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Both houses of Parliament returned from summer recess today.

The Commons debated on whether to raise tax on National Insurance (Social Security, to my American readers) by 1% to meet ‘social care’ needs. I put that in quotes because, as ITV’s Robert Peston wrote on Sunday, September 5, there is no social care programme from the Conservatives yet, so proceeds from the tax increase will be used for the NHS, post-pandemic. Emphases in purple mine:

Election manifestos are contracts with voters. Under our parliamentary system, their promises are supposed to be broken only in exceptional and extreme circumstances.

Boris Johnson‘s manifesto, his contract with us that he effectively signed in December 2019, said “I guarantee we will not raise the rate of income tax, VAT or National Insurance“.

barring a full-scale cabinet revolt that forces a climbdown – he will break that guarantee, with a rise of 1.25% in the rates of national insurance paid by employees and employers to raise more than £10bn a year.

So does the Covid-19 crisis, and its deleterious impact on the public finances, represent the kind of crisis that most people would see as rendering the manifesto null and void, as in effect triggering what in business would be called a “force majeure” clause?

Strikingly, I cannot find a single member of Boris Johnson’s cabinet who argues national insurance should rise

This does not look like laser-like targeted help, a rare example of benign hypothecation. For most ministers, the NI rise is billions being poured into a huge and fuzzy health-and-care black hole, without even the fig leaf of a half-plan to ensure the money is spent properly.

Spending the money properly is an important consideration. The NHS, laudable as it is in principle, needs looking at with regard to how it runs on a day-to-day basis.

Last week, an NHS blog post for senior management made the rounds in the UK. Guido Fawkes picked up on it today.

Amazingly, it was written by a senior manager at the Nursing and Midwifery Council. She has a degree in American Studies.

Perhaps I’m dated, but aren’t nurses and midwives there to care for patients’ health and new mothers’ wellbeing?

If tax has to be raised, then let us ensure it is spent on patient care.

Returning to Robert Peston’s article, here are the three reasons why government ministers are concerned about this tax rise:

On the one hand, it is supposed to put the social care system – long-term care for the elderly and frail – on a sustainable financial footing.

Which would be all very well, except there has been no published government report on Johnson’s watch of the social care sector’s needs, despite his assurance that such a plan exists.

Second, most of the new billions will be going in the first few years to the NHS, to help it catch up with the backlog of millions of operations, procedures and treatments, that have been delayed by the invasion of Covid-19

Third, ministers and the PM’s MPs recognise that national insurance is not necessarily the fairest tax to use to raise funds for services that are predominantly of use to the oldest, since it isn’t levied on those who reach retirement age, and is levied even on young people with very low earnings.

This matters, given that both the financial crisis of 2007-9 and the Covid-19 crisis had the most damaging economic impact on young people, and the finances of the older generation largely improved.

Johnson wants to be seen as a One Nation PM.

But in taxing the young disproportionately, he looks like someone penalising younger Labour voters to protect older Tory ones.

Incidentally, today’s debate on the National Insurance Contributions Bill was unrelated to the proposed tax rise:

Returning to financing the NHS with a rise in National Insurance: an increase of 1% sounds small, but it isn’t. The first tweet is from the Economics Editor for the Financial Times. James McKintosh is from The Wall Street Journal:

No one interviewed on GB News — whether Liberal Democrat, Labour-leaning journalists or Conservatives — thought that raising tax on National Insurance was a good idea.

On Sunday morning, Dehenna Davison, the first Conservative MP for Bishop Auckland in the north of England, held up a copy of the 2019 party manifesto which clearly says that the main three taxes will not be increased. Arlene Foster, former DUP MP, must be happy she’s out of Westminster:

Guido Fawkes has come up with more opposition:

Robert Peston says that Boris is likely to get his way and use a cabinet reshuffle as a threat to comply:

The rumours of a Thursday reshuffle may be the PM’s Stalin-lite threat to colleagues to back him or risk demotion or even exile to the backbenches.

But even without that threat, Johnson’s not in serious trouble. Remember he picked his cabinet for loyalty not backbone.

Boris is gambling on Keir Starmer’s weakness as Leader of the Opposition.

However, Starmer won’t always be Labour leader. The next one will remember this and pin it on low-taxation Conservatives at the next election; we can be sure of that:

Johnson will get his tax. And whether he likes it or not, it will always have his name on it.

Boris, a keen student of history, would do well to remember what happened to Bush I when he ran for re-election in 1992. In 1988, he promised ‘no new taxes’. Taxes went up under his watch. Bill Clinton won in 1992 with ‘It’s the economy, stupid’ and served two terms.

My message to Boris is ‘Danger, Will Robinson. Danger’.

It was with sadness that I read of Jackie Mason’s death at the weekend.

Still, he had a good innings. He was 93 years old.

The Daily Mail had an excellent obituary of one of the world’s most consistently funny comics. Excerpts follow, emphases mine.

Life before comedy

I did not know that he was born in Wisconsin:

Mason was born in 1928 in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, as Yacov Moshe Maza to immigrant parents from Belarus.

In the early 1930s, the family moved to New York’s Lower East Side. All the male relatives were rabbis and young Yacov was expected to follow in their footsteps:

‘It was unheard-of to think of anything else,’ Mason said. ‘But I knew, from the time I’m 12, I had to plot to get out of this, because this is not my calling.’

However, there was no way out for many years. Mason earned a degree in English and Sociology at City College of New York then completed rabbinical studies at Yeshiva University, after which he became a practising rabbi. 

He served several congregations, including those in Weldon, North Carolina, and Latrobe, Pennsylvania.

Sometime in the 1950s, he began working summers in the Catskills, a mountain range in New York State, known for its resorts which attracted Jewish clientele. It is known as the Borscht Belt.

He wrote his own material, put comedy sets together and accustomed himself to being on stage.

