by baldilocks

After previously denying it, James Clapper admitted that the FBI “might have been” spying on the Trump campaign.

Real Clear Politics:

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told CNN’s Don Lemon Thursday night that the president’s claim that the Obama administration spied on his campaign is “hyperbole” but if it is true, it is a “good thing.”

“They [the Obama admin’s FBI] may have had someone who was talking to them in the campaign, but, you know, the focus here… is not on the campaign, per se, but what the Russians were doing,” Clapper said.

But if there was an intelligence agent “observing” the Trump campaign’s interactions with Russia, “that’s a good thing because the Russians posed a threat to the very basis of our political system.”

If true? He doesn’t know? Yeah, okay. Clapper was Obama’s DNI.

Yesterday, Sharyl Attkisson pointed out that the corruption in our intelligence agencies long precedes the existence of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

These intelligence shenanigans aren’t new to anyone who has read Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA.

It has been a number of years since I read it, and, at 702 pages, the hardback version definitely qualifies as a tome. However, I read it, courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library, very rapidly due to great and building amazement. And by amazement, I mean horror.  This entity of the government, allegedly dedicated to our security, is and has always been a failure. Or al least that’s what I thought at the time.

Now that I have become more cynical and more paranoid, it seems to me that the agency, the OSS, its World War II incarnation, and all the other investigative arms of the government — including the older FBI — have been very successful at doing what they were created to do.

It and all of the other intelligence agencies exist to Keep the Gates. Gathering them all under the DNI banner made that easier, or so it seemed.

But their gates aren’t the same gates as our gates. That is certain.

What a waste.

RELATED: The CIA’s Long List of Failures

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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Or hit Juliette’s!

By John Ruberry

Roseanne cast pre-revival via Wikipedia

Last week after two decades in rerun stasis the sitcom Roseanne returned to ABC with massive ratings, even higher than its final episode of its first run in 1997.

Formerly a liberal, the show’s star, Roseanne Barr, declared that she was a supporter of Donald Trump two years ago. While Trump isn’t explicitly mentioned in the debut reboot episode, her character, Roseanne Conner, ends a family prayer, one that began by asking her pussy-hat donned leftist sister (Laurie Metcalf) if she preferred to “take a knee,” Colin Kaerpenick-style, with a bang: “Most of all, Lord, thank you for making American great again!”

The Conners live somewhere in northern Illinois in the fictional town of Lanford. Yes, my state voted for Hillary Clinton, but stick with me for a bit. One of the appeals of the old and new Roseanne is that it focuses on the struggles of a blue collar family headed by two overweight parents, Roseanne and Dan Conner (John Goodman), whose bulkiness refreshingly is not a target of unvarying jabs. They are regular folks trying to get by. During the television interregnum the Conners came close to losing their home to foreclosure. In the 1980s these type of families were Reagan Democrats. But since the first run of Roseanne, the Democrats have pivoted to the left, and in the last few years, to the far left. For evidence, look at the rise of Bernie Sanders, the only out-of-the-closet socialist in the US Senate.

“I didn’t leave the Democratic Party,” Ronald Reagan, who was born and reared in northern Illinois, notoriously remarked, “the party left me.”

The 21st century Democrats–the secular progressives–also left the Conners. This TV family represents the base of the new Republican Party.

Where the Conners live in Illinois was always a bit murky, originally it was Fulton County, a rural county south of Peoria. Yes, the old and new Roseanne, as the old vaudeville expression went, “plays in Peoria.” In 1988, when the show hit the airwaves, Michael Dukakis prevailed over George H.W. Bush in Fulton County, beginning a seven-election presidential winning streak for the Democrats there.

Ronald Reagan Trail north of Peoria

But in 2016 Donald Trump won Fulton by 15 percentage points while four years earlier Barack Obama prevailed by over twenty points. And for the GOP there plenty of room for growth in the Fulton counties of America. In southern Illinois lies Wayne County, where Trump bested Clinton by over 70 points.

Call that the Roseanne vote.

And even in Illinois, the Land of Lincoln, there is hope for the Republican Party.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

It’s not easy to find a hardcore Trump supporter in London and Paris, but there is a grudging acknowledgement that the president isn’t as bad as many Americans think.

