American Politics is About to Go Nuclear

Please respect our republishing guidelines - Click Here Practically speaking, politics in America has never been for the faint of heart, but since Donald J. Trump ascended to the White House, civility has substantially degraded. With the passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, it appears a partisan battle royale is shaping up and about to get ugly posthaste. All weekend the political chatter has highlighted the “special friendship” between Ginsburg and the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Unfortunately, this appears to be nothing more than lip service to the good old days, and it is highly unlikely Democrats and Republicans will be ready to break bread together any time soon. Each side carries a particular revilement for the other, including castigating their opponents with invectives, rebukes, and downright lies. However, with the delicate balance of the Supreme Court at stake, the partisan battle is headed toward a new, even more divisive frontier. Mitch McConnell Enter Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), a hardscrabble and wily politician who knows how to play hardball. Within minutes of Ginsburg’s passing, McConnell signaled that a Senate vote to confirm her replacement would not be far off. His intention to move full speed ahead sent the Democrats into a meltdown. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) asserted the Democrats would “use every arrow in our quiver” to block such a move. She even went so far as to invoke the “I” word – impeachment – to halt a vote should the Senate move to confirm a new justice before the election. The unveiled threats continued with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who appears loaded for bear should Republicans try to fill RBG’s seat on the high court. According to one report, Schumer led the charge during a conference call with members of his party this weekend, saying: “Let me be clear: if Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans move forward with this, then nothing is off the table for next year. Nothing is off the table.” Then he added: “Our number one goal must be to communicate the stakes of this Supreme Court fight to the American people,” according to an unnamed Axios source who was reportedly part of the tele-meeting. What rankles the loyal opposition was their inability to get President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, before a Senate committee. Now they are crying foul at the thought of Trump getting a third nominee onto the bench. The media wing of the Democratic party has already started the presses rolling. A September 19 article heading from The New York Times opined: “The fight over the confirmation of Judge Garland in 2016 set the tone for an even more brutal battle over who should succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.” Ah, but no one wants to say that there are differences between the Garland nomination and the vacancy left by Ms. Ginsburg. This is – to put it simply – power. Chuck Schumer The Democrats did not control the Senate when Obama made the appointment of Merrick Garland – and they still don’t. As an almost powerless party, they can do little but cover themselves in sackcloth and ashes and whine that the people should choose the new Supreme Court justice. But who are the Senate and the president if not the voices of the people? They are “representatives” of the people who have been duly elected by the voting public. Until a new election is held and decided, the unvarnished truth is that the people have already spoken. This truth frustrates the leaders of the Democratic Party because they realize they are backed into a corner with little room to maneuver. At this moment – and despite the defection of two GOP senators who say they won’t approve a nominee before the election – the Democrats find themselves thwarted at every turn. Will the GOP Man Up? McConnell is currently laughing all the way to the floor of the Senate because he already invoked the so-called nuclear option when Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. The rule change means that a nominee can be approved with a simple majority vote. It worked like a charm for both Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh. So, the Democrats have nowhere to go with their bitterness and angst save the friendly cable television outlets and the legacy media. The left-wing Fourth Estate will shout as loudly and often as they like, but if the GOP has enough cajones, a new Trump Supreme is a done deal. So the burning question that lies dead ahead is: Will the GOP man up and do the deed, or will they cower before the empty threats of Democrats and the media madness that is bound to reach a fever pitch as election day 2020 approaches? This, my friends, is that unique place in politics where the road that lies ahead is clear – if only our elected officials are brave enough to take it. ~ Read more from Leesa K. Donner.

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Gunslingers for Liberty: Can There Be Peace After RBG? – 9.20.20

Please respect our republishing guidelines - Click Here Editor’s note: Miss some of this week’s news, public policy, and politics? Stay current, keep up, and get out ahead of the pack with Liberty Nation’s Sunday News Round-up. Yeehaw! Just Another Reason to Riot Liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has passed away; RIP, RBG. How does the left celebrate her life and mourn her loss? With threats of violence, of course. Should President Trump dare to do his job and at least try to fill the vacancy, many on the left plan to – as former CNN contributor Reza Aslan put it – “burn the entire f*cking thing down.” Are these threats serious, or can we expect about as many to act as we saw move to Canada when Trump was elected? Liberty Nation’s Jeff Charles has the most likely answer: “While it seems clear that some of the individuals predicting riots in response to a potential confirmation of a new justice are engaging in hyperbole, the widespread unrest that has swept American cities over the past few months indicate that these remarks should be taken seriously. At this point, the anarchy being perpetrated by the far-left has ceased being about the death of George Floyd. In fact, it was likely never about him in the first place. … More violence may break out if the president and Senate manage to push through another confirmation. But in reality, these threats do not have teeth, as every thinking person understands that the buffoons engaging in the rioting and looting aren’t going to stop if Republicans acquiesce to their demands. Put simply, if they’re going to act like childish thugs either way, why should anyone listen to them at all?” What to Watch for There’s no reason to suspect Trump won’t move to fill this vacancy. The real question is how many of these people will make good on their threats and how that violence will be met. Supreme Court Showdown We can be reasonably sure that the president will make an appointment – he apparently plans on announcing the nominee next week. Another thing we can be sure of is that the coming confirmation battle will, as Liberty Nation’s Tim Donner put it, “make the shameful Brett Kavanaugh episode look tame.” As Tim explains: “The left will almost certainly employ whatever weapons remain in their well-worn anti-Trump arsenal to obliterate Trump’s nominee. You can bet they are already preparing the harshest of personal attacks on the most prominent names on Trump’s extensive and publicly-released list of potential justices.” They don’t really have much of a choice. The anti-Trumpers went all-out in their attempts to destroy Kavanaugh, and he wasn’t replacing an actual liberal judge. If the left fails now, they’ll give firm control of the Supreme Court to conservatives. What to Watch for There’s a potential solution for Democrats, should Trump manage to replace RBG, though it failed the last time they tried it. As Liberty Nation’s Graham J. Noble pointed out, while FDR failed in his court packing scheme, that’s the most likely route for Democrats to take once they regain power. Washington Whispers & Other Juicy Tidbits Be on the lookout for: Trump hasn’t announced his RBG replacement yet, and the court packing schemes are already being hatched. Writing for, one author suggests that Democrats shouldn’t panic; another Trump term means at least RBG was getting replaced. Instead, he says they should recognize this for the trap it is, as the next time Dems are in power, they’ll just add justices to the court. Stay dialed into all the latest news, public policy, and politics affecting your liberty and freedom with Liberty Nation, where we like to say that Truth is Making a Comeback because Facts Matter. Bookmark our page, download our LN News & Commentary App, or sign up to our Daily Briefing. Check Out Our Gunslingers For Liberty [embedded content] ~ Read more at

