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March 2017

A Special Prosecutor . . . For What? There is no crime to probe in the matter of the Trump campaign’s contact with Russians. By Andrew C. McCarthy

So, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself. Great!

Just one question: From what?

Yes, yes, Sessions is a good and decent man. He is a scrupulous lawyer who cares about his reputation. Thus, in stark contrast to Obama administration attorneys general, he strictly applied — I’d say he hyper-applied — the ethical standard that calls on a lawyer to recuse himself from a matter in which his participation as counsel would create the mere appearance of impropriety. The standard is eminently sensible because the legitimacy of our judicial system depends not only on its actually being on the up and up but on its being perceived as such.

If it looks like you’re conflicted, you step aside, period. Simple, right? Well . . .

Much as I admire our AG’s virtue (and you know I do), let’s pause the preen parade for just a moment. There’s a tiny word in that just-described ethical standard that we need to take note of: matter. A lawyer doesn’t just recuse himself. He recuses himself from a legal matter — from participation in a case. When we are talking about the criminal law, that means recusal from a prospective prosecution. You need a crime for that. Prosecutors do not recuse themselves from fishing expeditions or partisan narratives.

So . . . what is the crime?

We need to ask this question because, rest assured, this does not end with Jeff Sessions. No more than it ended with Mike Flynn. No more than it would end if the media-Democrat complex were to obtain the much coveted scalp of Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway, Seb Gorka, or one of the other Beltway gate-crashers we’ve come to know over the last six improbable months. The objective is President Trump: preferably, his impeachment and removal; but second prize, his mortal political wounding by a thousand cuts just in time for 2018 and 2020, would surely do.

As I tried to explain in my book Faithless Execution (2014), impeachment cases do not just spontaneously appear. They have to be built over time, and with vigor, because most Americans — even those who oppose a president politically — do not want the wrenching divisiveness and national instability that impeachment unavoidably entails. The reluctant public must be convinced that there is urgency, that the president’s demonstrated unfitness has created a crisis that must be dealt with.

But remember: Democrats are from Mars and Republicans are from Venus.

In the matter of Barack Obama, the GOP had an actual case based on systematic executive overreach and the empowering of America’s enemies, the kind of threat to the constitutional framework that induced Madison to regard the impeachment remedy as “indispensable.” Yet agitating for upheaval is against the Republican character (a generally good trait, though paralyzing in an actual crisis). Plus, President Obama’s personal popularity always insulated the unpopularity of his agenda and bathed even his most lawless actions in a glow of good intentions. Republicans had no stomach for mentioning impeachment, much less building a case.

Hmm: Obama Officials Set Up Jeff Sessions’ Meeting With the Russian Ambassador By Debra Heine

It should already be obvious that the fake media firestorm over Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ meetings last year with the Russian ambassador is nothing more than the Democrat Media Complex — led by Obama’s shadow government — trying to take down a key member of the Trump administration. Their game is to find some minor issue (Sessions could have been more forthcoming during his confirmation hearing) and turn it into a major impeachment-worthy scandal.

It’s a tried and true strategy that Democrats and their friends in the media were able to pull off with amazing success during the Bush years. But the playing field is completely different in 2017 — more people are on to their games, and we have a president who loves to fight. President Trump doesn’t crouch in a defensive posture — he goes on the offense. Good luck with that, Dems.

Now, new information has come out that throws cold water all over their phony “RussiaGate” scandal.

It turns out the senator spoke to the Russian ambassador in one of the allegedly scandalous “meetings” on the invitation of the Obama administration.

Hans A. von Spakovsky of Fox News reports (emphasis added):

So what are the two meetings that Sessions had? The first came at a conference on “Global Partners in Diplomacy,” where Sessions was the keynote speaker. Sponsored by the U.S. State Department, The Heritage Foundation, and several other organizations, it was held in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention.

