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TheFrontPageCover
~ Featuring ~
Washington Post Reports What We Already
Knew About Afghanistan
Harold Hutchison  
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Thursday Top News Executive Summary
Media Editors:  Above the Fold


PANEL VOTE LATER TODAY: The House Judiciary Committee launched a lively, marathon session Thursday ahead of voting on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump (Associated Press)

JUDICIAL TRANSFORMATION: Trump secures 50th appellate court appointment, with another 9th Circuit judge confirmed (Fox News)

Government & Politics


SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT: During congressional testimony, Inspector General Michael Horowitz rips FBI “failure” in Russia probe, says nobody vindicated by report (Fox News)

IT’S NOT A REVENUE PROBLEM: Feds collect record taxes through November, still run a $343.3 billion deficit with second-highest spending in nation’s history (CNSNews.com)

“SCRATCHING THE SURFACE”: Education Department uncovers $1.3 billion in foreign university funding (Washington Examiner)

Culture & Heartland


SAD REALITY: Jersey City gunman was a Black Hebrew Israelite, so don’t expect to hear much more about the shooting (Washington Examiner)

“SO STUPID”: Naval Air Station Pensacola shooting leads Navy instructor pilots to tell top brass: “Arm us” (Fox News)

“THE CITY IS NOT PERMITTED TO RESTRICT POLITICAL SPEECH”: Federal judge blocks enforcement of Los Angeles law requiring city contractors to disclose NRA ties (Associated Press)

AND HE WOULDN’T HAVE TO ADMIT WRONGDOING… Harvey Weinstein reaches tentative $25 million settlement; some accusers understandably object (NBC News)

LEFT COAST INSANITY: In Spokane, 649 rape kits are awaiting attention, an opioid crisis is raging, and a serial killer hasn’t been caught, yet the city is throwing the book at a pastor who objects to a sexual minstrel show performed for children (The Federalist)

Closing Arguments


POLICY: How to hold colleges accountable for the education they provide (Manhattan Institute)

POLICY: How the biggest farms are getting more per acre in trade-war subsidies (MarketWatch)

HUMOR: Trump’s popularity surges after nation learns he may have obstructed Congress (The Babylon Bee)  