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Supreme Court Showdown is a Minefield for Trump’s Critics

Please respect our republishing guidelines - Click Here Did we even think it possible that an electorate already forced to navigate the frightening, shark-infested waters of a pandemic, crashing economy, and widespread civil unrest would see those existential issues shoved aside just a month and a half before an election of historic magnitude? Only in 2020. Indeed, a year we have all spent in a tormented existence just turned even more taxing on the soul of the nation. A grim, twilight struggle to gain control of the highest court in the land for a generation or more is now a certainty. And while the framers of the U.S. Constitution hardly envisioned a Supreme Court and federal judges with the level of power that has ultimately accrued to the judicial branch in the fullness of time, the reality on the ground – judicial supremacy – assures a titanic battle which could make the shameful Brett Kavanaugh episode look tame – if that is actually possible. Joe Biden The left will almost certainly employ whatever weapons remain in their well-worn anti-Trump arsenal to obliterate Trump’s nominee. You can bet they are already preparing the harshest of personal attacks on the most prominent names on Trump’s extensive and publicly-released list of potential justices. So Much At Stake For the Left This is for good reason. The left has far more at stake in this confirmation fight than the right. If Joe Biden wins the election and can name a replacement for the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg, that would only sustain the current right-leaning composition of the court. But if Trump and Mitch McConnell push his nominee across the finish line, conservatives will gain control of the court. One side seeks to survive, the other to thrive. Thus, the stakes are higher than ever for a progressive movement that has long depended on the federal courts to sanction explosively controversial initiatives rejected in the normal legislative process. Abortion, gay marriage, and restrictions on the first and second amendments are issues that come most immediately to mind. Democrats have tied their own hands in this matter. They have unloaded virtually every scurrilous allegation on Donald Trump, so incessant personal attacks on the president during this process will hardly startle voters accustomed to hearing for years on end that Trump is everything from a fascist to a white supremacist. The Trump-addled left has cried wolf for so long that few beyond the long-gone Trump haters will pay much attention. Brett Kavanaugh The Kavanaugh Miscalculation The party also disgraced itself immeasurably in the battle to destroy Trump’s last Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh. It cost them dearly in the 2018 Senate elections, which expanded GOP control of the upper chamber.  The Democrats’ array of scandalous, unfounded allegations against Kavanaugh will make their coming sound and fury about another upstanding nominee little more than just hollow cries in the darkness. There was always a sense that in going after Kavanaugh, the left picked the wrong battle, for control of the court was not at stake – Kavanaugh was simply a bit more conservative than the justice he replaced, Anthony Kennedy. It seemed more prudent to save their fire for this battle, with the very direction of the court at stake, but they all but forfeited their integrity at the altar of destroying Kavanaugh. On top of that, much like in the vice-presidential selection process, Joe Biden has boxed himself into a corner by promising to name a black woman to the high court. The need to satisfy a party given over to identity politics rendered Kamala Harris the only real choice as running mate for the former vice president, and now he will have to respond by either doubling down or renouncing his promise to nominate a woman of color to the Supreme Court. We will soon find out whether Biden will bow to growing pressure to announce who his nominee would be. The Possible Nominee? Among likely Trump nominees, there is little question that the most politically advantageous choice for the president would be Appellate Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett. She is a rising star in conservative judicial circles, young (48 years old) and attractive, already Senate-confirmed, and widely admired. As a woman replacing another woman on the court, her selection would box Biden and the left into an even deeper corner because personal attacks on the winsome Judge Barrett days before an election would not sit well with those pesky suburban women who the left has been heavily courting throughout the Trump era. Like the famous Tinkers to Evers to Chance double-play combination of baseball legend, the judicial assembly line from the Federalist Society to the White House to the Senate has been nothing short of a well-oiled machine. Trump has already delivered more than 200 judges to the federal courts – more in three and a half years than Obama named in eight years. Now, he stands at the precipice of a historic moment, destined to be discussed and debated for years to come. The opposition has weakened itself to a point where only the hope of a precious few Republican Senators who might be cajoled into joining the resistance can stand in the way. ~ Read more from Tim Donner.

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Trump Administration Will Shut Down TikTok Downloads and Updates to App

