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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

P&D For January 31, 2018

Editor's Note:  These will be the only posts for today.  There are some days even a newsie like me can only stand so much!

The Shabby, Sophomoric Behavior of Democrats at the SOTU

By Patricia McCarthy January 31, 2018

It is difficult to imagine a more galling demonstration of incivility than the Democrats in the room for Trump's SOTU speech. They scowled, frowned, and sat on their hands throughout the speech. They could hardly be bothered to acknowledge the heroes in the audience when they were introduced. While the Dems brought illegal immigrants, Trump invited actual paragons of American character and the families of victims of illegal immigrant crimes, as well as a victim of North Korea. It was embarrassing, like watching the anti-Semites in the UN stomp out of the room when Benjamin Netanyahu speaks. How is it any different? Our Democrats behave exactly like the most racist, intolerant people on the planet, and in their own Capitol.

The Democrats loathe the tax reform that has kick-started the American economy. They abhor the return of American manufacturing and the bonuses so many companies have doled out to their employees. It was not so long ago that Obama essentially swore that "those jobs are never coming back." "Crumbs," billionaire Pelosi called their bonuses. The left today hates our military. They hate the notion of national security. Like Obama, they cannot abide the unfair advantage, as they see it, of American might, American success, and American freedom which they are always trying to impede, to restrict, to regulate and tax. The left has been doing its best to turn the United States into Venezuela for two generations. Progressivism is socialism. Venezuela is how it ends……….To Read More…..

Cartoon of the Day

Trump Divides Americans and Un-Americans

The greatest American speech of the century.

A Brief History of the Fake News Media

By David Solway January 31, 2018

For far too long, I was convinced that the media were, on the whole, reliable purveyors of the news. For nearly three years I freelanced happily at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in Music and Public Affairs, never suspecting that the Mothercorp was a hive of Liberal propaganda and an artesian fount of scandalously disingenuous broadcasting. It took 9/11 and the generally extenuating media reports over time, faulting the U.S. and exempting Islam, to shake up my thinking and turn me into a sceptical fact-finder.

The media are especially adept at creating villains out of whole cloth for public consumption to advance a particular and often dubious purpose. How else explain the transformation of significant political figures into synonyms for perfidy and opprobrium. I’m thinking in particular of Joe McCarthy, Barry Goldwater and Enoch Powell, all of whom considered themselves patriots and enunciated unpopular or anti-establishment truths, costing them their reputations both in their lifetimes and for posterity.

As Diana West writes of McCarthy, “after more than 60 years of ‘McCarthyism’—the perpetual slander of Joseph McCarthy as a ‘witch-hunter,’ as opposed to an honest accounting of this fearless investigator of deep and widespread infiltration of the US government by Stalin's secret agents…Americans have been conditioned to…hate, loathe and revile McCarthy...The slander of ‘McCarthyism,’…has had the dire effect of bludgeoning our abilities to detect or even acknowledge the existence of any constitutional enemies, especially ‘domestic.’ ”

Favorable commentators will admit that McCarthy may have been guilty of exaggerations and errors, but as the Venona transcripts have verified, he was right overall……….To Read More….

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

P&D For January 30, 2018

Deep State – FBI – Justice Department - Treason
Feel the Bern
Environment - Alternative Energy
Geopolitics with Peter Zeihan, Turkey

Peter Zeihan on Geopolitics: Turkey


The Turks Return

Thousands of Turkish troops poured into the northwestern Syrian province of Afrin in recent days. Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan promised that the deployment was only the start of a broader effort that would see Turkish forces sweep the entirety of northern Syria – all the way to the Iraqi border – in order to purge Syria of forces hostile to Turkish interests.

Under pretty much any circumstances, the entry of a new power into a multisided melee that involves the Syrian Alawite leadership, the Lebanese militias, the Iranians, the Russians, the Americans, the French and dozens of local warlords when that new power alone has more armed combatants within arm’s-reach than all the other factions have in-theater put together would be notable. But the kicker is that this is only the first of three relevant facts.

The second is that the world has forgotten just what “Turkey” means.

The Ottoman Empire’s fall in the First World War (1914-1918) was far more than a mere military defeat. For much of the previous millennia, Istanbul had been the world’s economic and cultural capital – the crossroads not just between Europe and Asia and the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, but between everything that mattered. At war’s end the country suffered not just an economic depression and loss of nearly all its imperial territories, but crushing humiliation on every conceivable level. At one point it got so bad that dysfunctional, tribal, underequipped Greece even staged a brief invasion. It would be as if the United States didn’t just lose a war, but had all its territory west of the Appalachians amputated and divided among other countries, and then somehow the Puerto Ricans marched on Atlanta.

In the aftermath, Turkey’s response was to close itself off from the world, lick its wounds and struggle to forge a new identity. Two factions eventually emerged as heirs to the empire: a secular, military-rooted group that sought integration with Western structures; and a mildly Islamist, more Orientalist faction who saw advantages of the non-Western way of doing business whether that be the centralization of the Soviet/Russian system or the dynastic, clan-based communities of the Arab world. Put simply, one faction favored the military and economic patterns of the West, while the other preferred the cultural and political styles of the East.

While this soul-struggle ebbed and flowed through the Cold War decades, the Turks realized they were simply too broken to stand on their own. One result was reluctant inclusion into the NATO alliance. Another was a partnership with the Europeans that stopped short of formal European Union membership. But beyond those narrow topics, the Turks kept to themselves.


