~ Featuring ~  
Moving The Electoral Goal Posts
Tom McLaughlin
More U.S. Navy Personnel Deployed 
to Middle East Than Anywhere Else
by Ben Werner } ~ At a time of increased tensions between Washington and Tehran, the U.S. Navy has more personnel deployed to the Middle East than anywhere else in the world... USNI News has learned. On Sunday, the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group with embarked 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit entered the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility, joining the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group already on station in 5th Fleet. As a result, the Navy now has 28,000 personnel deployed to the region. In comparison, the Navy currently has 24,000 personnel deployed to the Western Pacific and Indian Oceans, according to Navy data reviewed by USNI News. “All of our training and our transit to 5th Fleet have made us prepared to respond to any crises across the range of military operations,” Capt. Brad Arthur, commander of Amphibious Squadron 5 and the Boxer ARG/11th MEU team, said in a statement. The ARG includes amphibious assault ship USS  Boxer (LHD-4), San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock USS John P. Murtha (LPD-26) and Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ship USS Harpers Ferry (LSD-49), according to the USNI News Fleet Tracker. As the Boxer ARG and 11th MEU entered the region, President Donald Trump unveiled a new set of sanctions he’s imposing on the leadership of Iran, following last week’s downing of a U.S. Navy drone and the recent mine attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman. The sanctions represent a strong and proportional response to Iran’s recent actions, Trump said when signing the executive order imposing the sanctions, according to a transcript released by the White House. “Today’s action follows a series of aggressive behaviors by the Iranian regime in recent weeks, including shooting down of U.S. drones,” Trump said, according to the White House transcript. “Sanctions imposed through the executive order that I’m about to sign will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader’s Office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support. The assets of Ayatollah Khamenei and his office will not be spared from the sanctions.”...
Iran-Orchestrated Attack on Saudi 
Airport Threatens Americans
by Adam Kredo } ~ An Iran-orchestrated attack conducted Sunday against Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport directly threatens Americans living in the country and marks the second time in less than two weeks... that Tehran’s terror forces have used drones to attack American allies, according to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. At least one person was killed and more than 20 wounded in the strike, which the United States has determined was carried out by Iranian-armed Houthi rebel forces operating from Yemen. The strike is just another flashpoint in an increasingly violent standoff between the Trump administration and Iran, which announced on Monday that it would sue the United States in international court in response to a series of cyber attacks carried out by the Trump administration as payback for the recent downing of an unmanned American drone. The situation in Yemen, where Iran has armed and trained Houthi rebels, represents just another front in the proxy war between the Islamic Republic and U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia. Top U.S officials, including Pompeo, said the Trump administration would not hesitate to defend its interests and American citizens stationed abroad." These Iranian-backed attacks are unacceptable, and all the more reprehensible given that they targeted innocent civilians," Pompeo said on Monday. "They also put Americans living, working, and transiting through Saudi Arabia at risk." "We call on the Iran-backed Houthis to end these reckless and provocative attacks on behalf of the Iranian regime," Pompeo said. "The Houthis should engage constructively in the U.N.-led political process to end the conflict and adhere to the commitments they made in Sweden." Pompeo emphasized that these attacks are directly authorized by Iran and are being conducted as part of the Islamic Republic’s campaign to foment unrest in the region... This standoff between the Trump administration and Iran would still happen.
Iran says latest US sanctions ends 
‘channel of diplomacy forever’
by Edmund DeMarche } ~ A spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a tweet Tuesday that the new U.S. sanctions that target Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and other Iranian officials permanently end any chance of diplomacy between countries... The comment was followed by Iranian  President Rouhani, who mocked the White House and said it is "afflicted by mental retardation." Rouhani spoke live in a televised address on Tuesday. The U.S. and Iran have seen tensions increase exponentially in the past few weeks after an initial U.S. sanctions squeeze that Washington said led to the attacks on two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz. The situation became increasingly dire last week after Tehran admitted to downing a $100 million U.S. Navy drone. Abbas Mousavi took to Twitter to call out President Trump’s latest decision to impose additional sanctions and said the sanctions means “closing channel of diplomacy forever,” according to Reuters. “Trump’s desperate administration is destroying the established international mechanisms for maintaining world peace and security,” the tweet read. John Bolton, Trump's national security adviser, later said the U.S. is open to negotiations, all Iran needs to do is "walk through that open door." It was unclear if his response was in connection to Mousavi's tweet...
Iran, Russia, China Continuing Operations 
to Disrupt 2020 Elections
by  Adam Kredo
