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NATIONAL NEWS USA

50 STATES AND DC, CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENT

Trump and the Politics of Moral Outrage We are very far from a politics of ideological purity and high character. By Victor Davis Hanson

Many have weighed in on whether Donald Trump’s agendas — to the extent that they are different from what are now ratified Republican policies — are crackpot, unworkable, or radical: e.g., building a wall to enhance border enforcement (“And make Mexico pay for it!”), renegotiating trade deals with China, promoting Jacksonian nationalism rather than ecumenical internationalism, suspending immigration from Middle East war zones (after Trump dropped his call for complete Muslim exclusion), and disparaging an Eastern-corridor elite that derives privilege from the intersection of big politics, money, and the media.

No doubt, some of Trump’s flamboyant invective is isolationist, nativist, and protectionist. Certainly, we are in the strangest campaign of the last half-century, in which members of Trump’s own party are among his fiercest critics. In contrast, the ABC/NBC/CBS Sunday-morning liberal pundits feel no need to adopt NeverHillary advocacy. They apparently share little “Not in my name” compunction over “owning” her two decades of serial lying, her violations of basic ethical and legal protocols as secretary of state, her investment in what can be fairly termed a vast Clinton pay-to-play influence-peddling syndicate, and the general corruption of the Democratic primary process.

Amid the anguish over the Trump candidacy, we often forget that the present age of Obama is already more radical than most of what even Trump has blustered about. We live in a country for all practical purposes without an enforceable southern border. Over 300 local and state jurisdictions have declared themselves immune from federal immigration laws — all without much consequence and without worry that a similar principle of nullification was the basis of the American Civil War or that other, more conservative cities could in theory follow their lead and declare themselves exempt from EPA jurisdiction or federal gun-registration laws. Confederate nullification is accepted as the new normal, and, strangely, its antithesis of border enforcement and adherence to settled law is deemed xenophobic, nativist, and racist.

Will Clinton Face Her Foreign-Policy Failures in Philadelphia? Her actions helped destabilize the world. By David French

To understand the sheer scale of the Democratic national-security collapse, ponder this horrible fact: In the 2012 presidential election, for two months the key debate was whether the murder of four Americans in Benghazi meant that President Obama was exaggerating his success against al Qaeda. In 2016, the news cycle has already moved on from the murder of 49 Americans in Orlando six weeks ago.

It’s moved on in part because of terror attacks that have killed more than 100 men, women, and children in France, Germany, and Turkey. In the last two months, terrorists have used guns, axes, knives, bombs, and even a truck to snuff out the lives of innocents in great cities on three continents. In the last year, jihadists have killed or injured Americans in Tennessee, California, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

Terror has become the new normal. We can’t dwell on the Chattanooga shootings because San Bernardino happened. We can’t dwell on San Bernardino because Orlando happened. In Europe, we can’t dwell on Paris because Brussels happened. We can’t dwell on Brussels because Istanbul happened. We can’t dwell on Istanbul because Nice happened. We can’t dwell on Nice because Munich happened.

And to think, last week the media actually mocked Republicans for emphasizing the terror threat. Yet the media is only following President Obama’s lead. This is a man, after all, who minimizes terrorism so much that he’s fond of describing bathtubs as a greater threat than ISIS.

Meanwhile, Jihadists are laughing all the way to the bloody bank. Grant them safe havens, and they’ll use their resources to recruit, train, and inspire the next wave of jihadists. Open borders to migrants, and they’ll infiltrate the ranks of refugees. Treat any concern about terror as “Islamophobia,” and they’ll exploit the resulting complacency and political correctness.

The Presbyterian Church USA’s Obsession With Israel Institutional anti-Semitism becomes too apparent to ignore. Joseph Puder

The Presbyterian Church USA (PC-USA) assembled in Portland, Oregon for its 222 General Assembly, lasting from June 18-25. Once again, latent anti-Semitism in the form of controversial resolutions on divestment from Israel became a major issue in the proceedings. Delegates from 171 PCUSA presbyteries, representing the 1.57 million members, along with other participants and observers from around the world, gathered in Portland for the biennial General Assembly (GA).