Good thing Addison Rae got that movie deal because it looks like TikTok is finally dying. Early on Friday September 18th, the Trump administration announced that popular Chinese-owned apps WeChat and TikTok are being removed from the App Store. This ban goes into effect on Sunday, September 20th. Within hours after this announcement, “tiktokban” started trending on Twitter.  Tiktok being removed from the App Store. This generation can’t have nothing good💀🤦🏾‍♂️ #tiktokban — Trevo 🌟 (@FuegoTrevo) September 18, 2020 TikTok has been a subject of distaste for the administration for months now, citing concerns about data stealing. The administration is planning on making TikTok basically unusable in the United States by mid-November. Only strong proof that TikTok is not a threat to American society and government will save it now.  As expected, Twitter immediately took to joking about the whole situation. This isn’t the first time people have seen this happen. Vine only died a few years ago. Much like when or Vine died, many users joked about future struggles of popular TikTok users. One user impersonated a generic TikTok star, writing, “’Hey mom, it’s me, TikTok got banned so we can’t afford to live in the Hype House anymore. I’m sorry for saying that I didn’t need you and that I was on my grind, anyway, can I come back home? Love you.” #tiktokban” ''Hey mom, it's me, TikTok got banned so we can't afford to live in the Hype House anymore. I'm sorry for saying that I didn't need you and that I was on my grind, anyway, can I come back home? Love you.'' #tiktokban — Jamius (@freelanceburner) September 18, 2020 Other users focused on a different approach, making fun of TikTokers that would have to get a real job once the app is removed. “TikTokers working from 8-5 making the travis scott meal #tiktokban” tiktokers working from 8-5 making the travis scott meal #tiktokban — Jamius (@freelanceburner) September 18, 2020 How McDonald’s will look one TikTok get ban #tiktokban — J 🕊 (@_J_ERA) September 18, 2020 Also trending with “#tiktokban” was “Flappy Bird.” Flappy Bird was an insanely popular game that only lived for about a year, from early 2013 to early 2014. It blew up rapidly, but elicited a strong reaction from players. Phones were broken and thrown at walls, eventually making the creator so guilty that he removed it from the app store. People are comparing Flappy Bird’s short life to TikTok’s. PCMag tweeted, “Someone’s going to try and sell an iPhone with Flappy Bird, Fortnite and TikTok on eBay for $10,000 next week.” Someone's going to try and sell an iPhone with Flappy Bird, Fortnite and TikTok on eBay for $10,000 next week. — PCMag (@PCMag) September 18, 2020 Twitter actually attempted to explain why Flappy Bird was seemingly trending for no reason. They wrote, “When Flappy Bird suddenly stopped appearing in app stores, fans of the game made a point not to delete the app or replace their phone for fear they would never get the game back. That same strategy is being applied to TikTok and WeChat after the US Commerce Department decided to ban the Chinese-owned apps in the interest of ‘national security.’” tik tok is the new flappy bird. — sincerely, ivy marie. (@sincerelyivy_) September 18, 2020 Some Twitter users did take a more serious approach. They complained that the Trump administration was focusing on the completely wrong issue giving the state of present American society. One user wrote, “So let me get this straight. We are in the middle of a pandemic that has killed 200k americans,the economy is trash,and there are mass protests against police brutality but Trump wants to focus on banning tik tok? #tiktokban” so let me get this straight. we are in the middle of a pandemic that has killed 200k americans,the economy is trash,and there are mass protests against police brutality but trump wants to focus on banning tik tok? #tiktokban — abbi (@fallawaybandito) September 18, 2020 Entrepreneur Carol Roth said, “The #tiktokban is something that China would do. We are turning into China on many levels. Tell people the security concerns and let them make their own decisions. It’s not like US-based apps don’t spy on us all day long.” The #tiktokban is something that China would do. We are turning into China on many levels. Tell people the security concerns and let them make their own decisions. It’s not like US-based apps don’t spy on us all day long. — Carol Roth (@caroljsroth) September 18, 2020 The final reaction seemed to be an early funeral for TikTok. Instead of bringing in fan cams, users actually seemed to mourn the loss of an app that brought joy to so many.  “TikTok has literally helped a generation of depressed teens feel like they belong.Tiktok is more then dancing and funny videos. There are so many different things on tiktok from relatable memes,school help, and feeling more confident in yourself. That’s all I gotta say #tiktokban” TikTok has literally helped a generation of depressed teens feel like they belong.Tiktok is more then dancing and funny videos. There are so many different things on tiktok from relatable memes,school help, and feeling more confident in yourself. That’s all I gotta say #tiktokban — sara berete (@SaraBerete) September 18, 2020 A different sad user tweeted, “#tiktokban Idk about y’all but this seems like a violation of our rights. Tiktok literally United A whole generation, it helped us understand that there are people just like us everywhere. Okay, Take away our safe place and we will take away yours.” The future of TikTok is very unclear. The Trump administration has been threatening to take away the app for a while now, but this is the first time there is a clear end date. Microsoft recently tried to acquire the app, but the deal fell through. Instead TikTok went to Oracle. It is unclear what Oracle is planning to do with TikTok, but updated security is a possibility, meaning that TikTok might be able to exist. Will TikTok be able to survive the wrath of the Trump administration? Or will it move to the graveyard of apps gone too soon? Only time will tell the fate of this app. 

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Russian Bounties on US Troops Unproven – Democrats Furious

Please respect our republishing guidelines - Click Here Another disgraceful chapter in the decline of the establishment media continues to unfold as the U.S. military on September 14 revealed that it had been unable to corroborate the details of an alarming New York Times article from June. Although it continues to investigate an allegation that the Russian government has offered cash rewards to the Taliban for the killings of American military personnel, a senior Marine Corps general told NBC News that he had uncovered no evidence to support the story. What is more likely, then? That high-level people are willing to go on record denying something they know is true, or that The Times’ anonymous sources either do not exist or are lying? Falsehood Flies, the Truth Limps When it comes to negative stories about the Trump administration, one must be careful. It is always worth weighing the likelihood that someone is perpetrating a smear, against the possibility that honest government officials have uncovered a terrible secret that the president or cabinet officials have been keeping under wraps. In all honesty, both scenarios are almost equally likely when it comes to any U.S. president – or any other world leader, for that matter. A portion of Americans will immediately choose to believe that the story in question is nothing more than a fabrication. Another group will accept without hesitation whatever accusation has been made – needing no further evidence or investigation. Therein lies the payoff for media organizations that, like The New York Times, are interested in only one thing: discrediting and disparaging President Trump and doing all they can to ensure that he does not win a second term in the White House. These media organizations do not care if the tales they put out are debunked or later denied by numerous identified sources – as the Russian bounty story has been. Once it is out there in the public consciousness, nothing else matters. On Twitter and Facebook, the original report will be shared tens of thousands of times. The refutation, when it comes, will be passed around far fewer times. As the Anglo-Irish satirist and author, Jonathan Swift, wrote in 1710: “Besides, as the vilest Writer has his Readers, so the greatest Liar has his Believers; and it often happens, that if a Lie be believ’d only for an Hour, it has done its Work, and there is no farther occasion for it. Falsehood flies, and the Truth comes limping after it; so that when Men come to be undeceiv’d, it is too late; the Jest is over, and the Tale has had its Effect…” Case in point, the Trump-Russia collusion hoax. The special counsel concluded that there was no proof of deliberate conspiracy between then-candidate Trump and the Russians. Reams of documents have since come to light, proving multiple instances of political bias on the part of the FBI investigators. Protocols and, in at least one case, laws were broken. Still, the majority of Americans who dislike Trump to this day insist that the president and the Russians collaborated to steal the 2016 election. So it is with the Russian bounty story. Even on the same day that General Frank McKenzie told NBC: “It just has not been proved to a level of certainty that satisfies me,” Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) tweeted: “Plain & simple: Donald Trump has gone 80 days without condemning [Russian President] Putin for putting reported bounties on our troops. This is unforgivable.” Despite including the word “reported,” Duckworth deliberately perpetuated an unfounded allegation for which not a shred of evidence has been presented and behind which stand only anonymous sources. Anonymity is For Cowards The anonymity of these sources brings up another point. Why would an intelligence official, having discovered that a foreign government was offering financial rewards to a U.S. enemy for killing American soldiers, not want to come forward publicly and reveal themselves? Because doing so would hurt their career, perhaps? Putting one’s career ahead of exposing such a scheme is nothing less than an act of rank cowardice. Gen. McKenzie did not simply decide to issue an off-the-cuff denial, either. The military has investigated the matter, analyzing intelligence relating to Taliban attacks against American personnel over the past several years. Thus far, no connection to any agreement with the Russians has been discovered. The case is not closed yet, and McKenzie’s admission of that fact demonstrates that he is not operating with an intent to kill the story – if he were, he would have deliberately left NBC with the impression that the investigation had concluded. The most likely scenario, here, is that The Times – probably in consultation with anti-Trump intelligence officials and perhaps even Democratic politicians – decided that this would be the perfect story to damage the president in two ways. It would maybe drive a wedge between Mr. Trump and the military and, at the same time, breathe a little air into the rotting corpse of the Russian collusion fable. Perhaps, too, the establishment media knows that President Trump has single-handedly discredited them more than any other person in American history. For that, they hate him and they know that, if they fail to bring him down, they are finished. It is not about Russians and the Taliban – this seemingly concocted scandal is one more Hail Mary pass into the November end zone. Four more years of Trump will destroy The Gray Lady and all of her elitist media co-conspirators. ~ Read more from Graham J. Noble.

