TRUMP, LIKE BIBI, FACES CONSTANT ATTACKS FROM MEDIA & LEFTISTS, DESPITE SOLID RECORD OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS Posted on February 12, 2018 Printer Friendly Damned If You Do… and Trump and Netanyahu Are Certainly Doing: Melanie Phillips, JNS, Feb. 9, 2018— Melanie Phillips, JNS, Feb. 9, 2018— Day in and day out, two men—two crucial world leaders—remain under a constant barrage of verbal attacks. Far From Being the Disaster his Critics Predicted, President Trump's World Strategy is to Lead From the Front: Nile Gardiner, Telegraph, Jan. 15, 2018— When Donald Trump was elected America’s 45th president in November 2016 the world took a collective deep breath. Trump’s Strong Start on Policy: Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review, Dec. 26, 2017— Gorsuch confirmed, ISIS defeated, taxes cut: The Trump administration has compiled a solid record of accomplishment in its first year, one that compares well with the records of many of its predecessors. The Real Fake News of 2017: Rex Murphy, National Post, Dec. 22, 2017— The antipathy to Donald Trump, which in its keenest manifestations is fierce and relentless, is a disabling set of mind, nowhere more so than in the reporting on or about him. On Topic Links Democrats Flail While Trump Flounders: Clifford Orwin, Globe and Mail, Jan. 29, 2018 Donald Trump Has Turned out to be a Pragmatist Who Aims to Make America Great – at Any Cost: Tim Stanley, Telegraph, Jan. 29, 2018 The Left’s Rage and Trump’s Peril: Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 1, 2018 Davos Man Meets America First: Bret Stephens, New York Times, Jan. 24, 2018 DAMNED IF YOU DO… AND TRUMP AND NETANYAHU ARE CERTAINLY DOING Melanie Phillips JNS, Feb. 9, 2018 Day in and day out, two men—two crucial world leaders—remain under a constant barrage of verbal attacks. They are subjected to an obsessional, unhinged and unprecedented stream of abuse, distortion, character assassination and malicious fantasies. If you haven’t guessed, they are Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump. The campaign against them signifies a cultural disorder in the West that borders on the pathological. Netanyahu certainly has his faults. One might list arrogance, moral cowardice and his tendency to be a control freak. He doesn’t take criticism well. He has failed to organize his government to deal with the psy-ops war waged so devastatingly against Israel in the court of Western public opinion. And maybe, who knows, some of the multiple corruption charges against him will stick. Yet his achievements are formidable. Netanyahu enabled Israel to survive the sustained attempts to weaken it by President Barack Obama, arguably the most hostile American president to date regarding Israel. Netanyahu has led the Jewish state to become a dynamo in the fields of technology and R&D in large measure because of his liberalization of the Israeli economy. He has opened up new alliances through the pivot to Asia. He has held the line against the Palestinian/European axis of attrition. And he is riding the wave of a new regional order involving alliances with Egypt and Saudi Arabia. In Israel and among the Western intelligentsia, however, it’s hard to overestimate the loathing he provokes. His achievements are ignored or blatantly dismissed. Instead, he is blamed (ludicrously) for preventing a solution to the Middle East impasse. No less risibly, he was held responsible for Obama’s hostility for eight years running. He is said to be an incipient dictator, a racist ethno-nationalist and an “alt-Zionist.” These are not criticisms; these are ravings. Over in the United States, Trump certainly has his faults. One might list his zero concentration span, his disregard for detail, his carelessness with accuracy, his reckless and compulsive tweeting, his coarse and bombastic talk, and his failure to take criticism. Yet his achievements after only one year in office are also formidable. He presides over a booming economy with huge job growth; he is restoring the rule of law to immigration; he’s rolling back regulation; he’s made stellar appointments to the judiciary; he’s forcing Saudi Arabia to reform; and is confronting Iran, the United Nations and the Palestinians. It’s impossible, however, to overestimate the contempt and horror with which he is viewed. He is accused of being racist and antisemitic, of undermining the rule of law, of behaving like Mussolini. While not a shred to evidence supports the claims against him of colluding with Russia, there is mounting evidence that elements of the FBI and Justice Department under the Obama administration have acted illegally against him. The Democrats are talking wildly of impeaching him. They’ll decide on the nature of his crime later. This is not opposition; this is derangement. So why are both men being treated like this? In Israel, it’s easier to blame Netanyahu than face up to the terrifying complexities of the existential war being waged against it and the difficult choices that need to be made. In America, Trump provokes such a frenzied reaction because he operates outside all conventions. He challenges unchallengeable liberal orthodoxies on immigration, national identity and victim culture, and he exposes the frailties on his own Republican side. Where both he and Netanyahu succeed is in speaking for the great middling center of their electorates—the ordinary people who observe with silent astonishment and fury how the cultural and political establishment not only ignores their concerns, but deems them illegitimate. Middle Israel understands that the difficult and dangerous status quo with the Palestinians is nevertheless inevitable given their persistent rejectionism. Middle America understands that under Obama, the rule of law was eroded through illegal immigration, the weaponization of the IRS against conservative groups and the