HANNAN – Left collapses; KATZ – Court vacancies; SPERRY – Obama sabotage; HANSON – Uses of populism.
FLYNN: BENDER & BALLHAUS – 1st casualty; RUSHBO – Political killing; SONNE – Contentious?; LAKE – Political assassination.
LEADS: BRUCE – Libs melt; DURDEN – Military take-over; SUDERMAN – IRS/ACA; BAKER – Bibi/DJT; FRENCH – “No” to Petraeus.
NOTES: WASHINGTON TIMES – Moles survive; Mark Levin 02-14-17.
TONITE: American history was made one year ago:
YOU ARE INVITED, Wednesday, February 15, 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30), King of Prussia Volunteer Fire Company, 170 Allendale Road, to meet the widow of LaVoy Finicum, Jeanette; and one of their daughter’s and her family, Challice Finicum Finch. Citizens for Liberty/Valley Forge Patriots are honored to “sponsor” this family and hear the first hand account of how this brave God-loving cowboy was assassinated by the FBI in January, 2016, while helping a fellow cattle rancher save his land from being seized by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This will never be in our children’s history books.-FREE. Light refreshments will be served.*Our “usual” Citizens for Liberty/Valley Forge Patriots event at the fire company, will be Wednesday, March 1: “Government Corruption: A First Hand Account.” More pertaining to this story, from a local West Chester, PA business owner, will be provided at a later date. We are extremely excited to partake in this!In God and Liberty,Jane Taylor ToalPresident/CEO/CFO Citizens for LibertyBetty Dunkel, President/CEO/CFO Valley Forge PatriotsOur mailing address:PO Box 782, Oaks, PA, 19456; Our telephone:484-424-3619
Dan Hannan, Washington Examiner: “The Left is collapsing everywhere”
“Here’s a startling fact: There have been eight leaders of the British Labour Party in the past 40 years. Seven of them failed to win a single general election. The exception, Tony Blair, was a Labour politician only in the most technical sense. Leftists saw him as a disguised conservative, a cuckoo in the nest. To this day, Labour activists use ‘Blairite’ as the worst of insults, viler even than ‘Tory.’
“Let’s widen the camera shot a little. All over Europe, traditional parties of the Center-Left have been losing badly. As I write, opinion polls show the French Socialists in fourth place, the Dutch Labour Party in seventh. Greece’s PASOK, the leading party since the early 1980s, is now polling at 7 percent. Spain’s PSOE, which had a comfortable majority as recently as 10 years ago, has been displaced by the more radical Podemos. Social Democrats in former communist countries, such as Poland and Hungary, have, if anything, fared even worse.
“What is going on? The immediate explanation is clear enough. The established parties of the Center-Left backed the merger of Europe’s currencies in the 1990s. As the euro brought poverty to the south and tax increases to the north, voters turned against the politicians whose fingerprints were on the murder weapon.
“In most cases, those parties then made things worse by backing the 2008 bank bailouts, convincing many of their former supporters that they were on the side of wealthy financiers rather than of working people.
“But a collapse on such a scale doesn’t happen overnight. The parties aligned to the Party of European Socialists – the main Center-Left bloc in Europe – dominated Europe in the 1990s and, as late as 2004, were still more likely to be in office than not. Now, according to the latest opinion survey, their support is below 20 percent in the EU as a whole. True, there are one or two holdouts. Socialists have managed to win elections in Sweden and – mystifyingly given how badly it suffered from the euro racket – Portugal. But something is going on that is deeper than the recent downturn.
“That something has to do with changes in how we live and work. The parties of the mainstream Left were, in most cases, closely tied to labor unions. Membership of those unions, especially those representing private sector workers, is falling in every industrialized country. That fall reflects a shift from mass industrialization to self-employment . . .”
Josh Katz, NYT: “Older Judges and Vacant Seats Give Trump Huge Power to Shape American Courts”
“. . .There are 870 Article III federal court judgeships, the vast majority on district courts or appeals courts like the one that recently upheld a halt on Mr. Trump’s immigration ban. These judges are appointed by the president and serve a lifetime term. (A few federal judges are appointed for limited terms.)
