Trump Allies Fear the President May Fall to an Impeachment Vote

When Steve Bannon is in damage control mode, rather than damage creation mode, it may be time to worry.

According to a report from Vanity Fair, there is some concern from two of President Trump’s allies that recent developments are pointing to impeachment.

Bannon reportedly believes Trump’s hold on power is slipping in the wake of recent legislative failures. According to Vanity Fair, he recently did a “spitball analysis” of the president’s Cabinet to see who would remain loyal to Trump if the 25th Amendment were invoked, and is unsure if Trump would survive an impeachment vote.

“One thing Steve wants Trump to do is take this more seriously,” a Bannon confidant told the magazine. “Stop joking around. Stop tweeting.”

I don’t know that the president is joking around, or that he can stop tweeting. It’s like an obsession with him, at this point. Obviously.

One thing Bannon has been pushing for behind the scenes is for President Trump to cut the funding to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, regarding Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election.

I can’t even begin to express what a bad idea that is.

Trump pal, Roger Stone wants it to go even further, with Trump not only defunding Mueller, but bringing in a special counsel to investigate Hillary Clinton. He suggests either former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani or Fox News personality Judge Andrew Napolitano. At some point, that would bring Mueller, himself, under investigation.

Stone is pretty much a lunatic, I must add.

Both Bannon and Stone are stressing over the recent indictments brought against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, and his business partner Rick Gates.

I’m not sure how close they think this will get to Trump, but neither trust Republican lawmakers not to vote to impeach, should things begin to get too hot with the investigation.

This is where I point out that many of the problems Trump has have come about because of a lack of self-control on his part, and how those who want to unbridle him have done him no favors.

Two of those doing him no favors are Bannon and Stone.

You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube, gentlemen.

The Media’s Fake News About the Manhattan Terrorist Attack

Yesterday, a 29-man named Sayfullo Saipov plowed through a bicycle path in Lower Manhattan with a white truck, resulting in the death of 8 and the injuring of 11 more.

Along with the lives lost, an additional casualty of the attack is liberals’ ability to recognize reality: among them, that the culprit of this act of terrorism adhered to what he at least understood to be Islam and carried out the attack for the advancement of the self-described “Islamic State.”

As reported by the Daily Wire, a CNN host began by choosing to withhold from his report the description of the attacker the network had obtained by the police. Then, as Newsbusters reported, an MSNBC terror analyst denied any role Islam might have played in the attack, because — and get this — “we have seen Catholics in Canada who converted to, quote unquote, Islam.” He went on to suggest that the attacker may have been Catholic two weeks before. Of course, he did not even consider the implications of a correlation between religious conversion and radicalized actions. Certainly a nascent convert is in a poor position to understand the true embodiment of his new faith, but whether the conversion is a justification for an act he wished to undertake or the misappropriated object of the act itself, it is an indispensable psychological component to his actions.

It is routine in the wake of ISIS-related attacks to discount the importance of the role played by Islam, just as it is routine in the wake of attacks by white males to point out the number of terrorists who have been white or Christian, or even to question why some attacks carried out by white males are not labeled terrorism. The Las Vegas shooting is only the most recent example of this. A Newsweek article on the subject is typical, and only one of many. It points out the differences between Nevada law and federal law on the subject, as well as what President Obama defined as terrorism in addressing the Boston Marathon bombing.

But presidential remarks do not such a vital definition make, and a law contains merely a legal definition of what can be designated terrorism for the purpose of charging a perpetrator with that specific crime. What we are concerned with here is not terrorism as a crime, but terrorism as a tactic. Therefore, it doesn’t matter what Obama said or even what Nevada law says; for observers nationwide, terrorism is not understood to be something so broad as an act intended to harm innocent civilians or “intended to cause great bodily harm or death to the general population.” Federal law comes closest to the standard academic definition: “unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.” Motiveless attacks are, by any meaningful definition, not terror.

Despite the obviousness of this distinction, the media seem intent of muddying the waters when the facts regarding the motives themselves are not in dispute. The first fact — that the attack was carried out by vehicle, like an increasing number of ISIS-related terrorist attacks in Europe have been — should at least have tipped everyone off to the possibility. But again, terrorism is a tactic, and a vehicular attack could be employed in service of any cause. The second fact, which CNN ultimately reported — that the attacker yelled “allahu akbar” — should have sealed the deal.

