~ Featuring ~   
 Throwing America Under the Bus
Rich Lowry
Germany Should Investigate Chemical 
Weapons-Related Sales To Syria
by Toby Dershowitz and Serena Frechter } ~ The Syrian regime has a horrific record of using chemical weapons on its population. According to Tobias Schneider and Theresa Lütkefend of the Berlin-based Global Public Policy Institute... Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government perpetrated 98% of the more than 300 chemical attacks over the course of the civil war. The other 2% were attributed to Islamic State. And yet, when the Germany company Brenntag, the world’s largest distributor of chemicals, was found to have sold potential dual-use products that could help Damascus develop chemical weapons to a Syrian company with links to Assad’s regime, German authorities found no grounds to further investigate the sale. In June, Brenntag disclosed that a Swiss subsidiary sold diethylamine and isopropanol to Syrian pharmaceutical company Mediterranean Pharmaceutical Industries (MPI) in 2014, just a year after the United Nations launched its April 2013 investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Brenntag claims the substances it sold were for the production of painkillers. However, isopropanol and diethylamine can also be used in the production of sarin and VX, respectively. According to a report by the Open Society Justice Initiative, the Syrian government has used the deadly chemical sarin in attacks against civilians. The extremely toxic nerve agent VX has also been found in Syria’s chemical weapons supply.  In April 2017, a chemical attack using sarin produced with isopropanol killed almost 100 people and injured more than 200 in Khan Shaykhun, a town in southern Idlib Province. European Union sanctions laws from 2012 require companies located in EU member states to procure permission from national export control authorities before “selling, supplying, transferring, or exporting these chemicals directly or indirectly to Syria.” The Open Society Justice Initiative, along with two other non-governmental organizations, asked Germany’s export control agency, known by its German acronym BAFA, if it granted an authorization for exports of isopropanol to Syria. The agency claimed it did not.  Earlier this year, Brenntag released a statement maintaining that it “did not circumvent EU export restrictions,” as the substances were intended for analgesic production. The NGOs conducted an investigation into MPI and discovered that in 2014 it was “headed by Abdul Rahman Attar, now deceased, who was a prominent Syrian businessman with close ties to senior figures in the Syrian government. At the time of the export, it was known that Mr. Attar was suspected of attempting to facilitate evasion of US sanctions.”...   
Democrat dilemma — Base disconnected from 
front-runner loose lips liar-Biden
by David Limbaugh } ~ What could better illustrate the floundering chaos of the Democratic Party than a new national poll showing loose lips liar-Joe Biden as the clear front-runner?... The party’s got nothing else besides this fumbling faux pas factory. You know the base doesn’t want loose lips liar-Biden, yet he’s leading the party’s polls. Sen. lowlife-Kamala Harris decided to challenge loose lips liar-Biden in the first round of Democratic presidential primary debates in June, and for a second it appeared to work, as her poll numbers surged, largely at loose lips liar-Biden’s expense. But the latest CNN survey shows lowlife-Harris dropping by 12 points to just 5 percent support and loose lips liar-Biden up seven points to 29 percent, comfortably ahead of the pack. The CNN poll is no outlier, as the latest Fox News poll shows loose lips liar-Biden at 31 percent. There are just so many empty suits among the field that loose lips liar-Biden, despite his abundant weaknesses, remains ahead. Indeed, the CNN poll shows that loose lips liar-Biden has twice as much support as his closest challengers, Sen. commie-Bernie Sanders at 15 percent, and Sen. Elizabeth dinky-Warren at 14 percent. The rest of the candidates are in the low- to mid-single digits. If the party has any sense, it might take a hard look at Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who seems far more impressive and authentic than the others — and less radical, which might explain why she only has 2 percent support.  