V.P Pence And Pew, Present And Future

If you have not listened to VP Pence’s speech at the Israeli Knesset, it is worth the time to listen to.

Vice President Mike Pence gave an epic speech at the Knesset this week. His was the most powerful embrace of Zionism and the Jewish people any foreign leader has ever presented. Pence’s fluency in Jewish history, and his comprehension of the centrality of the both the Bible and the Land of Israel in the vast flow of that history in far-flung-exile communities across time and space was spellbinding. He touched the hearts of his audience, causing knots in the throats of most of the people sitting in the Knesset on Monday afternoon.

Pence’s speech was rendered poignant and the friendship he bore became tinged with urgency with the publication, the very next day, of the latest Pew Center survey on American views of Israel.

Speaking in the name of the American people he represents, Pence said on Monday: “The friendship between our people has never been deeper.”

And when it comes to the Republican voters who elected President Donald Trump and Vice President Pence a year and two months ago, Pence is certainly correct. But the Pew data showed that on Israel, as on so many other issues, the cleavage between Republicans and Democrats is vast and unbridgeable.

Most of the coverage of the Pew survey focused reasonably on its main finding. The good news is that overall American support for Israel over the Palestinians remains more or less constant, and overwhelming. Forty-six percent of Americans support Israel over the Palestinians while a mere 16% of Americans support the Palestinians against Israel. The numbers haven’t changed much since polling began in 1978.

But then the news becomes more fraught. The disparity between Republican support for Israel and Democratic support for Israel has never been greater. Whereas 79% of Republicans support Israel over the Palestinians, only 27% of Democrats do. Moreover, the further one goes to the Left among Democratic voters, the more anti-Israel the respondents become. Liberal Democrats are now nearly twice as likely to support the Palestinians over Israel as they are to support Israel over the Palestinians. Thirty-five percent of liberal Democrats support the Palestinians against Israel. A mere 19% support Israel more than the Palestinians.

Conservative and moderate Democrats still support Israel far more than they support the Palestinians with 35% of moderate and conservative Democrats supporting Israel over the Palestinians, and 17% supporting the Palestinians more than Israel. But the level of support for Israel among this demographic has dropped precipitously in the last year and a half. In the previous survey, which took place in April 2016, support for Israel was 53%, or 19 points higher.

In other words, the last year and a half has seen a precipitous drop in Democratic support for Israel even as Republican support for Israel has grown ever higher.

Israel opportunity

Israel will never have a better opportunity than it has today to convince an American administration to abandon the anti-Israel narrative at the foundation of the two-state formula. That narrative, which asserts that there is no peace because there is no Palestinian state, places the blame for the absence of peace between the Palestinians and Israel on Israel alone.

Today there is an administration that is open to hearing an alternative narrative that portrays Israel properly as the good guy, and the Palestinians as the hopelessly intransigent foe that they have always been.

JPost  Read Caroline Glick’s analysis of the situation.

Missing Texts Between FBI Officials Recovered By DOJ Inspector General

The FBI could not find the texts, the IG takes a look and recovers them in a couple of days.

The Justice Department Office of Inspector General said it has found the five months of missing texts between two FBI officials who were part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into links between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Earlier this week, the Justice Department said it had lost the texts sent by FBI agent Peter Strzok to his alleged mistress Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer during a span between Dec. 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017. The texts were part of more than 50,000 they exchanged over the two year period between July 2015 and July 2017.

The missing texts cover the critical period between the start of the Trump transition to the appointment of Mr. Mueller as special counsel.

“The OIG has been investigating this matter and, this week, succeeded in using forensic tools to recover text messages from FBI devices, including text messages between Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page that were sent or received between December 14, 2016 and May 17, 2017,” the agency said in a statement. WashingtonTimes

81% Of Americans Want Less Immigration

An overwhelming majority of Americans want limited legal immigration and as many support skills-based over a family-based immigration system.