Istanbul, Turkey

There are a few thoughts to take from this:

1.Even in times when the Turkish soul was most divided against itself, both factions maintained a firm belief in the unique nature of Turkishness – a self-identity that is far less compromising than that of most peoples. Even the most ardent pro-Western secularist never saw Turkey being the same as the West, just as even the most Islamist Orientalist always considered Turkey as being apart from (and above) the Arabs, Persians and Russians. American commanders operating from Turkish bases consistently and unequivocally warned their troops that on Turkish soil you follow Turkish law or else you end up in a Turkish prison and there’s not a damn thing that American military lawyers can do about it.

2.Since 2000 the Islamists/orientalists haven’t simply won the culture contest, they’ve won so decisively they’ve eliminated the secularists from nearly all walks of Turkish life. Ruling Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has also purged the ranks of the Islamists themselves so that his particular version of Orientalism will remain the ruling ideology of Turkey for decades to come. Turkey is once again of a single, consolidated, confident voice. If you don’t like its tone and timbre, well, you missed your opportunity and you’ll have to wait for the wheel of history to turn once more. Last time that took a century.

3.Turkey in general and Erdogan in specific are only now making their first steps as an independent power in their neighborhood. In a neighborhood made up of the Balkans, the Caucasus and the Middle East the margin for error is thin, the opportunities for missteps are omnipresent, and complications that will take decades to sort out are all but guaranteed. Between the neighborhood’s volatility and the twin, potent egos of Turkey as a nation and Erdogan as a leader, Turkey has become an erratic force in the regional geopolitic. Much as America’s remoteness from the Eastern Hemisphere coupled with its naval prowess means that American power doesn’t matter until suddenly it does, Turkey’s century of self-imposed isolation combined with its 600,000-strong army means that the Turks are roundly ignored until they suddenly and unexpectedly show up.

As they are now in Syria.

The final issue is that the Syrian war is no longer some tangential issue for the Turks. It has been elevated to an issue of national survival.

Part of Turkey’s post-WWI cultural reflection was a dismantling of its old multi-ethnic imperial Ottoman identity and its replacement with a far narrower emphasis on ethnic Turks specifically. If you’re Turkish this of course makes perfect sense. If you’re of one of the few other nationalities that live in Turkey, however, it is somewhat problematic. The largest of these “other” groups are the Kurds, who started out as second-class citizens (at best). Over the decades some Kurds didn’t simply resist, they revolted, with the more militant ones forming the PKK – a quasi-terror rebellion group under the leadership of one Abdullah Ocalan. Conflicts between the Turkish government and Ocalan’s PKK have claimed tens of thousands of lives.

Another armed Kurdish faction – the YPG – is active all along the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian border. They are by far the most competent fighters battling the Syrian regime in the civil war, and have often served as reliable proxies for American efforts against both ISIS and Damascus. The YPG has proven itself united, capable, loyal and ultimately effective at breaking ISIS not simply in the Syrian periphery and ISIS core territories, but right up to and including ISIS’ capital at Raqqa. The YPG is the centerpiece of America’s Syria strategy, and American success against ISIS would have been fundamentally impossible without the YPG.


The fact that the YPG is Kurdish and that YPG’s presence is right on the Turkish border was enough to make the Turks nervous, but YPG actions at the Raqqa battle chilled the Turks to their core. At Raqqa’s moment of liberation from ISIS, YPG fighters replaced the ISIS flag with the personal standard of none other than Ocalan himself.

Turkey cannot and will not tolerate a PKK-leaning Kurdish statelet on its border, and so Turkish troops have rolled across the border.

They haven’t moved alone. Turkey has mobilized every Syrian faction over which it has influence. Beginning in late 2016 the Turks assumed functional control over the Free Syrian Army, transforming a ragtag coalition of local Arab and Turkmen fighters into a direct Turkish proxy. The “Army” is operating hand-in-glove with Turkish forces… against the American-backed YPG.

Turkey is now not only the most powerful faction in the conflict, it is putting its back into the war, and it is motivated by a deep-seated fear to the coherence of its national identity. This is not the stuff of which compromises are made. And the Turks are now not just standing against the Americans, but literally firing artillery into the very heart of the Americans’ entire Syria strategy.

It is my belief that the NATO alliance ended back in 2017. It is a position which I’ve seen no reason to amend, but what is occurring now in Syria is a whole other level. Two NATO “allies” are not simply having a disagreement, but they are shooting at one another’s assets in a conflict that one of them defines as an existential crisis.

Many have commented that a meaningful breach between the Americans and Turks would spell disaster in Washington’s ability to manipulate the Middle East and hold Iranian and Russian power at bay. I don’t necessarily disagree with those concerns, but they miss the broader issue:

Turkey, the Middle East’s most powerful player who is far more economically and militarily potent than Iran and who could even stand up to the Russians in a fair fight, has returned to the world as a fully independent player. With the Russians, Turks, Iranians and Saudis all gearing up for a battle royale, the United States has already achieved everything any sane Middle Eastern policy could ever hope for: The region is divided against itself and will marvelously self-contain for decades.

The United States has no meaningful interests in Syria. Israel is safe. Iran is locked into a combat it cannot possibly win. The United States no longer has a stake in the region’s oil. And the newest power player – Turkey – just made an open-ended commitment to a multi-sided land war. There has never been and likely never will be a better time for the Americans to disengage.

So what’s the problem again?