~The Patriot Post
https://patriotpost.us/articles/67327?mailing_id=4730&utm_mediu...      
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Chairman Lindsey Graham Discusses
 His View of IG Horowitz Testimony
by sundance
{ theconservativetreehouse.com } ~ Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham appears on Fox News with Sean Hannity to receive attaboys for his efforts and discuss his views on IG Horowitz testimony... Chairman Graham notes he would like to hear from current FBI Director Christopher Wray and former Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein.
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Jim Jordan Delivers Remarks During House Impeachment Mark-up: “they don’t like us, 
that’s what this is all about”
by sundance
{ theconservativetreehouse.files.wordpress.com } ~ Representative Jim Jordan recaps the history of the investigative targeting of President Trump and the malicious partisan political impeachment... “They don’t like us”… “that’s why they want to get rid of us”… “that’s why they want to weaponize the government”…You know why the entire apparatus is united against President Trump. You know why the corrupt Wall Street financial apparatus is united against President Trump. You know why every institutional department, every lobbyist, every K-Street dweller, every career legislative member, staffer, and the various downstream economic benefactors, including the corporate media, all of it – all the above, are united against Donald Trump.  Donald Trump is an existential threat to the existence of a corrupt DC system we have exposed to his disinfecting sunlight. Donald Trump is the existential threat to every entity who benefits from that corrupt and vile system.
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DOJ Official Bruce Ohr is Not Fired, 
and That’s Okay – For Now
by sundance
{ theconservativetreehouse.com } ~ There are several dozen critical issues that stem from revelations about the DOJ and FBI conduct in/around the Carter Page FISA application (2017) and Steele Dossier writ large... but DOJ official Bruce Ohr still being employed isn’t one of them, and here’s why. What exactly would Bruce Ohr be held accountable for? What Mr. Ohr did wrong was back-channel information from dossier author Christopher Steele into the FBI; made worse because this is after Chris Steele was persona non grata; and done by Ohr without telling his bosses at Main Justice.  Obviously, not good. However, considering the time-frames of the FD-302 reports written by Ohr’s handler FBI agent Joseph Pientka, Bruce Ohr was channeling information into the Crossfire Hurricane team in 2017. That same FBI team became the Mueller investigation FBI team, and from the 302 notes we know Ohr was channeling information from Christopher Steele into the Mueller team after the administrations’ changed. Again, not good, but…Bruce Ohr wasn’t the only non FBI person back-channeling information from corrupt source Christopher Steele into the FBI and Mueller team in 2017. SSCI Vice-Chairman Mark Warner was doing exactly the same thing. Senator Warner was having secret contacts, “would rather not have a paper trail”, with Steele through liaison Adam Waldman, and then relaying information to Robert Mueller...
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CNN Ignores Opening Statements 
in Senate Judiciary Hearing on IG Report
by Graham Piro 
{ freebeacon.com } ~ CNN broke from other major networks Wednesday and did not broadcast opening statements during the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearing... on the recently released DOJ inspector general's report. The network only showed a brief segment of Sen. Lindsey Graham's (R., S.C.) statement, during which he discussed Russian interference in the 2016 election, and displayed video of the hearing without audio while reporters and pundits discussed the impeachment inquiry. The network did not show any of Sen. Dianne Fein-stein's (D., Calif.) opening statement. By contrast, MSNBC broadcasted Graham's opening statement for a little more than 20 minutes before cutting to a panel discussion. Fox News aired Graham's entire statement. MSNBC showed Fein-stein's whole opening statement, which was significantly shorter than Graham's. Both CNN and MSNBC eventually broadcasted Inspector General Michael Horowitz's opening statement.  Graham in his comments ripped media coverage of the inspector general's report and criticized the FBI's conduct in obtaining permission to surveil a member of Donald Trump's presidential campaign. Graham said the media overlooked the FBI's errors because its misconduct did not fit their narrative, focusing instead on the finding that there was no political bias in the investigation. The report faulted the FBI for committing numerous "significant errors or omissions" in its application to surveil Trump aide Carter Page. Both CNN and MSNBC previously opted to give full coverage to House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. scumbag/liar-Adam Schiff's (D., Calif.) opening statements during the impeachment hearings held by his committee.  https://freebeacon.com/politics/cnn-ignores-opening-statements-in-h...  
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Air Force Keeping Up Presence 
Operations Over South China Sea
By Dzirhan Mahadzir
{ news.usni.org } ~ Though they don’t get as much attention as the Navy’s, U.S. Air Force has been conducting its own regular freedom of navigation flight operations in the South China Sea... Commander of Pacific Air Forces Gen. Charles Q. Brown told reporters on Friday. “We’ve been flying in and around the South China Sea for really about the past 15 years, and I would probably tell you we’ve done some as recently as this week. It doesn’t probably get as much press as what you hear about with the freedom of navigation and the maritime environment, but we do hear about it because we do get calls from Beijing,” he said in a media conference with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein. Brown did not say what specific activity took place last week but said that the U.S. has a number of air activities in the South China Sea, be it with the U.S. Navy’s P-8 aircraft or with the Air Force’s bomber, U-2 and RQ-4 Global Hawk fleets. Goldfein later added that the U.S. will continue to operate both in the air and at sea, in international waters and international airspace, and keep those areas open for others as well. While the Air Force has since the end of the Cold War shrunk by 3,000 aircraft and about 300,000 personnel, its footprint and posture in the Pacific has remained unchanged, he said. Goldfein also stressed the U.S. commitment to its partners in the region. The service’s top general said the commander of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force told him that the JASDF has “intercepted more aircraft this year than they have in several years combined. So we stand shoulder to shoulder with them as the challenge in the region continues” and Japanese air space is threatened. In regard to whether readiness would be affected by the suspension of exercises in South Korea, Brown stated that readiness remained high despite the suspension, as tactical-level training continued as normal...   https://news.usni.org/2019/12/11/air-force-keeping-up-presence-oper... 
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 Iran fills the Vacuum Created 
by Trump's Withdrawal
by Con Coughlin
{ gatestoneinstitute.org } ~ The threat by a senior commander in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps this week "to flatten Tel Aviv" from Iranian-controlled bases in southern Lebanon provides arguably the most graphic example of the deepening dangers... the region faces as a result of the Trump administration's decision to scale down its military presence. With next year's presidential election contest now very much the primary focus of President Donald J. Trump's attention, many of America's long-standing allies in the Middle East are becoming increasingly concerned at the president's desire to improve his electoral prospects by scaling down America's military footprint. Mr Trump has made no secret of his dislike of America's long-standing military involvement in the Middle East, which dates back decades, and which Mr Trump claims has cost the American taxpayer a mind-blowing $8 trillion. His attitude towards the region was best summed up by the remark he made in October following his unilateral decision to withdraw US forces from northern Syria, when he said: "Let someone else fight over this long bloodstained sand." To this end, Mr Trump has hastened the withdrawal of American forces from Syria, and is actively seeking to reduce America's military presence elsewhere in the region, with troop withdrawals under active consideration in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet, as former US Vice President Dick Cheney warned earlier this week, the US withdrawal of troops from key areas of the Middle East is causing deep alarm among some of America's allies. Speaking at a Gulf security forum earlier this week, Mr Cheney, 78, who served as Vice President in the Bush administration from 2001-09, warned that the US was in danger of departing from the "sound traditions" of American foreign policy, thereby playing into the hands of hostile states such as like Russia, Syria and Iran...   https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/15271/iran-vacuum-trump-withdrawal
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Washington Post Reports What We Already
Knew About Afghanistan
Harold Hutchison:  A new report by The Washington Post about the state of Afghanistan is being treated like a bombshell. In reality, though, we knew much of what that report was saying already … and the response of many Patriots who have followed the war should be, “No kidding. Did the Post also figure out that water is wet, the Pope is Catholic, and bears poop in the woods?”

