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January 2018


Grey snow and early sunsets keep me home bound many evenings. So I decided to read “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff. It is really entertaining and gratuitously insulting to our President but Wolff has missed his calling. Since it is so easy to see the con here…a bitchy attempt to “prove” that Donald J Trump is ignorant and possibly nuts and not fit to be president of the United States.

Wolff should have written a novel which would then make a great miniseries. It would lack the bite of ” The West Wing” because Wolff has only a half-wit of the brilliant screenwriter Aaron Sorkin. A transmogrified Kevin Spacey could play the part of the unhinged president, and Meryl Streep could play the First Lady, and Jack Nichols could play Bannon, and Michael Moore could play Wolff. And the press secretary could be played by Oprah Winfrey.

It could go on until 2020 whereas the book “Fire and Fury” is full of innuendo and outright fabrications …all signifying nothing. rsk

President Trump and the Dangers of Armchair Psychiatry Medical professionals should stop attempting to diagnose the mental health of politicians from afar. By Marc Siegel

Back in 2006, when George W. Bush was still president, Duke University Medical Center professor of psychiatry Dr. Jonathan Davidson published a study that reviewed biographical sources for the first 37 presidents (from 1776 to 1974), and expert psychiatrists concluded that half suffered from mental illness, 27 percent while still in office. Twenty-four percent met the diagnostic criteria for depression at some point in their lives, including most famously Abraham Lincoln and Calvin Coolidge. Richard Nixon was treated for many years for stress by psychiatrist Dr. Arnold Hutschnecker, and was severely depressed after leaving office. The psychiatrist who treated Nixon after Watergate has confirmed this to me. “Who wouldn’t be?” he said.

The key to all these cases was either a physician making an in-person assessment and coming up with a diagnostic impression and treatment plan or at least the president or those close to him recognizing the problem. What makes the current pundit-media attack on President Trump’s mental health most disturbing is that those leading the charge are either non-psychiatrists, or else have never examined the president, such as psychiatrist Dr. Bandy Lee of Yale, who traveled to Washington last month to brief twelve Democratic and one Republican lawmakers on President Trump’s supposed mental instability.

Dr. Lee’s claims come across as partisan meanness, and they undermine the integrity of the medical profession at a time when we are already spending too little actual face time with our patients. Philadelphia psychiatrist Dr. Claire Pouncey, writing in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, supported the actions of Dr. Lee, along with the book of essays she published, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump. But Dr. Jeffrey Lieberman, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Columbia University, writing a response in the New England Journal of Medicine, called Pouncey and Lee’s actions “a misguided and dangerous morality.”

On Tuesday, the American Psychiatric Association reaffirmed its adherence to the so-called Goldwater Rule, which stipulates that member psychiatrists should not publicly discuss the mental health of a public figure, leader, or candidate. This rule is wise, protects our integrity as physicians, and continues to apply here.

Trump Threatens to Deal Another Blow to the Palestinian Cause By cutting off hundreds of millions in American aid to the Palestinian Authority, the president could radically alter the Middle East. By Victor Davis Hanson

President Trump set off another Twitter firestorm last week when he hinted that he may be considering cutting off hundreds of millions of dollars in annual U.S. aid to the Palestinians. Trump was angered over Palestinian unwillingness to engage in peace talks with Israel after the Trump administration announced the move of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Given that the U.S. channels its Palestinian aid through third-party United Nations organizations, it’s unclear how much money Trump is talking about it. But in total it may exceed $700 million per year, according to reports.

A decade ago, the U.S. row with the Palestinian Authority would have been major news. But not now.


The entire Middle East has radically changed — and along with it the role and image of the Palestinians.

First, the U.S. is now one of the largest producers of fossil-fuel energy in the world. America is immune from the sort of Arab oil embargo that in 1973–74 paralyzed the U.S. economy as punishment for American support of Israel. Even Israel, thanks to new offshore oil and natural-gas discoveries, is self-sufficient in energy and immune from Arab cutoffs.

Second, the Middle East is split into all sorts of factions. Iran seeks to spread radical Shiite theocracy throughout Iraq and Syria and into the Persian Gulf states — and is the greatest supporter of Palestinian armed resistance. The so-called “moderate” Sunni autocracies despise Iran. Understandably, most Arab countries fear the specter of a nuclear Iran far more than they do the reality of a democratic and nuclear Israel.

A third player — radical Islamic terrorism — has turned against the Arab status quo as well as the West. Because Palestinian organizations such as Hamas had flirted with Iran and its appendages (such as the terrorists of Hezbollah), they have become less useful to the Arab establishment. The terrorist bloodlettings perpetrated by groups such as the Islamic State and al-Qaeda have discredited terror as a legitimate means to an end in the eyes of the Arab world, despite previous support for Palestinian terrorists.