Growth Is the Best Way to Help Non-Profits, not the Charitable Deduction

January 29, 2018 by Dan Mitchell @ International Liberty

Judged by the amount of attention various provisions produced, last year’s fight over tax reform was about reducing the corporate tax rate and limiting the deduction for state and local taxes.

But there were many other important changes, including a a big increase in the standard deduction (i.e., the amount households can protect from the IRS), a shift that will reduce the number of people who utilize itemized deductions.

A report in the Washington Post suggests that this reform could hurt charities.
Many U.S. charities are worried the tax overhaul bill signed by President Trump…could spur a landmark shift in philanthropy, speeding along the decline of middle-class donors… The source of concern is how the tax bill is expected to sharply reduce the number of taxpayers who qualify for the charitable tax deduction — a big driver of gifts to nonprofits. …the number of people who qualify for the charitable deduction is projected to plummet next year from about 30 percent of tax filers to as low as 5 percent. That’s because the new tax bill nearly doubles the standard deduction and limits the value of other deductions, such as for state and local taxes.
Many charities opposed this change.
One study predicts that donations will fall by at least $13 billion, about 4.5 percent, next year. …“The tax code is now poised to de-incentivize the heart of civic action in America,” said Dan Cardinali, president of Independent Sector, a public-policy group for charities, foundations and corporate giving programs. “It’s deeply disturbing.”  The tax bill’s treatment of charities led the Salvation Army to express serious concerns, and it’s why United Way opposed the legislation, as did the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Cardinali’s group turned its home page — normally a place for a feel-good story — into a call to protest, with the banner headline: “KILL THE TAX REFORM BILL.” …Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Tex.), the main tax bill writer in the House…argued that people would soon have more money to donate because of the economic growth driven by the bill’s tax cuts
As an aside, here’s the part of the story that most irked me.
“The government has always seen fit to reward the goodness of Americans with a tax incentive,” said Lt. Col. Ron Busroe, development secretary at the Salvation Army.
Huh, how is it goodness if people are only doing it because they’re being bribed by the tax code?
But let’s stick with our main topic of whether the tax bill will hurt the non-profit sector.
A Bloomberg column also hypothesized that the GOP tax reform will be bad news for charities.
Will Americans give as generously now that the incentives have completely shifted? Recent research provides little hope for them. …last year’s tax reform…doubled the standard deduction, effectively eliminating most taxpayers’ ability to itemize deductions via contributions to charity…. Tax cost refers to the actual, post-tax price that someone pays when they make a donation. Imagine someone with a marginal tax rate of 25 percent. Every dollar donated only “costs” the taxpayer 75 cents after he or she takes the charitable deduction. …What happens when you change these “tax costs”? …Almost everyone who studied taxpayer behavior found that the charitable deduction encouraged people to donate more than they would if it didn’t exist. But studies yielded very different price elasticity figures ranging from -0.5 (a dollar in lost tax revenue generates an additional 50 cents in donations) to -4.0 (every dollar in forgone tax revenue generates a whopping four dollars of donations). A recent meta-analysis of approximately 70 of these studies yielded a price elasticity a median of -1.2. A recent study by Nicholas Duquette of the University of Southern California…examined how taxpayer contributions changed after the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which increased the tax cost of giving by dramatically lowering marginal tax rates. The result was eye-popping: A 1 percent rise in the tax cost of giving caused charitable donations to drop 4 percent.
I agree that lower tax rates increase the “tax cost” of giving money to charity.

And Reagan’s tax policy (the 1981 tax bill as well as the 1986 tax reform) had a huge impact. In 1980, it only cost 30 cents for a rich person to give a dollar to charity. By 1988, because of much lower tax rates, it cost 72 cents to give a dollar to charity.

Yet I’m a skeptic of Duquette’s research for the simple reason that real-world data shows that charitable contributions rose after Reagan slashed tax rates.

What Duquette overlooks is that charitable giving also is impact by changes in disposable income and net wealth. So the “tax cost” of donations increased, but that was more than offset by a stronger economy.

So our question today is whether we’re going to see a repeat of the 1980s. Will a reduction in the tax incentive for charitable giving be offset by better economic performance?

