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.

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.”

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. .

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

REPUBLICANS STRIKE BACK – GOP Lawmakers Press for Special Counsel on Clinton, Comey, Lynch

Republicans call for second special counsel to probe Clinton, Lynch and more

Nearly two-dozen Republicans are calling on the Trump Justice Department to appoint a second special counsel to investigate the raft of 2016 campaign controversies involving Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration, warning these questions cannot “be allowed to die on the vine” amid the Russia probe firestorm.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and GOP committee colleagues made the request in a letter Thursday to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

“The American public has a right to know the facts – all of them – surrounding the election and its aftermath,” they wrote. “We urge you to appoint a second special counsel to ensure these troubling, unanswered questions are not relegated to the dustbin of history.”

‘I don’t think that the crimes of the prior administration, of Hillary Clinton, the collusion with James Comey and Loretta Lynch should be forgotten just because Hillary Clinton lost the election’

– Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., to ‘Fox & Friends’

The lawmakers want an entirely separate special counsel probe from the one Robert Mueller is leading into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible coordination with Trump associates. The crux of their argument is that numerous unanswered questions remain from the 2016 campaign cycle that have been pushed aside amid the intense Russia focus.

They delivered an extensive, 14-point request for what a second special counsel should cover, including:

  • Allegations that former Attorney General Loretta Lynch instructed then-FBI Director James Comey to downplay the nature of the Clinton email probe
  • The FBI and DOJ’s decisions in the course of the email probe, including controversial immunity deals with Clinton aide Cheryl Mills and others
  • The State Department’s involvement in deciding which Clinton emails to make public
  • Disclosures in WikiLeaks-released emails regarding the Clinton Foundation and, according to the letter, “its potentially unlawful international dealings”
  • Connections between Clinton officials and “foreign entities” including Russia and Ukraine
  • Revelations in hacked Democratic National Committee emails about “inappropriate” coordination between the DNC and Clinton campaign against Bernie Sanders’ Democratic primary campaign
  • The “unmasking” of Americans in intelligence documents and potentially related leaks of classified information
  • Comey’s admitted leak of details of his conversations with President Trump
  • The FBI’s “reliance” on controversial firm Fusion GPS, which was involved in the questionable anti-Trump “dossier”

“Our call for a special counsel is not made lightly,” the lawmakers wrote. “We have no interest in engendering more bad feelings and less confidence in the process or governmental institutions by the American people. Rather, our call is made on their behalf. It is meant to determine whether the criminal prosecution of any individual is warranted based on the solemn obligation to follow the facts wherever they lead and applying the law to those facts.”

The push comes as Sessions comes under tremendous pressure from Trump to revisit 2016 controversies concerning Clinton and Democratic officials. The president has publicly pilloried the attorney general over his decision in March to recuse himself from the Russia probe, which led to the appointment of Mueller whom Trump has also criticized.

Sessions told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that the criticism has been “kind of hurtful” but defended his recusal and insisted he would stay on the job as long as the president allows.

Democrats have blasted the periodic GOP efforts to bring back these 2016 controversies, and maintain that Russia’s interference in the campaign is a more pressing matter. Following Trump’s criticism last week of both Sessions and Mueller, top House Intelligence Committee Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, of California, defended the importance of the current special counsel investigation.

“There is no doubt that Mueller has the authority to investigate anything that arises from his investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, including financial links, and this is spelled out in the order from the Deputy Attorney General and the law that governs the powers of the Special Counsel,” he said in a statement, while also urging Trump to “rule out categorically” the prospect of using pardons to undermine that probe.

But aside from Republican frustration over the evolving and intensifying Russia probe, recent developments have fueled their interest in revisiting 2016’s other controversies. Comey’s Capitol Hill testimony in June included a startling allegation that Lynch told him to refer to the Clinton email investigation as a “matter,” which Comey said made him “queasy.”

