Maybe I’m both.
I do know I am a Tea Party patriot. We need to reorganize and join the MAGA team.
Maybe I’m both.
I do know I am a Tea Party patriot. We need to reorganize and join the MAGA team.
This and other reports from the region does not bode well for Middle East peace. We need to be very careful not to get dragged further into a quagmire. On the other hand, we need to be very careful that the Russians, and their Iranian and Syrian puppet states don’t create more havoc. We need to prevent Russia from improving their Syrian port facilities.
ISIS is showing signs of reconstituting itself in the region. We can’t let Russia prevent us from destroying both al Qaeda and ISIS.
A year ago, Russia’s mask of non-hostility towards Israel was still in place, in the form of strategic coordination with Israel regarding the latter’s bombings in Syria. This allowed it to conceal that it fully sided with Israel’s enemies – Syria and Iran. Even as it refrained from trying to stop Israel from bombing Iranian targets in Syria – as if it could have prevented this – it was at the same time enabling and sponsoring Iran’s expansion into Syria.
An article I wrote a year ago presented the unvarnished facts about Russia’s support for Iran’s expansion in Syria at the expense of Israel’s national security. It asserted that the Iranian forces’ presence in Syria constituted an existential threat to Israel. It further explained, for the benefit of those who could not conceive of Putin as so anti-Israel – after all, he had made Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu a guest of honor at the Moscow Victory Day parade in Red Square in May – that this was nothing personal against Israel, but, as they say in the Mafia, just business connected to Russia’s rivalry with the U.S. In truth, the strategic Israel-Russia coordination of Israeli bombings in Syria served Russian interests: Israel declared that it would continue the bombings no matter what, and an Israel-Russia military escalation could only draw the U.S. into the melee and expose Russia as a mere regional power that was no match for the U.S.
Following the September 18 downing of an Ilyushin-20 plane by Syrian missiles, Russia’s mask dropped, and the true anti-Israel face of its policy was fully revealed. Indeed, Putin first attempted to conceal it by refraining from fully blaming Israel for the tragedy. But soon enough he joined his subordinates in blaming Israel, and announced that Russia would equip Syria with S-300 missile systems, which would, inter alia, protect Iranian forces in Syria from Israeli attacks.
Now the picture is crystal clear: The Russians, who originally enabled and sponsored the Iranian expansion in Syria as an anti-U.S. measure, will now also protect the Iranians in Syria from Israeli attacks. This constitutes an undeclared act of war against Israel by an enemy, i.e. Russia – since it will not be the Syrians operating the S-300s against Israeli aircraft, because they yet face a long learning curve to do this; it will, for an indeterminate time, be Russian officers.
But with Russia’s equipping Syria with S-300s, and their inevitable operation by Russian officers against Israeli aircraft, the Russians risk a major military and technological debacle. They will learn, if they haven’t yet from the Ilyushin tragedy, that Israeli-American technology is far superior to Russia’s – and that goes not just for the S-300s now being shipped to the Syrians, but also for the S-300s and S-400s that Russia already has in place in Syria for its own defense. Perhaps only an internal Russian military investigation can show what these systems were doing when the Ilyushin was shot down.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu rejects the Israeli version of events, according to which the Israeli planes were already back over Haifa when the Ilyushin was shot down. The Russians argue that the radar picture showed an Israeli plane using the Ilyushin as a shield. A possible explanation for this, revealed by the Israeli daily Haaretz, is that the radar picture available to the Russians was not actual, but was the product of Israel’s electronic warfare. Given that this will continue to be part of any future Israeli bombing, the advanced Russian missile defense systems will be rendered no longer marketable. Perhaps this is why the Russians, upon announcing that they will deliverer S-300s to Syria, simultaneously announced their willingness to negotiate with the U.S. on this delivery, in order to avert any possible clashes with Israel and their ramifications.
Russia’s true face has been revealed not only in the military/strategic sphere – by providing S-300s to Syria – but also by its reversion to the old Russian/Soviet antisemitism that not even Russian President Putin’s “special relationship” with Chabad can camouflage. Former Israeli Ambassador to Russia Zvi Magen noted: “The media blamed Israel on the day of crisis in a well-timed orchestrated manner, filled with antisemitic elements. This wasn’t random.” Given Russia’s actual policy towards Israel, this should come as no surprise.