“After Jimmy Carter took office, Congress established 152 new federal judgeships, expanding the federal judiciary by nearly 30 percent and allowing Mr. Carter to stack the federal courts despite a presidency that lasted only one term.
“Mr. Trump, through a combination of demography and a growing number of vacancies, stands to enjoy a similar windfall. Democrats have long accused Republican Senate leaders of obstruction in not allowing many of the previous administration’s judicial nominees to come to a vote. The most prominent example was the refusal to vote on Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court, but the tactic extended to Mr. Obama’s lower court nominees as well. . .”
Paul Sperry, NY Post: “How Obama is scheming to sabotage Trump’s presidency”
“. . . Obama has an army of agitators — numbering more than 30,000 — who will fight his Republican successor at every turn of his historic presidency. And Obama will command them from a bunker less than two miles from the White House.
“In what’s shaping up to be a highly unusual post-presidency, Obama isn’t just staying behind in Washington. He’s working behind the scenes to set up what will effectively be a shadow government to not only protect his threatened legacy, but to sabotage the incoming administration and its popular “America First” agenda.
“He’s doing it through a network of leftist nonprofits led by Organizing for Action. Normally you’d expect an organization set up to support a politician and his agenda to close up shop after that candidate leaves office, but not Obama’s OFA. Rather, it’s gearing up for battle, with a growing war chest and more than 250 offices across the country.
“Since Donald Trump’s election, this little-known but well-funded protesting arm has beefed up staff and ramped up recruitment of young liberal activists, declaring on its website, “We’re not backing down.” Determined to salvage Obama’s legacy, it’s drawing battle lines on immigration, ObamaCare, race relations and climate change. . .”
Victor Davis Hanson, NRO: “The Uses of Populism”
“The economy, academia, immigration, and the environment could benefit from Trump’s unorthodox approach.
“Populism of the center (as opposed to Bernie Sanders’s socialist populism) has received a bad media rap — given that it was stained in the past by xenophobic and chauvinistic currents. Who wishes to emulate all the agendas of William Jennings Bryan, Huey Long, or Ross Perot? Yet there were some elements of Trump’s populist agenda — mostly concern for redeveloping the industrial and manufacturing base of the American heartland, and with it creating better-paying jobs for globalism’s losers — that were not only overdue but salutary for the Republican party. His idea that broad-based prosperity could diminish tribalism and racial fault lines sought to erode traditional Democratic support.
“Populism is certainly identified with lots of grassroots movements, from far left through the center to far right. The common tie is that ordinary voters feel estranged from an elite class in politics, government, the media, and entertainment — a phenomenon that dates from the Solonian crisis at Athens and the Gracchi of Rome to Ross Perot, the Tea Party, and Donald Trump.
“Often prairie-fire outrage manifests in emotional responses to existing affronts rather than carefully crafted policies designed to remedy perceived grievances. (One can remember Al Gore’s 1993 pompous but undeniable evisceration on CNN of a stuttering, ill-informed populist Ross Perot, on the NAFTA treaty.).
“All that said, these periodic uprisings in consensual societies are needed to disabuse an insular governing class of its sense of entitlement and privilege. . .”
Michael Bender & Rebecca Ballhaus, WSJ: “Mike Flynn Is First Casualty of Turmoil in Trump Administration”
“Senior ranks of the administration are creating headlines of their own as they jockey for power and influence with the president
“In just a few weeks, the nascent administration is being weighed down from within, sidetracked by dishonesty and potential ethical lapses as well as attacks from his own supporters and fellow Republicans.
“Mr. Flynn on Monday became the first casualty of that chaos, resigning as head of the National Security Council after he lost the president’s trust by failing to fully disclose his conversations with Russian officials to senior White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence.
“‘It’s a dysfunctional White House, and nobody knows who’s in charge,’ Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) told reporters on Tuesday.
“Several congressional committees are investigating the possible role that Russia played in the 2016 elections. In addition, the Republican-run House Oversight Committee has begun examining issues related to conflicts of interest and protection of classified information in the new White House.
“The administration’s senior ranks are creating headlines of their own as they jockey for power and influence with the president. . .”
