent of Russia’s interference and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.

The 184-page bill seeks to hit Putin and the oligarchs close to him by targeting Russian corruption, human rights abusers, and crucial sectors of the Russian economy, including weapons sales and energy exports.

In recent days, though, Trump has suggested he’s tougher on Russia than many believe.

The bill underwent revisions to address concerns voiced by American oil and natural gas companies that sanctions specific to Russia’s energy sector could backfire on them to Moscow’s benefit. The bill raised the threshold for when U.S. firms would be prohibited from being part of energy projects that also included Russian businesses.

Lawmakers said they also made adjustments so the sanctions on Russia’s energy sector didn’t undercut the ability of U.S. allies in Europe to get access to oil and gas resources outside of Russia.

FoxNews.com / The Associated Press contributed to this report.

OBAMACARE IMPLOSION – Congress Paralyzed as Insurers Seek Massive Premium Hikes

Top health insurance companies in numerous states are looking to hike premiums by double-digits – some by roughly 30 percent or more – for ObamaCare plans in 2018, according to newly released figures that could light a fire under stalled efforts on Capitol Hill to fix the program.

“A lot of us have lost focus on the fact that the system we have doesn’t work,” White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday, referring to the proposed premium hikes.

The Wall Street Journal reported that major insurers in Idaho, West Virginia, South Carolina, Iowa and Wyoming are pitching premium hikes averaging 30 percent or higher.

Other states also could see double-digit hikes, including New Mexico, Tennessee and Texas – while elsewhere, insurers are eyeing smaller increases.

The requests are preliminary and could change before insurers strike 2018 agreements with federal officials in the fall.

But they underscore concerns about Affordable Care Act plans becoming increasingly unaffordable, as Republicans struggle to come up with an ObamaCare replacement bill that can pass Congress.

Their latest legislation – the so-called “skinny repeal” – failed by a single vote in the Senate last week, leaving lawmakers split over whether to “move on” and tackle issues like tax reform or regroup and try again. President Trump is urging Republicans not to give up, and even some Democrats have started to float ideas for shoring up the law, without scrapping it.

“I do think it’s important that they continue to work on health care,” Mulvaney said. “ObamaCare’s still broken. It was just as broken today as it was last week; in fact, more so.”

However, while the premium hikes could energize GOP efforts to upend the Affordable Care Act, they also could fuel Democrats’ criticism over how Republicans are handling to repeal/replace debate.

The Journal reported that insurers are concerned about Trump’s threat to halt payments to the industry that in turn help bring down costs, as well as whether Republicans will continue to enforce the individual mandate to buy insurance.

According to the Journal, one insurer in Montana linked the bulk of its proposed 23 percent increase to those two concerns.

FoxNews.com

REINCE RESIGNS: Priebus Quits as White House Chief of Staff, Replaced by DHS Chief John Kelly

President Trump late Friday replaced his embattled chief of staff Reince Priebus with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, the decorated retired general who had been leading his administration’s charge on immigration enforcement.

The seismic shake-up capped another rollercoaster week in the West Wing, rocked by the public clash between Priebus and new White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci. The latter’s hiring prompted press secretary Sean Spicer to resign in protest one week ago and immediately touched off speculation that Priebus could be next.

White House sources confirmed to Fox News that Priebus, the former Republican National Committee chairman, resigned secretly on Thursday.

“It has been one of the greatest honors of my life to serve this president and our country,” Priebus said in a statement. “I want to thank the president for giving me this very special opportunity. I will continue to serve as a strong supporter of the president’s agenda and policies.”

He added, “I can’t think of a better person than Gen. John Kelly to succeed me and I wish him God’s blessings and great success.”

Trump made the announcement publicly on Twitter late Friday afternoon.

“I am pleased to inform you that I have just named General/Secretary John F Kelly as White House Chief of Staff. He is a Great American … and a Great Leader. John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true star of my Administration,” he tweeted.

Kelly, a retired Marine general, formerly commanded the United States Southern Command.

“I have been fortunate to have served my country for more than 45 years – first as a Marine and then as the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security,” Kelly said in a statement. “I am honored to be asked to serve as the chief of staff to the President of the United States.”

The selection of Kelly was greeted with praise on Capitol Hill.

“Secretary Kelly is one of the strongest and most natural leaders I’ve ever known,” said South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has sparred with the president in the past. “As a Marine Corps officer, he instilled loyalty, respect and admiration from all who served under him.”

Speaking to reporters, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders cited Kelly’s role at the Department of Homeland Security in working to reduce illegal immigration.

“He has helped seal the border and reduced illegal immigration by 70 percent,” Sanders said. “He is respected by everyone, especially the people at the Department of Homeland Security.”

Sanders said Kelly will be sworn in on Monday, when he begins his new job.

Priebus was traveling with the president on Friday. Reporters spotted Priebus getting in a car after Air Force One landed at Joint Base Andrews.

“Reince is a good man,” Trump told reporters at Andrews. “John Kelly will do a fantastic job. General Kelly has been a star, done an incredible job thus far, respected by everybody. He’s a great great American. Reince is a good man.”

A day earlier, Scaramucci was quoted in a New Yorker story using profanity as he bashed Priebus and seemed to accuse him of leaking to reporters.

“Reince is a f—ing paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac,” Scaramucci was quoted saying.

After that story’s publication, Scaramucci didn’t deny the comments or apologize. He tweeted that he “made a mistake in trusting in a reporter.”

“I sometimes use colorful language,” he said. “I will refrain in this arena but not give up the passionate fight for @realDonaldTrump’s agenda.”

Scaramucci also told the New Yorker reporter he believed Priebus would resign soon.

In another tweet on Friday, Trump expressed his appreciation for Priebus, who became chief of staff at the beginning of the administration.

“I would like to thank Reince Priebus for his service and dedication to his country,” the president tweeted. “We accomplished a lot together and I am proud of him!”

Both Priebus and Spicer worked together at the Republican National Committee before joining the administration. Another White House press aide who worked with Priebus and Spicer at the RNC, Michael Short, who was also forced out of his job this week.

At 189 days, Priebus had the shortest tenure of any chief of staff in modern history who was not serving in an interim capacity or leaving with their president. The position was formally established in 1946.

Fox News’ Alex Pappas and Serafin Gomez contributed to this report.