Posted tagged ‘Republicans’

Talking to (and About) The Muslim American Society

November 4, 2017

Talking to (and About) The Muslim American Society, Power Line,  Scott Johnson, November 4, 2017

The Muslim Brotherhood founded the Muslim American Society in 1993. In 2003 the Muslim American Society of Minnesota was incorporated as an affiliate of Muslim American Society. The MAS-MN puts it this way: “[A] number of activists of the Islamic movement launched the [MAS] in 1992 [sic] to complement the work that has been accomplished in the last four decades and to lay the ground for the Islamic work needed to face the challenges of the next century.”

The Investigative Project on Terrorism has posted a useful account of the MAS here. The MAS-MN’s use of the term “activists” in its canned history is illustrative of the MAS approach to public relations for an American audience.

As Andrew McCarthy explains in his invaluable 2010 book, the MAS is engaged in The Grand Jihad. Looking into the MAS here for the Weekly Standard, Daveed Gartenstein-Ross “found that MAS–except in its most public of statements–is quite open about its agenda and allegiances.” Its agenda is the Islamization of the United States and its allegiance is to the Muslim Brotherhood. In his 2005 Weekly Standard article Gartenstein-Ross specifically discussed the MAS-MN.

Minnesota of course has its own growing core of “activists.” The MAS-MN puts it this way: “In Minnesota, Islamic activists began gathering in 2001 to lay the ground for the Islamic work needed to face the challenges of the next century. In 2003 the [MAS-MN] was incorporated as an affiliate of Muslim American Society.”

Readers with a long memory may recall the Islamic charter (i.e., public) school known as the Tarek ibn Ziyad Academy in suburban St. Paul. Based on the explosive reporting of then Star Tribune metro columnist Katherine Kersten, the Minnesota chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union brought a lawsuit against TiZA for operating a religious school with public funds.

TiZA had been founded by a pair of imams who doubled as top leaders of MAS-MN. One of them served as principal of the school and proved himself to be a voluble liar in conventional Western terms. See, for example, Greg Pratt’s excellent 2012 City Pages retrospective article “The truth about TiZA.”. I can’t find the officers of MAS-MN on its site but I think the former TiZA principal in fact serves as the MAS-MN’s executive director.

I mention this because one of the candidates contending for the GOP gubernatorial nomination (Keith Downey) recently spoke to the MAS-MN. Indeed, he was the only GOP candidate to accept the group’s invitation to appear at the candidates’ forum during MAS-MN recent Minneapolis convention. Downey’s speech was quoted in the daily email newsletter on state politics written by Star Tribune reporter Patrick Coolican. The text of Downey’s speech is posted in full on his campaign Facebook page and embedded below. Coolican quoted Downey saying this:

So what can the Muslim American Society expect from me as your Governor? First, I do believe in you. That stems from my Christian faith and belief that each of us is created in the image of God – everyone in this room, everyone up here, everyone out there – and as such you are infinitely valuable, with creative potential, morally relevant, and accountable for your actions. That is the foundation of America. It’s why Republicans and our first Republican President Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves and gave them the right to vote. It means that as Governor, I will treat you exactly the same as any other person in our state. Exactly the same. I will defend your freedoms: of religion, speech, and assembly. You will receive the exact same protections. And I will fight for you – and everyone else – every day, for your opportunity in life, here in Minnesota.

Coolican commented, “That’s the carrot. There was plenty of stick, too,” quoting this:

I will defund sanctuary cities and freeze refugee resettlement until an airtight vetting process is in place and we can establish a resettlement volume that Minnesota can afford and assimilate….Minnesotans generally don’t know the Muslim community’s goals, and so our political discussion is hampered and inflamed. You can fix that by stepping forward to assure the people of Minnesota that the Muslim community embraces the American melting pot, that there is no interest to end our constitutional system and replace it with Sharia law, that the goal is to become American while maintaining Muslim communities’ ethnic and religious distinctiveness, and that like everyone else you simply want your chance at the American dream.

Coolican commented favorably on the two excerpts he quoted: “All in all, it’s admirable, for whatever you think of his message. He will win few if any Muslim votes at the GOP convention or in a GOP primary or in a general election — and yet he goes to the event and states his principles, even when they clash with the crowd’s. We don’t do much persuading in politics these days. Mostly, we just inflame our bases.”

I had a different reaction. I wrote Coolican: “Speaking as a core Republican voter, I would like to mention this. The Muslim American Society is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood. That Keith Downey went to speak to them and said what he said tells me he is an idiot.”

Coolican asked for my permission to quote my email in his newsletter the next day. I gave him my permission, but I would revise my comment to say that Downey was on a fool’s errand rather than that he is an idiot. It is nevertheless late in the day to have to make the necessary points.