The Fusion GPS firm also came under renewed criticism this week when a Senate hearing witness alleged the same firm was connected to Russia-backed efforts to fight U.S. sanctions on the country.

House Judiciary Republicans voted earlier this week to call an investigation into Comey’s handling of the Clinton email probe.

One of those lawmakers, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., told “Fox & Friends” on Friday that there seems to be a “double standard in justice.”

“I don’t think that the crimes of the prior administration, of Hillary Clinton, the collusion with James Comey and Loretta Lynch should be forgotten just because Hillary Clinton lost the election,” he said.

By Judson Berger 

Mueller Probe: The Lawyers Who Gave $$ to Hillary, Now Investigating Team Trump

Why are Democratic Party Donors being picked to investigate the GOP Administration?

President Trump’s tough criticism of Special Counsel Robert Mueller signals a renewed effort to challenge his investigators’ credibility over their track record of pro-Democratic political donations and other associations.

There is no shortage of examples to fuel the president’s case.

Of the 15 attorneys currently on staff for Mueller, at least seven have donated to Democratic candidates and campaigns, including Trump’s 2016 rival Hillary Clinton. The rest have not made political donations, according to federal records; and none of the attorneys on Mueller’s roster donated money to Trump.

“This is just a witch hunt—it’s all a hoax,” White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway told “Fox & Friends” last week after Trump criticized Mueller in a New York Times interview. “People should know what folks’ past motivations, and their political motivations are—these weren’t minor donations, these were significant donations by members of that team.”

Conway said the donations are “relevant information for people to have.”

Multiple reports in recent days have detailed a special counsel investigation digging deep into Trump associates’ dealings, prompting a range of public responses from the Trump administration. The president went so far over the weekend as to declare he has “complete power to pardon.” But in the near-term, expect to hear more about the political affiliation of Mueller’s attorneys.

“They clearly wanted the other person to win. Now, whether that prejudices them in one way or another remains to be seen, but it is relevant information for people to have,” Conway said.

Here’s a snapshot of some of the attorneys on Mueller’s team and their political contributions:

James Quarles

Quarles is a former partner at WilmerHale and former assistant special prosecutor for the Watergate Special Prosecution Force. According to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, Quarles had made significant donations to Democratic candidates, including former President Barack Obama and Clinton. Most recently, in October 2016, Quarles donated $2,700 to Clinton’s presidential campaign. Quarles also donated over $7,000 to Obama over the last decade. Quarles did, however, donate $2,500 to former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, in 2015.

Jeannie Rhee

Rhee is a former partner at WilmerHale who also served in the Office of Legal Counsel and as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. At WilmerHale, Rhee focused on representing people in government investigations including white-collar criminal probes and criminal and civil fraud matters. Rhee donated a total of $5,400 to Clinton, combining donations from 2015 and 2016. Rhee also donated a combined $4,800 to Obama in 2008 and 2011. Rhee also has contributed smaller amounts of money to the Democratic National Committee and other Democrats running for Congress.

Andrew Weissmann

Weissmann served as general counsel at the FBI and was an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Weissmann is a veteran Justice Department prosecutor. He was the deputy, and then leader, of the department’s task force that investigated and prosecuted Enron executives in the energy giant’s collapse. Weissmann donated a combined $2,300 to Obama’s campaign in 2008. In 2006, Weissmann contributed at least $2,000 to the DNC.

Andrew Goldstein

Goldstein is an attorney on detail from the Southern District of New York, where he had worked under U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara—until Bharara was fired along with other U.S. attorneys by Trump.

Goldstein’s old boss has become a prominent Trump critic since his firing and has been particularly outspoken over concerns that Trump may be gearing up to get Mueller fired. In a tweetstorm last week, Bharara openly wondered, “If Mueller is fired, how much obscene & horses-t character assassination will Trump & allies level against this honored military vet?” He added if that happens, “do Trump & allies realize he will forever appear guilty of a crime even if the Special Counsel may not have found one?”