Imagine the predicament Democrats are in. From their perspective, they have an ideal situation. They think they are running against a blundering, loud-mouthed, racist fool whose only support is among racists, rubes and rednecks. They think the best way to beat Trump is to run a candidate who offers the starkest contrast with him. Yet their leading horse is a blundering, loud-mouthed buffoon who has a long history of racially insensitive remarks. Trump is a loose cannon on Twitter? Well, loose lips liar-Biden is a loose cannon everywhere, especially when he opens his mouth. The Washington Examiner just highlighted six examples in which loose lips liar-Biden just flat-out made things up to embellish his record, from tales of his helicopter being forced down near Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Afghanistan, to fables of his ancestors working in the coal mines. The spooky thing is that these yarns and countless others are not merely gaffes but gratuitous, unforced errors. In every instance, loose lips liar-Biden was trying to make himself look more impressive, courageous and noble than he is. It would be bad enough if loose lips liar-Biden were trying to hoodwink us, but it seems that he might be a real-life Walter Mitty, actually believing these things happened. Even when loose lips liar-Biden’s weird statements aren’t in the category of puffery, such as his statement that “poor kids are as bright … as white kids,” they reveal that he is a knee-jerk bigot, the exact opposite image Democrats seek in their candidate to maximize their ongoing slander that Trump is a racist...
David Koch, billionaire philanthropist 
and prolific GOP donor, dead at 79
By Paulina Dedaj } ~ David Koch, the billionaire former executive Vice President of Koch Industries who, along with his brother, was one of the most prolific and controversial GOP donors in politics has died... his family confirmed Friday morning. He was 79. Koch's death was officially announced by his older brother, Charles Koch. “It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of my brother, David," Koch said in a news release. "Anyone who worked with David surely experienced his giant personality and passion for life.” Charles said David Koch's death came 27 years after he was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. At the time, doctors told him he likely only had a few years left to live. “David liked to say that a combination of brilliant doctors, state-of-the-art medications and his own stubbornness kept the cancer at bay," Charles said in the statement. "We can all be grateful that it did, because he was able to touch so many more lives as a result." According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Koch was reportedly worth about $59 billion, making him -- along with his equally wealthy brother -- one of the richest people in the world. David also has two other brothers, Frederick and William, who are not involved in Koch Industries. The Koch brothers, known for their apolitical philanthropy as well as their more contentious standing as GOP power players, had drawn the ire of President Trump after snubbing his bid for the White House in 2016...  
Slavery In America Did Not Begin In 1619, And 
Other Things The New York Times Gets Wrong 
By Lyman Stone } ~ The New York Times has published a series of essays about slavery, race, and American politics under the heading “1619 Project.”... These essays cover an enormous amount of terrain: music, constitutional theory, economics, management, ethnic identity, and more. Many conservatives responded negatively, which at first perplexed me. Slavery was a huge part of American history and has affected every facet of our society. A collection of articles outlining this history seems as good a topic as any to write about. But zoomed out from the mostly mundane minutiae of individual articles — in the absence of slavery and thus without as much African influence in our music, what  would American music sound like? — a larger concern animates the 1619 Project. The project’s central purpose is not simply to educate Americans about the history of labor accounting from plantation to data visualization, or an account of the history of brutal sugar cultivation, but to give a specific narrative about what America is. The project’s summary makes the aim quite clear: “The 1619 Project aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.” Considered this way, the 1619 Project looks very different. It isn’t  mostly about helping Americans understand the role played by plantation agriculture in American history. It’s mostly about convincing Americans that “America” and “slavery” are essentially synonyms. It’s mostly about trying to tell readers they should feel sort of, kind of, at least a little bit bad about being American, because, didn’t you hear? As several articles say explicitly, America, in its basic DNA, is not a liberal democracy, constitutional republic, or federation. It’s a slave society. There are a lot of ways to attack this story. But the simplest place to start is the central conceit of the project: that year, 1619. 