During a recent visit to the not-so-united United Kingdom and France, almost everywhere I went people noticed my accent and wanted to talk about Trump. I didn’t hide my support. What was amazing was that Brits and French actually listened to my point of view—something that rarely happens in the United States.

A former British diplomat and his wife, who worked as a journalist, can’t believe the importance given to the Michael Wolff book on the Trump administration. Such tales wouldn’t appear in much of the respectable press in Britain.

Moreover, they see the press failing apart with its constant attacks on Trump, losing any sense of credibility on many matters. The couple subscribes to The New York Times, but they find it appalling how politics have crept into the Gray Old Lady.

“I don’t care what the opinion writers say. They don’t have to be fair. But opinions are constantly creeping into the news pages,” the former diplomat said. His wife said she’s tired of the news organization looking at everything through the lens of Trump. Moreover, DaTimes has moved way left of center when it comes to social issues such as transgenderism.

Another friend, who also served in the British Foreign Service, noted that the Americans are lucky that they are unraveling Obamacare. In the United Kingdom, for example, the nationalized health service announced that all nonemergency surgeries were canceled this month because of a shortage of cash.

A longtime friend who’s an expert on the Middle East lauded Trump for cutting off aid to Pakistan because of its ties to terrorism. A retired French banker, who is Jewish, praised the decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, while a longtime Arab friend disagreed.

A London cabbie said he understood why Americans turned against Hillary and voted for Donald. “The elites have ruined the States and England,” he said. “Now it’s time for others to try to put things right.”

What was most important was how I could actually have a conversation about Trump rather than a shouting match. It’s one of the first times in months that I felt comfortable about stating my views in public with such a cross-section of people. It’s odd to have to travel outside of the United States to have a civil discussion.

Illinois bicentennial flag on the bottom

By John Ruberry

Illinois will have one of the most-closely watched gubernatorial contests this year. Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner has been a tremendous disappointment to me and just about every conservative voter I know. I enthusiastically backed the then-political newcomer in 2014, but this time around, as I explained here at Da Tech Guy, I’m supporting Rauner’s Republican challenger, state representative Jeanne Ives in the March primary election.

Ives is attacking Rauner, and to be fair, the Dems are too. Rauner has much to answer for. Actually he has little to answer for–as Rauner has not accomplished much of anything. For her part Ives is promoting common sense reforms that only public-sector union bosses and their enablers oppose, such as amending the state constitution so pension benefits can be changed, that is, so payment increases can be lowered, and having new state employees enroll in 401(k) plans.

Meanwhile Democrats are battling scapegoats, used here in the classical sense, that is, using something else to accept the sins of a people.

Deals with the Democrats’ state worker wing, the public-sector unions, that some Republican governors signed off on–but not Rauner–have burdened the Prairie State with $250 billion in pension debt. Retiring at 50 with full benefits is nice–except for chumps like me who have to pay for it. Illinois’ current budget is $36 billion and a whopping one-quarter of it goes to government worker pension payments. Illinois has suffered from the worst credit rating among the states for years, currently that rating is just one level above junk.

Illinoisans are responding sensibly and predictably–for four straight years Illinois has had negative population growth.

There is little to celebrate during Illinois’ bicentennial year.

Two candidates on the Democratic side are getting most of the attention from the media and presumably it’s a race between them, as there is currently no polling data on gubernatorial race. Billionaire investor JB Pritzker, a scion of the family that own the Hyatt Hotel chain, has collected the lion’s share of endorsements from prominent Democrats and the party’s union allies. He the only Democratic candidate regularly running ads on radio, television, and on the internet. The other prominent contender is Chris Kennedy, the son of Robert F. Kennedy who used to run Chicago’s Merchandise Mart.

Neither have much to say about Illinois’ long-running fiscal crisis and solutions for it, other than “taxing the rich.” But they don’t even talk much about that.

Pritzker on the left protesting Trump

Pritzker’s web advertisements are a daily presence on my Facebook and Pandora pages–in these Pritzker almost always attacks Donald Trump, as he does for instance in this YouTube ad. Trump has not visited Illinois since he was elected president.  Last year, in front of Chicago’s Trump Tower, Pritzker released his five-point plant to resist the president. And when the inevitable spring tornado tears through Illinois bringing death and destruction, who will Governor Pritzker call for help?