Third, the world itself may have passed the Palestinian issue by.

Dems Admit They Need Illegals For Their Votes Leaked memo reveals they are fighting to make the DREAMer nightmare permanent. Matthew Vadum

Democrats at the Left’s premier think tank have finally admitted in a leaked memo that illegal immigration is key to their party’s future electoral success.

Republicans may not be angels but they have never wielded compassion as a cudgel the way Democrats do. But this memo ought to end Democrats’ phony compassion shtick for all time. Power is the only thing that matters to them. They don’t care about America or Americans. They care only about winning. Honest observers have known this for years.

What did Democrats actually do this time to help solidify their image as the party of power over principle?

Specifically, the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a sister organization of the Center for American Progress, distributed a brief to allies Monday calling the so-called DREAMers, that is, illegal aliens brought to the country at a young age, a “critical component of the Democratic Party’s future electoral success,” the Daily Caller reports.

Democrats can’t win elections without cheating. They pushed the 1993 Motor-Voter law to make voter fraud easy to commit and difficult to prosecute. They oppose voter ID laws tooth-and-nail for the same reason. They changed immigration laws a long time ago so they could change the electorate by importing new voters.

That’s why left-wingers invented chain migration in the Sixties. It is a magic carpet that brings terrorists, public charges, and low- and no-skilled workers to the United States. Democrats rigged the game by modifying immigration law. The resultant tsunami of immigrants from authoritarian Third World countries over the past half century helped Democrats grow their political base. It supposedly takes generations for immigrant families to back away from collectivism and big government as solutions to life’s problems and become Republicans. Continued high immigration rates benefit Democrats and the crony capitalists who bankroll them, impoverish the workers already here, and virtually guarantee endless growth in the size and scope of government.

Worker skill levels dropped after the enactment of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) of 1965 which began the flood of immigrants from countries hostile to the traditional American values of limited government, individualism, and a healthy respect for markets and civil society. When the INA was overhauled, a “national origins” formula calculated to maintain the existing population demographic in the nation as of 1924, was dumped in favor of one based on immigrants’ skills and family relationships with U.S. citizens or residents.

Democrats aren’t stupid.

The Imaginary Hispanic: What the Illegal War is About And why a border wall is a threat to the survival of the Democrats. Daniel Greenfield

There are two statistics that explain the Democrat obsession with illegal immigration and open borders.

97% of immigrants in the appropriate grouping identify themselves as Hispanic, but by the fourth generation that number falls to half. Only 7% of immigrants describe themselves as Americans, but 56% in the third generation call themselves Americans. Even the use of Spanish is slowly declining.

If a minority stops existing after a few generations, did it ever actually exist?

The Democrats had abandoned their working class base to chase what they pretended was a racial group when what they were actually chasing was the momentum of unlimited migration.

In the economics of identity politics, Hispanics, unlike African-Americans, are not an enduring group. And that is a serious challenge for Democrats and their leftist allies who treat politics as a game of demographic Risk played with minorities across the states and cities of the United States.

Democrats have pinned their hopes for a national majority on a European origin group whose minority status is cultural and linguistic. And even without the old melting pot, foreign languages and cultural affinities decline across generations as immigrants become Americans. What Democrats really want aren’t a lot of Hispanics, but an endless firehose of first generation immigrants.

Democrat political affiliation falls with each succeeding generation and Republican affiliation rises. A family that speaks English is less likely to vote Democrat or view themselves as an oppressed minority. Even in California, support for subsidized lawyers for illegal aliens falls from a decisive majority among immigrants to a near tie by the second generation. It’s why Trump improved on Romney’s numbers with Hispanic voters despite defying every politically correct recommendation of the post ‘12 RNC autopsy.

Hispanic immigration becomes less politically helpful with each generation. The Dem majorities grow thinner and less reliable. Hispanic immigration, unlike Islamic migration, produces diminishing political returns for its sponsors. The only solution to the retention problem lies with open borders.

Victor Davis Hanson Book Dissects WWII By The Editors An Interview

Professor Victor Davis Hanson spoke about his new book, war, movies and President Donald Trump’s ability to lead with Seth Leibsohn earlier this week. Listen to the audio and read the transcript below.

Seth Leibsohn: Welcome back to the Seth and Chris show. The journalist I.F. Stone once wrote, “I am having so much fun I should be arrested.” We are having a lot of fun today and delighted to bring one of the nation’s great, one of the world’s great public intellectuals, dear friend of ours, contributor to American Greatness, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, author of the brand spankin’ new book “The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won”, Professor Victor Davis Hanson. Welcome back to the airwaves of Phoenix, Victor.

