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Iran Truth United Nations

UN Court Siding With Iran Reveals More D.C. Cleanup Is Needed

By Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

The United States was handed yet another snub by the United Nations last week when its International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered it to undo sanctions against Iran that would interfere with the importation of humanitarian goods and services to that country.

Specifically, the court ordered the United States to remove those sanctions dealing with “medicine and medical devices, food and agricultural commodities and spare parts and equipment necessary to ensure the safety of civil aviation.”

The United States immediately cried foul with John Bolton, the United States National Security Advisor, pointing out that the ICJ had allowed itself to be used “as a forum for propaganda” by Iran.

But here’s the head-smacking part: There is still a 63-year-old treaty in effect between the nations on which the court based its ruling.

Iran contended that the United States’ actions of reinstating sanctions in May were in breach of the Treaty of Amity signed in 1955 between President Dwight D. Eisenhower and King Mohammad Reza Shah. This treaty included an arbitration agreement of sorts that would make the ICJ the arbiter of any disputes between the two nations.  

But the sanctions dispute was not the only contention made by Iran before the ICJ. The international court also argued that the United States had acted illegally in unilaterally withdrawing from the Iran nuclear accord, a charge the ICJ rejected.

However, the ICJ sided unanimously with Iran in its contentions regarding sanctions against products and services necessary for humanitarian aid. The ruling also declared that the international community viewed the reimposition of sanctions by the United States as illegal. 

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United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo responded forcefully by immediately withdrawing the United States from the Treaty and activating its one-year termination clause under Article XXIII. In the meantime, Bolton contended that the Treaty could not be considered in force in light of Iran’s hostile behavior towards the United States and the community of nations.

“Iran is a rogue regime,” he said. “It has been a threat throughout the Middle East, not only for its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, but it’s (sic) acted for several decades as the central banker for international terrorism.”

Of course, Bolton is correct in his assertion.

Article I of the Treaty calls for “a firm and enduring peace and sincere friendship between the United States of America and Iran,” a provision that was permanently and irreversibly violated by Iran with the swarming of the American Embassy and the taking of American hostages for 444 days in 1979. Among others, that act of hostility violated numerous other provisions of the Treaty designed to guarantee the rights and safety of the nationals and companies in Iran. Additionally, Iran’s numerous actions of hostility towards the United States and its regional neighbors have cut to shreds any semblance of a treaty.

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Regardless, because the Treaty still exists on paper, the ICJ decided to honor it, thus giving the Iranian regime ammunition with which to ironically call the United States “an outlaw regime.”

In light of the irreparable deterioration of relations between the two countries and the widespread disregard of the provisions of the Treaty, it is amazing that the United States did not withdraw years ago, an observation that did not escape John Bolton.

“Given this history and Iran’s abuse of the ICJ, we will commence a review of all international agreements that may still expose the United States to purported binding jurisdiction and dispute resolution in the International Court of Justice.”  

It’s past time we did.

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and cohost of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod. Dr. Gonzalez is presently serving in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.


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Economy Foreign affairs Foreign policy Iran Israel Politics Taxes Trump Truth

Trump Presidency Proving It Is A One-Time Only Paradigm Shift

Rod Thomson

Enjoy it while you can. Or weather it, depending on your Trumpian disposition.

The undeniable reality is that President Donald Trump is doing what no other politician could do. Indeed, the very reality of some of his most off-putting, “unpresidential,” unconventional methods are exactly what are making him so effective.

And what probably makes him unrepeatable.

Long-time Republican strategist turned Libertarian in 2016, Mary Matalin is one of the few establishment-type folks who has come around and actually gets what’s happening.

“I think he’s stunning; he’s a paradigmatic shift…I don’t think anybody else can do it because everybody else who thinks they know about politics impedes their own forward motion by saying it can’t be done. He doesn’t have that gene — everything can be done,” Matalin recently said in a speech.

She’s exactly right. And that is the engine for the paradigm shift.

“I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done.”

– Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company

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The U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem is the latest example. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama all promised on the campaign trail to make that move, as stipulated by Congress in 1995. But none of them followed through because they listened to the advice of the careerist diplomats in the State Department that it would be inflammatory and dangerous and so on. It just cannot be done reasonably.

But Trump thumbs his nose at the conventional thinking constantly, and followed through with his promise — besting all three of those presidents both in honesty and courage in doing the right thing. This is one element of the Trump presidency that is changing the dynamic in the always-volatile and violent Middle East.

“Safety first has been the motto of the human race for half a million years; but it has never been the motto of leaders. A leader must face danger. He must take the risk and the blame, and the brunt of the storm.”

– Herbert N. Casson, author

North Korea is another example of Trump doing what absolutely no one else was willing or capable of doing — in a way no one expected and that terrified the careerists in the establishment. Responding to Kim Jong-Un’s jibes at Trump being old, any other President would have been very presidential and not replied. Trump tweets back that Kim is short and fat and nicknames him rocketman. That’s about as unconventional as it gets.

No one knows what to do with that. The media had fits, but they are clueless about Trump. The tweeting is coupled with Trump having sent two aircraft carrier groups to the Korean Peninsula and Kim having seen Trump attack Russian-backed Syrians multiple times, even killing some Russians. This generated another paradigm shift. If Trump is willing to kill Russians, why would he shy away from North Koreans? Kim is now negotiating and talking about total nuclear disarmament. We’ll see what happens, but this is an immense step everyone thought impossible.

“Diplomacy is the art of saying ‘Nice doggie’ until you can find a rock.”

— Will Rogers

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The Iran deal is another area where the conventional paradigm is altered. Despite most of the Republicans in the 2016 primary declaring they would rip up the Iran deal, one suspects that they probably would not have once the State Department careerists, other Washington establishmentarians and European allies pressured them not to. Too dangerous!