Comedy career

It was only in 1959, after his father died, that the rabbi pursued a stand-up career full time and changed his name to Jackie Mason.

However, he did not leave his theological training behind. In 1988, he described his style of comedy to the New York Times:

‘My humor — it’s a man in a conversation, pointing things out to you,’ 

‘He’s not better than you, he’s just another guy,’ he added. ‘I see life with loveI’m your brother up there — but if I see you make a fool out of yourself, I owe it to you to point that out to you.’      

From the Catskills, he branched out into the big time, playing clubs in Miami and New York in 1960 after two television appearances on the iconic Steve Allen Show.

I am old enough to remember that Jackie Mason was on television a lot in the early 1960s.

In 1964, he appeared on another iconic programme, The Ed Sullivan Show, which aired on Sunday nights. I remember my mother got very worked up about what happened in one of his appearances, as she was a huge Ed Sullivan fan. We never missed a show. After this appearance she turned against Jackie Mason:

after a terrible misunderstanding in 1964 between Sullivan and Mason involving a perceived obscene middle finger gesture, Jackie’s career hit a major slump.

Sullivan canceled Mason’s six-show contract, refusing to pay him for the performance

Mason eventually filed a lawsuit, and won.

Mason’s career did not recover until the late 1970s:

… it would take him many years to find his momentum once again, with his comeback punctuated by well-received performances in 1979’s Steve Martin film The Jerk, and Mel Brooks’s History of the World: Part I two years later.

People started to think I was some kind of sick maniac,’ Mr. Mason told Look. ‘It took 20 years to overcome what happened in that one minute.’

My mother would definitely have agreed with the ‘sick maniac’ description, unfounded though it was.

He hired a new manager Jyll Rosenfeld, whom he later married. She convinced him that there was an appetite for Borscht Belt humour beyond the Catskills. He launched a long-running show on Broadway in 1986:

Mason decided to bring his one-man comic shows The World According to Me!, to the Broadway stage in 1986.

The hit show ran for two years, and earned him a special Tony Award in 1987, followed by an Emmy for writing when HBO aired a version of the show.

From there, the legendary comedian put close to a dozen other one-man shows on Broadway, with the last being The Ultimate Jew in 2008.

Here is one of his performances from 1986:

Mason also enjoyed an on-screen appearance in Caddyshack II in 1988 and a voice-over as Rabbi Krustofsky in an early episode of The Simpsons in 1992, for which he won a second Primetime Emmy Award, for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance.

In the aforementioned New York Times interview from 1988, he was philosophical in the way only a rabbi can be:

‘I’ve been doing this for a hundred thousand years, but it’s like I was born last Thursday,’ Mr. Mason told The New York Times in 1988. 

They see me as today’s comedian. Thank God I stunk for such a long time and was invisible, so I could be discovered.’

London appearances

For several years, Jackie Mason used to come to London once a year for a stand-up show that was often televised.

I was in stitches.

Guido Fawkes tweeted Mason’s 2002 appearance, which was or was close to being his last over here:

Here’s the video, which is just over 90 minutes long:

The next video is his 1999 performance at the London Palladium. It is just under 40 minutes long:

However, in 1992, Mason did a half-hour set at Oxford University, where he ribbed the students for their total lack of sartorial elegance and fondness of political correctness. He also made fun of the Jewish lifestyle which encompasses self-denial of Jewishness as well as certain material aspirations. The University asked him to do the set for free, something at which he also cavilled, in a humorous way:

This is his description of the video:

This is a clip from a lecture I gave at Oxford University back in 1992. They gave me an award and a fellowship in the Oxford Union Society. The first American comedian to receive such an honor. That’s how they got me to work for nothing. Enjoy!

Here’s the second part, which was a Q&A session:

He talked about his years as a rabbi where people didn’t want the sermon and hoped for a few jokes. He said that Oxford students were very polite and he hadn’t heard one four-letter word yet: ‘I’m waiting, I’m waiting’.

Near the end, he said that England is the most polite society in the Western world with all the ubiquitous apologies one hears. The only exception, he noted, is in Parliament, where the raucous tone reminded him of a ‘sanitarium’.

Politics and talk radio

In 1998, Mason’s biography was published and he began a career in talk radio:

he published an autobiography, ‘Jackie, Oy!’ (written with Ken Gross), and discovered a new venture as an opinionated political commentator on talk radio.

Twenty years later, he issued a series of vlogs against then-candidate Barack Obama. I watched most of them. This one discusses the first presidential debate in September 2008:

His description of the Obama v McCain debate reads as follows:

Here are my thoughts on the first presidential debate. Although neither candidate had a clear victory Friday night, the media is saying Obama won because he didn’t lose. He looked poised and presidential. Well he did look poised as he made no sense! And if looking Presidential is telling bold lies, the Hail to the Chief!

In 2016, Mason was an unabashed Trump supporter:

He was among the few well-known entertainers to support former President Donald Trump during his 2016 presidential campaign.

In October 2016, he appeared on Aaron Klein Investigative Radio, which airs in New York City and Philadelphia. Mason contrasted Trump’s words about women to Bill Clinton’s actual violence against his victims.

Breitbart had the story, reporting that Mason said:

What Trump ever did to women is that he called them a name because she gained too much weight so he said she got too fat and he called her a pig. Imagine if the worst thing Bill Clinton ever did was call a girl a name. He called them names after he raped them.

When he got through with them, Juanita Broaddrick wound up with a cut lip. And he had advised her to please go see a doctor. He was very compassionate about sending them to doctors. But he wasn’t too concerned about beating them up in the first place. He was so busy punching them around that nobody knows if he made love to them or he just wanted to beat them up a little bit.

As for Hillary, he said:

He was really a violent, insane character. Now his wife, she had a job. Her job was to make sure that these women were never heard about it. Every time somebody threatened to talk about it she immediately went to work on destroying them. First he punched them around. Then it was her job to wipe them out altogether.

