The “Russiagate” collusion theory took a huge blow this week, as the House Intelligence Committee’s probe into Russia meddling came to an end. While the special counsel probe continues, the House Intelligence Committee’s conclusion of “no collusion” underscored the lack of any evidence to date of any such activities. “The collusion conspiracy theory is breaking down. There is no evidence of collusion at this point after year-plus investigations in the House and Senate. [Rep. Adam Schiff] claimed a year ago he had more than circumstantial evidence of collusion, but he still can’t produce it,” said a source involved in Congress’s Russia investigations. “And we’ve seen nothing on collusion from [special counsel Robert] Mueller. In addition, everyone now knows the Steele dossier is a fraud, and that the FBI was using it anyway. So the only thing sustaining the collusion narrative now is the media’s complicity in it.” Democrats on the committee complained they just were not allowed to dig deep enough — after more than a year of investigating and 73 witness interviews. They have vowed to keep investigating, although without the power to compel witnesses or documents, it is hard to imagine they will make much progress. And they continue to argue that disparate incidents amounted to collusion — a London professor telling Trump volunteer campaign aide George Papadopoulos that the Russians had thousands of emails that were embarrassing to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump Jr. showing receptivity by accepting a meeting with a Russian lawyer who purportedly had dirt on Clinton. But the lead Republican on the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia probe, Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX), dismissed that idea, telling reporters after the committee’s conclusion was announced: ” Only Tom Clancy or Vince Flynn or someone else like that could take this series of inadvertent contacts with each other, or meetings, whatever, and weave that into some sort of a fictional page-turner spy thriller. But we’re not dealing with fiction, we’re dealing with facts. And we found no evidence of any collusion, of anything that people were actually doing, other than taking a meeting they shouldn’t have taken or inadvertently being in the same building.” Perhaps the biggest blow to Democrats is the loss of the probe as a political vehicle ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. The House Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), had become a cable news fixture talking about Russia collusion and suspected leaker to CNN about the probe. The RNC tracked Schiff’s TV interviews in the last 13 months about the probe at 227. “It’s not shocking that the person most upset by the outcome had used the investigation to launch his TV career,” Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Ahrens told the Washington Examiner. Schiff also tried to fundraise off of the Russia probe…
Woe are the Democrats. For generations now, they’ve been telling the American people that only they, and their cohort of liberals and leftists, understand and truly value women. Because of their special understanding of women, only they can be trusted to do what’s right politically for them, they tell us. Then came Hillary Clinton pulling the curtain back on that dangerously false narrative. At a speech in Mumbai, India, the twice-failed presidential candidate blamed her loss on mindless women who do as their husbands tell them. Again contemplating why she lost the 2016 presidential race, Mrs. Clinton blamed certain women for not thinking for themselves. “We don’t do well with married, white women,” she said, because of “ongoing pressure to vote the way that your husband, your boss, your son, whoever, believes you should,” Mrs. Clinton told the audience. It’s obvious from the last election that the Democrats also didn’t do well with married, white men. Yet, Mrs. Clinton doesn’t argue that it was Republican women bullying and pressuring their husbands into voting a certain way. In other words, the leading liberal feminist in the country is pushing the ironic narrative that if you’re a woman who does not conform to the liberal narrative, you have no mind of your own and are controlled by the men in your life. Yet it’s conservatives who are sexist and reliant on perpetuating gender stereotypes. Got it. Having come from the left, one of the most constant and appalling demonstrations of sexism in the feminist movement was the degrading and dehumanizing of women with whom liberal feminists disagreed. One of the most famous public illustrations of this is brought to us by Gloria Steinem, an icon of the modern feminist movement. In 1993, Ms. Steinem declared that then-Senate candidate from Texas Kay Bailey Hutchison was “a female impersonator … someone who looks like us but thinks like them,” reported the Orange County Register at the time. Publicly declared from on high by the Supreme Feminist for All Women: You are not a woman at all if you don’t think like us. When this columnist was within the feminist establishment in the 1990s, Ms. Steinem’s remarks reflected an attitude that was standard operating procedure. Heck, maybe Hillary thought she was doing women who don’t fall in line a favor by accusing them of simply being dumb pawns, instead of stripping them of their womanhood entirely. One of the biggest threats to the liberal “feminist” movement was for women to see there was a different way to think about the issues, better ways to think about policy and politics. This is why women who do not conform remain such a threat to the liberal status quo. Knowing what Mrs. Clinton exposes about the inherent sexism on the left, even her allies expressed dismay at the comments. FoxNews.com reported, “Clinton’s former 2008 presidential campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle didn’t defend her remarks. ‘Look this was bad. I can’t sugarcoat it,’ Solis Doyle said on HLN this week. ‘She was wrong and clearly it’s not helpful to Democrats going into the midterms and certainly not going into 2020.’ “ “Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who is up for re-election, come the midterms in November, in a state Trump won by 19 points, [noted], ‘Those are kind of fighting words for me, because I’m partial to Missouri voters,’ McCaskill told The Washington Post. ‘I think they were expressing their frustration with the status quo,’ ” Fox News reported. The Washington Examiner noted, “What if the notion that women’s votes somehow belong to Democrats by default was always the product of leftist self-delusion and nothing more? What if these women voted for Trump of their own accord, in part because like many of the people who actually did vote for her, they were turned off by Clinton’s obvious and easily detectable insincerity and inauthenticity?” And Liz Peek, a writer and frequent guest on Fox Business and Fox News tweeted: “Hillary is supposed to be supportive of women but secretly she thinks they are cowed by husbands & bosses — shame on her. She can’t imagine women didn’t support her — that’s the biggest sign they actually think for themselves.” Hillary Clinton is turning out to be a touchstone for our time, just not in the way she expected. She reminds us almost every day that the left exercises a sexism that this nation has rejected. It also reminds us of the importance of a genuine advocacy for women in this country that instead of punishing women for thinking for themselves, we value and elevate all women, making sure they’re free to make choices that best suit them.