But Trump is Trump. He kept that campaign promise, too and is helping forge an alliance between Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and…Israel! In one sense, this is merely an alliance of a common and deadly enemy, Iran. But it still is rather amazing to consider. And while it has its own impetus among those nations, the fact that America can be counted on (at least until 2020) to support this alliance against Iran’s violent expansionism is undoubtedly critical. Because of Syria and North Korea, the Iranian Mullahs must realize and calculate that they are dealing with a very different and more serious President than the previous one.

“Diplomacy is not an end in itself if it does not advance U.S. interests.”

— John Bolton, now National Security Advisor

China trade and tariffs is a very squishy area for doctrinaire conservatives. Free markets are a bulwark of modern conservatism. But Trump’s enactment of a series of tariffs, and more recently sanctions on Chinese telecom giant ZTE, have moved the dial. The Chinese sound willing to renegotiate the lopsided trade deals of previous administrations and stop or slow down immense amounts of cheating and blackmailing on behalf of Chinese companies.

According to the genuinely clueless media, Trump is now “flip-flopping” on the ZTE sanctions and talking about Chinese jobs instead of American jobs. But what has happened is that the Chinese are willing to stop their threatened retaliatory tariffs that were in response to the U.S. tariffs, just to stop the ZTE sanctions. Meanwhile, U.S. tariffs remain in place, revealing that the U.S. has — and always has had — the superior position of strength in negotiating. We just finally have a president who sees this and is willing to buck all of the establishment thinking and use the superior position for the good of the American people. In doing so, he’s created a new paradigm.

This is most certainly something no one else in the Republican field would have done. (Full disclosure, this writer supported Sen. Ted Cruz in the primaries. But it is virtually impossible to see even Cruz doing this.)

“New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.”

John Locke

All of this is just on the foreign stage. Domestically, the tax reform package was something that Republicans had been wanting for decades. And while it was a GOP bill, it was in conjunction with Trump and clearly driven by his support for it. That reform has literally given most Americans a pay raise, and a new paradigm.

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De-regulation is shockingly underreported, but it has been a major factor in unleashing the American economy since his election. The Trump Administration has eliminated 22 regulations for every one new one it has implemented. American businesses are being unshackled and it shows. In addition to GDP and job growth, wages are increasing and will begin increasing faster as the economy continues to be strong.

Deregulation is something most Republican presidents would not touch because they are always wet-fingering the politics of it with environmental groups and other special interests ready to pounce. Caution and reelection remain preeminent. But Trump just does it because he is unlike any other modern president, or any other options out there. And the paradigm of ever more regulations stifling Americans is cracked.

Matalin again:

“He’s given people back hope, I mean people really, small-business people or young families or retiring people, in our DNA is always the potential to be better, to strive for something,” she said. “You couldn’t strive for anything. You’re being bushwhacked at every corner. He has shifted the collective psyche from horribly cynical to helpfully skeptical. So I think he is doing great.”

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy. Whatfinger.com  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.


 

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Cuba Foreign affairs Foreign policy Iran Israel Korea Obama Truth

The Calamity That Was Obama’s Foreign Policy Is On Full Display

Rod Thomson

That President Barack Obama’s foreign policy was weak and destructive has been evident to most non-partisan observers for a long time.

But with Israel’s bombshell announcement on Iran’s ongoing nuclear weapons program, the scale of the failure is coming into full light. Only his most ardent and blinded supporters can still be defending the Iran deal and the rest of his foreign policy disasters.

We knew the Iran deal was bad for regional safety and good for an expansion of terrorism. But there was still the thin thread of hope that it could work for at least delaying Iran’s nuclear weapon program. That hope is now revealed as a fool’s errand.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented 55,000 pages of documents and 183 CDs during his blockbuster news conference, outlining Iran’s duplicity and threat. His presentation of the evidence (verified by U.S. intelligence services) found that Iran lied repeatedly to the IAEA about its weapons program before and during the Iran deal. It showed how after the deal, Iran continued and continues to pursue nuclear weapons research under the fiction of scientific research. And he showed that Iran maintained its atomic research archives for when it could continue building its nuclear weapons program full-scale.

Netanyahu said: “The mission statement is to design, produce and test five warheads with 10 kiloton of TNT yield for integration on missiles.”

So as suspected and now proven, the Iranian nuclear deal was a sham from the beginning. But the deal is just one piece of the disastrous puzzle of Obama’s foreign policy. Here’s the rest of the calamities that must be dealt with.

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➙ Syria. When Syrian President Assad crossed Obama’s red line on the use of chemical weapons and Obama did nothing, that emboldened Assad to be more aggressive and let ISIS know that the United States was toothless under Obama. They were free to slaughter at will and they did. Further, it was an invitation to Putin’s Russia to return to Syria with military force.

➙ Iraq. The precipitous withdrawal of U.S. troops after finally stabilizing the country at the cost of considerable amounts of American blood, opened the door to ISIS’ bloody expansion from northern Syria into Northern Iraq, and Iran’s movement into the country from the east. Iran’s cash windfall from the nuclear deal has helped fund its aggression in Iraq, along with Hezbollah and other terrorist groups. The cost in lives has been staggering.

➙ Libya. Obama, leading from behind with then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, used American air power to help overthrow the only dictator who had voluntarily given up his nuclear weapons program after 9-11. Learning nothing from Iraq, Obama and Clinton amazingly had no plan for what would come after the overthrow. So what the world got was another failed state and haven for ISIS and other terrorist groups, and a launching point for Muslim refugees into Europe.

➙ Israel. The one free, democratic ally of America in the Middle East was abysmally treated by Obama as one of several key relationships with our allies he degraded. Further, and ironically, he meddled in an Israeli national election with the goal of defeating Netanyahu and created a toxic taste in this vitally important relationship.

And this was all just in the Middle East.

