Friday, May 24, 2019

Iran: Planning to Kidnap and Kill More Americans - Majid Rafizadeh


by Majid Rafizadeh

What do critics of the Trump administration expect the American government to do...?

  • A leading Republican lawmaker, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), also the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has pointed out that recent intelligence obtained about Iran's threat was extremely detailed.
  • These are simply preemptive measures that any rational state would take in the face of those clear threats. They were being taken to save the lives of American citizens and prevent the world's official leading state sponsor of terrorism from destabilizing the region.
  • What do critics of the Trump administration expect the American government to do...? Do these critics want the Trump administration to ignore Iran and its terror groups until another terrorist act like 9/11 occurs? Or is it possible that these critics, deep-down, do not care about U.S. national security and the lives of ordinary citizens?


According to leaked reports, Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Quds Force, the elite branch of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), recently traveled to Iraq and instructed the leaders of Iraqi Shiite militia groups, which operate under the name Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), to "prepare for proxy war". Pictured: Iraqi PMF militia commanders with Iranian advisors during Hawija offensive in Iraq, on September 27, 2017. (Image source: VOA video screenshot/Wikimedia Commons)

While plans were being concocted to harm or murder Americans, it is mind-boggling that people -- even entire governments -- were criticizing the Trump administration for preparing preemptive measures against multiple credible threats from the Iranian government and its forces.

While people were squabbling over the choices the Trump administration was making, the Iranian leaders, known to have mastered conducting asymmetric warfare, were giving directives to kidnap and kill American soldiers.

A leading Republican lawmaker, Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), also the ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has pointed out that recent intelligence obtained about Iran's threat was extremely detailed.

"To the extent I can discuss it, it was human intelligence," he said, and added that, "One of the Hezbollah cells is known for its kidnapping and killing operations, and their directive was to go in and kill and kidnap American soldiers."

According to leaked reports, Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Quds Force, the elite branch of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) that is mandated to advance Iran's revolutionary and political interests in foreign nations, recently traveled to Iraq and met with the leaders of Iraqi militia groups that the Iranian regime controls.

Iran's most senior general instructed the Iraqi Shiite militias to "prepare for proxy war". Iran's leaders continue to exert significant influence both directly and indirectly in Iraq through a conglomerate of more than 40 Iraqi militia groups that operate under the name Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF).

Soleimani is also well known as one of the Middle East's deadliest operatives, and is considered by many Iran's most dangerous man. The Quds Force has, in addition, given birth to a variety of designated terrorist groups, including Asaib Al-Haq and Kataib Al-Imam Ali (KIA), which use horrific tactics of torture similar to the Islamic State (ISIS).

Kataib Al-Imam Ali is, like ISIS, known for showing videos of beheadings and burning bodies; Asaib Al-Haq reportedly receives more than $2 million a month from Iran.

A recent report showed that Iran has murdered more Americans in Iraq than was previously thought. This is in addition to the thousands of innocents — including Iraqi children and women — who have been killed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Quds Force, and their militias.

It is not the first time that the Quds Force had prepared militias and proxies to carry out attacks against foreign entities. The Quds Force has been accused of failed plans to bomb the Saudi and Israeli embassies in the US, and to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. at the time, Adel Al-Jubeir. An investigation further revealed that the Quds Force was also behind the assassination of Lebanon's Sunni Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, and implicated in the 9/11 attacks. US Federal Judge George Daniels issued an order stating that Iran, its Lebanese Shiite proxy Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda were jointly responsible for those terrorist attacks.

In Iraq, the Quds Force has been busy stoking unrest by providing deadly, sophisticated bombs such as improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that have killed countless soldiers and civilians, including Iraqis and Americans.

The Quds Force rules over roughly 20,000 members and it can also use forces from the IRGC and Basij paramilitary group in cases that are considered emergencies, or hire fighters from a multitude of countries, including Afghanistan, to fight as proxies.

As a result, considering these serious threats, the U.S. State Department recently ordered all non-emergency employees immediately to leave Iraq. There are approximately 5,000 American troops in Iraq. The U.S. also took preemptive measures by deploying an aircraft carrier, along with B-52 bombers and other military forces, to the Middle East. In addition, President Trump stated to Iran that if it threatens the US, Tehran would meet its "official end".

These were simply preemptive measures that any rational state would take in the face of those clear threats. They were being taken to save the lives of American citizens and prevent the world's official leading state sponsor of terrorism from further destabilizing the region.

What do critics of the Trump administration expect the American government to do, aside from putting the issue "temporarily on hold"? Do these critics want the Trump administration to ignore Iran and its terror groups until another terrorist act like 9/11 occurs? Or is it possible that these critics, deep-down, do not care about U.S. national security and the lives of ordinary citizens?

  • Follow Majid Rafizadeh on Twitter

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is a business strategist and advisor, Harvard-educated scholar, political scientist, board member of Harvard International Review, and president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He has authored several books on Islam and US Foreign Policy. He can be reached at Dr.Rafizadeh@Post.Harvard.Edu

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/14254/iran-kidnap-kill-americans

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Congress is not above the law when it comes to impeachment – Don’t weaponize the Constitution - Alan Dershowitz


by Alan Dershowitz

The time has come to stop weaponizing the Constitution and our legal system for partisan advantage.







