Trump Says He Didn’t Mention Israel in Meeting With Russians

President Donald Trump on Monday defended himself against allegations he divulged classified information in a recent meeting with Russian diplomats, saying alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he never identified Israel in his Oval Office conversation.

At the end of his appearance with Netanyahu, Trump said that he “never mentioned the word or the name Israel” in his conversation with Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador. “So you have another story wrong,” he said.

Various reports, quoting anonymous officials, have said Trump did share classified information with Russian diplomats about the threat posed by the Islamic State group, and several have said that information came from Israeli intelligence. But news accounts have not accused Trump of naming Israel as a source of the information. (Read more from “Trump Says He Didn’t Mention Israel in Meeting With Russians” HERE)

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North Korea Says It’s Ready to Deploy, Mass-Produce New Missile

North Korea says it’s ready to deploy and start mass-producing a new medium-range missile capable of reaching Japan and major U.S. military bases there following a test launch it claims confirmed the missile’s combat readiness and is an “answer” to U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies.

The solid-fuel Pukguksong-2 missile flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles) and reached a height of 560 kilometers (350 miles) Sunday before plunging into the Pacific Ocean. North Korea’s media said more missiles will be launched in the future . . .

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered the launch and watched from an observation post, state media reported Monday. The Korea Central News Agency said the test verified technical aspects of the weapon system and examined its “adaptability under various battle conditions” before it is deployed to military units. (Read more from “North Korea Says It’s Ready to Deploy, Mass-Produce New Missile” HERE)

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Trump Signals a Reset Between Israel and US

It’s time to patch up America’s second “special relationship” after eight years of frayed feelings between the United States and Israel.

That’s the message President Donald Trump is sending in his early-presidency trip to Israel and unprecedented visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Trump said of his Monday visit to the Western Wall, a first for sitting American presidents, that the visit was potentially a path to a “deeper” friendship with Israel.

Conflicts over policy and philosophy strained the relations between former President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and led to distrust between the two countries.

By going out of his way to entreat with Israel, Trump is at least signaling that a reset is in store.

Israel plays an essential role in American foreign policy—and not only in the Middle East. The war against radical Islamists has global implications in which the two countries have overlapping interests.

America’s Other ‘Special Relationship’

It is almost taken for granted today that Israel has been such a reliable foreign policy partner. This was only due to the careful diplomacy and alignment of key national and cultural interests between the two countries.

The nature of this partnership in many ways mirrors the so-called “special relationship” between Great Britain and the United States.

However, it is important to remember that before World War II, the U.S. and U.K. spent a century as mortal enemies and had deep reasons to distrust one another.

World War I pushed the U.S. and U.K. closer together after a century of suspicion and hostility. The fires of World War II and the Herculean efforts of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill sealed a the long-term collaboration between the countries—an example of the importance of wise statesmanship from American and British leaders.

It is important for American leaders to recognize and cultivate just such a relationship with Israel.

While the United States has always been supportive of Israel’s nationhood since 1948, the two countries were not always so intertwined. The complex nature of the Cold War in the Middle East occasionally put the U.S. and Israel at odds.

U.S.-Israel ties grew closer after Israel defeated a coalition of Arab states backed by the Soviet Union in the Yom Kippur War and the country proved itself to be a valuable Cold War ally.

The wisdom of this cooperation is even more apparent after the rise of radical Islamist sentiment that became a cornerstone aspect of American foreign policy after the terrorist attack on 9/11.

Israel was in a prime position to help combat this pernicious ideology, which has strong ties in the Middle East.

Countering Iran and Syria

Trump addressed a few major issues of immediate concern to the U.S. during his visit to Israel.

Of course, the thorn of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and other radical, subnational Islamist groups in the region remain high on the U.S. agenda, and Israel is a key partner in destroying these factions.

But the national threats of Syria and Iran, which have acted recalcitrantly toward the West and are well-known funders of terrorist groups, are of particular concern and also require close cooperation with Israel.

Trump has already shown that he is willing to make limited strikes in Syria to enforce the red line on chemical weapons. This action was strongly supported by Israel, and was seen as a rebuke to both Bashar Assad’s regime in Syria and also Iran.

On Monday, Trump sent a strong message to Iran that its terror funding and nuclear ambitions would not be tolerated.