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➙ North Korea. The kick the can down the road, do-nada approach to foreign policy with North Korea allowed for the continued expansion of a new generation of nuclear weapons and missile delivery options that has put America’s West Coast under a nuclear threat. This should never have been allowed, but a weak president with no foreign policy plan and no will to do anything difficult or risky, just ignored it.

➙ Russia. The Russian reset is one of the most spectacular, high-profile failures of the Obama administration. There was the infamous red button that the Russian foreign minister and Hillary Clinton jointly pushed that was supposed to reset the supposedly terrible relationship left by Bush (and tweak Bush in the process.) Instead, it opened the door to Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and in the Middle East. It’s not even clear if that was just incompetence as Obama’s also infamous 2012 “more flexibility after the election” comment to Russia’s president was caught on a hot mic and indeed, his flexibility apparently meant let Russia do whatever it wanted.

➙ China. Obama’s do-nothing foreign policy with America’s enemies continued in Asia where he acquiesced to China’s military expansionism and failed to respond in any real way to China cheating on trade agreements and blackmailing American companies at the cost of billions of dollars and who knows how many American jobs. This one doubles as a foreign and domestic policy failure.

➙ Venezuela and Cuba. Cuddling up to, and praising Cuba and Venezuela as the Socialist/Communist countries spiraled into economic chaos and even starvation showed a certain cluelessness, or socialist sympathy. Obama did not cause their disasters — socialism and tyranny did that — but he seemed blind to this reality. His admiring speeches and gestures towards the Castros and Hugo Chavez enabled the strongman regimes to continue to oppress their people and sustain the grueling and unnecessary poverty.

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This is hardly an exhaustive list, but large enough to make the case painfully clear that the Obama administration was an abysmal failure on the foreign policy stage. As we saw in the Jimmy Carter years, the world cannot afford such incompetence and miserable worldviews from America.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


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Iran Journalism Korea Media Russia Trump Truth

Washington Post Blunders On Trump Foreign Policy

Rod Thomson

Washington Post Senior Political Reporter Aaron Blake recently wrote an article that was run in newspapers around the nation under, Trump’s Foreign Policy Chaos. In related news, a recent CNN Poll reported Trump’s approval rating at 42 percent while his disapproval stands at 54 percent.

These are related because one leads directly to the other, but both are wrong. Relentlessly negative reporting by the media leads its consumers by the nose into disapproving of the President. Partisan focus on Stormy Daniels and Russian collusion and other nonsense obfuscates the enormous successes of the presidency so far. Sure, his approvals are up a few points, but based on actual performance, they should be much higher.

However, just scoffing at this dynamic is a mistake. This drives elections. Conservative media must be just as relentless in getting out the truth about Trump successes, about conservative successes, about the traditional American successes. Because the other side, which definitively includes the traditional media, will push out the failures and misrepresent the successes.

The gist of Blake’s criticism (remember, he is labeled as reporter, not columnist or opinionist) is that Trump “can’t stick to a foreign policy script or even general guidelines.” This, of course, is a terrible breach of “the way things are done” for folks inside the Beltway. But Trump was elected to do things differently than the way they have been done.

Contrary to the impression given by Blake and the rest to those who imbibe oldstream reporting, the world is actually becoming a significantly better place since Donald Trump was elected and took foreign policy in a different direction.

This is just objectively true. It’s not blind Trump or Republican loyalty. The world is demonstrably better off in most every respect than when Obama left office — something Aaron Blake and his kin are simply unwilling or unable to see.

But we are.

So here are seven areas that have objectively improved since President Trump was elected in November 2016 and inaugurated in January 2017 — regardless of whether he followed script or not:

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✓ ISIS is decapitated. This bloody stain on the world arose in the vacuum left by President Obama’s foolish decision to abruptly withdraw American troops from Iraq before that country was able to stand on its own. His decision resulted in the rapid collapse of the infant democratic government in Iraq and the sweeping successes of ISIS.

ISIS’ sadistic methods for torturing and murdering anyone not pure enough in their version of Islam was spreading around the world, and the so-called caliphate was occupying large parts of two countries under Obama. It was the first and so far only actual terrorist nation — as opposed to those such as Iran, which is an existing nation that is considered a sponsor of terrorism.

Within a year of Trump’s inauguration, the caliphate was gone, and ISIS has almost no land holdings anymore. They have been relegated to the status of a terrorist organization, such as Al-Quaeda and dozens of others.

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✓ Russia is contained. During the Obama Administration, Russia greatly expanded its geographic reach and influence. It invaded and annexed Crimea and Obama did nothing. It’s proxies invaded Eastern Ukraine and Obama did nothing. It threatened the Baltic nations and Obama did nothing. It jumped into the breach left in the Middle East and re-established itself with its ally Syria in the midst of the nation’s terrible civil war, and Obama did nothing. Finally, Obama was aware of Russian attempts to influence the 2016 election, and he did nothing.

All of this came after Obama was infamously caught on a hot mic openly colluding with Russia against American interests by telling then-President Medvedev that Obama would have “more flexibility” after the 2012 elections.

Trump has twice now attacked Syrian government military installations after the use of banned chemical weapons, over the protests and threats of Russia and President Putin. He’s placed sanctions on Russian individuals and then on Russia as a whole after the blatant attempted chemical assassination in England. Putin has been much more restrained in his expansionist goals.

 

✓ North Korea is talking. This dangerous mess had been kicked down the road by several presidents, including Clinton, Bush and Obama. It always seemed a nasty bit of business with all sorts of dangers even before the North got nukes — specifically because China was an ally. So the world kept buying off the North with supplies for its starving population and resources for its nuclear program. They would have been easier to stop earlier, but none did. Now the North has larger nukes and much more advanced missile delivery systems and is more bellicose than ever.

However, that belligerence eased when Trump responded forcefully by telling the North that no aggression against America or her allies would be tolerated, and backed it up by sending two aircraft carrier groups to the region. Further, the North saw that this president did not make empty threats or draw red lines he would not back up. He’d already attacked Russian allies once, killing Russians in the process, and was reinforcing our allies in Eastern Europe.