And she’s calling Trump a person who can’t be trusted because of the way he treats women? This is like somebody who crossed a red light being compared to a murderer.

After Trump’s election, Mason turned his attention towards the RINOs, especially the then-Speaker of the House Paul Ryan:

In March 2017, Breitbart reported:

In this week’s exclusive clip for Breitbart News, Jackie weighs in on the GOP’s failed healthcare bill, explaining that Republicans in Washington were focused on “repealing and replacing” the wrong thing.

“When they were talking about ‘repeal and replace,’ they were stupid,” Jackie says. “They were talking about healthcare, they should have been talking about [House Speaker Paul] Ryan. If Ryan was repealed and replaced we would have had no problem today.”

Jackie — who was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, in Ryan’s home state — says he finds it odd that a Speaker of the House who is supposed to be some kind of “genius” can’t count correctly.

“You know what Ryan should do if he wanted to save this whole country? Get another job,” he says. “Find out something that you actually know. If there’s nothing like that, sit in the House and don’t bother anybody. Mind your own business, you’ll save the country.”

My deepest sympathies go to his widow and former manager Jyll Rosenfeld and his daughter Sheba Mason, from a former union with Ginger Reiter in the 1970s and 1980s.

For more Jackie Mason shows and interviews, visit TheUltimateJew channel on YouTube.

An American named Chaziel Sunz used to belong to Black Lives Matter some years ago.

In 2017, he made a 15-minute video about the movement having been ‘infiltrated’ and controlled by ‘Soros and Clinton’. He warned blacks not to play into the desire of them and the Democrat Party who want a civil war.

He said that left-wing movements, such as BLM and Antifa, are ‘bogus’ and are preying upon people’s emotions. Those in charge of them want a fully divided right and left. He also said this is another reason why gun control is such a big deal with the Democrats. They want everyone unarmed for a reason.

Sunz asked that people put any race issues they have to a side and approach this issue with a clear head: don’t fall into the trap of a civil war.

He also said that the Las Vegas attack, which had taken place on October 1 that year, was a far-Left act, purposely against those attending the country music festival.

I only saw this video a few days ago. Apparently, it’s been taken down several times since 2017:

If this is removed, Gateway Pundit have another copy of it with this key quote:

Chaziel Sunz: They got us working for them. How they get us is they playing us emotionally… They getting anybody who basically doesn’t like Donald Trump to fight for war that is being started on American turf very, very soon. And they want us to be a part of their side. What I’m trying to get the black population to understand, and this is critical, is the movement has been compromised… BLM is not actually a black organization and never was… If you have any kind of brain you know BLM is endorsed by the Soros and Clinton family.

Chaziel Sunz made another video earlier that year, just after the Manchester bombing in England in May. Even though it’s three years old, now is an apposite time to watch it. He accuses the media of ginning up falsely emotional reactions to news events. Again, he asks us not to get too emotional about these things. If we want to pray, fine, but he said that a lot of people are making money out of false sympathy when these attacks occur:

He’s not a Trump fan, in case anyone is wondering.

He does want unity in a time when manipulation is rife.

I hope he has been talking with community groups about his experiences and knowledge from his time as a left-wing activist.

Within a few weeks’ time, I reckon the media and others on the Left will be telling citizens who want answers about Jeffrey Epstein’s death on August 10, 2019, that there’s nothing to see, move along.

Epstein’s death came one day after 2,000 pages of court documents about his involvement in underage sex were released to the public:

Epstein’s death has attracted Americans on both sides of the political aisle who want answers. The Left think that President Trump is covering up his involvement in nefarious activities, even though testimony from Virginia Roberts Giuffre says that Trump is not implicated. Those on the Right say that they want to find out more about Bill Clinton’s association with Epstein.

By Sunday, August 11, Twitter was already at work manipulating the narrative:

Unanswered questions

Yes, it’s early days, but, as I write on Sunday, even the initial news releases cannot give the facts.

At least one news outlet reported that Epstein hanged himself in his cell.

Another said that he died of cardiac arrest connected to suicide.

Of course, he is not the first to die mysteriously before giving testimony to a court of law in the United States. Others, interestingly, also associated with the Clintons have, too.

However, Epstein was in a place where high profile prisoners were detained without incident, some for long periods of time:

But was Epstein actually on suicide watch at the time of his death?

Incidentally, I checked the NYT‘s Twitter feed on Sunday. Most were tweets about lifestyle: food, fitted sheets and entertainment. The others covered foreign news. Jeffrey Epstein? Nothing to see here, move along.

After the question about a suicide watch, there is the question of the security camera, allegedly malfunctioning. How convenient:

Then there is the question of the guards for such an important prisoner:

Hmm:

If true, this is very interesting:

Epstein appears to have died in the early hours of the morning:

He was then taken to a Manhattan hospital, where some strange photos emerged. Note that Epstein appears to have no legs in this photo. A blanket is rolled under instead:

A Rod Rosenstein fan — not the man himself — tweeted:

Perhaps this is true:

Whatever the case, Epstein’s lawyer is furious. On August 10, The Gateway Pundit disclosed Marc Fernich’s full statement on his client’s death. A summary follows:

Marc Fernich, an attorney for Jeffrey Epstein, issued a blistering statement on the death of his client by an apparent suicide while in federal custody at the Manhattan Correctional Center in New York City early Saturday morning. Fernich blamed prosecutors, judges, jailers, the media, politicians and “greedy plaintiff’s lawyers” for Epstein’s death, saying they have “blood on their hands.”

Here is the tweet with Fernich’s statement:

Attorney General Bill Barr said he was ‘appalled’ by Epstein’s death and said he would launch an investigation:

Will Bill Barr do the right thing and give us all the facts? I do not know. However, some remain optimistic:

Trump supporters understand that Barr was given permission to declassify documents relating to the notional Russian collusion plot and activities from the previous administration 80+ days ago. To date, we have seen nothing. What is he waiting for? Christmas?

