Megyn Kelly sold out to Trump By Daniel John Sobieski

If you were waiting Tuesday night for the Megyn Kelly of the Fox News debates to grill Donald Trump over his slash-and-burn primary campaign, his ad hominem attacks on opponents and Kelly herself, or his inconsistent and often incoherent policy statements, you were sadly disappointed.

Instead we got the ambitious Vanity Fair cover girl doing her best Barbara Walters imitation, asking touchy-feely questions to the point where Oprah Winfrey might sue for copyright infringement. There were no questions about the Trump University fraud case going to trial, trying to seize a widow’s home through eminent domain, his position on abolishing NATO, his love of single-payer health care, or his position that Planned Parenthood does good things. As the Los Angeles Times so deliciously put it:

Megyn Kelly didn’t ask Donald Trump to headline her Fox special “Megyn Kelly Presents” so she could pin him down on foreign and domestic policy issues, or even confront him about the months-long troll attack he launched after she dared question him during the first Republican debate about his penchant for misogynistic language.

No, she invited him to costar in an hourlong infomercial for her new book….

We watched because we wanted to see Kelly, tempered by the Trump’s bitter attack and buoyed by near-national support, hold his question-dodging feet to some sort of fire.

Instead, we got a rehash of all that Kelly endured followed by a battle of the low-talkers in which Kelly, clearly prepped to avoid anything that might smack of hostility, searched for the source of Trump’s rage while she gently suggested that perhaps presidents should not be so mean, and Trump tried to appear as if he were answering her questions when indeed he was not….

Opening with the softest ball imaginable — When did it occur to you that you could be president? — Kelly initially pursued a theme of regret: Did Trump feel he had made any mistakes in the campaign? How did the death of his brother affect him? Had he learned anything from his divorces? Then she took things to a near-psychoanalytic place: Has Trump ever been wounded, or bullied?

Really? This fluff was a far cry from the opening salvo in the first debate, when Kelly grilled Trump on his views on women – a grilling that caused Trump to skip a Fox debate to hold a fundraiser for veterans. By the way, Mr. Trump, Megyn could have asked, why has so much of that money raised not yet reached veterans groups?

The ambitious Kelly is at a crossroads in her career, with her contract at Fox expiring a little more than a year from now. She fancies herself as the next Diane Sawyer, for whom she has professed admiration, or the next Barbara Walters. As Variety noted last June:

The Strength of a Weak State In the Holy Roman Empire, individual rulers and states were largely left to govern as they wished. By Mark Molesky

On Aug. 6, 1806, an imperial herald decked out in full court regalia galloped purposefully through the streets of Vienna to a magnificent medieval church at the center of the city. Once there, he ascended to the balcony, blew his silver trumpet and declared that the Holy Roman Empire, an institution that had lasted for more than 1,000 years, was no more.

The news was hardly unexpected (“as when an old friend is very sick,” recalled Goethe’s mother). Yet grown men—and at least one king—wept as waves of nostalgia rippled across the continent. The empire was many things over its long history, but for a great number of its subjects it was, above all, a defender of the weak against the strong.

It is curious, then, that our modern view of the Holy Roman Empire has been so decisively shaped by its detractors. Voltaire’s quip that it was “in no way holy, nor Roman, nor an empire” is the most memorable, though not the most vicious, put-down. In 1787, James Madison derided it as “a nerveless body; incapable of regulating its own members; insecure against external dangers; and agitated with unceasing fermentation in its own bowels.” Hegel dismissed the imperial constitution as little more than a collection of round stones that might roll away if nudged. Even the Nazis sought to dissociate themselves from the empire, though it had once comprised most of German-speaking Europe and had for centuries been led by the Vienna-based Habsburgs. In Hitler’s mind, the Holy Roman Empire deserved repudiation because it had failed to achieve true German unity. On June 13, 1939, Nazi Party organizations were banned from using “Third” when referring to the Reich.

