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When it comes to political wisdom, Lindsey Graham isn’t too bright. The NYTimes is quoting Sen. Graham as saying that “The president’s going to have a vote on his concept. I don’t think it will get 60 votes. The bottom line then is: What do you do next? You can do what we’ve done for the last 35 years — blame each other. Or you can actually start fixing the broken immigration system. If you came out of this with strong border security — the president getting his wall and the Dream Act population being taken care of, most Americans would applaud.”

Sen. Graham isn’t too bright if he thinks he’s on the winning side in this fight. Americans want a DACA fix as long as it comes with the wall and an end to chain migration. Each of those issues have approval ratings of 70%. If Sen. Graham thinks that President Trump is on the losing end of that fight, he isn’t too bright.

The American people understand that bad bipartisan deals are really just bad deals. They’ve seen DC pass bipartisan deals for years while things got worse. They’re upset with elitists in both parties. They’re demanding that these elitists do something different this time. It’s a revolutionary concept but it’s worked in the past. It’s called listening to the people. Don’t tell us that the things that the American people want done in their name is complicated.

It’s only complicated trying to explain why politicians ignored the will of the people. Then it gets real complicated — for the politician. That’s their problem.

Meanwhile, politicians in the “Common Sense Coalition” who are up for election this year better prepare to get their comeuppance in November. Watch Sen. Schumer’s speech, then ask yourself whether he’s bothered to listen to the American people:

After watching that speech, I’m left wondering whether Sen. Schumer thinks the American people are simply an inconvenient afterthought. Lost in his political spin is whether the bill the Common Sense Coalition is putting together is something that the American people would reject. Also lost in Sen. Schumer’s spin is whether the Common Sense Coalition’s bill would fix anything or whether it would just be another bipartisan bill that doesn’t do what the American people expect it to do.

Thanks to President Trump’s populism and his commitment to the American people, Democrats and wayward Republicans are finding out that resisting the American people isn’t a great way to earn a living in politics. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s speech summed things up perfectly:

My Democratic colleagues have spent months demanding the Senate take up this issue. They even shut down the government, unnecessarily, I might add, in order to secure this very week of debate. But now that the time has come to make law instead of just making points, they’re stalling.

Why? Why, after months and months spent demanding that the Senate take up this issue, do they now object to even starting the debate? Because they know, no matter how long they spend in closed-door negotiations, they can’t change the fact that the president has spelled out a fair and generous framework that will be necessary to earn his signature. They cannot take ‘yes’ for an answer. So, instead of moving to fulfill their promises and address the DACA issue, they haven’t even allowed the debate to begin.

It’s clear that Sen. McConnell listened to the people. He’s kept his promise. When he kept that promise, Democrats shut down debate. That’s the indisputable fact.

If Democrats want to face the American people after shutting down the government so they could debate immigration policies, then shut down debate when Sen. McConnell scheduled a week of debate on immigration/DACA, that’s their option. They shouldn’t be surprised if the people, including DACA activists, take brickbats after them when Democrats campaign on immigration/DACA.

Finally, I’d put together ads for each of the members of the Common Sense Coalition that starts with Republicans wanting to fix DACA and border security, then transitions into a frame where the narrator asks these immigration liberals which side of their mouth they want to talk out of.

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Susan Rice’s NYTimes op-ed is a collection of whiny complaints. Among her litany of complaints, one complaint stood out. It’s actually worth examining.

In the op-ed, Rice said “The same policy stagnation afflicts our ability to confront the most pressing threats to our security, from North Korea to the risk of terrorists acquiring weapons of mass destruction, from pandemic disease to Russian aggression. Our ability to counter such outside menaces is increasingly undermined by our collective failure to work together. Indeed, the most significant, long-term threat to our security may be our domestic political polarization.”