Rushbo: “The Political Assassination of Michael Flynn”
“. . . This all happened with Flynn back in December. Trump had not even been inaugurated yet. And it’s still mysterious to me what really happened. Even if, even if Flynn, as the incoming national security director, had called the Russian ambassador to talk, so what? “That’s not hard to imagine. That’s not a big deal. It really isn’t a big deal.
“Now, if he lied to Mike Pence and said, “No, no, no, I didn’t talk to the guy. I didn’t talk to the guy about sanctions. I didn’t talk about maybe lifting the sanctions. No, no, no, I didn’t.” And, if he did do that, if he lied to Pence, then, okay, there’s a reason for Flynn to be in trouble and maybe to resign, get out of the way. But for the media to say what did Trump know and when did he know it? Get a grip here, folks.
“I realize that a lot of people do not pay a whole lot of attention to this, which is good, but for those of you who are, I can imagine the impact on you, and you’re asking, “Well, when’s he gonna stop? I mean, how much more of this can anybody take? How much more of this kind of assault and attacking nature can any administration handle. And then the other question, how long can the Republicans in Congress handle it. How long are they gonna stay bucked up and stiff-spined about it, and time will tell on that.
“I’m gonna tell you, Trump’s not stopping. There will be more ICE raids this afternoon to make people forget about this. The media’s gonna try as hard as they can not to let go of this, because now they’ve got their scalp. They think they have blood in the water, they’ve got a scalp and they think they can get another and then another and then another and then another until finally they get Trump. . .”
Paul Sonne, WSJ: “Mike Flynn’s Brief White House Stint Caps Contentious Career”
“Flynn’s resignation as national security adviser follows the latest controversy in retired Army lieutenant general’s career in and out of the military
“Mike Flynn’s arrival at the White House last month followed a military career and post-military life marked by contentious periods.
“None, it turned out, would be as widely followed as his latest controversy, which led to his resignation Monday after revelations that he didn’t fully explain communications he had late last year with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.
“Mr. Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, served less than four weeks as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, stepping down amid pressure over his contacts with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
“During his 33-year career in the U.S. armed forces, Mr. Flynn made his name as a widely respected Army officer known for his candor and unorthodox sensibilities about intelligence and military operations.
“In statements and writings, Mr. Flynn, 58 years old, has said the U.S. needs to appreciate the scope of the threat from radical Islamists who want to destroy the country. ‘We’re in a world war,’ he wrote in a book published last summer. ‘But very few Americans recognize it, and fewer still have any idea how to win it.’ . . .”
Eli Lake, Bloomberg: “The Political Assassination of Michael Flynn”
“. . . Flynn was a fat target for the national security state. He has cultivated a reputation as a reformer and a fierce critic of the intelligence community leaders he once served with when he was the director the Defense Intelligence Agency under President Barack Obama. Flynn was working to reform the intelligence-industrial complex, something that threatened the bureaucratic prerogatives of his rivals.
“He was also a fat target for Democrats. Remember Flynn’s breakout national moment last summer was when he joined the crowd at the Republican National Convention from the dais calling for Hillary Clinton to be jailed.
“In normal times, the idea that U.S. officials entrusted with our most sensitive secrets would selectively disclose them to undermine the White House would alarm those worried about creeping authoritarianism. Imagine if intercepts of a call between Obama’s incoming national security adviser and Iran’s foreign minister leaked to the press before the nuclear negotiations began? The howls of indignation would be deafening.
In the end, it was Trump’s decision to cut Flynn loose. In doing this he caved in to his political and bureaucratic opposition. . .”
Tammy Bruce, Washington Times: “The continuing liberal meltdown”
“Whining actors, comedians and music performers compete in the Rage and Ruin Derby
“We’ve had screeds from Meryl Streep, Madonna and Ashley Judd. Robert De Niro assured us earlier in the month that he still wants to punch Mr. Trump in the face. Lena Dunham continues to whine, Susan Sarandon and Cher remain bereft for the nation, and want us to know how horrible they feel. Because it’s their feelings that matter.
