The Front Page Cover
 2016             The turth is the gold of today 
Featuring:
Palin and the GOP’s Uncertain Trumpeters
 Peggy Noonan
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 Picking to Pack the Supreme Court 
55, 61, 62, 66, 68, 78, 80 and 83.
          No, these aren't the latest Powerball numbers. They're the ages of the nine justices of the Supreme Court as of Jan. 20, 2017. Assuming all of them survive this year, it's likely that our next president could select three or more new members to the Court.
          Those three highest numbers actually belong to four members of the Supreme Court: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will be 83, both Anthony Kennedy and Antonin Scalia turn 80 this year, and right behind them is Stephen Breyer. There are two each from the "conservative" and "liberal" wings of the Court — if Kennedy, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan after Senate Democrats shamefully "borked" Robert Bork, can be deemed something other than an unreliable and incoherent swing vote.
          And while it may seem logical for Ginsburg and Breyer to step down now while a Democrat president can still appoint their replacements, the feisty Ginsburg, who is battling pancreatic cancer, has consistently thumbed her nose at those fellow liberals who suggested it. Back then, Democrats still had the Senate; liberals now know that window has closed. Barack nObama can name anyone he wants, but it's not likely the Republican Senate would roll over without a fight for a SCOTUS nominee, even though they mostly have done just that for lower courts of late. Moreover, the Senate has an unwritten rule that they won't act on filling judicial vacancies during the waning months of a president's term.
          But the impact of a president can be felt long after he is gone based on the Supreme Court justices he selects. Both Scalia and Kennedy were Reagan appointees, and they are still on the court 27 years after he left office and almost 12 years after his death. Imagine, for example, what sort of impact a President Ted Cruz or President Marco Rubio could have with three or four Supreme Court appointees.  -The Patriot Post
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 Some Clinton Email Too Classified to Release 
"I take classified information very seriously," Hilly Clinton insisted Sunday. "You know, you can't get classified information off the classified system in the State Department to put onto an unclassified system, no matter what that system is." She's not exactly correct, but it would take a herculean effort to strip classification markings — which is apparently what she did. "There is absolutely no evidence that I ever sent or received any email marked classified." Marked is the key word in Clinton parsing, and even former Clintonista George Stephanopoulos cornered her on that one: "You've said many times that the emails were not marked classified. The non-disclosure agreement you signed as secretary of state says that that's really not that relevant. It says classified information is marked or unmarked classified and that all of you are trained to treat all of that sensitively and should know the difference." Bingo, though her comments above were, astoundingly, in reply to his charge.
          It's certainly inconvenient that the State Department just announced it would not release 22 of her emails at all because revealing the information contained in them — even if redacted — would be too damaging to national security. The State Department has already released more than 1,300 of Clinton's classified emails, but these 22 are so serious as to merit holding them. (Those and 18 more that are direct communications with Barack nObama, who famously claimed he only found out about Clinton's email practices "through news reports.")
          Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy sums up the problem: "The reasoning behind that conclusion is alarming. It is not just that the intelligence community (IC) understandably wishes to keep top secret national-defense information under wraps. Because of how recklessly Clinton and her top aides handled classified information, the IC must operate under the assumption that there are copies of these 22 emails floating around — whether in the possession of current or former government officials but unaccounted for or, worse, in the possession of, say, foreign governments that managed to hack into Clinton's unsecured private system. If the State Department were to release publicly even redacted copies of the emails, those who may have complete copies will be able to figure out the SAP information and use that knowledge both to compromise government sources and programs, and in analyzing other U.S. government information to which they've gained access. In other words, it is potentially catastrophic."
           Heck, even Bernie "Sick and Tired of Her Damn Emails" Sanders now thinks Clinton's malfeasance is "a very serious issue," though he swears, "I'm not going to politicize it."
          Finally, on a related note, Defense Secretary Ash Carter has decided not to pursue further punishment for Gen. David Petraeus over mishandling of classified information. Perhaps Carter is simply trying to make life easier for Clinton. -The Patriot Post
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 Is Cruz a Liar? 