Let’s ask ourselves where the political polarization is coming from. Let’s start at the beginning of the Trump administration. When massive numbers of Democrats boycott President Trump’s inauguration, which party is sowing seeds of political polarization? It isn’t Republicans. When every Democrat votes against making even the slightest change to Obamacare, who is the agent of political polarization? It isn’t Republicans. When Democrats vote unanimously against tax cuts that are putting money in families’ pockets and energizing the US economy, who’s sewing seeds of political polarization? It isn’t Republicans. When President Trump puts together a thoughtful immigration plan that give a little (too much?) on DACA amnesty in exchange for funding of the Wall and ending chain migration and the diversity visa lottery programs and Democrats criticize it within minutes of its presentation, who’s sewing seeds of political polarization? It isn’t the Republicans.

It’s foolish to argue that Republicans don’t contribute to the political polarization. There’s a difference, though, between contributing to a negative situation and agitating for political polarization. The Democrats’ resistance movement is based solely on political polarization.

After Ms. Rice’s opening tirade, she gets into an Alice-in-Wonderland argument:

Similarly, the Iranians know that our resolve to prevent them from acquiring a nuclear weapon may crumble under partisan pressure. China is pursuing its economic and strategic ambitions in Asia unconstrained by an America so divided that we jettisoned the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement we negotiated, while its signatories reap its rewards without us.

First, it wasn’t the Trump administration that negotiated a treaty so bad that they wouldn’t let the Senate vote on it. That treaty didn’t prevent the Iranians from getting a nuclear weapon. It sped up the timetable for them getting a nuclear weapon. Then after speeding up that timetable, the US president shipped $150,000,000,000 to Iran, which it then quickly used to fund Hezbollah’s terrorist activities. Talk about brilliant.

Next, China is getting confronted by the Trump administration. The results haven’t always been what we’ve wanted but they’re confronting them. The Obama administration’s policy of leading from behind didn’t work. Period.

Rice’s op-ed is titled “We Have Met the Enemy, and He Is Us”. If you define Us as the Obama administration, I agree.

I suspect that Democrats got caught by surprise when Republicans took the fight to Democrats over the government shutdown. In the past, Republicans’ messaging during a shutdown was ineffective. This time, Republicans, especially from the administration, has been aggressive and effective.

This morning at 6:17 am ET, President Trump tweeted “Democrats are far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border. They could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead. #WeNeedMoreRepublicansIn18 in order to power through mess!” At 6:33 am ET, Trump tweeted “This is the One Year Anniversary of my Presidency and the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present. #DemocratShutdown.” Finally, at 6:44 am, Trump tweeted “For those asking, the Republicans only have 51 votes in the Senate, and they need 60. That is why we need to elect more Republicans in 2018 Election! We can then be even tougher on Crime (and Border), and even better to our Military & Veterans!” followed by the catchphrase ‘#AMERICA FIRST!'”

The administration wasn’t finished. Last night, WH Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders issued a blistering statement that said in part “Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown. Tonight, they put partisan politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children and our nation’s ability to serve.” Then she really blistered Democrats, saying “we will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands.” Ms. Sanders finishes strong, saying “During this politically manufactured Schumer Shutdown, the President and his administration will fight for and protect the American people.”

That wasn’t all. Mitch McConnell blistered Democrats in this speech on the Senate floor. Here’s the key part of Sen. McConnell’s speech:

But what has their filibuster accomplished? The answer is simple – their very own government shutdown. Shutdown effects on the American people will come as no surprise. All week, as we have stood on the floor and begged our colleagues to come to their senses, Senate Republicans have described exactly what this will mean. For America’s men and women in uniform, shutting down the government means delayed pay. For the many thousands of civilian employees who support their missions, it means furloughs. And for the families of fallen heroes, it may well mean a freeze on survivor death benefits. For veterans who rely on our promise of care, shutting down the government means threatening their access to treatment.

For so many Americans struggling with opioid addiction, the same is true. And thanks to the Democratic Leader’s decision to filibuster an extension of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, low-income families will slip closer to losing health coverage for their kids. And in many states this is an emergency.