It is against such headwinds that Peter H. Wilson, a history professor at Oxford, has written “Heart of Europe,” an ambitious, sprawling tome that seeks to rehabilitate the Holy Roman Empire’s reputation by re-examining its place within the larger sweep of European history. This is no easy task, as Mr. Wilson is well aware, for though the empire lasted more than twice as long as imperial Rome, it had no standing army and no centralized institutions of government; nor was it defined by a single ethnic group. It was also immense, encompassing at least a portion of 11 present-day countries: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland and Switzerland.

The empire was born with great fanfare on Christmas Day 800, when the Frankish King Charlemagne was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by Pope Leo III in a ceremony at St. Peter’s in Rome. The plan was audacious: to resurrect the crown of the Roman Empire in the west, which had been vacant since the Goths ousted the last Roman emperor. To the illiterate warlord Charlemagne, the coronation conferred religious and moral authority. For Leo, it meant protection, for among their many oaths, the emperors swore to defend and safeguard the bishops of Rome. CONTINUE AT SITE

What Benjamin Netanyahu Stands to Gain, and Lose, From Cabinet Shake-Up By Aaron David Miller see note please

Aaron David Miller is a vice president at the Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars and most recently the author of “The End of Greatness: Why America Can’t Have (and Doesn’t Want) Another Great President.”

Miller was one of the great proponents of the Bush “road map” for Israel another clone of the endless policies promoting Israeli territorial concessions in exchange for blather….He wrote this in May 2005 in the Washpo…which give a good indication of his proclivities with respect to Israel:

“I’m not a lawyer by training,” Miller wrote. “But I know one when I see one. For far too long, many American officials involved in Arab-Israeli peacemaking, myself included, have acted as Israel’s attorney, catering and coordinating with the Israelis at the expense of successful peace negotiations.” ….“With the best of motives and intentions, we listened to and followed Israel’s lead without critically examining what that would mean for our own interests, for those on the Arab side and for the overall success of the negotiations.” so his opinions of Lieberman are tainted by bias….rsk

Replacing Moshe Ya’alon, who announced his resignation Friday as Mr. Netanyahu publicly negotiated his replacement, would do a lot for Mr. Netanyahu: He stands to broaden his thin governing majority and to reinforce himself against right-wing pressure at home as well as U.S. efforts to press him on the peace process and settlements. He could better secure his position until 2018, when he would surpass David Ben-Gurion as Israel’s longest-governing prime minister. The exit of Mr. Ya’alon, a longtime Israeli military figure, also sends a powerful signal that the Israel Defense Forces should be careful about challenging his government. Senior military officials, and Mr. Ya’alon, have been critical on several points, including the government’s defense of an Israeli soldier who shot a wounded Palestinian lying on the ground in March after the Palestinian stabbed another Israeli soldier.

In the short term, Mr. Netanyahu’s actions may bring peace to his governing coalition. But the price will be continued and possibly greater tensions with the Palestinians, the U.S. and others. Notably, though, Mr. Netanyahu doesn’t much care. This move illustrates his decision to look beyond the Obama administration toward what he hopes will be a friendlier face in Washington.

Mr. Lieberman’s party joining the Netanyahu government would add precious seats to Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition. But Mr. Lieberman is a problematic partner. He represents a secular party that has had its share of tensions with Mr. Netanyahu’s ultra-orthodox coalition partners over national service. Mr. Lieberman resigned last year as foreign minister to protest what he considered Mr. Netanyahu’s failure to wipe out Hamas in Gaza and to build more settlements in Jerusalem and the West Bank. He also wanted more support for legislation to remove Arabic as an official language, strengthen the influence of Jewish law, reduce the Israeli Supreme Court’s powers, and, according to the New York Times, “entrench the automatic citizenship of Jews worldwide and Jewish symbols of the state.” Mr. Lieberman, who is known for provocative statements and lives in an Israeli settlement south of Bethlehem, has threatened to bomb the Aswan dam in the event of war with Egypt and has proposed transferring some Arab-Israeli towns to the Palestinian Authority to help preserve the Jewish Israeli majority in the north. CONTINUE AT SITE

Israeli Defense Minister Resigns as Netanyahu Talks to Lieberman Prime minister says he offered Moshe Ya’alon job as foreign minister, but needs to shore up coalition By Rory Jones See note please

Good riddings….to “Bogie”Ya’alon- his nickname is short for “bogus”- a political chameleon in hawk’s clothing….rsk

TEL AVIV—Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon resigned Friday from what is widely considered Israel’s second-most powerful position, amid maneuvering by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to shore up his coalition.