As Middle East expert Jim Phillips argued in a recent Heritage Foundation report, “Iran remains the chief long-term regional threat to the U.S. and Israel.”

Trump has not yet followed through on his promise to tear up the Obama administration’s 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, pending a formal policy review of whether the nuclear deal advances vital American national interests.

Nevertheless, Trump said in a speech that Iran was guilty of “deadly funding, training, and equipping of terrorists and militias,” and that it acted inappropriately after the deal took place.

As Phillips noted, it is vitally important to either change the terms of this treaty or step away from it entirely to stem Iran’s “continued support for terrorism, expanding ballistic missile program, and deepening military intervention in Syria.”

Israel is among the most important counterweights to this hostile regime in the Middle East, especially in upholding economic sanctions and controlling arms flowing to and from Iran.

The ‘Ultimate Deal’

Trump made numerous commitments regarding Israel during the campaign.

Currently, his promise to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move an American embassy there has failed to materialize. This remains a thorny issue for the Palestinians in particular. It would also create a challenge for Trump’s desire to broker the “ultimate deal” between Israel and the Palestinians.

Trump has expressed a desire to create some kind of lasting solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, an issue that has become a white whale for American presidents from Jimmy Carter to Obama.

All of these attempts have failed to achieve any kind of lasting peace, and some have exacerbated the conflict.

A more realistic approach would be to seek an interim agreement to make incremental progress on addressing Israeli security concerns and facilitating Palestinian economic development, which would help restore mutual trust and create a more supportive environment for later addressing touchy final status issues.

Sticking points like the “right of return” for Palestinians, the status of Jerusalem, the future of Israeli settlements, and the redrawing of borders are unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, given the glaring lack of trust and wide gaps in the negotiating positions of Israel and the Palestinian Authority. (For more from the author of “Trump Signals a Reset Between Israel and US” please click HERE)

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Here’s What’s in Trump’s ‘Taxpayers First’ Federal Budget

The Trump administration will respect taxpayers, balance the budget, return the country to 3 percent economic growth, and push a parental leave requirement in its fiscal plan to be released Tuesday, said Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.

Mulvaney called it a “taxpayers first budget.”

“This budget was written through the eyes of the people paying for the budget, not through the eyes of who is getting paid,” Mulvaney told reporters Monday during an off-camera briefing at the White House.

Mulavney elaborated that budget writers went line-by-line through the budget to see what programs had a success rate and what programs didn’t.

The White House released a general outline of the plan Monday, before the full plan is released on Tuesday. The budget includes $3.6 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years, which the White House says is the most proposed by any president.

The administration’s first budget is being released while President Donald Trump is out of the country, taking stops in the Middle East and Europe.

Much of the budget policies are tied to creating 3 percent growth, or are contingent on achieving that goal. A key example is balancing a budget in 10 years, which relies on the growth goal.

“It is not unprecedented, but is below the average since the founding of the country and since World War II,” Mulvaney said. “You will never balance the budget with 1.9 percent growth.”

The growth rate could be a very optimistic assumption for balancing the budget in 10 years, said Romina Boccia, deputy director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation. Last week, she said the budget numbers are worth comparing to other estimates, such as the Congressional Budget Office.

The fiscal plan presumes the passages of both the American Health Care Act—to replace Obamacare—and of Trump’s tax reform proposal. It also includes increases in defense and border security spending—including $2.6 billion for a border wall and other border infrastructure.

The administration projects that by 2027, when the budget balances, publicly held debt will drop to 60 percent of gross domestic product. This would be the lowest level since 2010, when the Obama administration’s first budget took effect. That’s down from 77 percent of GDP. The plan further projects the national debt to continue falling.

The Trump administration’s plan puts forth a new path for welfare reforms, which Mulvaney characterized as a method to encourage the “dignity of work,” and also another way to move people out of poverty and into the workforce.

“We believe social safety net programs will help us get to 3 percent growth, because people won’t be afraid that if they take a gamble and fail, they’ll be wiped out,” Mulvaney said.

He said the reforms are simply to determine if everyone in the social programs should be on the programs.

The 10-year plan will “tighten eligibility and encourage work” for recipients of food stamps. It will limit the earned income tax credit and child tax credit to only those legally eligible to work in the United States.

The food stamp reforms are projected to save $193 billion over the next decade. Reforms to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, are projected to save $21 billion over 10 years and EITC and child tax credit changes will save $40 billion over 10 years, according to the budget projection. The budget outline further proposes to reform Medicaid to give states more flexibility through federal block grants.