The mantra invoked by those Democrats who are seeking to impeach President Donald Trump is that “No one is above the law.” That, of course, is true, but it is as applicable to Congress as it is to the president. Those members of Congress who are seeking to impeach the president, even though he has not committed any of the specified impeachable offences set out in the Constitution, are themselves seeking to go above the law. All branches of government are bound by the law. Congressmen, presidents, justices, judges must all operate within the law. All take an oath to support the Constitution, not to rewrite it for partisan advantage.

It is the law that exempts presidents from being prosecuted or impeached for carrying out their Constitutional authority under Article 2. The same Constitution precludes members of Congress from being prosecuted for most actions taken while on the floor of the House and Senate or on the way to performing their functions. The same Constitution, as interpreted by the courts, bestows immunity on judges for actions which would be criminal or tortious if engaged in by non-judicial individuals. None of this means that these government officials are above the law. It means that their immunized actions are within the law.


The Constitution, which is the governing law, precludes Congress from impeaching a president for mere “dereliction” of duty or even alleged “corruption.” Under the text of the Constitution, a president’s actions to be impeachable must consist of treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.

The Framers of the Constitution considered broadening the criteria for impeachment to include maladministration in office. But this proposal was soundly rejected, on the ground that it would give Congress too much power to control the president.
The time has come to stop weaponizing the Constitution and our legal system for partisan advantage. Impeachment would be a lawless response to undertake, as is the use of partisan committees to obtain an electoral advantage.
Yet Democrats who are now seeking to impeach the president, despite the absence of impeachable offenses, are trying to do precisely what the Framers of the Constitution forbade them from doing: mainly exercising control over a president that is not authorized in the Constitution itself.

Consider for example Congressman Maxine Wasters who has said the following: “Impeachment is about whatever the Congress says it is. There is no law that dictates impeachment.”

It is she, and other like-minded members of Congress, who are claiming the right to be above the law. That is a dangerous claim whether made by a president or by member of Congress.

The Framers of the Constitution did not want a weak president subject to the political control of Congress. Members of the Constitutional Convention explicitly expressed that view in rejecting criteria for impeachment short of criminal conduct. In the absence of the specified criminal conduct, the remedy for a non-impeachable president lies with the voters, not the Congress.


There are other constitutionally authorized remedies as well. These include reasonable Congressional hearings conducted under the oversight powers of Congress. But these hearings, too, must not be conducted for partisan purposes, but rather for legitimate legislative purposes, such as enacting new laws that evidence of the hearings show are necessary. The current hearings do not meet these standards. They are obviously calculated to obtain partisan advantage in the run-up to the 2020 election.

Another option would be for Congress to appoint a non-partisan, expert commission, such as the one appointed following the 9/11 attacks. This commission could look deeply and objectively to all the issues growing out of the 2016 election, particularly Russian efforts to interfere into the American political process. Its goal would not be criminal prosecutions, but rather preventive measures to assure no repetition in the 2020 and subsequent elections. Unfortunately, we live in a time of extreme partisanship, and no one seems interested in nonpartisan truth or in measures that help all Americans rather than only one party.

The time has come to stop weaponizing the Constitution and our legal system for partisan advantage. Impeachment would be a lawless response to undertake, as is the use of partisan committees to obtain an electoral advantage.

No one is above the law, but no one is beneath the legal protection of the law as well. Both parties should operate within the law for the benefit of the American people.


Alan Dershowitz

Source: https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/alan-dershowitz-congress-is-not-above-the-law-when-it-comes-to-impeachment-dont-weaponize-the-constitution

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President Trump leads the way in Venezuela - Ed Timperlake


by Ed Timperlake

It is very obvious that Maduro forces would not be in negations if it weren’t for President Trump calling President Putin.

President Obama received a Nobel Peace Prize and did nothing as Venezuela spiraled into poverty, despair, and murder while becoming a narcotics money-fueled failed state run by emerging war criminals. President Trump simply took direct action by reaching out to President Putin with profound consequences for good. President Trump has personally engaged on the Venezuelan campaign to craft strategic economic debt servicing maneuvering space for President Guaido to succeed.

January 23, 2019 demonstration in Caracas (VOA photo)

A recent New York Times article is reflective of their bias an agenda to destroy Trump, giving him zero credit for doing the right thing. If President Trump had not reached out to President Putin and followed up with Secretary Pompeo, Maduro would have never agreed to the Oslo meeting with Guaido. But as the Times portrays it:
Mr. Guaidó has been forced to consider negotiations with Mr. Maduro. Both sides have sent representatives to Norway for talks, a concession Mr. Guaidó previously rejected.
The sentence is factually backward it should read, “Mr. Maduro has been forced to consider negations with Mr. Guaido.” It is so very obvious that Maduro forces would not be in negations if it weren’t for President Trump calling President Putin.

Excellent reporting by Ben Kew of Breitbart captures the will blindness and ignorant stupidity of those who claim to be our moral superiors, praising Venezuela’s socialism. The list includes Labor Party leader of UK Jeremy Corbin; stand-by UK, you could be next.

Many liberal pols, pundits and especially Hollywood fuzzy thinkers, all of whom we should consider acting like spoiled children, bought into the much over-hyped glories of the Venezuela’s socialist experiment, which has proven to be an abject dismal failure. Additionally, Venezuelan leaders taking away weapons is a perfect example of why Americans should be very thankful we all have 2nd Amendment rights, Venezuelan citizens most certainly do not .

