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« on: April 15, 2017, 07:48:13 PM »

The Patriot Post Digest 4-10-2017
From The Federalist Patriot
Free Email Subscription

Mid-Day Digest

Apr. 10, 2017


    The Left continues to spin the aftermath of the attack and missile strike in Syria.
    Gorsuch is now a justice of the Supreme Court. That’s a huge victory.
    The Obama administration’s spying went way beyond Susan Rice’s “unmasking.”
    Daily Features: Top Headlines, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.


“But if we are to be told by a foreign Power … what we shall do, and what we shall not do, we have Independence yet to seek, and have contended hitherto for very little.” —George Washington (1796)


Syria: Conspiracy Theories and False Claims1

As news has unfolded of the chemical weapons attack2 by Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria, followed by Donald Trump’s quick decision to order a targeted missile strike on the military air base that allegedly launched the attack, the Leftmedia’s response has been sadly all too predictable. On Friday, we correctly assessed that the Leftmedia would commit to keeping the Trump-Russia collusion narrative alive3. Enter MSNBC’s Lawrence O'Donnell, who not only suggested a “wag the dog4” motivation for Trump’s missile strike order, but entered fully into conspiracy theorist land by suggesting that Vladimir Putin colluded with Trump on the strike so as to, er, blow up the collusion narrative. Better start ordering those tin-foil hats.

The Syrian civil war is now entering its seventh year, and it’s proven to be quite confusing and difficult to determine which combatants should be supported and which should be opposed. Only adding to the perplexity is the fact that it becomes a foreign policy political football to be argued over regarding the “how” for U.S. leadership in the region.

Barack Obama’s approach was to talk tough, as in his now infamous “red line” comment, and then “lead from behind,” which amounted to little more than feckless attempts at diplomatic agreements. One of the now more glaring examples was the deal to have Russia oversee the removal of Assad’s chemical weapons stockpile. In July 2014, former Secretary of State John Kerry touted the deal stating, “We got 100% of the chemical weapons out.”

On January 16, Obama’s national security advisor, Susan Rice, attempted to defend her boss’s Syrian policy record, asserting, “I think [Obama] stated the U.S. view, which is the use of chemical weapons is not something we’re prepared to allow to persist, and we didn’t. We managed to accomplish that goal far more thoroughly than we could have by some limited strikes against chemical targets by getting the entirety of the declared stockpile removed.” But as we have learned with Rice, she has said several things that just aren’t true.

On Sunday, former Obama-era Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken said, “We always knew we had not gotten everything [chemical weapons] — that the Syrians had not been fully forthcoming in their declaration.” It would seem that Obama was more concerned about appearance than reality. Symbolism over substance. Who knew?

Rule of Law Wins a Huge Victory5

Once Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell moved to change the chamber’s rules so as to eliminate the filibuster6 for nominees to the Supreme Court, it was only a matter of time before Neil Gorsuch was confirmed. That vote happened Friday, and Gorsuch prevailed 54-45; he was sworn in as the nation’s 113th justice today. Three red-state Democrats — Joe Manchin, Joe Donnelly and Heidi Heitkamp — crossed the aisle to vote for him. It’s a great day for Gorsuch, of course, but also for President Donald Trump, who kept his campaign promise to nominate solid justices. Seeing the late Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat filled by an originalist is also a huge win for our Constitution.

As Mark Alexander wrote before the election in endorsing Trump7, his reason was simple: He would vote “for the candidate who is most likely to nominate constitutionally constructionist judges to the Supreme Court, those who will promote Liberty over tyranny.” Indeed, that’s why millions of Americans sucked it up and voted for Trump. Those voters share in this victory too.

McConnell also deserves credit for standing firm against Barack Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland. There was no real precedent for him to follow in refusing to even grant hearings to Obama’s nominee, and we have no doubt Democrats will gladly expand this practice when the shoe is on the other foot. But the stakes were high — preserving the current 5-4 (relatively) conservative majority on the Court, or letting Obama remake it in his own image. McConnell chose the goal over the process, and he was refreshingly honest in saying so.