Additional facts, such as the description of Saipov the CNN host initially withheld — which would have included a photo and the fact that he was from Uzbekistan, a country which is over 96 percent Muslim — would merely strengthen the already obvious conclusion about his motive. Ultimately, a note was found inside the attacker’s vehicle “claiming the attack was made in the name of ISIS.” Case closed.

But the first aim of the liberals in the mainstream media is not to report facts, but to advance (or undermine) certain narratives. No wonder we’re so suspicious of fake news these days.

Of course the vast majority of Muslims are neither terrorists nor approve of terror. Of course the bulk of terrorist attacks are wholly unrelated to Islam. Of course President Bush was right when he said we are not at war with Islam. The left appears not to trust those facts when it withholds the facts about specific attacks. In order to combat what it considers to be fake news about Islam and terrorism, it creates fake news about specific terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims. Ostensibly, the media don’t trust ignorant Americans to come to the right conclusions, but they undermine their own authority to place terrorists in their proper context whenever they lie by omission.

Even if we decide that true Islam has absolutely nothing to do with creating terrorists such as Saipov, it is imperative to understand what terrorists believe that drives them to use such tactics. It is vital to get inside their heads, in order to understand how to prevent such attacks in the future. We cannot combat what we willingly choose not to see.

Marco Rubio to Virginians: “This election is about you”

On Monday night, former 2016 presidential candidate and current Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) visited Sterling, Virginia, to campaign for Republican gubernatorial nominee Ed Gillespie.

Rubio, a longtime favorite in the Commonwealth of Virginia, highlighted Gillespie’s conservative principles and dedication to all Virginians.

Gillespie, the former RNC Chairman of Virginia, is running against current Lieutenant Governor and Democrat Ralph Northam.

In his speech, Rubio discussed the importance of the free market, American values, and the diversity of the United States.

“I haven’t given a campaign speech in about a year, so I’m a bit rusty,” Rubio joked.

“[This election] isn’t about the press corps in New York, it isn’t about the press corps in Washington, it isn’t about any of these things. It’s about YOU. And it’s about your future. And it’s about your children’s future.”

In addressing to community safety, Rubio referenced Gillespie’s detailed immigration policy ad commitment to cracking down on gang violence.

“He’s going to work for you. He’s here to solve problems for everyone because he understands fundamentally that it is impossible for our nation and for Virginia to get ahead if we end up leaving anyone else behind. He will be a Governor for all Virginians, and that is something that is interesting that we have to say in the 21st century but we do, and he’s committed to it, and his policies show what is the core of that campaign. The core of that campaign is to keep you safe.”

Rubio also highlighted the conservative principles of former President Ronald Reagan. He also discussed why he became a Reagan Republican, implying that Gillespie’s commitment to fiscal conservatism and traditional values plant him firmly in the Gipper’s camp.

Rubio also referenced the diversity of Virginia and of the nation as a whole, noting it is our differences that bind us together.

“We are endowed by our Creator with the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I’m a Republican because I believe in what our country stands for. That’s why I support the free market. It’s the only system in the world where someone can get ahead without pulling anyone else back. I’m a Republican because I believe that a strong America is good for the world and in America, where people are safe in their communities, it’s good for our nation. And that’s why I just think it’s so important that this race goes where it goes and Ed Gillespie needs to win.”

Jordan Russell, a spokesperson for Senator Rubio’s office, explained why electing Gillespie would be beneficial to all Virginians.

“Ed Gillespie is running a campaign focused on the issues important to Virginia families,” Russell said. “He is a strong conservative who has a vision for economic growth, fighting crime, and making sure all Virginians receive a quality education. Senator Rubio was proud to be in Virginia to help get out the vote for Ed ahead of next week’s election.”

The election will be held on Nov. 7th.

Tax Reform Bill Delayed As GOP Squabbles

The Republican tax reform bill was supposed to be unveiled today, but there is one little problem: It isn’t written yet. The House Ways and Means Committee was forced to delay the release of the bill until Thursday to allow the committee members another day to negotiate details of the proposed legislation.

“Ways and means committee members met tonight to discuss the work we are doing on pro-growth tax reform. In consultation with President Trump and our leadership team, we have decided to release the bill text on Thursday,” Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) announced in a statement detailed on CNN. “We are pleased with the progress we are making and we remain on schedule to take action and approve a bill at our Committee beginning next week.”