In any event, Judicial Watch, which seems to do all the heavy lifting, says it will also investigate. Judicial Watch obtains documents via the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act):

Those interested in Epstein’s death have come up with two prevaling theories at this time:

1/ Epstein is dead.

2/ Epstein is in Israel or some other safe country, helped, perhaps indirectly, by Mossad.

We can laugh at that second possibility or we can consider that tin foil hattery isn’t as far-fetched now as it was only a few years ago:

Although investigative journalist Sara Carter wrote ‘Two Tiered System Of Justice’ about AG Barr’s investigation of the FBI, her sentiments could be applied equally to his new Jeffrey Epstein investigation (emphases mine):

… so many people were stunned when DOJ attorney General William Barr declined prosecution of Comey for leaking. Sources have told this reporter that the prosecution would be difficult because Comey’s attorney’s could argue he was not grossly negligent – hmmm, I’m not so sure about that and I wonder why the DOJ said anything at all. I have been told that the information being collected by Barr appointed Connecticut Attorney John Durham, will be chilling, stunning and justice will be served. I won’t believe it until I see it. I, like so many others, have become a little jaded over the developments.

I say,” a little” because I haven’t given up all hope. I know America cannot afford to have a two-tiered system of justice and I believe in Barr, for now.

Liberty does not exist in a banana republic, where there is one set of rules for the political elite and another for its citizens. It would be the beginning of the destruction of the foundation our nation was built on: The Constitution.

If we no longer believe in what it says, what will it mean? It will mean nothing and our nation will no longer be that beacon of light for so many around the world that live in unjust societies …

As an American, I’m more than disturbed -I’m sickened – by their uncanny ability to skirt the law and how their friends in high ranking positions are working diligently still to protect them.

I could not agree more.

Sal from New Media Central recently tweeted about the Democrats’ hypocrisy on elections, noting their persistent attacks about Russian collusion in the 2016 election and their push to get non-citizens registered to vote in the US:

It makes no sense until we consider one thing.

Democrats need non-citizens’ votes.

This was an issue long before 2016. You can find out by doing an online search with these words: Democrat says we need non-citizens to vote.

Pennsylvania

GOPUSA, representing the Republican Party, posted an eye-opening article about Pennsylvania from the Washington Times, dated July 13, 2018 (emphases mine):

Abdel showed up at his local Pennsylvania motor vehicle office to take his driver’s license test — and walked out having registered to vote, even though he is not a citizen.

He said his command of English isn’t good and the computer system was unclear, but he somehow managed to sign up even though he knew he shouldn’t.

Then there was Angelo, who figured he could vote because he joined the U.S. military, even though he wasn’t a citizen. He, too, signed up at the Pennsylvania motor vehicle bureau and registered as a Democrat. He then voted nearly every year from 2001 through 2014.

He finally wrote to Allegheny County asking to be stricken from the rolls, saying he had been ineligible all along.

Angelo and Abdel are some of the more than 130 people the county has nixed from its voter lists in recent years after discovering they weren’t U.S. citizens and should never have been allowed to register, much less vote, according to a report being released Thursday from the Public Interest Legal Foundation.

Non-citizens applying for US citizenship often walk back their previous voter registration:

only when they did try to seek citizenship or some other immigration benefit — and learned that illegal registration or voting, both felonies, could be hurdles for their applications.

Voter registration at the motor vehicle office started at the federal level — i.e. across the US — in 1993, during Bill Clinton’s presidency:

Under the 1993 federal “motor voter” law, people who show up to renew licenses or transact other business at motor vehicle bureaus are supposed to be asked if they want to register to vote. The form relies on the honor system for people to swear they are citizens.

The goal of the law was to boost election participation — but it also muddied voting lists.

Indeed.

Texas

Not every state with illegal voters wants to strike them from the rolls.

On June 7, GOPUSA reported on Houston’s rolls. Houston is a Democrat city:

Ann Harris Bennett, registrar for Harris County in Texas, is battling to keep secret the names of non-citizens who signed up to vote and, in some cases, may have even cast ballots. In a federal court filing last week she said people can be removed for other reasons, but there is no requirement she erase names of people even after they tell her they aren’t citizens.

“Once a person is officially registered to vote, a state may only remove them from the voting list if: the person dies, changes residence, asks to be removed from the list, or becomes ineligible under state law because of criminal conviction or mental incapacity,” Ms. Bennett said in court papers. The National Voter Registration Act “does not create any obligation for a state to conduct a list maintenance program to remove the names of voters who may be ineligible due to lack of citizenship.”

Maryland

In 2013, Think Progress posted an article, ‘Why You Have Nothing to Fear From Non-Citizen Voting’, which concerned an election in Takoma Park, Maryland:

Non-citizens may soon be voting in our nation’s biggest city — at least in local elections — and that’s got voter suppression groups like the Election Law Center sounding the alarm. Don’t listen to them.

As New York City considers whether to expand the franchise to non-citizens, it’s instructive to look at the experience other municipalities, like Takoma Park, Maryland, have had with non-citizen voting.

ThinkProgress spoke with two experts on non-citizen voting: Montgomery County (MD) Council member George Leventhal and Maryland State Sen. Jamie Raskin (D). Both individuals helped initiate Takoma Park’s non-citizen voting policy in 1991.

The city-wide referendum was approved, putting the non-citizen voting policy into place in 1992. The referendum passed because of redistricting. Many non-citizens resided within the redrawn district boundaries.

Regardless, it isn’t right, even if it’s only in local elections and even if non-citizen voting numbers continue to be low.

California

The latest city to adopt non-citizen voting is San Francisco, after three goes at a referendum. Keep voting on the same thing and the Noes will turn into Yesses.

As in Takoma Park, Maryland, this measure is only for local elections — school board, in this instance — but how many ineligible voters are also voting nationally?