Yesterday Downey called me to talk in a friendly spirit about what he was up to. He asked if I had read his speech in its entirety; I hadn’t. I have done so now and I think Coolican fairly represented it. It is a speech expressing admirable sentiments in good faith, but it is apparent that the speaker doesn’t understand whom he is talking to. That was my point.

Downey told me that the MAS-MN has disavowed the Muslim Brotherhood. I can’t find the disavowal on its site. Maybe it’s there, I just can’t find it in a quick look around. I told Downey that the disavowal doesn’t impress me. One can see it in the well-known 2004 Chicago Tribune article on the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States. It is a familiar part of the MAS public relations package.

Downey told me he received a chilly reception from the MAS-MN but that he viewed the group as a local organization whose members he would serve as constituents if he were governor. He distinguished MAS-MN from CAIR (which also has a Minnesota chapter) in this respect. He said he would not speak to CAIR Minnesota if invited.

I don’t have a favorite among the declared GOP candidates for governor. I have nothing against Keith Downey. I appreciated his call. I would support him if he were nominated. In Minnesota, however, we have a serious problem that is aggravated by the Star Tribune. It is, moreover, a difficult problem even for knowledgeable and worthy candidates to discuss in a candid fashion. I think Downey misfired in this case by treating MAS-MN as a sectarian interest group like any other rather than by taking a pass or calling it out.

NOTE: This is the text of Keith Downey’s speech to the Muslim American Society of Minnesota:

Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today. It’s a pleasure to be here.

I’m running for Governor for a crystal clear purpose…to Make Minnesota Work for Everyone.

I was born and raised in Minnesota, and our state provided great opportunities and a wonderful life. But so many people don’t see their opportunity here anymore. Minnesota isn’t working for everyone. And more and more we see a failure to thrive in Minnesota.

I’m running because we can’t just live in the past. We’re losing great people, farms, businesses, capital, and the vitality of our state. Government is coming at us, not from us. Liberal Democrat policies are destroying our inner cities’ schools, businesses, neighborhoods and families, and now they’re pushing their failed policies onto greater Minnesota.

I believe in you. And I trust Minnesotans, not bigger government, for our future. We need results, not excuses in state government.

I’m running to make Minnesota work for everyone – to grow new and better jobs, fix the schools that are failing, reduce state government, and get back to what works. And I’m asking you to join the cause!

So what can the Muslim American Society expect from me as your Governor?

First, I do believe in you. That stems from my Christian faith and belief that each of us is created in the image of God – everyone in this room, everyone up here, everyone out there – and as such you are infinitely valuable, with creative potential, morally relevant, and accountable for your actions. That is the foundation of America. It’s why Republicans and our first Republican President Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves and gave them the right to vote.

It means that as Governor, I will treat you exactly the same as any other person in our state. Exactly the same.

I will defend your freedoms: of religion, speech, and assembly. You will receive the exact same protections. And I will fight for you – and everyone else – every day, for your opportunity in life, here in Minnesota.

It also means that I will expect you – and everyone else – to live up to the same obligations to obey the laws, to live by our constitution, and to live peaceably in a pluralist society – E Pluribus Unum.

As Governor, my first duty is to protect our citizens. So you can count on me to work with you to prevent recruitment and radicalization by Islamic terrorists, to defend the rule of law and support our police, and to protect your communities from the horrendous impact of a religiously motivated terrorist incident and from illegal practices like female genital mutilation that violate your faith.

I will defund sanctuary cities and freeze refugee resettlement until an airtight vetting process is in place and we can establish a resettlement volume that Minnesota can afford and assimilate.

While not easy, my commitments on these issues are ultimately for the good of your communities and our state, and I look forward to discussing them here today and ongoing.

Let me leave you with this. You have an incredible opportunity right now as leaders of the Muslim community.

Minnesotans generally don’t know the Muslim community’s goals, and so our political discussion is hampered and inflamed. You can fix that by stepping forward to assure the people of Minnesota that the Muslim community embraces the American melting pot, that there is no interest to end our constitutional system and replace it with Sharia law, that the goal is to become American while maintaining Muslim communities’ ethnic and religious distinctiveness, and that like everyone else you simply want your chance at the American dream.

Please, don’t take the Democrats’ identity politics bait and reduce yourselves to just one more of their grievance groups, pitted against others.

My commitment to you as Governor is that I will be there, believing in you and working with you. And together, we can truly Make Minnesota Work for Everyone, including our Muslim community.

My sincerest hope is that you’ll join the cause!

Thank you again for having me.

The text of the speech is posted here on Facebook.