Bharara also praised Goldstein as “Best of best in every way. Fair, tough smart,” after he was brought on by Mueller.

Goldstein contributed a combined $3,300 to Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012.

Elizabeth Prelogar

Prelogar is an appellate attorney on detail from the Office of the Solicitor General. Prelogar donated $250 to Clinton in 2016 and $250 to Obama in 2012.

Brandon Van Grack

Van Grack is an attorney on detail from the National Security Division of the DOJ. Van Grack donated $286 to Obama in 2008.

Rush Atkinson

Atkinson is an attorney on detail from the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section of the DOJ. Records show that Atkinson donated $200 to Clinton’s campaign in 2016.

Zainab Ahmad

Ahmad is a U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York. She has worked extensively on counterterrorism cases. Records show that Ahmad has not made any political donations.

Michael Dreeben

Dreeben is an appellate attorney on detail from the Office of the Solicitor General. Records show he has made no political donations. Dreeben has represented the federal government in a range of cases — including on the police use of GPS tracking to monitor potential suspects, and whether former Republican Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell crossed the line in performing favors for a wealthy supporter who provided gifts to McDonnell and his wife.

Adam Jed

Jed is an appellate attorney on detail from the Civil Division of the DOJ. Records show he has made no political donations.

Jed’s notable casework includes arguing in defense of then-secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius in 2014 in the Supreme Court case of Little Sisters of the Poor v. Sebelius. The case challenged the contraceptive insurance requirement under ObamaCare. Jed also argued, before the Supreme Court, to strike down the definition of marriage between a man and a woman in the Defense of Marriage Act in the United States v. Windsor.

Aaron Zebley

Zebley is a former partner at WilmerHale, who previously served with Mueller at the FBI as chief of staff. Zebley served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia. Records show he has made no political donations.

Aaron Zelinsky

Zelinksy is an attorney on detail from the District of Maryland. Records show he has made no political donations.

Brooke Singman is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.

 

Spicer Resigns from White House

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has resigned over the hiring of a new top communications aide, sources confirmed Friday to Fox News.

The move came as Trump booster and Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci was expected to be tapped for White House communications director.

Speculation about Spicer’s status with the White House has run rampant for months, but one source described the appointment of Scaramucci was the deciding factor.

Spicer originally was supposed to lead a newly restructured communications operation. Under that structure, the communications director would report to him — which may have caused a conflict with Scaramucci, who met with Trump on Friday.

Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in recent weeks has taken the lead on many daily press briefings, which are mostly held off camera and no longer televised live.

Spicer’s abrupt exit came on a busy day for changes in Trump’s inner circle.

News broke overnight on the resignation of Mark Corallo, who had been the lead spokesman on behalf of Trump’s long-time personal attorney Marc Kasowitz and the legal team. Corallo, who was previously a spokesman for the Justice Department, reportedly objected to public criticisms of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. His resignation comes days after Trump told The New York Times that he didn’t want Mueller investigating Trump family business ties outside the Russia scope.

Kasowitz, meanwhile, is stepping back to take a lower-profile role.

Fox News’ John Roberts and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Why Republicans Choke When It’s Their Turn to Govern

The more liberal a person, the more he tends to run with the pack. The more conservative, the more individualistic he tends. When it comes to governance, the pack animals stick together better than the mavericks.

Look at the cities in our nation–they are concentrations of democrats. They readily surrender their individual sovereignty to their democratic leaders in exchange for perceived security. It is the people in the less populated suburban and rural regions that vote republican, and they prefer to maintain their personal sovereignty and look upon government with mistrust.

Why is this? There appears to be a dichotomy of personality types, and like animals, they tend toward those who prefer to run with the pack, and those who prefer a more solitary existence. The pack animals, like wolves, hunt together, and glut on the efforts of their entire society, rarely depending on their own personal efforts for every meal. Sound familiar?