Eighty-one percent of Americans want one million or fewer legal immigrants to the United States per year, according to new polling data released Monday by the Harvard-Harris poll, a number lower than the 1.38 million who came to the United States in 2015.

The results cut across racial and ideological lines.

…the public seems to generally be on board with a more restrictive, merit-based immigration system. Americans prefer a system of prioritizing would-be legal immigrants based on their ability to contribute, based on their education and skills, over one based on immigrants having relatives in the United States, 79 to 21 percent. That includes a majority of white (79 percent), Hispanic (72 percent), and black (85 percent) citizens, as well as majorities of Democrats (72 percent), liberals (65 percent),  and Clinton voters (72 percent).FreeBeacon

Common Sense

Additionally, Americans support doing away with the so-called diversity visa lottery 68 to 32 percent. The lottery, with its 50,000 visas allocated to nations otherwise underrepresented in the mix of immigrants arriving in the United States, has been a frequent target of criticism by Trump and congressional Republicans.

Respondents also backed tougher border security: 61 percent say that current security is inadequate, and 54 percent support a “combination of physical and electronic barriers” along the southern border. FreeBeacon

Approval for President Trump’s handling on immigration.

Interestingly, the poll finds 56 percent disapproval for President Donald Trump’s handling on immigration so far, but the respondents seem to like his actual positions…

This inconsistency pretty strongly indicates that the disapproval numbers are based largely on the media’s caricature of Trump’s positions and performance rather than the substance itself. We’ve seen this before — remember when George Washington University Students bashed what they thought was the Trump/GOP tax plan, but then endorsed the specific details when told they came from Bernie Sanders? TheFederalist

Trump Administration Rescinds Obama Warning To States That Cut Funds To Planned Parenthood

Good.

“Despite reporting record income, Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion services are in steep decline, clients are leaving, and dozens of facilities have closed. Meanwhile, the abortion chain does more than 320,000 abortion procedures per year, and they are under federal investigation for their role in the harvest and sale of aborted babies’ body parts for profit.”

“We urge Congress to swiftly finish what this pro-life administration has started by passing the Conscience Protection Act and redirecting half a billion dollars in annual taxpayer funding away from Planned Parenthood. Abortion is not health care. No one should ever be forced to participate in the destruction of innocent unborn children, and Planned Parenthood does not need or deserve taxpayer dollars,”   said Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List.

The Trump administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced [recently] that it is rescinding a warning issued by the Obama administration to state governments stating that they cannot deny Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood on the grounds that they are abortion providers.

The warning was issued in 2016 by the HHS’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services after Planned Parenthood complained that 24 states were denying Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood.

The state initiatives to end Planned Parenthood Medicaid funding came in response to an undercover investigation by the pro-life Center for Medical Progress in 2015 that used hidden cameras to expose Planned Parenthood’s business selling fetal body parts following abortions.

However, it is unclear if the rescinding of the guidance will enable states to cut off Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, because some federal courts interpret existing federal law as prohibiting the states to do so.

Louisiana has been ordered to restore Medicaid funding in one federal court ruling in 2017, while a federal appeals court permitted Arkansas to bar the funds to the abortion provider the same year.

Additionally, Richard Severino, the head of HHS’s Civil Rights Office, told CNBC that a new regulation is now being proposed that will require health-care providers that receive federal funding to declare that they are respecting the conscience of those workers who do not wish to perform abortions, sterilizations, assisted suicide and other similar procedures on religious or moral grounds. Such a rule could be difficult for Planned Parenthood to implement.

Currently, federal law prohibits Medicaid money from being used for most abortions, although there are exceptions for rape, incest, and threats to the mother’s health. However, it does not prohibit Medicaid money from funding abortion providers for other services categorized as “medical.” LifeSite

Senator Rand Paul’s Attacker Pleads Guilty To Felony

Boucher’s excuse – blame it on someone else, not his fault he was “triggered”.