I’m having trouble understanding which one of those outcomes my Democratic colleagues could possibly be proud of. Which one of them?

If Democrats were smart, (there’s considerable doubt whether they are) they’d call Mitch McConnell and say that they’ll agree to a long-term budget agreement, including a significant spending increase for the military.

It’s possible to win a fight if it’s just between which governing philosophy is best. The minute it’s a fight between the military and vulnerable children on one side and illegal immigrants on the other side, it’s over. That PR fight is finished.

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Sean Davis’s op-ed about the 10 undercovered stories of 2017 reminded me of the different approach taken towards ISIS. In a speech to the nation on Sept. 10, 2014, President Obama said “Now, it will take time to eradicate a cancer like ISIL. And any time we take military action, there are risks involved, especially to the servicemen and women who carry out these missions. But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years. And it is consistent with the approach I outlined earlier this year: to use force against anyone who threatens America’s core interests, but to mobilize partners wherever possible to address broader challenges to international order.”

Actually, that’s what happens when the United States military isn’t unleashed. Early in his administration, President Trump gave the generals the authority to do whatever it took to demolish ISIS. As I write this post, ISIS is virtually eradicated. ISIS’s strongholds in Mosul and Raqqa have been destroyed. Here’s how Davis described the situation:

Islamic State was crushed in Raqqa and Mosul

A year ago, the Islamic State wasn’t just on the rise in the Middle East, it was firmly in charge, with wide swaths of the region under its control. But in October, U.S.-backed forces completed the total liberation of Raqqa, the Islamic State’s Syrian capital. That followed the liberation of Mosul, a major Iraqi city captured by the Islamic State in 2014. In less than a year, Trump and his national security team accomplished what the previous administration suggested was impossible.

Listen to President Obama’s excuse-filled statement about the war against ISIS:

Here’s the part to focus on:

This is going to be a long-term campaign. There are not quick fixes involved. We are still in the early stages. As with any military effort, there will be days of progress and there will be periods of setback.

Actually, Mr. President, there was a quick fix. We just needed a real commander-in-chief who was serious about wiping out ISIS. Clearly, you didn’t fit that description. Further, it’s apparent that President Trump fits that description. It’s worth noting that President Trump has the advantage of having Gen. Jim Mattis as his Defense Secretary.

It’s likely that this is an underreported story because it would expose President Obama as the lackluster commander-in-chief that he was. The disgusting part is that I don’t have hope that we’ll learn from the Obama mistake. I don’t think we’ll learn from it because Obama’s supporters won’t admit that he’s a failure both on the national security front and the economic front.

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This morning, Rep. Adam Schiff, (D-Calif.), said that the Flynn plea deal is a big deal. He told George Stephanopoulos “I think this is very significant. I think the fact that in his factual basis for the plea he sets out that he wasn’t acting as a rogue agent. And I think it indicates to me at least, that this is not the end of it by any means.” Later, Schiff said “he believes Flynn will incriminate other members of the administration, but said he does not know if the probe will move all the way up to Trump.”

Famed criminal defense attorney and former Harvard law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz offered a different opinion. Dershowitz wrote that “The first question is, why did Flynn lie? People who lie to the FBI generally do so because, if they told the truth, they would be admitting to a crime. But the two conversations that Flynn falsely denied having were not criminal. He may have believed they were criminal but, if he did, he was wrong.”

Dershowitz added “Consider his request to Sergey I. Kislyak, Russian ambassador to the U.S., to delay or oppose a United Nations Security Council vote on an anti-Israel resolution that the outgoing Obama administration refused to veto. Not only was that request not criminal, it was the right thing to do. President Obama’s unilateral decision to change decades-long American policy by not vetoing a perniciously one-sided anti-Israel resolution was opposed by Congress and by most Americans. It was not good for America, for Israel or for peace. It was done out of Obama’s personal pique against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rather than on principle.”