Some research from the Mercatus Center suggests that the non-profit sector should not fear reform.
…one study by William C. Randolph casts doubt on the claim that the deduction increases giving in the long run. Randolph’s paper analyzes both major tax reforms in the 1980s and follows individuals for 10 years, finding that taxpayers alter the timing of their giving in response to changes in tax policy, but not necessarily the total amount of giving. …lower-income households also donate to charities in large numbers. …However, very few of them benefit in terms of their tax burden, because many lower-income households have no positive tax liability. …For the 80 percent of middle-income filers who do not currently claim the charitable deduction, any cut in marginal tax rates is a pure benefit. Most taxpayers would be better served by eliminating the charitable contributions deduction and using the additional revenue to lower tax rates.
I would put this more bluntly. Only about 30 percent of taxpayers itemize, so 70 percent of taxpayers are completely unaffected by the charitable deduction. Yet many of these people still give to charity.
And they’ll presumably give higher donations if the economy grows faster.
This is one of the reasons the Wall Street Journal opined that tax reform will be beneficial.
…nonprofits…sell Americans short by assuming that most donate mainly because of the tax break, rather than because they believe in a cause or want to share their blessings with others. How little they respect their donors. …Americans don’t need a tax break to give to charities, which should be able to sell themselves on their merits. …The truth is that Americans will donate more if they have more money. And they will have more money if tax reform, including lower rates and simplification, helps the economy and produces broader prosperity. The 1980s were a boom time for charitable giving precisely because so much wealth was created. Like so many on the political left, the charity lobby doesn’t understand that before Americans can give away private wealth they first have to create it.
A column in the Wall Street Journal also augments the key points about generosity and giving patterns.
…a drop in the amount of deductible gifts does not necessarily mean an equivalent drop in actual giving. …recessions aside, Americans have steadily increased their giving despite numerous tax law changes. Individual donations increased by 4% in 2015 and another 4% in 2016. If donations continue to increase at such rates, it won’t take long to make up for changes brought about by tax reform. …Americans have continued to give to charities no matter what benefits the tax code conveys on them for doing so.
Last but not least, Hayden Ludwig, writing for the Washington Examiner, explains that charitable contributions increase as growth increases.
Liberal groups such as the National Council of Nonprofits claim that the plan will be “disastrous” for charities… The thrust of the Left’s argument is that allowing Americans to keep more of their money makes them stingier, and high taxes are needed to force Americans to take advantage of charitable tax write-offs. It’s ironic that anyone in the nonprofit sector, which is built entirely on the generosity of individuals and corporations, can argue that higher taxes encourage charity – or that charity needs to be legislated. …if the Left’s argument about tax incentives is true, we should see sharp declines in charitable donations after every tax cut in U.S. history. We don’t. According to a 2015 report in the Chronicle of Philanthropy, individuals’ charitable giving rose four percent in 1965 and more than two percent in 1966, following the Kennedy and Johnson tax cuts of 1964 and 1965, respectively. Between the Reagan tax cuts in 1981 and 1986, individual giving rose a whopping 21 percent from $119.7 billion to $144.9 billion. By 1989, individual giving grew another 4.7 percent. …The reason is simple: Prosperity and generosity are inextricably linked.
Amen. Make America more prosperous and two things will happen.

Fewer people will need charity and more people will be in a position to help them.

I’ll conclude by noting that the charitable deduction is the itemized deduction I would abolish last. Not because it is necessary, but because it doesn’t cause macroeconomic harm. The state and local tax deduction, by contrast, is odious and misguided because it subsidizes bad policy and the home mortgage interest deduction is harmful since it is part of a tax code that tilts the playing field and artificially lures capital from business investment to residential real estate.
Things to keep in mind for the next round of tax reform.

Dennis Prager Comes Clean on Trump: ‘My Opposition to Donald Trump Was Wrong’

By Joe Setyon January 28, 2018

Conservative commentator and outspoken Trump critic Dennis Prager has admitted he was “wrong” to oppose Donald Trump during the 2016 Republican primaries.  Speaking on his radio show Thursday, Prager noted that Trump was his very last choice among the the Republican candidates who sought their party’s nomination, though he did support the former businessman over Hillary Clinton in the general election.

But Prager’s initial fears regarding a Trump administration have been alleviated now that he has watched the president’s first year in office. In fact, he said Trump has been a “great president,” despite his “communication flaws.”

“I was wrong,” Prager said, according to Breitbart News. “My opposition to Donald Trump was wrong, in retrospect.”.........To Read More....

Feel the Bern: After killing of rebel cop, Maduro’s grip on Venezuela’s military may be loosening

Donald Trump Is Sticking it to Putin’s Russia and Making Obama Look Bad

Shawn Mitchell | Posted: Jan 30, 2018

Donald Trump will deliver his second State of the Union tonight, dogged by Democrat and media allegations that he is Putin’s patsy and fanboy. The wily Russian gave Trump an assist into the White House and POTUS is paying his benefactor back with deferential behavior. 
Let’s get serious. Putin is not a bad player of global poker. If he bet big on Donald Trump, that would make him a chump getting his clock cleaned at the table.   It was always a ludicrous notion that by buying a few social media ads and leaking some dirty DNC emails Putin could swing the election. He would have to overcome Hillary’s billion dollar war chest, the incalculable in-kind contributions from her canine media, and Trump’s sui generis bombast and spittle. Does that sound like a bet a cagey KGB operative would make? .........To Read More....

Donald Trump Stopped Democrats from Killing Alaskans

By Warner Todd Huston January 29, 2018

Once again showing the massive difference between Democrats and Republicans, a new policy put in place by President Donald Trump’s administration will save the lives of Alaskan citizens by canceling a policy put in place by the anti-human Democrats, a policy that has caused the death of dozens of Alaskans. There is a major difference between the two parties when it comes to protecting human life. Democrats simply don’t much care about people.

Not only are they pro-abortion, but they also tend to put the lives of animals ahead of the lives of people (tell me how many liberals you know who say the lives of animals are more precious than humans). And the latter couldn’t be better illustrated than by the aforementioned policy in Alaska that Trump has finally changed after nearly 40 years.

Way back in 1980, one of our worst, failed presidents, Democrat Jimmy Carter, signed a bill creating the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge. It was a law that aimed to protect the endangered Black Brant goose. The bill set aside a section of the Alaskan wilderness as a no-go zone by humans in order to protect the bird’s habitat........After six presidents and almost 40 years of neglect, Alaskans in King Cove are finally going to have the road that could save the lives of their most vulnerable citizens..............To Read More....