Mr. Ya’alon, a member of Mr. Netanyahu’s conservative Likud Party, said in a Facebook post Friday that he decided to step down after the prime minister moved this past week to negotiate with the ultranationalist lawmaker Avigdor Lieberman, reportedly offering him the defense ministry.

Mr. Ya’alon said he was resigning his seat in the Knesset, or parliament, as well and would be “taking a timeout from political life.”

The prime minister expressed his regret and said he had offered Mr. Ya’alon the position of foreign minister, which Mr. Netanyahu currently also holds. Mr. Netanyahu denied there was any “crisis of confidence” between the two of them, but said he needed to “expand the government, in order to bring stability to Israel.”

Mr. Netanyahu, who has a one-seat majority in the 120-seat Knesset, has been seeking to shore up his political base by negotiating to bring Mr. Lieberman’s ultranationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party into his conservative coalition.

Talks began on Wednesday, according to a senior Israeli official. The official wouldn’t comment on whether Mr. Lieberman had been offered the defense ministry portfolio, saying talks were ongoing.

Bernie Isn’t Hillary’s Problem Democrats are bashing Sanders, but they should worry more about their presumptive nominee.

As more polls show that Hillary Clinton could lose to Donald Trump, Democratic media and political elites have decided that the problem is— Bernie Sanders. The socialist warhorse has had his campaign fun, but now he and his supporters refuse to slink away quietly into Howard Dean obscurity. Doesn’t he know that his persistence is helping Republicans?

We’d humbly suggest that these Democrats are looking through the wrong end of the campaign telescope. Bernie’s continuing string of victories is the symptom of the political demand for change after eight years of Democratic rule. The real Democratic problems this year are the Obama record and the Clinton candidacy.

“I will be the nominee,” Mrs. Clinton declared this week, and barring an act of God or the FBI director she is no doubt right. Mr. Sanders has a narrow window to get a majority of delegates, even without Mrs. Clinton’s overwhelming lead among declared superdelegates. Unlike the GOP establishment, Democratic elites are getting the nominee they have wanted from the beginning.

Yet Mr. Sanders continues to win primaries even if he has little chance at the nomination. He has won three of the last four major contests, and he lost Kentucky this week by fewer than 2,000 votes. A major chunk of the Democratic base is showing buyer’s remorse at Mrs. Clinton’s looming coronation and is encouraging Mr. Sanders to fight to the bitter end. Few Bernistas will vote for Mr. Trump, but some might decide to demonstrate their unhappiness at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia or stay home in November.

Democrats can blame themselves for much of this political alienation. President Obama was only too happy to indulge the Occupy Wall Street movement when it served his purposes against Mitt Romney in 2012. He and his fellow Democrats played up resentment against “the 1%,” which Mr. Sanders and his voters have decided to take seriously and use as a cudgel against Mrs. Clinton. CONTINUE AT SITE

America’s instructive humiliation in the South China Sea: David “Spengler” Goldman

“Let us admit it fairly, as a business people should: We have had no end of a lesson: it will do us no end of good,” wrote Rudyard Kipling in 1902 after the Boers humiliated the British Army in the first round of the Boer War. America should express the same gratitude towards China, which has humiliated America in the South China Sea. By exposing American weakness without firing a shot, Beijing has taught Washington a lesson which the next administration should take to heart.

Last year I asked a ranking Pentagon planner what America would do about China’s ship-killer missiles, which reportedly can sink an aircraft carrier a couple of hundred miles from its coast. If China wants to deny the American navy access to the South China Sea, the official replied, we can do the same: persuade Japan to manufacture surface-to-ship missiles and station them in the Philippines.