Since Trump has been monopolized as a scapegoat by Pritzker, Kennedy is left with smaller prey. One of his targets is a worthy one, at least for scorn. That one is Cook County Assessor Joseph Berrios, who is also the chairman of the Cook County Regular Democratic Organization, better known as the Chicago Machine.  Pritzker owns a mansion on Chicago’s Gold Coast. He purchased a smaller mansion that sits next to his. The billionaire didn’t maintain it–and then he successfully appealed his property tax assessment with Berrios’ office because the other mansion was “vacant and uninhabitable,” saving Pritzker a bundle of cash. Berrios has been under attack by the Chicago Tribune for his assessing practices, which the Chicago Tribune says favors the rich over the poor. Kennedy is calling for Berrios to resign as assessor, but the tiny yet powerful law firm where the longtime state House Speaker and state Democratic Party chairman, Michael Madigan, is a partner was hired to lower the property taxes of a company owned by Kennedy’s Merchandise Mart.

Oops.

Last week Kennedy moved  on to another unpopular target, Chicago’s embattled mayor, Rahm Emanuel.

“I believe that black people are being pushed out of Chicago intentionally by a strategy that involves disinvestment in communities being implemented by the city administration,” Kennedy said at a press conference held in a predominately African-American neighborhood on Chicago’s West Side. “I believe Rahm Emanuel is the head of the city administration and therefore needs to be held responsible for those outcomes,” he added.

Phrased succinctly, Rahm, according to Kennedy, is driving blacks out of Chicago.

Oops again.

For a variety of reasons, including most notably high crime and execrable unionized schools, in sheer numbers and by percentage, the black population of many large cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and even Detroit has been falling, as I stated in my own blog when I reported on this story. Kennedy’s claim is tin-foil hat stuff.

Blogger at Chicago’s Trump Tower

And what does Trump and Emanuel have to do with Illinois’ pension debacle? Nothing with the former and a just a little bit in regards to the latter, since Rahm, a longtime prominent Illinois Democrat, was silent about the festering fiscal disease that is devouring ILL-inois. As for Berrios, I’ll place the party boss somewhere in the middle.

But the role of scapegoats, using the term in the modern sense, is to defer attention away from larger problems. And Kennedy and Pritzker don’t have solutions–or if they do they don’t care to share them with voters.

Boss Michael Madigan’s use of “Illinois math” to kick the pension problem down the road isn’t an option anymore. Illinois has reached the cliff.

John Ruberry, a fifth-generation Illinois resident, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The National Congress of the Communist Part of China, which sets the course of the nation’s leadership and policies every five years, opens next week during one of the most critical times in the relations with the United States.

President Xi Jinping, [pronounced she] who will be elected to a second, five-year term, faces some interesting problems, including the probable retirement of some top leaders, the ongoing North Korea nuclear program, and relations with President Trump.

It has been customary for leaders to retire at the age of 68. That would include five of the seven most powerful leaders in China, including Wang Qishan, Xi’s right-hand man and anti-corruption campaign leader.

SupChina, a great source for anyone who wants to follow developments in China, provides as excellent backgrounder at http://supchina.com/2017/09/26/will-happen-19th-party-congress-fall/

As SupChina notes: “Contrary to many who have posited that Wang is too important to Xi’s agenda to be sidelined, the Macro Polo initiative at the University of Chicago has come down firmly on the position that retirement norms will be followed this year. The initiative’s experts assigned only a small chance to the ‘norm-wrecking’ scenario that keeps Wang in his position, saying that ‘even with a very strong Xi Jinping, [this] would face significant criticism and pushback at every level of the CCP.’”

Xi is likely to opt for a selection of loyalists that both accelerates the ascension of some people leading to more attention “devoted to focusing on executing the many economic reforms that have stalled or taken a backseat to politics.”

On North Korea, China has initiated steps to implement the latest United Nations sanctions. That doesn’t mean that China and the United States are on the same page, but the relationship is better than most legacy media types would have us believe. An exception is a recent Reuters story at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-northkorea-missiles-usa-congress/china-support-for-north-korea-clampdown-growing-u-s-official-idUSKCN1C32J2

Only a few weeks after the China meeting, President Trump will visit Asia, where he will travel to five countries from November 3 to 14, attending summits held by both the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Expectations for a shift in U.S.-China relations are high, according to the influential South China Morning Post.

