Mid-Day Digest

May 14, 2018

IN TODAY’S EDITION

  • It’s possible an FBI spy was in the Trump campaign.
  • Trump moves the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, keeping another promise.
  • What’s next in Iran now that Obama’s deal is toast?
  • The free market is the right prescription for drug prices.
  • Democrats market a baby onesie, but what about all the babies who will never wear it?
  • Plus our Daily Features: Top Headlines, Memes, Cartoons, Columnists and Short Cuts.

THE FOUNDATION

“The present Constitution is the standard to which we are to cling. Under its banners, bona fide must we combat our political foes.” —Alexander Hamilton (1802)

IN BRIEF

Did the FBI Have a Spy in the Trump Campaign?

Thomas Gallatin

Did the FBI have a spy working within Donald Trump’s campaign team? That’s the question Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, is seeking to answer. We recently noted that the Justice Department has been slow-walking its compliance with Congress’s request for documents and information. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein angrily responded to subpoenas and threats of impeachment over his stonewalling of Congress, stating that he would not be “extorted.” Why this aggressive rebuttal?

Well, slowly but surely the mystery behind all of the slow-walking and stonewalling from the DOJ is finally coming to light, albeit bringing even more questions with it. To begin, we must go back to January of this year, when Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson’s Senate testimony from five months prior was finally made public. At that time, Simpson’s testimony appeared to reveal a bombshell (emphasis added):

Essentially, what [Christopher Steele] told me was [the FBI] had other intelligence about this matter from an internal Trump campaign source, and that — that they — my understanding was that they believed Chris at this point — that they believed Chris’s information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing, and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump campaign.

After the media hoopla, Simpson quickly backed off the claim of the FBI having a “human source” inside the Trump campaign, insisting instead that he had “mischaracterized” the nature of the source. But had he? It now appears that the FBI did indeed have a “human source” — a spy — within the Trump campaign.

The same day Simpson’s Senate testimony was made public, The New York Times ran a story suggesting that the source was a previously unknown low-level Trump campaign adviser named George Papadopoulos. A convenient fall guy? One glaring problem for Papadopoulos being the source is that he is never mentioned in the infamous Steele dossier, the FISA warrant or any of Simpson’s Senate testimony. Secondly, timing is an issue. When exactly did the FBI launch its probe into the Trump campaign — before or after Papadopoulous’s supposedly incriminating meeting? In any case, the Papadopoulos claim is growing extremely thin.

Was the Obama Justice Department so keen to spy on the Trump campaign that some rogue FBI agents used the threat of Russian election interference as a convenient excuse to do just that? And are certain Obama-era Justice Department officials currently working to cover it up?

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Promise Kept — Jerusalem Embassy Opens for Business

Nate Jackson

The U.S. embassy in Jerusalem officially opened today, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of the creation of the modern state of Israel and one day after “Jerusalem Day,” the 51st anniversary of Israel annexing east Jerusalem, which is home to holy sites for Jews, Christians and Muslims. President Donald Trump followed through on a promise first made by the U.S. in 1995. President after president signed waivers citing security concerns over moving the embassy from Tel Aviv, succumbing to fear that the Palestinians would respond with violence, thus undermining an already fictitious “peace” process.

Why does the embassy’s location matter? Fox News explains, “Although Trump has said his declaration does not set the final borders of the city, his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital has been perceived by both Israel and the Palestinians as taking Israel’s side in the most sensitive issue in their conflict. The Palestinians claim east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.” Most of the world does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as a result.

Not surprisingly, the Palestinians did respond with violence. Terrorists have denied Israel’s right to exist from the moment it was formed. And radical Muslims have been slaughtering Jews for centuries. Unfortunately, the violence today resulted in at least 41 Palestinians killed, including what the Israelis called three “armed terrorists” aiming to plant a bomb near the Gaza border fence. Tens of thousands of protesters mobbed the fence, some in an attempt to cross, and Israeli soldiers fired on them.

Meanwhile, just a couple of weeks after French President Emmanuel Macron was glad-handing Trump at a White House state dinner, he was busy leading the charge to issue an official European Union statement criticizing the U.S. embassy relocation. Hungary, the Czech Republic and Romania blocked it — the latter two are looking to move their embassies to Jerusalem, as well. We suppose the statement was Macron’s way of blowing raspberries at Trump for shredding the Iran deal Macron had tried to save.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pronounced that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is “the right thing to do.” He’s right. As for the future of the peace process, our own Brian Mark Weber said in December, “Peace will be illusory until Israel’s enemies accept its right to exist.”

