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50 STATES AND DC, CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT

DNC Chair Candidate Rep. Keith Ellison Met with Hamas Fundraiser Mohammed al-Hanooti By Patrick Poole

Keith Ellison, who is campaigning to become Democratic National Committee chairman, met with Hamas fundraiser Mohammed al-Hanooti at a 2009 campaign fundraiser for Virginia House of Delegates candidate Esam Omeish. Ellison was the keynote speaker at the event.

Last week Chuck Ross at The Daily Caller reported on the appearance of Ellison at the Omeish campaign event, noting that Omeish had previously called for Palestinians to follow “the jihad way” against Israel.

Given that, it’s no surprise to find al-Hanooti, who styled himself as “grand mufti” of Washington D.C. and whom FBI documents identify as a top U.S. fundraiser for Hamas, at the campaign fundraiser.

Pictures posted to Flickr by Omeish show Ellision and al-Hanooti chatting at the event.

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Mohammed al-Hanooti has been identified by federal prosecutors and top counterterrorism officials as a enthusiastic supporter of Hamas — serving as one of its top fundraisers — and also as an active supporter of terrorism and extremist Islamic ideology for several decades.
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He also holds the rare distinction of not only being named by prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest terror-finance case in American history, but also of being listed as a conspirator in the trial of “Blind Sheik” Omar Abdel Rahman for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the planned follow-up attack on New York City landmarks.

Roger Franklin US Letter: The Left Faces Reality

The sense of near-bilious dismay at Trump’s victory is everywhere as I write, a scant twenty-four hours after the votes were tallied. At the D.C. bus station this morning, for example, a young woman emblazoned with Hillary buttons burst spontaneously into tears. It was a beautiful thing to see.
An old joke in New York newspaper circles imagined Armageddon as reported by the city’s rival rags. The pre-Murdoch New York Post, then owned by the genteel leftist Dorothy Schiff, pitched to the interests and sympathies of its core readership: “End of World: Jews and Negroes Suffer Most”. What brings this to mind is the headline that runs across the top of this morning’s ink-and-paper Times:

Democrats, Students and Foreign Allies
Face the Reality of a Trump Presidency

Can’t you just savour the dilemma facing the Times men, women and persons who drafted those few words? So many victims set for the gibbet, so little space on one front page to list them all. What of all the other groups allegedly destined to be ground beneath the Trump jackboot? What of environmentalists and homosexuals, Muslims, Mexicans and sundry other swarthy sorts, unionists, bureaucrats, women, the elderly, universities, endangered species, entire cities, the US legal system and perhaps, as any Times editor worth his organic, non-iodised sea-salt would have put it had space permitted, the very fate of the planet itself?

The sense of shock, of appalled and near-bilious dismay that such a man could have beaten Saint Hillary is everywhere as I write, a scant twenty-four hours after the votes were tallied. On yesterday’s bus to New York two of my fellow passengers were very glum girls indeed. They were students most likely, sporting backpacks, Hillary buttons and matching pairs of red and puffy eyes. As we shuffled aboard, the taller laid her head on her friend’s shoulder and heaved a few more tears, the perfect picture of heartbroken misery.

It was lovely to watch.

And it only got better as the shock and horror of democracy’s result on November 8 inflicted its dreadful torments on Generation Snowflake, whose serried brat-allions, summoned by social media, turned out to march down Fifth Avenue that night. I heard about the protest over dinner with my son, a dual-citizen who lives in New York and whose phone was running hot with Facebook messages from contacts variously de-friending him or simply heaping abuse on his tousled head.

“I’ve just been called a fascist again,” he said with a rueful smile after a message from his gender-fluid cousin interrupted the poori and chicken-liver appetiser. His crime against leftist sensibilities? He had observed via Facebook that there might well have been another Democrat destined for the White House if Team Hillary had not rigged the primary system in order to render Bernie Sanders a mere annoyance, rather than a bona fide contender. He had a point. The landscapes of the fulcrum states that went with Trump or swung to him—Michigan, Wisconsin, all of the South—are punctuated by empty factories, silent mills, grim prospects. An old-fashioned, soak-the-rich class warrior might, just might, have won those votes. As it was, those citizens’ blue-collar lot was to be worse than ignored, it was to be loudly scorned. This was the wasteland of the “deplorables”, as Mrs Clinton so ill-advisedly described them.