support of black-power activists against the police. That’s why they voted for Netanyahu and Trump. And that’s why the liberal establishment responsible for this onslaught on the culture not only damns Netanyahu and Trump, but also the public who voted for them. In an article in Tablet, writer Paul Berman wrings his hands over Trump’s election. He runs through some explanations offered by fellow hand-wringer Thomas B. Edsall, who in a column in The New York Times points to the “material grievances of the white working class,” and “racist animosities toward the blacks and the latest immigrants, together with a surly hatred of the bicoastal snobs.” Berman, however, thinks the real reason for Trump’s election was nothing less than a “broad cultural collapse.” He writes: “It is a collapse, at minimum, of civic knowledge—a collapse in the ability to identify political reality, a collapse in the ability to recall the nature of democracy and the American ideal. An intellectual collapse, ultimately. And the sign of this collapse is an inability to recognize that Donald Trump has the look of a foreign object within the American presidential tradition.” You really do have to rub your eyes at this. For eight years, America had in Barack Obama a president who subverted the constitution at home and weakened his country abroad by helping empower those who wished the country ill (consider the Iranian regime or the Muslim Brotherhood). In Trump, America now has a president who is restoring respect for the constitution and the rule of law, and is standing up for American interests at home and abroad. And who is also currently being targeted by what looks very much like an attempted establishment coup against his presidency. Berman has it backwards. Trump’s election was not evidence of cultural collapse; it was a reaction against cultural collapse. If this wasn’t so serious, it would be comical to see some of our most stellar intellects holding their heads in their hands and wondering aloud what could possibly have caused their country to fall into an abyss. The answer is simple: them. Trump and Netanyahu lead the West on a new and more hopeful path. For sure, they aren’t perfect and much remains unaddressed. But this is the first time that the demoralization of the West has been tackled since the end of World War II. Countries hostile to this leadership, including Britain and much of Western Europe, are now fumbling the civilizational ball. The only things they will be left holding are their noses. Contents FAR FROM BEING THE DISASTER HIS CRITICS PREDICTED, PRESIDENT TRUMP'S WORLD STRATEGY IS TO LEAD FROM THE FRONT Nile Gardiner Telegraph, Jan. 15, 2018 When Donald Trump was elected America’s 45th president in November 2016 the world took a collective deep breath. This was a man derided by his critics as an isolationist, woefully out of his depth on foreign policy matters, and imbued with a supposedly dangerous and reckless nationalism. European leaders queued up to condemn the new leader of the free world in the court of international opinion. But a year into his presidency Trump’s actual record has been far more effective than his detractors predicted. “America First” has not resulted in a US withdrawal from the world. Far from it. The White House’s new National Security Strategy (NSS), unveiled by Trump himself in December, was loudly attacked by Vladimir Putin’s regime as an aggressive statement of intent on the world stage by the US administration. The first NSS since 2015, it outlines the big-picture strategic thinking of the Trump presidency and, in marked contrast to the previous Obama-era document, places heavy emphasis upon national sovereignty, self-determination, and taking back control of borders. All of which British supporters of Brexit can relate to. A pro-British Eurosceptic himself, Trump is a genuine believer in the value of the Anglo-American Special Relationship – and likes to stand with all America’s traditional allies. In the Middle East, partnerships between the United States and Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have all been reinvigorated. In Asia, he has bolstered alliances with Japan and Taiwan, much to the dismay of Beijing. And in Europe the administration has boosted the relationship with Poland, the rising power of Eastern Europe, and placed greater emphasis on working with national capitals than the EU. Following pressure from Washington, defence spending among Nato allies is increasing for the first time in decades. When Trump entered the White House a year ago, Europe feared he would embark upon a pro-Russian trajectory, yielding to Moscow’s efforts to enhance its power in its “Near Abroad”. The reality has been remarkably different and the message to America’s allies living in the shadow of the Russian bear is loud and clear: the United States will fight to defend Europe against any Russian attempt to threaten Nato territory. So the Trump presidency has expanded US troop presence in the Baltics, supplied anti-missile systems to Poland and even declared its intent to send defensive weapons to Ukraine. Of course, there is room for improvement in Trump’s foreign policy. In the face of mounting Russian aggression, the president should match his administration’s tough policy positions with a willingness personally to confront Vladimir Putin directly about his activity in Crimea and Ukraine. But if Mr Putin believed he would have a friend in the White House he was sorely misguided. The Trump administration has increased sanctions against Moscow, and challenged Russian hegemony in Syria. And it has been in Syria and Iraq that Trump has most strikingly demonstrated decisive American leadership. A staggering 98 per cent of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) territory in those two countries has been recovered by the US-led coalition, with five million people liberated