LEADS: Lowry – Don’t Bork Haspel; Hyden – Haspel; Glick – Tillerson gone; Volz & Gardner – Russian cyber attacks; Swaim – Conformist rebellion; Cox, Gye, & Evans – Russian gas; Timiraos – Kudlow; Pruden – California secedes?; Trump – Death to dealers.
HEALTH CARE: Hannity – Josh Umber site.
RECOMMENDED: Mark Levin 03-15-18; Best Actor – Churchill show times.
Rich Lowry, NRO: “Don’t Bork Gina Haspel”
“President Donald Trump’s pick for CIA director is about to experience a good Borking.
“No one doubts her professionalism, and she’s been endorsed by Obama intelligence officials. Yet Gina Haspel’s long career at the agency, including extensive work undercover in the field, is getting blotted out by her reported involvement in the CIA’s black-site interrogation program, which has become a warrant to say anything about her.
“Her critics assert she should be in jail, and the New York Times editorial page wrote about her nomination under the headline ‘Having a Torturer Lead the C.I.A.’
“Not to be outdone in demagogic attacks on anyone associated with our national-security apparatus, Senator Rand Paul calls Haspel ‘the head cheerleader for waterboarding,’ and claims she mocked a detainee for his drooling. The only problem is that this anecdote comes from a book by a contractor who worked with the CIA, James Mitchell, and it describes a man, not a woman, making the comment.
“Their factual accuracy aside, the attacks on Haspel are ahistorical in that they ignore the context of the CIA program, and unfair insofar as they portray her as a remorselessly cruel prime mover behind it. . .”
Michael Hayden, The Hill: “Michael Hayden: Why Gina Haspel is the person America needs at the CIA”
“. . . Pompeo will be replaced at the CIA by Gina Haspel, a highly-regarded, three-decade agency professional, but the long knives are already out because of her role in CIA’s counterterrorism program. The agency director’s position must be confirmed by the Senate, and confirmation looks like it will be contentious. It shouldn’t be.
“Haspel did nothing more and nothing less than what the nation and the agency asked her to do, and she did it well. No one should read anything into her current nomination other than, as they say in the NFL, she is the “best athlete available in the draft,” an assessment supported by CIA veterans of the past two decades. When she was selected to be deputy director last year, I wrote that her choice signaled that the agency intended to neither repeat nor repudiate its past. That still holds.
“The president has already indicated that he is not yet done with his personnel changes. There are near-daily rumors that National Security Adviser McMaster will soon leave, and many are handicapping John Bolton as the odds-on choice to succeed him. Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, would be another Trump-like voice for the administration choir.
“So to my newfound friends to the left of the American political centerline, think twice before you oppose Haspel as director for her imagined past sins. She loves the agency, and she will work to preserve it. No matter what happens in the short term, can we not all agree that we will need it for the long term? And with regard to that truth-to-power thing in a White House expecting Navarro-like loyalty, Haspel is someone you want to be in the room when big decisions are made.”
Caroline Glick, Breitbart: “Caroline Glick: Firing Rex Tillerson Removed an Obstacle to Middle East Peace”
“. . . Under the leadership of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, along with Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s senior negotiator, Israeli officials sat in the White House for the first time with Arab officials from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, and Qatar. Representatives from Egypt and Jordan, with which Israel enjoys open diplomatic relations, were also in attendance. Canadian and European officials participated as well.
“Although they were invited, the Palestinians chose to boycott the conference. Their boycott was telling. The PA claimed it was boycotting the conference in retaliation for America’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and President Trump’s plan to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on Israel’s 70th Independence Day in May.
“But anger over Jerusalem doesn’t justify the snub. The purpose of the summit wasn’t to reach “the ultimate deal.” The summit was called to to formulate the means to contend with the humanitarian crises emanating from Hamas-controlled Gaza. The Palestinians boycotted a summit whose sole purpose was to help them.
“As Palestinian commentator Bassam Tawil noted, the PA’s boycott while appalling, was unsurprising. . .”