The conference was an educational program for ambassadors invited by the Obama State Department to observe the convention. The Obama State Department handled all of the coordination with ambassadors and their staff, of which there were about 100 at the conference.

Apparently, after Sessions finished speaking, a small group of ambassadors—including the Russian ambassador—approached the senator as he left the stage and thanked him for his remarks. That’s the first “meeting.” And it’s hardly an occasion—much less a venue—in when a conspiracy to “interfere” with the November election could be hatched.

Sessions also apparently met with the Russian ambassador in September. But on that occasion, Sessions was acting as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, not as a surrogate for the Trump campaign. That’s why the meeting was held in his Senate office. His DOJ spokesperson, Sarah Isgur Flores, says they discussed relations between the two countries – not the election.

There was nothing unusual about this: Sessions met with more than two dozen ambassadors during 2016, including the Ukrainian ambassador the day before the meeting with the Russian ambassador.

Violent Student Mob in Vermont Shuts Down Charles Murray Lecture, Injures Professor By Debra Heine

Controversial author and scholar Charles Murray and a Middlebury College professor were attacked by an angry mob Thursday night as they left a campus building following an attempt at a lecture.

Professor Allison Stanger’s neck was injured when someone pulled her hair as she tried to shield Murray from 20 to 30 violent agitators who attacked the pair outside the McCullough Student Center at Vermont’s traditionally liberal Middlebury College.

According to Bill Burger, vice president of communications at the college, the crowd was made up of students and “outside agitators,” some of whom wore masks as they screamed at Murray. He described their behavior outside as “incredibly violent and said that “it was a very, very dangerous situation.”

Charles Murray is a political scientist and author who is best known for his 1994 book, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, co-written with Richard Herrnstein. The New York Times bestseller is controversial for linking social inequality to genetics. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) labels Murray a white nationalist on its website.

Via Vermont’s “Independent Voice” Seven Days:

“The demonstrators were trying to block Mr. Murray and Professor Stanger’s way out of the building and to the car,” Burger said. “It became a pushing and shoving match, with the officers trying to protect those two people from demonstrators — and it became violent.”

“This was an incredibly violent confrontation,” added Burger, who described the crowd a “mob.”

On Friday afternoon, Middlebury College president Laurie Patton sent a statement to all students, faculty and staff describing how “deeply disappointed” she was by the incident.

“I know that many students, faculty, and staff who were in attendance or waiting outside to participate were upset by the events, and the lost opportunity for those in our community who wanted to listen to and engage with Mr. Murray,” she wrote, later adding: “I extend my sincerest apologies to everyone who came in good faith to participate in a serious discussion, and particularly to Mr. Murray and Prof. Stanger for the way they were treated during the event and, especially, afterward.”

Murray had been invited and scheduled to speak at Wilson Hall earlier in the day. But a jeering and booing crowd of students turned their backs on him and shouted down his attempts to speak. After about 25 minutes, administrators resorted to plan B: moving Murray to a private room and streaming the video of his speech online. CONTINUE AT SITE

Shattering the State Department’s Echo Chamber By Sarah N. Stern

Most Americans would like to believe that certain ethical qualities are in the mix when shaping American foreign policy, such as intellectual honesty and moral integrity. These qualities, whether part of an individual’s nature or those of national policy, often require some difficult introspection.

Sometimes it even involves the painful admission that one has been wrong. Even if one has been wrong for an extremely long time. And it is human nature that the longer the time, the deeper the resistance to change.

So it is with certain theories that our State Department has clung to for generations now, such as “land for peace.” What we have seen through decades of empirical, and often heartbreaking experience, is that this formula simply hasn’t worked. If the objective is “peace”, one must honestly ask oneself if any of the politically gut-wrenching and internally divisive land withdrawals from the Sinai, Gaza, southern Lebanon and parts of Judea and Samaria, has actually brought us any closer to that objective of peace.

But rather than challenge the premises of this formulation, those in the State Department’s echo chamber simply dig their feet in further and rationalize its failure. Each time there is another excuse. “Israel hasn’t given enough land”, or “Gaza was without a negotiating partner”.

