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~ Featuring ~
Leftist Arbiters of Art and History

by Tom McLaughlin
New Secretive Iranian Nuclear Sites 
Spark Concern in Congress" width="277" height="186" />
By Adam Kredo
{ } ~ Iran is not "complying at all" with the landmark nuclear deal and continues to prevent international nuclear inspectors from accessing key sites... suspected of housing the regime's sensitive atomic weapons program, according to the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Sen. Jim Risch (R., Idaho) told the  Washington Free Beacon in a wide-ranging interview on the Islamic Republic's continued nuclear subterfuge that he is worried by new reports from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that there are "possible undeclared Iranian nuclear sites" that remain active in Iran. Risch, who is also a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, recently met with IAEA head Rafael Grossi to gather more information on Iran's efforts to block access to inspectors and hide undeclared work on the weapons front. "I don't think they're complying at all" with the nuclear restrictions enshrined in the accord, Risch told the Free Beacon, adding it is now clear Iran intends to continue violating caps on the amount of enriched uranium it can keep in the country. "They have specifically said they're going to enrich beyond what the agreement said," Risch noted. "And they said they don't care what anybody does about it. You can't say they've been in compliance by any stretch." Recent reports indicate that particles of uranium, the key component in a nuclear weapon, were found at secretive Iranian sites. Risch said he would not contradict any recent reporting but could not go into specifics for classification reasons. Thus far, Iran has rebuffed IAEA petitions to obtain more information about these undeclared sites...  
Attorney General William Barr Vows Lawsuits 
And ‘Significant Escalation’ Against 
Sanctuary Jurisdictions" width="315" height="135" />
{ } ~ Attorney General William Barr vowed Monday to escalate the fight against sanctuary jurisdictions and announced a round of lawsuits that target states and localities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration authorities... The top attorney for the Trump administration announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ) would be slapping several states and localities with lawsuits over their sanctuary policies while delivering remarks at the National Sheriffs’ Association in Washington, D.C., on Monday. DOJ later on announced complaints with California; New Jersey; and King County, Washington, over various policies that hinder the work of federal immigration authorities. The moves were the latest in the Trump administration’s escalating crackdown against sanctuary jurisdictions across the country. “This evening, I am announcing further actions the Department of Justice will take to protect the American people and allow for the proper and lawful functioning of our nation’s federal immigration system,” Barr said Monday while giving his address. Barr announced that the DOJ was filling a complaint against New Jersey for a directive that limits what information state and local law enforcement can share with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The directive — an order the attorney general of New Jersey launched in 2018 — also forbids local and state law enforcement from participating in ICE operations and includes other restrictions. The GOP attorney general also said his department would file a complaint with King County, which encompasses the liberal city of Seattle, for not allowing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to use the King County International Airport to remove illegal aliens ordered to be deported from the U.S. The DOJ isn’t stopping there. Barr said his department will be conducting reviews of sanctuary jurisdictions across the country. “Further, we are reviewing the practices, policies and laws of other jurisdictions across the country,” he said...
DOJ expected to scale back Roger Stone's 
'extreme' sentencing recommendation: official" width="305" height="171" />
By Jake Gibson & David Spunt
{ } ~ The Justice Department is preparing to change its sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone after top brass were "shocked" at the stiff prison term initially being sought... according to a senior DOJ official. Federal prosecutors had recommended that Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentence Stone to between 87 and 108 months in prison for his conviction on seven counts of obstruction, witness tampering, and making false statements to Congress on charges that stemmed from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. “The Department was shocked to see the sentencing recommendation in the filing in the stone case last night,” the official told Fox News. “The sentencing recommendation was not what had been briefed to the Department.” The department is now expected to scale that back. “The Department finds seven to nine years extreme, excessive and grossly disproportionate to Mr. Stone’s offenses,” the source told Fox News, adding that the DOJ will clarify its position on sentencing later Tuesday. President Trump tweeted about the sentencing recommendation early Tuesday morning, leading to speculation that a pardon may be in Stone's future. “This is a horrible and very unfair situation. The real crimes were on the other side, as nothing happens to them. Cannot allow this miscarriage of justice!” Trump said. The decision to alter the sentencing recommendation was made before that tweet, the official said. There has been speculation of a presidential pardon for Stone, based on Trump’s public statements on the matter and the close relationship between the two men. Fox News has been told the DOJ has had no contact with the White House regarding the sentencing recommendation. Federal prosecutors argued that Stone intentionally lied about his use of intermediaries to get information about WikiLeaks’ possession and release of hacked Democratic National Committee and scumbag/liar-Hillary Clinton campaign emails. They also said Stone hid the truth to protect the Trump campaign...