Elements from within the PCUSA displayed their unrestrained prejudice against the Jewish state when according to the former Vice President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, Alan Wisdom, only one resolution about the Middle East entailed “anything besides the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” He described the PCUSA GA as an “onslaught of anti-Israel legislation.”

Wisdom further explained that “of the six items placed before the assembly’s Middle East Issues Committee, five aimed harsh criticism at Israel.” Only one issue raised gently concerned itself with the threats to Middle Eastern Christians. That resolution does not even bother to identify the threat as being Islam and Muslim radicalism and jihadism. Instead, it qualified the threat coming from “unnamed religiously based actors in the region.”

The multiple anti-Israel resolutions proposed divesting from companies doing business in the Jewish state, with one specifically called the PCUSA, to prayerfully consider Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) against the State of Israel. Israel alone was singled out. The only vibrant democracy in the Middle East where religious freedom exists and is flourishing, where human and civil rights are sacrosanct, was vilified. Yet, Arab Palestinian Muslim terrorism, authoritarianism, anti-Semitism, incitement against Israelis and Jews, and denial of human rights and religious freedom has been ignored.

There were no “overtures,” i.e. resolutions against the most notorious dictatorships in the Middle East including the Islamic Republic of Iran, which tramples on basic human rights, denies religious freedom to Christians, Jews, or Baha’is, hangs youthful dissidents, gays and lesbians, and oppresses its minority Kurdish, Baluchi, and Ahwazi people. The hypocrisy and glaring bias displayed by the PCUSA General Assembly was obvious when the worst human rights offenders in the Middle East including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Assad of Syria, and a host of other Middle East Muslim states did not get mentioned, let alone subjected to BDS.

Knives Out In Philly Democrats in disarray. Matthew Vadum

Deeply divided Democrats spent the first day of their unruly convention here desperately trying to reassure everyone that their fractured, out-of-touch party is united heading into the November election.

The chaotic convention begins after a hotly contested primary season and as signs emerge that Republican Donald Trump could be cruising to victory in November. Famed statistician Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight said if the election had been held yesterday, Trump would have had a 57.5 percent chance of winning the presidency versus Clinton’s 42.5 percent. According to Silver’s “Now-cast” model, Trump would win the battleground states of Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

“Don’t think people are really grasping how plausible it is that Trump could become president. It’s a close election right now,” Silver tweeted July 22.

Bernie Sanders supporters made their displeasure known, booing and interrupting speeches for hours. They even booed and chanted “Bernie” during the opening invocation.

Their fanatical devotion makes sense. As Jamie Weinstein of the Daily Caller astutely observed a few hours later on Fox News Channel, to his followers Sanders is more like a religious figure than a politician.

In the early part of the first day of the convention, loud boos rang out over and over again when Hillary Clinton or running-mate Tim Kaine’s names were mentioned. Sometimes the boos drowned out the speakers. Some angry Bernie Sanders supporters taped their mouths shut to protest how the party treated their candidate. At other times, the noise generated by Sanders delegates shook the Wells Fargo Center.

In Philadelphia the official theme of Day One was “United Together,” which ought to set off alarm bells.

The statement about party unity, it turns out, was aspirational, not factual. Monday was a down-and-dirty, raucous affair. Delegates sat through seven hours of speeches, live music, and videos extolling the virtues of Clinton and ridiculing Trump. Throughout the home base of the Philadelphia Flyers, 76ers, and Soul, there are “all-gender” bathrooms. Delegates displayed smartalecky signs reading “love trumps hate.”

Protesters arrived in seemingly greater numbers than at the GOP convention in Cleveland last week. They were angrier and more physically aggressive than in Cleveland. More than 50 of them associated with something called Democracy Spring were detained by police and issued citations for disorderly conduct. Some held a sit-in at an entry point to the convention site while others climbed barricades erected for crowd control.

And inside the convention hall the knives were out for those who resisted the so-called revolution led by Sanders, a self-described socialist.

As the City of Brotherly Love roasted in 100-degree heat, Democrats unceremoniously dumped the administrative head of the party, Democratic National Committee chairman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida. She had been booed by fellow Democrats at events leading up to the convention — and for good reason.