How did we get here? As Charles Krauthammer explains in an especially insightful column today8, “A major reason these fights over Supreme Court nominations have become so bitter and unseemly is the stakes — the political stakes. The Supreme Court has become more than ever a superlegislature. From abortion to gay marriage, it has appropriated to itself the final word. It rules — and the normal democratic impulses, expressed through the elected branches, are henceforth stifled.”

Our Founders warned against that very thing. Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1819, “The Constitution … is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary which they may twist and shape into any form they please.”

Judges like Neil Gorsuch are a critical counterbalance to this activist trend. And now, disarmed of the filibuster because of their own hypocritical obstruction9, Democrats may watch helplessly as the next Court nominee takes the seat of Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Stephen Breyer.

Top Headlines10

    U.S. and China end summit with 100-day plan to boost trade and cooperation. (The Washington Post11)

    U.S. sends aircraft carrier to Korean Peninsula. (Hot Air12)

    Oil rises after U.S. missile strike in Syria. (Reuters13)

    Palm Sunday attacks: 44 dead, more than 100 injured in church bombings carried out by ISIS in Egypt. (Fox News14)

    Trump administration back to square one on tax reform. (Fox News15)

    Despite deceptive headlines, ObamaCare remains as unpopular as ever. (The Daily Signal16)

    New York making state colleges tuition-free for middle class, poor. (CBS News17)

    At least 20% of SEIU’s budget went to politics. After spending big on Clinton and Obama, SEIU now facing steep budget cuts. (The Washington Free Beacon18.)

    Grover Norquist: Bill Gates' robot tax Is “stupid.” (Washington Examiner19)

    Venezuela bans opposition leader from running for office for 15 years — Socialism 101: Eliminate Opposition. (Hot Air20)

    Policy: Four lessons conservatives should learn from getting Gorsuch through. (The Daily Signal21)

    Policy: All who cherish free expression, especially on campuses, must combat the growing zeal for censorship. (City Journal22)

For more, visit Patriot Headline Report23.

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« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2017, 07:49:09 PM »

The Patriot Post Digest 4-10-2017
From The Federalist Patriot
Free Email Subscription

A Spying, Lying Obama Administration24

By Arnold Ahlert

In law, preponderance of evidence is a term used to describe a case-winning standard of proof, absent incontrovertible evidence. Did the Obama administration “spy” on members of the incoming Trump administration? The outing25 of former National Security Advisor Susan Rice as someone who obtained “unmasked” names of Trump officials is not definitive, in and of itself. What makes it compelling is that it represents one of several efforts undertaken by an Obama administration to keep tabs on, and/or intimidate, people it considered threats to its agenda.

“The Obama administration, which has a chilling zeal for investigating leaks and prosecuting leakers, has failed to offer a credible justification for secretly combing through the phone records of reporters and editors at The Associated Press in what looks like a fishing expedition for sources and an effort to frighten off whistle-blowers,” The New York Times reported26 in 2013.

The Obama administration insisted the effort was necessary to protect national security. In reality it was a message that the normal process of government-press negotiations regarding the protections of news sources with sensitive stories had been kicked to the curb. “When that happens, sources clam up and dry up,” columnist S.E. Cupp explained27 at the time. “That silence, especially in matters of war, diplomacy and peace, makes it that much harder for the press to expose government injustices to the public.”


Shortly thereafter it was revealed that Fox New reporter James Rosen was also “monitored.” The government obtained Rosen’s phone records, those of his parents and his personal emails, as well as searched his security badge access records to track the reporter’s visits to the State Department. Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder authorized the spying, but apparently “forgot” his did so. Testifying28 under oath before the House Judiciary Committee, Holder — asked if the DOJ could prosecute reporters using the Espionage Act of 1917 — claimed it was “not something I’ve ever been involved in, heard of, or would think would be wise policy.”

Neither is lying, but Holder did that anyway.