More than 5,000 Killed, Wounded, Kidnapped 
Trying to Rebuild Afghanistan" width="297" height="208" />
By Adam Kredo
{ } ~ More than 5,000 Americans, Afghans, and coalition service members have been killed, wounded, or kidnapped in Afghanistan... since the United States began its multibillion-dollar rebuilding effort in 2002. In the government's first public accounting of the human cost of rebuilding Afghanistan, U.S. officials conservatively estimate that 5,135 have been killed or wounded in the 18 years since rebuilding and stabilization missions began in Afghanistan. The statistics are recorded in a report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR. The total number of casualties "includes 2,214 killed and 2,921 wounded." The report also "identified 1,182 individuals that were kidnapped or went missing." The oversight organization billed its findings as the "first official accounting by an independent inspector general of the human costs of reconstruction and stabilization in Afghanistan."The newly released statistics are likely to anger opponents of America's ongoing reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. Despite the billions of taxpayer dollars poured into the reconstruction effort, the United States still has little to show for its investment. "Unless the U.S. Government considers the human costs, the true costs of reconstruction and stabilization efforts in Afghanistan are not accurately captured," SIGAR concluded in its report. A total of 284 Americans were killed while working to rebuild the country, including 216 military members and 68 civilians who participated in reconstruction projects over the years...      
Judge Sullivan Cancels Flynn Sentencing 
Hearing Pending Supplemental DOJ Litigation" width="248" height="198" />
by sundance
{ } ~ Judge Emmet Sullivan has postponed the February 27th sentencing hearing until the prosecution and Flynn’s current defense can litigate attorney-client privilege issues surrounding the DOJ effort to evaluate Flynn’s original defense presentations... Last week the DOJ sans Brandon Van Grack filed a motion for an order to waive Flynn’s attorney-client privilege surrounding Flynn’s withdrawal plea and inefective/conflicted counsel claims. In essence the prosecution wants to see the background of Flynn’s original defense communications to evaluate if Flynn was compromised by his original lawyers. The prosecution request was made in response to arguments inside Flynn’s motion to withdraw the plea. Because the issues of attorney-client privilege are sensitive, the DOJ asked the court to issue and order allowing the prosecution to penetrate the privilege. As a consequence the DOJ asked for a postponement of the Flynn sentencing hearing until they have time to evaluate the expressed argument of Flynn’s current defense. Today, Judge Emmet Sullivan has agreed to that postponement, and set a schedule for the prosecution and defense to come to an agreement on the privilege material. In the original motion filed last Sunday; and as a result of the arguments within the current Flynn defense arguments surrounding malicious prosecution; prosecutor Brandon Van Grack has apparently been sequestered from the current issues. It is possible Van Grack maybe a witness to any government counter-claim that malicious prosecution exists...
Palestinians: The Dangers of Singing" width="276" height="184" />
by Khaled Abu Toameh
{ } ~ Palestinian musicians in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip are facing death threats after a Muslim scholar, Sheikh Mohammed Sliman al-Farra, published a fatwa a legal opinion or ruling issued by an Islamic scholar... prohibiting a local band from performing. Farra works for Islamic University of Gaza, a member of four regional and international associations of higher education, and has project partnerships with more than 130 European universities and research centers located in 21 EU countries. Published on November 23, 2019, the fatwa  targets Sol Band, a Palestinian music group established in the Gaza Strip eight years ago: "The music group Sol Band, which has been roaming the streets of the Gaza Strip, has been violating God's sanctities by promoting tabarruj women dressing up immodestly in violation of Islamic teachings and the mixing of the sexes... Their actions weaken the young men and encourage sinners. Indulging it leads to great corruption and evil and results in behavioral and intellectual deviation among young people. It is not permissible to promote or meet with them or listen to their songs, even if they are patriotic." Shortly after the publication of the fatwa, the five members of Sol Band left the Gaza Strip for Turkey, apparently out of fear for their lives. Many Palestinians, meanwhile, strongly criticized the fatwa as a violation of freedom of expression. "Such fatwas spread discord among our people, promote extremist ideologies and endanger the lives of musicians and artists," said Palestinian human rights activist Ahmed Shbair. "These fatwas are aimed at inserting politics into all aspects of our life. Palestinian law does not ban singing, which does not violate Islamic sharia laws." Former Palestinian Authority Minister of Culture Ehab Bseiso commented on the fatwa by calling on "those who fear music and the creativity of the word to read history from an angel that promotes freedom of expression."... 
Leftist Arbiters of Art and History