Why Robert Mueller is making K Street Republicans and Democrats sweat

November 4, 2017

Why Robert Mueller is making K Street Republicans and Democrats sweat, Washington ExaminerSarah Westwood, November 4, 2017 

A special counsel investigation into allegations of collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Russians could end up exposing illegal activity from lobbyists and consultants at some of Washington’s most powerful firms across the political spectrum.

At least three major lobbying firms have already been identified or had their work described in court documents laying out the criminal charges against two of Trump’s former campaign aides. Those former associates — Paul Manafort, who worked on Trump’s campaign between March and August 2016, and Rick Gates, Manafort’s deputy — face a 12-count indictment related to the false foreign lobbying disclosure forms they filed after years of failing to register their activities, as well as their efforts to launder the millions of dollars they earned from their undisclosed lobbying.

But Democratic powerhouses could also get caught up in special counsel Robert Mueller’s massive investigation. And Mueller’s seeming willingness to crack down on a practice that insiders describe as common and usually tolerated by the government could send shockwaves through the K Street lobbying firms that have represented foreign clients for years without proper documentation.

“This whole scandal has made K Street very nervous,” said Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen. “There’s every indication that ignoring and violating the requirements of [the Foreign Agents Registration Act] is fairly widespread.”

Under FARA, lobbyists who represent foreign leaders or entities in Washington must disclose the nature of their business relationships to the Justice Department within a certain timeframe. However, the agency’s inspector general found in a report last year that 62 percent of all FARA registrations were late and found that the number of lobbyists registering under FARA had plummeted in recent years, suggesting more lobbyists are simply choosing not to disclose their work.

“The Department of Justice has done an exceedingly lax job at enforcing FARA, and everybody knows it,” Holman said. “Only recently, because of this Russia connection scandal, has there been any effort at tracking down those who are in violation of FARA.”

Manafort’s attorney, Kevin Downing, said Monday, after Manafort and Gates made their first appearances in court, that Mueller’s team had used a “novel theory” to build its case around a series of FARA violations despite the government’s sparse history of securing convictions using that law.

The pair of former Trump associates are far from the only Washington insiders facing pressure from investigators over their conduct, however.

Tony Podesta, the brother of Hillary Clinton’s former campaign chairman and co-founder of the Podesta Group, stepped down this week from his position as chairman of the lobbying firm he built into a Washington institution. The Democrat-leaning Podesta Group had already come under scrutiny for failing to register all of its lobbying activity in Ukraine, but the indictment against Manafort and Gates alleged that two unnamed companies — one of which is believed to be the Podesta Group — falsely represented the nature of their relationships to a think tank controlled by Viktor Yanukovych, the pro-Russia Ukrainian leader at the center of the scandal.

A former Obama administration official and the powerhouse law firm for which he works may also face scrutiny from Mueller’s team over work he performed for Manafort in Ukraine.

Gregory Craig, White House counsel for former President Barack Obama from January 2009 to January 2010, led a team that performed a supposedly neutral analysis in 2012 of the controversial trial that led to the conviction and imprisonment of Yanukovych’s political rival, Yulia Tymoshenko.

Craig’s team at the major Washington law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom concluded that Yanukovych’s government had not locked up Tymoshenko for political reasons and found “no evidence” during the review to support the idea that Yanukovych’s government had abused the justice system. The report was described, at the time, as the product of an “independent” review that the Ukrainian government under Yanukovych commissioned and funded.

But a little-noticed passage in the 31-page indictment against Manafort and Gates suggests Manafort may have secretly steered the Skadden report in a direction favorable to Yanukovych and may have wired the report’s authors millions of dollars to secure a friendly conclusion.

“Manafort and Gates also lobbied in connection with the roll out of a report concerning the Tymoshenko trial commissioned by the Government of Ukraine,” Mueller’s team wrote in the indictment. “Manafort and Gates used one of their offshore accounts to funnel $4 million to pay secretly for the report.”

Craig did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The report his team produced at Skadden received criticism at the time for its failure to find Yanukovych responsible for misconduct in a case that many human rights advocates considered a politically motivated effort to extract revenge on a rival.

Freedom House, a nonpartisan democracy watchdog, called many of Skadden’s findings “utterly baffling” and described the report as “misguided.”

“Predictably, the Yanukovych government seized on this part of the report as proof that the proceedings had conformed to the norms of judicial fairness,” Freedom House noted in a December 2012 blog post about the Skadden report.

The State Department, then under Clinton’s leadership, criticized Skadden’s methodology shortly after it completed the review in December 2012, but stopped short of accusing the law firm of colluding with Yanukovych.

“I can’t speak to the relationship that the Ukrainian Government has with a private law firm in the United States,” then-State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said when asked in 2012 whether Yanukovych had purchased an exonerating review from Skadden. Manafort’s alleged secret payment in connection with the report was not known at the time.