In 2015, Obama CIA officials “penetrated a computer network used by the Senate Intelligence Committee” and “sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department based on false information,” the Times revealed29. That effort included the use of a false online identity enabling CIA access to computers used by the committee staffers.

Irony of ironies? The committee was tasked with monitoring CIA activities.

Reporter Sharyl Attkisson, the former CBS correspondent who worked diligently to counter the administration’s “narrative” regarding the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal and Benghazi, sued the DOJ in 2015, alleging it hacked into her personal computer. The DOJ issued a denial, but on March 19, 2017 U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan denied30 the DOJ’s motion to dismiss the case.

In her blog, Attkisson describes31 the Orwellian atmosphere she and her husband endured in their own home. It included “anomalies” on her computer, TV, telephones and home alarm system, confirmation by forensic experts that “sophisticated surveillance spyware” had been installed on her laptop, and an “extra” Verizon FiOS fiber optics line — that subsequently “disappeared” — installed in her home. She also observed her laptop being remotely accessed and controlled, resulting in data deletion.

In 2015, The Wall Street Journal revealed32 the Obama administration’s NSA monitored Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli leaders opposed to Obama’s deal with Iran. In the course of that effort, the NSA “also swept up the contents of some of their private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups.”

A pro-Israel political operative insists33 “the administration weaponized the NSA’s legitimate monitoring of communications of foreign officials to stay one step ahead of domestic political opponents” that became “a means of gathering real-time intelligence on Americans engaged in perfectly legitimate political activism — activism, due to the nature of the issue, that naturally involved conversations with foreigners.”

Sound familiar?

Last week on Mark Levin’s radio show, reporter Eli Lake used the term “reverse targeting” to explain how Obama could gather intel on Trump and his associates while maintaining the plausible deniability attached to getting that intel while legitimately monitoring Russian exchanges with them — making any assertion they were targeting Trump, et al, virtually impossible to prove.

Yet the outing of former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn’s name to the press is a felony, and no matter how hard Democrats and their media lapdogs try to obscure that reality, it cannot be denied. Moreover, if assertions by House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) are accurate, the “unmasking” of people other than Flynn occurred — and it was not related to Russian exchanges.

Compiling a preponderance of evidence against the Obama administration would not be complete without reminding Americans how the IRS was also weaponized. Last week, Judicial Watch (JW) released34 another 695 pages of documents the administration failed to produce during the DOJ’s IRS investigation. They reveal “admissions by the Obama IRS that it inappropriately targeted conservative groups,” JW President Tom Fitton explained, and “that the abuse continued — as the Obama IRS tried to force conservative applicants to give up their First Amendment rights in order to finally get their applications granted.”

That scandal also included the systematic destruction35 of hard drives despite court orders to preserve evidence.

The fact that Obama’s DOJ ultimately concluded there was no evidence of wrongdoing was one of the most corrupt moments in the history of the republic. Documents obtained36 in 2015 by JW revealed Lois Lerner, the FBI and DOJ officials had planned to target nonprofit organizations for criminal prosecution arising from alleged illegal political activity.

In other words, the DOJ investigated itself and determined it was innocent.

Then there is Susan Rice — the consummate ideological hack, more than willing to advance an agenda by any means necessary. Lying is her specialty: On five different TV shows, she flacked37 the disproven assertion the Benghazi attack was precipitated by an “offensive” video. She was “coincidentally” soon promoted by Obama, from U.S. ambassador to the UN, to national security advisor. She topped that whopper with the assertion38 that deserter Bowe Bergdahl “served with honor and distinction.”

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« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2017, 07:50:05 PM »

The Patriot Post Digest 4-10-2017
From The Federalist Patriot
Free Email Subscription

Now, after first claiming39 during a PBS interview she “knew nothing” about the unmasking of Trump officials, she subsequently admitted she did, but that nothing was used for political purposes.