It didn’t occur to Washington that the Philippines might not want to take on China. The country’s president-elect Rodrigo Duterte explained last year (as David Feith reported in the Wall Street Journal), “America would never die for us. If America cared, it would have sent its aircraft carriers and missile frigates the moment China started reclaiming land in contested territory, but no such thing happened … America is afraid to go to war. We’re better off making friends with China.”

It isn’t only the Philippines who see the obvious. China claims the support of 40 countries for its position that territorial claims to the South China Sea should be resolved by direct negotiations between individual countries, rather than before a United Nations tribunal constituted under the UN Convention on Law of the Seas, as Washington wants. A joint statement by the foreign ministers of China, Russia and India after a meeting in Moscow last month supported China’s position.

The 7th Fleet was the eight-hundred-pound gorilla in the South China Sea after World War II, relying on a weapons system now more than nine decades old, namely the aircraft carrier. That was before China fielded its DF-21 “carrier killer” surface-to-ship missile. The latest iteration of the missile, designated DF-26, reportedly has a range of 2,500 miles. New technologies, including lasers and rail guns, might defeat the new Chinese missiles, but a great deal of investment would be required to make them practical, as a January report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies argued.

ON DAVID RAZIEL WHO WAS KILLED IN ACTION ON MAY 20, 1941BY DAVID GREEN

As head of an underground Jewish resistance group, David Raziel had been pursued by the British. Come WWII, he would offer his help.
On May 20, 1941, David Raziel, commander of the Etzel – the Jewish underground militia in Palestine affiliated with Revisionist Zionism – was killed while leading a commando mission in Iraq for the British army.

In its early years, the Etzel, the acronomyn of Irgun Tzvai Leumi – literally “national military organization” –treated the British Mandatory government in Palestine as an enemy. But after World War II started, Etzel made common cause with the British, which is how it was that Raziel was asked to assemble a team to travel to Iraq. Its mission was to destroy the oil refineries west of the capital, which were supplying the Germans with fuel critical for their war effort.

He was born David Rozenson, on December 19, 1910, in Smorgon, in modern-day Belarus. His father was Mordecai Rozenson, a Hebrew teacher, and his mother the former Bluma Gordin. The family, which also included a sister, Esther, were Zionists, and spoke Hebrew in their home. When Mordecai was offered a position teaching at the Tachkemoni School, in Tel Aviv, in 1914, they immigrated there, if not for long.

During World War I, the Turkish rulers of the Land of Israel exiled Russian-born residents, whom they considered enemy aliens, to Egypt. This happened to the Rozensons too, and they went back to Russia, only to return to Israel in 1923.

David studied at his father’s school, graduating in 1928, when he moved to Jerusalem to attend the Merkaz Harav yeshiva, where his hevruta (study partner) was Zvi Yehuda Kook, son of chief rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook. At the same time, he was a student at the Hebrew University.

Plowing the American Mind By Rachel Ehrenfeld *****

The Obama administration used the Ploughshares Fund to plow through Congress’s and the public’s perception of threats to our national security. It used this and other organizations to harrow its critics and to plant disinformation to undermine the security of the United States from within and without.

In 2015, it used the Ploughshares Fund that prides itself on supporting “ the smartest minds and most effective organizations to reduce nuclear stockpiles, prevent new nuclear states, and increase global security,” to pay off useful idiots in the press and NGOs to advocate the “White House Narratives on the Iran Nuclear Deal,” and to undermine Israel’s opposition. Its board chairperson Mary Lloyd Estrie boasted in its 2015 annual report that $7,322,110 in grants paid for “the absolutely critical role that civil society played in tipping the scales towards this extraordinary policy victory.”

Creating this “echo chamber,” as Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes boasted to the New York Times Magazine, helped the White House to achieve this national and international deception. In 2015, to silence Israeli opposition, Ploughshares Fund gave the pro-Palestinian J-Street, $576,500, and more than $281,000 to the National Iranian American Council to promote the deal.