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Top Headlines

For more of today’s news, visit Patriot Headline Report.

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FEATURED ANALYSIS

What’s Next for Trump’s Iran Strategy?

Arnold Ahlert

“Today is a reminder that if you live by the Presidency, you die by the Presidency.” —Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) addressing Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a.k.a. the Iran nuclear deal

For eight years, America endured a “pen and phone” president so thoroughly convinced of his own moral superiority that he viewed Congress as more of an impediment than a co-equal branch of government. And the same media that gushed over his “courage” — even now, The Washington Post is referring to the former president’s disastrous appeasement of Iran as one of his “signature foreign policy achievements” — is aghast that what can be done by executive fiat can be undone the same way.

How bad was the Iran deal? There was no deal. “The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) is not a treaty or an executive agreement, and is not a signed document,” stated a letter sent in 2015 from the State Department to then-Rep. Mike Pompeo. Thus the notion that Barack Obama’s executive order was binding is absurd.

How desperate was Obama to make any kind of deal? The administration used the NSA to spy on Israel, “coincidentally” capturing conversations between anti-deal U.S. officials, Jewish American leaders and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. National security advisor Ben Rhodes created a media echo chamber of know-nothing journalists duped into disseminating administration lies about the Iranian regime’s nature. And as columnist Eli Lake reminds us, just days before the deal was implemented, “Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps boarded a U.S. Navy vessel and briefly detained U.S. sailors who had accidentally drifted into Iranian waters. In case the point was missed, the sailors were videotaped on their knees with their hands clasped behind their heads.”

The point was missed. Kerry called the subsequent release of the sailors “a testament to the critical role that diplomacy plays in keeping our country safe, secure and strong.”

Trump has ended this nonsense. More important, he is free to pursue that which a feckless Obama refused to “meddle with” in 2009, even as Iranian dissidents were being beaten and killed: regime change.

Toward that end, Trump has circulated a three-page white paper among National Security Council officials that “seeks to reshape longstanding American foreign policy toward Iran by emphasizing an explicit policy of regime change,” The Washington Free Beacon reports.

And contrary to leftist assertions that Trump is putting America on the brink of war, the document “deemphasizes U.S. military intervention, instead focusing on a series of moves to embolden an Iranian population that has increasingly grown angry at the ruling regime for its heavy investments in military adventurism across the region.”

The mullahs are sitting on a populist powder keg. In addition to unpopular adventurism, Iran is facing an acute water shortage precipitated by bad water management policies and aging infrastructure. The regime’s promise to spread the nuclear deal’s wealth to its people has been broken, leaving the nation with an 11% unemployment rate, while the Revolutionary Guard who runs Iran’s ballistic missile program and answers solely to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei controls between 15% and 30% of the economy. The government has also banned Telegram, an encrypted personal messaging app used by half the country that Iran’s ICT minister, Mohammad-Javad Azari Jahromi, insisted was “encouraging hateful conduct, use of Molotov cocktails, armed uprisings, and social unrest.”

Lake envisions a three-prong strategy for regime change. First, Iranians need to take charge of their own revolution, which requires Trump to refrain from picking leaders, arming particular factions or precipitating an invasion. Second, credible channels of communication that abet domestic resistance, but refrain from empowering outside groups seeking to impose their own agenda on such a movement, must be established. Third, Trump must expand his list of demands beyond nuclear parameters. Lake suggests tying the removal of sanctions to the removal of the office of Supreme Leader from the nation’s constitution.

All good, but columnist David French adds an essential ingredient to the mix, insisting “we must beat Iran on the battlefield, not by invading or declaring war but instead by ensuring the endurance and ultimate victory of our allies in the proxy conflicts raging across the Middle East.”

He reminds us why. “Arguably no nation in recent history has taken more deadly action against the United States without a corresponding American response,” he asserts. “No wonder the regime believed it could dictate terms to the Obama administration.”

They can’t dictate terms to Trump. “If the regime continues its nuclear aspirations, it will have bigger problems than it has ever had before,” the president asserted during his withdrawal announcement.

In response, Iranian parliamentary members burned a paper American flag and chanted “death to America,” while Khamenei tweeted that Trump’s “corpse will also be worm food while IRI stands strong.”

