Monday, September 24, 2018
Star Parker is a columnist for The Daily Signal and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education.
While questioning Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh about abortion during his Senate confirmation hearings, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., grossly misstated statistics about abortion deaths before Roe v. Wade.
“In the 1950s and 1960s, two decades before Roe, deaths from illegal abortions in this country ran between 200,000 and 1.2 million. That’s according to the Guttmacher Institute.”
The Guttmacher Institute has very close ties to the abortion lobby, but even its numbers proved Feinstein way off base.
The Guttmacher study actually reported 200,000 to 1.2 million as the number of procedures. Regarding actual deaths, in 1965, for example, there were 200, according to Guttmacher.
When corrected, Feinstein was dismissive of the gravity of her error. “So, a lot of women died in that period,” she demurred.
Feinstein’s distortion of data points to the agenda driving this new discussion from the left to derail the Kavanaugh vote by any means necessary.
Nothing, certainly not facts, will get in the way of their attempts to control the courts, regardless of any collateral damage done to the reputation of an upstanding and decent man.
Thus we can understand the sudden emergence of Christine Blasey Ford and her claim that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in 1982, when she was 15 and he was 17.
As reported in The Washington Post, Ford, a vocal progressive and pro-Democrat donor, wrote to Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, describing the incident but requesting anonymity in July.
Apparently, Feinstein was so moved to keep the letter anonymous that she buried the contents as well as the identity of the author.
Per reports, Feinstein did not ask Kavanaugh about this in her interview with him prior to the hearings. Nor did she question Kavanaugh about it during the hearings.
Suddenly, two months after Feinstein received Ford’s letter, she announced she had information about Kavanaugh that she reported to the FBI.
Then a story revealing the contents of Ford’s letter appeared in the press. Days later, Ford concluded her “civic responsibility” compelled her to shed anonymity and step forward, armed with a polygraph test corroborating her story and a seasoned, progressive legal adviser.
How can anyone take this seriously?
Even liberals should concede that in America one is innocent until proven guilty. Particularly with 36-year-old allegations that are impossible to corroborate.
Kavanaugh has had a long, distinguished career, serving as counsel in the White House and for the last 12 years as a federal district appeals court judge. Along with this, he has undergone a half-dozen FBI background checks, with no irregularities arising.
This is now standard fare for Democrats. When they perceive that our constitutionally defined machinery of government is not serving their far-left interests, they reach into the “dirty tricks” bag and pull out racist or sexual accusations to derail things.
This is exactly the swamp in Washington that President Donald Trump was elected to drain.
If Feinstein thought Ford’s accusations had teeth, then she had two months to vet them. It is a travesty to our system of government and justice to now interrupt the progress of Kavanaugh’s confirmation with these tenuous claims. Feinstein had her chance.
It is transparent that this is about Democrats wishing to cause a delay until after November, opening the door for a new, progressive nominee, should Democrats gain control of congress.
Nothing prevents Democrats from continuing to investigate Kavanaugh after he is confirmed—if they so wish.
The abuse that concerns me now is the abuse of our system of government by devious progressive political operatives.
It is imperative that Republicans show leadership now, before the election in November, and move forward immediately to vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination.
COPYRIGHT 2018 STAR PARKER
Sunday, September 23, 2018
When President Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran nuclear deal back in May, the foreign-policy establishment was unanimous in its opposition.
Their dismay was rooted in loyalty to Barack Obama’s legacy and personal contempt for Trump. But there was at least one point the critics made that seemed irrefutable, in warning against the re-imposition of US sanctions on Iran’s oil exports.
Trump’s unilateral move would certainly fail because of the interest of America’s European allies as well as the Russians and Chinese in continuing to do business with Iran. But if by some chance it worked, the experts were sure that would result in a severe hike in oil prices that American consumers would feel at the gas pump.
But the experts were wrong. Reports in Bloomberg News, echoed by The New York Times, tell us that three months into the new sanctions — and less than two months before the Trump administration plans to implement even more far-reaching restrictions on doing business with Iran that will affect US allies — the move has succeeded in crippling Iran’s oil exports without causing a significant increase in oil prices.
Iran’s principal source of foreign exchange is drying up, ratcheting up the pressure on an unpopular despotic regime without Americans having to pay appreciably more for gas.
How is that possible?
The answer is obvious, and it explains why the Obama negotiating strategy — resulting in an agreement that allowed Iran’s rogue state to keep its nuclear program and its ability to eventually create a bomb, while also enriching it — was so wrongheaded. In 2013, Obama relented just when sanctions were starting to bite and what followed was a strategic victory for Iran that brought it victory in Syria as well as a cash windfall to the tune of over $100 billion.
The Obama administration was guided by two critical false assumptions.
One was that the only way to limit Iran’s nuclear ambitions, ballistic-missile program or role as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism was to work in concert with US allies as well as Russia and China. Obama and former Secretary of State John Kerry were sure that the United States could achieve nothing acting on its own and allowed countries with a greater interest in commerce with Iran than in stopping it to exercise a veto over US policy.
The other assumption was that Iran was too strong to be brought to its knees even by international sanctions. That meant Obama and Kerry saw the only choices available to the West were either war or appeasement.
So they punted on any effort to link the nuclear issue to missiles or terrorism and ultimately made concession after concession in the negotiations that wound up giving the Iranians pretty much everything they wanted while the West swallowed a terrible bargain.