Yigal Carmon is president and founder of The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). From 1988-93, he served as an advisor on countering terrorism to two successive Israeli prime ministers.
for making it possible to put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court. What goes around comes around.
Big anti Kavanagh demonstrations are planned for this weekend. We must get out and show them that they are not the only voices in America. It doesn’t matter if you are outnumbered. Put on your hard hats and wear some padding and wait for them to assault you. Make sure you have someone (or more than one) person there to video the events. Bring your MAGA clothes, you Gadsden flags, and large signage. If necessary bring something you can use to defend yourselves. Be peaceful but be prepared. But get out there and show the world that we deplorables, we coal people, really matter.
The election is 34 days away. It is critical that we continue the momentum and vote Republican in November. I was going to vote for an independent in New Jersey but the vote will be so close that we can’t afford to take any away from Bob Hugin. Granted he is a RINO but that is still better than Menendez. We can deal with Hugin at a later date. Just think what things would be like if we had, say, 56 senators rather than 51.
Just think what it would be like if we were not handcuffed with interminable impeachment hearings.
Just think what it would be like if we had enough votes to build the wall, to destroy Obamacare once and for all, to reform the rest of our administrative state, to purge the executive department of the dark state.
The Tea Parties made a difference 6 years ago. It is past time that we stood up and made our voices heard loudly and clearly.
This is not good.
ISIS’s Second Resurgence
By Brandon Wallace and Jennifer Cafarella
Key Takeaway: The Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) is reconstituting a capable insurgent force in Iraq and Syria despite efforts to prevent its recovery by the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition. The U.S. Department of Defense stated in August 2018 that ISIS retains nearly 30,000 fighters across Iraq and Syria and is “more capable” than Al-Qaeda in Iraq – ISIS’s predecessor – at its peak in 2006 – 2007. ISIS is waging an effective campaign to reestablish durable support zones while raising funds and rebuilding command-and-control over its remnant forces. On its current trajectory, ISIS could regain sufficient strength to mount a renewed insurgency that once again threatens to overmatch local security forces in both Iraq and Syria. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is issuing a map update depicting ISIS’s current operating areas based on an analysis of its activity from January 1, 2018 to October 1, 2018.
Note: This map depicts ISIS’s operating areas in Iraq and Syria as of October 1, 2018. The graphic presents an assessment of ISIS’s control, support, and attack zones based on openly available reporting from January 1, 2018 to October 1, 2018. ISW’s rigorous methodology conforms to the doctrinal definitions used by the U.S. Armed Forces. Control zones are areas in which ISIS controls and governs civilian populations. Support zones are areas in which ISIS retains the ability to conduct logistics and administrative support functions. Attack zones are areas in which ISIS conducts kinetic attacks against civilians, infrastructure, and local security forces. ISW will publish updates to this assessment as appropriate.
The U.S. Anti-ISIS Campaign has not eliminated the global threat posed by ISIS despite largely accomplishing its stated objectives in Iraq and Syria. The campaign aimed to destroy ISIS’s physical caliphate and “drive down [its] capability” to the point where local forces could maintain security with limited international support. In Iraq, the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition accomplished this mission by April 2018 after finishing the last urban clearing operations in Anbar Province in Western Iraq. The Coalition scaled down its operations to a Building Partner Capacity (BPC) effort aimed at enabling Iraqis to “independently manage” a continued insurgency by ISIS. In Syria, the U.S. and its local partner forces are now attacking a final ISIS territorial stronghold near the Syrian-Iraqi border. ISIS has nonetheless already restructured its operations to return to a regional insurgency. The Pentagon stated in August 2018 that ISIS retains nearly 30,000 fighters across Iraq and Syria and is “more capable” than Al-Qaeda in Iraq – ISIS’s predecessor – at its peak in 2006 – 2007. ISIS is now waging an effective campaign to reestablish durable support zones while raising funds and rebuilding command-and-control over its remnant forces. On its current trajectory, ISIS could regain sufficient strength to mount a renewed insurgency that once again threatens to overmatch local security forces in both Iraq and Syria despite support from the Coalition.
Detecting ISIS’s Reconstitution
ISIS is finding new sources of revenue and rebuilding command-and-control over its scattered remnant forces in order to prepare for a future large-scale insurgency in both Iraq and Syria.