by Tom McLaughlin
{} ~ “Christina’s World” is an iconic American painting which has resonated with the general public since it was created in 1948. Just hear the title and most of us conjure up an image of a woman in a pink dress on a grass-covered, treeless hillside raising herself from a reclining position and looking up toward an old farmhouse on the hill’s crest.  
Christina Olson's house
The painter was Andrew Wyeth, a Pennsylvania native who adopted Maine and knew the woman, Anna Christina Olson, depicted in the painting. She was a disabled woman who spent her entire life in that Cushing, Maine farmhouse. The artist and his subject lived near one another and were friends for decades. Christina was disabled from the waist down and got around her property by dragging herself along as the painting suggests.  
Andrew Wyeth
That so many millions of people are mesmerized by “Christina’s World” caused my great surprise to read in a Boston Globe article last month that most art “experts” disdain Wyeth’s 1948 painting. A link in the article took me to an August, 2016 article by Daniel Grant on entitled: Why Do Art Critics Still Hate Andrew Wyeth?  It was filled with quotes from snotty art critics who consider Wyatt’s work as “kitsch.” For those unfamiliar with the term, my online dictionary defines kitsch as: “considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness; vulgar, tawdry, gaudy, cheap, tacky.”
Grant answered the article’s question by saying: “Certainly, critics have held the artist’s conservative political leanings against him, as evidenced in Wyeth’s New York Times obituary in which critic Michael Kimmelman found it relevant to point out that ‘he voted for Nixon and Reagan.’” Grant also mentioned that: “The New Yorker’s Peter Schjeldahl told the Observer, A Wyeth nude ‘generates approximately no sensual charge except maybe of a repressed sex-in-the-head, Republican variety that I’d rather not think about.’”
There’s a Republican variety of sex? Who knew?
Evidently this condescencion toward Wyeth is widespread in the artsy-fartsy world. They’re worshippers of what they refer to as “abstract expressionist” artists like Jackson Pollack, Mark Rothko and Willem de Kooning. I’ve seen work by those men and my impression is that “kitsch” would be much more appropriately applied to their stuff than to Andrew Wyeth’s. According to the Globe, “Christina’s World” is kept in the back room at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City which purchased it seventy years ago for $1800. “Even when MoMA did display ‘Christina’s World,’” said the Globe, “it was stranded, without context, on a fifth-floor hallway between an escalator and the restrooms.”  
"Art" at the Museum of Modern Art
 Globe writer Christina Baker Kline considers “Christina’s World” a masterpiece, but uses fuzzy “art speak” language to describe it: “…Christina is the archetypal individual against a backdrop of nature, fully present in the moment and yet a haunting reminder of the immensity of time. She is paradoxically singular and representative, exposed and enigmatic, hardy and vulnerable.”
Why do art people talk that way?
NC Wyeth's "Island Funeral"
 The Portland Museum of Art had an impressive exhibition on Andrew’s father, N. C. Wyeth recently and I loved it. I was annoyed, however, by some of the critical comments posted right beside several of his paintings. During his long career, N. C. Wyeth illustrated many classic American books including “Last of the Mohicans” and “Mutiny on the Bounty.” Today’s lefty spokespeople for Maine’s Indian Tribes were allowed to make derogatory comments about Wyeth’s depiction of Mohican and Iroquois Indians from the book. The original paintings were displayed at the PMA.
NC Wyeth illustration in "Last of the Mohicans"
 They claimed Wyeth’s illustrations were inauthentic as to native dress and depicted whites in superior positions next to Indians. But how do today’s Maine Indians know what was authentic two and a half centuries ago? The novel was set in the 1750s during the French and Indian War. Author James Fenimore Cooper is believed to have consulted the diary of Colonel Joseph Frye, founder of Fryeburg, Maine in his research.
NC Wyeth's "Dark Harbor Fishermen"
 Frye was in command of 823 men of the Massachusetts Militia at the Battle of Fort William Henry depicted in Cooper’s novel. He witnessed slaughter by Wabanaki Huron, and other Indian tribes — allied to the French — of men, women and children who were allowed to depart the fort under truce after Colonel Monro negotiated a surrender to General Montcalm. Frye himself barely escaped with his life.
Colonel Joseph Frye
 What research did Maine’s politically-correct Indians of today access that N. C. Wyeth or Fenimore Cooper did not? Photography wasn’t available until the mid-19th century and how many drawings of 18th-century American Indians surviving to the 20th century are by non-Indian [read European] artists? Are they less authentic than those made by Indians at the time? I suspect it’s the opposite. This may be evidence that the snotty left which controls the art world wishes to control history as well.
By this, I’m reminded of George Orwell’s quote from his novel “1984”: “Who controls the past controls the future.”