The Kentucky man who attacked Sen. Rand Paul last year pleaded guilty to a felony assault charge on Friday.

In the plea deal, Rene Boucher, a neighbor of Paul’s, admitted to tackling the Republican from behind while he was mowing his lawn in Bowling Green. Boucher said that he was triggered after seeing Paul stack a pile of brush near their mutual property line.

Boucher had “had enough,” he said, according to the plea agreement.

“Assaulting a member of Congress is an offense we take very seriously,” Josh J. Minkler, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, said in a statement. “Those who choose to commit such an act will be held accountable.”  DailyCaller

President Trump Keeps Promise, Reduces Millions In Funding To UN Program For Palestinians

The Trump Administration confirmed reports that it would withhold $65 million from the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA),  a U.N. agency that serves the Palestinians.

According to Reuters, Trump made good on his promise to reduce aid to the U.N. and Palestinians on Tuesday, as the cut in aid was officially announced…

The cut of $65 million from the contribution was actually a compromise supported by Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who found common ground between not changing the budget and eliminating the aid altogether, a position staked out by Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley. ConservativeTribune

There has been exceptionally hostile rhetoric toward President Trump and the U.S. from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (now approaching the 14th year of his four-year term of office).  Abbas delivered a speech to the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization that directs a curse at President Trump, insults two U.S. ambassadors, and denies that Israel has anything to do with Judaism.

For decades, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has been touted by American leaders as a moderate man of peace.

U.S. leaders from George W. Bush to Barack Obama, and from Condoleezza Rice to John Kerry, all insisted that Abbas is the Palestinian leader who will make an historic deal with Israel.

President Donald Trump has met three times with Abbas since taking office.

On Sunday night, Abbas showed them what he really thinks.

He cursed Trump saying that the U.S. President’s “house should be destroyed.”

He attacked U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman in lurid, antisemitic language:

“U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman is a settler who is opposed to the term ‘occupation.’ He is an offensive human being, and I will not agree to meet him anywhere. They requested that I meet him and I refused, not in Jerusalem, not in Amman, not in Washington.”

Abbas then threatened U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

“She [Haley] threatens to hit people who hurt Israel with the heel of her shoe, and we’ll respond the same way.”

He called Trump’s anticipated Middle East peace plan “a slap in the face,” and said, “we will slap back.”

Abbas declared “dead” the peace agreements he and his colleagues in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) signed with Israel for the Palestinians since 1993. He pledged to block any future U.S. involvement in peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel: “We will not accept American leadership of a political process involving negotiations.”

Abbas then turned his attention to Israel and the Jews.

“Israel,” he said “is a colonial project that has nothing to do with Jews.”

“Europeans wanted to bring the Jews here to preserve their interests in the region. They asked Holland, which had the world’s largest fleet, to move the Jews,” he said.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said that Abbas’s remarks harken back to “things that led him to be accused years ago of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.”

Abbas’s Ph.D. thesis, which he wrote for a Soviet university controlled by the KGB in the 1960s denied the Holocaust.

Over the past 25 years, the Western and Israeli leaders that have hailed Abbas as a moderate dismissed the significance of his doctorate – which he later published in Jordan as a best-selling book – saying it was a relic of the PLO’s former rejection of Israel’s right to exist.

The problem with Rivlin’s statement is that it ignores Abbas’s record.

Contrary to Rivlin’s view of Abbas’s racist assault on Jews as a throwback to an earlier time, antisemitic diatribes have been a consistent feature of Abbas’s public statements, whether he is speaking to Arab or Western audiences.

In a speech before the European Parliament in 2016, for instance, Abbas recycled the medieval blood libel that Jews poison the wells of Christians. That blood libel incited the death of thousands of Jews through the ages.

Speaking to European lawmakers, Abbas said, “Certain rabbis in Israel have said very clearly to their government that our water should be poisoned in order to have Palestinians killed.”

