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TheFrontPageCover
~ Featuring ~
NATO: No Longer Relevant?
John J. Bastiat  
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Wednesday Top News Executive Summary
Media Editors:  Above the Fold


UPPING THE ANTE OF A SPENDING BILL: scumbag/liar-Clinton-appointed judge bars Trump from building border wall with military funds (Bloomberg)

NO EVIDENCE OF MISLEADING: New York judge rules in favor of Exxon in climate-change fraud case (National Review)

Government & Politics


SPEEDY TRIAL: Republicans prepare to call no witnesses during Senate impeachment trial (National Review)

FOR AFTER THE TRIAL: Senate will not take up new NAFTA deal this year, declares McConnell (The Hill)

*WORST. HOMOPHOBIC. PRESIDENT. EVER. Senate confirms openly gay Trump nominee to 9th Circuit (The Washington Times)

*WORST. NAZI. PRESIDENT. EVER. Trump to sign executive order combating anti-Semitism (The Washington Free Beacon)

*(Hat tip to Glenn Reynolds for the taglines.)

National Security


SAUDI SECURITY REVIEW: U.S. grounds Saudi pilots, halts military training after base shooting (Reuters)

ENSURING REGULATORY CONFORMITY: Defense Department Inspector General’s office to probe use of military personnel on U.S.-Mexico border (National Review)

From the Department of Woke


PRONOUN WARS: “They” declared 2019 “Word of the Year” by Merriam-Webster (The Daily Wire)

CREATING AND ENABLING A VICTIM: Greta Thunberg named Time magazine’s 2019 Person of the Year (ABC News)

OUTBREEDING THE INFIDELS: For the first time ever, Muhammad has made the list of top ten baby names in America (PJ Media)

Closing Arguments


POLICY: Paid family leave: Avoiding a new national entitlement (The Heritage Foundation)

POLICY: The cost of America’s cultural revolution (City Journal)

HUMOR: Report: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph were actually detained under the scumbag/liar-nObama administration (The Babylon Bee)  