Congressman Hank Johnson Compares Israeli Settlers to Termites By Rick Moran see note please

Dummiecrat Johnson is well rewarded by the Arab American Institute and gets a 5+ for his anti Israel sentiments…..rsk
Rep. Hank Johnson is not known for his towering intellect or penetrating insight. In fact, he’s an ignorant loon.

Back in 2010, Johnson astonished attendees at a House Armed Services Committee hearing by claiming that if too many U.S. military personnel transferred to our base on Guam, it could cause the island to “capsize.”

These days, Johnson has turned his attention to the cause of the Palestinians. At a meeting for the anti-Israel U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, Johnson compared Israeli settlers to “termites” and Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman to Donald Trump.

Washington Free Beacon:

“There has been a steady [stream], almost like termites can get into a residence and eat before you know that you’ve been eaten up and you fall in on yourself, there has been settlement activity that has marched forward with impunity and at an ever increasing rate to the point where it has become alarming,” Johnson said during an event sponsored by the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, an anti-Israel organization that galvanizes supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, or BDS.

“It has come to the point that occupation, with highways that cut through Palestinian land, with walls that go up, with the inability or the restriction, with the illegality of Palestinians being able to travel on those roads and those roads cutting off Palestinian neighborhoods from each other,” Johnson continued. “And then with the building of walls and the building of check points that restrict movement of Palestinians. We’ve gotten to the point where the thought of a Palestinian homeland gets further and further removed from reality.”

Johnson, who in 2010 voiced his fears that Guam would tip over and capsize if too many people resided on the island, said that “Jewish people” routinely steal land and property from Palestinians.

“You see one home after another being appropriated by Jewish people who come in to claim that land just because somebody did not spend the night there,” he said, referring to claims that Israeli settlers plot to seize Palestinian land. ‘“The home their [Palestinian] ancestors lived in for generations becomes an Israeli home and a flag goes up,” he said, adding, “the Palestinians are barred from flying flags in their own neighborhoods.”

Johnson went on to compare Lieberman to Trump as he lashed out against the Israeli government.

“The fact is the Israeli government, which is the most right-wing government ever to exist in the state of Israel in its history, the most right wing government, you got a guy like Trump who is now the minister of defense in Israel calling the shots on defense,” he said, adding that he is not the only member of Congress who holds these views.

Tony Thomas: The Clintons and Their Corruptocrats

In Hillary’s term at State, wealthy crooks, influence-seekers and tyrannical governments rushed to donate millions to the Clinton Foundation, its spin-offs, Bill Clinton personally or vague combinations of all/any of them. Figuring large on the donor list, Australia’s taxpayers.
Australian governments’ $85 million aid to the Clinton Foundation is a bit surprising, given that ex-President Bill and presidential candidate Hillary are synonyms for financial and personal sleaze. That total sum was paid by both Coalition and Labor governments over the past decade. Coalition and Labor have also despatched and committed $460m to the Clinton-affiliated Global Partnership for Education, chaired by our ex-PM Julia Gillard. Abbott’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop threw Gillard’s show a lazy $140 million of taxpayer money in 2014, no questions asked. That aid was in the teeth of Gillard’s lusty presidential campaigning for Hillary against Trump.

Ostensibly charitable, the Clinton Foundation is the centerpiece of the couple’s amassing of a vast personal fortune. Bill was president from 1993-01. Hillary was Secretary of State for Obama from 2009-13.

In Hillary’s term at State, every variety of wealthy crook, influence-seeker and tyrannical government rushed to “donate” millions to the Clinton Foundation, its spin-offs, Bill Clinton personally or vague combinations of all/any of them. Lots of those crooked donors later scored disgrace, convictions and/or gaol on unrelated matters. Amid the sleaze, of course, the Clinton Foundation did manage to do some genuine charity work.

The Australian’s Greg Sheridan reported last February that the Coalition and Labor governments aided the Clinton foundations by more than $75 million in the past decade. The aid was via partnerships with the Clintons’ outfit as ‘technical implementing partner’. There are still three deals involving the foundations aiding Indonesia, PNG and Vietnam. Australia appears to be the biggest single foreign-government source of Clinton Foundation funds, he said. Annual aid has ranged from $6.5 million to a peak $10.3 million in 2012-13, the final Labor year.