There is a reason to be skeptical of whether work requirements—such as in Medicaid, food stamps, or housing—will have a significant budgetary impact, said Michael Tanner, a senior fellow with the libertarian Cato Institute.

“I do not think it’s a terrible thing, but savings will be really incremental,” Tanner told The Daily Signal. “I also think all the wailing and gnashing of teeth we’ll hear on the other side is too much. This will affect few people.”

“Look at TANF, which has fairly strong work requirements,” Tanner said. “Only 42 percent [of recipients] are working, with a fairly generous definition of working—job training or college. There are so many exemptions.”

He added that welfare programs shouldn’t be reformed to save money, but because they are not working.

Mulvaney said this is the first time a presidential budget proposed a fully-paid-for paid family leave proposal through building on the unemployment insurance system as a base, and allowing states to establish paid parental leave programs.

“This goes to the matter of 3 percent growth,” Mulvaney said, because more parents will feel comfortable about going back to work without fear.

Tanner said not so fast, citing laws in California, and in Europe, where laws have had the opposite effect.

“There is no such thing as a free lunch,” Tanner said. “If a business has to pay for two workers to support one, it becomes more expensive to hire women. In Britain and other European countries that have these laws, it drove down the number of women in the workforce.” (For more from the author of “Here’s What’s in Trump’s ‘Taxpayers First’ Federal Budget” please click HERE)

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Manchester Explosion: UK Has Been Targeted by Terrorists ‘Time and Time Again’

At least 19 people were killed and at least 50 injured in a suspected suicide bomb explosion Monday night at an arena in Manchester, England, where U.S. pop singer Ariana Grande was performing a concert.

Police said they were treating the explosion just outside the arena as a terror incident until they “know otherwise.”

Robin Simcox, a terrorism and national security expert at The Heritage Foundation, said the United Kingdom has been a target of Islamist terrorists “time and time again.”

“While the perpetrator of this attack is not yet clear, the U.K. has been targeted by Islamist terrorists time and again,” Simcox told The Daily Signal. “Manchester itself was targeted by Islamist terrorists on multiple occasions in the past, including by al-Qaeda.”

“Even though the U.K. has world class security services,” Simcox added, “this is a numbers game—and the amount of terror suspects in the U.K. is so high that it is impossible for authorities to be able to keep track of everyone that is of concern.”

The explosion occurred about 10:35 p.m. local time outside the Manchester Arena as people were exiting after the concert. The arena has the capacity to seat 21,000 people.

Videos shared online shows concertgoers, many of them children, adolescents, or teens, frantically fleeing a chaotic scene.

Some used Twitter to desperately search for loved ones who had attended the concert.

Andy James, an eyewitness who attended the 23-year-old singer’s concert in Manchester, told CNN the boom felt like it “rattled in my chest.” After the explosion, he said, there was “a stampede of people.”

Chris Pawley, another eyewitness, told Fox News the explosion occurred in an area just outside the arena where parents were waiting to pick up their “young children and teenagers.”

European Parliament member Nigel Farage said that if the explosion is confirmed as an act of terror, it will be a “new low” for terrorists.

“The direct attack on children … marks a new low in all forms of terrorism,” Farage said on Fox News.

A publicist for Ariana Grande told The New York Times during the initial confusion that the American singer and actress was “OK.”

TMZ later reported Grande to be “in hysterics” over the carnage, and Sky News reported her world tour had been suspended. Grande tweeted:

Her “Dangerous Woman” tour, which kicked off Feb. 3 in Phoneix, had been scheduled to take the singer to London for concerts Thursday and Friday, followed by cities in Belgium, Poland, and Germany.

The explosion coincided with President Donald Trump’s visit to the Middle East, where on Sunday in Saudi Arabia he urged Arab leaders to step up the fight to “drive out” Islamist terrorists and extremists. Trump was briefed on the explosion in Manchester, according to NBC News.

(For more from the author of “Manchester Explosion: UK Has Been Targeted by Terrorists ‘Time and Time Again'” please click HERE)

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Veterans Claim They Were Duped Into Lobbying for Saudis

With all the worry about Russian influence over U.S. elections it’s easy to overlook the many foreign interests working to impact U.S. policy every day–through paid lobbying.