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Trump Skirts Unconcealed Landmines at ABC Town Hall

Please respect our republishing guidelines - Click Here It was more about the failed gotchas from host George Stephanopoulos and the handpicked “regular” Americans asking predictably hostile questions than the answers given at the ABC News Town Hall with President Trump on Sept. 15. From the Coronavirus crisis to claims of “systemic racism” in American policing and society to alleged military dissatisfaction, Trump fielded unsurprising queries fully in line with progressive framing of the president and emerged unscathed. And that was about the only result worth noting from the nationally televised broadcast. Nothing bold was on display from either side as a partisan big-box media outlet took its expected swings without drawing blood and Trump ably defended himself without delivering any devastating counterpunches of his own. Shrill Yet Easy to Navigate George Stephanopoulos An unfriendly media represented here in the form of ex-Bill Clinton adviser Stephanopoulos sees the Coronavirus as an issue that can be used to hurt Trump while the president appears to believe the controversy over policing in America is a winner for him. Two of the more prominent failed gotchas for the evening were on these particular subjects. Paul Tubiana, identified as a 2016 Trump voter, started things off by asserting that the president put his life in danger by not fully embracing the unprecedented social curbs being imposed on the American people in the name of fighting the virus. Tubiana is diabetic. “I’ve had to dodge people who don’t care about social distancing and wearing face masks. I thought you were doing a good job with a pandemic response, until about May 1, then you took your foot off the gas pedal,” Tubiana proclaimed. “Why did you throw vulnerable people like me under the bus?” The question highlights a bizarre tactic frequently employed by Democrats and their media allies despite its proven poor track record since Trump appeared on the national political scene in 2015. Highly emotional claims of personal victimization on issues that affect 330 million Americans are not persuasive no matter how earnest they may sound. The question did nothing to put Trump on an uncomfortable footing. All he had to do was resort to familiar talking points on how his administration has dealt with the virus. ABC nevertheless persisted in pushing the argument that face masks are an undisputed crucial tool in fighting the virus, even though tens of millions of Americans do not accept the “settled science” of progressive minds on the controversy. Julie Bart asked Trump why he didn’t wear a mask in public more often given how essential they are to combating the virus. Well, gee, that’s two different folks, America. It must be a consensus. “There [are], by the way, a lot of people who don’t want to wear masks,” Trump replied, not saying anything that everybody already doesn’t know. “There are a lot of people that think the masks are not good.” Nothing was resolved, no new terrain was explored, and the whole discussion seemed frustratingly pointless as a result. Failed gotcha Number Two came over the dreaded “R” word and, again, both question and response were pat and predictable. Black pastor Carl Day of Philadelphia challenged Trump’s Make America Great Again slogan by echoing the sentiments of 1619 Project progressivism. “Because you say again, we need to see when was that ‘great?’ Because that pushes us back to a time in which we cannot identify with such ‘greatness,'” the pastor asked. This isn’t a Democratic primary town hall, ABC. We’re in general election mode now. Telling Trump that America was never great will not hurt his standing with the vast majority of undecided voters. Nor is it going to cause him to say something he shouldn’t. The president was able to easily transition into talk about improving black unemployment numbers under his administration before the Coronavirus fallout struck the U.S. economy and the conversation again became routine. Police Trump Card Trump appeared most robust on the subject of police reform, and it was here where Stephanopoulos had to tread softly. As Black Lives Matter protests continue to degenerate into rioting and senseless violence, public support for the movement is flagging. The horrific Sept. 12 ambush of two Los Angeles police officers has further bolstered Trump’s longstanding pro-law and order campaign theme. “How about that horrible crime that took place two days ago, where this terrible human being walks up to a police car with two people sitting in the car, and he starts shooting bullets right through the glass, right in their face?” Trump firmly stated. “And just has destroyed, I mean, I hear they’re going to make it but they’re going to have a hard time ever being the same.” “But that’s a lack of respect,” he continued. “When somebody can do that, that’s a lack of respect. There’s no retribution in the field. There’s no retribution.” Stephanopoulos attempted to turn to statistics that he said proved “systemic” police racism but Trump had a ready response. “So I just saw a poll where African Americans in this country, black communities, are 81 percent in favor of having more police,” the president said. “They want more police, they want protection. They suffer more than anybody else by bad police protection – all minorities, whether it’s Hispanic or black or Asian. They suffer more than anybody else, George.” It was not a fruitful topic for ABC’s gotcha game and the more Stephanopoulos pursued it, the stronger Trump came off. The most canned question of the night, one every viewer had to know was coming, concerned the anonymously sourced and highly dubious article in the leftist magazine The Atlantic that “reported” that Trump had called America’s war dead “suckers” for giving their lives for their country. Alexandra Stamen of Pittsburgh did the asking. As usual, the question was highly emotional but not difficult for Trump to rebuff. “I never made those statements,” he replied. “They were never made by me.” “Do you know we had 26 people as of today come out to say it never happened, and many people were there,” he added, fully secure in his response. When Stephanopoulos stated that “General [and former Trump administration Defense Secretary James] Mattis said you’re a divider; you’re not trying to unite the country,” it set up the president to fire back at his prominent critics. “General [and former White House Chief of Staff] John F. Kelly said he agreed with that,” Stephanopoulos continued. “John Bolton, who was your national security adviser, said you are a danger to the country.” “These are people that I let go,” Trump said. “These are disgruntled former employees, to put it in a nice way – a term people would understand … Mattis was fired, as you know, by President Obama and I fired him also. OK? … If you look at John Bolton, John Bolton – all he wanted to do was blow people up. He wanted to go to war with everybody …” And so it went. Would-be traps dished out in emotive voices were revealed to have hollow cores. There was no serious challenge for Trump to overcome in the soggy affair and so it can’t be said that he put on a bravura performance. He did display stamina and an ability to handle an array of topics, two tasks he accuses his health-addled Democratic opponent Joe Biden of being unable to perform. In that regard, it was a successful night. But for many Americans tuning in, it must have felt like watching a rerun of a formulaic program that has been aired many times before. ~ Read more from Joe Schaeffer.