Emmanuel Macron Legitimized the Violent Far-Left in France

Young Voices Advocates | Posted: Jan 29, 2018
Recently, Emmanuel Macron’s government decided to can an infrastructure project for the construction of an airport. In 2008, the government approved the construction of this airport, which was supposed to hold 9 million passengers by 2050, located close to the northwestern city of Nantes. For almost ten years, environmentalist radicals and violent far-left activists have squatted on the property in order to prevent the project becoming a reality. The French president, by giving in to violent protesters, has created a worrying precedence case........To Read More....

A Year of Russian Collusion

Posted by Daniel Greenfield 1 Comments Monday, January 29, 2018 @ The Sultan Knish Blog
September 2009.

Obama hadn't even been in office for a whole year when he gave in to Moscow’s biggest demand by dropping the missile defense shield for Poland and the Czech Republic. During his campaign, he had enthusiastically backed the defensive program, declaring, “We have to send a clear signal that Poland and other countries in that region are not going to be subject to intimidation and aggression.”

Like all of his campaign promises that were based on political triangulation, law enforcement, counterterrorism, Jerusalem and gay marriage, it was a campaign lie to be thrown out after the election.

Putin praised Obama’s sellout of our allies as a “brave decision.” In his first year, President Trump touted the sale of Patriot missiles to Poland. That was a truly brave decision.

After the Russian invasion, Obama refused to provide Ukraine with military assistance. While he had handed out weapons to Islamist terrorists in Syria and Libya, the Ukrainians were only offered MREs. The same administration that covertly shipped a fortune in foreign currency on unmarked cargo planes to Russia’s Iranian allies took months to meet Ukrainian requests for boots and spare tires.

The Trump administrated unapologetically approved the sale of sniper rifles to the Ukrainians.

“I’m aware of not only the extraordinary work that you’ve done on behalf of the Russian people," Obama had gushed during his meeting with Putin. There were no protests from the same media that has since then repeatedly suggested that Trump’s praise for Putin indicated a soft spot for dictators.

Looking back at Obama’s first year and Trump’s first year, it’s easy to assess who was giving Moscow more. It wasn’t just missile defense. In the spring of ’09, Hillary was in Moscow toting a misspelled Reset Button swiped from a swimming pool. But it was Obama who had first urged a “reset or reboot”. That was the month he sent a secret hand-delivered letter to Russia offering to kill the missile shield. The Russians turned down his proposed deal, but he went through with the appeasement anyway.

Trashing missile defense was just one step in a larger effort to revive Jimmy Carter’s defense policies. In his first year, Obama began the push to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. CTBT would have allowed the Russians (and everyone else) to build up their nuclear arsenals while crippling our own. The new START treaty was drafted in ’09 and signed next year. And Russian violations of it were ignored.

It took a new administration to change that.

In his first phone call with Putin, President Trump blasted the START treaty as a bad deal that gave Moscow a free ride. Next month, the Pentagon officially came out and said what everyone knew.

This was a sharp contrast with the previous administration which had refused to detail Russian violations. It falsely claimed that it couldn’t answer the question because “the New START treaty forbids releasing to the public data and information obtained during implementation of the treaty.”

Before the Iran deal, the Russia deal had been Obama’s legacy. And the same lies, echo chambers and spin that would be used to cover up Iranian violations were being deployed to mask Russian violations.

The Russians couldn’t have been too surprised at Trump holding their feet to the fire. Trump had blasted the START treaty during the third presidential debate while Hillary Clinton had rambled on about cyberattacks. The Russians would have been far more concerned about nukes than keyboards.

That was the same debate where Hillary Clinton had accused Trump of being Putin’s “puppet”.

But if that’s true, where are the concessions and the appeasement? Every tangible foreign policy issue that the commentariat at conspiratorial lefty media outlets like the Washington Post, the Huffington Post and ThinkProgress had seized on as evidence of Trump’s collusion has come up short.

Remember when Trump was secretly conspiring to lift sanctions for Exxon-Mobil’s Russian drilling project?

"Could Massive Russian Oil Deal with Exxon Explain Why Putin Appears to Have Meddled in US Election?", Democracy Now shrieked. "Trump-Putin Bromance: Election Hacking, Oil Drilling," the Huffington Post caterwauled.

ThinkProgress made them seem restrained. "Trump, Putin, and ExxonMobil team up to destroy the planet.”

"Pick of Exxon CEO for Secretary of State clarifies why Putin wanted Trump elected: a $500 billion oil deal killed by sanctions," the sub yammered. Trump, Putin and oil represented "the gravest threat to humanity (and democracy) since the rise of the Axis powers".

Just one problem. Trump refused to let the deal happen. So much for that conspiracy theory.

Seizing on the potential Exxon deal was an act of desperation. The left was quick to juggle Russia collusion theories, but had trouble coming up with anything that Russia actually got from Trump.

Not only wasn’t there anything like Obama’s Year One windfall of appeasement, but Moscow was getting nothing but trouble. The new National Defense Strategy lists Russia as a major threat. It’s a return to the Republican view of Russia as a geopolitical threat that Obama had mocked Romney for.

The Washington Post, which boasts a new Russia-Trump conspiracy theory every five hours, responded by claiming that Trump’s policy of confronting Russia is exactly what Vladimir Putin wants. "Trump's strategy pushes confrontation with Russia, and Moscow is pleased," a Post op-ed declared.

What better evidence could there be that Trump is Putin’s puppet than that he’s standing up to him?