Well said, Tammy! Author Tammy Bruce is a radio talk show host and a New York Times best-selling author…and calls it exactly right here. Hillary is a nauseating, self-righteous, entitlement-minded, whiny hypocrite. And now, even her former supporters are running away from her because they realize just how toxic Hillary’s big mouth is. Of course we hope she continues to keep talking. She’s the gift that keeps on giving. 🙂
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Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! Cheers!! 🙂
The Who’s frontman Roger Daltrey has a message for kids who are looking to pursue long-lasting careers in rock and roll. During a recent Vegas concert, Daltrey revealed to the rock and roll crowd that after years in the industry, the sounds of rock have made him “very, very deaf.” And as a word to the wise, the rock and roll crooner offered some advice to those looking to follow his career path and yelled to the crowd, “I advise you all – all you rock-and-roll fans – take your f—ing earplugs with you to the gigs.” He then added that he wished earplugs were something that he had used more often when it came to playing rowdy gigs. “If only we had known when we were young… we are lip-reading,” the singer admitted. But despite his hearing issues, Daltrey vowed to keep performing “for a long time.” “I am lucky to be doing what I do – so thank you,” he said. The singer also added that he now uses in-ear monitors and has become very good at reading lips.
U.S. military satellites used to warn of a missile strike or to deploy nuclear weapons are vulnerable to attacks by the Chinese and Russian armed forces, which have eclipsed their American counterparts in developing some significant space warfighting capabilities, experts cautioned lawmakers. Specifically, the United States is “over a decade” behind in developing a system to counteract the advancements made by China and Russia in the anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons domain, Douglas Loverro, the former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for space policy, warned a House panel. Echoing the U.S. intelligence community in written testimony prepared for a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Wednesday, the former Pentagon official noted: While China and Russia are driving through generations of ASAT systems every three to five years, it is taking us over a decade to even begin to field a system responsive to their first-generation threat. Stated more clearly, when it comes to strategic missile warning and nuclear command and control, the evolved US response to the ASAT threat we see being deployed today will be ready near the end of the next decade; meanwhile, the threat will have [leaped] forward two more generations, and likely made our response moot. The U.S. armed forces consider “maintaining space superiority” one of its primary goals, top American military officials have recently stressed, noting that “space is now a warfighting domain.” William Carter from the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) warned lawmakers in January that China is “rapidly closing the gap” with America in developing “cyber capabilities, anti-satellite weapons, electronic warfare tools, hypersonic weapons, artificial intelligence, and quantum technologies.” Carter pointed out that China has deemed satellites to be the U.S. military’s “Achilles heel.” While testifying before the House panel on Wednesday, Todd Harrison, another CSIS expert, reiterated that the American armed forces’ “dependence on space across the full spectrum of conflict” renders the U.S. vulnerable to its top ASAT domain rivals, Russia and China. “Adversaries can use forms of attack against our space systems that are difficult to detect, attribute, and deter. … Much remains to be done to improve the readiness of our national security space forces for the wide range of threats,” Harrison noted in his written testimony. Two of the three witnesses flat out told House lawmakers on Wednesday that the American military is not ready to take on adversaries like Russia and China in space. Retired Gen. Robert Kehler, who served as the head of U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM)—charged with overseeing America’s space warfighting capabilities—testified: “The United States is perilously close to losing the significant advantages that come from being the world’s leading spacefaring nation, and time is not on our side…”
Indeed.. Space WILL be the next high ground in our next major military conflict. And, our politicians need to support funding for our military space programs accordingly. For more, click on the text above.