Republicans have few legislative victories to show for their control of Congress and the White House. Divisions within the party led to the defeat of several attempts to reform the Affordable Care Act, the party’s highest profile promise in the 2016 elections. Now it seems that intraparty squabbling may endanger prospects for tax reform as well.

There are indications that the GOP is struggling to deliver on the promises made in the ambitious tax framework revealed last September. Republicans promised to lower tax rates on individuals and corporations while closing loopholes. The framework also promised to double the standard deduction and expand the child tax credit.

There have reportedly been several points of disagreement among the GOP caucus. Treatment of the tax deduction for state income taxes has been a major point of contention. There is also disagree on whether the reform should be allowed to increase the deficit and whether the cuts should be permanent. Both points affect the ability of Republicans to use a budget reconciliation to pass the bill.

Tax cuts for the wealthy have also been controversial with President Trump promising that the bill will not be a boon to upper income taxpayers. The top 20 percent of taxpayers pay 95 percent of taxes per government data cited by Politico and cuts to these taxpayers would pack the largest benefit to the economy.

“The fact that they [low-income taxpayers] don’t pay very much in taxes means that it’s very hard to provide them with a large tax cut,” said Adam Looney, a fellow at the Brookings Institution. “It’s basically impossible to have a large tax cut that doesn’t involve most of the benefits going to high-income groups just because that’s who pays taxes now.”

After a string of legislative defeats over the summer, Republicans desperately need a victory on tax reform to bolster their base ahead of next year’s midterm elections. Prospects for the passage of tax reform are not good if the party can’t even get the bill written.

 

 

Terror Returns to NYC

When IRA terrorists came within seconds of killing Margaret Thatcher with a bomb at the Grand Hotel in Brighton back in 1984, they addressed their failure with an ominous message:  “Today we were unlucky, but remember we only have to be lucky once.  You will have to be lucky always.”

Yesterday, when an Islamist who had pledged allegiance to ISIS plowed a rental truck into dozens of bicyclists and pedestrians on the West Side Highway in Manhattan, a similar message was clearly conveyed:  New York City’s luck had finally run out.

Although there had been attempts—a truck bomb that failed to detonate in Times Square, a plot to set off explosives in the subway system—terrorists had not successfully carried out an attack in New York since the twin towers of the World Trade Center fell on September 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 people.  That’s a remarkable record, considering that New York has always been the jihadis’ number one target, and stands as a testament to the tireless work of the FBI and the NYPD, whose constant vigilance has been key to preventing disaster.

There is, however, only so much that can humanly be done—so it was inevitable that at some point, someone would succeed in unleashing death and destruction on the streets of New York once again.  This time, eight people have been killed—all because they chose to be out on those streets, enjoying a beautiful day with friends and family, when evil happened upon them.  It’s the same horror we saw unfolding in London not so long ago, and in Berlin before that, and in Nice before that.  Even the method was the same—a truck used to run people down.  Decidedly low-tech, the crudity of the attack was matched only by its effectiveness.

And therein lies the real terror.

How can authorities prevent anybody from renting a large vehicle and doing this?  The brutal truth is that they can’t.  That’s why ISIS encourages those it inspires to carry out such attacks.  They’re easy and unpredictable—certainly not as spectacular as a 9/11, but they also don’t require any planning, funding or expertise to carry off.  Literally anyone can do it, and it only seems as if more and more are.

So again, what can be done?

Sayfullo Saipov, the man who carried out yesterday’s murder spree, was originally from Uzbekistan, and was here on a “diversity visa” he won in a lottery.  Lucky him—but not so much for his victims.  Maybe we can start there, and ask ourselves how wise it is to give a random visa to someone from a part of the world filled with people who hate America.

That alone won’t prevent all terrorism, but at least it’ll be less likely.

Falwell’s Shameful Attack on Christian Free Speech Proves He Worships Trump More Than God

One of the byproducts of getting too political is incessant paranoia. I know because I’ve run some campaigns. Jerry Falwell, Jr. has slid into the paranoid, and abandoned any pretense of where his priorities lie–he worships Donald Trump more than God.

As a Christian, I know how politics poisons the soul. And now we see exactly how worldly Falwell has become as the poison takes effect. Christian evangelist and author Jonathan Martin came to the Liberty University campus, and was promptly ejected by armed officers, served with a citation and warned that should he return, he will be arrested.

This is the stuff of UC Berkeley and antifa. It should not be the stuff of Liberty University and Donald Trump. See, Martin is not a fan of the president.