Conclusion

I don’t have a solution to illegal voting, other than Pennsylvania’s example of purging electoral rolls of ineligible voters.

Many Americans clamour for voter ID.

That won’t work, either. Who, in a corrupt district, is going to check voter ID? No one.

P.S. – population count and political influence

There is another dimension to the Democrats’ love of illegal aliens, which is to increase population not only for Congressional representation but also Electoral College votes:

This is what Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Alabama) said:

We’re probably in the neighborhood of about 15 million illegal aliens in America now. 15 million comes out to roughly 20 congressional seats and 20 electoral college votes. Each congressional seat has roughly 700,000 to 800,000 people in it. [Emphasis added]

So, if you count illegal aliens in the Census for the purposes of distributing political power, that’s the number of congressmen per state or … the number of electoral college votes per state, you’re talking about … 20 electoral college votes and congressmen that are taken from states that follow our laws, that help our border patrol agents, and help our ICE agents … shifting those 20 congressional seats and 20 electoral college seats to states like California that have large numbers of illegal aliens in them. [Emphasis added]

I personally believe that’s wrong, on a policy level, but I also believe it violates the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution because it dilutes the voting power of citizens who live in states that don’t harbor an enormous number of illegal aliens. [Emphasis added]

—————————————————————————————–

P.P.S. — On a lighter note, here’s another great tweet from Sal:

The video is excellent — please watch his float go by!

The man who carried the ‘nuclear football’ for Bill Clinton calls for justice:

Hmm:

To which someone replied:

He already has (news to me), but how many have heard of Buzz Patterson?

He’s a Trump supporter:

He had this to say about the Clintons’ behaviour at Aretha Franklin’s funeral on Saturday, September 1, 2018:

Ugh.

This sounds interesting:

Why is Buzz Patterson so little known?

I hope he gets more publicity.

Obama told the anti-Trump truth in his eulogy of Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) at Washington DC’s National Cathedral on Saturday, September 1, 2018.

This is all the world needs to know about him, Bush II and Clinton:

“When all was said and done, we were on the same team.” Obama at McCain’s funeral.

Indeed it does.

Although President Trump has been roundly criticised for meeting with President Putin, this meeting is important for world peace.

Remember that those criticising it are afraid of the intel Putin told — and gave — to Trump.

The Gateway Pundit has more on outrage from frightened Democrats (emphasis in the original):

Mueller, Rosenstein, Obama, the Clintons and many more have questionable actions in the past related to Russia. These people do not want Trump to obtain evidence of their sordid actions with Russia. They are trying to prevent Trump from meeting Putin and finding out.

Uranium One is but one example:

No doubt Putin and Trump discussed the ‘Russian hack’ — more like an inside leak — of the Democratic National Committee’s emails. On that subject:

At least one anti-Trump Republican chimed in, too:

As did Bush II’s CIA director, Michael Hayden:

Putin has been observing all the reaction, as he explained in a talk about the summit on July 19. The following video is subtitled. ‘Going off script’, he says that the ‘forces’ are Americans with ‘political ambitions’. Enough said:

The meeting, as all between the US and Russia have been in the past, was one of global importance:

Before Helsinki 2018 on Monday, July 16:

Despite a small protest going on outside, inside Finland’s Presidential Palace, things went to plan, including Trump’s characteristic handshake:

It is bound to produce positive long-term results:

Affirmation for President Trump came from Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky):

And from best-selling author and film producer Larry Schweikart:

And from Dilbert’s Scott Adams:

And actor James Woods:

Rep. Diane Black (R-Tennessee) took exception to media reports of Trump’s ‘weakness’:

Trump also received support from the Australian prime minister:

Independent journalist Michael Tracey observed that diplomacy involves a certain amount of flattery. In 2009, it came from Obama, but no one objected:

And what about this from 2012, when Obama said he ‘would have more flexibility after the election’?

PJ Media’s Roger Simon contrasted Trump with Obama (emphases mine below):

The bad cop part is what Trump actually does concretely — and, as Putin certainly knows, this is far more important than photo ops and press conferences with all the attendant words.  Trump’s actions vis-a-vis Russia have been considerably more stringent than his predecessor’s — opening the energy spigots, increasing sanctions, arming the Ukrainians, ejecting 60 Russian agents, etc.  As Walter Russell Mead pointed out, if Trump is in Putin’s pocket, he’s doing a terrible job of it.

Barack Obama — although the New York Times would burn down its own building rather than admit it — did an abysmal job with Putin and was indeed the one who was truly “owned” by the Russian.  And it wasn’t just the silly reset button and the embarrassing video of Barack whispering into Medvedev’s ear to tell Vlad he — Barack — would be more flexible on missiles after the election.  (What a toady!)  Even worse, in his Chamberlainesque ardor to make a deal with Iran’s mullahs, Obama let Putin play him in Syria, agreeing not to honor his redline against Assad’s use of chemical weapons in order not to endanger the  deal.  Trump never did anything nearly that pathetic.  Actually, he stands up strong.

Furthermore, other previous presidents had a jolly time with Putin — and no one cared:

Check out Buzzfeed‘s The 25 Biggest Bromance Moments Between George W Bush and Vladimir Putin. Remember this one? Emphasis in the original:

12. When Bush invited Putin to his home in Maine for a ‘lobster summit.’

And Kennebunkport welcomed him with open arms.

In fact, until Trump, the only president in recent years to be criticised for meeting with a Russian leader was Ronald Reagan:

In closing:

Good things will come from this meeting — better than from any previous president.

On April 2, 2018, Q gave a rundown of what he/they expected to happen last month.