Obama’s Giant Student-Loan Con The huge taxpayer bill for buying millennial votes is coming due.

Democrats devised the government takeover of student loans as an entitlement that might never be repaid, though they sold it as a money saver. New evidence of this giant con arrives courtesy of a report this week by the Government Accountability Office that estimates the taxpayer losses at $108 billion and counting.

To help pay for ObamaCare, Democrats simultaneously federalized the student loan market and projected fictitious savings, all while adding more than $1.2 trillion to the federal balance sheet. The amount keeps increasing like the debt clock. Liberals then cited the government “savings” to peddle the fallacy that the feds make money off student loans—a pretext they then used to sweeten debt forgiveness plans that have helped keep default rates artificially low.

The Education Department claims the national student loan default rate is 11.3%, yet only half of all debt is in repayment. Borrowers can seek forbearance or deferment if they are unemployed, return to school or claim financial difficulties. Or they can enroll in income-based repayment plans that let them discharge the debt after making payments equal to 10% of their discretionary income for 20 years. Those who work in “public service”—government or a nonprofit—can wipe out their debt in 10 years without a tax penalty.

Initially, only students who borrowed in 2014 or later were eligible for these generous loan forgiveness plans. Then President Obama retroactively extended the benefits to buy millennial votes. Over the last three years the share of outstanding federal direct loan dollars in income-based repayment plans has doubled to 40%. Costs have exploded.

GAO estimates that 5.3 million borrowers, or 24% of former students, have enrolled in income-based repayment plans. They collectively owe $355 billion, $108 billion of which will eventually be forgiven. But this sum covers only loans through the current school year and will likely grow as more borrowers exploit the entitlement. In April the Administration announced a goal of adding two million to the debt-forgiveness rolls over the next year.

The agency scores the Education Department for repeatedly low-balling the cost, which has made its loan forgiveness look more affordable. Over eight years the Administration’s budget estimates for income-based repayment plans have more than doubled to $53 billion. The department now forecasts that taxpayers will pick up about 21% of the cost for loans in these plans.

GAO warns that the department may still be undershooting the actual cost since it “assumes no borrowers will switch into or out” of the plans. The department’s “quality control practices do not ensure reliable budget estimates,” GAO concludes, with hilarious understatement. A company that was this sloppy with its accounting would be prosecuted.

To sum up: The Obama Democrats used student loans and loan forgiveness to buy votes and dissembled about the cost. Now as they leave town they are handing Republicans the bill. As for millennials, they’ll pay in the end with higher tax rates.

Trump’s Carrier Shakedown Workers don’t prosper when politicians force companies to make noneconomic decisions.

A giant flaw in President Obama’s economic policy has been the politicized allocation of capital, from green energy to housing. Donald Trump suffers from a similar industrial-policy temptation, as we’ve seen this week with his arm-twisting of Carrier to change its decision to move a plant to Mexico from Indiana.

Carrier announced Wednesday that it will retain about 1,000 jobs in Indianapolis that would have moved to Mexico over the next three years, and on Thursday Mr. Trump held a rally at the plant and claimed political credit. The President-elect had made Carrier a piñata for his trade politics during the campaign, and post-election he lobbied Gregory Hayes, the CEO of United Technologies Corp. (UTC) that owns Carrier, to reconsider.

Everyone—even the Obama White House—is hailing the move as a great political victory, and in the short term it is for those Indianapolis workers, who make more than $20 an hour on average. But as U.S. auto workers have learned the hard way, real job security depends on the profitability of the business. Carrier wanted to move the production line to Mexico to stay competitive in the market for gas furnaces. If the extra costs of staying in Indianapolis erode that business, those workers will lose their jobs eventually in any case.

This isn’t to fault Mr. Hayes’s decision, since Mr. Trump made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. The state of Indiana threw in $7 million in tax incentives, but those weren’t decisive. Mr. Trump’s real hammer is his threat to impose a tariff on Carrier imports to the U.S. Carrier has a 30% share of the U.S. gas-furnace market, and a 35% tariff could kill the business. That’s the same sword Mr. Trump previously held over Ford Motor Co.