{} ~ Foreign governments including Iran, China, and Russia are expanding their covert operations to influence the 2020 U.S. elections... according to multiple senior intelligence and Trump administration officials who disclosed Monday that these countries are using a series of networks to foment unrest in America. In the lead-up to the 2020 elections, the United States is already laying the groundwork to boost its own counter-operations and detection methods in order to thwart a possible attack on the nationwide election systems, as well as social media efforts by rogue nations to influence any results, these officials said. Top U.S. intelligence, law enforcement, and military officials have already begun to meet with the 2020 political contenders as well as the respective political parties in a bid to unify data collection and help pinpoint the source of any foreign cyberstrike. While Russia has been the primary focus since its well-documented efforts to sway the contentious 2016 presidential election and later the 2018 congressional midterms, intelligence officials disclosed that they have expanded their efforts to also monitor Iran, China, and North Korea. "We're focused on both infrastructure security as well as foreign influence operations," a senior intelligence official said during a Monday afternoon press call that was held only on background. "From our perspective, … we do believe the 2020 elections are a potential target for state and nonstate actors." "Foreign influence operations remain a considerable area of concern," the official said, noting that Russia’s plan "is to pit Americans against each other" in order to foment discord and undermine the U.S. political system. China, too, has attempted to sway the public discourse through its use of propaganda outlets, and "Iran is increasing their use of social media" toward this end, the official said. The United States is undertaking what it calls a "whole of government" approach to the problem that includes uniting intelligence, law enforcement, and military agencies...
Will Radicalization Work for the Democrats?
by Veronika Kyrylenko } ~ With the political struggle slowly but surely heating up heading into the 2020 presidential campaign, the Democrats find themselves in search of a campaign strategy that will bring them victory... While some observers believe that a successful campaign would appeal to moderate and undecided voters, others urge giving the Republican opponents a fierce fight. The proponents of the moderate approach argue that admonitions from the Democratic camp such as those of scumbag/liar-Hillary Clinton who dismissed any civility in a dialogue with the Republicans, or scumbag-Eric Holder, who said that “when they Republicans go low, we kick them,” or scumbag-Cory Booker, who urged protesters of President Trump to confront administration officials just like scumbag/mad-Maxine Waters  before him -- are turning off moderates while unifying and agitating the Trump base against the “liberal mob.” Distorted with rage and hatred, the faces of the “Resistance” movement with its many marches, seething hostility at town halls and anti-Trump placards shouting at passersby from bungalow windows add some nasty colors to the picture. Many other commentators, however, call for even more offensive and energetic approach against the Republicans, and President Trump most of all, and blast those “bridge-building” moderates like loose lips liar-Joe Biden -- as they portray him -- as cowards who have nothing else to offer but consensus-seeking. Trapped in a black-and-white, all-or-nothing categorical thinking, those Democrats are ready to fight against Trump with whatever means necessary. For if Donald Trump is a pure evil, then everything he stands for is evil, and cannot be accepted, period. For instance, both liar-Nancy Pulosi and Chuck scumbag-Schumer were harshly criticized for supporting Trump’s infrastructure plan – even though it’s impossible to imagine a more nonpartisan project that would benefit all Americans regardless of their political views! Or the rejected DACA deal proposed by Trump which would include not just the roughly 700,000 Dreamer immigrants who have applied for DACA protection since 2012, but an additional 1.1 million illegal immigrants who could have qualified but have not yet applied? “Democrats would be crazy to reject it,” – ran CNBC. Apparently, they were. Then there is the ideological aspect to consider. The Democratic camp is rapidly leaning further to the left. This tendency is personified in the dramatic ascent of politicians such as commie-Bernie Sanders of Vermont, against whom scumbag/liar-Hillary Clinton had to play dirty to win the nomination in 2016. The most prominent socialist in America, commie-Bernie, 77, could energize the voters in the way no other Democrat could, drawing far more votes in the primaries from those under the age of 30 than did scumbag/liar-Clinton and Trump combined. The purely socialist ideas that he’s been voicing way before they become mainstream -- Medicare for all, higher top marginal taxes, ultra-liberal immigration legislation and abolishment of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, free college tuition and many others, are now being echoed and promoted by other Democratic candidates participating in the race. “The future of the Democratic Party, and by extension the country, may well depend on whether the party is finally willing to ditch its fretful posture of peacemaking and give war a chance,” -- beats the war drum of the New Republic. So what are the chances that further radicalization and unwillingness to negotiate will help Democrats in 2020? The first thing to consider would be an economic reality that the people are actually experiencing themselves. Trump’s economic policies resulted in a growth of the real gross domestic product (GDP) that exceeded 3 percent over the last four quarters of 2018 and 4.2 percent in the second quarter. More than five million jobs have been created since President Trump’s election and the unemployment rate remains below 4 percent, with the record-low unemployment among African Americans and Hispanics. Now, how can you possibly wage war against a booming economy? Freshman congresswoman commie-Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did, and her “victory over Amazon” cost New Yorkers “at least 25,000-40,000 good paying jobs and nearly $30 billion dollars in new revenue to fund transit improvements, new housing, schools and countless other quality-of-life improvements,” as NY Governor scumbag-Andrew Cuomo wailed...  
Moving The Electoral Goal Posts
Tom McLaughlin } ~ Democrats have been bitterly disappointed by some election results over the past two decades — both nationally and in Maine, so now they want to move the goal posts. Maine Democrats were burned when they nominated a weak gubernatorial candidate in 2010 in the person of Libby Mitchell. She got only 18.8% (108,387) of the vote, while the winner, Governor Paul LePage got 37.6% (218,065). He might not have won if there weren’t a spoiler candidate named Elliot Cutler in the race who obtained 35.9% (208,270) of total votes cast.  
Mitchell, Cutler, and LePage  