Let’s look back to see how many of the topics Q mentioned in message 988 of April 2 made the news cycle:

Q !xowAT4Z3VQ 875265

April [A].
IG report.
Sessions public attack.
RR problems.
Seals broken.
[A]rrests.
Why was Huber made public?
Why now?
Everything has meaning.
[A]wan.
Tarmac.
Iran.
NK.
U1.
FBI.
DOJ.
Mueller.
Election Integrity.
Immigration Bill.
Border.
Wall.
Military start.
BIG month.
Q

The IG — Inspector General’s — report was scheduled for April but is now thought to appear in a few weeks’ time. Whether that is actually in May or June is unknown.

Sessions public attack — meaning Attorney General Jeff Sessions — bubbled up in April and continued during the first week in May with calls for his resignation.

RR — Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — definitely had problems in April, which I will cover in a separate post.

Seals broken — if that meant indictments, that did not happen.

Arrests — none of note.

Awan — the Awan brothers from Pakistan, led by Imran Awan, who were running the IT for Democrats in the House of Representatives, did make pro-Trump news sites, and Trump tweeted about ‘the Pakistani mystery man’. I will cover the Awan investigation in a separate post.

Tarmac — the infamous secret meeting between then Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton in July 2016 on Lynch’s plane. James Comey and Lynch disagree on their recollections of the Hillary Clinton ‘investigation’, or ‘matter’. Comey said one thing in his new book, A Higher Loyalty, and Lynch remembers differently. In early April (after Q’s post), NBC’s Lester Holt interviewed Lynch:

LESTER HOLT: But, so Comey says you want to call it, “The Clinton matter.” He wants to call it, “The Clinton investigation.” To the extent, though, that he noted it, that it bothered him did he go to you and question your credibility with regard to the Clinton case?

LORETTA LYNCH: Well, look I can tell you that, you know, it was a meeting like any other that we that we had had where we talked about the issues. And we had a full and open discussion about it.

LESTER HOLT: And he didn’t raise any concerns about?

LORETTA LYNCH: And concerns were not raised.

Trump tweeted:

Q corroborated the tweet (message 1161 of April 15), hinting that Lynch could have been offered Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court if Hillary had been elected. I have no interpretation of the mention of Rep Adam Schiff (D-California), the 187 (dead code) and John Brennan, former CIA director, other than it seems Q is saying Brennan is a black hat:

SC – Supreme Court.
RBG.
AS 187 / Clown Black (Brennan).
Q

Q’s next message, 1162, says:

We made sure a reporter was there to capture.
These people are stupid.
Q

The reporter’s name is Christopher Sign. He moved to Atlanta in 2017. His last day with KNXV Phoenix was September 29.

Iran — was a big news item. Critical Threats has a summary:

Key takeaway: Iranian officials may be preparing to retaliate against Israel after Israel launched its second airstrike against Iranian targets in Syria since April 8.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) targeted Iranian assets in western Syria on April 29 and reportedly killed 18 Iranian fighters. Iranian media denied the reports of Iranian deaths following the strike. The April 29 strike comes after Israel’s April 8 airstrike on the Pro-Syrian regime T-4 airbase in Homs, Homs Governorate in southern Syria. The April 8 strike killed seven IRGC fighters. Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Secretary Ali Shamkhani vowed to “punish” Israel for its “evil action” following the April 8 airstrikes. Defense Minister Artesh Brigadier General Amir Hatami warned Israel on May 1 to stop its “scheming and dangerous behaviors” and suggested that the Axis of Resistance and Iran would confront Israel with a “regrettable and blindsiding” response.

NK — North Korea — was April’s blockbuster news item, which will feature in a separate post.

U1 — Uranium One — made a brief blip in the news cycle and might relate to the Mueller investigation’s raid on the properties and hotel room of Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen on April 9:

FBI, DOJ and Mueller — much is happening there which will feature in a separate post, although some April news is in my post about Jeff Sessions’s recusals.

Election Integrity — a report about voting abuses and the actual number of votes from the 2016 election was due but has not yet materialised.

Immigration Bill — nothing has happened since the beginning of the year.

Border — two stories made the news: part of the human caravan reached the US border with Mexico and dozens of California communities voted against the state’s sanctuary city policy.

Wall — construction began on March 26.

Military start — the National Guard was sent to the border with Mexico, and there was another attack on Syria nearly a year to the day after 2017’s.

BIG month — yes, especially where North Korea is concerned.

Q’s daily posts discussed John McCain’s trip to Syria a few years ago, social media tracking, the raid on Michael Cohen, trade with China, the plane incidents (‘new booms’, message 1174), the change of government in Armenia (CIA — ‘clowns’ — losing control, message 1243), not to mention the Iran deal and Uranium One — asking about the possibility that Uranium One material ended up in Syria.

Q also reiterated that the administration has the information it needs and that it will soon be time to proceed to the next phase: justice (message 1296, April 29).

I hope so, because, right now, things look rather unsettled.

As always, Q advised everyone to stay united rather than divided.

Yesterday’s post was about Emmanuel Macron’s state visit to the White House.

This is the first state visit of the Trump presidency. The first state dinner, honouring Emmanuel Macron, took place on Tuesday, April 24.

Much was made of the fact that First Lady Melania Trump did not hire an event planner. Instead she worked with a closely-knit group of ten staff in the East Wing:

This was the menu. Note that President Trump agreed to have wine served. Every other event has been tee-total. I expect that an exception was made for the French, for whom wine with dinner is a must. The wine is not included on the press tweet below. The one served with the main course came from French vines planted in Oregon generations ago.

 

The day’s schedule was as follows:

History lover Macron understood the importance of everything happening that day:

Official welcome and meetings

The official arrival ceremony took place on the South Lawn (41-minute White House video here).

Hail to the Chief was played as the Trumps emerged from the White House to await the Macrons.

This is a great photo:

During the ceremony, both nations’ national anthems were played.

