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This morning, President Trump had the privilege of announcing the release of 3 North Korean hostages in this tweet. This is fantastic news for the hostages’ families and a victory for newly-installed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Trump.

It wasn’t that long ago that the Democrats and hard-left organizations like Indivisible were frantically predicting nuclear war with North Korea. Today, those Democrats and Indivisible are eating crow while people ask whether President Trump should get the Nobel Peace Prize if he closes the deal that denuclearizes the Korean Peninsula.

Here’s Trump’s tweet announcing the release of the hostages:

Later, Mike ‘Pampeo‘ (Twitter ID of SecOfState70) tweeted this:

It’s still prudent to view the denuclearization deal with skepticism. Kim Jung-Un is still a shifty dictator. That being said, it’s possible that President Trump’s good cop-bad cop behavior might have Un worried that he’s dealing with a madman. History shows that dictators and autocrats make more concessions when they’re frightened by Republican presidents, especially if Democrats accuse that Republican president of wanting to start WWIII.

The truth is that everyone understands that the US is the world’s only superpower. In 1990, during the buildup to Operation Desert Storm, the media talked about the powerful Iraqi military, calling it a regional superpower. Within minutes of the start of the air war, the war was essentially over. The regional superpower was in shambles. The world superpower was proud of its first night accomplishments and hungry for more destruction to Iraq’s command-and-control capabilities.

The ‘conventional wisdom’ is that the US military has more to lose in a fight than Iran. That’s foolish thinking. I’m not saying the US should start a war with Iran. I’m saying that Iran would be decimated within moments if that confrontation started. Iran knows it, too.

That’s why I’m betting that, in the long run, Europe will side with the Trump administration in imposing new, tougher sanctions. When those sanctions hit Iran’s already-weak economy, Iran’s mullahs will pay a heavy political price.

North Korea already understands what it’s like to get pushed around by muscular US diplomats, aka President Trump and Mike Pompeo. Prior to the Trump administration, the North Koreans toyed with President Obama and John Kerry. Those days are over.

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Say what you want about Elizabeth Warren, aka Pocahontas. She’s nothing if not politically flexible. It wasn’t that long ago that Sen. Warren “trashed the politically vulnerable Montana Democrat for supporting a landmark bank deregulation bill.” This week, Elizabeth Warren “is coming to the rescue of Sen. Jon Tester in the face of escalating attacks by President Donald Trump.”

In her fundraising letter, Sen. Warren said “Jon and I don’t agree on everything — but I know that Jon makes every decision with the working people of Montana and all across this country in his mind. He’s a good and decent man, and right now he needs our help.”

Rather than calling her Pocahontas, I’d argue that it’s more appropriate to call her Pinocchio. What “good and decent man” throws a military veteran under the proverbial bus for purely partisan gain? That isn’t what I’d consider the actions of a good and decent man. Listen to what Sen. Tester said in this press availability:

Less than 30 seconds into the availability, when asked to confirm Sen. Tester’s statements, Sen. Tester said “I just can’t confirm it at this moment in time.” If that’s the case, Sen. Tester, why didn’t you just do your due diligence rather than leak this information to the press? I’m betting that Sen. Tester wouldn’t have followed this path had Adm. Jackson been appointed by President Obama. I’m betting that Sen. Tester would’ve quietly checked into the allegations rather than leaking it to the press. In fact, I’m betting that had Jackson a) been nominated by President Obama and b) had been guilty of the charges, Sen. Tester would’ve swept that information under the rug.

Later in the video, the MSNBC anchor and the MSNBC correspondent admit that they don’t know if the allegations were true or false. Since then, however, we’ve found out that the Secret Service has issued a statement that emphatically said Adm. Jackson wasn’t guilty of the accusations leveled against him.

Meanwhile, Sen. Warren has defended Sen. Tester, saying “Jon’s a man of integrity and courage, and I know he’s not going to back down or change his votes because of a television commercial or a tweet. But he needs our help to build the sort of grassroots campaign that can go town-to-town, person-to-person, to talk about what this election is really about.”

Finally, Sen. Tester defended himself, saying “It’s my duty to make sure Montana veterans get what they need and have earned, and I’ll never stop fighting for them as their senator.” What a crock. Sen. Tester has less integrity than the witch that ‘entertained’ the media at this weekend’s White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

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Sen. Jon Tester, (D-MT), has been skating on thin ice since President Trump crushed Hillary in Montana, winning by more than 100,000 votes. When Sen. Tester voted against the Trump/GOP tax cuts, he likely sealed his fate. If that didn’t seal his fate, Sen. Tester’s vicious attack on Ronny Brown pounded the final nail into his political coffin.