United Technologies also gets about 10% of its revenue from sales to the Pentagon, another source of government leverage. Then there’s the potential damage to the Carrier brand, especially its consumer air conditioner sales, if Mr. Trump decided to blast it from the bully—and we mean bully—pulpit. So United Technologies decided to take the small cost against earnings and invest to make the Indiana plant more competitive.

The company is also betting that Mr. Trump will fulfill his promise for tax and regulatory reform to make U.S. manufacturing more competitive. United Technologies does about 61% of its sales outside the U.S., and it has some $6 billion in cash overseas that would be taxed at a 35% rate if it brought the money home today. Carrier currently pays a 28% effective tax rate, so a tax reform that cut the corporate rate to 20% and only taxed earnings in the country where they are earned would more than make up for the Indianapolis concession.

UTC is also no corporate scofflaw. It pays $2 billion a year in taxes and offers to finance four years of college for every employee. Its exports are worth $10 billion a year, mostly in aerospace products, which support some 40,000 American jobs. CONTINUE AT SITE

The Month That Was – November 2016 Sydney Williams

“November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.”

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)

Apart from the Cubs winning the World Series, the biggest news of the month was Donald Trump winning the Presidency.

The surprise was not that Republicans won, the surprise was that the Presidential race was as close as it was. A year and a half ago, when the race began to heat up, it was apparent, despite Mr. Obama’s personal popularity, that many of his policies were not working. The economy was sputtering along at the slowest growth rate in the post-War period. Federal debt had doubled to just under $20 trillion, while unfunded liabilities (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc.) had risen from $56 trillion to an estimated $100 trillion in 2016. Debt and entitlement obligations have compounded at 9% over the past eight years. GDP (the nation’s income) has compounded at two percent. When debt expands faster than income, bad things happen. Racial animosities have intensified. Internationally, Russia and China were in ascendancy and the Middle East in shambles. Islamic terrorism showed no signs of abating. Democrats were set on crowning an ethically challenged woman, an individual who epitomized a corrupt Washington establishment and a notoriously poor campaigner to boot. It was expected to be a “Republican year.” Eighteen months later the situation had not improved. What an opportunity for Republicans!

But, in nominating Mr. Trump – the most non-political Presidential nominee ever – Republicans almost blew it. While Trump appealed to vast numbers of working Americans who no longer felt they had access to the American dream, his character was alien to what many people thought proper for a President. But we underestimated the degree of estrangement so many felt toward a government that had practiced identity politics, favored a few special interests and had grown distant from a majority of the American people. Trump’s instincts were more acutely attuned than those of political professionals. He did win, and Republicans held the Senate and the House. Additionally, they control 33 governorships and 32 State Legislatures. While the country remains split, his support was far broader than most Democrats would have one believe. The great irony is that it may take a strong and independent leader to re-energize Congress into resuming its traditional role, as a body that is supposed to check excesses in the Executive, and to work through the ideological posturing that sometimes holds government hostage. Since winning, Mr. Trump’s policy determinants have begun to take shape. The most consequential response – apart from protesters and cries of denial – has been a rise in optimism: Since November 7, the DJIA has risen 4.7%, the U.S. Dollar is up 3.9% and the University of Michigan Consumer Index rose from 87.2 in October to 93.8 in November. It is the prospect of tax and regulatory reform that has the juices flowing.

MY SAY: PLEASE….NO AISLE HOPPING

Elections are partisan. Candidates, with very rare exceptions, represent their party’s divergent issues on foreign and domestic policies and vow that if elected they will implement the issues they ran on.

Senator Schumer of New York, a liberal prototype, just won re-election, became Minority Leader and was off and running by threatening President elect Trump with “severe vetting” of all his Cabinet and Supreme Court appointments, and vowed to block all efforts to repeal Obamacare. He then had the effrontery to claim that Trump won on Democratic party issues. (Huh?) He pledged that Democrats will not compromise with Trump “for the sake of working with him.”

