By Victor Davis Hanson • American Greatness
Donald Trump on occasion can talk recklessly. He is certainly trying to “fundamentally transform” the United States in exactly the opposite direction from which Barack Obama promised to do the same sort of massive recalibration. According to polls (such as they are), half the country fears Trump. The media despises him. Yet Trump poses no threat to the U.S. Constitution. Those who since 2016 have tried to destroy his candidacy and then his presidency most certainly do.
When, and if, we ever lose our freedoms, it will not likely be due to a boisterous Donald Trump, damning “fake news” at popular rallies, or even by being greeted with jarring “lock her up” chants—Trump, whom the popular culture loves to hate and whose every gesture and, indeed, every inch of his body, is now analyzed, critiqued, caricatured, and damned on the national news.
In general, free societies more often become unfree with a whimper, not a bang—and usually due to self-righteous pious movements that always claim the higher moral ground, and justify their extreme means by their self-sacrificing struggle for supposedly noble ends of social justice, equality, and fairness. Continue reading
by Aryssa Damron • The Washington Free Beacon
Ken Dilanian, a reporter for NBC News, tweeted on Monday that the idea of North Dakota and New York having the same amount of senators “has to change” because of the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
“It may not happen in our lifetimes, but the idea that North Dakota and New York get the same representation in the Senate has to change,” Dilanian tweeted, linking to a Washington Post article about the confirmation of Kavanaugh. “Senators representing less than half the U.S. are about to confirm a nominee opposed by most Americans”
It may not happen in our lifetimes, but the idea that North Dakota and New York get the same representation in the Senate has to change. “Senators representing less than half the U.S. are about to confirm a nominee opposed by most Americans” https://t.co/DAZWYT9Txg
— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) October 6, 2018
By George Landrith • RedState
The function of an Inspector General (IG) in the federal government is to detect waste, mismanagement, fraud, abuse, and even criminality. Each federal department or agency has an IG. But not all IGs are created equal. Some are fair minded watch-dogs who protect the taxpayer and follow the law in a nonpartisan way. But some are not. NASA’s Inspector General, Paul Martin, has repeatedly proven himself to be a defender of cronyism and a partisan hack.
Congressional leaders passed along whistleblower information to Martin that NASA had employed a Chinese spy and that Obama NASA appointees sought to circumvent the rules prohibiting the hiring of foreign nationals at NASA. Martin was angry with congressional leaders for revealing the spy problem, not with NASA officials for breaching our national security. He did nothing. Within days, the FBI arrested the Chinese spy, Bo Jiang, at the airport as he was fleeing to China on a one-way ticket with a treasure trove of sensitive information. Sadly, this was not the spy’s first data dump. But Martin wasn’t interested in investigating.
Martin isn’t just soft on spying at NASA. He has not protected the taxpayer, or rooted out waste or fraud. For example, NASA employees objected to the special treatment given SpaceX and provided evidence of favoritism, bid-rigging, and a long list of unethical and illegal actions. The entire process was subverted to benefit SpaceX, while the taxpayer was fleeced and competitors locked out. Long before the process was completed, top NASA officials were directing staff to give the award to SpaceX. In other words, the process was backwards — “Fire! Aim! Ready!” Continue reading
By Inez Feltscher Stepman • The Federalist
Most Americans are still under the illusion that when they elect a president, he takes control over the executive branch and proceeds to implement his agenda by working with Congress. Sadly, “School House Rock” is out of date.
An enormous amount of policymaking these days goes through the administrative state – the alphabet soup of agencies that have been proliferating like weeds since Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal. The outsourcing of legislative and adjudicatory powers to agencies is bad enough, and cannot square with the separation of powers between legislation, judiciary, and executive that is delineated in the Constitution. To make matters worse, these agencies and the employees who staff them are also politically unaccountable to the elected representatives of the people, violating not just the wise guardrails of our Constitution, but also the very idea of self-government.
Today, it is nearly impossible to fire the 2.8 million federal bureaucrats who staff the executive agencies, from which they issue regulations and policy guidance that directly affect the lives of Americans every day. Continue reading
by David Rutz • Washington Free Beacon
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Iran of having a “secret atomic warehouse” in Tehran for its illicit nuclear weapons program during a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday.
Netanyahu castigated what he called “inaction” by the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N.’s atomic watchdog, in the face of Israeli intelligence about Iranian clandestine nuclear work, adding that he would reveal a new finding to the world by Israel in its battle to keep Iran’s nuclear ambitions at bay. Continue reading
By George Will • National Review
If this week has proven anything, it’s that we can always go lower.