As for his Holocaust denial being a thing of the past, Abbas posted his doctoral thesis on his official website. His lies are taught as fact in Holocaust education in the Palestinian school system – which he controls.

Then there is his anti-Americanism.

Abbas controls every aspect of the Palestinian Authority (PA), including the rent-a-mobs.

Over the years, protesters have greeted every senior U.S. policymaker who has visited Abbas in Ramallah.

In 2013, 150 protesters demonstrated against then-president Barack Obama when he met with Abbas. In 2007, protesters who worked for Abbas’s government greeted then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with signs calling for Hezbollah to bomb America.

So in stark contrast to Rivlin’s statement, Abbas’s speech was not a throwback to a long ago time. It was a throwback to what he said yesterday, and the day before yesterday and the day before that, and what the Palestinian newspapers and television – which he controls — reported the day and week and month and year before that.  Caroline Click – TruthRevolt

There are 3.6M ‘Dreamers’

It is estimated there are 3.6M illegal immigrants who were brought to U.S. before their 18th birthday.

The political debate over the fate of “DREAMers” — undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children — has overlooked just how many there are in the country today: about 3.6 million.

That number of people whose lives risk being uprooted is not widely known, in large part because so much public attention has been focused recently on 800,000 mostly young DREAMers accepted into the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

This smaller group of DREAMers is in the spotlight because President Trump terminated DACA in September, saying it was an illegal overreach of executive authority that can only come from Congress, which is negotiating with Trump on a compromise immigration plan.

While many politicians use DREAMer and DACA interchangeably, the terms are “not a distinction without a difference,” said House Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md.

DREAMers got their name from the DREAM Act, a bill that has been proposed in Congress since 2001, but never passed, that would protect that group of immigrants.

The 3.6 million estimate of undocumented immigrants brought to U.S. before their 18th birthday comes from the Migration Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit think tank that studies global immigration patterns. That is roughly a third of all undocumented immigrants in the country and does not include millions of their immediate family members who are U.S. citizens.

A number so large raises the stakes for both sides in the dispute over whether to deport DREAMers, allow them to stay under prescribed conditions or provide them with a path to citizenship.  USAToday

Video: John Stossel – Southern Poverty Law Center Scam

Video: John Stossel – Southern Poverty Law Center Scam

Whole volumes could be written about the scam that is the Southern Poverty Law Center, but this short video from John Stossel does a great job exposing the corrupt organization in a bite-sized format.

The SPLC is known as one of the most, if not the most, wealthy civil rights organizations in the United States. It didn’t start out this way, and even Stossel said he once believed in their mission. But not anymore. Now, the SPLC has become a well-funded hate group that targets Christians, Jews, and conservatives. People and organizations who don’t deserve to be smeared as hateful make the SPLC’s so-called hate list.

“I suspect the center keeps its hate list long, ‘cause crying hate brings in lots of money,” Stossel says. TruthRevolt

California Is The ‘Poverty Capital Of America’

“Guess which state has the highest poverty rate in the country? Not Mississippi, New Mexico, or West Virginia, but California, where nearly one out of five residents are poor.”   L.A. Times Kerry Jackson.

California has only 12% of the American population, it is home to about 1/3 of the nation’s welfare recipients.

The GDP of California increased approximately twice as much as the U.S. national average (12.5%, compared with 6.27%).

California policymakers waged a war on poverty, spending between the years 1992 and 2015 $958 billion in social welfare programs.

“The generous spending, then, has not only failed to decrease poverty; it actually seems to have made it worse,” states L.A. Times Kerry Jackson.

Why?

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, some states — principally Wisconsin, Michigan, and Virginia — initiated welfare reform, as did the federal government under President Clinton and a Republican Congress. Tied together by a common thread of strong work requirements, these overhauls were a big success: Welfare rolls plummeted and millions of former aid recipients entered the labor force.