ISIS was able to smuggle as much as $400 million out of Iraq and reinvest it into legitimate businesses across the wider Middle East. It also continues to engage in lucrative criminal activity including extortion, smuggling, theft, and money laundering. ISW has observed multiple additional indicators of efforts by ISIS to generate additional revenue, including:
Syrian Al-Qaeda affiliate Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) accused ISIS of taking hostages and extorting their families for sums worth tens of thousands of dollars in Northern Syria.
The U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition has interdicted large caches of drugs including Captagon and other amphetamines being trafficked by ISIS in Southern Syria.
ISIS has reportedly established a network of front companies – including car dealerships, electronic shops, pharmacies, and currency exchanges – to launder money in Iraq.
ISIS reportedly stole an unspecified quantity of drugs during a raid on a healthcare facility near Kirkuk in Iraq in mid-September 2018. ISIS could intend to sell these drugs for a profit. Alternatively, it may be restocking provisions for injured fighters ahead of future operations.
ISW cannot assess the full scale of revenue being generated through these and other efforts by ISIS. Revenue generation is nonetheless a requirement for any military force to scale up its combat operations.
ISIS can only wage an effective insurgency if it maintains command-and-control over its estimated tens of thousands of remaining fighters. The U.S. Anti-ISIS Campaign has forced some of ISIS’s cells to go to ground and it is unclear how many fighters its senior leaders can directly command. ISIS Emir Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi released an audio message on August 22 calling for his followers to “wage attack after attack” and “unite and organize” against their opponents. ISIS similarly appealed in publications in March – April 2018 for the activation of sleeper cells. These messages suggest that ISIS deliberately embedded operatives to conduct future attacks in recaptured areas across Iraq and Syria. The public orders nonetheless signal that ISIS may lack control mechanisms to issue direct commands to its forces. ISW has observed at least four indicators that ISIS is reconstituting an operational-level command structure in Iraq and Syria as of October 1.
ISIS announced the formation of two new wilayats (provinces) for Iraq and Syria on July 20. ISW assesses that these new structures are operational-level headquarters responsible for directing ISIS’s military campaign and bureaucratic functions across Iraq and Syria. ISIS retains a roughly equal combat force in each country. The U.S. Department of Defense estimated in August 2018 that ISIS commands 15,500 to 17,000 fighters in Iraq and 14,000 fighters in Syria.
Iraq conducted an airstrike targeting a reported ISIS “operations command” at an unidentified location in Syria on August 16. Iraqi officials reported that the strike disrupted a planned suicide vest (SVEST) attack in Iraq. If true, ISIS continues to coordinate cross-border operations despite efforts by the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition to secure the Syrian-Iraqi border. The strike may have damaged this command element and thereby disrupted ISIS’s reconstitution.
ISIS’s official media outlets have implemented a new format of attack claims aligned with the new wilayats announced by ISIS on July 20. Previous claims had preserved the provincial command structure in place prior to the loss of ISIS’s de facto capitals in Mosul and Ar-Raqqa City. This standardization of communications guidelines indicates a centrally-controlled media campaign across Iraq and Syria. A parallel military command that reports and authorizes the release of content typically accompanies this type of media effort. The standardization of attack claims also allows ISIS to more effectively measure the progression of its own campaigns.
ISIS launched a new weekly report on its military activities on August 2. The report details attack statistics in Iraq and Syria as well as Afghanistan-Pakistan, Egypt, Nigeria, Somalia, and the Philippines. This detailed product is similar to the annual reports released by ISIS during its resurgence after the U.S withdrew from Iraq in 2011. It demonstrates that ISIS remains capable of tracking its campaigns across Iraq and Syria as well as its most active wilayats abroad.
ISIS’s Operating Areas
ISIS is waging an effective campaign to reestablish durable support zones across Iraq and deny the rehabilitation of communities liberated by the U.S. Anti-ISIS Campaign. ISIS retains a small control zone where it continues to govern a local population north of Baiji in Northern Iraq. It also retains established support zones in areas south of Kirkuk City including Daquq, Hawija, Riyadh, and Rashad Districts as well as rural areas around Lake Hamrin in the Diyala River Valley. ISIS possesses the ability to move freely across this terrain at night and is actively waging attacks to expand its freedom of movement during the day. Its activities have thus far been limited to small arms attacks, targeted assassinations, and suicide vests (SVESTs). ISIS is steadily scaling up the rate of these attacks, conducting as many as four assassinations per week across Northern and Central Iraq. This violence has expelled civilians from small villages in Diyala and Kirkuk Provinces. ISIS also retains a durable support zone in the Hamrin Mountains, where it appears to base some of its leadership. Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) regularly claim to kill senior militants during clearing operations in the area. In Baghdad, ISIS’s attack pattern indicates that it is likely reconstituting support and logistical networks throughout the Baghdad Belts, replicating its safe havens in 2006 – 2007. ISIS has not yet returned to the systematic use of vehicle-borne IEDs (VBIEDs), which were a hallmark of its resurgence in 2011 – 2013. ISIS may cross this threshold soon. The Iraqi Ministry of Interior claimed to disrupt an ISIS VBIED cell north of Baghdad on September 6.