The result is that for the first time, it appears the North is willing to have actual talks, not just blackmail sessions. Kim Jong Un crossed into South Korea for brief talks and requested to talk to Trump, who has agreed and already sent CIA Director Mike Pompeo to meet with the North. This is potentially huge.

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✓ China is re-negotiating. Part of the reason the North is willing to budge is also that Trump has been applying the screws to China on trade issues and this emerging power apparently does not want to get into a sanctions war and a military confrontation at the same time with the United States. China has long been violating our trade agreements — costing American jobs far beyond simply losing out to cheap labor — and shaking down American businesses as the price of entry.

Trump had enough. He immediately scrapped the trade deal that Obama had negotiated — which almost assuredly would have given away the store. And now he has instituted a round of tariffs on China for their trade practices. Think of this what you will, but despite their response of trade tariffs on the U.S., they are far more reliant on our market than we are on theirs and they know it. It sounds like they are willing to make some of the trade changes Trump wanted that are in America’s interest.

This foreign policy strategy bypasses the stuffed shirt, worthless trade organizations that were supposed to be policing these agreements but essentially let China do whatever it wanted. Obama would never even have thought to do what Trump has done.

 

✓ Allies are ponying up. Obama, as did Bush and Clinton before him, talked about making our allies pay more of their fair share of the military burden of protecting Europe and the Pacific Rim. But as usual, particularly with Obama, it was all fine-sounding hot air. He did nothing.

Trump campaigned on this issue, as he did trade, and he jumped right in suggesting that if France, England, Germany and others cannot contribute the share they are contractually obligated to contribute for their own defense, then perhaps the United States would not continue to be a part of NATO. This was considered outlandishly irresponsible and proof of the Russian collusion, which we dispelled above, or just Trump idiocy. The intelligentsia have been remarkably consistent in judging Trump wrongly.

Sure enough, a strong hand that is backed by strong actions appear to have prevailed. Our NATO allies, and even Japan, are already beginning to spend more on their own military. This is not only fair, it makes the free nations stronger in that they are not as totally reliant on the U.S. military.

 

✓ Iran is confronted. Obama made what will go down in history as one of the worst agreements ever (still unsigned by both nations) by giving Iran everything from a pathway to sanctioned nuclear weapons in 10 years to literally a planeload of cash and unfrozen assets that were quickly put to use funding its proxy terrorists in Hezbollah. Just incredibly irresponsible and a direct threat to Israel and America.

Trump has not ripped it up yet, but he gave our allies deadlines of May 12 to toughen up the agreement with Iran or we will let American sanctions “snap back” in. Further, recent personnel changes in the administration will put back on the table the entire elimination of the agreement.

Iran is the most destabilizing power in the fiery region and an official state sponsor of terrorism. The deal was a huge setback to peace and fighting terrorism and Trump is pushing back hard on it. Considering his actions in regard to Syria, Russia and North Korea, the Iranian Mullahs will be weighing carefully how confrontative they want to be with this president.

 

✓ Iraq and Afghanistan stabilizing. This is huge for the region, and for Americans who have fought and bled for so long under substandard White House leadership. The defeat of ISIS and the pushback on the Taliban has allowed two long-time problem countries to stabilize, at least temporarily. Plenty of problems remain, but neither are as capable of training and sending out terrorists as they were and this is good for everyone.

Trump’s list of successes domestically is also more impressive than generally credited — unless of course you don’t like tax cuts that help all Americans and goose the economy; or judges who rule on the Constitution rather than political whims; or a return of manufacturing jobs; or fewer strangling, bureaucratic regulations. But that is another article.

Suffice to say that the critics who claimed — and in the face of all this evidence, continue to claim — that Trump is a stupid bungler unqualified to deal with foreign policy…are dead wrong. Reality is showing that style aside, Obama actually fits that description far better than Trump.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act. Rod is co-host of Right Talk America With Julio and Rod on the Salem Radio Network.


Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever, and a lot of sources are not trustworthy. Whatfinger.com  is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time from good sources.


 

Categories
Gorsuch Immigration Iran Israel Politics Taxes Trump Truth United Nations

America’s Most Amazing Year — Not Fake News Edition

Rod Thomson

Every newspaper and TV network will be doing their year-in-review issues around now. Considering they will primarily be re-hashing their own partisan attacks and intentional undermining of a duly elected American president, they’re not worth consuming.

But America and the American people actually had a much, much better year than the deeply discredited media and than Democrats — which are basically the same people. In fact, it was a downright amazing year — if you think America remains the best nation in the world, a shining city on a hill, a beacon of hope. For eight years we had people running the federal government who thought roughly the opposite. But 2017 brought a dramatic change to the White House and to the hopes of millions of Americans — and actually, the world.

The amazingness of the year is multiplied if you were unsure of what policies President Trump would pursue and his effectiveness in pursuing them. Many people voted against Hillary Clinton for good reason, but held their breath on Trump.

However, if you are conservative, traditionalist, pro-American or even libertarian, there has been an amazing amount of achievements to like in 2017 — even some Trump opponents admit that — generational tax reform and cuts, a booming economy and historically low unemployment, pulling out of the Paris climate accords, decertifying the Iran deal, the Jerusalem embassy, military revitalization, deregulation, immigration control, Obamacare mandate repeal, destruction of ISIS, Justice Gorsuch and the rest of the judiciary. 

Amazing. Here’s the full look:

➙ Conservative judiciary. This of course starts with Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, but extends far beyond. Once Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell broke the Democrats’ obstructionism on every appointee, Trump’s picks began slowly flowing through and they are amazingly conservative and originalist. Trump has nominated 12 constitutionally conservative appellate justices alone — a record for a president in his first year.