"Donald slump-Trump and Hilly Clinton and Bernie Sanders have the identical position on health care, which is they want to put the government in charge of you and your doctor," Ted Cruz said Sunday, attacking his rivals' health care plans. "Fact checking" site PolitiFact rated this statement false — because Clinton is the least leftist of the three, as she wants to preserve nObamaCare.
          The next day, slump-Trump called into ABC to defend his position. "Look, Ted Cruz is a total liar," Trump said. "I'm so against nObamaCare. I've been saying it for two years in my speeches. I'm going to repeal and replace nObamaCare."
          So the question is this: What will slump-Trump replace nObama's failed policy with? Currently, slump-Trump has not released a detailed health care plan. But if his past comments are any indicator, he will support some sort of single-payer health care system, similar to that of the socialist candidate. In 2000, while slump-Trump was pondering a third-party presidential run, he published a book, "The America We Deserve." In it, he wrote in praise of single-payer health care systems like the one in Canada: "We must have universal health care. I'm a conservative on most issues but a liberal on this one."
          In this weekend's interview with ABC, slump-Trump insisted he did not support single-payer, but he was downright idealistic regarding providing health care — and he sounded eerily like the liberals that condemn conservatives for their focus on fiscal responsibility: "We'll work something out. That doesn't mean single-payer and maybe [Cruz has] got no heart. And if this means I lose an election, that's fine because frankly, we have to take care of the people in our country. We can't let them die on the sidewalks of New York, or the sidewalks of Iowa, or anywhere else."
          The results, we fear, will be that slump-TrumpCare would expand government even further and fulfill the ideological policy goals set by nObama.  -The Patriot Post
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America’s Economic Freedom Has Rapidly
Declined Under nObama
 Anthony B. Kim
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{dailysignal.com} ~ Millions of people around the world are emerging from poverty thanks torising economic freedom. But by sharp contrast, America’s economic freedom has been on a declining path over the past decade... According to the 2016 Index of Economic Freedom, an annual publication by The Heritage Foundation, America’s economic freedom has tumbled. With losses of economic freedom in eight of the past nine years, the U.S. has tied its worst score ever, wiping out a decade of progress. The U.S. has fallen from the 6th freest economy in the world, when President Barack nObama took office, to 11th place in 2016. America’s declining score in the index is closely related to rapidly rising government spending, subsidies, and bailouts.        http://dailysignal.com/2016/01/31/americas-economic-freedom-has-rap...
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After Facing Questions on Abortion, 2 nObama
Judicial Nominees Fail to Advance
 Philip Wegmann
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{dailysignal.com} ~ The Senate Judiciary Committee is holding up two of President Barack nObama’s judicial nominees for federal judgeships in Pennsylvania... Robert Colville and John Younge, both nominated for lifetime judicial positions, did not receive a vote at Thursday’s committee meeting. Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said the move was meant to give senators more time to review “their records and answers to written questions.” Colville and Younge were nominated by nObama in July to serve as U.S. district judges in Pennsylvania. Their delay comes as conservatives have called for the Republican-controlled Senate to stop confirming nObama’s judicial nominees.        http://dailysignal.com/2016/01/29/after-facing-questions-on-abortio...
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Michael Reagan to slump-Trump:
You’re No Reagan Republican
Fuzzy Slippers
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{legalinsurrection.com} ~ Many conservatives opine that what we need after nObama’s disastrous presidency is the same cure we had after Jimmy Carter’s disastrous presidency: a Ronald Reagan... This desire isn’t lost on the Republican candidates for president. Many are comparing themselves to President Reagan in the hopes of stoking, even fulfilling, that hope. One such comparison to President Reagan was recently made by Donald slump-Trump who compared his very recent Democrat background to that of President Reagan. The Hill reported at the time: In response to questions about the business mogul’s previous status as a card-carrying Democrat, slump-Trump said that he was in good company.  http://legalinsurrection.com/2016/01/michael-reagan-to-trump-youre-...
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Oil Firms Delaying Projects
Tim Maverick
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{wallstreetdaily.com} ~ The 18-month plunge in global oil prices continues unabated... The price is now below $28 per barrel, thanks to even more supply streaming in from Iran. The International Energy Agency warns that the oil market “could drown in oversupply.” The collapse in the oil price has gotten so bad, some sources report that the Fed has told banks not to market their loans to energy companies. The Fed, of course, has denied those reports.