Both gave short speeches and spoke of the history between the two countries dating from the Revolutionary War. I am positive that the incomparable Stephen Miller had a hand in Trump’s:

Selected members of the public were invited, with local schoolchildren in attendance:

Once again, Macron sought out his father figure, who indulged him with a kiss this time:

Gateway Pundit‘s Jim Hoft enjoyed it:

Afterwards, the Trumps and the Macrons greeted members of the French delegation:

Then it was time for the restricted bilateral meeting, the topic of which was Iran. Trump rightly wants to re-negotiate the deal, Macron doesn’t.

Papa Trump led his young subject away after their public remarks:

The next meeting, the expanded bilateral one, was held in the Cabinet Room. Before it began, Trump and Macron discussed the restricted bilateral meeting. Excerpts follow:

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much, everybody. Please. We were going to have a short little meeting, and it turned out to be a long meeting, and it could have gone on for another two hours.

We discussed a lot of things, a lot of problems in the world, a lot of problems that we think can be solved. But we’ve come a long way, just the two of us, I think, as understanding. We talked about Iran; we talked about Syria. We talked about a lot of subjects that really are big, big, hard situations. And we think we have solutions to a number of them.

So we’re going to continue that now, and then Emmanuel and myself will meet again, I think, after this meeting. But we wanted to get the opinion of some of the experts in the room. We have great experts on both sides, so we wanted to get the opinion of some of the experts …

PRESIDENT MACRON: Thank you, Mr. President, for these words. We will have this large meeting with (inaudible) together again before the press conference, just to say we have had very good discussion, indeed, on Syria, on Iran, the overall region, and some other very important topics regarding our security.

And I think we have to work together because we’ve always worked together on these issues, and it’s very important to preserve the stability of this region. And I think what we want to do in the interest of our people is precisely to preserve stability of sovereign states, without any hegemon.

As for the trade issue, you presented your perception of the situation and you were fair to remind everybody that bilateral relationship is balanced between France and the U.S.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: It’s true.

PRESIDENT MACRON: And I think it’s very important to bear in mind that, between allies — I mean, regarding so important security issues, it’s impossible to make any trade war …

After the expanded bilateral meeting, the two presidents held a joint press conference (full White House video here), which began with this:

President Trump was thorough in his remarks, enumerating not only current international challenges but also France’s helpful contributions. Excerpts follow:

France and the United States also agree that Iran cannot be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon, and that regime must end its support for terrorism all over. No matter where you go in the Middle East, you see the fingerprints of Iran behind problems.

I also want to thank President Macron for France’s vital contribution to our very successful campaign against ISIS. As we drive these ISIS killers from Syria, it is essential that the responsible nations of the Middle East step up their own contributions to prevent Iran from profiting off the success of our anti-ISIS effort. Very rich countries are in the Middle East. They have to make major contributions. They have not been doing it as they should. A major topic that we discussed a little while ago: They have to step up tremendously — not a little bit, but tremendously — their financial effort …

Both the United States and France are dealing with a challenge that has gone on for a long, long time. It’s uncontrolled migration. In the United States, we are taking strong action to regain control over our borders and over our sovereignty. It’s gone on for too long. And we’ve slowed it down very substantially, but we’re going to stop illegal immigration. I know that you face similar challenges in France. And, Mr. President, I admire the leadership you have shown in addressing them in a very honest and direct fashion, and not always popular.

Macron began his remarks by discussing the Iran deal:

Mr. President, please allow me to go back to a number of issues, which are fundamental for not only our relationship, but beyond. The first topic is Iran. You said once again, in front of the press, what your position was during the campaign and as well as the President of the United States. It’s not a mystery we did not have the same starting positions or stances, and neither you nor I have a habit of changing our stances or going with the wind.

That being said, I can say that we’ve had very a frank discussion on that, just the two of us. You consider that the Iranian deal, the JCPOA — the one negotiated in 2015 with Iran — is a bad deal. For a number of months, I’ve been saying that this was not a sufficient deal, but that it enabled us, at least until 2025, to have some control over their nuclear activities.

We therefore wish, from now on, to work on a new deal with Iran. What we need — and I believe that on that, our discussions allowed us to shed light on our convergence of views — is that we need to cover four topics.

The first one is to block any nuclear activity of Iran until 2025. This was feasible thanks to the JCPOA. The second is to make sure that, in the long run, there is no nuclear Iranian activity. The third fundamental topic is to be able to put an end to the ballistic activities of Iran in the region. And the fourth one is to generate the conditions for a solution — a political solution to contain Iran in the region — in Yemen, in Syria, in Iraq, and in Lebanon.

On these topics, I did not change. I constantly said that we needed to find the framework so that, together, and with the powers of the region, and with the Iranian leaders, manage to find a deal. I therefore would like us to commit to that effect in the weeks and months to come.

This is the only way to bring about stability. France is not naïve when it comes to Iran. We have also a lot of respect for the Iranian people, which, through their history — its history — has always shown its strength.

But we do not want to repeat the mistakes of the past. Each time we tried to unilaterally replace the sovereignty of the people, we brought about some more terror. But for our allies, we want sustainable stability …

After the press conference, the two gripped hands (Trump probably did not want another kiss):

Afterwards, President Trump went to a private lunch with the Secretary of Defense.

Lunch honouring Macron

Acting Secretary of State John Sullivan and Vice President Mike Pence hosted a lunch for President Macron at the Harry S Truman Building. Afterwards, Sullivan gave a short speech:

Then Pence spoke and offered a toast. Macron responded with a speech and a reciprocal toast. (Full transcript here.)

Presidents’ wives visit National Gallery of Art

The White House published a précis of what the presidents’ wives did during the day, excerpted below:

In tradition with State Visits, First Lady Melania Trump hosted Mrs. Macron for a spousal event, choosing to visit the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. this morning. Mrs. Trump and Mrs. Macron were met by Frank Kelly, Deputy Director of the museum. The tour of the National Gallery of Art was crafted to particularly note the incredible work of French artists to complement the long-standing friendship between the United States and France.