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The ‘Coffee Boy’ Makes Peace in the Middle East

Avi Berkowitz's elevation to a top negotiating position on President Donald Trump's Middle East peace team was met with near-universal derision by so-called experts and the mainstream press. Martin Indyk, who served as ambassador to Israel under President Bill Clinton, mocked the appointment of Jared Kushner's onetime "assistant." The Brookings Institution’s Natan Sachs declared the then 29-year-old Berkowitz "young and inexperienced." The media were less diplomatic: Politico derided Berkowitz as Kushner's "mini-me"; Vanity Fair dubbed him a "coffee boy." Recent Stories in National Security On Tuesday, Trump oversaw the signing of the Kushner- and Berkowitz-orchestrated Abraham Accords that officially normalized relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, as well as an agreement between Israel and Bahrain—the first such deals in over four decades. Pretty good for a coffee boy. Criticisms of Berkowitz and Kushner were never about their age or experience, given that they came from the same crowd that celebrated the ascendance of the 30-something failed novelist Ben Rhodes to the highest reaches of power in the previous administration. Rather, the criticisms were about the unwillingness of the two men, publicly Jewish and proudly Zionist, to kowtow to the same tired experts who have made their careers pushing the same conventional wisdom that produced nothing but stalemate. The success of the youthful Berkowitz on a project where the so-called experts have met little success is all the more proof of the intellectual bankruptcy of the experts President Donald Trump has so often dismissed—in this case, rightly so. The fundamental mistake of the peace process, and of the cadres of experts who have made that process into lifetime appointments to a revolving door of government, think tank, and academic jobs, is the idea that the solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict is peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. But such a peace remains as far out of reach as it ever was. In the meantime, the Trump administration has secured a great victory in the ongoing quest for peace between Israel and its neighbors—the lack of which was and remains the true threat to global security and the true threat to American interests in the region. The deal has been cheered from Jerusalem to Abu Dhabi to Washington, D.C.; even Joe Biden tried to take credit for it. The only sour grapes are coming from Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) and others who make their bread agitating for perpetual struggle over the West Bank, and from failed negotiators like Rhodes. The New York Times, in its coverage of the historic accord, solicited only one "expert" quote for the story, from professional kvetcher Jeremy Ben-Ami of the Soros-funded J Street. Now there are signs that Oman and Sudan, fearful of Iranian bellicosity, may follow the UAE and Bahrain. Iran's bellicosity could even lead to rapprochement between Israel and Saudi Arabia. Chock up the howls that we will undoubtedly hear if that comes to pass as further evidence of the intellectual bankruptcy of the mainstream, now painfully exposed by a man they derided as an upstart.

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Political Horse Race: Whack-a-Mole Polling in Election 2020