ISIS has also established a support zone along the Iraqi-Iranian border that it is using to project capability into Iran. ISIS remnants (including Kurdish Salafi-Jihadist group Ansar al-Islam) have maintained a support zone in the Halabja Mountains in Iraqi Kurdistan since late 2016. Ansar al-Islam pledged allegiance to ISIS in 2014 but remained a distinct unit within its command structure. ISIS fighters from Ansar al-Islam conducted the major spectacular attack in Tehran during Ramadan in June 2017. A similar cell later deployed into Iran and clashed with the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in January 2018. A senior leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) Peshmerga stated in February 2018 that Ansar al-Islam is leveraging its cross-border links and local knowledge to facilitate infiltration into Iran. ISIS is expanding its support base in Iraqi Kurdistan beyond the Halabja Mountains. Local Kurdish forces have detained numerous alleged cells in Sulaymaniyah Province in Northern Iraq since January 2018.
ISIS is also reconstituting as an insurgent force across Syria. ISIS has lost all its territorial control in Syria except a twenty-kilometer-long stretch of terrain along the Euphrates River in Eastern Syria near the Syrian-Iraqi border. The area is currently under attack by the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition. ISIS is nonetheless reconstituting in areas nominally under the control of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. ISIS negotiated evacuation deals from Damascus and the Golan Heights to relocate its forces to the Syrian Desert east of Damascus in May – July 2018. ISIS has exploited its underground tunnel networks in order to regroup and launch local counter-attacks in this area against both the Russo-Iranian Coalition and the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition. ISIS is also infiltrating Al-Qaeda’s areas of operations in Northern Syria in order to gain access to logistics routes through Turkey. It may also intend to tap into flows of Al-Qaeda-aligned foreign fighters. ISIS has also demonstrated that it retains the ability to mount attacks in areas held by the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) including Ar-Raqqa City, Hasaka City, and Qamishli. ISIS is likely regenerating support networks across its former territorial holdings in Northern and Eastern Syria.
Future of the Anti-ISIS Campaign
ISIS’s resurgence will likely accelerate as the Anti-ISIS Campaign falls down the priority list of the Government of Iraq. Iraq shifted its focus towards Iraqi Kurdistan in October 2017 after the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a contested independence referendum in September 2017, triggering a military response from both Iraq and Iran in the contested city of Kirkuk. The subsequent military standoff between the Government of Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan disrupted operations against ISIS and created opportunities for ISIS to expand in the Disputed Internal Boundaries (DIBs) with Iraqi Kurdistan.
Iraq’s May 2018 Parliamentary Elections and subsequent political developments have further disrupted the ability of the Government of Iraq to prioritize the Anti-ISIS Campaign. A growing protest movement in Southern Iraq divided the government and disrupted clearing operations against ISIS. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi redeployed part of the elite Iraqi Counterterrorism Services (CTS) to secure government installations in Southern Iraq on July 13. The CTS is the preeminent force against ISIS in Iraq and works closely with the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition. Abadi similarly redeployed part of the Iraqi Emergency Response Division from the DIBs to Southern Iraq on September 9, further degrading security in Northern Iraq.
The U.S. risks finding its options against ISIS in Iraq further constrained by the outcome of the ongoing government formation process in Baghdad. Iran is making a concerted effort to shape a Government of Iraq that is hostile to the U.S. and could demand a full withdraw of the U.S. Anti-ISIS Coalition. The U.S. is meanwhile using its economic leverage – and threats to revoke bilateral military support – in order to block powerful proxies of Iran from occupying key positions in the Government of Iraq. The outcome of this showdown remains unclear but it could lead to a violent confrontation between rival powerbrokers that would provide new openings for ISIS. The U.S. and its allies must take action to set the political conditions necessary to sustain a long-term campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. ISIS otherwise threatens to return yet again in a form even more dangerous and more capable than its rise to global prominence in 2014.
