Huffington Post: Tucker Carlson Turns On President Trump

The Huffington Post published an article today with the headline “Tucker Carlson Turns On Trump: ‘Imagine If Barack Obama Had Said That.’” with the sub-headline of “Congress would be talking impeachment right now.”  Scrolling down to the tags for the article provides a little more light on why this post is still currently front and center when you pull up Huffingtonpost.com six hours after publication.

HuffPo Translation:  President Trump’s Base Is Turning On Him!!!

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Let’s put the celebration on hold for a minute, HuffPo, and take a step back before you embarrass  yourself.  (remember that whole South Africa incident?!??)

What you are seeing from Tucker Carlson, and quite frankly many Conservatives, is simply them telling the truth.  I know that’s a hard concept for many people in the Main Stream Media to grasp.  Not that I consider you part of that group by any stretch of the imagination, but I do consider you part of the liberal media machine overall who has a penchant to distort the truth to suit your particular narrative.  So there is that.  But I’m getting off topic here – so let me get back to the point.

As I was saying, Tucker Carlson and many Conservatives speak the truth and call out members of our own party when they go against the ideas and policies that we elected them on.  It’s quite common actually and how we do our best to hold our party accountable.  We strive to tell the truth, even the inconvenient truth.

Ben Shapiro has touched on this many times, most recently at this year’s CPAC when he spoke there. The video below is from @CPAC Twitter feed.

Mr. Shapiro also wrote about this in his 2014 book “How To Debate Leftists And Destroy Them“.  In this book he lays out 11 Rules for winning the argument which are as entertaining as they are true.  Just ask Pierce Morgan.

Ben touches on what he said in his CPAC speech last week in “RULE #8: You Don’t Have To Defend People On Your Side“.  The meaning being that just because someone sides with you doesn’t mean you have to defend everything they say.  Wrong is wrong regardless of what side of the isle it comes from.  He concluded this rule’s section by writing “Don’t follow people.  Follow principle.“.

So you see, Ed Mazza of HuffPo, it’s not us Conservatives who turned on President Trump.

Rather, he turned on us and our principles when he spoke of removing due process and taking guns away without it.  That is not what we as a party stand for on this issue.

I guarantee you, given President Trumps tweet on the matter late yesterday evening, that he got the message loud and clear.

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p.s.  yes, I know I am being a hypocrite by adding the same tags to this post along with many, many more.  I find it hilarious and given the tone of this article – quite fitting!  🙂

 

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The Democratic Memo Release

The Democratic memorandum, in response to the Republican memorandum, was released yesterday. I’m linking copies of both memos below for your reference should you like to read them for yourself.

GOP Memorandum (Released 02 FEB 2018)
Democratic Memorandum (Released 24 FEB 2018)

I want it noted before we move on that I have read through both documents and am still reviewing them on a side by side basis.  I am intentionally writing my review of the documents prior to reading any other analysis on them as to get my thoughts/opinions out with no influence from either side, but will be reading rebuttals and the like over the next few days as the story develops.  I have am also writing this after only a single pass through the Democratic memorandum, so updates to this post might come at a later time – which I will identify with a marker should that happen.

I find it interesting just how little the Democratic memo contradicts the GOP memo.  In fact, I might go as far as to say that though the Democratic memo is cleverly written and with great care, that it actually goes to almost show the GOP memo to be true and carry merit.

Take for example the fact that the Democratic memo does not dispute that Christopher Steele’s dossier was used in obtaining the FISA warrant.  They just classify the degree in which it was used as “narrow use of information from Steele’s sources…” – whatever that is supposed to mean.

They also do not dispute the fact that the Yahoo! News article by Michael Isikoff was used as correlating evidence in obtaining the FISA warrant.  This time they did not get into the weeds as to the degree or how “narrow“, or wide for that matter, the use of the information was – only that it was in fact used “alongside another article“.  They indicated the Yahoo! News article was only included to show Page’s denial of his meetings in Moscow.

I’d be curious to know what the other article was and where it came from.  Was it another news outlet that Steele spoke too in September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS?  If so that is Circular Reporting which would immediately discredit the source I would think, but I’m still researching the impact and legality of this.  Regardless of legality – it is obviously improper and the fact that it was included in the Court filing at all shows an absolute failure in the DOJ’s ability to verify sources.

I find it interesting that nowhere in the Democratic memo do they mention that Steele was paid $160,000 by the DNC and the Hillary Clinton campaign through the law firm Perkins Coie and Fusion GPS – the research firm who hired Steele.  They did, however, address the concern that the FISA courts were not made aware of Steele’s apparently politically motivated research.  The memo says that the “DOJ in fact informed the Court that Steele was hired by politically-motivated U.S. persons and entities and that his research appeared intended for use ‘to discredit’ Trump’s campaign.