The Venezuelan Campaign to free a country by very brave people such as Juan Guiado and his followers may symbolically have a Valley Forge Moment. But such courage makes them capable of metaphorically crossing their Delaware. They just did that by bring on board a very experienced US debt workout specialist, sovereign debt lawyer Lee Buchiet.
“Lee has great respect in the sovereign debt community and among commercial creditors, government lenders and public officials,” said Ricardo Hausmann, the opposition’s representative at the Inter-American Development Bank.
Buchheit will be representing Venezuela on a pro-bono basis, according to Jose Ignacio Hernandez, who Guaido has tapped as a special prosecutor representing the country’s interests abroad.
With negotiations commencing and a very smart US debt workout specialist now in play, it will become very obvious to Russia and China that Maduro, fueled by narco-criminal money, in no way can service the billions they loaned to Venezuela.

President Trump, NYC real estate developer, knows this as does President Guiado. The oil fields whose production has declined are the only hope to turn around this economic and human rights Venezuela disaster. So much for the reporting of NYT and all the news that’s fit to print, in its view.

Ed Timperlake

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/05/president_trump_leads_the_way_in_venezuela.html

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UCLA Student Council Condemns Freedom Center’s Report on Jew Hatred - Sara Dogan


by Sara Dogan

Refusing to accept inconvenient facts about BDS and terrorism.




The UCLA Undergraduate Students Association just passed a resolution to condemn the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s newest report, “An Epidemic of Jew Hatred on Campus: the Top Ten Neo-Nazi Incidents” which was distributed in newspaper form on the UCLA campus on April 30. As the author of that report, I want to respond to the false and defamatory accusations made in the student council resolution.


The resolution passed by the student council charges the Freedom Center with “falsely and slanderously equating Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) activism with Nazism and terrorism” and making “racist and demonizing accusations of campus activism [against Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP)] being directly continuous with terrorism.” These charges are demonstrably and factually false.



Our report stated that the BDS movement against Israel is funded by terrorist organizations. It also stated that these terrorist organizations funnel money to SJP to propagandize for BDS on campus. These statements are not slanderous or demonizing because they are true.

In testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Jonathan Schanzer, an expert who previously worked as a terrorism finance analyst for the United States Department of the Treasury—someone who knows what he’s talking about—described the how SJP’s propaganda activities and support for BDS are orchestrated and funded by a Hamas front group, American Muslims for Palestine (AMP).  Hatem Bazian—a cofounder of SJP and a professor at the University of California-Berkeley—serves as chairman of AMP. The organization’s leadership includes former officers of the Holy Land Foundation and other Islamic “charities” previously convicted of funneling money to Hamas.



Schanzer explained, “At its 2014 annual conference, AMP invited participants to ‘come and navigate the fine line between legal activism and material support for terrorism.’”  He described AMP as “arguably the most important sponsor and organizer for Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), which is the most visible arm of the BDS campaign on campuses in the United States” and revealed that AMP “provides speakers, training, printed materials, a so-called ‘Apartheid Wall,’ and grants to SJP activists” and “even has a campus coordinator on staff whose job is to work directly with SJP and other pro-BDS campus groups across the country.”  Furthermore, he stated, “according to an email it sent to subscribers, AMP spent $100,000 on campus activities in 2014 alone.”



Further evidence comes from a recent study presented by Israel’s Minister of Strategic Affairs and Public Diplomacy Gilad Erdan at the recent Global Coalition 4 Israel Forum (GC4I). The study exposed a “Network of Hate” connecting the most prominent BDS organizations worldwide with the terrorist organizations Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Minister Erdan described how BDS organizations disseminate false propaganda provided by Hamas and the Palestinian authority and stated, “The relationship between terrorist organizations and the BDS movement has never been closer, ideologically or operationally.”



And there is no doubt that the BDS movement contributes to rampant anti-Semitism on campus. A recent study conducted by the Amcha Initiative found that there is a “strong correlation between anti-Zionist student groups such as Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) and anti-Semitism.” The study’s results indicated that “99% of schools with one or more active anti-Zionist groups had one or more incidents of anti-Semitic activity, whereas only 16% of schools with no active anti-Zionist student group had incidents of overall anti-Semitic activity.”



As for equating BDS with Nazism, that is indeed a justifiable comparison. Just as Hitler’s reforms aimed to marginalize Germany’s Jews through increasingly restrictive laws and sanctions, the BDS movement seeks to isolate and delegitimize Israel, cut it off from the world community, and bankrupt its resources in the hopes of ultimately destroying it.

A more direct connection also exists between BDS and the Nazi movement. The Muslim Brotherhood was founded in Egypt in 1928 by Muslim scholar Hassan al-Banna. An ardent follower of Adolf Hitler, al-Banna translated Mein Kampf into Arabic in the 1930’s and launched the Islamic-Palestinian movement to “push the Jews into the sea.” According to Richard Clarke – the chief counterterrorism advisor on the U.S. National Security Council during the administrations of both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush—Hamas, along with al Qaeda and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, is one of the “descendants of the membership and ideology of the Muslim Brothers.” Therefore we can show that Hamas—the organization funding SJP’s BDS activism—has a demonstrable lineage extending back to Nazi Germany.

 

UCLA was one of the schools named in our report because of an incident that occurred there on May 17, 2018—although in truth there have been a great many anti-Semitic incidents at UCLA. On that date, members of Students for Justice in Palestine viciously disrupted a pro-Israel event titled “Indigenous Peoples Unite” which had been organized by Students Supporting Israel. While a participant was speaking about surviving genocide in his native Armenia, a protestor walked over and tore the Armenian flag off the wall and threw the speaker’s notes on the floor, while screaming directly in his face. SJP protestors used horns and whistles to create a chaos of noise and chanted slogans including “We don't want 2 states, we want '48,” a genocidal statement in favor of abolishing Israel and returning to a time before it existed. Due to SJP’s protest, the event was forced to halt for over 15 minutes until calm could be regained.