Not my writing, but it could be. I mirrors my feelings completely. It is overtime for a resurrection of the Tea Party.
This is from the Federalist.By George S. Bardmesser
October 2, 2018
Four years before Brett Kavanaugh was writing in his calendar in the summer of 1982, my family immigrated to this country. Before our plane landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport, my teenage imagination saw America as a land of skyscrapers from coast to coast.
I imagined the senators and congressmen as wise and thoughtful. I imagined freedom, success, and money. Perhaps I imagined due process, although I didn’t yet know that word (where we came from, there wasn’t much of it). I had heard of the concept of “innocent until proven guilty,” however, as strange as it sounded then.
This last Friday night, I spoke to my 81-year-old father. We talked of his health, and then he surprised me. “Can you believe this outrage in the Senate?” he said, his voice trembling with rage. “How can they do this to this man? How?”
We rarely talk politics. I am a lawyer in a small private practice about four hours’ drive from him, and neither of us has the inclination for lengthy political discussions. Both of us might have once been called liberal Republicans. We voted for Trump with great reluctance. Since 2016, however, I have not regretted my vote for one instant.
I didn’t think my father followed the goings-on in Washington. My initial response was: “I’d rather not talk about it, or I’ll pop an artery in my brain.” But then I told him: “You live in New Jersey. Guess what? Your senator is up for re-election, and he is a corrupt Democrat. Talk to your friends. Get them to vote for the Republican in November. This time, you have a chance.”
Again, he surprised me. He said he doesn’t need to talk to them, they are already planning to vote Republican. Every single one of them. “Tell them to talk to their friends,” I said. “Tell them to get every one of their friends to vote.” “I will,” he said, “I must.” So there will be a few more people voting against Sen. Bob Menendez five weeks from now.
There Was a Lot More Material in Ford’s Testimony
I streamed the Kavanaugh hearings on my laptop and to my phone as we walked our dog. I had to mute the sound of the Democratic senators, with their insincere platitudes, preening, fake and utterly hypocritical expressions of concern for Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford, their tedious grandstanding. Listening to Sen. Dianne “I don’t know who leaked it” Feinstein or to Sen. Spartacus for longer than a few seconds endangers one’s mental health.
Ford didn’t sound like a flake or a liar. Two minutes into prosecutor Rachel Mitchell’s questioning, that sinking feeling of dread began digging its steel claws into my stomach. She asked Ford if she was on medication, blah, blah. These are good questions, and I’ve asked them myself in a deposition. But here, every second was precious, and every second she wasted was another that Kavanaugh was sliding into the abyss.
Yes, Mitchell was gentle and sympathetic, but where was the substance? Minutes dragged by, and she barely chipped away at the inconsistencies, the lack of memory, the lack of details, the lack of corroboration of any kind, and the fact that even Ford’s friend could not substantiate her story.
A million better questions come to mind. Why didn’t Mitchell ask about all the other women who came forward to support Kavanaugh? Were all of them dupes? Or fools? What about the binge drinking proudly listed in Ford’s yearbook? The “party girl” nickname from high school? With the fate of Supreme Court on the line, how is this not worth a few questions? Ford was a future binge drinker who “only” had one beer?
Why didn’t Mitchell harp on a complete and utter lack of any actual evidence of anything, except Ford’s uncorroborated words decades later? Why did she not harp on the existence of contrary evidence? Why did she not harp on the fact that Ford wasn’t even 100 percent certain of the year when the events took place, and that she can’t remember where, or when, or how she got there, or how she got back?
Surely she couldn’t have walked to the party; that is obvious. Make Ford repeat this ten times if you have to! Time dragged on, and where were the questions? After several hours, Mitchell’s “successes” were picayune.
Kavanaugh’s Defense Was Spectacular
Hiring a woman may have been a stroke of genius, but Republicans once again shot themselves in the foot. Mitchell was the wrong woman for the job. By 2:30 p.m., it was clear that Kavanaugh was finished.
And then Kavanaugh spoke. It was, perhaps, the most powerful speech I have ever heard in real time. Kavanaugh was amazing. Spectacular. Incredible. Kavanaugh did the impossible: he actually demonstrated, against all odds, in a setting stacked against him in every way, that there is persuasive contrary evidence.