All of the State Department apparatchiks who stubbornly cling to this mantra were one hundred per cent in favor of each of these withdrawals. Then, when those land withdrawal did not bring us closer to the designated objective, they came up with convenient post facto rationalizations.

On Wednesday February 15, five former U.S. ambassadors to Israel, Thomas Pickering, Edward Walker, James Cunningham, William Harrop, and Daniel Kurtzer wrote a letter to the U.S. Foreign Relations Committee casting doubts upon the ability of President Trump’s selection of David Friedman for the position of ambassador to Israel because he has not demonstrated than he has bought into their paradigm, which has proven to be an abject failure, time and time again.

Nigeria: At least three killed in Maiduguri bomb attack

Multiple bomb blasts hit Maiduguri early Friday with many feared dead.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, said the attacks were carried out by suspected suicide bombers around the NNPC depot on Damboa Road, Maiduguri.

The police command’s spokesman, Victor Isuku, confirmed the blasts on Friday.
“Our men are still working at the scene,” NAN quoted Mr. Isuku as saying.
He promised to supply details later.

A witness, Abubakar Kaumi, told journalists at the scene that the blast occurred around 3 a.m.

“A woman suspected to be a suicide bomber walking alongside two girls came round the depot.

“They detonated their explosives near some petrol tankers parked there, and destroyed the three vehicles.

KATIE HOPKINS: The Swedish town where migrant gangs have killed multiculturalism stone dead and laugh at laws they despise and defy

A reader is very angry because I suggested the child raped by a 45-year-old migrant (posing as an unaccompanied minor) was 14.

In fact, he was 12.

This is the state of liberalism today. So determined to prove I am wrong, my observations erroneous, the stories I have on tape inaccurate, that it has lost all sight of the raped migrant child crumpled in the corner.

Similarly, the ‘we know better brigade’ are so puffed up with smug self-importance as they point out Trump got his dates confused over the troubles in Sweden, they can’t see past their own chest to the riots in Rinkeby.

Where cars were set alight, shops looted and shopkeepers beaten while youths went on the rampage.

I asked Mattias Karlsson, leader of the Swedish Democrats – currently leading in the polls – why other politicians refuse to acknowledge the problems right in front of their eyes.

He explained that to accept there is a problem would mean accepting nearly 80 years of liberal thinking was wrong. That multiculturalism doesn’t work, that mass immigration does not lead to integration, that Sweden has made a big mistake.

A stranger came up to me in a coffee shop to say much the same thing. She had read my first report. She implored me to shout louder.

She said Sweden cannot go on pretending it is some kind of utopia. That it is on a path to fail, that her friends fear Sweden is being overwhelmed.



France’s Fatal Attraction to Islam by Giulio Meotti

Instead of fighting to save what is savable, French opinion-makers are already writing the terms of surrender.

By hybridizing cultures and rejecting Christianity, France will soon end up not even teaching also Arabic, but only Arabic, and marking Ramadan instead of Easter.

Instead of wasting their time trying to organize an “Islam of France”, French political leaders, opinion makers and think tanks should look for ways to counter the creeping Islamization of their country. Otherwise, we may soon be seeing not only a “Grand Imam de France”, but also lashes and stonings on the Champs Élysées.

Two years ago, the rector of the Great Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, suggested converting empty churches into mosques, to accommodate the growing Muslim community in abandoned Christian sites. Now, many people in France seem to have taken the idea so seriously that a report released by the foundation Terra Nova, France’s main think tank that provides ideas to the governing Socialist Party, suggests that in order to integrate Muslims better, French authorities should replace the two Catholic holidays — Easter Monday and Pentecost — with Islamic holidays. To be ecumenical, they also included a Jewish holiday.