Why did they not include what is already public knowledge and provide the names?

If they omitted that, what else have they selectively chosen not to share?

Having now read the redacted Democratic memo and seeing text “blacked out” makes me want to see the original FISA Court application all the more.  The unaltered Court application would shed even more light on which memo is closer to the truth and who, if anyone, is manipulating evidence to support their own narrative.

Maybe we should start the hashtag on Twitter to #ReleaseTheFISACourtApplication and see where that goes.  Maybe we should get Tom Fitton at Judicial Watch to sue for the application?  I’ll tag him on this article and see how much clout I have.

What do you say, Tom?  How about a go?

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2nd Amendment & The Militia – My Response To Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger

One of my favorite people to debate on Twitter is @redwinepolitics.  They too have their own blog that I highly recommend.  They are insightful and willing to listen to an opposing view, which is not all that common I have found.  For that they have gained my utmost respect and I welcome any and all conversations they may propose.

RWP_Justice W Burger_2nd AmendmentThis evening I saw a post on Twitter that @redwinepolitics made.  The quote by Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger got me to thinking, and thus inspired this post as my response and thoughts on what he said.

The 2nd Amendment states: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

In the infographic that you can clearly see where they highlighted the section discussing the militia, it’s role as it pertains to the 2nd Amendment and the defense of the state.  The text then continues to argue that that very language refutes the argument held by the “Gun Lobby’s” belief that it guarantees the right of every citizen to posses firearms.

I believe Justice Warren’s interpretation of what composes a militia is where his argument is lost.

The Federalist Papers are a collection of 85 essays published in support of ratification of the United States Constitution.  These essays were written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay and are frequently quoted by Supreme Court Justices when writing their decisions on a broad range of subjects, and the 2nd Amendment is no exception.  That is why I find it curious that Chief Justice Burger has such a different view of what a militia is, and is not, composed of.

Federalist No. 29 by Alexander Hamilton was titled “Concerning The Militia” and in it he touched upon that it would be necessary for the government to raise a specialized military focused on the defending of our nation when he wrote – “select corps may be formed, composed of the young and ardent, who may be rendered subservient to the views of arbitrary power. “. 

The reasoning behind this was simple.  Militia’s were formed of ordinary citizens.

To properly train them in the defense of a nation would be futile and a waste of resources.  Hamilton expressed that very sentiment when he wrote “The project of disciplining all the militia of the United States is as futile as it would be injurious, if it were capable of being carried into execution. A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. It is not a day, or even a week, that will suffice for the attainment of it.”

Federalist No. 46 written by James Madison continued on Hamilton’s proposal that select corps be formed for the defense of our nation, but cautioned that those corps should never outnumber our citizens.  To that end Madison wrote “Let a regular army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men.” 

Madison’s explanation as to why there should be a limit on the size of those corps charged with defending our nation was, simply put, so that the army controlled by the government could not outnumber the citizens thereby leaving the citizens in the position to possibly overtake the government should it turn tyrannical in nature.  Madison referenced the Revolutionary War in his explanation saying “To these would be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops. Those who are best acquainted with the last successful resistance of this country against the British arms, will be most inclined to deny the possibility of it.”

I agree with Chief Justice Burger’s assessment of what a militia’s purpose is.  However it is the composition of what makes a militia is where our opinions differ.

It is the everyday farmer, baker, candlestick maker, tailor, etc. who compose the militia and not specifically trained select corps as Hamilton and Madison pointed out in their Federalist Essays.  It is because of the fact that the militia is comprised of everyday citizens that the 2nd Amendment was written as it was.  So that the rights of those everyday citizens to possess the means necessary with which to form a militia in the defense of our nation if and when the need should arise is protected.

I contend that the wording of the 2nd Amendment was not ambiguous at all in nature as many have said.  Rather it was written with explicit intent behind it.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

We The People_ConstitutionIt is by no mistake or oversight that it hearkens back and pays homage to the first words written in the document that it amends.  As we all know, it begins with the simple yet elegant words that have come to embody the very patriotism, pride and sense of belonging we all feel when we see them written.

“We the People…”.

We the People of this nation, the very people who would form to defend our country and civil liberties, shall not have our right to keep an bear arms infringed upon thereby preventing us from having the ability to form a militia.

Of course in our current day and age our superior military is more than capable of defending our nation without the need of a militia composed of citizens.  I will not presume to wax so poetically as to not acknowledge that glaring reality.  But I can’t help but think that should the need ever arise that every able bodied citizen would, in fact, form up in a militia and do their best to defend our nation and our Constitution no matter the cost.  (okay, so maybe I am still waxing-poetic….it’s my blog – I’m allowed!)

It is that idea that takes me back to Federalist No.29 where Hamilton said “Little more can reasonably be aimed at, with respect to the people at large, than to have them properly armed and equipped; and in order to see that this be not neglected, it will be necessary to assemble them once or twice in the course of a year.” 