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‘This was all planned’: Former IG says Hilly,
State Dept. are lying
Paul Sperry
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Secretary of State Hilly Clinton in 2010
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{nypost.com} ~ The State Department is lying when it says it didn’t know until it was too late that Hilly Clinton was improperly using personal emails and a private server to conduct official business... because it never set up an agency email address for her in the first place, the department’s former top watchdog says. “This was all planned in advance” to skirt rules governing federal records management, said Howard J. Krongard, who served as the agency’s inspector general from 2005 to 2008. The Harvard-educated lawyer points out that, from Day One, Clinton was never assigned and never used a state.gov email address like previous secretaries. “That’s a change in the standard. It tells me that this was premeditated. And this eliminates claims by the State Department that they were unaware of her private email server until later,” Krongard said in an exclusive interview. “How else was she supposed to do business without email?”
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Secret Fed Docs Show nObama Misled Congress,
Public During Debt Limit Crises
 Richard Pollock
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{dailycaller.com} ~ Federal Reserve Bank of New York officials secretly conducted real-time exercises during the 2011 and 2013 debt-limit crisis that demonstrated the federal government could function during a temporary shutdown by prioritizing spending... even as Treasury Secretary Jack Lew publicly claimed many times that such efforts were “unworkable,” according to a new report by the House Financial Services Committee obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. The staff report, to be released Tuesday, charges that Lew and other nObama administration officials deliberately misled Congress and the public during the federal budget and debt limit showdowns in both years. The committee will convene a public hearing on the report Feb. 2. The report also states that the nObama administration crafted actual contingency plans to pay for Social Security and veterans benefits, as well as principal and interest on the national debt if the government was temporarily unable to borrow more money. The Committee concludes that over the last two years the Treasury Department has “obstructed” congressional efforts to get to the bottom of the administration’s real-time policy during the two showdowns.        http://dailycaller.com/2016/01/31/exclusive-secret-fed-docs-show-ob...
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slump-Trump's Negative Image
Frank Newport
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{gallup.com} ~ Most political and media commentators have at this point installed Donald slump-Trump as the GOP front-runner on the eve of the first actual voting set to begin on Monday in Iowa... But this narrative tends to obscure the fact that slump-Trump is the most unpopular candidate of either party when the entire U.S. population is taken into account -- and that he has a higher unfavorable rating than any nominated candidate from either of the two major parties going back to the 1992 election when we began to track favorability using the current format. At this point (two-week average through Jan. 27), 33% of Americans view Trump favorably and 60% unfavorably. It's that 60% unfavorable figure that I can focus on here. Hilly Clinton currently has a 52% unfavorable rating among all Americans, while Jeb Bush is at 45%, Chris Christie 38%, Ted Cruz 37%, Marco Rubio 33%, Bernie Sanders 31% and Ben Carson 30%. Trump's 60% is clearly well above all of these. Putting his favorable and unfavorable ratings together yields a net favorable of -27 for Trump, far above the -10 for Clinton and for Bush, the next lowest among the major candidates.
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FBI “Super Pissed Off” At nObama, Earnest
Over Latest Clinton Cover Up
 Rick Wells
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{constitutionrising.com} ~ For most Americans, the threat of being charged with obstruction of justice would be enough to prevent us from lying about and covering up criminal activity, particularly when it’s that of someone else... For White House spokes liar Josh Earnest it’s his job. He represents nObama, and nObama will protect him as he protects nObama. Fox’s Catherine Herridge cites a statement made by Earnest in an earlier press briefing and then offers some insight. In the clip  Earnest quotes the anonymous “some officials over there,” meaning non-existent FBI officials intended to be used to direct opinion, “have said that she Hilly Clinton is not a target of the investigation, so that does not seem to be the direction that it’s trending.” Having weighed in on the decision and the process Earnest immediately vows he’s “certainly not going to weigh in on a decision or in that process in any way,” claiming “That is a decision to be made solely by independent prosecutors.” No independent prosecutor has been appointed in the Clinton case as that would lead to a certain indictments and convictions of not only Clinton but probably the entire  nObama regime inner circle.  There is no independence at the DOJ as Loretta Lynch serves entirely at the pleasure of the “president” and it pleases him to have the entire issue of Clinton’s wide-ranging criminality to be forgotten.