The Democrats were ecstatic even after their humiliation at the polls. They crowed that Schumer would “Reid” Trump the riot act, restore unity to his traumatized party, and salvage much of the Obama legacy and strategize for the elections of 2018.

His advocates got what they voted for.

Trump’s response? “I have always had a good relationship with Chuck Schumer. He is far smarter than Harry R and has the ability to get things done. Good news!”

And now the buzz is that Romney whose rant against candidate Trump was epic, and Corker who was more tepid than cold to the Iran deal, and Petreaus whose faulty zipper led to disclosing classified information are on the “short lists” for major cabinet appointments.

So far it is only buzz but my eagle-eyed friend and observer Janet Levy Ross sends me daily notes with troubling information about the President elect’s putative appointments.

There is an old saw, “you gotta dance with the one that brung you.” I hope Donald Trump will avoid the pitfall of reaching across the aisle to partisan Democrats and RINOs and heed the advice of Kellyanne Conway who ” brung” him to victory rsk

Funding Leftist Frenzy Soros funds a recount so the Left can remain unhinged. Deborah Weiss

In anticipation of a Trump loss, Hillary Clinton and her cohorts professed that anything other than graceful acceptance of the loss would “threaten democracy.” But now that Trump has won, the left has hypocritically become unhinged. After violent protests, petitions to eradicate the electoral college, and coddling college age students to miss class, delay exams and obtain psychotherapy to deal with the “trauma” of the election results, liberal political elites are in fear that the left will at last, calm down and accept the results. They cannot accept such complacency.

Democrats got defeated in a sweep across the nation, with Republicans winning over two thirds of the governorships and making a record number of wins in state legislatures, 32 of which will have Republican control in both of their legislative chambers. But this isn’t enough to convince far leftists like Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein, that those who are upset by the results should just get a grip and learn to accept them. After all, every election, there is a winner and a loser. That’s our system. Instead, Stein is demanding recounts in several key blue states that have swung in favor of Trump this year. In order for the results to yield a different outcome, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan would all have to be overturned. That is not going to happen. Despite Stein’s efforts, the result is a foregone conclusion: Trump will still be President.

This is how it works: if the states are within a very small margin of error, the recounts in some states are automatic and free (meaning the candidates do not have to pay for a recount). That did not happen in any of the states at issue. Therefore, Jill Stein, who is obviously not in the running no matter what, had to file a lawsuit in Wisconsin to get the recount and pay for it herself. The legal basis on which she stated the recount should proceed was something to the effect of “possible hacking” into the machines. Unfortunately, this has been granted and so will be recounted. Stein has raised at this point $6.5 million dollars to go toward the recounts. She is also requesting recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

When the election results are announced on election night, that’s really just a “projection.” The actual results have to be certified by the Secretary of State of each State by December 13th of this year. The recount effort is facing a tight deadline, and now there is a chance that it will not be done on time. Jill Stein has further now asked that the votes be counted by hand which would obviously delay the certification even longer. Wisconsin has refused, saying that Jill Stein would have to get a court order for this. She has now sued to pursue this.

In the meantime, let me say that the machines are not hooked up to the internet so the chances that they were “hacked” (by whom — Russia?) are approximately zero. But she’s stated that she’s very concerned about voter “integrity”. Ironically, in her quest to maintain this “integrity”, be advised that there are not going to be any challenges to the legitimacy of any of the votes. In other words — and this is important — they are not checking for voter fraud, for dead people’s votes, illegal immigrants’ votes, voting dogs, or duplicate votes — they are simply recounting the votes to make sure they counted right the first time. (How’s that for a waste of time and money?) And Hillary, Miss “We owe Trump an open mind,” has now made a decision to have her campaign participate in the recount challenge.

The Real Anti-Semitism to Fear Daniel Greenfield

After years of studiously ignoring it, dismissing it, whitewashing it, excusing it and even justifying it, progressives have rediscovered anti-Semitism. With this amazing archeological find the intrepid Indiana Jones’ of the left dug up anti-Semitism, brushed it off and put it up on the shelf right behind Islamophobia, transphobia, racism, homophobia and sexism (in that order of importance).