This morning, the NY Post’s editorial certainly criticizes Sen. Tester, saying “Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) unveiled a stunning laundry list of complaints allegedly made by unnamed whistleblowers — claims that Jackson was routinely drunk on duty (to the point of being ‘unresponsive’), created a ‘toxic work environment’ and handed out prescription opioids like ‘the candy man.’ And yet no one seemed to notice any of this as Jackson was treating three presidents and their families over a 12-year period.”

Like I said in this post, it’s incredible that nobody noticed any of these traits during his multiple FBI background checks. Further, I cited this article, which states “Over the last 48 hours, media outlets have alleged that U.S. Secret Service personnel were forced to intervene during a presidential foreign travel assignment in order to prevent disturbing (former) President Barack Obama. The Secret Service has no such record of any incident; specifically, any incident involving Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson. Rear Admiral Jackson, in his role as the official White House Physician, has provided years of dedicated support to the men and women of the Secret Service, often miles from home and under difficult travel conditions, in order to ensure our personnel are healthy and prepared to execute our critical mission.”

In other words, Sen. Tester’s vicious attack against Rear Admiral Jackson wasn’t justified but it was likely orchestrated. Now President Trump is chiming in on Sen. Tester:

Ruining an innocent man’s career for purely partisan reasons is disgusting. Montana can do better than Tester. In fact, it’s difficult to picture how they could do worse than him.

As for the orchestration accusation, what else explains the 23 faceless accusers who’ve made this accusation? They’ve never shown their faces. They’ve never been subjected to scrutinization by a profession interrogator. (Not that it would happen but wouldn’t you love watching Trey Gowdy interrogate these 23 cowards?) This is pretty cowardly, too:

Tester’s office has not specified the time frame during which the alleged misconduct occurred. The senator’s spokeswoman Marnee Banks said the office would not comment until it knew more about the White House records.

The 23 cowards are mentioned in this report:

Then there’s this:

CNN had reported allegations that Jackson drunkenly banged on the hotel room door of a female employee and that Secret Service personnel intervened out of concern that he would wake Obama.

And this:

The Democratic staff on the committee considering Jackson’s nomination also claimed Jackson had doled out such a large supply of a prescription opioid that staffers panicked because they thought the drugs were missing.

That sounds pretty orchestrated. Faceless (aka cowardly) staffers make the accusation, the media dutifully reports it and Democrat senators announce that they won’t comment on it. Tester’s office won’t even say when the alleged incident happened.

What part of that sounds like it’s on the up-and-up?

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Though they might not know it yet, the Democrats have a major Ronny Jackson problem on their hands. Former Obama State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf is part of that problem, saying that Democrats have to take seriously the “credible allegations” against Admiral Jackson. My first reaction is that the smear campaign isn’t credible for multiple reasons.

First, Admiral Jackson has gone through FBI background checks 3 times, once when he first became President Bush’s personal doctor, again when he stayed on as the Obama family doctor and finally when he became the Trumps’ WH family doctor. Admiral Jackson went through a background check when he became an admiral, too.

These “credible allegations” have gotten shot down. The article says “Over the last 48 hours, media outlets have alleged that U.S. Secret Service personnel were forced to intervene during a presidential foreign travel assignment in order to prevent disturbing (former) President Barack Obama. The Secret Service has no such record of any incident; specifically, any incident involving Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson.”

The statement continues with this:

Rear Admiral Jackson, in his role as the official White House Physician, has provided years of dedicated support to the men and women of the Secret Service, often miles from home and under difficult travel conditions, in order to ensure our personnel are healthy and prepared to execute our critical mission.

In other words, this was a deliberate attempt at sabotaging the reputation of a good man who had the bad misfortune of being associated with President Trump. Democrats just sabotaged a distinguished member of the military for purely partisan points. That’s as disgusting as it gets. This video highlights the fact that Democrats are behind this:

At the start of the video, MSNBC’s Ali Velshi identifies “Democrats on the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee” as putting out this information. Further, these Democrats accuse Admiral Jackson of writing prescriptions for himself, then accused him of “multiple counts of drunkenness while on duty, including incidents while on overseas travel.”

These accusations supposedly came from 23 unidentified members of the military, “many of whom are still in uniform.” Until they’re willing to step into public view and be questioned and interrogated, these statements are too self-serving to be credible.

These Democrats aren’t guilty of a crime but they’re definitely guilty of attempting to ruin a good man’s career by using anonymous sources to make unsubstantiated accusations. This isn’t the American way as the Founding Fathers envisioned it. That’s why they wrote the Bill of Rights to include the right of a defendant to question his accusers.

This morning, Russia retaliated to the US-Coalition airstrikes in Syria. The good news for the Coalition forces is that Russia ‘retaliated’ with propaganda, not hard weapons. First, “Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a statement saying the Western coalition’s ‘act of aggression’ would only exacerbate the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. Putin called the strike a ‘destructive influence on the entire system of international relations’ and said Moscow would call for an emergency of the U.N. Security Council.”