Please respect our republishing guidelines - Click Here The Candidates’ Market Report The much-touted figure that comes out of the sheer mass of electoral polling is the “average of polls.” This number, presently +7.5% in favor of Joe Biden, is heard on airwaves across the nation with the added note that “this is a higher average lead than Hillary Clinton had in 2016.” By using the addendum, it appears that media pundits are trying to paint a picture of success for the challenger. But there is more to this than meets the eye. If one follows all the polls and dissects the numbers, what you find is that each time a poll comes in that shows a reduced lead for Biden, almost immediately, another poll comes out that has him with a stupendous (and frankly unrealistic) lead. For example, when Rasmussen released a poll giving Biden just a 2% advantage (2,500 likely voters with a 2% margin of error), another outfit quickly released a poll showing Biden with a 12% lead; however, this included only 823 likely voters with a 3.9% margin of error. Clearly, some polls are more equal than others. This is a pattern we see often replicated. It’s almost as if certain polling outfits are trying to maintain the “average of polls” lead by presenting unworthy data (larger margins of error, small sample sizes). As Christopher Hitchens wrote: “Opinion polling was born out of a struggle not to discover the public mind but to master it.” This Week’s Major Players Approval Ratings: Donald Trump – 51% ( + 3% ) Congress – 17% ( – 1% ) Senate Map: When it comes to presidential elections, the shape of the next Senate is often overlooked. Here’s a round-up of what the polls are saying right now: Republicans: 46 Democrats (including Independents who caucus with Dems): 46 Toss Up: 8 The states that are a toss-up include Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Of these, the latest polling indicates that each party will win four states. What the Gamblers Say As with most things, if you follow the money, you can’t go too far wrong. This is a selection of the odds for key races and events. Swing State Odds Certain states hold the keys to power in 2020. These are the states that are most likely in play and what the betting odds suggest. Florida Democrats – 10/11 Republicans – 10/11 Texas Republicans – 1/4 Democrats – 5/2 Arizona Democrats – 8/13 Republicans – 6/5 Colorado Democrats – 1/8 Republicans – 9/2 Georgia Republicans – 4/11 Democrats – 15/8 Iowa Republicans – 4/11 Democrats – 15/8 Maine Democrats – 2/9 Republicans – 11/4 Michigan Democrats – 3/10 Republicans – 11/5 North Carolina Republicans – 4/5 Democrats – 10/11 Ohio Republicans – 8/15 Democrats – 11/8 Pennsylvania Democrats – 8/15 Republicans – 11/8 Presidential Election: Joe Biden – 4/5 Donald Trump – 11/10 Kamala Harris – 66/1 Hillary Clinton – 150/1 Mike Pence – 175/1 Michelle Obama – 250/1 Kanye West – 500/1 Bernie Sanders – no odds under 500/1 The Electoral College betting is a major center for action right now. With Biden officially having the Democrat nomination, cash bettors have started placing wagers on his EC success. While almost all polling shows that Biden will win the popular vote (because that is what polling counts), the votes from individual states are what decide the presidency … and here, it is a closely run race. Both Trump and Biden are at 5/1 to win the minimum number of EC votes (270). They are also just as likely as each other to win between 300 and 329 votes. It is not until the 330 to 359 vote range that Biden makes any gains, showing 5/1 against Donald Trump on 6/1. Is it likely that polling is impacting the betting markets? Donald Trump and the Electoral College: Number of Electoral College votes awarded to Trump: 270 – 299 = 5/1 300 – 329 = 5/1 180 – 209 = 11/2 210 – 239 = 11/2 330 – 359 = 6/1 Make sure to check back next week for all the numbers that count. ~ Read more from Mark Angelides.

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9th Circuit Court Sides With Trump on Deportations

By Ted Hesson WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court on Monday sided with President Donald Trump over his administration’s decision to end humanitarian protections for hundreds of thousands of immigrants, many of whom have lived in the United States for decades. Recent Stories in Policy In a 2-1 ruling, a panel of three judges in the California-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court decision that had blocked Trump’s move to phase out so-called Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for people from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua and Sudan. The ruling is also expected to affect the status of people from Honduras and Nepal, who filed a separate lawsuit that was suspended last year pending the outcome of the broader case. The appeals court ruling means that those immigrants will be required to find another way to remain in the United States legally or depart after a wind-down period at least until early March and longer in the case of El Salvador. Judge Consuelo Callahan, an appointee of Republican former President George W. Bush, wrote in a 54-page opinion that the Trump administration decisions to phase out the protections were not reviewable and therefore should not have been blocked. Callahan also rejected a claim by plaintiffs that Trump’s past criticism of non-white, non-European immigrants influenced the TPS decisions. "While we do not condone the offensive and disparaging nature of the president’s remarks, we find it instructive that these statements occurred primarily in contexts removed from and unrelated to TPS policy or decisions," she wrote. An attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, which represents plaintiffs in the lawsuit, said on Monday that they planned to seek another "en banc" review of the matter by 11 of the appeals court’s judges. The attorney, Ahilan Arulanantham, called the decision "deeply flawed" during a call with reporters, and said the case eventually could be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, depending on the outcome of the request for a broader appeals court review. The termination of TPS for Haitians is also subject to separate litigation in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. The appeals court heard arguments in that case in June, but has not yet ruled. Trump has made his tough immigration stance a hallmark of his presidency and 2020 re-election campaign against Democratic challenger Joe Biden. TPS allows foreigners whose home countries experience a natural disaster, armed conflict or other extraordinary event to remain in the United States and apply for work permits. The status must be renewed periodically by the secretary of homeland security, who can extend it for six- to 18-month intervals. The Trump administration has argued that most countries in the program have recovered from the related disasters or conflicts, while the status has been renewed for years beyond its need. The Biden campaign has called the TPS decisions "politically motivated" and said that Biden would protect enrollees from being returned to unsafe countries. Immigrants from El Salvador make up the largest group of TPS recipients, with an estimated 263,000 Salvadorans covered by the program, but a bilateral agreement will allow Salvadorans an additional year to stay in the United States if the courts ultimately uphold Trump’s termination. (Reporting by Ted Hesson and Mica Rosenberg; editing by Ross Colvin, Grant McCool and Jonathan Oatis)

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Robert Mueller, the Missing Cellphone Data, and a Duck