He turned it all around. He united any wavering Republicans out here, in the real world, under his banner. He finally let the Democrats know that they won’t cow him. Hours later, I told someone that I felt privileged to have heard his speech.
Far too many of our flaky congressional Republicans let the Democrats win the narrative, and Kavanaugh finally punched back. Yes, Kavanaugh was enraged at the Democrats, and so was I! So were tens of millions of us Republicans who suffer quietly, our voices silenced by the PC police and the leftist sycophantic media. Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Richard Blumenthal could badger him for hours with idiotic questions about high school yearbooks, or why he won’t ask for an FBI investigation of himself, and they still couldn’t rattle him.
I shake with fury when I think about how, in the Democrats’ dishonest and despicable rhetoric, a man of the highest integrity is already an all-but-proven rapist—they barely bother with the “alleged.” After all, there are “serious allegations” out there that he was part of a heinous gang that drugged and raped women on numerous occasions, all while in high school. And the same women (or just one woman?) kept coming back, over and over, to the drug-and-rape parties inspired and led by the 17-year-old Kavanaugh?
Who wouldn’t believe such “credible allegations”? What’s rape on a boat in Rhode Island, also allegedly perpetrated by Kavanaugh in 1986, compared to an entire rape gang?
This Isn’t About Kavanaugh, This Is About Everyone
The next step in the progressive hate parade is straightforward: Kavanaugh is a serial rapist and killer who buries his victims in his back yard. (Pardon me, an alleged serial rapist and killer—he hasn’t been convicted yet, which is a minor inconvenience for the left, but only a minor one.) But worry not. Stormy Daniels and her reptiloid lawyer are on the case.
I shake with fury when I think about how Democrats are using Ford, a woman with memory and documented psychological issues, in a calculated vicious campaign of obstruction, character assassination, and destruction of one of our finest judges. If they can do this to him, they can do it to anyone. And we all know they will do it to anyone. We all know this is the new normal: weaponizing sexual misconduct allegations, however uncorroborated, however improbable, however lurid or bizarre, against Republican nominees. Everyone is vulnerable. Everyone.
I shake with fury when I think of how this farcical confirmation process is symptomatic of what Democrats are doing to our country.
I shake with fury when I think about Sen. Jeff Flake, and the idiotic one-week delay stunt that the Judas of the Republican Party agreed to at the urging of the duplicitous Democrats. If ever there was a man whose last name embodied his spiritual essence, it surely is him. If he ever shows up at a Republican gathering anywhere, he should surely be tarred and feathered.
I shake with fury when I think of how this farcical confirmation process is symptomatic of what Democrats are doing to our country, from workplaces to universities, from old media to new media, from schools to kindergardens. Everyone is now vulnerable to the wildest accusations of sexual impropriety, with no proof needed, since the charges are inherently unprovable, and one must always believe the victim.
I shudder to think of what it’s like to be a young man today, in this environment. It used to be that the worst that could happen is that a woman said, “Sorry, I have other plans for tonight.” Now men must make sure they have their lawyer’s number on speed dial, because every date, regardless of whether she says “yes” or “no,” is a potential sexual misconduct complaint, a criminal charge, or a lawsuit.
I have followed politics for years, but have never been active, aside from voting. This year, I have volunteered to help Republican candidates.
George S. Bardmesser is an attorney in private practice in the Washington, DC area.
The following article appeared in The Rasmussen Report
A Commentary By Stephen Moore
Tuesday, October 02, 2018
I have spent some three decades railing against faulty budgetary scoring of tax bills, but the latest charade from the Congressional Budget Office and Joint Tax Committee takes the cake. The story of fiscal phony math is so indefensible when it comes to the Trump tax cut that you may not believe it could be true. Alas, it is.
The story starts with the CBO forecast in 2017 that over the next decade the national debt will double to 150 percent of GDP in about 20 years. Those are debt numbers that don’t have a happy ending — just ask the citizens of Puerto Rico, Detroit and Greece.
This pessimistic forecast was based on a CBO prediction before President Barack Obama left office that economic growth would average over 20 years between 1.7 percent and 1.8 percent. Growth that low doesn’t come close to generating the tax revenues to keep pace with shoot-the-moon federal spending trends.
But President Donald Trump’s economic program was always predicated on getting pedal-to-the-metal growth of 3 percent to 4 percent each year. (Trump actually wanted 5 percent growth, but even Larry Kudlow and I thought that was too high to aim for. We might have been too unambitious.)