How deep does the rot go? As National Review’s Andrew McCarthy explains40 only three agencies — the FBI, NSA and the CIA — are allowed to “unmask” the identities of “Americans caught up in other foreign intelligence efforts.” Moreover, Rice and the White House are intelligence “consumers,” not producers, as FBI Director James Comey stated during House testimony. Comey also insisted the FBI has “minimization” standards that are “obsessive” with regard to protecting the identities of Americans.

Nonetheless, Rice was able to get the names. Moreover, former Obama deputy defense secretary — and Clinton campaign operative — Evelyn Farkas revealed41 that the effort was made to spread classified intel to members of Congress before it “disappeared,” which is “why you have the leaking.”

More like a preponderance of evidence the Obama administration is deeply involved in an historically unprecedented corruption scandal.


    Efficiency in Work — Where Do Humans Fit In?42 — The rise in automation is going to bring about huge changes in the jobs market, and some will be better prepared than others.
    An Air Force Pilot’s a Christian? After Her!43 — Surprise, surprise — Mikey Weinstein aims to stamp out yet another expression of faith in the military.
    Government-Controlled Economy: The Poor Lose44 — Recent report highlights government economic policies which hurt the poor.
    Revenue Stream Is No Excuse for Citation Abuse45 — For many municipalities, tickets and fines make up an alarming percentage of revenue.


    Hans von Spakovsky: Justice Gorsuch Will Have an Immediate (and Big) Impact46
    Peggy Noonan: What’s Become of the American Dream?47
    Kathryn Jean Lopez: Let’s Not Look Away48

For more, visit Right Opinion49.


Peggy Noonan: “How did we get the definition [of the American Dream] mixed up? I think part of the answer is: Grandpa. He’d sit on the front stoop in Levittown in the 1950s. A sunny day, the kids are tripping by, there’s a tree in the yard and bikes on the street and a car in the front. He was born in Sicily or Donegal or Dubrovnik, he came here with one change of clothes tied in a cloth and slung on his back, he didn’t even speak English, and now look — his grandkids with the bikes. ‘This is the American dream,’ he says. And the kids, listening, looked around, saw the houses and the car, and thought: He means the American dream is things. By inference, the healthier and more enduring the dream, the bigger the houses get, the more expensive the cars. (They went on to become sociologists and journalists.) But that of course is not what Grandpa meant. He meant: I started with nothing and this place let me and mine rise. The American dream was not only about materialism, but material things could be, and often were, its fruits.”


The Gipper: “The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose.”

Upright: “What stands out the most with [Neil Gorsuch’s] confirmation is how transparent the administration has been with this process since day one. President Trump is the first president to release a list of potential Supreme Court candidates, with the help of conservative legal experts, and let the American people decide if those candidates deserved to serve on the Court. … This process has established a new precedent of transparency for future administrations.” —Jim DeMint

“The opposition to [Gorsuch] is more about the man that nominated him and the party he represents than the nominee himself. It’s part of a much larger story — another extreme escalation in the Left’s never-ending drive to politicize the courts and the confirmation process. It’s a fight they have waged for decades with a singular aim — securing raw power no matter the cost to the country or the institution. It underlies why this should not be allowed to succeed or continue.” —Mitch McConnell

Busted: “The reality is that there were continued chemical-weapons attacks by Syria — and that U.S. and international officials had good evidence that Syria had not been completely forthcoming in its declaration and possibly retained sarin and VX nerve agent. Yet [Susan] Rice said: ‘We were able to get the Syrian government to voluntarily and verifiably give up its chemical weapons stockpile.’ She did not explain that Syria’s declaration was believed to be incomplete and thus was not fully verified — and that the Syrian government still attacked citizens with chemical weapons not covered by the 2013 agreement.” —Washington Post Fact Checker awarding Rice Four Pinocchios

Late-night humor: “Quarterback Colin Kaepernick has done a complete 180. He now says he WILL stand for the national anthem. He’s now sitting for the games, but he’s standing for the anthem.” —Jimmy Fallon

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Managing Editor Nate Jackson

Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm’s way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

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