Next, Dershowitz added this:

As the president-elect, Donald Trump was constitutionally and politically entitled to try to protect his ability to broker a fair peace between the Israelis and Palestinians by urging all members of the Security Council to vote against or delay the enactment of the resolution.

Finally, Dershowitz said this:

So, despite the banner headlines calling the Flynn guilty plea a “thunderclap,” I think it may be a show of weakness on the part of the special counsel rather than a sign of strength. So far he has had to charge potential witnesses with crimes that bear little or no relationship to any possible crimes committed by current White House incumbents. Mueller would have much preferred to indict Flynn for conspiracy or some other crime directly involving other people, but he apparently lacks the evidence to do so.

I do not believe he will indict anyone under the Logan Act. If he were to do so, that would be unethical and irresponsible. Nor do I think he will charge President Trump with any crimes growing out of the president’s exercise of his constitutional authority to fire the director of the FBI or to ask him not to prosecute Flynn.

Mr. Schiff has a history of overhyping what’s happening. This investigation is about the Democrats’ attempt to criminalize political policy differences. Dershowitz finished his op-ed by saying “The investigation will probably not end quickly, but it may end with, not a thunderclap, but several whimpers.”

This article perfectly illustrates the foolishness of progressive foreign policy. As if we hadn’t gotten too much of that during the Obama administration, we’re getting another shot of it in this article.

In the article, it says “The move is also likely to isolate the U.S., cause confusion about its intentions, permit Iran to claim the high ground in any push to renegotiate, and provide both allies and adversaries with more evidence that the United States can’t be trusted.” Let’s start with that last statement about the US not being able to be trusted. What’s true is that the US can be trusted to correct its mistakes that left allies in the Middle East threatened by the developing Iranian hegemon.

There’s a reason why the nations refused to attend President Obama’s summit on the Middle East. Those nations flocked to President Trump’s summit, though. That leads to the refutation that not certifying the Iran deal again will “likely isolate the US.” Here’s a question the author might want to ask himself: how can a man who gets 50+ Middle East and southwest Asia and north African nations to attend his summit on Iran and its proxies be isolated? Does this look isolated?

This isn’t reassuring:

The 2015 deal lifted sanctions against Iran in exchange for limits on its nuclear program. Iran’s compliance is being monitored by the United Nations, which has declared that the Islamic Republic is sticking by the letter of its obligations.

Getting the UN’s word that Iran is living up to any agreement is like getting an arsonist’s word that he won’t play with matches anymore. In other words, it’s worthless. As for the limits, they’re temporary. President Trump is attempting to renegotiate more permanent limits, something the Obama administration didn’t even attempt to do.

Iran still is developing a missile program and actively opposing U.S. policy in Syria, Iraq and plenty of other places. Trump, who has called the agreement “embarrassing” and much worse, can’t really declare that Iran is violating its terms. Instead, he’s likely to say Iran is not following its spirit, or that the deal is no longer in the U.S. national interest. The idea seems to be that decertifying will increase pressure on Iran to behave.

The point the Trump administration made last week is that the agreement was so limited in scope as to make it worthless. Getting Iran to limit some of its terrorist-supporting actions isn’t securing our nation or our allies.

The Obama-Kerry foreign policy was built on the premise that appeasement works. It doesn’t. That’s why it’s important for the US to reassert its leadership in the Middle East.

Buck Sexton’s op-ed opens with grim news for ISIS. Sexton’s opening paragraphs start with “ISIS’s reign of terror is rapidly coming to an end. Within a matter of days, the jihadist menace that shocked the world for years with its pathological sadism will lose its final strongholds within the Syrian city of Raqqa. It has taken 5 months of bloody struggle but the de facto capital of the Islamic State will soon be entirely in the hands of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Across the border in Iraq, the process of rebuilding the devastated city of Mosul is underway after its liberation from the so-called caliphate in July. There are still areas of ISIS control in both Iraq and Syria, but the jihadists have lost over 60 percent of the territory they once held. Their sources of funding are drying up, hostile forces surround them, and ISIS can no longer count on tens of thousands of recruits to flood into Syria to replenish their ranks.”