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What nObama Just Did To Help Muslim
Terrorists Will Horrify You
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{teapartyupdate.com} ~ While nObama is prepared to pass an executive order that’ll restrict Americans who are on an unconstitutional no fly list from owing a gun he’s completely fine with relaxing protocol in place that’ll allow Muslim terrorists into the country... That makes zero sense. Make it easier for violent Muslims to get in the country while making it harder for Americans to defend themselves. Thanks nObama. The nObama administration on Thursday eased visa rules for certain European travelers who have visited terror hotspots in the Middle East and Africa, triggering a backlash from congressional lawmakers who sought the restrictions for security reasons.        http://teapartyupdate.com/tragic-news-what-obama-just-did-to-help-m...
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Is North Korea Ready To Launch An ICBM?
 NICEDEB
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{nicedeb.wordpress.com} ~ Apparently Japan thinks so, and so does the US. Both countries are actively countering any perceived missile threat from the regime in North Korea... For Japan, among other things, they have recently stood up Patriot anti-missile batteries scattered throughout metropolitan areas. So far, JASDF has admitted installing Patriot batteries near Tokyo and Okinawa as well as deploying ship-based Aegis anti-missile defenses. For the US, one of the several things we have done is that we have pulled our latest radar range missile-tracking ship: the USNS Howard O. Lorenzen hull designation T-AGM-25 from its primary patrol area off the Persian Gulf/Diego Garcia and sent it to the Far East US base at Sasebo, Japan about a month ago. Well, why not? The Iranians are our new best buds, right? They give us our sailors back and don’t blow up our ships. That is might friendly of them eh? So now, the Lorenzen is on station somewhere patrolling in the Sea of Japan between North Korea and Japan. We know it is “on station” because its transponder was shut off sometime after it left Sasebo. https://nicedeb.wordpress.com/2016/01/31/is-north-korea-ready-to-la...
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Palin and the GOP’s Uncertain Trumpeters
 Peggy Noonan
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{peggynoonan.com} ~ Sarah Palin’s public performances continue to be distinctive. Her endorsement of Donald Trump was less speech than podium jazz scat, with some early Elvis thrown in. “Trump’s candidacy, it has exposed not just that tragic, the ramifications of that betrayal of a transformation of our country, but too, he has exposed the complicity on both sides of the aisle that has enabled it, okay?” Essentially: Bee-bop-a-lula he’s my baby. She was scattered, rambly; at moments she foraged through her notes in a way that was almost endearing, looking for lines that would connect and explode. But it’s not as interesting as it used to be because it’s not new.
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If you’re in the mood for irony, here’s one. The great foes of Sarah Palin now are the people who made her a national figure in 2008, defended her and attacked her critics. It is the GOP establishment that now most furiously disses and denigrates her. Everything has switched around in the GOP the past eight years. It is a world turned upside down.
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In the short term her endorsement is said to help in Iowa. It would have helped Ted Cruz if she’d chosen him, because for the first time it would have drawn a line, for some people, between real conservatives and Mr. Trump. So it’s good for Mr. Trump she’s off the table and on his side. But in the long run it’s probably a wash. Mrs. Palin brings her own mad excitement, but at this point she sort of helps you with people who already like you and hurts you with people who already don’t.
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She may become a distraction from Mr. Trump’s daily appearances and statements, which will probably get on his nerves. I wonder if his people are already telling her: Thanks, you’ve done exactly what we wanted and you can go home now. She won’t want to—this is her comeback tour. If she stays on the stump Mr. Trump’s people may ask her to stay on message. She’s heard that before. She was invented by an establishment playing Dr. Frankenstein; the monster could turn on Dr. Trumpenstein too.
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The clever thing she did in her remarks was to bring up Phyllis Schlafly, still a generally uncredited force in the making of modern conservatism and a brave woman. Mrs. Schlafly supports Mr. Trump because she believes the conservative thing to do about a rotting edifice—the Washington political establishment—is to tear it down. Mr. Trump will “defeat the king-makers,” Mrs. Schlafly told Breitbart.com. I’d note that for those who admire the conservative philosopher-statesman Edmund Burke, this sounds radically at odds with his frequent counsel of restraint and respect for history.