The new Russia conspiracy meme borrows the old Obama spin on Iran and ISIS which accused critics of “playing into their hands” by trying to fight them, instead of appeasing them. It was classic Orwellian spin. “Weakness is strength”, “lies are truth” and “opposition is collusion”. But it said something about the weakness of the collusion reality that the Post was forced to rely on such weak Rhodes-ian spin.

What had Trump done for Russia? Well he stood up to it. And that’s exactly what Putin wants.

The media’s case for collusion comes down to the hacking of Democrat emails. But while having Podesta’s missives exposed to daylight was clearly a traumatic event for the Dems, it’s not exactly up there with letting the Russians have a free hand in Europe. Or letting its Iranian allies go nuclear.

The media has blasted us with headlines about the meeting between Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer about the Magnitsky Act. But a year later, the Magnitsky Act is doing just fine. There’s been no review. Obama had singlehandedly dismantled the Cuban embargo. If Trump had really wanted to, the sanctions on Russia would be a memory. But instead the sanctions keep on coming.

The media made much of Trump's signing statement to CAATSA criticizing its intrusion on his authority. Obama had repeatedly made similar objections, though using very different rhetoric, in signing statements to previous bills. When the administration missed the October 1 sanctions deadline, the media again rolled out the conspiracy theories. “The Trump administration is delaying Russia sanctions that Congress demanded,” Vox bleated. The sanctions were sent in the very next day.

The media has come to specialize in spinning conspiracy theories out of process. It’s safer to focus on the trees, because then they don’t have to notice that there’s no forest. But it’s a sign of just how little it has to work with when it comes to real life policy as opposed to the conspiracy theories of its bubble.

“What did Putin want from Trump and what did he actually get?” a Newsweek article inquires. It’s forced to conclude that the answer is nothing. Russia received a whole lot from Obama in his first year. Trump has dealt it a series of setbacks instead. Newsweek concludes that Putin helped elect Trump, but got nothing in return. That would make Putin rather stupid. And no one has yet accused him of that.

But that’s what the current collusion conspiracy theories of the left have irrationally been reduced to. Putin helped elect Trump. And got nothing from Trump for it. Now it’s time to impeach Trump anyway.

Backing Trump never made any sense. Republicans have traditionally been more hostile to Russia. And Trump’s entire pitch was nationalism. Nationalist leaders in small countries might collaborate with Putin, but the nationalist leader of the United States could only end up on a collision course with Russia.

Obama’s first year was a golden period for Russia because he didn’t believe in national interests. Trump does. The left inevitably accuses the right of its own sins. Trump didn’t collude with Russia. Obama did.


Memo Time

Shock waves in the FBI’s – and Democrats’ – corridor.

Divided on partisan lines, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence voted yesterday to make public a memo asserting the FBI relied on the discredited Trump-Russia dossier to obtain court-ordered foreign-intelligence wiretaps against U.S. citizens, a breathtaking abuse of power.  The document is already generating shock waves in Washington, even though few on Capitol Hill are said to have read it.
The FBI admits the Left’s electoral collusion conspiracy theory is unsubstantiated but still refuses to distance itself from the discredited Russia propaganda dossier Democrats paid Fusion GPS to create to undermine President Trump’s candidacy. And congressional Democrats, long sympathetic to Russia, have suddenly been transformed into strong defenders of the nation’s national security apparatus, implying that criticism of the long-troubled FBI is somehow treasonous or unpatriotic. It is a vicious smear calculated to redirect Americans’ attention, but par for the course for the Left.........To Read More....

FBI Implosion Continues: Andrew McCabe OUT At Embattled Bureau!

By Andrew West January 29, 2018

As the FBI continues to self-immolate at a record pace, the “resistance” rats who had burrowed into the dank, nesting corners of the bureau are fleeing at a record pace. The bureau, which has long been a mythical mess of corruption, lies, espionage, and secrecy, has reached all new levels of deplorable behavior in the wake of Donald Trump’s electoral victory over a year ago.

Given that the organization roundly refused to effectively investigate despicably devious democrat Hillary Clinton for her obvious crimes against America, and then refused to prosecute her when the truth arrived in the media, it comes as no surprise that the FBI has come under fire from Trump and his fellow republicans.

After firing former director James Comey for his vapid ineffectiveness, Donald Trump was brutally attacked by the left who saw the move as some sort of Washington power grab.  (To be fair, you can’t drain the entire swamp without this sort of flippant feedback).

Now, Comey’s replacement, Andrew McCabe, is being “removed” from his position as well, just weeks after being targeted by President Trump for his own scandalous, liberal connections.......To Read More.....

My Take - I keep coming back to the same question.  What can be done when those who are empowered to enforce the law are law breakers themselves?  I keep coming back to the same answer.   Throw them in jail before they so totally corrupt the system a totalitarian regime takes control.  Among my circle of friends it was pretty much agreed - from before he was elected - Obama wanted to destroy America. 

Of course most people laughed, and accused me of just being prejudiced against Obama.  But I keep saying this over and over again:  Tell me the history and I will give you the answer.  His history could lead me to no other conclusion. 

Now the history of his administration is clearly showing that's exactly what he was doing, and if Hillary had been elected all of this criminal activity would have gone away forever and it wouldn't be long before that fascist regime came into being.  After that the purges would begin - just as it has in every other fascist/communist (both are socialists, just two sides of the same coin) regime that's taken control of a stable society - a society they destabilized. 