ISIS sprang to life during the Obama administration. It’s on the verge of elimination in the early days of the Trump administration. That pretty much sums up the difference between the 2 administrations. Strategic patience was replaced by devastating strikes on ISIS strongholds. The key part of Sexton’s op-ed is where he said ISIS’ “sources of funding are drying up, hostile forces surround them, and ISIS can no longer count on tens of thousands of recruits to flood into Syria to replenish their ranks.”

People questioned when President Trump bombed that airfield in Syria shortly after his inauguration. They questioned whether he had a strategy. 6 months later, it’s clear that he has a strategy for victory in Iraq and Syria. This paragraph is important:

On the Syrian front, the world was faced with the lose-lose choice of a collapsing Assad regime and an ascendant ISIS. Now, ISIS’s leadership is on the run, and its fighters are surrendering by the hundreds. Not every militant wants to be among the last suicide bombers for a crumbling caliphate.

When ISIS was first getting started, they were seen as the strong horse. People were travelling to Syria and Iraq to join ISIS’ cause. That definitely isn’t happening at the same rate today. The fight isn’t won but it’s clear who owns the momentum.

The Trump Doctrine is developing a bit at a time. President Trump’s acceleration of hostilities against ISIS is hurting the terrorists. President Trump’s applying of pressure on China is causing hardship for China and North Korea. President Trump’s delegating authority to his in-theater generals is improving the military’s morale, too. These things aren’t happening accidentally.

It’s understatement saying that it’s encouraging to see these Syrians taking the fight to ISIS.

Sen. Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are upset that President Trump has them over a proverbial barrel as they start negotiations on DACA legislation. They’re upset because they’ll lose politically if they agree to President Trump’s demands. If they don’t agree to his demands, they’ll lose politically, too. The biggest of President Trump’s demands is funding to build his border wall.

When Schumer and Pelosi got the news that this was part of President Trump’s demands, they went ballistic, saying “We told the President at our meeting that we were open to reasonable border security measures alongside the DREAM Act, but this list goes so far beyond what is reasonable. This proposal fails to represent any attempt at compromise.” The definition of reasonable is “agreeable to reason or sound judgment; logical.” Just because the Democrats’ pro-amnesty special interests don’t think building the border wall is reasonable doesn’t mean it isn’t reasonable. Building the wall is exercising sound judgment. Not only that, the American people agree with most of President Trump’s list of demands, often by overwhelming margins. If Pelosi and Schumer want to argue that more than two-thirds of the American people aren’t reasonable, that’s their choice.

Ms. Pelosi’s hinting publicly that Democrats might be willing to shut down the government if they don’t get what they want:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday wouldn’t rule out withholding support for end-of-the-year budget bills, and risk a government shutdown, if President Trump and the Republicans don’t agree to protections for immigrants brought to the country illegally as children. “We have to do it before Christmas, that’s just the way it is,” she said Monday in an interview with The Washington Post.

That’s a major political loser for Democrats on multiple platforms. First, this will alienate blue collar America districts. If the Democrats don’t flip those districts and/or states, they can’t win majorities in either the House or Senate. In fact, it will likely cause them to lose seats in both the House and Senate if Pelosi shuts down the government. Even if they don’t shut the government down, this strategy is foolish. It isn’t difficult seeing every vulnerable Democrat in the House get tied to Pelosi’s statement. Do they really think that they can hide from Pelosi’s statements?