Other species, like birds or bears, prefer to live in smaller groups, focused on close family relationships rather than packs. These are the republicans.

The very characteristics that render republicans enviable in their personal lives–independence, sovereignty, self-determination–makes it difficult for them to come together in a unified purpose and pass sweeping legislation, even when they all understand how important the legislation is.

Democrats stick together, and all read off of the same talking points, in unison–like a Chinese acrobatic team. They have very few defectors when they propose a point of legislation. They do not turn on each other, and if one strays from acceptable behavior, they all band together and surround the offender and protect him from his own stupidity.

Republicans do none of these things. They are the first to turn on one of their own, and the last to adopt the party line.

For these reasons, Democrats are much more able to legislate and govern. Of course, their governance is flawed, and cuts against the principles of our Constitution–a governing document constructed by political conservatives. Republicans are poor at providing governance, because they fail to get together absent a leader who brings them together. Unfortunately, we have not had such a leader since Newt Gingrich penned the GOP’s Contract With America and led the Republican party to victory in the House, and forced Bill Clinton to support several important laws.

Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are not anything approaching Newt Gingrich.

By James Thompson

James Thompson is a ghostwriter who writes books for many political and business leaders.

5 Promising Alternatives to Escape the Grasp of Socialized Education

Learning is crucial. Education is just the structure. So the question is: what is the best education we can provide for quality learning to take place among future generations?

Parents and teachers complain about students being less motivated because schools either cause too much stress or too much boredom among kids. Despite what some politicians and celebrities seem determined to achieve, a one-size-fits-all education simply won’t work in this country. Americans come from highly diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, incomes and cultures, which means successful education cannot be dictated by standardized government institutions.

Flexibility and autonomy are key ingredients to success.

Thankfully, alternatives do exist for parents to take charge of their children’s education. PragerU recently released a video about how one girl’s life was transformed and how she achieved success all because of school choice.

Here are five alternative options to escape the federal government’s grasp on your children’s education.

1. Online Whether on laptops or smartphones, students are taking advantage of virtual schools popping up all over the internet. And why not? Taking online courses is convenient, cost-effective and practically limitless in terms of available subject matter. Online schools offer varied curriculums and formats that cater to many styles of learning. Today’s technological revolution broadens and enhances this educational alternative continually. Prior to enrollment, be sure to do your research on the programs, instructors and overall quality of the school. Organizations like SR Education Group can help you navigate by providing comprehensive lists of most affordable, most recommended and even top military friendly online schools.

2. Charter Like school districts, charter schools are monitored and accredited under the statewide testing and accountability system due to the strings attached to the federal government. Despite this required state protocol, this type of structure still provides teachers the autonomy to run their classrooms as they see fit. This means curriculums are often founded on solid principles, while teachers have the flexibility to specialize in certain areas and switch things up as needed for the benefit of the students. According to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools, there were more than 6,900 charter schools in the United States, enrolling an estimated 3.1 million students from 2016 to 2017.

3. Private Private schools can be a smart way to get a personalized education of your liking. Finding a private school that supports your religious views or other values in its curriculum is often worth the financial investment when it ensures a healthy learning environment for your child. In a report shared by the Council of American Private Education, 80 percent of parents with enrolled children reported being “very satisfied” with their child’s education as well as the academic standards of the private school. An advantage of a good private school is that smaller class sizes, qualified instructors and curriculums based on your values promote a challenging, but intellectually rewarding experience for your child.

4. Homeschool Homeschooling offers one of the most personalized educational experiences possible. In this setting, you don’t have to rely on a government institution (or any institution, for that matter) to influence your child’s learning. As a parent, you can teach your child the art of learning by absorbing and mastering materials in all of life, not only in academics — something often overlooked and difficult to achieve in regular schools. This option is becoming more and more practical with the development of new curriculums and homeschooling communities. In addition to being the most personal education you can give your child, homeschooling is also much less of a burden on taxpayers. Brian D. Ray, Ph.D. with the National Home Education Research Institute, observed taxpayers fork out an average of $11,732 per public school student (K-12), while homeschooling families pay only an average of $600 per child. If you are a confident parent and ready to go through an education again yourself, homeschooling is an inventive experience where you get to be with your growing child every step of the way.