➙ Tax reform. The unnecessarily scorned tax reform law lowers corporate taxes sharply from 35 percent to 21 percent. We were by far the highest in the industrialized world which made it hard for American companies to compete globally and was creating the perverse incentive for them to create offshore entities to limit tax liability. The passage of this morally and economically right legislation was followed immediately by a stream of major American corporations announcing new investments, employee bonuses or hiking their own minimum wage to $15/hour — something Democrats are fighting for through the heavy hand of government. On the individual side, the reform is much more modest, but most Americans outside of some in high-tax states will get a pay raise or no change due to reduced tax rates. This is Trump’s only major legislation of 2017, but it is a generational change — as big as those by Presidents Kennedy and Reagan.

➙ Repeal of Obamacare mandate. This was part of the tax reform bill and unburdened Americans from the most Constitutionally questionable and liberty onerous provision. The Supreme Court should never have found it acceptable, even with the contortions it went through to do so, to force Americans to buy a private product. Striking this heavy hand of government from law is an amazing accomplishment considering full Obamacare repeal failed.

➙ De-regulation. The Trump Administration has eliminated 22 existing regulations for each new regulation it instituted. While some will wail that the world is ending, the voices are small and marginal because these were so overly burdensome, driven by ideologies of the previous administration and too often paybacks for political supporters. These have received very little news coverage because every tweet is more important, apparently. But they undoubtedly have had a huge impact on the booming economy.

➙ Keystone Pipeline and ANWR. This crucial pipeline that will create economic impact along its corridor and provide better oil prices and more energy independence for America, was needlessly and recklessly blocked by the ideologies of the Obama administration. It frustrated and angered everyone except environmental activists — a key Democrat constituency — and it hurt American workers. Many years after Obama and Democrats blocked any oil exploration in the mammoth and relatively uninhabited Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northern Alaska, Trump signed legislation to open up the empty region for oil drilling.

➙ Rocking economy. After eight years of paltry growth that left Americans depressed and in a malaise, the jump in measurable economic activity in 2017 is astonishing. GDP growth is the best it has been in a decade and well above expectations. This has naturally led to a rapidly increasing workforce participation rate — more people with jobs and more people once again looking for work — and the lowest unemployment rate since 2000. We are sitting at near what economists consider full employment, and that will help everyone as such competition will create upward pressure on wages — if immigration is controlled properly.

➙ Immigration. Trump’s efforts to put a temporary ban on a handful of nations where terrorism is rampant, or actually government-supported, was initially blocked by politically-motivated liberal judges in one circuit. But the ban has since been lifted and is expected to be found constitutional and is now in place. Immigration controls help the American worker and much still needs to be done, but Trump has moved in the right direction. The administration has also beefed up border security forces and policies on enforcement of existing laws. The Department of Homeland Security found in October that the Border Patrol is stopping people trying to cross illegally at almost twice the rate of the past decade. Unshackled, the Border Patrol can do a lot more, and Trump unshackled them. However, the border wall itself is still just talk. This must begin to be reality in 2018 because a new president one day can simply undo the executive policy changes. He or she won’t demolish a wall.

➙ Paris Climate Accords. Walking away from this bit of fictional environmental salvation — but real-world economic harm — was a bold stroke by Trump and good for America. He knew the “world community” would come down on him like a ton of bricks, despite the fact that by its own measurement, the accords would not accomplish much on global warming while the biggest contributors of carbon emissions weren’t likely to ever be part of it. That means it was just going to competitively disadvantage the United States without being beneficial to its own, stated cause. This was always just a feel-good accord among people who would not individually be harmed by it. But Trump was right to pull out.

➙ De-certifying the Iran Deal. This awful and inexplicable deal enabled the worst state player in the Middle East to be put on a path to nuclear weapons, and be given hundreds of millions in cash, much of which Iran would promptly distribute to its Islamist terrorist arms to attack our ally Israel and perhaps even America. This was an unconscionable deal as part of a bumbling foreign policy. De-certifying is a start as it was unconstitutional on two grounds, but the United States needs to walk away entirely and re-institute sanctions. Unfortunately, we can’t get back the cash the Obama Administration literally flew to Iran on a plane.

➙ Jerusalem. Acknowledging Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a campaign promise made by multiple presidents, including Obama and Bush, but which was never kept — until now. Trump kept his and will move the U.S. Embassy to the capital. Amazingly, despite the constant noise from the left, actually very little terrorism and outrage has happened. It was the right thing to do as it is the historic capital of Israel and countries have a right to choose their own capitals.

➙ Destruction of ISIS. This amazing accomplishment has been largely ignored by the media, for the obvious reason that it is great news under Trump. ISIS’ territorial holdings — it’s primary claim to a caliphate and recruiting power, are essentially gone. Not only is the caliphate gone and ISIS now reduced to another terrorist organization — dangerous but only a shadow of its former terror — nothing worse has popped up in its place at this point. Outstanding. It’s sad to think the world possibly had to endure the plague of ISIS for so many years unnecessarily.

➙ Military revitalization. Trump rightly jettisoned the hand-tying rules of engagement for the military that existed for eight years and allowed military commanders to make military decisions more freely. This resulted in the rapid destruction of ISIS. Trump also altered America’s military’s strategic timeline in Afghanistan and continues to push for a more fully-funded military after the readiness erosion of the previous administration.

➙ Asserting sovereign right at the U.N. When the United States acknowledged the reality of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the world had a conniption fit and the United Nations, a weak but negative influence on world affairs, opposed our sovereign foreign policy and voted to condemn us. Those votes included most of our allies and the murderous dictators around the world that inhabit the U.N. and that we give aid to. Ambassador Nikki Haley said the U.S. will remember those who we have been generous to and then spit in our face. Funding cuts have already begun. Hopefully, 2018 will see a defunding of this anti-Semitic and anti-America institution.

This is not the list you will be seeing in your local newspaper or TV station, nor on any of the national media outlets. That will be a reiteration of what they got wrong in the first place — Russia collusion and other non-stories. But this list is true.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.