The Podesta Group did not respond to a request for comment on its own activity in Ukraine, which allegedly extends beyond a simple FARA violation.

The firm registered in April its contract with the think tank cited in the indictment of Manafort and Gates. Podesta personally signed a document that said the Belgium-based think tank, the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, hired the Podesta Group independently and directed all of the firm’s advocacy efforts, according to the Podesta Group’s lobbying disclosure forms.

A representative of the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine signed her name to a statement in the documents, swearing that “none of the activities of the Centre are directly or indirectly supervised, directed, controlled, financed, or subsidized, in whole or in major part, by a government of a foreign country or foreign political party.”

But Mueller’s indictment alleges that the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine was nothing more than a vehicle for Yanukovych to purchase more lobbying power in Washington while evading detection. The indictment also claims the Podesta Group and Mercury LLC, a Republican-leaning lobbying firm, took their marching orders from Manafort and Gates, not the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine.

“To minimize public disclosure of their lobbying campaign, Manafort and Gates arranged for the Centre to be the nominal client of Company A and Company B, even though in fact the Centre was under the ultimate direction of the Government of Ukraine, Yanukovych, and the Party of Regions,” prosecutors wrote in the indictment. “For instance, Manafort and Gates selected Company A and Company B, and only thereafter did the Centre sign contracts with the lobbying firms without ever meeting either company. Company A and Company B were paid for their services not by their nominal client, the Centre, but solely through off-shore accounts associated with the Manafort and Gates entities.”

The second unnamed company, whose partnership with the Centre is thought to be described in the Manafort and Gates indictment, could bring Mueller’s scrutiny back to the Right side of the aisle. Vin Weber, a former Republican congressman from Minnesota, is a partner at Mercury and signed his name to a FARA form that the firm filed in April for its work with the center.

Mercury retroactively registered its representation of the center just 16 days after the Podesta Group registered its own, according to disclosure forms.

Weber did not respond to a request for comment. A lawyer for Mercury also did not return a request for comment.

Mercury’s FARA compliance has come under scrutiny in the past.

For example, the firm raised eyebrows earlier this year when it filed a foreign lobbying disclosure form that did not actually name a foreign client. Instead, Mercury noted it would be doing public relations work for “Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Macedonia & Greece,” while listing the Libertas Foundation, an American group, as its client. Libertas was incorporated just one day before Mercury filed its FARA form for the organization, BuzzFeed reported in June.

“Mercury Group should have asked at least, who’s funding Libertas?” said Holman, the FARA expert.

Holman predicted Mercury could face prosecution for its work in Ukraine.

“The fact that Mercury Group is now shown to have violated FARA twice, indicates that Mercury really is deliberately not complying with FARA,” Holman said.

Daniel Pickard, an attorney at Wiley Rein who advises clients on FARA, said the Justice Department brought just seven criminal cases related to violations of FARA between 1966 to 2015.

“On top of this, the FARA registration unit, which is composed of intelligent and hardworking professionals, has limited staff and resources but considerable responsibilities,” Pickard said of the Justice Department unit tasked with enforcing the rules surrounding foreign lobbying disclosures.

Trump, for his part, has sought to keep the focus on Democrats’ dealings with foreign powers, as the special counsel’s investigation has closed in on three of his former campaign aides.

The president and his press secretary, Sarah Sanders, have repeatedly insisted that the only “collusion” with Russia that occurred during the presidential race came at the hands of Democrats. Trump’s allies had been emboldened by the discovery last week that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee shared the cost of producing a dossier of Russia-related allegations against the Trump campaign. The former British spy who authored that dossier sourced some of his allegations to senior Russian officials, spawning the argument that Democrats had indeed teamed up with Russians to hurt Trump.

But the two indictments and one guilty plea unsealed by Mueller this week have relegated the dossier to a footnote of the Russia narrative.

Even so, White House aides are not yet worried that the special counsel’s investigation will do lasting damage to the president, a source close to the White House told the Washington Examiner.

“White House staffers are used to dealing with high-level crises because of the sheer volume has been very intense since January,” the source said. “However, if there are more dominoes that fall, such as a Jared Kushner indictment, that would really sink the morale inside the White House to the point of potential paralysis.”

Trump’s team has managed to insulate the White House from much of the Mueller drama by pointing to the unrelated nature of Manafort’s work for Yanukovych, most of which took place long before he joined the Trump campaign. Yanukovych was ousted from power in 2014, at which point he fled to Russia. And the White House has argued the campaign hand who pleaded guilty to lying about his ties to Russia, George Papadopoulos, was simply an overzealous volunteer who never wielded real influence within the campaign.