Van McClain, guitarist with Shooting Star, has died after a three-year battle against the West Nile virus. Confirming the news on Facebook, band spokesman Randy Raley said: “It is with a very broken heart that I announce the passing of one of my all-time favorite people, Van McLain. I love him as a brother and I will miss him desperately. Van has been sick a long time, and I’m glad he’s finally free. Peace and Godspeed to his friends and family.” McClain contracted the virus in 2015, at one point requiring ICU attention including the fitting of feeding and breathing tubes. By last year he had recovered somewhat, but his medical insurers refused to continue his rehab funding, a fundraising page reported. Another fundraising event page reported: “Van is now at a point where he needs intense therapy, transportation and high-tech equipment so he can get stronger like we have been told he can … After over two years of trying to recover, he is now at a point where rehab can help him walk again.” McClain’s first interaction with the music industry was unfortunate – signed in 1968 by Clive Davis in England at the age of 18, he recorded his track “Take The Money and Run” with the expectation of a release. “Two months after we went in the studio, Steve Miller came out with a different (and soon to be much more famous) song named ‘Take the Money and Run,’” McClain told Goldmine in 2013. “There was no way my song was going to get released, so the record deal fell apart, and I moved back to Kansas City.” Formed in 1978, Shooting Star’s first run took them to 1987 before they split, after having been the victims of industry woes which meant they couldn’t take advantage of their AOR radio hit “Last Chance.” In a later interview McLain said: “We’d been slugging away at this for ten years, through about five different record deals, four sets of managers, three crooked lawyers, two turtledoves and a partridge in a pear tree. I’d had enough.” They reconvened in 1989, putting out Best of Shooting Star, which included the previously unreleased track “Touch Me Tonight.” The song became their biggest hit, reaching No. 67 on the Hot 100 and receiving ample play on MTV. The group remained working, with a run of lineup changes, and a total of nine studio albums, the last of which was 2015’s Into the Night. McClain noted: “I just still love getting out there and doing this. Maybe I didn’t get the whole pie, but we still got a slice, and that’s good enough.” Current Kansas frontman Ronnie Platt was a member of Shooting Star from 2007 to 2011. In previously unpublished comments from 2016, Platt told UCR: “Through a mutual friend, I got hooked up with Shooting Star. I met Van and we hit it off.” His only regret with the band, he said, was: “I wish we would have played a lot more.” He added: “What a talented band. They really, really should have been a lot bigger than they were. I know in Chicago, boy, Shooting Star really got a lot of airplay. … It’s funny, all of my friends around Chicago and stuff, ‘Who’s Shooting Star? I’ve never heard of Shooting Star,’ and I would always say, ‘Yes, you did.’ I would play them a montage of their songs and they’d be like, ‘I know that song, I know that song, I know that song.’” He name-checked the tracks “Last Chance,” “Hang On For Your Life,” “Breakout” and “Flesh and Blood.”
And, how about “Tonight” or “Straight Ahead?” There were so many great songs! I was devastated to learn of Van’s passing. Had no idea he was ill. I have many fond memories of seeing Shooting Star in concert back when I was in high school in St. Louis. The band’s “spokesperson,” Randy Raley, was a dj back in the’80s and early ’90s for St. Louis’ legendary rock radio station KSHE 95. Back then, their music was always on KSHE. If for some reason you don’t who Shooting Star is, they’re like a cross between Journey and Kansas, and were the first band to sign with Virgin records. Just Google “Shooting Star Band” and you’ll find em. Or, better, go to eBay and search “Shooting Star” and get a cd or two, while you still can. A few years ago Van mailed me a cd of a solo project he was working on. The man never gave up, and went through several singers after Gary threw in the towel and decided to open an asbestos removal business in KC. He kept the faith, and kept Shooting Star together for decades. With his passing, Shooting Star is probably no more. Our prayers go to Van’s family Thanks for all the great tunes, Van. R.I.P.