The state and local bureaucracies that implement California’s antipoverty programs, however, resisted pro-work reforms. In fact, California recipients of state aid receive a disproportionately large share of it in no-strings-attached cash disbursements. It’s as though welfare reform passed California by, leaving a dependency trap in place. Immigrants are falling into it: 55% of immigrant families in the state get some kind of means-tested benefits, compared with just 30% of natives.  LATimes

Lack of welfare reform that would require those receiving government assistance to work.

So the first answer Jackson gives to the question, why would poverty be rising even in the face of this incredible anti-poverty spending? Is the fact that there is a decoupling, a moral decoupling of receiving the benefits and the expectation of work. As I’ve pointed out many times, that’s a biblical principle now verified in public policy. AlbertMohler

The self-interest of 883,000 full-time employees of the social-services community.

Self-interest in the social-services community may be at fault. As economist William A. Niskanen explained back in 1971, public agencies seek to maximize their budgets, through which they acquire increased power, status, comfort and security. To keep growing its budget, and hence its power, a welfare bureaucracy has an incentive to expand its “customer” base. With 883,000 full-time-equivalent state and local employees in 2014, California has an enormous bureaucracy. Many work in social services, and many would lose their jobs if the typical welfare client were to move off the welfare rolls.  LATimes

The high cost of living is a disincentive to work.

Further contributing to the poverty problem is California’s housing crisis. More than four in 10 households spent more than 30% of their income on housing in 2015. A shortage of available units has driven prices ever higher, far above income increases. And that shortage is a direct outgrowth of misguided policies.

“Counties and local governments have imposed restrictive land-use regulations that drove up the price of land and dwellings,” explains analyst Wendell Cox. “Middle-income households have been forced to accept lower standards of living while the less fortunate have been driven into poverty by the high cost of housing.” The California Environmental Quality Act, passed in 1971, is one example; it can add $1 million to the cost of completing a housing development, says Todd Williams, an Oakland attorney who chairs the Wendel Rosen Black & Dean land-use group. CEQA costs have been known to shut down entire homebuilding projects. CEQA reform would help increase housing supply, but there’s no real movement to change the law.

Extensive environmental regulations aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions make energy more expensive, also hurting the poor. By some estimates, California energy costs are as much as 50% higher than the national average. LATimes

Video: Ami on the Loose – Game Show! Democratic Party Platform Or Communist Manifesto!

Video:  Ami on the Loose – Game Show! Democratic party platform or communist manifesto!

“We play a game with liberals to see if they can tell the difference between the Democratic Party platform and the communist manifesto!”

Nick Loeb, Jon Voight, and Alveda King Making New Roe v. Wade Movie

“This is the untold story of how [abortion activists] lied and manipulated Jane Roe, the media, and the courts into the decision to allow abortion in 1973,” Loeb told LifeNews.

Two Hollywood actors are coming together with pro-life leaders to produce a film detailing the true story behind Roe v. Wade.

Academy Award-winning actor Jon Voight and actor/producer Nick Loeb are involved in the making of “Roe v. Wade: The Movie,” along with Alveda King, the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and others.

“This is the untold story of how [abortion activists] lied and manipulated Jane Roe, the media, and the courts into the decision to allow abortion in 1973,” Loeb told LifeNews.

The film will follow key advocates in the abortion fight in the 1970s, including former abortionist Dr. Bernard Nathanson and Betty Friedan on the pro-abortion side and Dr. Mildred Jefferson, the first African American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, on the pro-life side…

The film also will address the racism intertwined in the abortion industry through Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger and others, and Jefferson’s fight for unborn babies as well as people of color…

King is slated to play a cameo in the film and Voight a U.S. Supreme Court justice. The film will be feature-length.   LifeNews

The film is being funded in part via donations at IndiegogoThe webpage states:  “A true story of the most corrupt court case in history that led to the murder of 60 Million Babies.”