5. Trade School When it comes to higher learning, our society tends to assume a four-year degree at a prestigious university or college is the only way to sprout wings and become successful. Trade schools provide an environment where students learn the actual skills they need for real-life work experience, instead of a vague, standardized route that often lacks foundational knowledge for many possible careers. Not only do trade schools provide a head start in the hiring field, they are often much more financially manageable than college. In a recent article, The Simple Dollar highlighted the statistic that trade school students graduate with 70 percent less debt than the average four-year degree student. The departments and work specialization of these schools cover careers in the fields of entertainment, culinary arts, film-making, radio and television broadcasting, business, paralegal studies, graphic design, nursing, radiology technology, computer technology, mechanical engineering, welding, electrical work, carpentry and more. Television host and actor Mike Rowe has been a big proponent of trade schools as a valuable option for secondary education. His mikeroweWORKS Foundation helps high school graduates pay their way through a trade school where they can learn the skills necessary for “jobs that actually exist.” These schools teach habits of hard work and discipline as well as the readiness to be hired into a career that they have been trained for. A four-year college experience certainly offers skills needed for careers in the future, but trade schools can provide an extra head start, getting students into the workforce sooner than many of their peers.

Conclusion

To resist an encroaching federal government that limits choices for our children’s education, Americans must get involved to improve our nation’s education system for future generations to thrive. While considering school choice, it’s important to remember successful education results in the desired outcome of learning for our children. Anything that inhibits or prevents this desired outcome contradicts a healthy education.

By Emi Tuttle

‘SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN’ HERE Obama Agency let In Russian Lawyer Despite Visa Denial

Obama administration let Russian lawyer who met Trump Jr. into US after visa block

The Obama administration granted the Russian attorney who met with Donald Trump Jr. last June a special type of “parole” to be in the United States after she initially was denied a visa, Fox News has confirmed – though it remains unclear whether she had permission to be in the country when she attended the Trump Tower session.

That meeting has, in the last week, caused massive headaches for the Trump White House, with the revelation that an intermediary told the president’s son the attorney had dirt on Hillary Clinton, supposedly as part of the Russian government’s bid to help his dad.

But as lawmakers from both parties are scrutinizing the Trump family over the contacts, one powerful senator is pressing to find out how attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya was in the country at all.

Well before the June 9, 2016, meeting, she was denied a visa to enter the U.S. in 2015, according to court filings first reported by the Daily Beast. She was granted a “parole” to be in the country from October 2015 through early January 2016. However, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York told Fox News on Thursday that their office did not extend that status.

“She was not granted a second parole by our office,” office spokesman James Margolin told Fox News in an email. “Her case-related immigration parole ended early in 2016, and it was not renewed by us.”

Veselnitskaya’s Facebook posts and documented meetings show that she remained in the United States well after her initial parole expired in early January 2016. This includes photos of New York City’s Columbus Circle well into February, raising questions as to how she was allowed to be in the country at that time — and for her meeting with Trump Jr. as well as a trip to Washington, D.C. days after. Campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner also attended that meeting.

“She shouldn’t have been in the country,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told “Fox & Friends” on Wednesday. “I think the lady Russian lawyer that was there in that meeting, I’ve written to [The State Department and Department of Homeland Security] to find out what she was doing in the country when presumably either her visa or parole expired.”

A spokesman for the Senate Judiciary Committee told Fox News that they had yet to receive a response.