Despite SJP’s egregious behavior during this incident and others, the UCLA administration allowed SJP National to hold its infamous annual conference on the UCLA campus the following semester. The conference announcement even bragged about disrupting pro-Israel events.



And yet it is the David Horowitz Freedom Center that is being condemned by the UCLA student council for exposing the truth about this incident and others. Not SJP for its censorship of pro-Israel speech on campus and for espousing the anti-Semitic doctrine of BDS. 



Instead of attempting to bully pro-Israel organizations like the Freedom Center and the Canary Mission into silence, UCLA’s student council would do better to look at the source of the Jew hatred lurking in their midst.



Sara Dogan

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/273848/ucla-student-council-condemns-freedom-centers-sara-dogan

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The 'Forward' Promotes Tlaib's Holocaust Lies - Ari Lieberman


by Ari Lieberman

Paper of the #Resistance demonstrates shameless betrayal of journalistic integrity.




It’s safe to say that uttering the words “calming feeling” and “Holocaust” in the same sentence is never a good idea regardless of the speaker’s intentions. There was and can never be anything “calming” about the Holocaust. Yet in a podcast interview with Yahoo’s Skullduggery, a freshman member of the United States Congress said just that. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, whose history is replete with anti-Semitic statements and associations, then compounded her malevolence by lauding her Palestinian “ancestors” for providing Jewish refugees from post-Holocaust Europe with “safe haven.”

Tlaib’s comments evoked immediate outrage from President Donald Trump, GOP lawmakers and Jewish groups. Predictably, Democratic leaders once again hedged, and instead of addressing the insidious problem of anti-Semitism within their ranks, circled the wagons and offered support for Tlaib and her vile comments.

As I, FPM’s Joseph Klein, and many others have noted, Tlaib’s rambling gutter talk was nothing short of ahistorical fiction, devoid of any semblance of truth. Palestinians were virulently hostile toward the Jewish residents of mandatory Palestine and unsuccessfully attempted to eradicate any trace of Jewish presence there. Moreover, the Palestinian nexus to Nazism is undeniable. In fact, Palestinian actions in support of the Nazis in no small measure helped facilitate Hitler’s Final Solution. The British mandatory authorities limited Jewish immigration to the Land of Israel to a trickle as a direct result of Arab pressure. Jews who attempted to flee Europe in a desperate bid to escape the Nazis were denied access to their ancestral home thanks to the Palestinian Arab leadership. But according to Tlaib, these are the very people who are champions of safe havens.

The Democrats’ reaction to the Tlaib outrage was unsurprising. We’ve come to expect this sort of cravenness from the Party whose astounding freefall into Corbynism should be a cause of grave concern for all Americans. Equally troubling however, is how a fringe minority of self-described Jewish outlets covered the story, chief among them, the radical left-wing Forward.

In its problematic coverage of the story, The Forward spun a convoluted Tlaib-friendly narrative that would have made a contortionist proud. The paper also cynically exploited the opportunity to take a swipe at Trump by noting that in 2017, Trump released a statement on the horrors of the Holocaust without mention of its primary victims – the Jewish people. It was an unintended mistake attributed to careless oversight but there was no nefarious design and certainly no intent to diminish the Holocaust’s significance to Jews.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made the same mistake twice, once in 2016 and again in 2017. On both occasions, Trudeau released statements universalizing the Holocaust without mentioning the Jewish peoples’ suffering. Yet no one at The Forward accused or even insinuated that Trudeau was anti-Semitic.

There is perhaps no other leader in the free world who has done more to combat the evils of anti-Semitism than Trump. He nominated Kenneth L. Marcus to head the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights. Marcus, who had the same duties at the department for two years during the administration of President George W. Bush, and had been president and general counsel of the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law in Washington, was known by all to be a formidable opponent of anti-Semitism, particularly those forms of anti-Semitism which breed and fester at America’s institutions of higher learning. After assuming the position, Marcus swiftly went into action reopening a case involving Rutgers University where Jewish students had been discriminated against by pro-Palestinian activists. The Obama administration had unsurprisingly closed the case.

Trump also appointed Elan Carr as the as the United States’ Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism. Carr’s appointment drew widespread bipartisan support as well as support from a broad spectrum of Jewish groups. This stands in marked contrast to Obama’s nominee, Hannah Rosenthal, a J Street shill, whose appointment was viewed as nothing short of an unmitigated disaster. Respected columnist Shmuel Rosner referred to her as a “burden,”  “a problematic pick,” “an unwelcome distraction,” and “definitely not smart.”

At the United Nations, which without exaggeration can be classified as the world’s largest purveyor of anti-Semitism, the Trump administration has stood firm and pushed back hard against banal, pro forma U.N. resolutions condemning Israel. The administration’s actions have had a positive effect on that thoroughly corrupted body.

These and other successes the administration has had against the scourge of anti-Semitism are routinely ignored or minimized by The Forward. Instead, the outlet, which is closely aligned with the so-called #Resistance, uses its pages to smear opponents of anti-Semitism while trying to explain or contextualize the “benign” motives of those, like Rashida Tlaib, who are genuinely and grotesquely anti-Semitic. It is a shameful display of journalism at its worst. 


Ari Lieberman is an attorney and former prosecutor who has authored numerous articles and publications on matters concerning the Middle East and is considered an authority on geo-political and military developments affecting the region.