~The Patriot Post
https://patriotpost.us/articles/67297?mailing_id=4726&utm_mediu...     
IG Horowitz Senate Testimony 
on FBI FISA Abuse During Election 
by sundance
{ theconservativetreehouse.com } ~ The Senate Committee on the Judiciary hearing entitled “Examining the Inspector General’s Report on Alleged Abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act” will be held today at 10:00am Eastern.  https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/12/11/ig-horowitz-senate-...  
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Trump Bashes 'Current' FBI Director 
Christopher Wray for IG Report Response
By Jack Davis 
{ westernjournal.com } ~ President Donald Trump tweeted his rage with FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday, a day after Wray said the recently released Inspector General’s report on the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign in 2016 shows... the FBI was justified in launching the probe. The report by Justice Department  Inspector General Michael Horowitz found 17 “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants that approved surveillance, Fox News reported. The report said that it did not find top FBI officials had acted from their political bias against Trump. “I don’t know what report current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn’t the one given to me. With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!” Trump tweeted. Trump also sent a tweet with quotes attributed to Fox News host Brit Hume, who offered his take on the report Monday. “‘You have to look at the 17 instances of misconduct cited in the Report, they are very bad. The FISA Court was clearly taken for a ride on this, a failure of the FBI up and down the chain of command. It’s about as strong a medicine as I’ve seen in a report of this kind in a very long time. The FBI has had some dark day in its past, but nothing like this.“‘This was VERY SERIOUS MISCONDUCT ON THE PART OF THE FBI.’ @brithume@BretBaier  Are you listening scumbag-Comey, McCabe, lovers Lisa & Peter, the beautiful Ohr family, scumbag/commie-Brennan, scumbag-Clapper & many more?” Trump tweeted, listing a litany of FBI and intelligence officials who have opposed Trump. In a Monday interview, Wray told ABC News the report had good and bad parts for his agency. Wray admitted there were “actions described in this report that I considered unacceptable and unrepresentative of who we are as an institution.” Wray also said it was “important that the inspector general found that, in this particular instance, the investigation was opened with appropriate predication and authorization.” When asked if he thought the FBI unfairly targeted Trump’s campaign in 2016, Wray answered, “I do not.”...
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'End this': Republicans poised to call no 
witnesses during Trump impeachment 
trial in Senate
by David M. Drucker
{ washingtonexaminer.com } ~ Senate Republicans do not expect to call witnesses President Trump might want to hear from most in an impeachment trial, conceding there are not the votes to summon key figures... such as Hunter Biden and the unidentified government whistleblower whose complaint sparked the process. Senate impeachment rules require a majority vote to call witnesses, and with just two out of 53 votes to spare, there is no “appetite” among Republicans to pursue testimony from people that Democrats blocked Republicans from subpoenaing during the House investigation. Indeed, Republicans might forgo calling witnesses altogether, saying minds are made up on Trump’s guilt or innocence and that testimony at trial on the Senate floor would draw out the proceedings unnecessarily. “Here’s what I want to avoid: this thing going on longer than it needs to,” Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina told the Washington Examiner. “I want to end this.” Top Republicans are leaning toward calling for a vote to acquit Trump immediately after House Democrats and the White House have delivered their arguments to head off partisan disagreements that might lengthen the trial. “At that point, I would expect that most members would be ready to vote and wouldn’t need more information,” said John Barrasso of Wyoming, the No. 3-ranked Senate Republican. “Many people have their minds pretty well made up.” That would amount to a slightly extended version of events two weeks or so of what some observers had once thought might occur, though was never seriously considered: Republicans holding no trial at all and simply voting to acquit. House Democrats on Tuesday introduced two articles of impeachment, charging Trump with abusing his power in dealings with Ukraine and obstructing Congress. A vote to impeach the president is expected before Christmas, kicking the matter to the Senate for a January trial. Complaining that the Democratic-run investigation in the House was unfair, Trump is planning to wage a vigorous defense in the Republican-controlled Senate, where he expects more evenhanded treatment. That has led some of the president’s defenders to hope the Senate calls witnesses such as Hunter Biden, son of former Vice President loose lips liar-Joe Biden; the whistleblower; Democratic operative Alexandra Chalupa; and Glenn Simpson and Peter Fritsch, whose firm, Fusion GPS, was contracted during the 2016 campaign to dig up dirt on Trump. The president is not in danger of being removed from office by the Senate, a move that requires 67 votes...
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scumbag-James Comey has put 
scumbag/liar-nObama at center of 
anti-Trump coup, says Limbaugh
by wnd.com ~ Talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh says that while DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz found no evidence of political bias in the scumbag/liar-nObama administration's effort... to obtain warrants to spy on the Trump campaign, there's more to the story. Horowitz didn't prove that there was no bias, he only concluded that he found no evidence for it. Further, his report confirms the counter-intelligence probe against the Trump campaign was based mostly was based on made-up allegations from the Steele dossier, which was funded by the Democratic National Committee and scumbag/liar-Hillary Clinton's campaign. Significantly, Limbaugh said, the report shows scumbag/liar-nObama was at the center of the "coup attempt." He noted FBI Director scumbag-James Comey "acknowledged that he told scumbag/liar-nObama some of this." Further, U.S. Attorney John Durham, who has an open criminal investigation into the origins of the probe of Trump, publicly said Monday he disagreed Horowitz' conclusions that the basis for opening the probe was justified and there was no evidence of political bias." Durham has kind of shown some cards and the cards that he has shown has people worried. I'm telling you, there are media people and people like scumbag-Comey and others in Washington – despite their public appearances – who are quaking over what is going to be found." Limbaugh said the significance of scumbag-Comey admitting that he told scumbag/liar-nObama about the Trump probe is he and former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe "and others are gonna be able to say: 'Hey, scumbag/liar-nObama was in charge! scumbag/liar-nObama told us! scumbag/liar-nObama ... scumbag/liar-nObama knew," "Because I guarantee you when it gets down to the nitty-gritty, we still have time for people to flip, and there's gonna be some serious questions people asking themselves. 'Do I want to go to jail to protect so-and-so? Do I want to go to jail? Do I want to spend the rest of my life in jail to protect X?' So scumbag-Comey admitting that he told scumbag/liar-nObama is already laying down a potential defense that it was simply following orders. They were all simply following orders, that scumbag/liar-nObama knew what was going on."...   https://www.wnd.com/2019/12/james-comey-put-obama-center-anti-trump...   