We ran through America’s options in that war-torn country — and none have been really good. We’ve discussed what lessons we should learn from the Global War on Terror, which has gone on for 18 years, and will go on for more. George W. Bush had some things right, but his mistakes of omission have left us in a bad spot. Barack scumbag/liar-nObama’s efforts made things far worse.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has been conducting a lot of reports — and has documented how many times the money spent has not been spent well. It’s disheartening. But worse is that these expenditures were approved by Congress, and often part of these lucrative deals find their way into the campaign coffers of those either in Congress or running to be in Congress.

Then again, if you have followed this war closely, then you know all this already. Many Americans haven’t — largely because since 2012, much of the fighting has been passed on to Special Operations Command, and casualty counts went down. Still, it’s not unheard of for some of these operators to have 10 tours or more.

Yet there was no buildup of forces to ease the burden on the special operators. The United States once had the 6th and 8th Special Forces Groups in the active-duty Army, and the 11th and 12th Special Forces Groups in the Army Reserve. The Navy SEALs planned to increase their force structure, but that is on hold. Even then, the SEAL expansion didn’t get more SEALs on the front lines; it just added more units that the same number of SEALs will have to fill in.

Looking at that, as well as the controversies that led to pardons last month, as well as the dishonorable treatment of the heroes who got Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other high-ranking terror...  among other things, make it seem like America is not serious about winning the Global War on Terror.

When America asks the CIA to come up with a way to get terrorists to talk, and the CIA does so, gets it legally cleared, then actually executes the procedures and succeeds in getting information, the response should not be to turn on those we sent to do the job in the first place. But politicians did exactly that. Those who took the risk became villains, while those who sanctimoniously second-guessed them in the safety of offices and with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight became heroes.

More than 2,300 Americans have made the ultimate sacrifice and nearly 21,000 have been wounded in Afghanistan. Countless others suffer the invisible wounds of post-traumatic stress disorder. What is most frustrating is that we will see precious little — if any — accountability for the failure to succeed, or to even allow our troops to win.   ~The Patriot Post

https://patriotpost.us/articles/67266?mailing_id=4723&utm_mediu...  

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LIGHTER SIDE

 

Political Cartoons by AF BrancoPolitical Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Tom Stiglich

ALERT ALERT

Breaking — West Virginia Lawmakers Invite Persecuted Pro-Second Amendment Counties In Virginia To Join Their State

West Virginia lawmakers introduced legislation to invite persecuted pro Second Amendment Counties to join their state.

The West Virginia Senate adopted a resolution to remind Virginia residents from Frederick County that they have a standing invite — from 1862 — to become part of West Virginia.

West Virginia freedom fighters broke away from Virginia Democrat slave owners during the Civil War.

This week West Virginia has once again invited persecuted Virginia pro 2-A counties to come join their state.

Sounds like a winning plan!

Resolution 8 reads as follows:

HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 8

(By Delegates Howell, Summers, Shott, Householder, C. Martin, Hott, Graves, Cadle, Barnhart, J. Jeffries, Maynard, Phillips, Foster, Hamrick, Steele, D. Jeffries, Wilson, Waxman, Bartlett, Paynter, Linville, Sypolt, Bibby, Hill, Ellington, Higginbotham, J. Kelly, Mandt, Pack, Dean and P. Martin)

[Introduced January 14, 2020]

Providing for an election to be had, pending approval of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and a majority of qualified citizens voting upon the proposition prior to August 1, 2020, for the admission of certain counties and independent cities of the Commonwealth of Virginia to be admitted to the State of West Virginia as constituent counties, under the provisions of Article VI, Section 11 of the Constitution of West Virginia

Whereas, The Legislature of West Virginia finds that in 1863, due to longstanding perceived attitudes of neglect for the interests of the citizens of Western Virginia, and a studied failure to address the differences which had grown between the counties of Western Virginia and the government at Richmond, the Commonwealth of Virginia was irretrievably divided, and the new State of West Virginia was formed; and

Whereas, Such division occurred as the Trans-Allegheny portions of Virginia perceived that they suffered under an inequitable measure of taxation by which they bore a disproportionate share of the tax burden; and

Whereas, That this perception was further compounded by the effects of a scheme of representation by which Trans-Allegheny Virginia was not allowed to have its proper and equitable share of representation in the government at Richmond; and