Categories
America Iran Israel Russia Truth United Nations

America: The World’s Only Entity That Is Truly Too Big to Fail

by Rep. Julio Gonzalez, M.D., J.D.

It has been less than two weeks since Ambassador Nikki Haley’s historic posture at the United Nations. The moment her hand raised in opposition to the tide of anti-Semitism flooding the General Assembly, Haley became a symbol for American resoluteness and the resumption of bold and principled leadership on the part of the United States of America.

Indeed, the experiment on American meekness in the global stage had played out for far longer than it should have. Despite the praise being showered upon the Obama Administration’s foreign policy approach of withdrawal from the world stage and abandonment of its most loyal allies, the result was undeniable. The United States was seen as unreliable, uncommitted, and unpredictable, and its foes scurried to fill the void created by its retreat.

In North Korea, the effort to develop and deploy a nuclear arsenal progressed as its leaders sensed the weakness in American resolve. In Europe, Russia was emboldened to invade Crimea and eastern Ukraine, and still occupies those territories for the first time since the fall of the Soviet Union. In the Middle East, Iran, Hezbollah, and ISIS strengthened their foothold on the region by actually engaging in territorial conquest and fomenting terrorism throughout the world. In Syria, a callus dictator crossed Obama’s crayoned red line with impunity, delivering chemical attacks on his own people while Israel felt the increasing strain of not being backed by its staunchest and mightiest ally. Even in Latin America, the boldness of anti-American sentiment grew as Venezuela repeatedly ridiculed the President and the American people he misrepresented.

And despite the undeniable signs of the destructive consequences of a nation stubbornly selling a “lead from behind” foreign policy approach, the leftist press continued to sell its virtues to a largely dormant public.

 

America’s U.N. moment

But all that ended on December 21, 2017, when a slender, feminine, American hand somberly and defiantly reached towards the sky, announcing an end to the political nonsense.  

Anarchy, once well embedded, is difficult to dispel, and the American plight to rectify the evils lurking within the United Nations is no exception. Nevertheless, the United States is following up on its position, demonstrating that its new approach to the world’s problems will not be fleeting. Ambassador Haley already announced that the United States will be withdrawing more than $285 million dollars of American support to the United Nations. And there is no reason to believe those cuts won’t be more drastic as the United Nations continues its anti-American stance.  

Already, 10 other countries have announced their intention to move their embassies to Jerusalem, joining what can now be rightfully considered a movement to rectify the injustices that have plagued the United Nations for way too long.  

The fact is, the failure of Obama’s approach to global interaction was predictable, as we have already seen the effects of even a perception of an America seemingly unmotivated in the international arena. Recall Secretary of State Dean Acheson’s “defense perimeter” speech delivered on January 12, 1950, where he failed to include South Korea in the zone of American military interests, which was erroneously perceived by North Korea as lack of interest by the United States to South Korea’s integrity. What resulted was the first international hostility by Communism in the post-World War II era at the expense of thousands of lives and continued regional instability to this day.  

Interestingly, throughout the waning months of the Bush years and into the Obama Administration, we heard the seemingly endless narrative about the existence of organizations that were too big to fail.  In the end, and with strong showings by Trump Administration, we are relearning that in fact, there is only one entity in the global stage that is truly too big, too important, and too righteous to fail.

The United States of America.  

Dr. Julio Gonzalez is an orthopaedic surgeon and lawyer living in Venice, Florida. He is the author of The Federalist Pages and serves in the Florida House of Representatives. He can be reached through www.thefederalistpages.com to arrange a lecture or book signing.

 

Categories
Iran IRS Politics Russia Scandals Truth

Two Steps to Drain the Swamp: Prosecute Aggressively, Slash Government

Rod Thomson

It’s become even clearer with the information made public as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s charges and plea deals that President Trump’s campaign was infected in pre-planned fashion by those trying to entrap him and his team. Goals: ensure his election loss or cripple his presidency.

The first failed, the second is ongoing.

Between a series of set-up meetings with “Russian officials” and Trump election people, including very low-level foreign policy volunteer George Papadopoulos, who just copped a plea with Mueller to presumably provide some dirt on someone, the apparent attempts to plant little scandal timebombs were everywhere. In fact, even the recommendation of Paul Manafort to be campaign chairman, apparently from the Republican establishment in D.C., turned out to be part of the poison with Manafort’s known Russian connections. (Known to the swamp — apparently not to Trump.)

This was the swamp creature reaching out to attack a potential threat. The very thing that Trump was promising to drain to the roaring cheers of thousands of Americans who know instinctively that Washington is only out for itself, was at that very moment oozing its way into his campaign with poison.

Trump was naive. His team inexperienced. But he was an outsider. Very outside. And the swamp had set the rules for a long time. Play by them and you gain. You may lose your soul, but you gain power and money and prestige. Trump doesn’t even know the rules, let alone play by them. Sure, he’s arrogant, abrasive, self-centered and politically shoots himself in the foot too much, but he actually seems to love his country — and he’s not of the swamp. He could be the man for the hour.

The revelations through Mueller’s first prosecutorial moves reveal a lot about how things operate and were operating. First, Mueller’s case looks weak. Paul Manafort is the big fish, but none of the charges have to do with Trump, the Trump campaign or collusion. So essentially, they are not part of what Mueller was even charged with investigating. They’re mostly money-laundering and related criminal activities — most all of which were happening while Mueller was head of the FBI.

Then there’s Papadopoulos, who was a twenty-something volunteer who said he was trying to ingratiate himself and curry favor by showing his chops setting up a meeting with Russians. He was a kid easily being played as a pawn by the Russians — or someone. But he was immediately rebuffed by Trump’s team. He tried again, and was rejected outright again. So all Mueller has on him is lying about his timeline when questioned by the FBI. A basic process charge against a scared kid. Again, there’s nothing there but the chance to get him to flip.