The 2nd Amendment is our guarantee that we can remain properly armed and equipped against whatever tyranny we may face in the future.

The First Year: A Look Back and A Look Forward

January 20th, 2017

Inauguration of our 45th President of the United States:  Donald J. Trump

I decided to start THE STATECRAFT OBSERVER on that day because it was a significant milestone.  Not only was the election of President Trump in 2016 a historic upset, it also was during the entire election year that I found I had a passion for politics.  For me it was more interesting than reality television – which seemed fitting, considering our new President.

I needed a name for my blog.  A moniker under which I could write my political commentary and have debates/discussions about the issues.  The word of the day on Dictionary.com was “STATECRAFT – 1. The art of government and diplomacy.” which seemed fitting, so I used it.  The rest, as they say, is history.

Though my experience and knowledge in politics is still in its infancy at best, I have found on my journey to date some remarkable people.  I have had heated debates, impassioned discussions and believe it or not found common ground with those who started off on the opposing side of an issue.  I have enjoyed every minute of it more than I can say and look forward to continuing on this journey for many years ahead.

As my experience and knowledge on political issues grows, so will the depth and quality of my writing here.  That is my enduring resolution.  To continue to learn, listen and comment on the greatest democracy that has ever existed.

I’m certain that my views and opinions will change over time, and that is perfectly okay.  I may even end up contradicting myself in the future and I’m okay with that as well.  With every conversation, debate or article I write I am seeking the truth behind the politics and the impact to the everyday American citizen.

So if you and I find ourselves on opposing sides of an issue and are in a heated debate – know this.  I am not “trolling” you.  I am genuinely asking questions and posing hypothetical scenarios in an attempt to better understand you, your views, why you believe what you do and how the issue at hand impacts you and those around you.  Maybe at the end of the day you too will come away with a better understanding of me, my views and how they impact my world and my family.

Respectfully,

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Conscience Rights in Health Care

Recently on Facebook a friend of mine posted an article pointing to proposed rules the Trump Administration would be releasing under the Department of Health & Human Services this week.  According to the article, the rules would give medical care providers the ability to deny health care to the LGBT community without fear of legal recourse. In the comments section of the post on my friends Facebook page a debate was sparked.  Would the new legislation lead to discrimination against the LGBT community? In true conservative form I proposed that forcing a religious individual to participate in a treatment or procedure that was against their beliefs would be discrimination as well and asked how those commenting would address that.

As you can imagine, I received a few interesting responses that mainly circled back to my being conservative and that I have no rights if I choose to discriminate against LGBT or support those who do. But let me take a moment to break down my argument as I wrote it on Facebook. Here is what I wrote.

First Post:

It comes down to if you believe your rights outweigh the healthcare providers rights who might have a religious objection to performing an abortion or treating LGBT individuals.

We all have rights, but this gets to the splitting of hairs that often is the end-game when dealing with identity politics and associated policies. I honestly can argue both sides.

Question is how would you feel being forced to perform an abortion if you believe it to be murder?

Why do liberals constantly want to force their choices on others? I do not object to anyone being LGBT. Go forth, live your life and be happy. But I can’t imagine being for legislation that would legally require someone else to compromise their beliefs because I believe mine are more justified than theirs.

This is simply allowing those who object the ability to opt out of a procedure or treatment. For every one who opts out , there will be one who will opt in and take their place. It doesn’t mean HHS will be flat refusing services to anyone but rather allowing everyone involved to have a choice.

How is that wrong? If you want your choices respected then you must respect the choices of others. It is not a requirement that you agree with them, but you get what you give.

Second Post once I was told I was discriminating against LGBT:

Interesting choice of word by saying “discrimination”. Here is a link to the legal definition of discrimination. It varies from sources slightly and some do now include sexual orientation in the definition.

https://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/discrimina…

So making a choice based on a religious belief is not discrimination, but making a choice based off race is. If you include sexual orientation into your definition, as many on this thread likely do, then you now have a conflict within the definition itself.

So again, who’s rights win? The person making a decision based on life long religious beliefs or the person who has lived an alternate lifestyle for most of their life?

Who would you force to compromise who they are and why?