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Obama Lies Again: – Ignores That The Year After Signing The Stimulus More Than (4) Million Jobs Were Lost

Former President Obama, the only President in US history who had his FBI and other Intel agencies spy on the opposition party candidate, claims that he created the great economy that Americans are enjoying today. The only thing Obama created was debt and massive job losses with his horrible economic recovery.

Yesterday the former President tweeted an effort to take credit for President Trump’s successful economy:

Joe Hoft@joehoft

Of course another @BarackObama lie. He can’t open his mouth without lying. 11 years ago the US lost (4.3) million jobs over the next 12 months. Horrible liar. 

Barack Obama  @BarackObama

Eleven years ago today, near the bottom of the worst recession in generations, I signed the Recovery Act, paving the way for more than a decade of economic growth and the longest streak of job creation in American history.

President Obama’s policies were a disgrace and a failure. He doubled the national debt in spite of zero interest rates from the Fed. His recovery was the worst in US history.

Also, Obama’s assertion is just plain false. The ‘Stimulus’ was passed in February 2009 right after Obama took over the Presidency. He promised to not pass any bills for at least a week to allow for the bills to be read by the people but lied as soon as he was sworn in. The Stimulus was hundreds and hundreds of pages of government handouts to Democrat districts and it was close to $1 million. This was not what America needed and it led to the Tea Party.

Far-left Wikipedia has this to say about the Stimulus:

Note that in his infinite wisdom, NYT economist Paul Krugman is credited with arguing that “the stimulus was far smaller than the economic crisis warranted”. (He also said the markets would crash and burn if President Trump was elected President.)

The data shows that the 12 months after Obama’s stimulus, the US lost 4.3 million jobs:

In Obama’s first three years he netted a loss of 1.5 million jobs compared to President Trump who has added more than 6.7 million jobs.

When it comes to the economy, the billionaire schools the community organizer every time.

Tucker: Bloomberg is trying to buy the election

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