Trump's Decidedly Not Hitler

The ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu observed, “an army without its baggage train is lost; without provisions it is lost; without bases of supply it is lost.” The Left’s supply train -- apart from a number of rich donors -- has been the handouts to allies under Obama from the federal government: unions, Planned Parenthood, and the fundraising capabilities and political clout of celebrities. One by one the administration is working to cut this supply train.

The celebrities have lost all moral clout (they never had intellectual clout) with the never-ending, often thin gruel Me-Too campaign.

So has the media.  CNN alone has botched seven big stories this year. As Walter Russell Mead tweeted:

"I remember Watergate pretty well, and I don't remember anything like this level of journalistic carelessness back then. The constant stream of 'bombshells' that turn into duds is doing much more to damage the media than anything Trump could manage."

The CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) forced financial institutions to settle with it and turned over $5 billion in penalties (the Civil Penalty Fund) it exacted from them to community organizers allied with it. The EPA colluded with similar groups who would bring suits that the EPA would quickly settle with them, settlements that included millions in lawyers’ fees for them to continue their work. Grants from various agencies went to organizations and educational institutions, which would promote the party line on everything from climate change to riots over faked police brutality. Planned Parenthood received millions in federal grants, a great deal of which -- from 2012-November 2016, $38 million -- was recycled back to Democrats through political donations. “The organization’s affiliates receive over half a billion dollars in government funding each year from both federal and state sources.” 

Last year alone, by way of example, the Service Employees International Union contributed over $39 million; the American Federation of Teachers almost $33 million; the Laborers Union over $27 million; AFSCME over $15 million. Almost every penny of this went to Democrats. These contributions do not include the organizers’ field work on elections nor contributions they have made to outside groups who share their aim of keeping the left in power. And a great deal of this money was extracted from members who did not share the views of the union leadership.

Bit by bit, the supply train is being cut off from the troops on the front. CFPB certainly will no longer paying out funds from the Civil Penalty Fund to private groups. 

Trump worked to cut off federal funds to Planned Parenthood and signed into law a bill reversing an Obama rule that precluded states from cutting off funds to Planned Parenthood. Now they can, and one court -- the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals -- said that cutoff was legal

The effort quite naturally meets a great deal of resistance, in part because the organization was so skillful in dissembling -- they do not provide general health services to women such as mammograms. They provide abortions. And now the Department of Justice is investigating claims against them for the lucrative but illegal sale of aborted fetal parts, revealed by the Center for Medical Progress videos, (something that had been up until now, dismissed due to the efforts of Glenn Simpson, the man behind Fusion GPS, which concocted the phony dossier against Trump.) 

As for the union dues spigot to the Democrats, the Supreme Court may well shut that off as well. 

The justices will hear the case of Mark Janus, an Illinois state employee who objects to paying fees to the union, which represents 35,000 state workers.

The decision, due by next June, could prove a costly setback for public-sector unions in 22 states, including California, where such fees are authorized by law. Labor experts have predicted a significant percentage of employees would stop supporting their union if given a choice. The other 28 states have “right to work” laws that forbid requiring workers to join or support a union.

With smaller numbers, public employee unions would lose some of the political power that has made them major forces in some states, such as California, Illinois and New York.

The nation’s four largest public-sector unions -- the National Education Assn., the American Federation of Teachers, the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees -- sharply criticized the case, calling it “a blatantly political and well-funded plot to use the highest court in the land to further rig the economic rules against everyday working people.”

Once again, the claim of high-minded principle is just another cover for power grab.

Cutting off mandatory union dues for public employees allowed Wisconsin governor Scott Walker to substantially reduce the size of public service unions and cut billions of dollars in taxes for the citizens of his state. 

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has ended the dubious practice of allowing sue and settle cases to generate income for leftist groups while bypassing the federal regulatory mandates for notice and comment before issuing new regulations. 

“The days of regulation through litigation are over,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “We will no longer go behind closed doors and use consent decrees and settlement agreements to resolve lawsuits filed against the Agency by special interest groups where doing so would circumvent the regulatory process set forth by Congress. Additionally, gone are the days of routinely paying tens of thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees to these groups with which we swiftly settle.”