Dustin Volz & Timothy Gardner, Reuters: “In a first, U.S. blames Russia for cyber attacks on energy grid”
“Beginning in March 2016, or possibly earlier, Russian government hackers sought to penetrate multiple U.S. critical infrastructure sectors, including energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation and manufacturing, according to a U.S. security alert published Thursday.
“The Department of Homeland Security and FBI said in the alert that a ‘multi-stage intrusion campaign by Russian government cyber actors’ had targeted the networks of small commercial facilities ‘where they staged malware, conducted spear phishing, and gained remote access into energy sector networks.’ The alert did not name facilities or companies targeted.
“The direct condemnation of Moscow represented an escalation in the Trump administration’s attempts to deter Russia’s aggression in cyberspace, after senior U.S. intelligence officials said in recent weeks the Kremlin believes it can launch hacking operations against the West with impunity. . .”
Barton Swaim, Weekly Standard: “The School Walkout: A Conformist Rebellion”
“The school walkout—or to speak correctly, the Enough! National School Walkout—took place on March 14. The point of the event was to call attention to the need for gun-control legislation. Students were to walk out of their classrooms at 10:00 a.m. for 17 minutes to remember the 17 people killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Thousands of students took part in the nationwide event, which was duly pronounced a success by the enthusiastic news media. The Enough! walkout was planned by the organizers of the 2017 Women’s March, and like that event it was hard to know what the aim was or what constituted success. The spectacle of kids standing around in school parking lots instead of sitting in classrooms seems unlikely to pressure state and federal lawmakers to alter their views on gun legislation.
The most passionate among the protester-students—my teenaged daughter holds this view even more firmly than I do—feel strongly about the issue of gun-control precisely because they know hardly anything about it. Which is why, as anybody with a touch of common sense might have predicted, a huge proportion of the walkout participants had no interest in addressing gun violence and mainly enjoyed the chance to get out of class and crack jokes with friends and, for a few, smoke a furtive cigarette or two. . .”
James Cox, Hugo Gye, & Tara Evans, UK Sun: “Vlad Sign: Cold snap could trigger gas supply emergency in UK if Putin orders Russian gas giants turn off taps due to spy scandal”
“While Russia does not supply much gas directly the UK, the EU relies on the former soviet union for a third of its supply.
The terrifying prospect means Vladimir Putin could gain control over the UK’s gas supply just days after Theresa May announced a crackdown on the Russian regime. Demand for gas is expected to soar this weekend with plunging temperatures and snow expected.
This morning energy analysts warned that it could cause a “spike” in household gas bills.
Trevor Sikorski from Energy Aspects, said: “If anything was to happen to that supply, particularly now at the end of a reasonably cold winter that has left European gas storage levels low, then Europe would have a gas supply emergency.
Nick Timiraos, WSJ: “Lawrence Kudlow to Become Trump’s White House Economic Adviser”
“Economic commentator, an informal adviser on presidential campaign, has differed with the president on trade issues
“Mr. Kudlow, who served as an informal Trump campaign adviser, has spoken out against the tariffs on steel and aluminum that Mr. Trump announced last week. A White House dispute over those tariffs played a role in the decision to step down by Gary Cohn, the previous NEC director.
“Mr. Trump called Mr. Kudlow on Sunday while the commentator, an avid tennis player, was on the court. ‘I thought he was calling to bawl me out because I was so critical,’ he said. Instead, he said the president walked through his reasons for implementing tariffs.
“Mr. Kudlow said he spoke by phone again with Mr. Trump on Monday and again on Tuesday night, when he said the president offered him the position.
“‘I immediately accepted,’ he said. . .”
Wesley Pruden, Washington Times: “Can California do what the Confederacy couldn’t?”
“California has no cannon guarding San Francisco Bay, and it’s not likely that anybody at City Hall would know how to use one if there were, but Jeff Sessions, the U.S. attorney general, nevertheless has some wise words along with his lawsuit against California’s sanctuary cities seeking to nullify federal immigration law.