Other recipients of grants to publish analysis and briefings supporting the Obama deal with Iran, include the Arms Control Association $282,500; the Brookings Institution, $225,000; and the Atlantic Council, $182,500. Princeton University got $70,000 to support former Iranian ambassador and nuclear spokesman Seyed Hossein Mousavian’s “analysis, publications and policymaker engagement on the range of elements involved with the negotiated settlement of Iran’s nuclear program. The ‘Gulf 2000 Project’, Columbia University received $75,000,” To support analysis, reporting and other efforts to inform the debate about Iran’s nuclear program and international diplomatic approaches to verifiably prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.” The Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies ($50,000).

Free-Market Think Tanks Should Pitch Trump Their Best Ideas Conservatives can help him craft an innovative reform agenda. By Deroy Murdock

Free-marketeers who are in tears about Donald J. Trump’s pending presidential nomination should heed the wisdom of the Beatles: “Take a sad song and make it better.”

Trump’s policy agenda remains largely unwritten. While he has detailed solutions on immigration, taxes, and health care, Trump has left many issues untouched. This is a problem, but also an opportunity.

Conservatives and small-l libertarians who supported Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, or Scott Walker for president can curse Trump . . . or do something constructive: work with him and his team to develop his platform.

Leaders of the following think tanks should meet with Trump and urge him to champion these conservative and free-market ideas:

The Reason Foundation should craft for Trump a limited-government blueprint to reverse the Transportation Security Agency’s accelerating meltdown. Unveiling a Wollman Rink–style overhaul of the imploding TSA is the timeliest way for Trump to demonstrate how he would rescue America from Uncle Sam’s holistic dysfunction.

(Ice skaters abandoned Central Park’s Wollman Rink in 1980 as it fell into disrepair. New York City’s government kept it closed through 1986, while $4.7 million in maintenance ran $12 million over budget, Bloomberg reports, yet the place remained shut. In June 1986, Donald Trump offered to refurbish the attraction in exchange for concession rights, which he would donate to charity. The reconstruction came in two months early and $775,000 under budget. Skating resumed that November and continues today.)

The National Taxpayers Union Foundation should encourage Trump to endorse the Penny Plan: Cut overall federal spending by one penny per dollar each year for five years, then freeze outlays at 18 percent of national income. As a businessman conversant with budgets and spending restraint, Trump would understand this idea and could sell it to voters.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute should advise Trump to smother Obama’s odious Clean Power Plan. Cost: $382 billion in disposable income and $993 billion in forgone GDP through 2040. Benefit: By 2050, expected warming would slip 0.02 degrees Fahrenheit. This is like cranking a thermostat from 72 degrees, all the way down to 71.98. CEI also should ask Trump to halt government prosecution of “global-warming” skeptics.

School Board Votes to Ban Having Valedictorians Because the ‘Competition’ is ‘Unhealthy’ But what if I think competition is awesome? By Katherine Timpf

A school board in North Carolina has unanimously given initial approval to a policy that would stop allowing its high schools to name valedictorians and salutatorians of its graduating classes because that kind of “competition” is apparently hazardous to students’ health.

“We have heard from many, many schools that the competition has become very unhealthy,” Wake County School Board Chairman Tom Benton said, according to an article in the News & Observer.

According to the News & Observer, a final decision on the policy won’t be made until June 7. Given the fact that it was unanimously supported in that initial vote, however, I’ve got to say it sounds pretty doggone likely that it will be approved.

Under the new policy, the schools would use the Latin honors system that’s used in colleges, giving a “cum laude” designation to students with a 3.75 GPA or higher, a “magna cum laude” designation to students with a 4.0 to a 4.249 GPA and a “summa cum laude” to students with a 4.25 GPA or higher.

Benton said he thinks this change will also stop students from being tempted to fill their schedules with easier classes to pad their GPAs in pursuit of a “valedictorian” or “salutatorian” title.

“Students were not collaborating with each other the way that we would like them to,” he said. “Their choice of courses was being guided by their GPA and not their future education plans.”

Um, Tom? How the hell would the elimination of those titles stop that? After all, those GPA numbers are still going to mean the same thing. Any kids who were going to have their “choice of courses” be “guided by their GPA” is probably still going to have them guided that way because — stay with me here — they’ll still have GPAs!