POLITICO also reports that the Trump Administration is conducting an extensive review of policy toward China. See http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/28/white-house-china-policy-review-243274

During the past three years I have spent visiting China, I found that the Chinese, particularly business people, see Trump as someone they can deal with. It may not be a perfect marriage, but neither is it as vitriolic as it was under President Obama. Moreover, U.S.-China relations would have been disastrous under Hillary Clinton. Simply put, China was rather curious and somewhat relieved when Trump became president.

This guy, H.R. McMaster, the National Security Adviser, is an islamocoddling anti-Trump leftist sympathizer, at the very least, who is a deep state enabler, backstabber, and a leaker. He is disloyal as well as possibly treasonous. He has got to go! McNasty apparently opposes everything President Donald Trump stands for in areas of national security and foreign policy, favors Obama holdovers getting preferential treatment within the federal government, is openly hostile to anyone he has authority over who supports our duly elected President, and is in favor of suicidal politically correct idiocy over honest assessment and discussion of the very real problems we face with islamic supremacism and islamic terrorism. Why does he still have a job?

Some recent news items that are probably not being covered the “news” media:

Why did Trump’s National Security Advisor, HR McMaster, allow Susan Rice to keep her top-secret security clearance long after Obama was out of office?

Almost one month after it was disclosed that former President Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice was unmasking members of President Trump’s team and other Americans, Trump’s own national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, sent an official letter giving her unfettered and continuing access to classified information and waiving her “need-to-know” requirement on anything she viewed or received during her tenure, Circa has confirmed.  MORE

You may remember Susan Rice from all those Sunday talk shows she did after the islamic terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, you know, how she got on teevee and lied her butt off, blaming a video for the attack that killed four Americans when the video had nothing to do with it (but the guy who made the video that mocked the pedophile “prophet” mohammed by portraying him in a historically correct but kind of hilarious manner ended up in jail – just as Hillary promised he would), which then prompted Obama to go out and lecture us about how there is no future for people who do not respect islam and its mass murdering pedophile “prophet”. Yeah, I know, good times, right? Why in the world would anyone in the Trump administration want this vile creature to have unfettered access to security information? What purpose does that serve?

BUSTED! National Security sources confirm that HR McMaster and his Deputy are the one who have been leaking negative information about Trump to the media

Two separate National Security Council sources have confirmed that National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and Deputy National Security Advisor Dina HABIB Powell have been leaking negative material about President Trump to their allies in the anti-Trump media.   MORE

Wasn’t Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, just going on today about doing something about those danged leaks? Firing McNasty would be a fine start! Of course Sessions hasn’t exactly been a stellar Trump employee either, and in my humble opinion, Rudy Giuliani would be a much better man for the job.

MCMASTER OUSTS TRUMP ADVISER WHO TRIED TO FIRE OBAMA HOLDOVERS

Derek Harvey was the key figure when it came to the Middle East. He was against the Iran Deal and the funding of Palestinian Authority terror. He called out Islamic Jihad. He tried to force out the Obama holdovers running our foreign policy.

And now he’s gone.

McMaster’s purge at the NSC continues. Flynn’s people get forced out and replaced with establishment zombies. The Obama holdovers continue to run foreign policy. The swamp is now in full control of the NSC.

This one is a really big win for McMaster. And a great loss for America. It will set back our ability to fight Islamic terrorism. Iran, Al Qaeda and the Palestinian Authority are celebrating today.

President Trump can reverse his decision. Just as he overruled McMaster’s bid to replace Ezra Watnick-Cohen, the guy who outed the Obama spying on Trump’s people, with the woman who drafted the Benghazi talking points. Not to mention Mattis’ plan to bring in Hillary’s Secretary of Defense and the Muslim Broptherhood’s favorite woman.

But Mattis and McMaster have forced out Derek Harvey. And it’s up to President Trump to act.    RTWT

But wait, there’s MORE!