However, Mueller’s probe does pose a threat to K Street, and lobbyists from both parties will likely watch Manafort’s case with great interest to see which of their peers and practices will come under scrutiny.

Manafort made another appearance in court on Thursday.

Republican donors seek out Steve Bannon

October 3, 2017

Republican donors seek out Steve Bannon, Washington ExaminerDavid M. Drucker, October 3, 2017

Steve Bannon has begun meeting with Republican donors at their request, as party financiers in the wake of the Alabama special election attempt to learn what President Trump’s former chief strategist has planned for 2018.

Some GOP bundlers, in Washington this week for a Republican National Committee fundraiser, sought meetings with Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News, to forge relationships and better understand his plans to target Republican incumbents in 2018 primaries.

Roy Moore, Bannon’s candidate in the Alabama GOP primary runoff, defeated appointed Sen. Luther Strange, who had the support of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. It was a major embarrassment for McConnell, and Bannon said he plans to replicate the effort in GOP primaries next year to weaken the majority leader and reshape the party in Trump’s populist image.

“It seems like McConnell’s star is fading and Bannon’s is rising. I wanted to break bread with the guy and figure out his thinking,” said Dan Eberhart, a Republican donor from Phoenix who was scheduled to meet with Bannon on Wednesday.

Republican donors are furious with Senate Republicans — many with McConnell specifically. They’re disappointed with the outcome in Alabama and angry that the Senate hasn’t passed legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare.

That has some donors, who usually circulate in establishment circles, taking the measure of Bannon to prepare for the upheaval that many party insiders believe is coming in next year’s primaries — especially if Republicans fumble tax reform.

One Republican donor who has already met with Bannon said that he communicated his view that money isn’t as important in elections as it used to be.

The former White House chief strategist and CEO Of Trump’s presidential campaign believes he could help drive Republican challenger candidates to victory next year with the technological tools now available to campaigns.

If Republican donors remain unhappy with McConnell and the party’s senate campaign arm struggles for donations as a result, incumbent Republicans could suffer a loss of resources, possibly empowering Bannon in the primary campaigns he chooses to get involved in.

In the Tennessee GOP primary in the race to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Bob Corker, Bannon likes Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., a Republican source who spoke with him said. Bannon did not respond to a Tuesday afternoon email requesting comment.

“I have had a lot of donors not wanting to give to national party,” a Republican fundraising consultant said, on condition of anonymity in order to speak candidly. “They are very upset that nothing is getting done in D.C. It goes both ways with that though. Some are mad at the far right Senators/Freedom caucus. Others are mad at McConnell. Overall, no donors are happy. If they are giving, they are giving to help the specific person calling, not the party.”

Time to redefine ‘one China’ policy to mean ‘one democratic China’

August 25, 2017

Time to redefine ‘one China’ policy to mean ‘one democratic China’, Washington TimesRalph Z. Hallow, August 24, 2017

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, shake hands as they arrive for a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, Saturday, July 8, 2017. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

NASHVILLE – Fed up with America’s 55 years of appeasement of communist China, the GOP’s national governing body is poised to tell Beijing to go take a hike.

China and its panda-hugging friends — think Henry Kissinger – have been campaigning to get Congress and the Trump administration to say when exactly it will stop selling arms to democratic Taiwan.

“Nuts!” and “Never!” are the two words Republicans here would like to tell Beijing, but they’re aiming for slightly more diplomatic language to say the same thing.

In no mood to put up with Beijing’s slick attempts to ripen Taiwan for a takeover by the communist Mainland, the Republican National Committee members holding their annual summer meeting here have decided to put the national GOP on record in support of the latest round of arms sales with Spräng murarna och nå dina mål to Taiwan that President Trump has approved.

Some big-deal Republicans here are also officially backing a warning to Beijing to lay off its attempts to smother free speech in Hong Kong. The 1,000 square-mile island state, with a population of 7.3 million (a million fewer than in New York City), was a paradigm of freedom when it was a British colony. It has felt the suffocating effect of the People’s Republic of China since the Brits turned Hong Kong over to Beijing in 1997. (Talk about appeasement.)

But Taiwan is where the smelly stuff is beginning to hit the fan, thanks first to none other than Richard M. Nixon, He inked a joint communiqué with the communist People’s Republican of China in 1972. That communiqué had the U.S. agreeing – teeth gritting time — that communist Mainland China is the only China on earth and that thing calling itself the Republic of China residing on the island of Taiwan is a figment of the anti-communist imagination.

Two other shameful communiqués followed. In 1979 under Jimmy Carter, the U.S. agreed cut off diplomatic relations with the Republic of China and never to use the word “China” in referring to it again.