Anyone who believes such contempt for America and its leaders hasn’t been the Iranian government’s position for decades is as delusional as an Obama administration and the cabal of equally spineless European leaders who also believe evil should be appeased — especially if it accrues to the EU’s globalist profit-making schemes.

And that goes double for mostly Democrat congressional hypocrites who opposed Obama’s deal, but now oppose Trump for rescinding it. They are joined by their fellow progressive elitists “for whom there is only one right way to conduct a presidency, and that is the Harvard-Democratic-groupthink way,” columnist Michael Walsh explains.

Leftist arrogance is nothing new. Neville Chamberlain’s Munich Agreement of 1938 and Bill Clinton’s Agreed Framework of 1994 were both sold as grand achievements in diplomacy. Both were catastrophic failures, yet both were ignored by an equally clueless Obama administration, led by an “arc of history” narcissist who was ultimately forced to admit the JCPOA only delayed Iran’s ability to acquire nuclear weapons.

Perhaps Harvard-Democratic-groupthink isn’t all it’s purported to be.

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TODAY’S MEME

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For more of today’s memes, visit the Memesters Union.

TODAY’S CARTOON

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For more of today’s top cartoons, visit the Cartoons archive.

MORE ANALYSIS FROM THE PATRIOT POST

BEST OF RIGHT OPINION

For more of today’s columns, visit Right Opinion.

OPINION IN BRIEF

Jeff Jacoby: “Seventy years ago [today], on May 14, 1948, the state of Israel proclaimed its independence. … For the Palestinians, May 14, 1948, is remembered as the ‘Nakba’ (Arabic for ‘catastrophe’) — the flight of 700,000 Arab refugees from Israel during the war that followed the creation of the Jewish state. The fighting was launched by the Arab League, whose armies invaded Israel within hours of its birth. … Yet in terms of the number of people affected, property lost, and history erased, the catastrophe that befell the Jews of the Arab world dwarfed what happened to the Palestinians. Jews had been living in the Arab lands since time immemorial; in countries like Egypt, Iraq, and Libya, Jewish communities flourished centuries before the advent of Islam. Jewish life was integral to Middle East society, which drew nourishment from some of the world’s most ancient cultural roots. But with the rebirth of Jewish sovereignty in Palestine, antisemitic fury erupted across the region and those roots were ripped out. … The Palestinian refugees’ worst catastrophe wasn’t displacement, a fate they have shared with much of mankind. It was being fed a lie — that the clock will be turned back, and the last 70 years undone. The grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the 1948 refugees, whether they live in Lebanon or Jordan, in America or the West Bank, are not refugees. They are at home. That is how they should think of themselves. That is how they should insist that the world think of them. No one is going back to the 1940s. Once Palestinians stop believing otherwise, the ‘nakba’ will be at an end.”

SHORT CUTS

The Gipper: “The years ahead will be great ones for our country, for the cause of freedom and the spread of civilization. The West will not contain Communism; it will transcend Communism. We will not bother to denounce it; we’ll dismiss it as a sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written.”

Alpha Jackass: “[Trump] really is an incredibly skillful and talented communicator. He really is, which Hitler was, too. I think the reason people push back against the Hitler comparison, regardless of any similarities, is Hitler ended up killing millions and millions of people. And Mr. Trump has shown a disregard for our law — he breaks the law. … But he hasn’t killed millions of people. … Look, that’s why we want to impeach him! We’d like to end it here while it’s still OK. I think that’s why people push back so hard, because that is a very big difference. We haven’t gotten to that point. God bless us, let’s hope we never get anywhere near that point.” —Tom Steyer

Dezinformatsiya: “In terms of Iran and attacking Iran or Iranian troops and units in Syria, I think, yes, absolutely. I think that [Benjamin] Netanyahu feels that he’s gotten the green light — almost a license to kill — from Trump.” —The Daily Beast’s Christopher Dickey

Non Compos Mentis: “Happy #MothersDay! Planned Parenthood is proud to celebrate mothers in the U.S. and around the world. We’re committed to fighting for a world where all mothers can live healthy lives, and raise their children in peace.” —Planned Parenthood

And last… “I asked my 4-year-old daughter [on Mother’s Day] whether she thought it would be more fun to have a job or be a mommy. She said, ‘To be a mommy, so I can cuddle my babies.’ Clearly, she has already been victimized by the patriarchy.” —Ben Shapiro

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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis

Nate Jackson, Managing Editor
Mark Alexander, Publisher