#FireMcMaster: Rich Higgins Sacked For Exposing The ‘Red Green Axis’

Rich Higgins served as a Director for Strategic Planning for the White House National Security Council before he was fired on July 21st by Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster. Higgins’ crime was exposing the marriage between the radical left and their Muslim Brotherhood allies (sometimes described as the “Red-Green Axis”) and their deep, ongoing influence in the federal government.    MORE & Video HERE

MCMASTER’S NSC COUP AGAINST TRUMP PURGES CRITICS OF ISLAM AND OBAMA

Derek Harvey was a man who saw things coming. He had warned of Al Qaeda when most chose to ignore it. He had seen the Sunni insurgency rising when most chose to deny it.

The former Army colonel had made his reputation by learning the lay of the land. In Iraq that meant sleeping on mud floors and digging into documents to figure out where the threat was coming from.

It was hard to imagine anyone better qualified to serve as President Trump’s top Middle East adviser at the National Security Council than a man who had been on the ground in Iraq and who had seen it all.

Just like in Iraq, Harvey began digging at the NSC. He came up with a list of Obama holdovers who were leaking to the press. McMaster, the new head of the NSC, refused to fire any of them.

McMaster had a different list of people he wanted to fire. It was easy to make the list. Harvey was on it.

All you had to do was name Islamic terrorism as the problem and oppose the Iran Deal. If you came in with Flynn, you would be out. If you were loyal to Trump, your days were numbered.

And if you warned about Obama holdovers undermining the new administration, you were a target.

One of McMaster’s first acts at the NSC was to ban any mention of “Obama holdovers.” Not only did the McMaster coup purge Harvey, who had assembled the holdover list, but his biggest target was Ezra Watnick-Cohen, who had exposed the eavesdropping on Trump officials by Obama personnel.

Ezra Watnick-Cohen had provided proof of the Obama surveillance to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes. McMaster, however, was desperately working to fire him and replace him with Linda Weissgold. McMaster’s choice to replace Watnick-Cohen was the woman who helped draft the Benghazi talking points which blamed the Islamic terrorist attack on a video protest.

After protests by Bannon and Kushner, President Trump overruled McMaster. Watnick-Cohen stayed. For a while. Now Ezra Watnick-Cohen has been fired anyway.

According to the media, Watnick-Cohen was guilty of “anti-Muslim fervor” and “hardline views.” And there’s no room for anyone telling the truth about Islamic terrorism at McMaster’s NSC.

McMaster had even demanded that President Trump refrain from telling the truth about Islamic terrorism.

[…]

And the purge of reformers and original thinkers is only beginning.

The latest reports say that McMaster has a list of enemies who will be ousted from the NSC. And when that is done, the NSC will be a purely Obama-Bush operation. The consensus will be that the Iran Deal must stay, that Islam has nothing to do with Islamic terrorism, that we need to find ways to work with the aspirations of the Muslim Brotherhood, and that Israel must make concessions to terrorists.

If you loved the foreign policy that brought us 9/11, ISIS, and billions in funding to terrorists from Syria to Libya to the West Bank, you won’t be able to get enough of McMaster’s brand new NSC.

And neither will America’s enemies.

The swamp is overflowing. The National Security Council is becoming a national security threat.

THERE IS MUCH MORE HERE

McMaster needs to be fired, investigated, and prosecuted. President Donald Trump has more than enough people working to undermine him and his mission to restore sanity to our country and security its citizenry, he should not be putting up with this evil #resistance in his own cabinet.

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

I am one of those people you hear about who LOVES President Trump. I have loved him since I was a little girl, when he was called a “young entrepreneur”, and I had always hoped he would run for President.

Every day that Donald J. Trump is my President is a dream come true.

I took great delight during Primary Season as he cleaned the clocks of his Republican opponents who were so disdainful of Trump and his supporters. I was disappointed to see so many in the stupid party (the Republicans sure do earn that moniker) continue to oppose Trump even after he was the Republican nominee. I enjoyed the presidential campaign immensely because we finally had someone running against a Democrat who wasn’t a mealy mouthed pansy – My Donald is no shrinking violet and unlike previous GOPers to run in recent memory, NOBODY was going to steamroll Donald J. Trump! I turned as many Wednesdays as I could into #TrumpDays at my blog, trying to put some Trump-positive stuff into the ether to combat all the hysterical negativity being spread left and right about the man. I knew he had the support of the regular people who live and work in this country, no matter what the lying media and #NeverTrump mob had to say about it; my only concern was that Shrillary and the left would steal a win with the Dems’ penchant for fraud and skulduggery. I stayed up late on Election Night waiting to see who would be declared the winner, and, thank God, it was My Donald.