The State Department did not confirm or deny that Veselnitskaya even applied for a visa, but told Fox News that the department is prohibited by the Immigration and Nationality Act from discussing individual visa cases. The State Department did, however, tell Fox News that all visa applications are adjudicated on a case-by-case basis.

The Hill reported on Wednesday that it was the Obama Department of Justice that granted Veselnitskaya her temporary parole allowing her into the country to help a client on a court case in the New York federal court.

In court documents, the attorney acknowledged she had “applied for a visa to enter the United States, but was denied.”

She continues, “However, the United States did issue a parole letter for me to enter the United States in order to help defend this lawsuit. Nevertheless, I have been harassed by the Government despite being paroled into the United States.”

In the same documents, she confirmed that her request to extend her parole, which expired Jan. 7 2016, was denied a few days before that deadline.

Unclear is how she was in the U.S. several months later and which agency under the Obama administration officially granted Veselnitskaya parole at the outset. The Hill reports it was approved by then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

According to the State Department, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is the agency under which purview of parole falls.

Acting Chief of Media Relations for USCIS Gillian Christensen told Fox News that parole is granted “sparingly” and in “extraordinary circumstances,” including urgent humanitarian reasons, such as a medical or family emergency. The official also told Fox News that parole may be requested for a person who “believes his or her presence in the United States will be a significant public benefit,” and cited participation in a civil court case as an example.

Veselnitskaya was working as an attorney for a Cyprus-based real estate holdings company called Prevezon, run by Denis Katsyv, son of Pyotr Katsyv, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s closest advisers, and was given “unlimited resources” by the Kremlin-connected group to run a campaign to get the Magnitsky Act repealed, Fox News reported Wednesday. The Magnitsky Act enacts sanctions on certain Russian officials as a punishment for human rights violations.

“Parole allows an individual to enter the United States and remain for a temporary period corresponding to the reason parole was approved,” Christensen told Fox News. “Parole is generally not authorized for more than one year.”

By Brooke Singman, a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.

 

Former NSC Senior Director: ‘Coordinated Attack’ on President Trump by Media, Obama Loyalists

A former senior director of the National Security Council under President George W. Bush said on Thursday that the liberal media and Obama loyalists inside and outside of the federal government had executed a “coordinated attack” on President Donald Trump since he was elected.

Michael Doran made the remarks at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC, where he is a senior fellow on Middle East security and was a panelist for a discussion at the institute on Russian meddling in the U.S. 2016 presidential election. The conversation quickly shifted to Trump and his campaign’s relationship with the Russians and the ongoing investigation into it.

“What we have is a coordinated attack between elements of the press, elements in the bureaucracy and then sitting — during the transition — and now former Obama officials weaving this vast Trump-Putin conspiracy theory, which doesn’t hold up under scrutiny.”

Panelist David Tafuri, former State Department legal counsel, argued that, although there is no evidence of collusion between Trump and the Russians, evidence could be unearthed by special counsel Robert Mueller, who was named by the Department of Justice to look into ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russian officials.

But Doran said that Russians meddling into U.S. elections and government has been going on for years, including the eight years that President Barack Obama was in charge of protecting the nation from its enemies.

“We knew the Russians were involved in all kinds of nefarious actions and we did nothing until December 29th [2016] just before the Trump inauguration,” Doran said. “One of the psychological benefits to the Democrats of this Russian collusion nonsense is that it has completely white-washed the appeasement of the Russians by Obama.

“We’ve just forgotten all that,” Doran said.

“Intelligence community testimony and an ongoing special counsel investigation suggest an extensive Russian effort to interfere in last year’s U.S. presidential election and thereby undermine confidence in our democratic system,” the Hudson Institute said of its event. “Much relevant information remains classified and congressional and executive-branch inquiries are far from concluded.”

“But the outlines of this purported Kremlin meddling do reflect a range of intelligence tactics previously developed by Russia to destabilize its Baltic neighbors and weaken democratic institutions worldwide,” the Hudson Institute website states.

by Penny Star