Perhaps it’s mere legend, but Mr. Carter did work up the gumption to refuse to say there are no rings around the planet Mars.

In 1982 under — believe it or not — Ronald Reagan, the U.S. in a third joint communiqué agreed to gradually reduce arms sales to Taiwan. That triggered private meetings around the country at which some leading GOP conservatives debated whether it was high time to form a third party.

Congress and President Carter did do something right in 1979, passing and signing the Taiwan Relations Act. It requires America to sell defensive military systems and hardware to Taiwan so it can defend itself from Beijing’s military hordes.

The truth is of course that even if all of Taiwan’s14,000 square miles were filled to the brim with state-of-the-art weaponry, the 23 million Taiwanese would last a few ticks of the clock against Mainland China’s 1.38 billion population spread over the Mainland’s 3.7 million square miles.

But a Taiwan with up-to-date weapons would at least give the U.S. time to live up to another Taiwan Relations Act provision. This one commits the U.S. to muster its military might to defend Taiwan if it China attacks it. Retired Army Colonel Peter S. Goldberg, an RNC member form Alaska, is expected to win full RNC approval on Friday for his Taiwan resolution endorsing Mr. Trump’s approval of new arms sales to Taiwan.

“I see Goldberg’s RNC resolution in support of President Trump’s arms sales to Taiwan as sending a strong message to people who are pushing for a fourth joint U.S.-China Communiqué,” said resolution co-sponsor Solomon Yue, who was born in communist China and lived there until escaping to America in early adulthood.

Mr. Yue and other GOP leaders think what’s developing here is much broader than ensuring Taiwan’s military capability.

“The message is, ‘We will fight to stop any attempt to sunset the Taiwan Relations Act, including by redefining America’s ‘one-China’ policy to say, ‘We support ‘one democratic China modeled after Taiwan,’” said Mr. Yue, an elected RNC member from Oregon.

Former Idaho GOP Chairman Stephen Yates thinks a new one-China policy is past due.

“If there is to be a joint communiqué, it should say nothing about setting a date to end arms sales to Taiwan and should simply affirm support for a peaceful, democratic China, rather than use an empty slogan like ‘one-China,’” said Mr. Yates, who was deputy national security adviser to then-Vice President Dick Cheney and is now is now gathering financial fuel for his Idaho GOP lieutenant gubernatorial nomination bid.

Another resolution, this one by Florida RNC member Peter Feaman, in effect tells Beijing to keeps it freedom-smothering mitts off Hong Kong’s people. Mr. Feaman is also expected to win unanimous approval from the 168 RNC members for his resolution.

After Six Months, a Shocking Clarity

August 6, 2017

After Six Months, a Shocking Clarity, American ThinkerJames G. Wiles, August 6, 2017

But for now, the current crisis is not some political sideshow for the annual August “silly season.”  It is a struggle over who controls the government of the United States.

****************************

Perhaps one James Woods said it best on Twitter (@realjameswoods) over the weekend: “I’ve never witnessed such hatred for a man who is willing to work for free to make his beloved country a better place. It is pathological.”

Mr. Woods did not exaggerate.  The last time the United States saw such a wholesale refusal to accept the result of a national election – and to overturn it – the year was 1861.

As the Trump administration moves past its 200th day in office, we have arrived at a moment of extreme clarity.  It is even – even by the standards of Watergate (which did not start, remember, until President Richard Nixon’s second term) – unprecedented in the history of the American Republic.

Just consider what we’ve learned since January 20 – and especially in the last two weeks.

1. Persons holding top positions in our national government (including its national security apparatus) are seeking to force the removal of an American president lawfully elected less than a year ago.  To achieve that goal, they have shown themselves willing to compromise the national security of the United States, including the conduct of its foreign affairs, and to commit serious felonies.

2. The MSM has united with these criminals (that is what the leakers of classified information are) in seeking to achieve this goal.  In particular, they are willing to facilitate achieving their objective by publishing information they know has been leaked to them in violation of federal law.

3. Democratic elected officials, at all levels of federal, state, and local government, oppose all aspects of the president’s agenda, upon which he was elected, and vigorously seek to block its implementation.  They have made no secret (thank you, Maxine Waters) that, if given control of Congress again, they will impeach and remove the president and, possibly, the vice president.

4. In a return to the days of the George W. Bush administration, the left is using “lawfare” (litigation for its own sake) to obstruct or defeat implementation of the president’s agenda, upon which he was elected.  A blog, Lawfareblog.com, offers daily info.  Another blog, The Intercept, promotes leaks of classified and other information.

5. For the first time since the Vietnam War years, there is a national mobilization – calling itself the Resistance – that can put people onto the streets and, occasionally, is willing to use mob violence in furtherance of its goals of ousting this president and stifling free speech.  Democratic elected officials have tolerated that violence.