It was a long and tense wait between the time Trump was elected to Inauguration Day – I was very afraid that something bad might happen to him before then that would prevent him from taking office, and the braying histrionics from lunatic leftists and those who claim to be on the right never let up. I had a medical incident and suffered a near death experience during this time, and when I was on the Other Side, one of the reasons I gave for why I hoped to get sent back to the land of the living was that I did not yet have the chance to live in an America in which Donald J. Trump is President.

Finally, six months ago yesterday, Donald Trump was officially President of the United States of America and I am incredibly grateful to alive to witness all the awesomeness. I love the way Trump fights and how he is unapologetic about putting America and Americans first.

The media is too busy fixating on trying to destroy My Donald, so here are some of Trump’s accomplishments at the six month mark, via The White House:

SPURRING JOBS CREATION: President Trump’s impact on the economy has been immediate, spurring job creation across the country.

  • President Trump signed the “Buy American and Hire American” Executive Order, prioritizing the interests of American businesses and workers.
    • “Buy American” promotes American industry, protecting it from unfair competition by targeting the abusive use of waivers and exceptions to laws on the books.
    • “Hire American” calls for the reform of our visa programs, ensuring that they no longer displace American workers, while fully enforcing laws governing the entry of foreign workers.
  • President Trump signed an Executive Order, making it easier for businesses to start and expand apprenticeship programs.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average has increased 17 percent since election day, hitting new highs 25 times this year already.
  • Since January, the economy added 863,000 jobs, including 821,000 in the private sector.
    • 79,000 construction jobs added since January.
    • 42,000 mining and logging jobs added since January.
    • 41,000 manufacturing jobs added since January.

CUTTING DOWN JOB KILLING REGULATIONS: Just six months in office, President Trump has taken historic action to eliminate wasteful and costly regulations that have stood in the way of hardworking Americans.

  • The American Action Forum estimates a potential $70 billion in costs reductions from President Trump’s actions to cut back regulations.
  • President Trump has signed 14 Congressional Review Act resolutions into law, ending burdensome Obama-era rules and regulations, more than all other Presidents combined.
  • By withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord, President Trump protected America from a bad deal that would have harmed our economy.
    • According to a study by NERA Consulting, meeting the Obama Administration’s obligations under the Paris Climate Accord could have cost the United States economy nearly $3 trillion.
    • According to the same study, 6.5 million industrial sector jobs could have been lost, including 3.1 million manufacturing sector jobs.
  • In order to control regulatory costs, President Trump signed an Executive Order mandating that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated.
  • Through infrastructure reform and investment, the Trump Administration aims to dramatically reduce permit approvals for projects from 10 years to 2 years, spurring investment and job creation.

OPENING UP AMERICAN ENERGY: In six months, President Trump has turned around America’s policy on energy production after years of opposition.

  • President Trump has acted aggressively to increase exports of our energy resources to a global market.
    • Updated guidance from the Treasury Department to allow the United States to export coal.
    • Expedited the permitting and approval processes of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals and exports, including the approval of the Lake Charles LNG terminal in Louisiana.
  • President Trump has unleashed oil and gas development in the United States by expanding access to resources and the infrastructure needed to get them to market.
    • Approved the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines, creating over 42,000 jobs and $2 billion in earnings.
      • Signed an Executive Order mandating future pipeline work to be done by American workers and with American steel.
    • Expedited new pipeline approval and production, such as the New Burgos Pipeline to Mexico.
    • Signed an Executive Order to extend offshore oil and gas drilling and reissued a leasing program to develop offshore resources.
    • Boosting oil and gas development on Federal lands.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency is reconsidering an Obama-era rule on greenhouse gas emissions that is estimated to cost oil and natural gas operators as much as $530 million annually.
  • President Trump kept his campaign promise to coal miners and rolled back the previous Administration’s “Stream Protection Rule,” which targeted the beleaguered industry with estimated costs of at least $81 million a year.