Anti-Semitism on the left has been abruptly transformed from an excuse that Jews use to silence discussion about whether the Jewish State should be nuked or merely boycotted, to an issue worthy of concern. Assorted liberal celebrities with Jewish last names have surfaced to voice amazement that they had “not expected to see anti-Semitism return in my lifetime.”

As if anti-Semitism had been vacationing in the Alps until it came to their attention. The truth is that anti-Semitism never went anywhere. The left just endorsed it. And therefore it ceased to be a bad thing.

There was plenty of anti-Semitism to find even on the local college campus. Almost every synagogue I have been to in the past few months has armed guards outside giving visitors the TSA treatment. Jews are fleeing to America, Canada and Israel from major European cities because of Muslim persecution. The largest Jewish population in the world faces an endless war against a genocidal ideology that not only calls for their extermination, but works toward it, from suicide bombers to nuclear weapons.

But there is a progressive gentleman’s agreement not to discuss that real wave of anti-Semitism which has cost thousands of Jewish lives and ethnically cleansed cities because of the left’s complicity in it.

The recent interest in anti-Semitism across editorial pages and social media carefully avoids discussing the anti-Semitic past of Keith Ellison, progressive favorite for DNC chair, and his time with the anti-Semitic Nation of Islam cult whose ugly views and hatred he had defended. The left isn’t interested in Muslim anti-Semitism. It is greatly interested in discussing and promoting a small group of loathsome neo-Nazi trolls who recently held a conference in D.C. attended by a few hundred of history’s losers.

These Twitter troll babies cling to Trump’s legs almost as eagerly as he tries to shake them off. The “Hail Trump” stunt was a calculated gesture based on the certain knowledge that the media will only give their movement publicity if they try to smear Trump by associating him with their failed movement.

Despite the media’s lies, they’re not President-elect Trump’s allies, but his needy desperate stalkers.

Beware the Law of Unintended Consequences Moderation and humility help politicians avoid results contrary to what they earnestly want. By Victor Davis Hanson

The mix of politics and culture is far too complex to be predictable. Even the best-laid political plans can lead to unintended consequences, both good and bad — what we sometimes call irony, nemesis, or karma.

Take the election of 2008, which ushered Barack Obama and the Democrats into absolute control of the presidency, House, and Senate, also generating popular goodwill over Obama’s landmark candidacy.

Instead of ensuring a heralded generation of Democratic rule, Obama alienated both friends and foes almost immediately. He rammed through the unworkable Affordable Care Act without a single Republican vote. He prevaricated about Obamacare’s costs and savings. Huge budget deficits followed. Racial polarization ensued. Apologies abroad on behalf of America proved a national turnoff.

By the final pushback of 2016, the Obama administration had proven to be a rare gift to the Republican party. The GOP now controls the presidency, Congress, governorships, and state legislatures to a degree not seen since the 1920s. “Hope and change” ebullition in 2008 brought the Republicans salvation — and the Democrats countless disasters.

The Republican establishment hated Donald Trump. So did the conservative media. His unorthodox positions on trade, immigration, and entitlements alienated many. His vulgarity turned off even more. Pundits warned that he had brought civil war and ruin to the Republican party.

But instead of ruin, Trump delivered to the Republicans their most astounding political edge in nearly a century. The candidate who was most despised by the party unified it in a way no other nominee could have.

Obama proved Israel’s best friend — even though that was never his intention. By simultaneously alienating Israel and the Sunni moderates in Jordan and Egypt, and by warming up to the Muslim Brotherhood, appeasing Iran, and issuing empty red lines to the Assad regime in Syria, Obama infuriated but also united the entire so-called moderate Middle East.

The result was that Arab nations suddenly no longer saw Israel as an existential threat. Instead, it was seen as similarly shunned by the U.S. — and as the only military power capable of standing up to the soon-to-be-nuclear theocracy in Iran that hates Sunni Arabs and Israelis alike.

Today, Israel is in the historic position of being courted by its former enemies, as foreign fuel importers line up to buy its huge, newly discovered deposits of natural gas. As the Arab Spring and the Islamic State destroyed neighboring nations, Israel’s democracy and free market appeared as an even stronger beacon in the storm.