I hope that meeting is televised. I enjoy watching Nikki Haley devastate Russian and Iranian butt.

Later, “the Russian military claimed Saturday” that “Syrian air defense units shot down 71 out of 103 cruise missiles launched by the U.S., Britain and France.” That isn’t credible. If someone said that Israeli air defense units had taken out three-fourths of the cruise missiles targeting Israel, I’d be highly skeptical. Believing that poorly-trained Syrian fighters were that proficient is foolish.

Why should we think that Syria shot that many cruise missiles down after “Russia’s Defense Ministry had earlier asserted that none of the missiles launched by the U.S. and its allies entered areas protected by Russia’s missile defense”?

Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi of the Russian military’s General Staff said Saturday that the Syrian military used a Soviet-made missile defense system to shoot down all the missiles targeting four key Syrian air bases. He added that there were no casualties from the strike and its targets suffered only minor damage.

Rudskoi said Russian air defense assets in Syria monitored the strike, but didn’t engage. He also noted that while Russia had refrained from supplying Syria with its state-of-the-art S-300 air defense missile systems, that could be reconsidered now.

The thought that Russian technology is superior to US technology is laughable. I remember a briefing by Gen. Schwarzkopf during the 100-hour ground war during Operation Desert Storm. During that briefing, Schwarzkopf said that lots of oil wells were set on fire in Kuwait. He said that there were likely lots of Iraqi tank drivers that wished they’d had the night vision that the M1A1 Abrams tanks had. He hinted that it made for an unfair fight.

Russia’s technology is a joke compared with the US military technology. Let’s remember that Syrians were hit by 58 US cruise missiles about this time last year. Does anyone seriously think Russian technology improved that much in a year? I certainly don’t.

Theresa May held a media availability last night:

Based on May’s statements, there isn’t much doubt that Syria was responsible. At minimum, Russia abetted its Syrian allies. The good news for the United States is that Russia doesn’t dare fight us military. Instead, the Russians’ weapon of choice in US-Russian confrontations is propaganda.

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Whatever you think of Jerry Brown, aka Gov. Moonbeam, it’s indisputable that he’s a typical career politician. The latest proof of that is Gov. Brown’s announcement that he’s sending National Guard troops to reinforce the border but that “they won’t be used for ‘enforcing federal immigration laws.'”

In his official communication with the administration, Brown states “Your funding for new staffing will allow the Guard to do what it does best: support operations targeting transnational criminal gangs, human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers along the border, the coast and throughout the state. Combating these criminal threats are priorities for all Americans, Republicans and Democrats. That’s why the state and the Guard have long supported this important work and agreed to similar targeted assistance in 2006 under President Bush and in 2010 under President Obama.”

Next comes the important part for Gov. Brown, especially politically. Gov. Brown states “But let’s be crystal clear on the scope of this mission. This will not be a mission to build a new wall. It will not be a mission to round up women and children or detain people escaping violence and seeking a better life. And the California National Guard will not be enforcing federal immigration laws.”

That’s what’s known as CYA. There never was an expectation that the National Guard would build the wall. Further, it’s been established practice that the Guard supports the Border Patrol by manning surveillance posts, keeping vehicles in good repair and other non-law enforcement activities.

Finally, this is what’s called caving to political pressure. Suffice it to say that Gov. Brown and California Attorney Gen. Becerra didn’t expect this much push-back on illegal immigration. What’s interesting is that Gov. Brown admitted that illegal aliens are part of “transnational criminal gangs”, are human traffickers and illegal firearm and drug smugglers.”

With those types of crimes on their rap sheets, and with California protecting criminal aliens, it’s more accurate to call California a fugitive state than to call it a sanctuary state. It’s difficult to say that today’s Democratic Party cares about enforcing laws or protecting people. Finally, it’s difficult to take Democrats seriously about #MeToo when they turn a blind eye towards human trafficking.

The military’s fat-cats’ fear-mongering was thick as thieves in this Military Times article. Fearing a break-up of their monopoly, they resorted to fear-mongering. Will Fischer, director of government relations for, said “Each time you’re taking resources out and putting them into the private sector, you’re leaving VA dying on the vine. It’s bit by bit draining of VA.”

Shifting money away from the people who paid themselves bonuses while ignoring vets’ needs isn’t complaint. It’s a feature. In 2014, Gen. Shinseki admitted that “an interim inspector general’s report … found ‘systemic’ problems with clinics misrepresenting patient wait times… Shinseki also announced he would oust senior leaders at the Phoenix VA, where allegations of improper scheduling practices first surfaced. Shinseki, speaking to advocates for homeless veterans, said he initially believed the problems were ‘limited and isolated.’ ‘I no longer believe that. It is systemic,’ Shinseki said. ‘I will not defend it, because it is indefensible.'”