Written by Alain Christnacht and Marc-Olivier Padis, the study, “The Emancipation of Islam of France,” states: “In order to treat all the denominations equally, it should include two important new holidays, Yom Kippur and Eid el Kebir, with the removal of two Mondays that do not correspond to particular solemnity”.

Thus, Easter and Pentecost can be sacrificed to keep the ever-elusive multicultural “peace”.

Terra Nova’s proposal was rejected by the Episcopal Conference of France, but endorsed by the Union of Islamic Organizations of France, close to the Muslim Brotherhood, which would also like to include the Islamic holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha in the calendar. The idea of replacing the Christian holidays was also sponsored by the Observatory of Secularism, an organ created by President François Hollande to coordinate secularist policies. The Observatory of Secularism also proposed eliminating some Christian holidays to make way for the Islamic, Jewish and secular holidays. “France must replace two Christian holidays to make way for the Yom Kippur and Eid,” said Dounia Bouzar, a member of the Observatory.

The Mob at Middlebury A mob tries to silence Charles Murray and sends a prof to the ER.

Once again a scholar invited to speak at a university has been shouted down by an angry mob clearly unable to challenge him intellectually. On Thursday at Middlebury College, allegedly an institution of higher learning, a crowd of protesters tried to run Charles Murray off campus. Mr. Murray is the author of many influential books, including “Coming Apart,” which the kids might read if they want to understand their country and can cope without trigger warnings.

Amid the shouts, Mr. Murray was taken to another location where he was able to speak. But a Middlebury professor escorting Mr. Murray from campus—Allison Stanger—was later sent to the hospital after being assaulted by protesters who also attacked the car they were in. As if to underscore the madness, the headline over the initial Associated Press dispatch smeared Mr. Murray rather than focusing on the intolerance of those disrupting him: “College students protest speaker branded white nationalist.”

Middlebury President Laurie Patton apologized in a statement to those “who came in good faith to participate in a serious discussion, and particularly to Mr. Murray and Prof. Stanger for the way they were treated.” While she believes some protesters were “outside agitators,” Middlebury students were also involved—and she said she would be “responding.”

Mr. Murray tweeted: “Report from the front: The Middlebury administration was exemplary. The students were seriously scary.” Let’s hope President Patton follows through with discipline to scare these students straight.

Trump’s Defense Buildup The only military we can’t afford is one that is too small.

It’s conventional wisdom that Donald Trump is a very different sort of Republican than Ronald Reagan, but in his speech to Congress Tuesday the 45th President made clear that he intends to walk in the 40th President’s footsteps in one crucial respect. That’s his call for a dramatic increase in defense spending—as necessary today as it was when the Gipper took office 36 years ago.

This year’s Pentagon budget is $619 billion, of which $68 billion is for “overseas contingencies” in Iraq and elsewhere. That sounds like a big number—until you consider the broader trends, budgetary and strategic. Defense spending reached a post-9/11 peak of $757 billion in 2010, but then began to come down sharply as part of Barack Obama’s imaginary peace dividend following his withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.

The first big chop, in 2011, involved a 10-year, $487 billion cut that capped successful weapons programs such as the F-22 fighter on the short-sighted assumption that American pilots were unlikely to get into dogfights with their Russian or Chinese counterparts. Such acquisitions cuts are doubly wasteful, since they squander the fruits of billions in research and development costs while postponing the replacement of legacy aircraft that become increasingly expensive to fly and maintain.

Then came budget sequestration in 2013, which led to an additional $37 billion cut that year alone. The cuts hit operations and maintenance especially hard, with a 30% reduction in day-to-day operating funds so the military could maintain spending on wartime operations. The Pentagon continued to labor under dwindling budgets until last year, when it bottomed out at $596 billion, even as U.S. forces still fight in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The result is a military that is heading toward the demoralized and underequipped “hollow force” of the late 1970s. Some 62% of the Navy’s mainstay F-18 fighters—and 74% of the Marines’—are grounded for lack of parts or maintenance or otherwise deemed unfit for combat.