However, Sheridan and/or his US source overlooked $10 million in a direct donation by a Rudd government entity to the Clinton Foundation in 2009-10. Rudd in 2008 set up the Global CCS Institute for research into carbon capture and storage with $100 million of taxpayer money. “The Institute provided AU$10 million to the Clinton Foundation to support the work being conducted through the Clinton Climate Initiative to accelerate key ‘early mover’ CCS projects around the world,” the Institute said.

According to the ABC, Rudd’s little venture actually involved a further commitment of $215m, at the rate of $100m a year. Other countries were supposed to tip in money too but by 2012 that amounted to a tiny $4.5m from the US and EU. The Institute itself had no idea what to spend its money on, actually complaining to the ABC that “the Rudd Government funding was too much, too soon.” After two years, Rudd’s institute had spent $7.4 million on travel and meetings, $11.3 million on contractors and consultants, and almost $6 million on administration. It had donated only $37m to carbon capture projects around the world but had $145m sitting idle in the bank. The $10 million thrown to the Clinton Foundation appears to be part of the institute’s desperate attempts to spend its piggy bank. Carbon capture of course has proved to be a total turkey.

Wikileaks reveals apparent sale of presidential appointments by DNC By Thomas Lifson

It has always been taken for granted that presidents appoint wealthy donors to commissions, ambassadorships, and other honors. But we have never before seen evidence of the way the transactions are carried out. However, thanks to Wikileaks, we have an actual spreadsheet listing donors and possible purchases of office being circulated among DNC officials.

Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller has the story.

The spreadsheet — which was accompanied by emails sent between officials with the DNC’s finance team — contains 23 names of little-known corporate executives and professional fundraisers who have donated to the committee and various Democratic political action committees.

(snip)

The donor spreadsheet is included in an email chain in which Jordan Kaplan, DNC’s national finance director, asks other officials to provide names of donors they want to propose for federal commissions.

“Last call for boards and commissions,” Kaplan wrote on April 20.

“If you have someone, send to [DNC finance chief of staff Scott] Comer – full name, city, state, email and phone number. Send as many as you want, just don’t know how many people will get to.”

The email confused at least one official involved in the exchange.

“Boards and commissions? Sorry, I’m lost,” wrote Jordan Vaughn, the national finance director for the DNC’s African American Leadership Council.

Comer explained: “Any folks who you’d like to be considered to be on the board of (for example) USPS, NEA, NEH. Basically anyone who has a niche interest and might like to serve on the board of one of these orgs.”

“I should say, though, that the likelihood of landing a spot on ones as prestigious as NEA/USPS is unlikely,” Comer added, referring to the National Endowment for the Arts and the U.S. Postal Service.

For Trump! Against the Disloyalists! By Jared E. Peterson

At last it’s beyond dispute: This time the Republican Party’s presidential nominee is someone chosen by full throated roar from its augmented voter base, not by the timid and failed leadership that’s gripped the Party since Reagan.

And just as importantly, despite furious howls from “We prefer Hillary” turncoats scattered among Republican elites and conservative intellectuals, it’s now also indisputable that Donald Trump is fighting for the major part of the Republican Party and American conservatism’s Reagan agenda: unapologetic patriotism and belief in American exceptionalism, a freer, less regulated economy, a Supreme Court that respects the Constitution, unrestricted freedom of expression, unambiguous condemnation of all domestic violence, especially against the police, and a muscular defense of America, its people and allies against increasingly murderous enemies.

Not good enough, say the allegedly Republican and conservative turncoats … we prefer Hillary Clinton and all that comes with her.

An important aside: In law as in logic, the absolutely certain consequences of actions that are known to the actor beforehand … are consequences that he intends. If he fires an automatic weapon into a crowd, he will not be heard to say he did not intend to kill or seriously wound.

Those members of the Republican elite now denouncing Donald Trump and proclaiming he will not get their votes, or failing to endorse and campaign for him when by resume they would be expected to, are actions they know — to an absolute certainty — will help elect Hillary Clinton.