Economist Larry Summers of the Clinton and Obama administrations and many others on the left assured America that 2 percent was the best we could possibly achieve because America was suffering from a slow-growth paralysis he called “secular stagnation.” They believed that since Obama averaged less than 2 percent growth over eight years (and 1.6 percent in his last year in office), it would be inconceivable for a blowhard like Trump to get us to anywhere near 3 percent.
But growth has rocketed to above 4 percent over the last two quarters and it’s a brand-new ball game. Just since the tax cut passed some nine months ago, the CBO has increased its estimate of economic output by a gargantuan $6.1 trillion over the 10-year window of 2018 to 2027.
Because the federal government soaks up about 18 percent of the economy in taxes, this unexpected surge in prosperity will generate roughly $1.1 trillion more revenue for the federal government. The states and cities will also pick up about $500 billion more. Amazing.
Now here’s where things start to get interesting. More growth means more revenue to the government, which means lower deficits in the future, right? Not according to the CBO. It actually now says the Trump tax cut, which was originally estimated to cost $1.5 trillion by the Joint Tax Committee, is this year suddenly inflated to about $1.9 trillion.
Here is how Politico explained the $400 billion rise in the deficits caused by the tax bill:
“CBO found the economy was stronger last year than previously estimated, and that puts a higher price tag on the tax cuts because more people would otherwise be paying higher rates this year. On top of that, CBO now believes top earners will get less of the income pie in the coming years, which means less revenue coming into the government.”
This is the most convoluted logic in modern times. Thanks to the tax cut and other Trump policies, growth is $6 trillion higher. And yet because tax rates are lower, CBO says the feds will get less of that extra money in revenues.
CBO is genetically incapable of giving Trump the credit for the booming economy. In fact, he’s penalized for it. Any sane person would say the deficit is going to be somewhere near $1 trillion smaller as the economy booms. Not $400 billion larger.
Even more remarkable is that CBO says the rich will get a smaller share of the economic pie over the next decade. Wait a minute. I thought the Democrats said this was a tax cut for millionaires and billionaires. Guess not.
Incidentally, this exact forecasting error happened in the Obama years — except in reverse. Because the growth rate was much lower under Obama than expected, the GDP was $2 trillion lower over Obama’s two terms. It turns out the “stimulus” package failed to stimulate.
Trump’s tax cut is only 9 months old so it is too early to say it is paying for itself. But already well over half the projected cost has evaporated because of higher growth. If we stay on this 3 to 4 percent path for another couple of years, the flood of added revenues will mean smaller deficits and much smaller debt levels relative to GDP.
What makes this all the more remarkable is that most Democrats are running for Congress this year promising to repeal or rollback the Trump tax cut, even though it has helped get us to 4 percent growth in a mere 18 months. They are sticking to their script that the tax cut will not work even though we can all see that it is working.
I told you that you wouldn’t believe this.
Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation and an economic consultant with FreedomWorks. He is the co-author of “Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy.” To find out more about Stephen Moore and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
So true. White guys don’t belong in the Senate especially when they are judging Kavanaugh. Hear that Blumenthal, Leahy, Durbin, Whitehouse, Coons. Why are you on this committee? Let’s have more like Spartacus.
NO MORE MR. WHITE GUY
September 26, 2018
“They know the optics of 11 white men questioning Dr. Ford … will be so harmful and so damaging to the GOP.” — Areva Martin, CNN legal analyst
“They understand that you have all of these white men who would be questioning this woman … the optics of it would look terrible.” — Gloria Borger, CNN chief political analyst
“Women across this nation should be outraged at what these white men senators are doing to this woman.” — Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif.