Almost every major initiative that Obama pushed has largely failed. Obamacare is a mess. He nearly doubled the national debt in eight years. Economic growth is at its slowest in decades. The reset with Russia, the Asian pivot, abruptly leaving Iraq, discounting the Islamic State, red lines in Syria, the Iran deal — all proved foreign-policy disasters.

Yet Obama has been quiet about one of the greatest economic revolutions in American history, one that has kept the U.S. economy afloat: a radical transformation from crippling energy dependency to veritable fossil-fuel independence. The United States has become the world’s greatest combined producer of coal, natural gas, and oil. It is poised to be an energy exporter to much of the world.

The revolution in fracking and horizontal drilling has brought in much-needed federal revenue, increased jobs, weakened Russia and our OPEC rivals, and given trillions of dollars in fuel savings to American consumers.

Yet Obama opposed the energy revolution at every step. He radically curtailed the leasing of federal lands for new drilling, stopped the Keystone XL pipeline, and subsidized inefficient and often crony-capitalist wind and solar projects. Nonetheless, Obama’s eventual failure to stop new drilling ended up his one success.

Hillary Clinton, in her presidential bid, did everything by the playbook — and therefore her campaign went catastrophically wrong. Her campaign raised more than $1 billion. She ran far more ads than did Trump. She won over the sycophantic press. She got all the celebrity endorsements. She united the Democratic party.

Logically, Clinton should have won. The media worked hand in glove with her campaign. Her ground game and voter registration drives made Trump’s look pathetic.

Yet all that money, press, and orthodoxy only confirmed suspicions that Clinton was a slick but wooden candidate. She became so scripted that even her Twitter feed was composed by a committee.

The more she followed her boring narrative, the more she made the amateur Trump seem authentic and energized in comparison. Doing everything right ended up for Hillary as doing everything wrong — and ensured the greatest upset in American political history.

The ancient Greeks taught us that arrogance brings payback, that nothing is sure in a fickle universe, that none of us can be judged successful and happy until we die, and that moderation and humility alone protect us from own darker sides.

In 2016, what could never have happened usually did.

General Mattis Has Imbibed Islamic Apologetics—Not Islam by Andrew Bostom

Yesterday (11/29/16), in an essay published at Pajamas Media, I urged POETUS Trump not to name either Generals Petraeus or Mattis to his cabinet, based upon the proven failure of the see-no-real-Islam COIN doctrine these men concocted, and implemented in Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Today (11/30/16), M.G. Oprea, writing at The Federalist, gushes, in her headline, that General James Mattis, who remains under serious consideration for Secretary of Defense by POETUS Trump, “Could Bust Our Deathly Political Correctness About Islam.” Ms. Oprea then proceeds to make a factually-challenged distinction between the Islam of her title, and “Islamism,” deeming the latter “political Islam,” a basic error given the designed, intractably political nature of Islam, and its quintessence, the Sharia. Notwithstanding this erroneous conception, she continues apace linking to a brief extract from a Heritage Foundation speech General Mattis gave last year (2015) which also alludes to “political Islam,” and “whether it is in America’s best interest.”

Mattis elaborated on these remarks during a March 2015 extended interview with Peter Robinson, which included the same “political Islam” comment, prefaced by the General’s more revealing observations on the alleged “root” of Islam’s—not Islamism’s—“problem.”

The problem with Islam goes back to the days of “The Prophet” [note: Mattis’s reverent usage]…when he dies and it splits into two halves and at that point they’ve got an internal war…that’s kept waxing and waning over the years…between the Sunni and the Shia…obviously it’s in a waxing phase

Thus Mattis’s formulation of Islam’s central “problem” ignores nearly 14 centuries of brutal, often genocidal jihad war—initiated by Muhammad, Islam’s prototype jihadist—against non-Muslims, ongoing to this day, which included decimation of Iraq’s residual Assyrian Christian population, during the General’s own tenure. Mattis essentially regurgitates the Muslim apologetic narrative which rivets on the alleged “breach of Islam’s political innocence”—the internecine struggle which punctuated Muhammad’s succession, including the assassinations of three of the four “Rightly Guided” Caliphs who followed Muhammad, and the ensuing violent Sunni-Shiite sectarian carnage after Caliph Ali’s killing, which persists to this day.