When John Keats said that autumn is the season of “mists and mellow fruitfulness,” he did not anticipate this American autumn. It resembles the gorier Shakespearean plays in which swords are brandished, people are poisoned and stabbed, almost everyone behaves badly, and those who do not are thinking: Things cannot continue like this. Actually, they probably will because this is the first law of contemporary politics: There is no such thing as rock bottom.
On Monday, some hysterics in hot pursuit of the often heralded but never reached “constitutional crisis,” galloped off on the basis of rumors about speculations concerning hypotheses, all because Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein went to the White House, perhaps — there was a frisson of anticipation — to be fired. He was not. On Thursday, however, Rosenstein is expected to speak with the president, presumably because of last week’s report that in May 2017, Rosenstein spoke, in the presence of other senior Justice Department officials, about possibly wearing a wire to surreptitiously record the president, presumably to facilitate invoking the 25th Amendment to remove him. Continue reading
If the 1986 Challenger disaster taught us anything it was – “Don’t put all your Space Launch eggs in one basket.” After that accident and the other ones that grounded all of America’s older space launch vehicles for about two years, NASA and the Air Force decided to build two sets of rockets under the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program.
The EELV program has been a success. Both Atlas V and the various Delta rockets, especially Delta Heavy, have been putting America’s important science and military payloads into space for roughly a quarter of a century. Continue reading
This week, the House and Senate are aiming to finalize the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act within a set of opioid bills to be signed by President Trump. The STOP Act is a significant success for lawmakers and the administration to strengthen the nation’s public safety and combat the opioid crisis that continues afflict the nation’s communities.
Regarding the imminent STOP Act framework, Frontiers of Freedom president George Landrith stated, “The U.S. Postal Service has continuously failed to properly identify international shipping threats while neglecting to reform its deficient system. Adopting thorough data collection and monitoring practices of inbound packages in ways that are consistent with industry standards is an essential step for the Postal Service to protect our communities from hazardous materials and substances. Lawmakers and the President must adopt these solutions to put Americans’ public safety first.”
Previously, in June, Landrith hailed the key leadership efforts of the House Ways and Means Committee to assemble a fully viable plan, which convincingly passed the House.
For international shipping through private carriers, U.S. Customs and Board Patrol regularly depends on data and information that allows security agencies to trace the senders, receivers, and contents of packages. Only with the passage of the STOP Act will the U.S. Postal Service will be required to match these important security measures. Collecting and analyzing advance electronic data is a practice that the USPS must adhere to.
Given the depths of the opioid epidemic across the country, it is crucial to finalize the commonsense solutions of the STOP Act. We cannot act to soon enough to help mitigate the flow of synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, into the U.S. and ultimately establish the trust we need within our postal system.
Yogi Berra famously observed that events sometimes seem to repeat themselves — “It’s deja vu all over again!” So, this history of the criticism of the Bush administration’s nuclear and proliferation policies has major echoes of the criticisms today of the current administration. The negative narrative of what I term the “nuclear termites” as they undermine America’s deterrent capability never changes despite a major reduction in nuclear warheads from the 6,000 level of deployed weapons in 2001 to 1550 today — a 75% cut. This short history of the 2009-2016 period of the Bush administration illustrates this phenomenon — identical criticism from that period then disappeared between 2001-16 but then re-emerged in 2017, despite extraordinary reductions in our strategic nuclear arsenals and those of Russia as well.
The quest for nuclear disarmament has been with humankind since the dawn of the atomic age. Early proposals to place nuclear materials and technology under international controls were turned aside by Soviet commissars but still there remained an urge to eliminate these weapons. The Eisenhower administration deployed a relatively small number of nuclear weapons to defend against a Soviet invasion of Western Europe under the rubric of a policy known as massive retaliation. Continue reading
Since he stepped into the turbulent waters of Hungarian politics by delivering a highly emotional funeral oratory at the reburial of Imre Nagy the murdered hero of the 1956 anti-Soviet Revolution on June 16, 1989, Viktor Orban has traversed the entire spectrum of his country’s political life. Completely unnoticed in the 1990s, he as the head of a marginal political party by the acronyms FIDESZ (The Alliance of Young Democrats) underwent a troubling political epiphany. After losing two consecutive elections in 1990 and 1994, he converted his miniscule party from a left-leaning liberal to a self-described conservative party. Becoming Prime Minister in 1998, Viktor Orban’s conservatism manifested itself in a peculiar form of ethnic arrogance and even superiority, which romanticized and thoroughly falsified Hungarian history. Moreover, it dangerously politicized morality that led to divisiveness and intolerance fueled by visceral hatred.