scumbag/liar-Clinton Judge Blocks 
Billions In Funding For Border Wall
by DEAN JAMES
{ rightwingtribune.com } ~ A federal judge, who was appointed by scumbag/liar-Bill Clinton has ruled that the Trump administration cannot use several billion dollars in military funding to pay for border wall construction along the U.S.-Mexico wall... The liberal judge, David Briones has served on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas since his appointment by former President scumbag/liar-Bill Clinton in 1994. “After due consideration, the Court is of the opinion that a declaratory judgment and permanent injunction shall be granted in Plaintiffs’ favor,” Briones wrote in the court ruling. The Daily Caller News Foundation reports that the decision regards a lawsuit brought by Border Network for Human Rights, an immigration-rights organization, and El Paso County, Texas. The plaintiffs argued that President Donald Trump overstepped his authority when he declared an emergency at the southern border earlier in 2019, allowing him to reallocate more funds for the border wall on top of the $1.375 billion Congress had just appropriated for construction at the time. Border Network for Human Rights and El Paso County were represented by Protect Democracy, a progressive group that regularly litigates against the Trump administration, the DCNF reported. “The president’s emergency proclamation was a blatant attempt to grab power from Congress. Today’s order affirms that the president is not a king and that our courts are willing to check him when he oversteps his bounds. This is a huge win for democracy and the rule of law,” said Kristy Parker, counsel for Protect Democracy. The ruling would affect Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s recent move to divert $3.6 billion in military construction funds to numerous projects across the U.S.-Mexico border. However, there are other funds of which the judge’s decision has not affected. The White House, like many other unfavorable court decisions in the past, is expected to appeal the ruling. The Trump administration has completed about 83 miles of barricade along the southern border, but most of these sections have been the replacement of old, dilapidated walls with newer ones. The administration, spearheaded by Jared Kushner, is aiming to complete at least 400 miles by November 2020.   https://rightwingtribune.com/2019/12/11/clinton-judge-blocks/ 
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 Spain's 'Migrant Friendly' Border Fences
by Soeren Kern
{ gatestoneinstitute.org } ~ Spanish authorities have begun removing razor wire, known as concertina wire, from border fences along Spain's frontier with Morocco... The Socialist government ordered their removal after migrants who tried to jump the fences to enter Europe illegally suffered injuries after coming into contact with the wire. Spanish Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska justified the removal by saying that Morocco had recently  installed concertina wire on fences on its side of the border, and that therefore it was no longer necessary on the Spanish side. Critics say that the razor wire functions as a significant deterrent to illegal immigration and that by removing it, the Spanish government not only risks unleashing new waves of mass migration from Africa, but also gives effective control of the Spanish border to Morocco, with which Spain has a tense relationship. Morocco frequently dumps large numbers of illegal migrants along the Spanish border to extract concessions from the Spanish government on unrelated issues. The border fences in question involve those at Spain's North African exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla — magnets for Africans seeking a better life in Europe. At Ceuta, two parallel fences that are six meters (20 feet) high and topped with concertina wire run eight kilometers (five miles) along the border with Morocco. At Melilla, twin fences that are four meters (13 feet) high run 12 kilometers (eight miles) along the border. The fences at Ceuta and Melilla are fortified with anti-climb mesh, video cameras, noise and motion sensors, spotlights and surveillance posts. Each year, thousands of migrants — sometimes hundreds at a time — try to scale the fences at Ceuta and Melilla, where they are often successful. Once inside Spanish territory, illegal migrants are in the European Union, where magnanimous human rights laws virtually guarantee that they will never be deported back to their countries of origin...  https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/15263/spain-migrants-border-fences  
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Navy grounds hundreds of Saudi military 
aviation students in wake of Pensacola shooting
by Zachary Halaschak
{ washingtonexaminer.com } ~ About 300 Saudi military aviation students at three different bases have been suspended from flying following the recent shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida... The grounding was part of a “safety stand-down” issued after 21-year-old Mohammed Alshamrani, a second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force, killed three sailors and wounded eight more at the base on Friday, according to Reuters. “A safety stand-down and operational pause commenced Monday for Saudi Arabian aviation students,” said Lt. Andriana Genualdi, a Navy spokeswoman. The grounding affected two different military facilities in the state, Naval Air Station Whiting Field and Naval Air Station Mayport, in addition to Naval Air Station Pensacola, where the shooting occurred. It is unclear when the grounding for the Saudi students will be lifted. The shooting is being investigated as an act of terror, although FBI investigators believe that Alshamrani acted alone.
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NATO: No Longer Relevant?
John J. Bastiat:  The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) just celebrated its 70th birthday, but a “happy” birthday it was not. The 29-nation security alliance between the U.S. and greater Europe, created in the wake of extreme Cold-War tensions between the U.S. and the former USSR, is being touted by some as losing its relevance, focus, and raison d'être. Other arguments point to the seemingly incessant infighting of its members, claiming such conflicts clearly demonstrate that the tenuous pact simply cannot last.