Source: https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/273840/forward-promotes-tlaibs-holocaust-lies-ari-lieberman

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Continuing plunge of CNN, MSNBC ratings reveals that fake news is a bad business strategy - Thomas Lifson


by Thomas Lifson

Almost half of their viewers in the prime demo have gone away.

The catastrophic ratings decline for both CNN and MSNBC was no temporary blip following publication of the Mueller report. Both cable news outlets had heavily promoted the hoax of Russian collusion with the Trump administration, teasing the hopes of Trump-haters for impeachment and prosecution for treason. Now, those disappointed viewers have gone away, and continue to stay away.

Fake (“replica”) CNN Newsroom at CNN Center in Atlanta (Photo credit: Doug Waldron)

TV Newser (free registration required) reveals the continuing loss of a substantial portion of the viewership for both cable news networks in the third week of May:
CNN experienced its lowest-rated week since November 2015 in the 25-54 demo. Additionally, MSNBC marked its lowest-rated prime time week of the year in the demo. Rachel Maddow delivered her lowest-rated week of the year in both total viewers and the 25-54 demo.
The most dramatic decline was in the prized demo, age 25 – 54, with MSNBC down 42% and CNN down 43%. Advertisers are getting barely more than half as many potential consumers watching their ads in both cable news outlets.

To be fair, last year was an election year, and Fox News also experienced a decline of 22%, but that is roughly half the decline of the two progressive outlets.

Fox News lost the crown of the most-viewed cable channel to ESPN, which benefitted from the NBA playoffs.

Overall cable channels rankings:
PRIME TIME
  1. ESPN (2,720,000)
  2. Fox News Channel (2,333,000)
  3. TNT (2,123,000)
  4. MSNBC (1,487,000)
  5. HGTV (1,160,000)
  6. NBC Sports Network (1,133,000)
  7. USA (1,076,000)
  8. TBS (934,000)
  9. Hallmark Channel (893,000)
  10. History (893,000)
TOTAL DAY (6a – 6a)
  1. Fox News (1,313,000)
  2. ESPN (887,000)
  3. MSNBC (848,000)
  4. TNT (799,000)
  5. HGTV (665,000)
  6. Investigation Discovery (641,000)
  7. Nickelodeon (638,000)
  8. USA (536,000)
  9. CNN (520,000)
  10. History (507,000)
John Nolte of Breitbart points out that the unmasking of the Russia Hoax is only the latest example of fake news purveyed by both progressive cable networks (as well as most of the MSM). He lists the fake news frauds of recent memory:
  • George Zimmerman: White Racist Killer
  • Hands Up, Don’t Shoot
  • Trump Can’t Win
  • Brett Kavanaugh: Serial Rapist
  • The KKKids from KKKovington High School
  • Trump Colluded with Russia
To that list must be added the incredible on-air promotion of Michael Avenatti, just indicted for stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from his client Stormy Daniels, adding to his existing indictments in New York and Los Angeles for attempting to shake down Nike.

CNN's Brian Stelter last year on Michael Avenatti running for president: "And looking ahead to 2020, one reason I’m taking you seriously as a contender is because of your presence on cable news.”



Both CNN and MSNBC are subsidiaries of large publicly-held corporations, AT&T and Comcast, respectively. It is time for the grown-ups at the corporate level to recognize that each of their subsidiaries have adopted a losing business strategy of focusing on left-wing propaganda, a declining market niche. Shareholders need to demand that existing management be replaced at both cable news operations. They have squandered their credibility and need to provide former viewers with visible evidence that they have learned their lessons.
The move of CNN’s New York operations from Columbus Circle to Hudson Yards has already been used as an excuse to lay off more than a hundred staffers, a typical move of companies in decline. But that cost-saving measure will not persuade former viewers to return, much less add new viewers. Firing Jeff Zucker, head of CNN who was promoted by AT&T and given broader responsibilities, would be a visible sign that corporate understands the need to change and to win back lost viewers.
Hat tip: Roger Luchs

Thomas Lifson

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2019/05/continuing_plunge_of_cnn_msnbc_ratings_reveals_that_fake_news_is_a_bad_business_strategy_.html

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Morrison’s win in Australia foretells even stronger ties with Israel - Sean Savage


by Sean Savage

The victory by Scott Morrison, who hails from the center-right Liberal Party, echoes some of the surprise electoral success other decidedly pro-Israel right-wing candidates have seen in recent years around the world.


Morrison’s win in Australia foretells even stronger ties with Israel
Australia's PM Scott Morrison with his family after winning the 2019 Federal Election, in Sydney, Australia, May 18, 2019 | Photo: Reuters/Dean Lewins

The surprise election victory of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison last weekend not only shook up the country’s political landscape but also potentially bodes well for another country thousands of miles away – Israel.

“We have had a strong and constructive relationship with Scott Morrison personally and had a very good working relationship with the government he led,” Jeremy Jones, director of international and community affairs for the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC), told Jewish News Syndicate. “We also have worked with many members of the Opposition and the Cross-benchers. We saw the defeat of a number of racist candidates and MPs who associated with maximalist anti-Israel groups.”

The victory by Morrison, who hails from the center-right Liberal Party, echoes some of the surprise electoral success other decidedly pro-Israel right-wing candidates have seen in recent years around the world, such as with U.S. President Donald Trump and more recently with Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and potentially in Canada as well next October. However, Austria’s Sebastian Kurz, who has also staked a strong pro-Israel stance in Europe, now faces snap elections after his junior coalition partner resigned from the government following a video scandal.