I find it interesting that here we are now two days after the article was posted and the discussion in the comments began that nobody has answered my question. I’m not certain they ever will. But not being one to let things go easily I did my due diligence and went to the HHS.GOV website today and found the PDF of the proposed rules as it pertains to Conscience Rights in Health Care. I will provide the link to that PDF at the bottom of this. As I read the document I came away with the following summary of services subject to these rules where a medical professional can refuse to participate in treatment or procedures:

– Abortions
– Training on abortions
– Assisted Suicide
– Counseling/Referrals (I.e. for abortions, suicide, etc.)
– Advanced Directives involving suicide

Additionally, again – as I read it, the rules dictate that the following services and/or funding cannot be withheld from a medical institution due to their religious beliefs:

– Prevention of a facility from receiving funds for HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria prevention, treatment and care

Then the rules went on to dictate that facilities cannot force patients to undergo the following treatments if they have religious/moral objections (except in those cases where public safety would be deemed at risk):

– Infant hearing loss screenings
– Vaccinations
– Medical screenings
– Religious non-medical care (I.e. non-medicated bandages, etc.)
– Cannot medically intervene on patients who are only treating with reliance on prayer alone for healing

Nowhere in the proposed ruling does it discuss protecting heath care providers from using their religious beliefs in order to prevent or deny care to the LGBT community, nor does it discuss preventing emergency medical treatment for them specifically based on who they are. Now, if an elderly LGBT person who is diagnosed with an ailment where they want to seek end of life advanced directives involving assisted suicide, they would possibly be subject to having that treatment withheld. Also should an LGBT couple for some reason choose to seek an abortion they too may be denied or have a nurse refuse to assist on the procedure. That being said it’s not like they couldn’t eventually find a facility, doctor, nurses who would happily help them end their lives or the life of their unborn child.

The point here is – they are not using this legislation as a weapon against the LGBT community in order to deny them health care. They are protecting the rights of the health care provider to not participate in practices or procedures that go against their religious beliefs. The Department of Health & Human Services is in no way preventing anyone from seeking whatever medical treatment they see fit as allowed by law (gotta keep it legal, folks!).

Now, that’s not to say there will not be people out there who may try to use this legislation to discriminate. I am not that obtuse. I am all too aware that there are people out there who, to put it plainly, suck. I also agree that both sides have rights here that are at play that deserve to be protected. But as the yet unanswered question I posted on Facebook asks – who wins?

I did find it interesting that the rule actually extends protection to patients and their right to not be forced to receive treatment if the recommended treatment should be against their beliefs. Obviously in situations where the public safety would be at risk there would be interventions made, but I have no idea how that would play out in court. I suppose that will have to be a thought exercise for another time.

 

LINK: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2018-01226.pdf

Another Terror Attack In London Prompts Travel Ban Tweet From President Trump

London Bridge - London England

For the third time in as many months the citizens of London find themselves the victims of a terrorist attack.  As of writing this there have been seven deaths reported and 48 people injured in this latest attack.

While all of the world watched the events unfold, President Trump took to Twitter placing policy before compassion.

POTUS_Tweet1_03JUNE2017POTUS_Tweet2_03JUNE2017

President Trump and his administration have spent months defending what many have called a travel ban on Muslims.  The President and his administration have continuously pushed back on calling it a travel ban, yet last night President Trump called it just that breaking their own narrative.

It is the inability of the administration to control its own narrative that continuously cause the media to hound them for clarification which then leads to frustrated and often heated responses from the lectern from Press Secretary Sean Spicer aimed at reporters.   While entertaining, they are hurting this administrations ability to govern and that, in turn, hurts all Americans.

The Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States (EO 13769), its proper name as entered into record by The White House, that President Trump referenced in his Tweet called for a 120-day suspension of travel from seven countries as identified by President Obama’s administration as “presenting heightened concerns about terrorism and travel to the United States.”.  The order also goes on to state the following:

“During the 120-day period, the Secretary of State, in conjunction with the Secretary of Homeland Security and in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence, shall review the USRAP application and adjudication process to determine what additional procedures should be taken to ensure that those approved for refugee admission do not pose a threat to the security and welfare of the United States, and shall implement such additional procedures.”

We are now 128 days from when the Executive Order was first signed and subsequently had an injunction placed on it preventing it from being fully executed.  Though it specifically stipulates that the clock does not start on the 120-day period for the USRAP application and adjudication review until it is executed – what has the administration done to date in regards to the review?

The Executive Order has been stalled by the courts and is likely facing a lengthy legal debate.  We are now beyond the time stipulated in the order if it would have been made effective without injunction.  Shouldn’t proper vetting practices have been reviewed and implemented?  President Trumps administration has not used this time wisely by not doing the actual work of the order that adds value and protects our citizens.  Instead they spent it trying to defend the negligible part of the order.

The true value to this Executive Order is the review of the application process and implementing proper security protocols to ensure safe and legal entry into the United States that also accounts for stopping and/or deterring entry into the United States by those who seek to do its citizens harm.  It is not necessary to suspend travel for such an insignificant window of time in order to conduct this review.

President Trump should withdraw the Executive Order and save the tax payers from paying for a legal process that is unnecessary and refocus his administrations energy on the application review and implementing vetting practices that could prevent events similar to those that have plagued London for the past three months from happening here in the United States.