But a weak case doesn’t mean a short-lived investigation. Mueller won’t stop. He and his 16 Democrat lawyers will keep strong-arming witnesses, digging for dirt far beyond his mandate to look into Russian interference in the election. This will go on and on, and the reason is obvious. Keep Trump crippled. The second goal of the entrappers. With a swamp that includes many members of his own party, it’s not really that hard.

So, what to do? There are two broad, strategic strokes the President could pursue that would effectively start draining Washington. They’re bold, but necessary — probably the only way to actually accomplish what Trump promised.

 

Aggressively prosecute corruption: IRS, obstruction of justice, Uranium One, leaks  

Is there any reason we shouldn’t hold Washington to high ethical standards? Why assume and allow all the dirtiness? Just the past eight years has enough corruption to keep hundreds of investigators buried in work. And these are just the ones we know about during the time the watchdog media was being a purring kitten. 

Let’s start with the most recent high-profile candidates for prosecution.

Uranium One. The Obama Administration, under then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, approved the purchase of Uranium One by a Russian company with tight ties to the Kremlin even while the same Russian interests were actively under investigation by the FBI. It was a staggering breach of national security and swampy corruption. In return — and it seems pretty obvious this was a quid pro quo — Bill Clinton was paid a cool $500,000 for one speech by a Kremlin-tied Russian bank just a few months later. This was all part of an ongoing influence-peddling scheme by Russians in the swamp, and the easiest targets when dragging a dollar and requiring influence are the Clintons.

Congressional Republicans were trying to stop the uranium transfer — the media was still purring through all of this — so Eric Holder’s Justice Department actively concealed what it knew from Congress. Team Obama stonewalled Congress for four years and reportedly threatened a whistleblower who wanted to go public. This is truly a massive scandal and considering the entire “Russian reset” from Clinton and Obama, and the ongoing strengthening of the Russian position worldwide during Obama’s term, it screams for a criminal investigation.

Email crimes and obstructions. The controversy surrounding Hillary Clinton’s private email server is well documented. It was a blatant security breach and a violation of State Department policy. Worse, when those emails were subpoenaed by Congress, she gave Congress a tiny portion of hand-picked emails and then destroyed the rest — 33,000 emails. That was illegal, and in contempt of Congress.

This is all normal Clintonian behavior. The real swampiness comes in when there were absolutely no repercussions for her actions. Why? Because it would tank her presidential bid and implicate everyone up to and including President Obama — who it turns out was communicating with Clinton on the unsecured, private server using a synonym. As National Review points out: “If Obama himself had been e-mailing over a non-government, non-secure system, then everyone else who had been doing it had a get-out-of-jail-free card.”

Rules, laws, justice, Congress were all flaunted, and yet everyone skated. This all looks totally prosecute-able, but only with the will to do it. And Trump has not shown that. So far.

Weaponizing the IRS. The Obama administration went far beyond what Nixon ever did in actually targeting political opponents during President Obama’s run for a second term. An unknown number of Tea Party and other conservative political organizations — more than 400 — seeking tax-exempt status were blocked from forming and therefore raising money to oppose Obama.

Lois Lerner, the head of the IRS unit that violated Americans’ rights to equal protection under the law, was put on paid administrative leave indefinitely. After four years, the Obama FBI said there was no evidence to warrant criminal investigation. Naturally.

The Trump administration has agreed to a “very substantial” payout to these groups to settle a class-action lawsuit that was launched because the Obama DoJ wouldn’t do anything. But all this does is transfer some taxpayer money to these groups. Nothing happened to the actual wrongdoers. Lesson learned, and not the one Americans want.

Unfortunately, the Trump Administration has already said it is not going to investigate the IRS on criminal activity. Perhaps even they are afraid of the IRS, but this is a lynchpin now in protecting the swamp if IRS leaders can get away with what Lerner did, with nothing more than a very long, paid vacation. Expect more.

There are many more controversies that should be investigated, such as the illegal sale of arms by the federal government to Mexican drug and sex traffickers for reasons that have never been adequately explained. Those guns have been used to murder American law enforcement officers along the borders. No repercussions.

Then there is the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars in literal cash, on a plane, to Iran — a known exporter of terrorism by our own definition. A good faith gesture? To terrorists? That’s not just bad “optics.” That should be criminally investigated. But it probably won’t be.

This needs to be as non-partisan as possible. We know there are dirty Republicans. They just have not had executive power recently. Go after them. And lobbyists, lawyers, Deep State leakers, anyone else who is breaking the law. Why were we looking the other way during those years Manafort was working with both Democrats and Republicans in shady activities. Because of the swamp. Everyone knew. And there are hundreds of Manaforts in D.C.

Investigate and prosecute to uphold the law and ethics and start the draining.

 

Slash the size of the federal government. Deeply.

The primary feeder of the swamp is the monstrous size of the federal government. Congress is currently fashioning a $3.76 trillion — trillion — budget. That’s just to run the federal government for 12 months.

Within that slushy grab-bag of spending — including another $300 billion in debt — there is room for a lot of people to skim and direct money to their pet projects, for re-election projects, for friends and benefactors and for themselves.

But the eye-boggling spending is really only part of the feeding mechanism. The regulatory state is a crushing colossus on Americans, American businesses and state and local governments. Consider just the number of major departments and what they regulate in everyday life (excluding the Department of Defense, which runs our military and does not regulate Americans.)

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Energy
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development
  • Department of the Interior
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Labor
  • Department of State
  • Department of Transportation
  • Department of the Treasury
  • Department of Veterans Affairs

There are, of course, hundreds of smaller elements of the federal government fitted with their own armies of overseers. Additionally, here are some of the agencies that directly impact Americans’ lives.