1619 is commonly cited as the date slavery first arrived in “America.” No matter that historians mostly consider the 1619 date a red herring. Enslaved people were working in English Bermuda in 1616. Spanish colonies and forts in today’s Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina had enslaved Africans throughout the mid-to-late 1500s: in fact, a slave rebellion in 1526 helped end the Spanish attempt at settling South Carolina...
The Left's Neverland
By Deana Chadwell } ~ I hear more and more frequently concerns about an impending civil war... It is certain that something momentous is taking place; the signs are all around us, but I’m not at all sure that the something will turn out to be two sides of the same country warring over principles, like the Civil War, which was mainly about slavery and states’ rights. Now, we’re up to our nose-piercings in politically polarizing problems and the leftist contingent of the country doesn’t even like America anymore. If we come to open warfare, it will be as two separate nations battling it out. Over what? Not over policies, not over territory, not even over moral issues. We will be fighting over reality. The left, which I used to see as misguided but mostly benign, has built for itself -- because it knows it can’t convince Americans to throw away freedom -- a make-believe utopian country. It has constructed, ex nihilo, a nation that has no borders, no laws, no specific language, and no recognizable morality. When Barrack scumbag/liar-nObama said he wanted to “fundamentally change” America, he wasn’t bluffing. When he’d stick out his chin and say, ”That’s not who we are,” he wasn’t talking about us; he was talking about the citizens of his make-believe land which I’ll name “Neverland.” The name is suitable in many ways. In the first place, it isn’t real and never will be. Even if the Democrats win in 2020, and even if they slap the Green New Deal into place, Neverland will never be the utopia the left envisions because socialist utopias never are. They routinely end in poverty, tyranny, and death. The word “utopia” comes into English from the Greek. The “u” is from “eu” which means “good,” like in “eulogy,” and the “top” means “place,” as in “topography.” A utopia is to be the perfect society, the perfect place, but there is always a catch. In James Hilton’s Lost Horizon, Shangri-La looked perfect -- calm, cultured, moderate, fair -- but once there, you couldn’t leave. It wasn’t that guards and prison doors kept people in. It was just impossible to travel; the terrain was too forbidding. So the heroes were trapped in perfection, which, ironically, made it a hell. Nothing about Huxley’s Brave New World was brave or even new. Nothing about life in Orwell’s 1984 was good. But the left is under the delusion that Neverland can reach faultlessness. They can convince themselves that it’s possible to change the climate of the entire world by banning plastic straws or dissuading cattle from passing gas. There in Neverland, liabilities -- national debt or student loans -- don’t ever have to be paid. Money doesn’t have to be earned. Medical care can be both top-notch and free. In Neverland, the Lost Boys can have a pseudo-family to replace the real one they didn’t have in 21st-century America. In fact, I suspect that this lack of family is the main causal factor in the creation of Neverland. Whether the citizens of this new land are Peter Pans or Tinkerbells, they find belonging and purpose in pretending that their new world is viable. This is at the heart of the visceral hatred for Donald Trump. He is real, which has to mean that their world isn’t, and if you live in a make-believe, untenable world, you don’t matter; you have no purpose. Egos are cracking under the strain...
Throwing America Under the Bus