“The most revealing aspect of the continuing liberal meltdown is how anti-woman the so-called feminist movement has really become. Instead of reflecting on how and why the Democratic Party has been reduced to a coastal club, liberals (all of whom are feminists, of course) decided attacking the president’s daughter would be a really good idea.
“Their first line of attack: threaten retail stores that carried the Ivanka Trump product line with a boycott if they continued to sell her products. This, of course, does nothing to promote what the left says they care about, but it does expose what they really are: a gang of vapid and petty bullies, drunk on the vindictiveness that now drives the American liberal political machine.
“So what’s at the core of the feminist Democrats, liberals and leftist machines targeting the daughter of the president? Because she, by her existence, counteracts their only argument against her father — that he’s Hitler. And not just any Hitler, an especially bad woman-hating, fascist, evil Hitler.
“Ivanka Trump’s style and grace, and her likely moderate politics, put the lie to the liberal arguments against her father, which amount to the most juvenile of character assassinations. Moreover, someone like Ivanka Trump should be on their side, but she’s not. That upsets them because instead of Ivanka, they get Rosie, Ashley “Nasty Woman” Judd and, well, Hillary Clinton. . .”
Tyler Durden, ZeroHedge: “Coming Soon to a City near You: The US Military’s Plan to Take over America”
“. . . According to “Megacities: Urban Future, the Emerging Complexity,” a Pentagon training video created by the Army for U.S. Special Operations Command, the U.S. military plans to use armed forces to solve future domestic political and social problems.
“What they’re really talking about is martial law, packaged as a well-meaning and overriding concern for the nation’s security.
“The chilling five-minute training video, obtained by The Intercept through a FOIA request and made available online, paints an ominous picture of the future—a future the military is preparing for—bedeviled by “criminal networks,” “substandard infrastructure,” “religious and ethnic tensions,” “impoverishment, slums,” “open landfills, over-burdened sewers,” a “growing mass of unemployed,” and an urban landscape in which the prosperous economic elite must be protected from the impoverishment of the have nots.
“And then comes the kicker.
“Three-and-a-half minutes into the Pentagon’s dystopian vision of “a world of Robert Kaplan-esque urban hellscapes — brutal and anarchic supercities filled with gangs of youth-gone-wild, a restive underclass, criminal syndicates, and bands of malicious hackers,” the ominous voice of the narrator speaks of a need to “drain the swamps.”
“Drain the swamps.
“Surely, we’ve heard that phrase before?
“Ah yes. . .”
Peter Suderman, Reason: “Major Blow to Obamacare Mandate: IRS Won’t Reject Tax Returns That Don’t Answer Health Insurance Question”
“The tax agency has stopped requiring individual filers to indicate whether they maintained health coverage or paid the mandate penalty as required under the law
“. . . The health law’s individual mandate requires everyone to either maintain qualifying health coverage or pay a tax penalty, known as a “shared responsibility payment.” The IRS was set to require filers to indicate whether they had maintained coverage in 2016 or paid the penalty by filling out line 61 on their form 1040s. Alternatively, they could claim exemption from the mandate by filing a form 8965.
“For most filers, filling out line 61 would be mandatory. The IRS would not accept 1040s unless the coverage box was checked, or the shared responsibility payment noted, or the exemption form included. Otherwise they would be labeled “silent returns” and rejected.
“Instead, however, filling out that line will be optional.
“Earlier this month, the IRS quietly altered its rules to allow the submission of 1040s with nothing on line 61. The IRS says it still maintains the option to follow up with those who elect not to indicate their coverage status, although it’s not clear what circumstances might trigger a follow up.
“But what would have been a mandatory disclosure will instead be voluntary.. .”
Luke Baker, Reuters: “Trump to welcome Netanyahu as Palestinians fear U.S. shift”
“President Donald Trump prepared to host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday for talks that could shape the contours of future Middle East policy, as Palestinians warned the White House not to abandon their goal of an independent state.
“For decades, the idea of creating a Palestine living peacefully alongside Israel has been a bedrock U.S. position, though the last negotiations broke down in 2014.
“But in a potential shift, a senior White House official said on Tuesday that peace did not necessarily have to entail Palestinian statehood, and Trump would not try to ‘dictate’ a solution.