A FREE AND FAIR TRADE AGENDA: President Trump is putting America First in trade negotiations, pursuing reciprocal agreements with our trading partners so everyone benefits.

  • One of President Trump’s first actions was to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, after the Obama Administration’s efforts failed to protect American workers.
  • President Trump announced he will renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to better reflect our modern economy while benefitting all parties so involved.
    • This week, the United States Trade Representative released its objectives for upcoming NAFTA negotiations.
  • Last week, the President began the process of renegotiating the United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement.
  • Negotiations President Trump started with China on economic cooperation have already produced results for American businesses.
    • For the first time in 14 years, American beef imports have returned to China.
    • China is welcome to negotiate contracts to import American liquefied natural gas.
  • President Trump delivered on his campaign promise to roll back the Obama Administration’s bad deal on Cuba that benefitted the Cuban regime at the expense of the Cuban people.

RESTORING LAW AND ORDER TO IMMIGRATION: President Trump has prioritized enforcing immigration laws in his first six months to protect all Americans, ensuring that our immigration system treats everyone fairly.

  • President Trump instituted tough immigration policies that have reduced illegal border crossings by 53 percent compared to the same time last year.
    • The President ordered the hiring of 10,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers, including 5,000 additional border patrol agents.
  • Within the first 100 days of President Trump signing his executive orders on immigration enforcement, ICE conducted nearly 40 percent more Enforcement and Removal Operations compared to the same time last year.
    • Arrests of convicted criminal aliens climbed by nearly 20 percent in this time compared to the same time last year.
  • In fiscal year 2017, ICE has removed over 2,700 criminal gang members, compared to 2,057 criminal gang members in all of fiscal year 2016.
    • ICE has specifically targeted MS-13 criminal gang members for removal on immigration violations.
  • To jumpstart construction on the border wall, the President ordered the Department of Homeland Security to use $100 million of unspent appropriations in its account for border security, fencing and infrastructure.
  • President Trump directed executive agencies to employ all lawful means to enforce the immigration laws of the United States, including clamping down on sanctuary cities.
    • Attorney General Jeff Sessions implemented new charging guidelines to end catch-and-release policies.
  • President Trump ordered the creation of the Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) office at DHS, ensuring that our Government can no longer ignore the victims of criminal acts by illegal aliens.  MORE 

President Trump has been impressive on the world stage as well, what with the not bowing to foreigners or kissing up to hostile regimes and such, and with the awesome speeches defending Western Civilization and the right to not be murdered or oppressed by islamic savages and all, and the respect he is being shown by leaders of other nations who recognize a true leader when they see one.

Donald Trump is a strong President and I love him for it. I also love all watching all the leftists and their enablers, who are allegedly on the right, lose their snobby collectivist minds every single day. Most fun Presidency ever. Here’s to seven and a half more years!

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals. 

Not surprisingly, the media failed to report a recent analysis of the lies told ABOUT Trump as chronicled by snopes.com, which is considered one of the most reliable sources of fact checking news and information.

The article’s title says it all, “The Lies of Donald Trump’s Critics, and How They Shape His Many Personas.”

Snopes.com reports: “Broadly speaking, most of the falsehoods leveled against Trump fall into one or more of four categories, each of them drawing from and feeding into four public personas inhabited by the President.

They are: Donald Trump: International Embarrassment, Trump the Tyrant, Donald Trump: Bully baby, Trump the Buffoon….

“Generally speaking, we discovered that they are characterized and driven by four types of errors of thought:

Alarmism
A lack of historical context or awareness
Cherry-picking of evidence (especially visual evidence)
A failure to adhere to Occam’s Razor — the common-sense understanding that the simplest explanation for an event or behavior is the most likely.”

Snopes lists a variety of errors, including interpretations of Trump’s handshake, his lack of interest in meetings because he was not taking notes at the G-7, and the continuing focus on his incompetence to serve as president. See http://www.snopes.com/2017/07/12/trump-lies/

For example, snopes.com notes the example “…of how rushed and alarmist conclusions, a lack of context, and a pre-existing caricature of Trump as an incipient dictator have played a role in false claims made against him came early on in his presidency. In the days following Trump’s inauguration, claims emerged that his administration had literally rewritten the Bill of Rights, changing all mention of ‘people’ to ‘citizens.’