“‘I understand that we have a wide variety of political opinions out here on immigration,’ he told the California Peace Officers Association the other day in Sacramento, ‘but the law is on the books, and its purposes are clear and just.’
“‘There is no nullification. There is no secession. Federal law is the supreme law of the land. I would invite any doubters to go to Gettysburg, or to the tombstones of John C. Calhoun and Abraham Lincoln. This matter has been settled.’
And more’s the pity, as many a loyal Southerner might be tempted to say. California is the land that once upon a time, before political correctness imposed good manners on us all, was called ‘the land of fruits and nuts.’ We can’t be surprised by all the nutty things that emerge from the orange groves.
“Mr. Sessions, as all Southerners are, is entitled to look upon California secession talk with bemused irony. Nevertheless, the spirit of “secessh,” as it was derided more than a century ago, lives, and the 21st century ‘secessh’ have filed papers to start the process to give California voters an opportunity in 2021 to say whether they want to leave the union. . .”
Saagar Enjeti, Daily Caller: “Trump to Push Death Penalty for Major Drug Dealers in Opioid Plan”
“. . . Trump publicly revealed his deeply held belief that drug dealers should be executed before the White House opioid summit saying “they kill hundreds and hundreds of people, and most of them don’t even go to jail. If you shoot one person, they give you life. They give you the death penalty.”
“These people can kill 2,000, 3,000 people and nothing happens to them. And we need strength with respect to the pushers and to the drug dealers,” he continued. “And if we don’t do that, you will never solve the problem.”
“The answer is you have to have strength and toughness. The drug dealers and the pushers are — they are doing damage. They are really doing damage. Some countries have a very, very tough penalty. The ultimate penalty.”
“Trump’s plan will also crack down on government funds being used to subsidize opioid prescriptions and increasing the ease of access to addiction facilities for medicare users. . .”
Hannity: Josh Umber Site
“Josh Umber free market program: Standard fee: $50/month for an adult, $10 per child; no limit on number of visits; medication is purchased in bulk and sold to the patient at a 90% discount.
“The map below contains a listing of public addresses and website links to 607 DPC practice locations in 47 states + DC (we still have not located any DPC practices in North Dakota, South Dakota, or Iowa,). Website readers should note that these practices met our three part definition of DPC, although they may not always self-describe as DPC. Both “Pure” DPC practices and DPC hybrids are included in the mapper, and they are now color coded! I’m happy to report that over 70% of the practices in the mapper are known to be pure.
Mark Levin, 03-16-18
“On Thursday’s Mark Levin Show, Robert Mueller doesn’t have the temperament or objectivity to be a federal prosecutor. There is no special counsel to investigate Russian collusion, only a rogue prosecutor acting as an inquisitor and executioner with a single mission; remove Trump from office. Mueller should be investigating actual Russian collusion between Hillary Clinton, her campaign, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Donna Brazile, and the entire Democratic National Committee, yet he only focuses on President Trump, his family, and his campaign staff. The only Russian collusion that took place occurred in the shadows of the Clinton campaign.
“Also, there is a big difference between how a leftist is treated by the media and historians than the rest of us. Ruth Bader Ginsberg is turning 85 and she is celebrated in a way that Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Antonin Scalia were never celebrated. We shouldn’t have liberal or conservative wings in the Supreme Court, only justices faithful to the constitution. Ginsberg is just a politician wearing a black robe.
“Finally, President Trump has put sanctions on Russia for interfering in the 2016 election, which is more than Obama did when the Russians were actually in the process of interfering. Vladimir Putin is murdering people again, using mobster tactics and military-grade poisons to kill individuals. Now Russia is targeting our energy grid; these are acts of war by Putin and we need to be pushing back.”
Best Actor – Churchill film: “The Darkest Hour.”
Regal show times at https://www.regmovies.com/movies/darkest-hour/B00472806”867