6. Some Republicans in Congress have joined the Resistance.  Many more, even where they deplore the  Resistance, openly (or privately) oppose this president’s announced agenda, upon which he was elected.

7. Some Republicans in the Senate and the House who, for the last seven years, voted to repeal Obamacare, in fact, have refused to repeal it now that  a Republican president is in the White House who would sign such a repeal.

8. Prominent conservative media outlets and opinion leaders, such as Erick Erickson of theresurgent.com, redstate.com, the National Review and Bill Kristol’s Weekly Standard, oppose this president, hope for his removal or resignation from office and are, moreover, prepared to defend these national security breaches (which are occurring in an attempt to achieve that goal) asregrettable but necessary and to praise those who commit them.

In a signed editorial, Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard wrote on Friday (emphasis added):

Short-lived White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci was an utterly forgettable political hack. But he said one thing before he was dismissed that’s worth reflecting on: “There are people inside the administration that think it is their job to save America from this president. Okay?” Scaramucci was right about that. We know these people, and we admire them. We wish them every success.

9. Former Bush speech writer David Frum, writing in the Atlantic this week, both deplored and rationalized the leak of transcripts of presidential phone calls to foreign leaders.  Yes, he said, it’s illegal and compromises national security.  But it’s really Trump’s fault for making such breaches necessary.

Frum said (emphasis added):

The risk of national-security establishment overreach looms even larger. The temptation is obvious: Senior national-security professionals regard Trump as something between (at best) a reckless incompetent doofus and (at worst) an outright Russian espionage asset. The fear that a Russian mole has burrowed into the Oval Office may justify, to some, the most extreme actions against that suspected mole.

The nature of this particular leak suggests just such a national-security establishment origin.

10. It is quite obvious, in short, that the president of the United States has good reason to believe that he is, literally, being spied on in his own White House, by members of his own staff and by others elsewhere in the Executive Branch – especially including the national security apparatus.  And, furthermore, that his most confidential communications are not secure.

11. This exceeds, by some orders of magnitude, the national security threat faced by President Richard Nixon and national security adviser Henry Kissinger within the Nixon White House in 1970 and 1971.

Those are facts.  What does it all mean?

First, it means that next year’s congressional elections have grown enormously in importance since January 20.  The president will struggle to enact his agenda unless he has more allies on the allies on the Hill.

Second, it will probably take at least two full terms for the president to purge the Executive Branch.

But those are just politics and elections.  Here’s what should be concerning now:

If this pattern of the last six months continues, there will develop a real threat to the Republic and to the survival of democratic government.  While the national security threats the United States is presently facing – North Korean ICBMs, Chinese man-made islands in the South China Sea, and an expansive Russia – are serious and pressing, the most serious threat may be within.

We may be confronting a national security threat comparable to that which the United States (unknowingly) faced in the 1940s when American communists and fellow travelers penetrated the federal government, the Executive Branch, and the White House.  It was pooh-poohed at the time, called a “witch hunt” and a “Red Scare,” but, decades later,  the release of the Venona Intercepts and the opening of Soviet archives after the fall of the Soviet Union confirmed that, in fact, Soviet penetration of the highest levels of the U.S. government had occurred – and resulted in the loss of state secrets.

Here, there can be no dispute. The proof is appearing every day in our American media.

Attorney General Sessions is, therefore, amply justified in pursuing prosecution of the source(s) of these national security leaks – and, if necessary, targeting their media enablers.

The question of whether an American Deep State exists can be deferred until another time.  May cooler heads prevail until then.

But for now, the current crisis is not some political sideshow for the annual August “silly season.”  It is a struggle over who controls the government of the United States.

Republicans Force Pentagon to Push Global Warming

June 29, 2017

Republicans Force Pentagon to Push Global Warming, The Point (Front Page Magazine), Daniel Greenfield, June 29, 2017

Every time you think Congress has hit rock bottom, they manage to exceed your expectations.

The House Armed Services Committee’s annual defense policy bill will include a provision requiring a Defense Department report on the effects of climate change on military installations.

Why? You’re wondering.

Why is the Pentagon going to be wasting time providing ammo and employment to leftists to continue Obama’s corruption of the military into a social justice organization instead of focusing on the somewhat more pressing national security threats that we face, ranging from terrorism to nuclear war to China’s escalation?

Why are we going to see these same reports and the leftists writing them being touted in a larger push to impose carbon taxes and other Warmunist plans to raise the prices of everything with the profits going to their special interests and agendas?

Because a Dem proposed it and enough Pubs backed it.

The amendment — brought up by Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) in the readiness portion of Wednesday’s markup — instructs each military service to come up with a list of the top 10 military installations likely to be affected by climate change over the next 20 years.