President Trump’s upcoming meeting with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un – announced Thursday night to a shocked world – is a stunning vindication of the president’s strategy and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster’s artful behind-the-scenes acumen. North Korea’s invitation for the meeting and President Trump’s acceptance marked a historic step. If a genuine rapprochement occurs on President Trump’s watch, leading to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the impact on global security and President Trump’s legacy will be enormous. But at this point, it’s important for President Trump and his foreign policy and defense team to proceed with extreme caution. While they deserve credit for cracking the North Korean silence, the historical record suggests this could be a trap, if not an intentional distraction. President Trump’s engaged, creative and blunt approach – with artful backroom diplomacy – has turned the dial. If this strategic opening leads somewhere, the Russia investigation of the 2016 election will become a footnote on world-changing achievement. President Trump will instead be remembered for calling out North Korea’s intolerable nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile threats to global civilization. But a decision to meet, even a North Korean promise to denuclearize, is not an agreement, implementation, verification or a factually denuclearized Peninsula. And the odds of success remain long. On the plus side, President Trump not only triggered this opening, but persuaded China to make sanctions real, which occasions a nod to both the president and China. On the minus side, the record suggests profound skepticism is warranted about North Korea’s intentions. In 1985, pressured hard by Ronald Reagan, North Korea – led by the current leader’s grandfather – signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty (NPT). Everyone was happy. The world celebrated. That triggered a running of the clock on an 18-month signing of the “safeguards agreement,” implementing the NPT. The North Koreans ignored the clock. Suddenly, they demanded South Korea drop nuclear weapons. Six years on, President George H.W. Bush withdrew all American nuclear weapons from overseas – including from South Korea – in order to induce the Soviets to do the same. At that time, North Korea finally signed the safeguards agreement. Reversal was again fast. That year, North Korea was caught and sanctioned for missile proliferation and cheating on the NPT with a rogue plutonium reprocessing plant. By early 1993, the North Koreans had firmly refused International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections. But later that year, they doubled back. They allowed them in theory, if the West would pledge not ever to attack, which of course we did. But in 1994, North Korea was caught red-handed again, this time producing enough plutonium for “one or two nuclear weapons.” Funny thing, the North had done all this cheating while allowing IAEA inspections to other locations. When caught by the IAEA with the plutonium reprocessing plant, North Korea summarily quit the NPT. So much for a solid kick between the goalposts, long run, but no cigar. Like Charlie Brown to the rescue, idealist on call, former President Jimmy Carter flew over to North Korea, and magically announced he had negotiated a “freeze” on North Korea’s nuclear program. The world again celebrated. For better or worse, North Korea’s President, Kim II Sung died that year, succeeded by his son Kim Jong II, who was later be succeeded by his son, current leader Kim Jong Un. Kim Jong II toyed with agreements halting nuclear weapons and missile development, but suddenly demanded “compensation” from the U.S. for giving them up. President Clinton gave nothing to North Korea. A smart move. Soon enough, more cheating produced American sanctions. Without Chinese support, they failed. Over the next 20 years, the North Korean nuclear weapons and missile programs continued their unmitigated, undeterred and largely ignored advance. Missile launches and underground nuclear tests proliferated, beside useless negotiations. More sanctions came, but U.S. intelligence concluded by 2000 that North Korea was developing missiles that would soon be able to hit American territories in the Pacific. Promises were ritually made anew, boldly flouted, with new sanctions imposed, and nothing changed. After seven rounds of negotiations, and a steady flow of wishful diplomats and wistful proclamations, nothing led to nothing, as nothing ever does. When the North Koreans need time, they promise talk. Is talk worth having? Sure – as long as everyone understands, talk is not a substitute for action. Today things are definitely different. America’s economic and military might are locked, loaded and ready. Current sanctions are real, robust and bound to bite. China is finally helping, and America’s credibility has been boldly restored. But this is not enough, unless North Korea is serious. Frankly, the stakes are higher than most imagine, a fork in the road, resolution or submission to nuclear blackmail. We are at a Rubicon, a moment of choosing for us, but more so for North Korea’s leadership. For good to come of this, we must see a mutual intent to end the madness. The question at this moment, with true and new hope in our sails, is this: Does North Korea appreciate the enormity of this moment, which could be existential? Is the regime serious about this negotiation? President Trump set out to stop the historic merry-go-round. And it looks like, for the moment, he has done it. The North Korean invitation and President Trump’s acceptance are monumental steps, but the unspoken question remains – toward what? Can they get to genuine denuclearization and a rollback of North Korea’s decades-old ambition and threat? Or are we about to be disappointed again? If that happens, the risk to North Korea goes sky high, but does the Kim government know that? As hope is not a strategy, talk cannot be an endgame. What happens next is critical, but is infused with new hope. Suddenly, there exists a previously unknown, world-changing breakthrough. Such things do happen. If this produces a lasting peace and a denuclearized North Korea, President Trump will rise in global stature like no president since Ronald Reagan. But history suggests caution. Courage and hard work may produce the good outcome, or may not. We can dare to hope, we should dare, as the president has, but with realism.
Agreed!! And well said, Robert. Author Robert Charles is a former Naval intelligence officer, attorney, and was a former Assistant Secretary of State who worked in multiple White House administrations.