Cutler was an Independent but ran on a platform far to the left of Republican LePage. He supported public funding for abortion, opposed education vouchers, favored same-sex marriage, affirmative action, and amnesty for illegal aliens. If either he or Mitchell were running head-to-head against LePage, the outcome would likely have been different.  
LePage, Cutler, Michaud  
In 2014, Maine Democrats nominated former congressman Mike Michaud, but again Elliot Cutler ran as an independent liberal — and again he was the spoiler drawing 8.43% ((51,405) of the vote that, if it were added to fellow liberal Mike Michaud’s 43.34% (264,369), would have put him over the top against LePage who won reelection. Democrats were furious. They hated LePage who was a fighter much like President Trump whom he endorsed for President in 2016.   
Democrats nationally never got over losing the 2000 election to George W. Bush after their candidate, Al Gore, had won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote. That’s only happened five times in US History but the last two occurred in the past two decades and both times it was the Democrat candidate who was burned. The second one, as I’m sure you know, was scumbag/liar-Hillary Clinton in 2016.  
After the hated Maine Governor Paul LePage’s reelection with a plurality of the vote, Democrats circulated a referendum petition for something called “Ranked Choice Voting” which passed in 2016. It was employed against Republican Congressman Bruce Poliquin who won a plurality of the 2018 popular vote and thought himself the winner — but the goal posts had been moved. Voters were urged to vote for all candidates on the ballot for a particular office. They could vote for just one candidate as they always had, or they can rank their choices first, second, third, etc.  
If no candidate gets a majority of first choices, the candidate with the lowest vote total is eliminated and counting starts over. If there still isn’t a candidate with a majority of first choices, the process is repeated until there is. That’s how Democrat candidate Jared Golden was declared the winner. If balloting were done as it always had been, Republican Bruce Poliquin would have won reelection.  
Supporters call ranked-choice balloting an “instant run-off.” Republicans call it an instant rip-off and consider the election flawed. A real run-off, the way other states like Louisiana do it, would mean the top two vote-getters then go head-to-head in another election. That way, the candidate with the most votes would win — a process voters can support because they understand it. If Poloquin and Golden were to have gone head-to-head, the result might well have been different.  
Most Mainers who hated Governor LePage also hate President Trump and would like to eliminate the electoral college process that elected him. To do that, however, requires a constitutional amendment and that’s a very difficult process. I remember former Maine US Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, a Democrat, came to Fryeburg years ago and said the amendment process is intentionally difficult because our plan of government — which is what our constitution is — should never be changed without a broad, public consensus.  
Article Five declares that to eliminate the electoral college, two-thirds of both houses of Congress would have to propose an amendment. Then it would have to be ratified by three-quarters of state legislatures. Democrats know there isn’t enough support for all that so, rather than follow the Constitutional process, they’re trying to circumvent it by forming something called “The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact,” or NPV. According to last month’sImprimis:

Until this year, every state that had joined NPV was heavily Democratic: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. The NPV campaign has struggled to win other Democratic states: Delaware only adopted it this year and it still has not passed in Oregon though it may soon. Following the 2018 election, Democrats came into control of both the legislatures and the governorships in the purple states of Colorado and New Mexico, which have subsequently joined NPV.
Maine Democrats almost passed a bill to join NPV but it lost narrowly last month. Had it passed, Maine would have forfeited power over its four electoral votes. They would instead have been awarded to whatever candidate won the most popular votes nationally.  

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Political Cartoons by AF Branco

Political Cartoons by AF Branco


Horrible: Democrats Set The Constitution On Fire With Fraudulent Impeachment

House Democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning after an investigation that violated fundamental provisions of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The investigation of the president began with the complaint of a so-called “whistleblower” who turned out to be a rogue Central Intelligence Agency employee, protected by a lawyer who had called for a “coup” against Trump in early 2017.

Democrats first demanded that the “whistleblower” be allowed to testify. But after House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) was found to have lied about his committee’s contact with the “whistleblower,” and after details of the “whistleblower’s” bias began to leak, Democrats reversed course. In violation of the President Trump’s Sixth Amendment right to confront his accuser, Democrats refused to allow the “whistleblower” to testify. They argue the president’s procedural rights, even if they existed, would not apply until he was tried in the Senate — but they also invented a fraudulent “right to anonymity” that, they hope, might conceal the whistleblower even then.

Schiff began the “impeachment inquiry” in secret, behind the closed doors of the Sensitive Compartmentalized Information Facility (SCIF) in the basement of the U.S. Capitol, even though none of the testimony was deemed classified. Few members of Congress were allowed access. Schiff allowed selective bits of testimony to leak to friendly media, while withholding transcripts of testimony.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), having allowed the secret process to unfold, legitimized it with a party-line vote authorizing the inquiry. The House resolution denied President Trump the procedural rights enjoyed by Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton, and denied the minority party the traditional right to object to witnesses called by the majority.

Rather than the House Judiciary Committee, which traditionally handles impeachment, Pelosi also deputized the House Intelligence Committee to conduct fact-finding; the Judiciary Committee was turned into a rubber stamp. Schiff held a few public hearings, but often failed to release transcripts containing exculpatory evidence until after they had passed.

In the course of the Intelligence Committee’s investigation, Schiff quietly spied on the telephone records of his Republican counterpart, Ranking Member Devin Nunes (R-CA). He also snooped on the phone records of a journalist, John Solomon; and on the phone records of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, acting as President Trump’s personal lawyer.

Schiff’s eavesdropping violated both the First Amendment right to press freedom and the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. Yet he proceeded undeterred by constitutional rights, publishing the phone logs in his committee’s report without warning, confirmation, or explanation, alleging that Nunes and the others were part of a conspiracy to assist the president’s allegedly impeachable conduct. When Republicans on the Judiciary Committee asked the Intelligence Committee’s majority counsel, Daniel Goldman, to explain the phone logs, he refused to answer,

Ironically, Schiff had done exactly what Democrats accuse Trump of doing: abused his power to dig up dirt on political opponents, then obstructed a congressional investigation into his party’s and his committee’s misconduct.

Democrats’ articles of impeachment include one for the dubious charge of “abuse of power,” which is not mentioned in the Constitution; and one for “obstruction of Congress,” which in this case is an abuse of power in itself.

Alexander Hamilton, writing about impeachment in Federalist 65, warned that “there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.” Democrats have fulfilled Hamilton’s worst fears.

The Trump impeachment will soon replace the 1868 impeachment of President Andrew Johnson — which the House Judiciary Committee staff actually cited as a positive precedent — as the worst in American history.

In service of their “coup,” Democrats have trampled the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The Republic has never been in greater danger.

You don't get to interrupt me

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