American lobbyists have made billions working for foreign entities. Who’s paying whom for what is subject to federal disclosure laws. But the system may not always work as intended. In the latest episode of “Full Measure” we investigated a case in point: some U.S. military vets who claim they were duped into lobbying for the wrong side.

This twisted tale of Washington, D.C., lobbying begins in an unlikely place. With a rock band from Utah.

That’s Tim Cord singing … his brother on lead guitar … both Iraq war vets.

Tim Cord, U.S. Military veteran: My brother and I were in a rock band called American Hitmen … so we’ve kind of made a name for ourselves in the music scene as veterans.

They hoped to play at President Donald Trump’s inauguration. But when that gig didn’t come through, a political contact they’d met on the road offered what sounded like a decent consolation prize.

Cord: He just said it’s going to be an all-expensive, all-expense paid trip for four days basically to see how D.C. works is basically how they worded it.

Shortly before the January trip, one organizer sent an email mentioning a political angle: a new law called “JASTA”—the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act.

It allows families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for any alleged ties to the Islamic extremist terrorist attacks.

Cord: We thought we were going to just go hang out in … D.C. and basically see politicians, see this, meet with this group of vets that were there to talk about the JASTA bill.

The trip to the Capitol began with open bar at a luxurious hotel with retired generals and Purple Heart recipients.

Folders were handed out claiming JASTA was disastrous for veterans. Then came an odd announcement, Cord says, from organizer Jason Johns—a veterans’ advocate.

Cord: Jason Johns stood up and he said, ‘Thank you all so much for coming … we want to protect the veterans and I know there’s a lot of rumors going around but we can assure you there’s no Saudi money behind this.’ … I don’t think any of us, at least at my table, had even thought about the Saudis. It was just kind of a weird statement to make opening night.

He says things got stranger the next day when they were split into groups to visit Senate offices to promote supposed improvements to JASTA.

Cord: Every time we would go into one of their offices, they would say, ‘Who are you here on behalf of?’ And whoever was our group leader would say, like flat out, “Oh no, we’re just a group of concerned vets volunteering our time.

That night, he says, his suspicions were confirmed by a drunk confession from an organizer.

Cord: I said, ‘So, by the way, who’s paying for all of this?’ And he’s like, ‘Dude, it’s the Kingdom.’ And I said, ‘The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah, man.’ So this was unraveling into something that I wanted no part of. We joined the Marine Corps after 9/11. I mean 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were Saudis, so I don’t want anything to do with the Saudi Arabian Kingdom or their money.

Cord says he shared the news with his group and confronted the contact who first invited him on the trip.

Cord: He goes, ‘Well, welcome to politics, Tim. It’s either Obama and the Iranians or the Republicans and the Saudis. Welcome to Washington.’ It came to the realization that my brother and I were sitting there eating catered dinner on the Saudi dime in an attempt to shoot down the 9/11 victims’ families lawsuit against the Saudi Arabian Kingdom. It was probably one of the worst feelings I’ve had in my life.

Lydia Dennett, Project on Government Oversight: That seemed to be a tactic from recruiting veterans to talk about the negative implications of this law and to do so in a way that sort of obscured Saudi Arabian involvement in it.

Lydia Dennett is an investigator with the nonprofit watchdog Project on Government Oversight … which has been tracking Saudi lobbying efforts.

Dennett: Because it was done through this lobbying firm, the veterans themselves, and the public, may not have known that these were talking points and issues that were coming from the Saudi Arabian government. That sort of undermines the entire transparency and intent of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

The Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) of 1938 requires lobbyists for foreign interests to register and file reports.

Dennett: By the end of 2016, the Saudi Arabian government had 22 different lobbying firms to promote their interests in the U.S., of which were added in the fall of 2016 alone. Right around the time that JASTA was or the 9-11 bill was introduced, going through debate hearings, and then ultimately passed.

For example, a company called Qorvis has been on the Saudi payroll since two months after the 9/11 attacks. The original contract disclosed $200,000 a month in payments—$2.4 million a year.

Sharyl Attkisson: What do you sense the Saudis were trying to do when it comes to that bill?

Dennett: They were trying to get their message out there, which was that it was a dangerous bill that would set a dangerous precedent across the world.

That messaging flooded the media … that JASTA would cause foreign countries to retaliate and sue our military personnel in foreign courts. Which is the argument President Barack Obama made in September when he vetoed the bill.