Please respect our republishing guidelines - Click Here At this point, the following statement is not breaking news, even though it has probably never been spoken of in the establishment media. It is worth reading, though – very slowly, so that you can ponder its meaning and implications: Robert Mueller’s Office of Special Counsel (OSC) team erased all data from at least 15 cellphones after those devices – or, more specifically, the data on those devices – had been requested by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz. All of these phones, we are being told, were wiped clean (no, Hillary, not with a cloth) by accident. Really? Are we supposed to believe that? Here’s another statement you should read and think carefully about. This one might be from a Shakespeare play, but probably not. It is, however, one of the most useful pieces of advice one could ever hope for: If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck. Wise words indeed. These “unintentional” acts of destruction of evidence occurred, of course, during the OSC’s investigation into the now-debunked Trump-Russia collusion affair. The phones were wiped of data by people who – like most human beings in the developed world – use a cellphone frequently. The Cellphone Complexity It’s not as if these were complex, scientific devices unknown to their users. The individuals who worked under Robert Mueller in this investigation – one of the most important and consequential in American history – were high-rollers in their respective fields. Even in the private sector, between fielding calls to and from clients, district attorneys, law enforcement agencies, their personal assistants, making donations to the Democratic Party, and playing Sudoku, these men and women were using cellphones on a daily basis. The prosecutors, investigators, and administrative staff of the OSC were entirely familiar with the operation of these electronic marvels. Resetting a cellphone to factory specifications is not something that is accidentally done while reaching for a paper towel to mop up the coffee you spilled because your wife just sent you an incredibly hilarious cat video. It is inconceivable that we are now supposed to believe that 15 or more cellphones simply were mishandled by these top-tier professionals engaged in the most politically sensitive investigation of our lifetimes. The Crooked Investigation Robert Mueller’s probe into alleged collusion between President Trump’s 2016 election campaign and Russian agents was crooked from the start. It had to be. We know this for several reasons. First, because it was an evolution of an FBI counterintelligence operation that was being run by people who utterly despised Trump. That fact has been verified by their electronic communications at the time and from remarks they have since made. We know because Trump associate Roger Stone, who may be a sleazy character but was not a man who presented any physical danger to anyone, was marched out of his house in a predawn-raid at gunpoint by an army of heavily-armed police officers. We know because Michael Flynn was coerced into pleading guilty to lying to FBI agents. We know because Mueller himself and his favorite pitbull, Andrew Weissmann, both have questionable prosecutorial records. We know because the lead FBI agent on Mueller’s team, Peter Strzok, indulged in an epic exchange of text messages with his mistress – also an FBI employee assigned to Mueller’s team – on the subject of how much they loathed Donald Trump and his supporters. In order to regain our trust in the justice system and in the notion that nobody – as Democrats love to remind us – is above the law, we must hope that Attorney General Bill Barr and federal prosecutor John Durham do not take this cellphone debacle lightly. Perhaps someone should mail to each of these two esteemed officials the latest ornithological guide, so that we may be assured that they know a duck when they see one. ~ Read more from Graham J. Noble.

Continue Reading Robert Mueller, the Missing Cellphone Data, and a Duck

Historic Peace Deal Normalizes Israel’s Relations With Bahrain

WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM/DUBAI (Reuters) – Bahrain joined the United Arab Emirates in striking an agreement to normalize relations with Israel on Friday, a dramatic move aimed at easing tensions in the Middle East. U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted the news after he spoke by phone to both Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House said. Recent Stories in Latest News "This is a historic breakthrough to further peace in the Middle East," the United States, Bahrain and Israel said in a joint statement. "Opening direct dialogue and ties between these two dynamic societies and advanced economies will continue the positive transformation of the Middle East and increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region," it said. The United Arab Emirates last month agreed to normalize ties with Israel under a U.S.-brokered deal. That deal is scheduled to be signed on Sept. 15 at a White House ceremony hosted by Trump and attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan. The easing of relations with Israel comes amid a backdrop of shared fears about the threat of Iran to the region. The Trump administration has tried to coax other Sunni Arab countries to engage with Israel. The most powerful of those, Saudi Arabia, has signaled it is not ready. Bahrain, a small island state, is a close ally of Saudi Arabia and the site of the U.S. Navy’s regional headquarters. Riyadh in 2011 sent troops to Bahrain to help quell an uprising and, alongside Kuwait and the UAE, in 2018 offered Bahrain a $10 billion economic bailout. Friday’s deal makes Bahrain the fourth Arab country to reach such an agreement with Israel since exchanging embassies with Egypt and Jordan decades ago. Last week, Bahrain said it would allow flights between Israel and the UAE to use its airspace. This followed a Saudi decision to allow an Israeli commercial airliner to fly over it on the way to the UAE. (Reporting by Steve Holland, Dan Williams and Aziz El Yaakoubi. Additional reporting by Alex Cornwell and Lisa Barrington; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

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Sources: Trump Nominees for Afghanistan and Germany Ambassadors ’Not Confirmable’

The Trump administration's ambassadorial nominees to Afghanistan and Germany will not be approved by Senate Republicans, according to three congressional aides who cite the nominees’ isolationist and anti-Israel views. The senior Republican congressional aides said that the nomination of retired U.S Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor is almost certain to fail if it comes to a vote in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The nomination of William Ruger, a U.S. Navy reserve officer and key figure in Charles Koch's philanthropic empire, to be ambassador to Afghanistan, is unlikely to get a vote from the committee before the November election. Recent Stories in National Security The Fox News host Tucker Carlson is linked to both nominees: Macgregor has been a frequent guest on Carlson’s show, arguing that there is no evidence Iran "wants to attack" the United States and that neoconservatives have manipulated America’s foreign policy to benefit Israel. And Charles Koch was a major funder of Carlson’s Daily Caller news site, a relationship Ruger likely facilitated in his role leading the Charles Koch Institute. The White House formally submitted Ruger’s nomination to the Senate on Thursday. The next ambassador to Afghanistan will play a critical role as the administration works to prevent the country from descending into chaos. Ruger, whose nomination is unlikely to see a vote due to the congressional schedule before the election, is viewed by his supporters as an opponent of U.S. military intervention who would work to limit the U.S. presence in Afghanistan and the region at large. He was described on Wednesday by Arta Moeini, research director at the Institute for Peace and Diplomacy, as a "genuine anti-interventionist" who believes in a "less militarized" American foreign policy. Moeini, who discussed the nomination during a panel discussion earlier this week, pointed to Ruger and Macgregor as good examples of Trump’s isolationist tendencies. Macgregor’s nomination, submitted to the Senate in late July, was also met with outrage from Republican senators, who pointed to his controversial comments about Jewish Americans manipulating U.S. foreign policy and his attempts to downplay the threat from Iran. "The administration has sent the Senate three foreign policy nominees with no chance of clearing the Senate, which has to be some form of Guinness World Record for incompetent congressional relations," said one senior GOP congressional official, citing opposition to Ruger, Macgregor, and Anthony Tata, who was recently tapped to become the Pentagon’s number two spot. "I do not understand why the White House has nominated an anti-Israel, pro-open borders, hardcore isolationist to an important diplomatic post," said a second senior Republican congressional aide of Ruger, echoing the sentiments of several other officials who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon only on background about the brewing confrontation. "He is not confirmable, and the president is not being well-served by his team." The controversial picks reflect the ascendance of John McEntee, the director of the Presidential Personnel Office, according to congressional aides. McEntee, Trump’s onetime bodyman who was dismissed in 2018 amid a "financial crime investigation," according to CNN, and then rehired in February, shares the isolationist foreign policy views of both nominees. In addition to Charles Koch’s investment in the Daily Caller, Ruger has overseen a growing investment in the American Conservative and RealClearPolitics. The American Conservative earlier this year celebrated McEntee as "the new, paleocon head of Trump administration personnel," describing him as "a fan of the articles of [American Conservative] founder Pat Buchanan." One veteran Republican strategist said McEntee is creating problems for Trump ahead of the 2020 election. "John McEntee keeps advancing people who are either unconfirmable or just too late," the source said. "He always blames Senate GOP neocons and Tucker Carlson is on his side, but that's the problem. When you send nominees who have called Republican members warmongers on TV for four years or you send nominees a few weeks before the election, you're just creating headaches for the president and his campaign." Bernie Sanders, among others, has embraced the Ruger nomination. Sanders’s Senate office has maintained a close relationship with the Quincy Institute, the think tank backed by Koch and George Soros. Sanders told PBS’s Margaret Hoover that he "would be happy to talk to [Ruger] and hear what he has to say."