Thus, the entire gaggle of Republican and conservative disloyalists — from former presidents and failed presidential candidates all the way down to obscure scribblers — are intentionally working for the election of Hillary Clinton and the now radical Left Democratic Party.

If Hillary Clinton is elected, especially if by a narrow vote, the turncoat disloyalists will forever own all of the utterly predictable consequences of her Leftist presidency (see below for a partial list).

The reasons for this astonishing betrayal of their own voter base? A mixture of motives is on display. Much social and intellectual snobbery, selfish wound licking, and sinecure protecting are all unsuccessfully seeking cover behind alleged issue or character criticisms.

The soreheads’ issue gripes with Trump focus on those positions that indisputably have expanded the potential voter base of the Republican Party: In addition to embracing much of core conservatism and Republicanism, Trump has responded favorably to two pleas from huge and long-standing majorities of Republican and conservative voters — and from large numbers of working and middle class Americans who are neither:

AMERICA’S ECONOMY IS CARTELIZED, CORRUPT, AND ANTI-COMPETITIVE BY DAVID GOLDMAN

Under the title “Rotting-Flesh Reaganism,” R. R. Reno argues that Reagan’s campaign for economic freedom “made sense in 1980, a great deal of sense. But we’re in 2016 now, and we’re no longer suffering under suffocating collectivism and clotted, complacent capitalism. . . . The politics of freedom is losing its salience.”

It surely is the case that the old Reagan message has less purchase now than it did a quarter-century ago. The word “entrepreneurship” hardly was spoken during the recent Republican primaries. That is disturbing, because the empirical evidence argues strongly that today’s capitalism is more “clotted” and more “complacent” than at any time for which we have data.

Here are some parameters that show just how cartelized the American economy has become:

First, and most alarming, startup businesses contributed virtually zero new jobs during the post-2009 employment recovery. Nearly all the employment growth since the depth of the Great Depression came among the 1,500 largest American public companies by market capitalization. In a February study for Asia Times, I showed that the reported employment growth of the S&P 1,500 companies was nearly identical to the total increase in payroll employment reported by the Bureau of Labor statistics during the past seven years.

That is a drastic and unprecedented reversal of historic patterns. As I observed in the Asia Timesstudy, “Economists from the US Census Bureau and the University of Maryland showed in a 2014 study that startup firms created an average of 2.9 million jobs a year between 1980 and 2010—twice the 1.4 million average increase in employment. In other words, startups created 2.9 million jobs a year while established firms lost 1.5 million jobs a year.”

Putin and Those Democratic Emails Clinton blames Russia for the DNC leak. Pre-emptive inoculation?

Here’s the last word Democrats wanted to hear at their Philadelphia convention this week: emails. But there it was after WikiLeaks released 20,000 internal emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee revealing, among other things, that party officials had favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.

That wasn’t news, but it gave the Sanders legions a new opening to vent their frustration with the establishment. Their fury brought down Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the party chair, who on Sunday announced her resignation at the end of the convention but by Monday had been strong-armed by the Clinton campaign to abandon any convention role.

Remember those Casualties of Bill (Clinton) from the 1990s? Ms. Wasserman Schultz is the first Casualty of Hillary in this Clinton comeback. She had to go for the sake of party unity but also because the DNC emails remind Americans of another batch of emails, those belonging to the former Secretary of State.

On that score, it was startling to hear the Clinton campaign respond to the email leak by blaming Russia. Campaign manager Robby Mook accused Russian “state actors” of divulging the emails for “the purpose of helping Donald Trump,” and even suggested several pro-Russian provisions in the recent GOP platform were behind the leak. The media is now noting that Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort once worked for a Vladimir Putin crony.

Nothing is beyond Mr. Putin, especially since he is already trying to influence European elections. His allies are bankrolling France’s National Front leader, Marine Le Pen, they supported Britain’s exit from the European Union and fabricated stories this spring to undercut Chancellor Angela Merkel in regional elections. Vlad the Election Impaler might well prefer Mr. Trump in the Oval Office, even if Mrs. Clinton was an architect of President Obama’s 2009 “reset” with Russia.