  • Central Intelligence Agency
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Federal Communications Commission
  • Federal Elections Commission
  • Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
  • Federal Reserve Board
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • General Services Administration
  • International Trade Commission
  • National Labor Relations Board
  • National Transportation Safety Board
  • National Science Foundation
  • Securities and Exchange Commission
  • Selective Service Commission
  • Small Business Administration
  • United States Postal Service

And, not to be forgotten, the Internal Revenue Service. Here is a daunting and depressing list of all of the federal government departments and agencies.

All told, about 2.1 million federal government civilian employees oversee the regulatory behemoth of the federal government. This number excludes about 760,000 military members. So more than 2 million bureaucrats of some sort spend their full-time days controlling Americans’ daily activities.

It’s nearly impossible to overstate the power of the swamp in this regulatory morass. The most powerful corporations in the country, from Google to Microsoft to Exxon to General Motors humbly go hat-in-hand to meet with regulators who can create havoc in their industries and their companies, or can provide protection against competitors. There are plenty of honest bureaucrats trying to do a good job in the swamp, but the inherent features of the place ensure there will be ample players who are out to maximize their own desires. And that requires protecting the means to those desires.

Looking at the list of departments and agencies, wholesale elimination of departments such as Education, Energy, and Housing and Urban Development would in all likelihood have a net benefit to Americans in freeing them up and pushing any actually necessary regulatory control to the more local levels — where it should be. Shouldn’t your local, fairly responsive School Board be in charge of education over distant bureaucratic, unaccountable overseers?

That would eliminate tens of thousands of employees and hundreds of billions of dollars and make Americans freer in the process. And it would weaken the power of the swamp creature. Weakening that feeder system makes it less attractive and could potentially start a downward spiral in swampiness.

Whether Trump would ever undertake such a degree of draining is not clear. So far, he’s been great on deregulation and adequate on government growth. But this requires a far more revolutionary degree of action.

 

So is the swamp really drainable?

Yes. But the scope of the challenge is clear.

Trump is as constitutionally capable as anyone in that he is not part of the swamp, refuses to change who he is and play by its rules and is almost fearless on the attack. That is the right temperament.

And he clearly has the mandate. “Drain the swamp!” was a rallying cry that became louder than “Build the wall!” and “Lock her up!” Because drainage would more easily lead to the other issues being accomplished.

But it’s not at all clear that Trump has a real vision for it. He recognizes the problem. But he would need to be laser-focused with a long-term strategy, and his opponents are learning how to distract him. Plus, is Congress really in any way capable of slashing the federal government? Is Jeff Sessions really going to lead the charge on aggressive prosecutions?

Long shots, to be generous. But that is the pathway to draining the swamp. And the only one. Anything else is just campaign rhetoric.

Rod Thomson is an author, TV talking head and former journalist, and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.

Categories
Constitution Iran Truth

The Iran Deal is Unconstitutional on Two Grounds

By KrisAnne Hall, JD

President Trump says the Iran Deal is not beneficial to the American people so he will not keep it. However, the truth is much worse. The Iran Deal is actually unlawful, unconstitutional, and dangerous to the American people. That should be the discussion and reason why we cannot keep this Obama-made agreement.

There is no Constitutional authority for any president to make deals with foreign nations. Technically speaking, the only authority the president holds is to propose treaties. That authority is established in Article 2 section 2 clause 2 of the Constitution. The President doesn’t unilaterally make treaties; he only proposes treaties to the Senate. If two-thirds of the Senate approves the proposal, then and only then, is the treaty actually made.

Additionally, just because the Senate approves a treaty doesn’t make it a lawful treaty. Article 6 section 2, along with the language of Article 2, of the Constitution, requires all treaties to be made “in pursuance of” and “under the authority of” the Constitution. That means any treaty that is approved by the Senate, but exceeds the limited delegated authority of the federal government is not a legally created or legally binding treaty.

“By the general power to make treaties, the constitution must have intended to comprehend only those subjects which are usually regulated by treaty, and cannot be otherwise regulated… It must have meant to except out of these the rights reserved to the states; for surely the President and Senate cannot do by treaty what the whole government is interdicted from doing in any way.” –Thomas Jefferson: Parliamentary Manual, 1800.

The Iran Deal is illegally established because there is no legal authority for it. President Obama made this deal unilaterally, without approval of the Senate. Without Senate approval, the Iran Deal fails to meet the first criteria for a legally binding foreign agreement. No other discussion on the legality of this deal needs to be made. The Iran Deal is null and void and therefore there is no lawful requirement to maintain this Obama agreement.

“If they make [corrupt] treaties, how are we to get rid of those treaties?…if it should ever happen, the treaty so obtained from us would, like all other fraudulent contracts, be null and void…”  Federalist #64

To continue to debate this issue, acting as if presidents have the lawful authority to unilaterally make deals, transmutes the limited nature of our constitutional executive to that of an unlimited, kingly authority. The requirement that all treaties be made with concurrent power of the President and the Senate was a protection established to keep the president from becoming a king.

“The king can perform alone what the president can do only with the concurrence of a branch of the legislature.” Federalist #69

To even discuss the Iran Deal as if it has legal authority is dangerous to the American way of life. The Iran Deal is illegal. It is unconstitutional. It is a fraudulent contract and has no legal authority. That is why Trump must refuse to maintain it. If Trump, however, decides to maintain this deal, it will be the duty of the Senate to denounce this illegal agreement, and incumbent upon every State to deny any authority for this fraudulent contract.

KrisAnne Hall is a former biochemist, Russian linguist for the US Army, and former prosecutor for the State of Florida. KrisAnne also practiced First Amendment Law for a prominent Florida non-profit Law firm. KrisAnne now travels the country teaching the foundational principles of Liberty and our Constitutional Republic. KrisAnne is the author of 6 books on the Constitution and Bill of Rights, she also has an internationally popular radio and television show and her books and classes have been featured on C-SPAN TV. KrisAnne can be found at www.KrisAnneHall.com