“The Australian government is not ‘populist’ in the sense of Donald Trump or Bolsonaro or even [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu. It is conservative, center-right and ran on a platform of economic responsibility, not populism. Australia has compulsory voting, which militates in favor of responsible centrism,” said Jones.

Netanyahu, who visited Australia in 2017, quickly congratulated Morrison on his victory.
“I send congratulations to another friend of mine, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who won the elections after the polls consistently predicted that he would lose. At the last minute, in the final hours, he won,” Netanyahu said on Sunday during his cabinet meeting.

Morrison, who took office last August after ousting former party leader and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, drew headlines last fall after he suggested that he was “open” to the idea of moving the Australian embassy to Jerusalem.

While it seemed Morrison was initially open to the idea of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moving the embassy there, ultimately the Australian leader only recognized western Jerusalem as the country’s capital and opened a “Defense and Trade Office” in Jerusalem instead. This move was likely due to pressure from Australia’s Muslim neighbor Indonesia, which had been outspoken against the embassy relocation.

Nevertheless, Jones expects Morrison to continue to be a strong friend of the Jewish community and Israel, saying he “has been engaged with issues of direct concern to the Jewish community, as he attended school with many Jewish students, has political influences well-disposed to Israel and Jewry, and he is a committed Christian who is well-versed in the Bible.”

Indeed, Morrison, an evangelical Christian who first took office last August, will likely continue to build on his country’s strong pro-Israel stance.

Is an embassy move to Jerusalem in the cards?

Despite their geographical distance, both countries have a robust economic relationship, with more than $1.1 billion in bilateral trade annually. Many Israeli companies operate in Australia, providing IT services such as cybersecurity and agricultural technology.

In 2017, Netanyahu became the first sitting Israeli prime minister to visit Australia as part of his ongoing diplomatic efforts to bolster Israel’s relations around the world. During the visit, Netanyahu and former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull signed a number of bilateral agreements in areas such as education, innovation, agriculture, water, energy and environmental protection.

More recently, in March 2019, the two countries also signed their first-ever tax treaty, which will help to prevent double taxation and tax avoidance.

In addition to Morrison, other pro-Israel lawmakers also saw electoral success in last weekend’s election. Liberal Party politician Dave Sharma, the country’s former ambassador to Israel from 2013 to 2017, won a close race for a seat from the heavily Jewish district of Wentworth, a suburb of Sydney.

Given his previous experience, Sharma is already reportedly being considered for a cabinet post and has said he is open to the idea of an embassy move.

“I think we should be open to considering it as Australians. The U.S. has done it,” Sharma said during the campaign.

Yet Jones does not expect any major policy shifts in the near future for the Morrison government, including an embassy move.

“The Morrison government will most likely act with prudence and careful consideration of many different factors in any further actions relating to Israel generally and Jerusalem specifically,” he said. “We do not expect any immediate variation on the current policies.”

Instead, Jones says that his organization will work closely with Morrison to focus attention on the growing threat of Iran.

“We will be urging the government to focus more attention on the threat of Iranian adventurism, as well as urging continued support for peace-building through people-to-people engagements and direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.”

This article is reprinted from JNS.org.


Sean Savage

Source: https://www.israelhayom.com/2019/05/23/morrisons-win-in-australia-foretells-even-stronger-ties-with-israel/

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Let's Make Sure 'Obstruction of Justice' Is Properly Defined - Spike Hampson


by Spike Hampson

Only a person who attempts to block the department from discovering something true should even be considered for prosecution based on obstruction of justice.

A line must be drawn. No longer can the phrase "obstruction of justice" be allowed to mean something obscenely different from what any fair-minded, free person knows it was intended to mean. In the minds of most, the phrase refers to blocking the discovery of truth, truth being the only legitimate basis on which appropriate redress can be made for some wrong that has been suffered.

Any codified law that uses the phrase "obstruction of justice" to mean something other than precisely this is in jeopardy of obstructing true justice. If a law is needed to insure that an official investigation is not obstructed, then the language of the law must refer to obstruction of an investigation or obstruction of police work or obstruction of intelligence activities. Any reference to this sort of thing as "obstruction of justice" assigns a specialized definition to the word "justice" that does more than just legalistically narrow its established commonplace meaning; it creates a misleading new meaning with the explicit intention of illegitimately assigning to some formal entity all the virtue that English-speaking people naturally and universally associate with the word "justice."

The Department of Justice is not synonymous with "justice." We all sincerely hope that the Department pursues true justice most of the time, but anybody with any worldly experience knows that sometimes it doesn't. Obstructing the activities of the Department of Justice should not be automatically viewed as obstructing justice. Even if the Department of Justice is behaving honorably, a person who interferes with its investigation to keep it from arriving at a false conclusion should not be found guilty of obstructing justice. Only a person who attempts to block the department from discovering something true should even be considered for prosecution based on obstruction of justice.

This brings us to President Trump and the Mueller Report. Mueller found that there was no compelling evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians to influence the outcome of the 2016 election. Given the nature of our legal system, this effectively clears Trump of the charge — and that charge was the predicated reason for doing the investigation in the first place.

The remaining controversy now before us is whether Trump obstructed justice while Mueller investigated the matter. For Trump to have done so, he would have had to hinder Mueller's team from establishing his lack of guilt. How silly! It is irrational to think Trump would have deflected Mueller from discovering Trump's innocence (the recognized status of anybody who is not guilty).