Over the years, outside the regulatory process, special interest groups have used lawsuits that seek to force federal agencies -- especially EPA -- to issue regulations that advance their interests and priorities, on their specified timeframe.  EPA gets sued by an outside party that is asking the court to compel the Agency to take certain steps, either through change in a statutory duty or enforcing timelines set by the law, and then EPA will acquiesce through a consent decree or settlement agreement, affecting the Agency’s obligations under the statute. 

More specifically, EPA either commits to taking an action that is not a mandatory requirement under its governing statutes or agrees to a specific, unreasonable timeline to act.  Oftentimes, these agreements are reached with little to no public input or transparency. That is regulation through litigation, and it is inconsistent with the authority that Congress has granted and the responsibility to operate in an open and fair manner.  [snip]

With today’s directive, Administrator Pruitt is ensuring the Agency increase transparency, improve public engagement, and provide accountability to the American public when considering a settlement agreement or consent decree…

Sun Tzu also said this about successful warfare: "Know your enemy and know yourself, find naught in fear for 100 battles”

When it comes to the Middle East, Trump appears to have taken good measure of the Democrats, the foreign policy establishment and the changing political forces in that area.

General James Mattis has largely wiped out ISIS.  All it took there was a plan to actually defeat these psychopaths.  The president has formed a new relationship with the Saudis and Gulf states who fear Iran more than they hate Israel or love the wretched, corrupt Palestinians.

In 1995, Congress passed into law the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which states that the U.S. Embassy should be moved to Jerusalem, the city the Israelis call their capital. For 22 years, despite promises to carry this out, presidents have failed to follow through until now. Trump did it -- it’s a message to the Arabs and Palestinians and Iranian mullahs that we consider Israel a lawful state that will not be erased no matter how much money is pumped into an effort to destroy it and no matter how many staged tantrums the Palestinians engage in, and no matter how ferociously the anti-Semites of foreign-policy establishments -- both international and our own -- wish it otherwise. Russia, by the way, recognized West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital back in April. Following Trump’s move, the Czechs and Ghana said they’d follow suit, and certainly more states will follow. The claim that this throws into doubt the peace process is laughable. That term, as anyone should realize, is a cover for keeping up the effort to have Israel make more concessions to a “partner” that wishes to eradicate it. It’s a means for nincompoops such as John Kerry to travel the world on Quixotic missions accompanied by banquets in decidedly first-world venues. In this one move, the president exposed a lot of hypocrites, not the least of which was Dianne Feinstein, who voted for the Jerusalem embassy Act and yet protested this action.

In the words of Omri Ceren of the Israel Project:

“How weird did foreign policy debate get under Obama? According to some of the leading lights of the DC foreign policy establishment, Obama knifing Israel at UN on Jlem is "pro-Israel" but Trump recognizing Jlem as Israel's capital isn't.”

Worse even than the Democrats who voted for the move and then objected to it, was the initial reaction of many Jewish organizations, most of which have -- like former Presidents Clinton and Bush and most Democratic politicians -- hoodwinked their members into thinking they share their support for Israel. 

The move humiliates the Palestinians and cuts off their political clout, something Spengler correctly observes is the only way to put a stop to hostilities. Humiliation, not concessions, is the way to end wars.

As the week ends, Trump is making great progress against those who have done everything to upend his plan -- supported by voters -- to make America great again.  Paraphrasing Richard Fernandez, we’ve crushed ISIS, withdrawn from the ridiculous Paris Agreement on Climate Change, UNESCO, and the Trans Pacific Partnership. We’re about to overhaul the tax code and dismantle the failing ObamaCare program.

I’m reminded of Samson destroying the Philistines who sought to destroy him. Trump is cutting off America's enemies' funding, exposing their idiocy, and destroying their political clout. Samson tied burning torches to the tails of the foxes and destroyed their crops, then took a jawbone of a donkey and slayed 1,000. Slaying them with a jawbone of a donkey, indeed.

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