There are only three things socialists are good at: Stealing everyone's money, destabilizing stable societies and killing a lot of innocent people - either directly or indirectly through their insane programs. 

Socialists all demand utopia.  No imperfection could be tolerated!  They have never delivered anything except dystopia and imperfection - misery, suffering and early death, isn't just tolerated, it's an unending reality.   

Rosenstein -- Agent of the Deep State Coup

By Daniel John Sobieski January 30, 2018

The confirmation of Rod Rosenstein to be Deputy Attorney General by a lopsided 94-6 vote should have set off warning bells. It is odd that a Trump nominee would get much Democratic support, if any. But his role in appointing his buddy Robert Mueller to lead a bogus Russian collusion probe and his history of looking the other way when Hillary Clinton is involved shows the Democrats had high hopes for Rosenstein, hopes realized by actions documented in the four-page House Intelligence Committee memo:

A secret, highly contentious Republican memo reveals that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein approved an application to extend surveillance of a former Trump campaign associate shortly after taking office last spring, according to three people familiar with it.

The renewal shows that the Justice Department under President Trump saw reason to believe that the associate, Carter Page, was acting as a Russian agent…

The memo’s primary contention is that F.B.I. and Justice Department officials failed to adequately explain to an intelligence court judge in initially seeking a warrant for surveillance of Mr. Page that they were relying in part on research by an investigator, Christopher Steele, that had been financed by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign ........To Read More....

My Take - Once again we see massive corruption and criminal activity by the intelligence and law enforcement agencies of the nation in cooperation with the Democrat Party.  Someone needs to be charged and prosecuted from the FBI and the Justice Department.  Then maybe that will start the ball rolling to go after the IRS, EPA, and all the other over reaching out of control agencies, but someone needs to start doing it soon. 

A special counsel for the FBI?

By Levi Perry January 30, 2018

Congressional members are now in crossfire trying to decide whether or not a new special counsel needs to be appointed to probe how the FBI handled the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. Some House members said last week that newly revealed text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page show a clear intent to shield Mrs. Clinton from criminal indictment. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C. stated: “If it wasn’t already clear we need a second special counsel, it’s abundantly clear now.”

This comes after recent allegations that there seems to be some kind of ‘Secret Society’ within the FBI that seeks to undermine President Trump, founded on a text message sent between the two FBI officials: “Are you even going to give out your calendars? Seems kind of depressing. Maybe it should just be the first meeting of the secret society.” ...........To Read More....

The Idiots That Don’t Concede Elections

By Christopher Chantrill January 30, 2018

Back when I was a young man I had a Greek-American friend that taught me Rule One about democratic politics. This was back in the mid-1970s when the Greek colonels had just conceded power back to the center-right party in Greece. What was needed now in Greece, my friend insisted, was that the center-right party concede power to the center-left party at the next election, and that the center-left party concede the next-but-one election to the center-right party.

Here in America, the Democrats have failed to concede the last two normal change elections that went against them: the 2000 presidential squeaker election and the 2016 election. But you will search long and hard among your liberal acquaintance for anyone that understands how serious this is.

Now we have a piece on “This Civil War” from Daniel Greenfield, a speech given to the Tea Party convention of South Carolina. When you have a party that doesn’t concede elections then you have a civil war, he says. How do you know you have a civil war? Two or more sides disagree on who runs the country.

And they can’t settle the question through elections because they don’t even agree that elections are how you decide who’s in charge. That’s the basic issue here. Who decides who runs the country?

When you hate each other but accept the election results, you have a country. When you stop accepting election results, you have a countdown to a civil war. Moving on, Greenfield says there are two kinds of government. You can have a “voluntary government” or a “professional government.” This is a civil war between volunteer governments elected by the people and professional governments elected by… well… uh… themselves. Of the establishment, by the establishment and for the establishment. Go ahead, read the whole thing....To Read More....

Energy and Environmental Newsletter - 1/29/18

By -- January 29, 2018

The Alliance for Wise Energy Decisions (AWED) is an informal coalition of individuals and organizations interested in improving national, state, and local energy and environmental policies. Our premise is that technical matters like these should be addressed by using Real Science (please consult for more information).

A key element of AWED’s efforts is public education. Towards that end, every three weeks we put together a newsletter to balance what is found in the mainstream media about energy and the environment. We appreciate MasterResource for their assistance in publishing this information.

Some of the more important articles in this issue are:

Maine Governor establishes a state Wind Advisory Committee and a wind moratorium
Nations with more renewables have more expensive electricity
US Tariffs on Solar Mark Biggest Blow to Renewables Yet
NYS: Solar Projects not viable when they pay normal property taxes (!)
Germany shows how shifting to renewable energy can backfire
Landowners sue Indiana County over inadequate wind ordinance
Expert: Noise Standards May Not Protect Residents Near Proposed Wind Project
Conservation, Not Environmentalism
Lack of energy harms economy
Fossil Fuels’ Share Of Total Energy Use Unchanged in 40 Years!
Industrial wind turbines threaten our way of life
Why China wants to dominate green energy
Europeans scold while the U.S. leads
New Book Review: We Will Make You Green
The Pentagon: Global warming not a security threat
U.S. Regains The Ability To Identify Real National Security Threats
The Climate-Change Doomsday Just Got Canceled
NYS Fossil Fuel Lawsuit: Legal Flim Flam
On Science and Non-Science
The Power of Grant Money
Manufacturing Climate Consensus — the Early History of the IPCC
A tale of climate cash, collusion, and apparently, corruption
A Discussion of The Geological Society of London’s Statement on Climate Change
A ‘Climate Skeptic’ Just Took Charge Of EU Environment Policy
New Study Shows Past Research On Rising Ocean Temps Built On Faulty Science