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But Mrs. Schlafly’s view, too, has Burkean antecedents. When he thought something so corrupt as to be destructive of British character and national life, he went at it root and branch, as he did with the East India Company, which existed at the heart of and was a symbol of the British establishment. He challenged imperial practices, which is to say imperial corruptions. The point here, again, is that what is at issue in the party right now is not the end of conservatism but what a conservative approach would consist of at this point in history.
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What Mr. Trump really needs is to be endorsed not by Mrs. Palin but by a political figure with stature, some sane member or members or administrations past who could lend him credibility. He needs a gravitas injection. Trumpism suffers among its critics for a reputation for intellectual carelessness—it’s all political joyriding. Mrs. Palin’s presence does nothing to knock that criticism down, and in fact underscores it.
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To a larger point. Eventually in this campaign some candidate is going to have to address Donald Trump and his rise in a thoughtful, serious way. The obvious one is Jeb Bush, by virtue of his name and its association with the way the party used to be—the old, orderly conservatism. Why doesn’t he do it? He insults Mr. Trump—“a jerk,” “unhinged.” He told the Journal’s Mary Kissel this week: “Donald Trump’s not a serious candidate.” Mr. Bush uncorks witless, prefab soundbites: Mr. Trump is a “chaos candidate.” What does that even mean? Mr. Trump’s burly supporters wouldn’t mind a little disruption, an exploding of the elites—that is, chaos.
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Why not make a serious argument? Jeb especially has little to lose—Mr. Trump’s people will never like him—and, potentially, much to gain in terms of his own standing.
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Here’s where he could start:
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What is Trumpism? Define it.
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What’s wrong with Trumpism? Tell us. Is it a threat? To what?
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Is it an attitude and not a plan? In a country split down the middle between leftish and rightish, why would it be harmful to have a new category?
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If Mr. Trump is not a conservative, why is that bad? That is, what’s good about conservatism? Why is it pertinent and necessary? If the GOP base is a big, broad jumble that includes people reliant on entitlements who also see progressive social ambitions as destructive to the nation, how does conservatism speak to them?
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What do you imagine a Trump presidency would look like? His supporters think he’ll go in there and clean out the stables. Would he? Could he? Can you?
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What’s wrong with a little disorder? Does Trumpism enliven our political life with zest and unpredictability, or does it diminish our political life with unthinking emotionalism and shallowness?
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Why is it important that a president have previous governmental experience? Here I will add that I have seen longtime officeholders start out with fire and idealism, only in time to learn too well what isn’t possible. “We can’t get that through.” “We lost on that one last time.” They quietly give up; their sense of reality becomes a lethargic pessimism. Mr. Trump, new to political office, would not know what’s impossible. Leaders like that, if they also have talent, wisdom, popularity and organization, can occasionally make the impossible happen. Is it worth the chance?
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Most important, did Mr. Trump come from nowhere? Did the GOP establishment make any mistakes the past 15 years? If so, how can the damage be repaired? Was the Republican elite, like the Democratic one, essentially uninterested in the eroding power and position of the American working class? Were GOP leaders insensitive, cynical and selfish regarding public disapproval of and anxieties about illegal immigration?
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What do you see when you look at Trumpism? Aside from what Robert Oppenheimer saw when the bomb exploded: “I am become death, destroyer of worlds.” Is Trumpism in part a hopeful tendency, or just a throwing in of the towel?
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Imagine such a speech—a serious, respectful, historically grounded one.
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And why not? History is serious. It isn’t just the beeps and bops of daily events in a political year, it has to do with major outcomes in the life of a people. This moment is part of the political history of the United States.
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Have some imagination! Sarah Palin just entered the picture. This will make people hungrier than ever for thoughtful, candid, sober reflection. Someone has to be as big as history.
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LIGHTER SIDE