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Liberty Nation’s Election Countdown: 50 Days To Go

Please respect our republishing guidelines - Click Here Donald Trump and Joe Biden The November 3 election could be the most important one in recent history. Both sides are diametrically opposed and many argue that the fate of the nation is at play. Liberty Nation wants you to have the full facts. We update this page daily so please bookmark and keep checking back. Rasmussen Reports Daily Presidential Tracking Poll: Trump approval 48% ( no change ) ~ Latest Presidential Polling: Monmouth = Biden +7 Rasmussen Reports = Biden +2 Economist/YouGov = Biden +9 Hill/Harris = Biden +8 Reuters-Ipsos = Biden +12 CNBC/Change Research (D) = Biden +6 USC Dornslife = Biden +10 Harvard-Harris = Biden +6 IBD/TIPP = Biden +8 ~ Political Betting Odds to Win the Presidency: Joe Biden – 10/17 (-170) Donald Trump – 3/2 (+150) Betting odds explained: Betting odds are displayed here in the British format, known as fractional odds, and the American format, often called moneyline odds. With fractional odds, the first number represents the amount of money bet and the second number is the return. 3/5 means that a winning bet of $5 would yield $3 profit. Moneyline odds show a minus (-) or plus (+) symbol for favorites and underdogs, respectively. The favorite may have odds of -300, meaning that one would have to bet $300 in order to win $100. An underdog might have odds of +250, meaning that one would win $250 if one wagered $100. ~

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What Impact Could Trump’s Bahrain-Israeli Peace Deal have?

In recent weeks, the Trump administration has made rapid progress regarding the normalization of relations between certain countries that have been hostile toward one another for decades. Firstly, US President Donald Trump signed a deal that normalized relations between Israel and the UAE, which was then followed by a deal that strengthened economic ties between Kosovo and Serbia. And now, the US President has done it again by announcing a landmark deal to normalize relations between Bahrain and Israel. This is a historic achievement for Trump For decades, most Arab states have boycotted Israel, insisting that they would only establish ties once the Palestinian dispute had been resolved. Bahrain has become the fourth country in the Middle East – following Egypt, Jordan and the UAE – to recognize Israel since its founding in 1948. Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu both welcomed the deal, as did the UAE itself. However, both Palestine and terrorist group Hezbollah were quick to condemn the agreement. This is a historic achievement for Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has been instrumental in forging these deals for his father-in-law in his capacity as senior advisor to the US President. The Bahrain-Israeli deal could affect the US election The Bahrain-Israeli deal will affect Trump domestically. Although the latest opinion polls suggest that the US President is on course to lose this year’s election, Middle Eastern politics could have an impact on specific groups of voters that the Republicans need to win over if they have any hope of ensuring Trump returns to the White House in November. A Pew research poll in July showed 8 in 10 white evangelicals still intend to vote for Trump. Mark Tooley, editor of Providence, a journal that focuses on Christianity and foreign policy, believes that the US President’s foreign policy successes will convince those who were ‘tottering on the edge that God’s support remains.’ Time reports that Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, one of the largest evangelical advocacy organizations in the US, says that Trump’s Middle East accord that was signed earlier in the year is unlikely to dissuade many evangelicals from voting for Trump, even if Israel suspended its annexation of Palestine. A major Jewish donor also told Time that peace in the Middle East ‘is a real feather in his (Trump’s) cap with the Jewish voters.’ Iran and Turkey will feel increasingly isolated The significant impact of the Bahrain-Israeli deal will be felt in the Middle East. The pact will isolate both Iran and Turkey further. The growing threat from Tehran has no doubt pushed many nations who used to be hostile toward Israel further into Jerusalem’s arms before the Palestinian dispute has been fully resolved. Growing insecurity made it easier for Trump to sign peace deals with both the UAE and Bahrain. There will now be increased pressure on Saudi Arabia to normalize its relations with Israel too. The Times of Israel suggests that Bahrain would not have proceeded with the Bahrain-Israeli deal without Riyadh’s blessing. Will Saudi Arabia normalize relations with Israel? The Saudi Government allowed an Israeli El Al jet to fly over Saudi Arabia to the UAE for the first time on August 31st, but it is unlikely that Riyadh will be normalizing relations with Israel soon. Despite this, the more Iran poses a security threat to the Saudi kingdom, the more likely they are to forge their own deal with Netanyahu, particularly if the US pushes for one behind closed doors. Countries that cut off their ties with Israel in the past may be persuaded to reforge them again because of the increasing threat that both Turkey and Iran pose to the Middle East. For example, in 1999, Mauritania established diplomatic relations with Israel – but severed ties in 2010. Either way, the Bahrain-Israeli agreement ensures that there may be more deals like this one in the future as long as Iran and Turkey continue to isolate many Middle Eastern nations.

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Trump Administration Demands Records about Coronavirus Origin From Firm Responsible for Controversial Wuhan Lab Research

Continue Reading Trump Administration Demands Records about Coronavirus Origin From Firm Responsible for Controversial Wuhan Lab Research