Greed Energy Economics:
Nations with more renewables have more expensive electricity
US Tariffs on Solar Mark Biggest Blow to Renewables Yet
NYS: Solar Projects are not viable when they pay normal property taxes (!)
Germany shows how shifting to renewable energy can backfire
Legislator To Wind Industry: ‘Government is Not Your Sugar Daddy’
Laborers, neighbors spar over Illinois wind project plan
Study: Green Energy Policies are Sacrificing the Poor
New Englanders Have Only Themselves to Blame for Energy Price Spikes
Study Warns of Increasing Turbine Costs
India proposes 70% provisional duty on solar cells and modules
How Trump’s Tax Plan Made It Harder to Finance Renewables
What Is the Impact of Tax Reform on US Wind Tax Equity Deals?
Trump Administration Considers Funding Massive Wind Project
Regulators stall University of Maine offshore wind project
US DOE Offers $3M Prize for Solar Innovation

Turbine Health Matters:
Landowners sue Indiana County over inadequate wind ordinance
Expert: Noise Standards May Not Protect Residents Near Proposed Wind Project
Nebraska Airport Authority Opposes Nearby Wind Turbines
Wind Turbines and Trespass Zoning
Property Rights End At Property Lines
New news: two different Canadian turbines, break in half
Australian University’s five-year study investigates wind turbine health effects

Renewable Energy Destroying Ecosystems:
Conservation, Not Environmentalism
More drinking water woes related to wind turbines
Some birds are so stressed by noise it looks like they have PTSD
Wind Turbines Still Problematic for Wildlife
Developers: Weakening of bird protections has no “significant impact” on Lake Erie wind project

Miscellaneous Energy News:
Maine Governor establishes a state Wind Advisory Committee and a wind moratorium
Lack of energy harms economy
Fossil Fuels’ Share Of Total Energy Use Unchanged in 40 Years!
Industrial wind turbines threaten our way of life
Why China wants to dominate green energy
Europeans scold while the U.S. leads
Perry: US ‘not just exporting energy, we’re exporting freedom’
FERC issues disturbing ruling against DOE
NY Community Hearing Draws Wind Turbine Critics
Cold temps remind of the importance of reliable energy
Mass. turned to oil and coal during the cold snap. Here’s what went wrong
Study Warns of New England’s Precarious Energy Future
A surge, then a fade for Pennsylvania’s wind industry
Iowa Office of Consumer Advocate backs lawsuit against Midamerican Energy
NYS Legislator introduces bill to protect military facilities from wind turbines
NC: Offshore Drilling Benefits Exceed the Cost
How Australia’s Renewables Obsession Destroyed its Reliable & Cheap Power Supply
The US threat to Australia: reliable and cheap energy
Mexico Court Puts Stop To 396 MW Wind Project
Germany’s National Power Grid Mess — 172,000 Power Outages Annually!
Good new media source Clear Energy Alliance
Texas is number one wind state due to lack of any regulations
Heartland’s Submitted Comments on the Clean Power Plan
Navy may torpedo offshore California wind project

Manmade Global Warming Articles:
New Book Review: We Will Make You Green
The Pentagon: Global warming not a security threat
U.S. Regains The Ability To Identify Real National Security Threats
The Climate-Change Doomsday Just Got Canceled
NYS Fossil Fuel Lawsuit: Legal Flim Flam
On Science and Non-Science
The Power of Grant Money
Manufacturing Climate Consensus — the Early History of the IPCC
A tale of climate cash, collusion, and apparently, corruption
A Discussion of The Geological Society of London’s Statement on Climate Change
A ‘Climate Skeptic’ Just Took Charge Of EU Environment Policy
New Study Shows Past Research On Rising Ocean Temps Built On Faulty Science
485 Scientific 2017 Papers Undermine Supposed ‘Consensus’ on Climate Change
The Children’s Climate Lawsuit Against The Children
Monckton Writes to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt on Clean Power Plan
Study: Spurns Anthropogenic CO2 Warming
Carbon bounties (not taxes) could save us from the next Little Ice Age
Merkel Lectured Trump On Global Warming, Now Germany Abandoning Its Climate Goal
Germany Becomes the New Poster Child for Climate Change Hypocrisy
New Study: German 2050 CO2 Reductions Could Cost $2.8 TRILLION!
Valid reasons for skepticism
Select lawmakers urge Trump: make security strategy include climate again
Why the “Population Bomb” Never Exploded
Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to sue his way to “cleaner” planet
Study: Worst-case global warming scenarios not credible
Unexpected Environmental Source Of Methane Discovered
Study: Climate Models Under-estimate Cloud Cooling Effect
Short video: The Cloud Mystery
Weather Icon John Coleman Dies
Archive: George Carlin’s classic (short) skit on Global Warming
Good books by Climate Skeptics
James Hansen: Natural Factors May Cause New Global Warming Hiatus
Video: The Environment — A True Story
Al Gore would have lost global warming bet
Want to review the next IPCC report? (Go here to do so)

See Prior AWED Newsletters

Attachments area

Preview YouTube video George Carlin on Global Warming
George Carlin on Global Warming
Preview YouTube video The Environment: A True Story
The Environment: A True Story