Former President Barack Obama: That concern that I have has nothing to do with Saudi Arabia per se or my sympathy for 9/11 families. It has to do with me not wanting a situation in which we’re suddenly exposed to liabilities from all the work that we’re doing around the world.

But Congress overrode the veto. So Qorvis sprang into action, hiring none other than the man who would go on to help organize the Washington, D.C., trip: Jason Johns. It turns out he’s not just a veterans’ advocate. He owns a lobby firm of his own and officially registered to lobby elected officials on behalf of Saudi Arabia.

Cord: We found out afterward, that Jason Johns was a registered Saudi agent, and he made $100,000, it’s on public record that he was paid $100,000 by the Kingdom and registered as a Saudi agent. That’s the guy that said in the beginning, ‘There’s a lot of rumors that this is Saudi money and it’s not, I can assure you.’

By email, Johns told us that vets with “ulterior motives” are issuing “mistruths and false allegations.” He declined our request for a one-on-one interview and insisted we interview “at least three other” unnamed vets he would arrange in a group setting with him. We explained that under news policies, we can’t agree to terms, such who we must interview. Johns added we shouldn’t focus on “a few veterans feeling they were ‘duped’ but … why hundreds … volunteered to go to D.C. and speak about why amending JASTA is so vital to them, our currently serving military, and our national security.”

Qorvis declined our interview requests but has previously denied deceiving veterans, said it reports disclosures accurately, and it’s “hard to believe anyone would feel they didn’t know why they were in Washington.

Attkisson: Saudi Arabia might say everything we did was perfectly legal. U.S. law allows them to hire people in this country and lobby for their interests. What did they do wrong?

Dennett: In any written materials distributed, if there were emails sent to these veterans or their veteran groups, they’re required to say very clearly in there, ‘This is information, we’re being paid to distribute this information by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and more information is available at the Department of Justice.’ If the emails or any documents did not include that statement, then that’s a violation of the law.

In fact, an examination of some emails trip organizers allegedly sent to vets made no mention of Saudi lobbying. This one billed the D.C. trip as “basically like a 5-star vacation,” noting, “you don’t have to know anything about JASTA.”

Attkisson: Why should ordinary Americans care about this?

Dennett: The issues that these foreign countries are lobbying on can be everything from foreign aid to arms deals, … appropriated funds, which come from taxpayer dollars. So, the public deserves to know exactly how the policy is being made.

Cord says, in the end, one promise of his trip was fulfilled. He did learn a lot about how Washington works.

Cord: It was the worst feeling ever because there’s nothing I can do about it. My name will forever be on a ledger, my brother’s name will forever be on a ledger saying that we were wined and dined by the Saudis. And it’s not a good feeling. It sucks. (For more from the author of “Veterans Claim They Were Duped Into Lobbying for Saudis” please click HERE)

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‘Porngate’ Scandal Rocks State Government; Whistle Blower is Viciously Attacked

Pennsylvania’s state government is reeling from a scandal involving the exchange of sexually explicit images and other offensive material among judges, prosecutors and other top state officials.

“Porngate” has already resulted in the early retirement of one state Supreme Court justice, the suspension of another, and ongoing attempts to impeach embattled state Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who exposed the misbehavior.

On Tuesday, Kane announced that she would not seek re-election as she faces criminal charges of leaking secret grand jury evidence to a Philadelphia newspaper and allegedly lying about it under oath.

The state Supreme Court suspended Kane’s law license last September. The Pennsylvania House Subcommittee on Courts has scheduled a hearing next Tuesday to determine whether she should be impeached after an attempt in the State Senate failed last week.

“If the legislature spent a fraction of the time investigating this content as it has on the one individual who exposed it, we could start to restore credibility to our judicial system and give Pennsylvanians a system of justice in which they can be proud,” a defiant Kane responded. (Read more from “‘Porngate’ Scandal Rocks Pennsylvania State Government” HERE)

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Undeniable Proof That America Has Gone Mad

In case you’ve been sleeping under a rock the last few years, here’s a newsflash: America has gone totally mad.

To be clear, I don’t mean that all Americans are off their rocker. I mean that right is now wrong, the abnormal is now normal, and what was once was unthinkable is now celebrated.

Head-scratching Headlines

Think I’m exaggerating? Then consider some recent headlines.