Rich Lowry

socialist-Beto O'Rourke has taken the measure of America and found it wanting.

“This country, though we would like to think otherwise,” he intoned over the weekend, “was founded on racism, has persisted through racism and is racist today.”

This is now a mainstream sentiment in the Democratic Party. commie-Bernie Sanders said earlier this year that the United States was “created” in large part “on racist principles.” The New York Times has begun the so-called 1619 Project, marking the 400th anniversary of the importation of slaves from Africa.

The series seeks nothing less than “to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.”

It is certainly true that an American nation existed prior to the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and slavery was its great sin, with permutations still felt today. But to pretend that racism is the essence of America and constituted one of the country’s founding principles is an odious and reductive lie.

It doesn’t explain why any reference to slavery was kept out of the Constitution. James Madison, per his notes during the drafting convention, “thought it wrong to admit in the Constitution the idea that there could be property in men.” The careful avoidance of the term was subsequently used to buttress the position of opponents of slavery from John Quincy Adams to Abraham Lincoln to Frederick Douglass. The great black abolitionist asked, “if the Constitution were intended to be, by its framers and adopters, a slave-holding instrument, why neither slavery, slaveholding, nor slave can anywhere be found in it?”

It doesn’t explain the passage of the Northwest Ordinance in 1787, prior to the adoption of the Constitution, setting out the terms of settlement in the swath of territory between the Great Lakes and the Ohio River. It stipulated that “there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory.”

It doesn’t explain why the Constitution permitted the prohibition of importation of slaves as of 1808, when it was indeed prohibited.

Of course, in crucial respects the Constitution was indeed a compromise with slaveholders. It’s not clear why it would be considered better if, in the absence of such a compromise, slave states had possibly gone their own way to create a rump nation-state wholly devoted to slavery and not yoked to a North that became more anti-slavery over time.

Rather than enhancing the moral standing of slavery, the founding tended to undermine it. “The Revolution suddenly and effectively ended the cultural climate that had allowed black slavery, as well as other forms of bondage and unfreedom, to exist throughout the colonial period without serious challenge,” the historian Gordon Wood writes. In his view, it set in motion the “ideological and social forces” that eventually led to the Civil War.

In the broadest gauge, it’s a mistake to treat the United States as an outlier in terms of its racial attitudes, when it was really an outlier in its (imperfect) embrace of liberty.

“Europeans did not outdo others in enslaving people or treating slaves viciously,” the late historians Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene Genovese observed. “They outdid others by creating a Christian civilization that eventually stirred moral condemnation of slavery and roused mass movements against it. Perception of slavery as morally unacceptable — as sinful — did not become widespread until the second half of the eighteenth century.

"Today we ask: How could Christians or any civilized people have lived with themselves as slaveholders? But the historically appropriate question is: What, after millennia of general acceptance, made Christians — and, subsequently, those of other faiths — judge slavery an enormity not to be endured?”

It’s not a question anyone running in the Democratic presidential primaries, or editing The New York Times, is inclined to ask.  ~The Patriot Post  

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TRUMP:  Trump To Give ‘Start Your Engines’ Command At Dayton

President Donald Trump will give the command for drivers to start their engines before the Daytona 500.

Daytona International Speedway officials named Trump the grand marshal for NASCAR’s season opener, meaning he will deliver the most famous four words in auto racing. “Gentleman, start your engines,” has been a staple of races around the country and world for decades.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said Thursday the president plans to attend the race. Track president Chip Wile confirmed the news in a release.

“Daytona International Speedway has been privileged to have hosted several sitting presidents of the United States over our history,” Wile said. “We’re honored that the president of the United States has chosen to experience the pageantry and excitement of ‘The Great American Race.’”

Trump is the third sitting president to attend a race at Daytona, but only the second to attend the Daytona 500. George W. Bush attended in 2004. Trump is the first to be given an honorary role in pre-race ceremonies.

Trump is scheduled to spend part of the Presidents Day weekend at his private club in Palm Beach, Florida.

The Federal Aviation Administration issued a flight restriction for Sunday and the U.S. Secret Service, which is responsible for presidential security, also tweeted to fans that drones are prohibited within 30 miles of the race in Daytona Beach — a restriction put in place for presidential visits.

Trump has hosted previous NASCAR champions at the White House and last October awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to motorsports titan Roger Penske. Last year, Trump also praised retired driver Mario Andretti, the Daytona 500 winner in 1967, reminiscing about a ride Andretti gave him in a race car for his reality show “The Apprentice.”

“I said, ‘Mario, get me out of here. I want to get out of this car,’” Trump recalled. “We went so fast. We literally — we covered four blocks in like a second.”

Tucker: Elizabeth Warren's campaign on its last legs

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