The way in which Trump might now be found guilty of obstruction of justice is if he hindered the activities of the Mueller investigation. Anybody with a clear vision of what "obstruction of justice" means recognizes that obstructing the activities of a government agency is not the same thing as obstructing the discovery of truth.

Nothing is ever quite that simple: a person might obstruct an investigation leading to exoneration for a particular crime because it will reveal some other crime for which that person is indeed guilty. But this would be an exceptional situation. Those who claim that Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice need to identify what specific crime he committed and what specific action he took to keep that misbehavior from being discovered. If they cannot do so, then the obstruction charge should be dismissed.

Regardless of how an obstruction law might read, no citizen who is innocent of a crime should ever be found guilty of having obstructed justice if his actions facilitated a correct conclusion regarding it. If that citizen murdered the investigator or forged documents, well, those are different crimes. The citizen who only makes it harder for an investigation to prove as true something that is not true is not engaging in criminal behavior. 

The American legal system is essential for the business of assuring that the constitutionally accorded rights of citizens are protected. For much of our history, it served this function reasonably well, but in recent years, linguistic doublespeak has wormed its way into the specialized legal vocabulary in such a way as to put ever more power into the hands of those who administer the laws. "Obstruction of justice" has become a device for insuring that investigators and prosecutors can pursue their aims without regard for whether those aims are just or properly motivated. Anybody who stands in their way, for no matter what reason, has now been classified as a criminal for obstructing their will.

An example of the malignant authoritarianism that has emerged as part of our legal system is the way in which our growing multiplicity of laws has permitted the legal authorities to charge individuals with multiple offenses against the law when in fact the crime committed was a single crime. This allows the police and prosecutors to bludgeon an indicted person into submission by insuring that a vigorous defense will open up the prospect of endless time in prison if the defense attorney does not get the defendant to agree to a plea deal. Often it is the case that both the prosecution and the defense will find it in their interest to have a malleable defendant. In a sane world, this sort of practice would be viewed as true obstruction of justice. 

For example, General Flynn might have said to his FBI investigators, "I didn't talk with the Russian ambassador on the phone and lobby him about the Russian reaction to sanctions." That would have been a lie. But what if he had said, "I didn't talk with the Russian ambassador on the phone. I didn't lobby him about the Russian reaction to sanctions"? That would have been two lies. Would it have been just for the Mueller investigation to have doubled the charges against him, making him vulnerable to ten years of jail time instead of five? Would Flynn have deserved double punishment based on how he constructed his lie?

The freedom and flexibility we have accorded to law enforcement has exceeded the bounds of reasonableness.


Spike Hampson

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/05/lets_make_sure_obstruction_of_justice_is_properly_defined.html

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Palestinians: The New Hamas List of 'Traitors' - Khaled Abu Toameh


by Khaled Abu Toameh

If the voices of the critics grow, then there will be hope that one day the extremist camp among the Palestinians will be weakened.

  • One of the Arabs who have dared to speak the truth about Hamas and Islamic Jihad is Nadim Koteich, a prominent Lebanese journalist, who recently accused Islamic Jihad of starting the last round of fighting with Israel.
  • In an interview with the Lebanese LDC TV channel, Koteich said that Hamas and Islamic Jihad, representing the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran respectively, should have turned the Gaza Strip after Israel's withdrawal in 2005 into an opportunity for a national Palestinian compromise.
  • Instead, he said, the two groups have "thwarted all opportunities for peace" and have ended up in a prison called Gaza."
  • Such voices from some Palestinians and Arabs are a sign they may have finally woken up to realize that Palestinian leaders, particularly Hamas and Islamic Jihad, are leading their people towards the abyss. If the voices of the critics grow, then there will be hope that one day the extremist camp among the Palestinians will be weakened.

The Palestinian Hamas movement that rules the Gaza Strip has never tolerated any form of criticism. Hamas claims that Palestinian Authority and Fatah leaders who dare to speak out against it are "traitors" and "collaborators" working with the "Zionist enemy." Pictured: Masked Hamas gunmen in the Gaza Strip. (Image source: Abid Katib/Getty Images)

The Palestinian Hamas movement that rules the Gaza Strip has never tolerated any form of criticism. It does not accept any criticism from Palestinians living under its rule in the Gaza Strip. It does not accept any criticism from its rivals in the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its ruling Fatah faction. It certainly does not accept any criticism from Israel or the United States.

Now, Hamas is saying that it does not tolerate any criticism from Arabs. Hamas claims that Palestinian Authority and Fatah leaders who dare to speak out against it are "traitors" and "collaborators" working with the "Zionist enemy."

Arab media personalities who recently criticized Hamas and its allies in the Gaza Strip have now been placed on its list of "traitors" and "collaborators."

Recently, some Arabs, particularly in the Gulf states, Lebanon and Egypt, have spoken out publicly against Hamas and held it responsible for the continued suffering of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. These Arabs, in other words, have dared to speak the truth about Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the two major forces in the Gaza Strip.

One of those Arabs is Nadim Koteich, a prominent Lebanese journalist, who recently accused Islamic Jihad of starting the last round of fighting with Israel. In an interview with the Lebanese LDC TV channel, Koteich said that Hamas and Islamic Jihad, representing the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran respectively, should have turned the Gaza Strip after Israel's withdrawal in 2005 into an opportunity for a Palestinian national compromise. Instead, he said, the two groups have "thwarted all opportunities for peace and have ended up in a prison called Gaza."