There’s another part of the Democrats’ threats that’s a political loser. By threatening shutting down the government over building the wall, Democrats are essentially admitting that they’re the open borders political party. They can issue statement after statement that they’re for reasonable border security measures. It won’t matter because people think of the wall as true border security. This video should be part of the Trump administration’s campaign to build the wall:

I’d love seeing Schumer and Pelosi fight against that video. It isn’t that they’d win. It’s that it’d be fun watching them attempt to tell people that the wall hasn’t had a positive public safety/national security impact. The statistics speak for themselves. If Democrats want to fight that, that’s their decision.

It just isn’t a reasonable decision.

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Leftist activist organization Indivisible has published this op-ed criticizing President Trump’s strategy towards North Korea.

In the op-ed, Elizabeth Beavers wrote “On September 19, Donald Trump spoke for the first time at the United Nations General Assembly. If you didn’t see it, spoiler alert: it was a national embarrassment. Trump escalated his usual ‘America First’ theme into a vision of foreign policy in which human rights are nonexistent and war is always the answer.” Suffice it to say that nuance isn’t Indivisible’s strength. Truth isn’t Indivisible’s strength, either.

Implied in Indivisible’s op-ed is that North Korea is a model citizen on human rights. That’s foolishness on steroids. Indivisible is also dishonest in saying directly that President Trump is pushing war. In his UN speech, President Trump said that “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.” President Trump didn’t say that he’d launch a pre-emptive strike against Kim Jung Un. Instead, he said that he’d “defend itself or its allies” if it’s attacked.

What’s worth noting is that North Korea has shot missiles over Japan and in Guam’s direction. According to Indivisible’s op-ed, the US should let North Korea shoot missiles over US territories and allies. I won’t stand with Indivisible if they won’t protect US allies. While I don’t support pre-emptive strikes against North Korea, I certainly agree with the UN charter, which says that each nation has the inherent right to self-defense.

This paragraph is stunning in its stupidity:

Even though we’ve heard that ‘all is fair in love and war,’ it’s not. There are clear laws and norms restricting the use of military force, and they don’t allow for many of the things Trump has said he wants to do, some of which amount to war crimes. It’s on progressives to urge accountability and rule of law in the face of reckless militarism.

I’d love hearing from Indivisible what war crimes the US would commit if it defended itself from a missile attack. I’m betting that Indivisible is making that up, that the US wouldn’t commit any war crimes if it responded to a missile attack on Guam.

I’d love forgetting that Indivisible existed. Unfortunately, they’re an important part of the Democrats’ Resistance movement.

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According to Catherine Herridge’s stellar reporting, Hillary Clinton’s State Department didn’t just fail Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens on the day of the Benghazi attacks. They botched compound security multiple times.

According to the article, “Security at the State Department’s Benghazi compound was so dire that another contractor was brought in to clean up the mess just two weeks before the 2012 terror attack, and was later pressured to keep quiet by a government bureaucrat under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to two men from the American security company.” Further into the article, it was reported “After the death of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi in the fall of 2011, Owens stressed to Fox News it was well-known that Islamic radicals including Al Qaeda-tied militias were pouring into the region and security had deteriorated considerably.‘ Based on documents reviewed by Fox News, Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions bid on the Benghazi compound security contract in the spring of 2012. But the State Department awarded the deal to a U.K.-based operation called The Blue Mountain Group. Owens, who had personally visited the Benghazi compound to assess security, was shocked. ‘Blue Mountain U.K. is a teeny, tiny, little security company registered in Wales that had never had a diplomatic security contract, had never done any high threat contracts anywhere else in the world that we’ve been able to find, much less in high threat areas for the U.S. government. They had a few guys on the ground,’ he said.”

This is disgusting:

By Aug. 31, 2012, the situation had deteriorated to the point that Owens and Torres said the State Department asked them to intervene – as Owens put it, an “admission of the mistake of choosing the wrong company.”

“They came back to us and said, ‘Can you guys come in and take over security?’ Owens said. “So we were ready.”

Though her supporter will deny this, it’s indisputable that security in Benghazi was a total mess. Hillary’s FSOs didn’t push for increased compound security. When they finally listened to people on the ground, it was too little, too late.