 

Political Cartoons by AF Branco

Political Cartoons by AF Branco

ALERT ALERT

Joe Biden Vows: Give Taxpayer-Funded Obamacare To All Illegal Aliens In U.S.

Former Vice President and 2020 Democrat presidential primary candidate Joe Biden is vowing to give Obamacare, funded by American taxpayers, to all 11 to 22 million illegal aliens living in the United States.

During an interview with Telemundo’s Jose Diaz-Balart, Biden forgot that Obamacare technically bans illegal aliens from enrolling in healthcare plans — although illegal aliens are still able to obtain subsidized and free healthcare at Americans’ expense — and promised that under his plan, all 11 to 22 million illegal aliens would be able to get Obamacare.

The exchange went as follows:

DIAZ-BALART: When I … NBC moderated that first debate with you, I didn’t … I don’t recall a clear answer, under your plan should … would the 11, 12 million undocumented immigrants that live in the United States, that have been here many for generations, would they have access …

BIDEN: Yes.

DIAZ-BALART: — to health insurance.

BIDEN: Yes, they … if they can buy into the system like everybody else.

DIAZ-BALART: Because you know, in [Obamacare] they can’t.

BIDEN: Yeah. Yeah, I know. Well they can, that’s my point. They continue to be able to do that.

DIAN-BALART: They cannot under the ObamaCare.

BIDEN: Well and that’s my point, they will though. They will be able to buy into … [illegal aliens] would be able to buy in, just like anyone else could.

Biden joins Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg — among other 2020 Democrats — in committing to forcing American taxpayers to pay for healthcare for illegal aliens who arrive in the U.S.

Already, due to loopholes, American taxpayers are spending nearly $20 billion every year to provide illegal aliens with subsidized healthcare, emergency room visits, and other health services.

Under the 2020 Democrats’ plan to provide taxpayer-funded healthcare to all illegal aliens living in the U.S., Americans would be billed potentially $660 billion every decade just to cover the costs. Other research has found that the plan would cost Americans at least $23 billion every year.

As Breitbart News has reported, experts have said that giving taxpayer-funded healthcare to effectively all foreign nationals who can make it to America’s borders would drive “strong incentives for people with serious health problems to enter the country or remain longer than their visas allow in order to get government-funded care.”

Despite 2020 Democrats’ continued push for taxpayer-funded healthcare for illegal aliens, American voters are overwhelmingly opposed to the plan. The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey revealed that the healthcare-for-illegal-aliens plan is the least popular policy position, with opposition from 62 percent of U.S. voters.

Similarly, a CNN poll from July discovered that 63 percent of likely swing voters oppose providing healthcare to illegal aliens, along with nearly 6-in-10 of all likely U.S. voters and 61 percent of moderates. A Rasmussen Reports survey also found that likely voters, by a majority of 55 percent, oppose giving healthcare to even the most low-income illegal aliens.

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