It was this behavior, culminating in a report that Falwell was teaming up with Steve Bannon to oust “fake Republicans,” that prompted Martin to travel to Lynchburg, Virginia, on Monday. His goal was to meet with students and alumni to organize a prayer gathering in protest of the school and its leader’s political activity.

Martin was not on campus to organize a rally for the KKK, or to invite Richard Spencer to hold a tiki-torch parade. He was not there to bring in antifa goons to throw rocks and feces at police. He was not there to bus in a few thousand of Linda Sarsour’s vagina-hat brigade. He was there to pray with students. He was invited by a music group, JOHNNYSWIM,  performing on campus. He didn’t trespass.

Yes, he was going to pray that Liberty and its leader, Jerry Falwell, Jr., would abandon their disastrous political course and assume the proper role of a school dedicated to training Christians for the mission field–that field being whatever endeavor they take up. Liberty has trained journalists, lawyers, pastors and others–many of whom do not share Falwell’s devotion to Trump, or his penchant for getting political in the extreme.

But Falwell wouldn’t have anyone praying on his campus against his god (that is, Trump). So, in the name of Jesus, he had Martin expelled, though Martin was invited by a band performing on campus.

Falwell’s weak response defended Donald Trump and Steve Bannon. He argued that allowing Martin to pray would lead to hosting the KKK or Nazis or “Antifah” (sic). What utter rubbish.

It’s a private campus. Liberty can allow Martin to pray–to God–in a way that’s politically unsavory to Falwell’s politics (but acceptable to Jesus!) without compromising his ability to keep truly ungodly groups out later. His implication is, therefore, that praying against Donald Trump is tantamount to praying against God Himself.

A more presumptuous, anti-free-speech, ungodly position could not have been better spoken by King Herod Agippa I (see Acts 12:23), just before an angel struck him down and he was “eaten by worms.” Because he did not give glory to God.

Neither does Falwell give glory to God. He gives glory to Trump. He’s not alone here.

I am completely certain that not one of Pastor Robert Jeffress’ words in that tweet bring glory to God. Yet this man stands in the pulpit, week after week, supposedly exhorting his congregation to follow God, while injecting every second of his life with poisonous politics.

Both Jeffress and Falwell have become paranoid and have abandoned God for their personal orange idol, who neither created the world not saved it from sin.

And now, Falwell has turned against free speech and led Liberty University into shame by preventing a Christian from leading a prayer on his campus because he doesn’t like the man’s politics.

They both need to repent.

Hensarling Is Latest Republican To Announce Retirement

Yesterday Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) became the latest Republican congressman to announce that he will not seek re-election. Hensarling represents the Fifth District in the Dallas area and chairs the Financial Services Committee.

“Today I am announcing that I will not seek reelection to the US Congress in 2018. Although service in Congress remains the greatest privilege of my life, I never intended to make it a lifetime commitment, and I have already stayed far longer than I had originally planned,” Hensarling told the Dallas Morning News. 

Hensarling is considered a conservative with a strong voting record. He has an annual rating of 96 perecent from the American Conservative Union. His lifetime score is 97 percent.

Prominent Republicans said that Hensarling, who has been in Congress since 2003, will be missed. “Jeb is smart, principled, effective, he’s done a terrific job in the House and he will be sorely missed,” said Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), saying that the decision was “very disappointing news.”

Speaker Paul Ryan agreed, saying in a statement, “He is a true Constitutional Conservative who understands that free enterprise is critical to a thriving America.”

So far, at least 18 other House Republicans have announced their intention to retire. Democrats need to flip 23 seats to gain control of the lower legislative body. A majority of the retirements are in districts that that still lean Republican.

Rep. Juan Castro (D-Texas) noted, “The number of legislators, but especially Republicans, who have decided to leave the Congress this year is especially high compared to other years, and there have been a few surprises, just like Jeb’s announcement today.”

Hensarling denied that his departure was related to the Trump Administration. “Quite the opposite,” he said. “I’m rather enjoying it.”

Candidates to fill Hensarling’s seat must file to run by Nov. 11, leaving little time to mount a campaign. The most notable potential candidate is Allen West, a retired army colonel and Fox News contributor who served one term as a Florida congressman from 2011 to 2013. In 2014, West moved to Dallas to take over the National Center for Policy Analysis, a nonpartisan think tank.