“The story horrified readers. ‘Not a joke,’ read one widely shared tweet, ‘not a drill.’ But also, not true. The administration had changed WhiteHouse.gov’s summary of the Constitution but not the Constitution itself. What’s more, the change from ‘people’ to ‘citizens’ in this summary had already been made during the tenure of President Barack Obama.”

In conclusion, snopes.com advises that “in some ways, these sorts of massive exaggerations and gross distortions are even more corrosive and destructive than fake news.”

Perhaps news organizations need to turn the mirror back on themselves to determine whether they are ones telling lies.

h/t to my wife Elizabeth

By John Ruberry

Donald J. Trump may not be going through a witch hunt, but he’s surely the only president to face so many attempts to remove him from office.

What follows is a brief summary of the plots.

Shortly after his surprise win over Hillary Clinton, Democrats and their media wing tried to delegitimize his triumph by claiming that Russians, meaning of course Vladimir Putin, hacked the election results. To date no evidence has emerged of a single vote changed because of Russian interference. And the liberals also claimed that Trump colluded with the Russians to win the presidency.

In December, shortly before the Electoral College met in the 50 state capitols and the District of Columbia, a group of has-been Hollywood celebrities calling themselves Unite for America released a video asking Republican electors to vote for someone other than Trump. Another group, the Hamilton Electors, also unsuccessfully made a similar call out to the electors.

The Electoral College didn’t punt–Trump won the most electors.

The following month a smattering of Democrats tried to convince Congress not to certify the Electoral College results. A few days after Trump was inaugurated a leftist group sued him, claiming that Trump was in violation of the obscure emoluments clause in the Constitution because a representative of a foreign government, might, just might, stay at a Trump Organization hotel. Remember, just a few days later. Besides, the president removed himself from running the company.

In May there was a spike in impeachment calls after the president fired FBI Director James Comey, citing obstruction of justice. Late last month Trump Tweeted about the MSNBC show “Morning Joe,” drawing attention to a facelift of co-host Mika Brzezinski.

//platform.twitter.com/widgets.jsWhich led to calls by Democrats to have Trump removed from office under the 25th Amendment, calling into question his mental health.

Blogger with a man claiming to be Trump

The latest impeachment dustup centers on his son, Donald Trump Jr., meeting with some Russian operatives last summer, which have brought new life to the collusion charges. Let’s dial this back. Trump’s son met with some Russians, so the president should be removed from office. Trump Jr. met with those Russians. Not the president. If that makes sense to you–then you are probably a leftist.

Let’s not forget the regular stoking of the ouster flames with the regular calls for Trump to release his tax returns–although there is no legal requirement for any president to do so.

You know what? All of this sounds like a witch hunt to me.

Or, as Lou Dobbs said on Fox Business last week, “This is about a full-on assault by the left–the Democratic Party–to absolutely carry out a coup d’etat against President Trump, aided by the left-wing media.”

Yep. A witch hunt. Definitely.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Deplorable Baskets are the coolest things that I have seen in a long time, and they are attached to neon green (my favorite color) rental bicycles! Via The American Mirror:

Just when you think Los Angeles street artist Sabo can’t top himself, he ups his game.

The artist recently posted several photos on Facebook showing his latest work: “Basket of Deplorables” branding on the front of rental bikes.

The ingenious art shows a skull smoking a cigarette with Donald Trump’s signature hair and “Trump 2020”:

“Basket of Deplorables” refers to the derogatory term Hillary Clinton used to describe “half” of Donald Trump’s supporters late in the campaign.

The term, which many saw as an unforced error, became a badge of honor for Trump supporters.

MORE

H/T: iOTWReport.com

Now, I am too old and crippled up for much bike riding, and I live in a rural area where bikes are salvaged from other people’s trash rather than rented from a city bike renting outlet (or whatever they call them), but, those bikes sure are pretty! I hope Sabo will put similar baskets up for sale somewhere and I can attach ’em to some of the wheeled things that we have hanging around ye olde woodland shack.

*******

MJ Stevenson, AKA Zilla, is best known on the web as Zilla at MareZilla.com. She lives in a woodland shack near a creek, in one of those rural parts of New York State that nobody knows or cares about, with her family and a large pack of guardian companion animals.