Whereas, That this arrangement arguably resulted in the tax dollars of Trans-Allegheny Virginia being used to enrich the Tidewater through internal improvements which did not benefit the people of Western Virginia, while the people of the Trans-Allegheny had little to no say in how their tax dollars were allocated; and

Whereas, Though this course led to an irreconcilable division, and the subsequent formation of West Virginia, yet, the longstanding peaceful cooperation between this State and the Commonwealth of Virginia is a sign that such separation, undertaken even under the most challenging and onerous of circumstances, can, with the passage of time, yield lasting results which are beneficial to both sides; and

Whereas, In the intervening years, the same neglect for the interests of many of the remaining counties of the Commonwealth of Virginia has allegedly been evidenced by the government at Richmond; and

Whereas, Particularly, many citizens of the Southside, the Shenandoah Valley, Southwestern Virginia, and the Piedmont contend that an inequitable measure of taxation exists by which they bear a disproportionate share of the present tax burden of the Commonwealth; and

Whereas, The people of the Southside, the Shenandoah Valley, Southwestern Virginia, and the Piedmont also believe that, currently, a scheme of representation exists by which the citizens of Southside, the Shenandoah Valley, Southwestern Virginia, and the Piedmont do not have a proper share of representation in the government at Richmond; and, consequently

Whereas, The people of the Southside, the Shenandoah Valley, Southwestern Virginia, and the Piedmont believe that their tax dollars are used to enrich the Tidewater and Northern Virginia through internal improvements which do not benefit the people of these other parts of Virginia, while the people of these other parts of Virginia have little to no say in how their tax dollars are allocated; and

Whereas, In recent days, these tensions have been compounded by a perception of contempt on the part of the government at Richmond for the differences in certain fundamental political and societal principles which prevail between the varied counties and cities of that Commonwealth; and

Whereas, In the latest, and most evident, in this string of grievances, the government at Richmond now seeks to place intolerable restraints upon the rights guaranteed under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution to the citizens of that Commonwealth; and

Whereas, The Legislative body of West Virginia believes that this latest action defies the wise counsel which has come down to us in the august words of our common Virginia Founders: as the government at Richmond now repudiates the counsel of that tribune of liberty, Patrick Henry-who stated to the Virginia Ratifying Convention in 1788 that “The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun”; and

Whereas, The government at Richmond now repudiates the counsel of a Signer of the Declaration and premier advocate of American independence, Richard Henry Lee-who stated in The Federal Farmer that “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms”; and

Whereas, The government at Richmond now repudiates the counsel of that zealous guardian of our inherent rights, George Mason-who stated that “To disarm the people…[i]s the most effectual way to enslave them”; and

Whereas, The government at Richmond now repudiates the counsel of the declaimer of our independence and theoretician of our freedoms, Thomas Jefferson-who stated in his first draft of the Virginia Constitution, that “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms”; and

Whereas, The Boards of Supervisors of many Virginia counties and the Councils of many Virginia cities have recognized this dangerous departure from the doctrine of the Founders on the part of the government at Richmond; and

Whereas, These Boards of Supervisors and Councils have passed resolutions refusing to countenance what they affirm are unwarranted and unconstitutional measures by that government to infringe the firearm rights of Virginians; and

Whereas, The actions of the government at Richmond undertaken since the recent general election have, regrettably, resulted in unproductive contention and escalating a lamentable state of civic tension; and

Whereas, That, as has been proven in numerous instances, such as have been observed internationally in more recent times with the peaceful dissolutions of Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, and the creation of South Sudan, or, earlier in Virginia’s own history, with the formation of Kentucky, the peaceful partition of neighboring peoples can occur, and, is often very beneficial to both sides in reducing tensions and improving the tenor of discourse over ongoing political and societal differences; and

Whereas, Article VI, Section 11 of The Constitution of the State of West Virginia explicitly permits additional territory to be admitted into, and become part of this state, with the consent of the Legislature and of a majority of the qualified voters of the state; and

Whereas, In a spirit of conciliation, the Legislature of West Virginia hereby extends an invitation to our fellow Virginians who wish to do so, to join us in our noble experiment of 156 years of separation from the government at Richmond; and, we extend an invitation to any constituent county or city of the Commonwealth of Virginia to be admitted to the body politic of the State of West Virginia, under the conditions set forth in our state Constitution, specifically, with the consent of a majority of the voters of such county or city voting upon such proposition; and we hereby covenant that their many grievances shall be addressed, and, we further covenant with them that their firearms rights shall be protected to the fullest extent possible under our Federal and State Constitutions; and

Whereas, Providing that the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia shall give its assent to any county or independent city presently part of the Commonwealth of Virginia having the opportunity and ability to do so, therefore, be it

Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia.

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