Such a provision aims to ensure that the Defense Department “is prepared to address the effects of a changing climate on threat assessments, resources and readiness,” according to the amendment language.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) was the sole lawmaker to speak out against the amendment, claiming it instructs the Pentagon “to take their eye off the ball.”

“We have heard testimony in front of this committee consistently about the array of imminent threats we face … the Russians, Chinese, ISIS, al Qaeda, Iran, North Korea. … There is simply no way that you can argue that climate change is one of those threats. Not even close,” she said. “There is no evidence that climate change causes war.”

She continued: “North Korea is not developing nuclear tipped ICBMs because the climate’s changing. ISIS and al Qaeda are not attacking the West because of the weather.”

You would think that this would be the Republican position… you would think.

But several of her Republican colleagues, including Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), disagreed with her take.

“There is a line in the play ‘1776’ about the Declaration of Independence: ‘I’ve never seen, heard nor smelled an issue so dangerous it couldn’t be talked about.’ There’s nothing dangerous about talking about it. It’s a report,” Bishop said.

I’m glad that Bishop is taking his inspiration for national security policy from musicals.

There’s a big difference between “talking about it” and making it a priority to produce reports validating a leftist talking point. How about having the Pentagon produce reports discussing the threat of Islamic immigration to bases.

Suddenly, that will be an issue too dangerous to be talked about. Even though it, unlike the Great Flying Global Warming Monster whom the left worships, is actually a national security threat.

Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) backed up Bishop’s line of thinking. “It’s just a report and there are strategic implications that we need to be aware of,” he said.

That’s politese for “I have no idea hat any of this is about, but let me stay on the safe side and not stick my neck out.”

Rep. Susan Davis (R-Calif.) called the amendment “a start.”

Climate change “is one of those issues that is sort of in that bucket that we ignore at our own peril,” Davis said.

The leftist corruption of the GOP is another of those issues.

This is what happens when there’s no organized agenda, no comprehensive messaging, and no understanding of the threats and problems we face.

After Last Night

June 21, 2017

After Last Night, Power LineScott Johnson, June 21, 2017

Republican Karen Handel handily handled Democratic manchild Jon Ossoff in the special election to fill Georgia’s Sixth District congressional seat last night. The race was expected to be a cliffhanger. We were told that we wouldn’t know the outcome until the early morning hours today. By 10:00 p.m., however, it was clear that Handel would prevail. With 100 percent of the votes tabulated, Handel won by about four points or 10,000 votes (out of a total of about 260,000).

The Hollywood/San Francisco crowd invested big time in Ossoff. For the California left, it was the night that the lights went out in Georgia. Roger Simon rightly declares Hollywood a YUUUGE loser last night.

The lynch mob media (as Senator Cotton calls it) also heavily invested in the race — as one could see from the looks of the crew commenting last night on CNN. You didn’t even have to turn up the volume to figure out what was happening. How great is this?

Election Night Anchor Face™ is fast becoming one of my favorite things.

Until Ossoff lost, of course, this may have been the most important congressional race ever. It was to be an omen. It would be a portent. Now we’re back in the USSR. Mary Katharine Ham put it this way on Twitter last night:

Update: Formerly vitally important election with national implications that can’t be overstated now scheduled to be irrelevant by 10 am.

Washington Examiner politics editor Jim Antle let loose with a steady stream of punning tweets with musical themes last night. When Handel was declared the winner he observed that it would take a while before we knew which factor was Handel’s messiah.

Ossoff raised $23.5 million to Handel’s $4.5 million. Outside Republican campaign funds partially redressed the balance. The New York Times breaks down the numbers here.

PJ Media’s Tyler O’Neil considers the cash in an excellent post here. “Ossoff’s huge war chest might have hurt him. In the last two months, the Democrat reported receiving nine times more donations from California than from Georgia. In the nine counties of the San Francisco Bay Area alone, Ossoff reported receiving 3,063 donations, nearly four times the Georgia total of 808 gifts.”

From a distance, it seemed to me that Handel probably fit the district a bit better than Ossoff. For one thing, she actually lived there. Ossoff lived outside the district with his girlfriend. At one time he lived in the district. He could remember his old address there.

The Washington Free Beacon’s Brent Scher covered the race in the spirit of Andrew Breitbart. He documented his two-hour trek from Ossoff’s house to the Sixth District. He was rewarded for his efforts with his exclusion from an Ossoff campaign event on the night before the election.

In the end the California contributions may have boomeranged. Handel pounded on the Pelosi factor that an Ossoff victory would enhance. O’Neil notes: “Most of the Handel ads attacking Ossoff tied the Democrat to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. It appears that that message worked.”