“There has been some discussion of the GOP senators who happened to all be … white men.” — Jim Sciutto, CNN correspondent
“What troubles me is now there are … they’re all white men.” — Jennifer Granholm, former governor of Michigan, on CNN
”You’re seeing on display a metaphor for what this party is, which is basically ignorant white men.” — “Morning Joe” contributor Donny Deutsch
“All these white men … stumbling all over themselves asking her, you know, aggressive and obnoxious questions.” — Asha Rangappa, CNN analyst
“What are those — that collection of old white men going to do?” — Cynthia Alksne, MSNBC contributor
“If she testifies in front of the Judiciary Committee, where 11 members are white men …” — Susan Del Percio, Republican political strategist, on MSNBC
“Once again, it will be all white men on the Republican side of the Judiciary Committee.” — CNN anchor Poppy Harlow
“The optics for Republicans are going to be really tricky … You’ve got all white men on the Republican side here …” — Julie Pace, Washington bureau chief for The Associated Press, on CNN
“The Republicans, it happens to be 11 white men still on that side.” — CNN host John Berman
“The Republicans, it is 11 white men, talk to me about how you think the tone inside this hearing on Monday will be perceived?” — Berman, a few minutes later
“On the Republican side, all 11 are white men.” — Berman, again, same show, several minutes later
“What hasn’t changed is the number of white men questioning, certainly, on the Republican side.” — Dana Bash, CNN chief political correspondent
“The Republican side on the Senate Judiciary Committee is all white men …” — Irin Carmon, senior correspondent for New York Magazine, on MSNBC
“Only this crowd of clueless old white guys …” — The Washington Post’s Jennifer Rubin on Twitter
Let me begin by saying these commentators are making a brilliant and totally ORIGINAL point, the plain truth of which is outshone only by, as I’ve said, its sheer no-one-has-ever-made-that-observation-before-ness.
As the Supreme Court confirmation hearing resumes this week for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, it’s clear that the Republicans are simply too white to get the job done. I suggest the Republicans sign up some outside help, the way baseball teams make late-season acquisitions of pitchers and designated hitters for the playoffs.
Some suggestions (note: not all of the following individuals are Republicans, but none has any partisan profile that I am aware of):
1. The Rev. Al Sharpton (Tawana Brawley affair demonstrates that he believes women).
2. Bill Cosby (extensive, up-close experience with victims of sexual assault, albeit from a rapist’s, rather than a “rapee’s” perspective).
3. Keith Ellison (likely good rapport with committee Democrats; has own transportation to Capitol Building).
4. Matias Reyes (would undoubtedly throw himself into committee’s work as pleasant change of pace from prison).
5. Sorry, I don’t remember the gentleman’s name, but that guy who kidnapped and raped the Columbia student, poured bleach on her and Krazy-Glued her lips shut. (This one is sort of a “wild card,” I admit; he could be absolutely great, or, judging by his history of poor impulse control, he could be too emotionally unstable to handle the committee’s important work; definitely a Person of Color, though; that I’m sure about.)
6. Alton Maddox, attorney for black youth hired by Jewish landlord to slash a model’s face because she refused to date him. Maddox pioneered novel “she’s a manipulative slut who had it coming” defense. (Close relationship with the Rev. Sharpton a definite plus.)
7. Lakireddy Bali Reddy, entrepreneurial Indian immigrant with strong experience with underage rape victims, having brought little girls to the U.S. purchased from their poverty-stricken parents in India as his private sex slaves. (His presence may bring Asha Rangappa on board.)
Seriously, if feminists want to make the point that only female senators have any business conducting these hearings, they have a logical point, albeit an idiotic one.
Of course, the last time feminists bet big on women being certain allies in the fight against misogyny, they were the women of the O.J. jury.
Still, I get the logic of demanding women interlocutors.
But what is the thinking behind snickering at “white men” judging an accusation of sexual assault? Chuck Grassley is a big rapist?
You can be for rape or against it — I happen to be against it — but the idea that alleged sexual assault survivors need the loving care of black, Indian or Hispanic men to judge their stories flies in the face of crime statistics from around the globe.
In the history of the world, there has never been a more pacific, less rapey creature than the white male of Western European descent.
I realize it gives The New York Times’ editorial board (recent acquisition: Sarah Jeong) warm feelings every time someone throws in the word “white” as an intensifier, denoting extra hatefulness, but really, guys, it’s getting old.
Can we please, for the love of God, drop the painfully trite, mind-numbing cliche about “white men,” as if somehow their whiteness makes evil even eviler?
COPYRIGHT 2018 ANN COULTER
DISTRIBUTED BY ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION
I have on good authority that Brett Kavanaugh wrote a sexist essay when in the sixth grade. I can’t find the document but one of his female classmates wrote me an anonymous letter about it. I must believe otherwise I am an evil person.
The talking points are now his temperament. Apparently, Kavanaugh is not allowed to be indignant about the worst character assassination ever to hit a SCOTUS nominee.
I’m sure the op research industry is already digging up dirt on all the people on Trump’s short list. It would be just like him to pick someone not on the list and who is fully vetted. Cruz or Mike Lee perhaps?