“As Trump and Netanyahu prepared to meet, a senior Palestinian official disclosed that on Tuesday, CIA director Mike Pompeo held talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian government in the occupied West Bank.
“‘(It was) the first official meeting with a high-profile member of the American administration since Trump took office,’ said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity and declined to disclose details of the discussion.. .”
David French, NRO: “Say No to David Petraeus”
“He did his county a great service, but he also broke the law.
“If Donald Trump doesn’t understand now, he will eventually. Integrity and truth ultimately do matter, and if he wants to be a successful president, he’s going to have to appoint people to high office who won’t violate the public’s trust. That means appointing more men like Neil Gorsuch and James Mattis.
“And it means keeping David Petraeus out of the White House.
“This is a painful thing to say. I served under General Petraeus (far, far under, I was a lowly captain in an armored cavalry squadron deployed roughly 100 miles from Baghdad) during the Surge, and I saw with my own eyes the power of effective leadership, the right strategy, and the proper application of force. He came into Iraq at a time of maximum chaos and was instrumental in transforming an emerging and bloody defeat into a stunning battlefield victory.
“It’s no understatement to say that by the September 2008 — when he turned over command in Iraq to General Raymond Odierno — he was an American hero, one of the great generals of modern times. Then he betrayed his family, violated the law, and established a precedent for prosecutorial favoritism that haunted America during the 2016 presidential election.
“The facts of his case are simple and disappointing. Petraeus had an affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, and provided her with notebooks containing highly classified information. Compounding his offense, he apparently initially lied to the FBI when they confronted him in 2012, denying that he had provided any classified information to his mistress. . .”
Washington Times: “Flynn’s out, but the moles are not”
There’s more mischief coming in the important back story
“The Washington Free Beacon, a reliable internet news site, reports that the crucial back story is that Mr. Flynn’s abrupt resignation Monday night was “the culmination of a secret, months-long campaign by former Obama administration confidantes to handicap President Donald Trump’s national-security apparatus and preserve the nuclear deal with Iran.”
The Beacon quotes “multiple sources in and out of the [Trump] White House,” whom it does not name, who described a furtive, behind the scenes campaign of planting damaging stories about Mr. Flynn with some of the abundant correspondents who despise Mr. Trump. They’re eager to bring him down and if the national interest suffers, well, collateral damage is merely the grim reality of war.
The campaign is said to be led by Ben Rhodes, an adviser to Barack Obama when he was president and who, like the former president, is still in town to remain close to the action. The Iran nuclear deal, which was conducted in secret and whose details are still closely guarded by Mr. Obama and his friends, is regarded by the former president as the centerpiece of the “legacy” he continues to obsess over.
“They know that the number one target is Iran … [and] they all knew their sacred little agreement with Iran was going to go off the books,” a source told the Beacon. “So they got rid of Flynn before any of the [secret] agreements even surfaced.”
Mark Levin, 02/14/17
“On Tuesday’s Mark Levin show, In an unfortunate and ugly series of events Mike Flynn resigned late Monday as National Security Advisor. Obviously some intelligence agencies are listening to the phone conversations of the Trump administration or at least part of them. These leaks are the highest sorts of leaks you can have in the U.S. government. These are police state tactics and it’s not the first time this has happened since President Donald Trump has taken office. Flynn never talked about sanctions with the Russian ambassador and did nothing wrong. The real scandal is who within the federal government is taking intercepted communications and selectively leaking them out.
“In addition, it’s a shame that the Trump administration on the first attack buckles. The left can’t pick off Trump so they are attacking his staff. In axing Flynn, Trump is undermining himself. Flynn had been preparing to publicize elements of the Iran Deal unknown to the American public. Ronald Reagan would not have put up with this for one minute. The left now knows how it is all going to work and they will start with the administration’s weakest link, Reince Priebus. Now more leaks are going to come forward attacking other Trump staffers.
“Finally, Mark Meckler, President of Citizens for Self Governance.,calls in to discuss the latest on the Convention of States with South Dakota voting against it because of fake conservative groups.”