But it turns out that the Iran hawks in Trump’s new foreign-policy team — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton — understood the situation better than the “adults” who urged the president not to scrap the nuclear deal. Rather than allow weak-willed allies to dictate US policy, Trump realized he could tell the appeasers what to do and make it stick because of the power of the US economy.
The shift in energy markets that led to the world being awash in oil — including the fact that the United States is now a net exporter rather than dependent on foreign sources — also means Iran has little leverage over the West.
The implications are clear.
Far from a hopeless quest, the US determination to force Iran to renegotiate the nuclear issue, cease its illegal missile program and desist from terror is a realistic goal.
Just as important, though Trump didn’t enter the White House with much knowledge of the subject, this vindicates his instincts that the establishment is intellectually bankrupt. For decades it has guided US Middle East policy on both Iran and Israel.
The success of oil sanctions should not only encourage the United States to push Tehran harder. It’s also one more reason to ignore the so-called experts’ contempt for Trump’s unconventional but clearly spot-on approach to the region.
Jonathan S. Tobin is editor in chief of JNS.org and a contributor to National Review.
A nation gawks as Washington sinks deeper into the muck, but put aside your disgust long enough to digest what we’re seeing. Three big things are on display.
First, Democrats are proving again that their force multiplier is a win-or-die zealotry. They were on a mission to kill anybody President Trump chose to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy and, within minutes of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced he would fight Kavanaugh “with everything I have.” All 10 Dems on the Judiciary Committee pledged to vote no.
They looked silly given the nominee’s impeccable credentials, and worse when leftist legal luminaries lined up to praise Kavanaugh as a brilliant jurist and sterling father, husband and mentor.
One feminist supporter of Hillary Clinton called him “a superstar” and urged his confirmation by saying, “He is the most qualified conservative for the job.”
Yet the Dems persisted with unabashed fervor. They tried to stop the hearing before it started, took turns twisting Kavanaugh’s words and insinuated, without evidence, that dark secrets existed.
Orchestrated protests aimed to silence the Senate, an effort that collapsed in farce when Sen. Cory Booker declared he was having his “I am Spartacus” moment. His act of undaunted courage was to release documents that had been approved for release.
Yet all that was mere warmup for the character assassination plot now unfolding. Sen. Dianne Feinstein sat on the allegation of sexual misconduct for nearly two months, only to inject it into the political bloodstream after the final hearing.
Given one last chance for a kill, the assassins are determined not to let their prey escape. Even the Republican concession of a hearing for accuser Christine Blasey Ford to testify isn’t enough. Schumer demands an FBI investigation, which would ensure Kavanaugh couldn’t be confirmed before the midterm elections — and maybe never.
At this moment, Kavanaugh’s confirmation has gone from a slam dunk to a jump ball. That’s because of the second big thing to notice — some Republicans have a streak of French in them and surrendered before the first shots were fired.
With a 51-49 GOP majority, two defectors would kill Kavanaugh, and more than that have announced they have cold feet.
At least three — Jeff Flake of Arizona, Bob Corker of Tennessee and Susan Collins of Maine — are now “maybe” votes. Flake and Corker want to be the new John McCain, meaning they aim to get invited to the liberal Sunday talk shows with the understanding they will criticize other Republicans.
There are no Democrats who play the turncoat role, nor are there any Democrats — not one — who rushed to defend Kavanaugh. Only Republicans waver when the going gets tough, as if a real fight is beneath them.
That is a chief reason why Flake and Corker are “retiring.” Republican voters in their home states of Arizona and Tennessee are sick of them and neither could win a primary let alone a general election. But they appear to be set on one last act of sabotage against Trump and the party.
If that shreds Kavanaugh’s reputation for life and turns the crucial court seat over to a Dem-controlled Senate, what do they care? Their treachery will get them a glowing send-off in the New York Times and maybe some fat lobbying gigs.
Which brings us to the third reason why the kangaroo court is worth watching. It reminds once again why Trump was elected and why his presidency is so important.
Many voters looked at Washington without hope or trust in either party. They saw the Dems as too liberal and willing to stop at nothing to win, the two main legacies of the Obama presidency.
Those voters looked at Republicans with equal disgust for other reasons. They were the errand boys of Wall Street and big business but, even worse, folded like cheap suits on everything they were elected to do.
The relative handful of true conservatives in their midst, the Freedom Caucus, are treated like crazy aunts. The others, like Speaker Paul Ryan, long for the one thing liberals will never give them — respect. And so they ultimately stand for nothing because anything important means they must buck the swamp, which they won’t do.
Trump, to 63 million Americans, was the antidote to both parties. Warts and all, he still is.
He is the fighter Republicans longed for, which is why he still commands upwards of 90 percent of GOP support. They know nobody else would have beaten Clinton, so, without him, one Clinton nominee already would be on the high court and the second one about to join. Neither would be named Neil Gorsuch or Brett Kavanaugh, and you can bet that many Republicans would have played nice and voted yes for her nominees.
Yes, yes, I know, Trump has created many of the dynamics that make him a lone ranger. He doesn’t always return loyalty and trusts no one as much as his own gut. Given his druthers, he would like to govern as a bipartisan president and cut deals like a Lyndon Johnson.
Maybe in the next life. In this one, Trump is the only defense against the left’s smash and smear agenda. It’s either him or the deluge.