Among the former group of naysayers are such notables as French President Emmanuel Macron, who labels those who characterize Russia as a threat “relics,” slavishly chained to outdated thinking. Rather, he asserts, the real focus of NATO — setting aside the question in his mind of whether NATO has a place in today’s world at all — is to fight terrorism. And Macron should know a thing or two that particular topic, since his country is a veritable haven for terrorists — but we digress. The Kremlin, of course, is practically “giddy” at Macron’s attempt to draw fire away from Russia, even more so after his reckless statement that NATO is “on the edge of a precipice” and suffering “brain death” because of its loss of focus on its “real” target: Terrorism. Sure thing.

For our part, we actually echo Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s off-the-top-turnbuckle snappy retort: “First of all, check if you are not brain-dead yourself!” In other words, one would have to be practically brain-dead not to appreciate NATO’s contribution to the stability of the West — let alone to world stability. And NATO continues to anchor the European component of the Pax Americana international order. If even Erdoğan “gets” that, perhaps Monsieur Macron should, as well. All this “pushback,” of course, sources from a country whose on-again-off-again “full” membership in NATO was restored only 10 years ago, based on its cagey-at-best view of NATO. Moreover, Macron’s appeasing, willful blindness to Russia’s naked aggressions — for example, Russia’s energy-blackmail of Europe, its buildup of offensive military forces along its borders, and even outside its borders, in the cases of Ukraine, Crimea, and Georgia — can only have negative consequences in the long run. Ask Neville Chamberlain: “Peace for our time” — Oui, Emmanuel?

The U.S. has paid more than its fair share in blood, sweat, and capital to maintain NATO’s viability, and Europe — and the rest of the planet, for that matter — is so much the better off for it. In a related-passing question we ask: Why do some nations consider it surprising that a somewhat-brash U.S. leader is calling out foot-dragging NATO nations for failures to pony-up to obligations to which they’ve signed up for, for decades, but which they’ve never actually fulfilled? The U.S. has long seen its fate and that of Europe — however allegedly disparate our demographics, beliefs, and cultures — as being intimately and inextricably intertwined, and based on a lookback at history that view is more than justified. Asking for Europe’s member nations to step up to obligations to which they’ve previously promised to fulfill, in our minds, isn’t a stretch.

Hopefully NATO will endure through this present uncertainty. If not, it will be every-nation-for-itself, resulting in an endgame no nation should want. We should also keep in mind the existential threats posed by both China and Russia: Both nations are actively engaged in undermining the fundamental values and orders of both the U.S. and Europe, so to the extent these threats are ignored, to that extent they will continue to grow.

As to the argument citing discord among NATO member nations as a rationale for ending NATO, we note that while NATO isn’t perfect — no large alliance of hundreds upon hundreds of millions of people should be expected to be so — it has lasted now for more than 70 years with a demonstrated track record of success. Perhaps before we “throw the baby out with the bath water,” we — and the people of Europe — should reconsider the dire consequences of ending the amazing run of the success known simply as “NATO.” As one senior U.S. administration official noted, “Underneath all of the democratic politics hurly-burly, the alliance members are fully in accord on the goals of their shared commitments in this institute, absolutely.”   ~The Patriot Post

https://patriotpost.us/articles/67242?mailing_id=4721&utm_mediu...  

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ALERT ALERT

Florida Sheriff — “I Will Not Enforce Assault Weapons Ban, Neither Will Most Sheriffs”

Dennis Lemma, who is the Sheriff in Central Florida’s Seminole County, told a group of 2nd Amendment activists recently that he would not enforce an assault weapons ban that could soon become Florida law if the “Ban Assault Weapons Now” amendment passes in the Sunshine State.

According to News965, the ban has the following specifications.

The amendment proposed in the state legislature would ban possession of assault weapons, which are defined as “semiautomatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition at once, either in fixed or detachable magazine, or any other ammunition feeding device.”

Lemma, an ardent supporter of the 2nd Amendment and a first term sheriff who is running for re-election, said this about whether or not he would enforce such a law.

“It’s not only that I wouldn’t, the majority of sheriffs across the state would not do it,” Lemma said in the video. It’s up to the sheriffs what they are willing to enforce.”

Trump Holds Rally in Milwaukee, WI 1-14-20

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