Victor Davis Hanson: Thank you for having me.

Seth Leibsohn: Thank you. I want to talk to you a little bit about your book in a moment, but first I want to talk to you about someone else’s book if you don’t mind, and that’s what you wrote about at American Greatness, “Is Trump Really Crazy,” in regard to the book that seems like most of Washington is gonna talk about for about another week and maybe the rest of the country’s about to stop talking about, but it’s Michael Wolff’s book. You had some wonderful writing in there.

I’m gonna quote you to you if I can.

“Wolff’s ogre purportedly sloppily eats Big Macs in bed, golfs more than Obama did, has no hair at all on the top of his head, and at 71 is supposedly functionally illiterate. OK, perhaps someone the last half-century read out loud to Trump the thousands of contracts he signed. But what we wish to know from Wolff is how did his trollish Trump figure out that half the country—the half with the more important Electoral College voice—was concerned about signature issues that either were unknown to or scorned by his far more experienced and better-funded rivals?”

This was kind of the topic of the tiff between Stephen Miller and Jake Tapper, and something Jake Tapper and CNN still doesn’t get, right Professor?

Victor Davis Hanson: I think so. Just from a purely logical point of view, if you’re making the argument that someone who destroyed the ’16 Republican primary really brilliant, experienced candidate, destroyed them in the primary and then took on ‘Clinton Incorporated’ and destroyed her, and you’re saying that he’s either incompetent or he’s naïve or he’s stupid. Then the logic of that would be, “Well, that was all a fluke,” and his first year shows that it was a fluke, because he’s a total failure.

But when you look at the stock market, their GDP, their business growth, their unemployment, or any traditional metric of economic activity, he’s had a very good first year. This is besides Mattis and Gorsuch, McMahon, all the great appointments he’s made, so then the question becomes, “Well, if he’s so stupid, how was he so successful as a politician, and how has he been so successful in a way that a Harvard law graduate, Barack Obama, was not in his first year?” It sort of makes us either say, “It’s all a fluke,” or “It’s all an accident,” or the criteria that Michael Wolff is using are just bogus, or his book is bogus, but the people who appreciate it and fawn over it, their criteria is bogus, but something doesn’t make sense. It’s not logical.

Seth Leibsohn: Something isn’t logical. Added to the list of the illogic is another part of Michael Wolff’s book and pieces, is that he didn’t wanna win. For someone who didn’t want to win, he did an awfully bad job at that.

Victor Davis Hanson: He did, but that is sort of another boomerang. It suggests that somebody who had a lot more money, experience who really wanted to win, like Hillary, couldn’t beat an amateur who didn’t want to win.

Seth Leibsohn: Right.

Victor Davis Hanson: Again, it means that, well, Trump would just like I guess he would say to us, “Well, even when I don’t want something, I’m more successful than the people on the other side.” It doesn’t make sense.

Seth Leibsohn: There was the old line of Irving Kristol: “Smart, smart, stupid.” A lot of these people Washington and elites say are smart and they have the right pedigrees, maybe Hillary Clinton would be in that crowd, Donald Trump is not. He’s part of the vulgar crowd of course, but there is some kind of reevaluation of what constitutes smart in this country now, isn’t there. There’s something about common sense. Something about conservatism.

Obama non-library ‘presidential center’ in Chicago devolving into a fiasco By Thomas Lifson

The first community organizer to become president has managed to anger community groups so much with his planned personal monument, aka a “presidential center,” that part of the plan was just scrapped.

Lolly Bowean of the Chicago Tribune reports:

Bowing to community pressure, the Obama Foundation has scrapped its plan for an above-ground parking garage and will instead build an underground facility below the presidential center in Jackson Park, officials said late Monday.

The original plan would have grabbed a treasured part of Chicago’s park system, the Midway (site of Chicago’s World’s Fair), for a two-story garage. The group Save the Midway sprang up to protect the historic public park land from a private developer (the Obama Foundation) appropriating the land for a private purpose (the Obama Center will not be part of the National Archives System):

The embarrassment is palpable:

After numerous meetings with the community and other valued stakeholders over the past months, the Foundation understands that many of those voices feel strongly that the parking for the OPC should be located within the OPC campus in Jackson Park. The Foundation has heard those voices, and has decided to locate the OPC’s parking underground in Jackson Park.

Oprah, Hollywood Heroine? By Bruce Bawer

Forget the whole ridiculous notion of making Oprah Winfrey president. Am I the only one who finds it supremely ironic that she, of all people, should now, with a single speech at the Golden Globe Awards, be designated by public acclamation as the voice of the #metoo movement?