“Our view is that Congress and the administration must fix what is wrong with the VA health care system, improve hiring authorities, expand and fix its aging infrastructure, improve access, customer service, and not just simply turn to the private sector when VA facilities are having problems,” said Carlos Fuentes, director of the National Legislative Service at Veterans of Foreign Wars. “Community care is part of the solution, but not the only answer.”

This video is infuriating:

According to this article, the VA used some tricky language:

Inspector General Richard Griffin, who oversees the VA’s internal watchdog agency, stressed in his Aug. 26 report that investigators were ­”unable to conclusively assert that the absence of timely quality care caused the deaths” of Arizona veterans who died while on secret wait lists for appointments. Media outlets widely ­reported that whistle-blower allegations were exaggerated and that veterans were not ­severely affected by wrongdoing at the Phoenix VA medical center.

But health-care experts say Griffin’s report used a measure that is not consistent with pathology practices because no matter how long a patient waits for care, the underlying “cause” of death will be a medical condition, rather than the delay. Put simply, people die of pneumonia, heart conditions and bullet wounds, not waiting to see the doctor.

It’s time to introduce competition into the VA system. That won’t happen with the VA system because it’s a monopoly. With multiple VAs being corrupt and patients dying as a result of that corruption, government-run single-payer system can’t be tolerated.

Finally, Mr. Fischer’s argument about the VA sounds exactly like the arguments that teachers’ unions make against school choice. They argue that choice and competition might hurt the educational product. Meanwhile, there’s mounting proof that the government’s monopoly is hurting educational outcomes. Ditto with the VA system.

It’s still far too early to know whether North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un is willing to give up his nuclear weapons program in exchange for the US promising not to militarily attacking his nation. Further, it’s entirely proper to be skeptical that Un is finally making a good faith proposal. It isn’t like he hasn’t tried conning past US presidents.

Still, the fact that President Trump has announced that he’ll meet face-to-face with Un before the start of May is stunning news.

When South Korea’s national security director Chung Eui-yong walked out to a set of microphones at the White House at 6:00 pm CT Thursday night, “he said the two world leaders agreed to meet by May. Trump tweeted: ‘Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!’ U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., praised the president’s efforts to denuclearize North Korea, saying that it ‘gives us the best hope’ to ‘peacefully’ resolve escalating tensions.”

Among those expressing skepticism is “Evan S. Medeiros, a former adviser in the Obama administration.” Medeiros “warned that Kim ‘played’ South Korean President Moon Jae-in and ‘is now playing Trump.’ Medeiros added, ‘Kim will never give up his nukes.'”

It’s entirely possible that Un won’t give up his nuclear weapons program. Still, reports that North Korea is essentially bankrupt point to the fact that President Trump’s policies are working. Eui-yong told reporters after meeting with Trump at the White House that “North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests.” Further, “there was no insistence that the United States and South Korea suspend joint military exercises.”

Harry Kazianis is an expert on North Korea. In an interview with Tucker Carlson, he said something fascinating:

But there’s something that we’re missing. There’s a little bit of context. South Korea press about 2 weeks ago came out with some reports that were fascinating. They actually speculated that North Korea was actually on the verge of financial bankruptcy. By October, their foreign exchange reserves are probably going to be exhausted and their dollar reserves will be exhausted. That means that North Korea will essentially be bankrupt.

While there’s lots of justification for skepticism, there’s also ample information that justifies optimism. As Mr. Kazianis states in his interview, sometimes Hail Mary passes work. What do we have to lose?

The #RandPaulShutdown is officially over. This wasn’t a Republican shutdown. It wasn’t a Democrat shutdown. It was just another example of Rand Paul proving yet again that he cares more about spending than he cares about the military. He’s a disgrace. He isn’t a patriot. He’s a principled idiot with bad judgment. First, it passed in the Senate:

Later, it passed the House:

Apparently, Rand Paul is intent on shutting down the government because he didn’t get to offer his amendments to a 700-page bill he says nobody has read. Sen. Paul is intent on hurting the military because his spokesperson, Sergio Gor, said “Senator Rand Paul is asking for is a 15-minute vote on his amendment to restore the budget caps.” Those caps will devastate the military.

This stunt by Sen. Paul will earn him the distinction of being more dovish than Amy Klobuchar. Check this out:

The massive budget deal, which includes a stopgap temporary measure to prevent a government shutdown, includes $300 billion for the military. The agreement also adds $89 billion in overdue disaster aid for hurricane-slammed Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, a politically charged increase in the government’s borrowing cap and a grab bag of health and tax provisions.

Sen. Paul will earn the distinction of having a hashtag named after him: #RandPaulShutdown

Rand Paul insists that he’s a constitutionalist. That’s odd considering he won’t vote to fund the military. How can you stop funding the military and still call yourself a constitutionalist?