in the past 12 months alone. The sheer speed of Isil’s defeat has owed much to Trump’s decision to free the US military from combat restrictions put in place by the overly cautious Obama White House. And while there remains the need for a more coherent US strategy in dealing with North Korea, on the Iran front, Trump has rightly pushed for a strengthening of the nuclear agreement. The president may lack the eloquence of John F Kennedy, or the ideological drive of Ronald Reagan, but he has demonstrated an uncompromising willingness to defend the interests of his country, reassure allies, aggressively confront America’s enemies and ensure the United States continues to lead as the world’s superpower. He has emphatically banished the Obama era of “leading from behind” while putting an unapologetically American stamp on the world stage. Contents TRUMP’S STRONG START ON POLICY Ramesh Ponnuru National Review, Dec. 26, 2017 Gorsuch confirmed, ISIS defeated, taxes cut: The Trump administration has compiled a solid record of accomplishment in its first year, one that compares well with the records of many of its predecessors. Two of the biggest accomplishments came late in the year. The prime minister of Iraq declared victory over ISIS on December 9. Republicans reached a deal that seemed to secure passage of a tax bill on December 15. Until then, it appeared possible that 2017 would end without an all-Republican government enacting any major legislation. Now the Republicans’ policy record looks better, at least as most conservatives see it. The tax bill advances several longstanding conservative objectives. It cuts tax rates for most Americans, slashes the corporate-tax rate for the first time in decades, expands the tax credit for children, limits the reach of the estate tax and the alternative minimum tax, and scales back the tax break for expensive homes. By scaling back the deduction for state and local taxes, it may encourage a more conservative fiscal politics in the states. And it allows drilling to proceed in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The tax bill also partly makes up for the failure of Republican efforts earlier in 2017 to repeal Obamacare. The health-care law imposes fines on people who go without insurance. The tax bill sets the fines at zero. The least popular feature of Obamacare is thus effectively nullified. Some conservatives would have considered voting for Trump in November 2016 worth it just for Justice Neil Gorsuch. His appointment to the Supreme Court means that Justice Scalia’s seat will remain filled by an originalist for the next few decades. If one of the Democratic appointees or Justice Anthony Kennedy leaves the Court while Republicans hold the Senate, Trump will have the opportunity to create the first conservative majority in modern constitutional history. Trump has also nominated many well-qualified conservative jurists to the appeals courts. (The quality of his district-court nominees appears to be significantly lower.) The administration has begun to rein in regulation. It has withdrawn and modified several of the Obama administration’s regulations, often in concert with Congress. It has stopped or slowed the progress of many others that were barreling down the tracks. The Environmental Protection Agency, now run by Trump appointee Scott Pruitt, has also taken steps to end the practice of “sue and settle,” in which activist groups get the agency to adopt new policies through lawsuits. Trump killed President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which would have imposed significant economic costs while doing little to reduce the risks of global warming. He has effectively ended the Obama administration’s mandate that employers provide contraceptive coverage: Employers who object to providing that coverage, or providing forms of that coverage they consider to cause abortions, are to be exempt. If the new policy stands, the Little Sisters of the Poor will be spending less time in court. Trump’s education secretary, Betsy DeVos, has withdrawn Obama-era regulations that led colleges to lower the burden of proof for sexual-misconduct allegations and to monitor professors’ speech. Most conservatives cheered two symbolic actions by the administration: announcing that our embassy in Israel will move to the country’s capital city of Jerusalem and that the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord. (I count that planned withdrawal as symbolic because the accord did not bind us to any policy commitments.) Conservatives of various types have thus seen progress on their agenda in 2017. Economic conservatives got tax cuts and some deregulation. Legal conservatives got judicial appointments and an executive branch more mindful of the limits of its policymaking authority. Social conservatives also benefited from the judicial appointments and welcomed Trump’s policy of blocking international family-planning funding from going to organizations that promote or perform abortions. Many Republicans credit Trump for presiding over a strong economy, too. It’s a point that requires some context. Job growth has not been quite as fast as it was in Obama’s last year, but you’d expect it to slow after an expansion this long. Republican economic policies may have played a role in keeping the expansion going. Certainly the predictions of economic doom made right after the election by some Trump opponents — chiefly Paul Krugman — have not come to pass. It’s not the only bad outcome that has been avoided. Trump has started no trade war and has not blown up the World Trade Organization. He has merely engaged in the low-grade protectionism that is routine for presidents of both parties, and withdrawn from the Trans-Pacific Partnership — which may not have been able to win congressional approval even if Trump had stayed in. NATO is still standing, too, and Trump’s complaints