Think about it. The #metoo scandal is about two things: (1) the abuse of Hollywood power by a bunch of horny dirtbags and (2), whether you like it or not, the pliancy of innumerable young starlets who, over the decades, succumbed to those men’s advances because they thought it would make them rich and famous.

Hollywood power, Hollywood wealth, Hollywood fame: who, let’s face it, has celebrated these things more ardently than Oprah?

On social networks, a photo of her kissing Harvey Weinstein’s earlobe has been shared widely as proof of hypocrisy. But I don’t know: does the picture prove hypocrisy, or does it depict Oprah’s genuine high regard – “reverence” may be a tad too strong – for a man who, after all, until his recent fall from grace, embodied Hollywood power, wealth, and fame? It seems to me that she gave him that smooch not because she needed to suck up to him – Oprah doesn’t need to suck up to anybody – but for the same reason Ireland-enchanted tourists kiss the Blarney Stone, even though it’s dripping with thousands of other people’s germs.

Look at her talk show. She did more than just interview celebrities and plug their projects. She treated the stars as gods, the chosen people, the Elect, routinely holding up even the most vapid of them as geniuses, experts, role models. Hosting Will and Jada Pinkett Smith – a pair of egomaniacs who’d forced their grade-school kids into showbiz – Oprah presented them as ideal parents, qualified to dispense advice on raising a family. When she brought on Jenny McCarthy, Playboy Playmate turned MTV host turned sort-of-actress, Oprah not only let this pinhead spew her ignorant, dangerous theories about childhood vaccination but gave every sign of taking her seriously.

Similarly, when sitcom diva Suzanne Somers instructed menopausal Oprah viewers to take massive hormone doses to feel young again, Oprah relegated genuine medical specialists (who uniformly repudiated Somers’ prescriptions) to the studio audience, where they weren’t allowed to speak unless called on. The point was clear: Somers’ fame made her amateur counsel more valuable than that of real authorities.

Did Team Obama Warn Iranian Terror Commander about Israeli Assassination Attempt? By Debra Heine

A Kuwaiti newspaper reported last week that Washington gave Israel the green light to assassinate terror mastermind Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Quds Force which has been designated a terrorist organization.

New York Times columnist Bret Stephens pointed out a disturbing detail in the story that has long been rumored but has gone largely unreported in the American press:
Bret Stephens
✔ @BretStephensNYT
The story here, Kuwaiti-sourced, is that Obama team tipped Tehran to an Israeli attempt to assassinate Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian general who has the blood of hundreds of American troops in his hand. What says @brhodes? https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.832387 …

According to the report, Israel was “on the verge” of assassinating Soleimani three years ago near Damascus, but the Obama administration warned Iranian leadership of the plan, effectively quashing the operation. The incident reportedly “sparked a sharp disagreement between the Israeli and American security and intelligence apparatuses regarding the issue.”

Stephens tagged former Obama deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes in his tweet, but it was ignored until Obama’s former National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor saw it on Wednesday: CONTINUE AT SITE

FBI Used Unverified Anti-Trump Dossier to Obtain FISA Warrant By Debra Heine

The FBI used the unverified anti-Trump dossier alleging collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians to obtain the warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court (FISA), investigative journalist Sara Carter reported Wednesday.

Representatives of four committees — the House Intelligence Committee, Senate Intelligence Committee, House Judiciary Committee, and Senate Judiciary Committee — have been able to examine FISA documents in a secure room at the Justice Department, according to the Washington Examiner’s Byron York.

They were not allowed to take the documents out of the room or to copy them, but they could make notes. They thus know the answer to the was-the-dossier-used-for-spying question.

The answer to the question is classified, however, and as of Wednesday morning, no one had yet leaked.

Nevertheless, later in the day, according to Carter, multiple sources told her that “the dossier was used along with other evidence to obtain the warrant” from the FISA court. Fox News’ Sean Hannity corroborated the news on his show Wednesday night, reporting that three separate sources told him the same thing.

Most of the 35-page dossier, which was put together by former British spy Christopher Steele for the liberal opposition research firm Fusion GPS, has either been proven wrong or remains unsubstantiated. In spite of this, the FBI used the DNC/Clinton campaign-sponsored dossier to seek and gain approval from the FISA court to surveil members of Trump’s campaign, sources claim.

“It’s outrageous and clearly should be thoroughly investigated,” a senior law enforcement source with knowledge of the process told Carter.

According to Carter, the sources “also stressed that there will be more information in the coming week regarding systemic ‘FISA abuse.’” CONTINUE AT SITE