“Everyone understands the language of art,” said Mrs. Trump. “The historically famous and beautiful works that currently live in the National Gallery of Art are breathtaking.”

The Macrons at JFK’s grave

That afternoon, the Macrons paid a reverent visit to John F Kennedy’s grave:

The linked tweet has an excellent photo and the same text in French. The responses are very anti-Macron.

French Embassy presentation to American veterans

At the French Embassy that afternoon, Macron presented Legion of Honour medals to three American veterans of the Second World War.

The News Virginian has the story:

William Barr, who currently lives at The Legacy at North Augusta in Staunton, was honored Tuesday along with two other veterans at the French Embassy in Washington …

After personally awarding the medals to Barr and the other two men, Robert Ewald and Stanley Rzucidio, at Tuesday’s ceremony, President  Macron praised the three veterans and all of those who helped defeat tyranny during World War II.

“My generation has the opportunity to defend these values today because your generation, and especially people like you, decided to take all the risks to protect these values, to protect my country,” Macron said. “[I am] also paying tribute to the blood shed by all your comrades.”

Barr was a World War II Army Air Forces airplane mechanic who participated in the Battle of the Bulge and other key campaigns …

“Robert, Stanley, William, those are names of heroes. During World War II, your generation decided to take all the risks to protect France. You fought for freedom. Eternal gratitude from the French people,” Macron tweeted.

The article states that the Legion of Honour, which Napoleon established in 1802, is the highest French order of merit.

The State Dinner

The climax of the Macrons’ visit was the state dinner that evening, the Trumps’ first.

Laura Dowling, former chief floral designer at the Obama White House, wrote an excellent article for Fox News, describing the symbolism not only in floral decorations but also the particular symbolism that goes into a state dinner. A short video is also included, with amazing photos and statistics on this particular dinner (emphases mine):

I was honored to help design décor and flowers for two visits by heads of state from France: the private dinner that President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama hosted for President Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife, Carla Bruni, in 2010; and the state visit of President Francois Hollande in 2014.

For both events, the flowers were designed to carry out diplomatic, cultural and historical themes – with the goal of honoring France and the individual leaders, as well as to celebrate cherished American traditions and ideals …

Some of the most beautiful and historic pieces in the White House collection have a French provenance – the 18th century gilt mirrored Monroe Plateau, the early 19th century marble-topped table in the Red Room by a French-American cabinetmaker, and the French Blue Room furniture acquired by President Monroe are just a few examples …

In addition to highlighting the White House collection of French decorative arts, the first lady is paying tribute to former first ladies Hillary Clinton and Laura Bush by selecting their china for this inaugural state visit.

Additional décor includes the large urns of cherry blossoms lining the Great Hall. Cherry blossoms are not only the quintessential emblem of spring in Washington, but also in Paris, where they are currently in bloom in the Jardin de Tuilieries near the Elysses Palace, the home of the French first couple.

The Daily Mail has an article on the dinner with excellent photos.

This was the menu in full, with the wines from Oregon listed. The gold rimmed plate, an edge of which can be seen underneath is a Clinton plate:

There’s a story behind this china:

The Conservative Treehouse posted on this and included the above tweets as well as a link to the 2001 ABC story, excerpted below:

Former President Clinton and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, have sent $28,000 worth of household goods back to Washington after questions arose over whether the items were intended as personal gifts or donations to the White House.

“We have been informed that it is being shipped back, and the National Park Service is ready to receive it, take possession of it and take custody of it,” Jim McDaniel, the National Park Service’s liaison to the White House, said Wednesday.

“The property is being returned to government custody until such time that the issues can be resolved. It may well turn out that that property is rightly the personal property of the Clintons.”

After they were criticized for taking $190,000 worth of china, flatware, rugs, televisions, sofas and other gifts with them when they left, the Clintons announced last week that they would pay for $86,000 worth of gifts, or nearly half the amount.

Their latest decision to send back $28,000 in gifts brings to $114,000 the value of items the Clintons have either decided to pay for or return.

On that subject, one of the commenters at The_Donald had an anecdote about the Clintons:

I personally know one of the White House Interior Decorators that was at The White House when Clinton’s arrived. She said it was like The Beverly Hillbillies come to town. They ruined so much historical stuff, decorated things totally trashy and they did try to and did take tons of stuff out of there. They personally ruined things, broke things trashed things that had been around a long time that had history behind them. I didn’t hear much about Bill from my friend, but she said Hillary was a piece of work and nasty. This from someone that lived through it.

Back to the present now and America’s current first couple. For interested ladies — Mrs Trump wore Chanel:

A light rain fell as the Trumps greeted the Macrons.

This video shows you how grand it was, with the military escort. The first couples pose for a photo at the 1:15 mark:

As for the guests, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-California) was the first to arrive:

Here is the only Democrat invited — the governor of Louisiana:

The following links have photos of other notable guests: the Vice President and Mrs Pence, the Speaker of the House and Mrs Ryan, Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner, the Chief of Staff and Mrs Kelly, the Press Secretary and Mr Sanders, the Director of the CIA and Mrs Pompeo, the Surgeon General and Mrs Adams, the Secretary of the Treasury and Mrs Mnuchin, the Chief Justice and Mrs Roberts, Henry and Nancy Kissinger (must see) and Rupert and Jerry (Hall) Murdoch. More guests are listed here and here.

Toasts were made before dinner (full transcript here):

Then it was Macron’s turn:

Knowing how much hard work went into the event, President Trump tweeted his appreciation to his First Lady:

Wednesday, April 25

Early the next day, Trump tweeted:

The video of Macron’s speech is here. He laid out his international policies and perspectives, which are very different to Trump’s. He received a standing ovation from both houses of Congress.

Macron then went to speak at George Washington University on a variety of topics …

… including religion, which is a hot topic for him right now in France:

He also held a press conference there:

President and Mrs Macron left for Paris later that day.

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