Trump Speech Defending "Western Values" Denounced
President Trump's defense of "western values" in his speech in Poland this week was condemned by a pair of left-wing magazines. The New Republic's Jeet Heer called it "a paean to white grievance." The Atlantic's Peter Beinart called it "an outburst of racial and religious paranoia."
"Mr. Trump's unapologetic praise of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness puts 'white values' ahead of alternative perspectives," Heer complained. "His pledge of support for the dignity of every human life is a thinly-veiled jab at a woman's right to abort her unwanted child. His assumption that it is the hope of every soul to live in freedom insults those who place obedience to the collective above selfish individualism."
As an illustration of how wrong Trump's views are, Heer contended that "Trump's aversion to the steady creep of government bureaucracy that he says drains the vitality and wealth of the people completely misses the mark. It is the bureaucracy's intervention that prevents those who produce wealth from hogging it all for themselves. It is the bureaucracy that ensures a fairer distribution to all regardless of their role in production."
Beinhart found "Trump's assumption that the freedom engendered by white philosophers and politicians encourages creativity and innovation is offensive to the artistic output achieved by persons-of-color living under alternative philosophies and politics. His placement of faith and family ahead of government as the center of our lives rejects the gains that secular progressivism have brought to modern life."
"Worse still is Trump's selective endorsement of faith," Beinhart added. "The faith Trump values is the 'turn-the-other-cheek' variety espoused by Jesus. Well, what about the faith Mohammed espoused? How can we consider ourselves culturally diverse if we insist on portraying a faithful Muslim fighting for Islam as an unacceptable life style? Isn't there genuinely held belief that it is their obligation to convert or slay unbelievers just as valid as a belief that we must do unto others as we would wish them to do unto us?"
Lynch Defends Ending Clinton Email Investigation
Obama Administration Attorney General Loretta Lynch clarified her previous denial of communication with the Clinton campaign with a contention that "there was nothing improper about my assurances that I would not allow the probe into Secretary Clinton's emails to go too far. Should an AG allow any investigation to go too far? I think promising to prevent that investigation from going too far placed reasonable limits that helped avert a situation where Republicans would be able to gain an unfair advantage during the campaign."
"As a matter of fact, it was FBI Director James Comey who decided not to forward the case to me back in July of 2016," Lynch pointed out. "While it looked like he laid out considerable grounds for a potential prosecution for a lengthy series of illegal actions on the part of Secretary Clinton, he decided not to recommend prosecution because he saw no intent."
"Technically, the applicable statutes do not require that we prove intent in order to indict or prosecute someone for illegally using classified information," Lynch admitted. "That sailor who took photos of the submarine he served on so he could show his children had no intent to subvert national security but he was sent to jail. Then, too, it seems pretty obvious that Secretary Clinton's intention was to hide some of her questionable emails from prying eyes. I guess different venues can lead to different application of the same laws. All I can say is that the effect on America from incarcerating one lowly sailor is inconsequential. That would not have been the case with Secretary Clinton. She is a very important person and her fate has major consequences for this country. I think taking that into consideration was what probably drove Director Comey to do what he did."
Former Supreme Court Criticizes Trump Travel Ban
Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens criticized President Donald Trump's policy temporarily banning travel from six Muslim countries and averred that "if I were still on the Court I would have upheld the lower court decision to veto that policy."
"I'm not indifferent to the need for national security, but we cannot put that ahead of religious freedom," Stevens declared. "I do not deny that some of the precepts of Islam encourage adherents to take a hostile stance against non-Muslims, but we should not descend into intolerance of this religious difference just because it makes us uncomfortable, especially when a case can be made that the Christian admonishment to turn-the-other cheek appears to be symbiotically compatible with Islam's demand that Muslims attack unbelievers."
"I think European leaders who have urged that we learn to live with terrorism have a better understanding of the need to accommodate diversity," Stevens mused. "The lives that would be lost to such an accommodation will surely be dwarfed by the number lost due to unmitigated climate change. So, from a practical standpoint, Trump has focused on the lesser threat."
In related news, actor and open borders advocate George Clooney is moving his family out of the United Kingdom as a safety precaution. It seems that his international human rights attorney wife's position that terrorists should be prosecuted has spawned a spate of death threats from ISIS. "The ease with which terrorists have launched high-profile attacks in this country and others in Europe presents too great a risk," Clooney said. "In America we have the right to bear arms and can better defend ourselves."
Cruz Health Care Compromise Labeled "Hoax"
Given the Republican Party's inability to reach agreement on what will replace the failing Obamacare program, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex) has suggested that insurance companies be permitted to sell insurance plans that are exempted from Obamacare regulations as long as these companies offer at least one plan that is complies with these regulations.
"The same people that were eager to repeatedly vote to repeal Obamacare when Obama was president and sure to veto any repeal are loath to act now that there is a chance to succeed," Cruz complained. "It looks like those votes were just for show. They gave the appearance of fulfilling a promise to those who elected Republicans. All that the leadership is willing to offer is a warmed-over Obamacare 2.0."
Sen. Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) slammed Cruz's proposal as "a hoax. It would put crucial decisions about health care in the hands of a woefully ignorant consumer. The best part of Obamacare is that the crucial decisions regarding coverage are made by government experts. We need to keep that in place."
Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) attributed the failure of Obamacare "to the inability of the insurance industry to make a sufficient profit without bigger subsides from the government. Cruz's plan sacrifices this objective in order to allow consumers to save money by tailoring plans to meet their own selfish needs. His proviso requiring insurers to offer an Obamacare compliant plan won't work. Compliant plans are too expensive and the huge deductibles make the coverage nearly useless. Consumers won't voluntarily choose such plans. To succeed, government must compel consumers to buy compliant plans."
Avalanche of Leaks Hurting National Security
A report just issued by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee reveals that the rate of leaks of classified documents since the start of the Trump Administration is seven times higher than during either of the two prior administrations.
Committee Chairman Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc) called the leaks "extremely concerning. Divulging classified material undermines our nation's ability to gather and use intelligence data. Federal employees entrusted with classified information are not authorized to decide on their own to leak this information to the media. If they have information they feel they have to impart outside the chain-of-command within the executive branch it is their legal obligation to impart this information to Congress."
Johnson forwarded the report to the Department of Justice and "left it for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to decide whether any of these leaks warrant criminal prosecution."
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) characterized the report and the referral as "part of a pattern of intimidation being carried out by the Republicans. The fact of the matter is that there has never been a greater need for leaks than there is now. The members of the intelligence community are answering to a higher moral authority and shouldn't be punished for breaking laws that should be broken given the dire straights in which the election of Trump has placed this country."
CNN's Chris Cuomo called Johnson's actions "chilling. Trump is a whole different animal than either Bush or Obama. They understood the need for continuity of policy and governance. Trump has threatened this continuity by proposing to negotiate new and better deals with this nation's adversaries. Rather than slavishly yield to the temporary ascendancy of a heretical outsider as president these deep-state patriots are doing the dirty work they've been trained to do when the wrong person is in charge."
Former Obama Administration Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates blamed Trump for the leaks, saying that "Trump's refusal to admit he colluded with Russia to rig the election forced members of the intelligence community to take the law into their own hands. For them to do otherwise would allow the 'liar-in-chief' an unimpeded path to run the country the way he sees fit."