This logical and constructive criticism of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, however, has sparked a wave of vicious condemnations against the Lebanese journalist on various Palestinian and Arab social media platforms. Koteich only spoke the truth, particularly his remark about a missed opportunity after the Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. Back then, some Palestinians were dreaming of turning the Gaza Strip into the "Singapore of the Middle East."

Instead, the situation in the Gaza Strip has since gone from bad to worse. The deterioration reached its peak when Hamas violently seized control of the Gaza Strip after overthrowing President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority in the summer of 2007.

Hamas, nevertheless, refuses to acknowledge that its rule over the Gaza Strip is the main reason for the ongoing suffering of the Palestinians there. It also refuses to admit that its rocket attacks on Israel have brought disaster on the Palestinians living under its rule. Instead of listening to the voices of its critics, the Hamas leaders continue to blame everyone but themselves for the economic and humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

One of the techniques Hamas uses to discredit its critics is accusing them of being Israeli and American agents and puppets.

Consider, for example, Hamas's response to the criticism of the Lebanese journalist. Raafat Morra, a senior Hamas official, lashed out at Koteich and other Arab media personalities who dared to speak out against the rulers of the Gaza Strip. "Any [Arab] media figure who attacks the resistance in Palestine or speaks out against our people in the Gaza Strip, needs to check his DNA," the Hamas official said. "Perhaps they will discover that their mothers breastfed them from the cow of the Children of Israel."

In other words, the Hamas official is implying that the Lebanese journalist and any Arab who dares to tell the truth about the situation in the Gaza Strip must be a Jew or somehow connected to Jews.

Morra and other Hamas officials have also strongly denounced Atef Abu Seif, the Palestinian Authority Minister of Culture, who recently said that the Gaza Strip "may be one of the filthiest and worst places in the world because its controlled by Muslim fundamentalists." Of course, Abu Seif was referring to Hamas's responsibility for the harsh conditions of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

No one knows how bad the situation in the Gaza Strip is better than Abu Seif. Last March, he was badly beaten by masked men in the Gaza Strip believed to be members of Hamas. He was transferred to a Palestinian hospital in the West Bank for medical treatment. A few weeks later, Abu Seif was appointed Minister of Culture in the new Palestinian government headed by Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh.

Hamas is now accusing Abu Seif of treason for speaking out against its bad policies and repressive measures against Palestinians. "The Palestinian Authority Minister of Culture is promoting treachery to appease the [Israeli] occupation," Morra, the senior Hamas official, said on Twitter. "Shame on you, and you should not hold any position related to culture. The culture of our people is one of dignity, patriotism, steadfastness and resistance. We call on all Palestinian academics to move quickly to seek the dismissal of Abu Seif from his job as Minister of Culture."

Another Hamas official, Hazem Qassem, accused the minister of "promoting Israeli propaganda" by criticizing the situation in the Gaza Strip. By criticizing Hamas, Qassem said, the minister was assisting Israel in its campaign to "demonize the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian resistance groups there." The Hamas official went on to make a more serious charge against Abu Seif: "Exonerating Israel from its responsibility for the blockade and covering up for the criminal sanctions imposed by the Palestinian Authority leadership on the residents of the Gaza Strip."

If the Palestinian minister ever returns to the Gaza Strip, he would probably be executed by Hamas on charges of "high treason."

Abu Seif is rather fortunate that Hamas allowed him to leave Gaza after he was physically assaulted there. Hamas possibly regrets that he survived the assault. Moreover, it is safe to assume that Hamas also regrets that it allowed him to leave the Gaza Strip for medical treatment in the West Bank.

Koteich, the Lebanese journalist, will also never set foot in the Gaza Strip after what he said about Hamas and Islamic Jihad -- nor will Abbas or any of his senior officials in the West Bank who have been condemning Hamas for the past decade. Hamas has already said that if and when Abbas ever returns to the Gaza Strip, he will be out on trial for "high treason" -- a crime, in the world of the Palestinians, punishable by death.

In an encouraging development, however, Hamas's bloody threats seem to hold little fear for some Arab media figures who continue publicly to state the truth about the Gaza Strip and the Palestinian "resistance" groups there. In recent months, a growing number of Arabs have begun speaking out against Hamas and Islamic Jihad, holding them responsible for destroying the lives of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

It is refreshing to see how these Arabs are not afraid to denounce Hamas and tell the truth about its responsibility for the violence with Israel. Take for example, what Saudi writer and journalist Abdullah al-Sharif recently said:
"Hamas is committing foolish acts against our people in the Gaza Strip. It fires primitive rockets [at Israel] and, in response, brings daily [Israeli] military strikes against the defenseless people. Then, Hamas cries over what has happened to the people. It is better for us to stop the farce of some Palestinian leaders that is killing our people because of the unprecedented stupidity of these leaders."
Such voices from some Palestinians and Arabs are a sign they may have finally woken up to realize that Palestinian leaders, particularly Hamas and Islamic Jihad, are leading their people towards the abyss. If the voices of the critics grow, then there will be hope that one day the extremist camp among the Palestinians will be weakened.

Meanwhile, it seems that only a handful of Arabs and Palestinians are prepared to take the risk of speaking the truth for fear of being labeled "traitors" and "Zionist collaborators" in the social media and mosques.
  • Follow Khaled Abu Toameh on Twitter

Khaled Abu Toameh, an award-winning journalist based in Jerusalem, is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at Gatestone Institute.

Source: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/14251/palestinians-hamas-traitors

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