about allies’ burden-sharing may be arresting Western Europe’s slide into functional pacifism… [To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.] Contents THE REAL FAKE NEWS OF 2017 Rex Murphy National Post, Dec. 22, 2017 The antipathy to Donald Trump, which in its keenest manifestations is fierce and relentless, is a disabling set of mind, nowhere more so than in the reporting on or about him. Contempt for Trump—the conviction that he is some sort of dangerous historical “accident” in the presidential office—serves as a warrant for abandoning all disinterested judgment and analytic neutrality. To those who oppose him, particularly those in the news media, Trump is regarded as just SO bad that standards can be virtuously abandoned, and neutrality and dispassion set aside, so long as it helps (such is the hope) to hurt Trump, and, maybe, get rid of him. The new rule is: anything that can weaken Trump’s standing, sever his connection with the populist base, and help to bring him down is fair game. Hence the sloppiness and one-directional nature of most Trump news. In just the last few weeks, Brian Ross at ABC, the Wall Street Journal, and CNN each had to correct or deny major stories that had all been wrong in the same direction. They hurt Trump. Stories, however, that might hint at some aspects of competency or adroitness in Trump’s handling of affairs are either passed over or given the most desultory treatment. How many tins of Pepsi Trump drinks gets more coverage than the defeat of ISIS in Iraq, which has occurred under his watch. Under Obama that would have generated skyscraper headlines; under Trump you can search for it in the back pages and fine print. When the majority of the American media failed in their coverage of the presidential election, they had to find some excuse for their massive incompetence. The New York Times, with all their resources, and after two full years of daily coverage of the campaign, was nonetheless projecting Hillary Clinton’s chances of victory at a full 92 per cent on election night itself. That was at least better than the pathologically anti-Trump HuffPost, which had Hillary’s chances set at a modest 98 per cent! Such was the state of American journalism, these companies barely allowed for the mere possibility that Trump could win. Under their professional eye, he was just a sideshow, even in the very hours before he actually won. These two—the Times and HuffPost—can stand for a large set of the American press, both traditional and online. Their reading of the American election was the greatest journalistic failure—the largest act of group incompetence—in decades. This failure fostered the need for some excuse for how they got so much so wrong. They couldn’t just step out honestly and say: “Hey, we despised this guy so much that it really warped our thinking and twisted our coverage, blocked out what we didn’t want to see. We were so mad at him we could not see.” That would have been the truthful and honourable thing to do. So, obviously, it was not adopted. Instead, the answer they did come up with, quickly and conveniently enough, was Fake News. Now there has always been fake news. Newspaper, TV, magazines have always, to some degree, had a slant, an overall editorial direction. But the Fake News that we heard about for most of 2017, and were warned against by journalism’s elders, and was so deplored by the monks of NPR and PBS, was something new and altogether more sinister. This Fake News was a project in itself, something crafted specifically and particularly, and deployed maliciously, by the fiends of the Trump campaign. The way the term Fake News was invoked by newscasters, panels, and journalism profs was actually kind of scary. Fake News was a threat to the republic; it enjoyed a corrupting power that effortlessly ousted the voices of the real media, and blunted the rational minds of the electorate. That Fake News was powerful stuff… [To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.] Contents On Topic Links Democrats Flail While Trump Flounders: Clifford Orwin, Globe and Mail, Jan. 29, 2018—I used to love the Democrats. For all the years I was being raised and educated in the United States, I was a Democrat. I remain one today, as that is how I am registered in my home state of Illinois. I have certainly never been a Republican. Yet, today, the Dems seem as formidable as a plucked chicken, and about as ready to govern. Donald Trump Has Turned out to be a Pragmatist Who Aims to Make America Great – at Any Cost: Tim Stanley, Telegraph, Jan. 29, 2018—In Tuesday's State of the Union, Donald Trump will tell Congress that America is doing great. Amazing. Better than ever. It’s funny how a country can go from “terrible” to “beautiful” in one year, but you don’t have to buy the hype to concede that what was once campaign rhetoric has turned into policy – even delivery. The better we know Trump, the more substance we find. His America First agenda isn’t nice, but it is rational and coherent. And it has profound implications for the very nature of the presidency. The Left’s Rage and Trump’s Peril: Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal, Feb. 1, 2018—The State of the Union speech was good—spirited, pointed, with a credible warmth for the heroes in the balcony, who were well chosen. They were beautiful human beings, and their stories were rousing—the cop and his wife who adopted the baby, the hardy North Korean defector who triumphantly waved his crutches, the mourning, dignified parents of the girls killed by MS-13. My beloved Cajun Navy. Davos Man Meets America First: Bret Stephens, New York Times, Jan. 24, 2018—Donald Trump will attend the World Economic Forum’s annual conference in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday and Friday. The New York Times has obtained a copy of the president’s remarks. Check against delivery.