Time magazine, September 12, 2016: “My Brother’s Pregnancy and the Making of a New American Family.”

This article was written by a woman who was describing her brother’s pregnancy — in other words, her sister’s pregnancy. The twist being that her sister now identifies as her brother.

Pink News, September 4, 2016: “This photo of a trans dad breastfeeding his son tells a great story of love and acceptance.”

This refers to the same story and features the same, heartbreaking picture of what appears to be a man (with a scruffy beard and chest hair) nursing a baby. Somehow, this man has women’s breasts. This is not a “great story.” It’s a tragic story. It’s something to be mourned, not celebrated.

Lifesite News, May 19, 2017: “Breastfeeding organization welcomes transgender ‘nursing men’.”

As the article explains, “A venerable breastfeeding advocacy group is floating the notion that men can nurse children.

“Nursing is not just for moms anymore, reports a blog post from the National Catholic Register this week about a policy statement from La Leche League International (LLLI).

“‘As the cultural understanding of gender has expanded, it is now recognized that some men are able to breastfeed,’ the organization also stated.”

Note those words carefully once more: “nursing men” and “some men are able to breastfeed.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 16, 2017: “Tampons in Men’s Rooms? It’s Just a Small Part of ‘Menstrual Equity,’ Campus Activists Say.”

Says the article, “Over the past year, several colleges have improved access to menstrual products on their campuses, including in some men’s and gender-neutral restrooms. That last detail has prompted some conservative websites to take note.

“The American Conservative mockingly headlined its report ‘Social Justice Washrooms,’ from ‘tomorrow’s generation of American elites.’ Commenters on Breitbart’s report on the trend called it ‘academic insanity,’ pointing out that ‘men do not menstruate.’”

But these campus ideologues are committed to their cause, which is part of the growing “free the tampon movement.” This is “an effort to make college more fair for students who menstruate, a concept for which Jennifer Weiss-Wolf coined the phrase ‘menstrual equity.’

According to Lance Floto, vice-president of the student association at the University of Rochester, “We have smaller baskets in men’s rest­rooms, but the reason we do that is because there are some men on the campus who menstruate and so it’s just the whole idea of inclusion and making sure that nobody’s left out — it’s a very easy thing.”

Let me remind you that these quotes are not from a satirical website and that the “menstrual equity, free the tampon” movement really exists.

Coupled with this on our campuses is the “pronoun of your choice” movement, which I’ve documented elsewhere. (For the record, these pronouns include: they/them/their/themselves; tey/tem/ter/temself ;ey/em/eir/emself; e/em/eir/emself; thon/thon/thons/thonself; fae/faer/faers/faerself; vae/vaer/vaers/vaerself; ae/aer/aers/aerself; ne/nym/nis/nymself; ne/nem/nir/nemself; xe/xem/xyr/xemself; xe/xim/xis/ximself; xie/xem/xyr/xemself; ze(or zie)/zir/zirs/zirself; zhe/zhir/zhirs/zhirself; ze/hir/hirs/hirself; sie/sier/siers/sierself; zed/zed/zeds/zedself; zed/zed/zeir/zedself; ce/cir/cirs/cirself; co/cos/cos/coself; ve/vis/vir/verself; jee/jem/jeir/jemself; lee/lim/lis/limself; kye/kyr/kyne/kyrself; per/per/pers/perself; hu/hum/hus/humself; bun/bun/buns/bunself; it/it/its/itself.)

And let’s not forget the Obama Justice Department policy. It threatened schools that would not allow boys who identified as girls to share the girls’ bathrooms, locker rooms, and shower stalls. What kind of social experiment is this?

Perhaps this one article from Everyday Feminism (with video) shows just how mad our nation has gone. (Thankfully, the responses to the video are mostly negative. That’s a glimmer of hope, at least for the moment.) The article is written by Riley J. Dennis, “a polyamorous, atheist, gender non-binary trans woman with a passion for fiction writing, feminism, and technology.” It’s titled, “Can Having Genital Preferences for Dating Mean You’re Anti-Trans?” In other words, if, as a man, you prefer to date or marry a woman who has female genitalia rather than male genitalia, does that mean you’re “anti-trans”?

The article asks: “Is it cissexist, or anti-trans, to say that you wouldn’t date a woman who has a penis?” The answer? Well, it’s “more complicated than you might think.”

Complicated? Really? We have lost our collective mind!

England is not far behind. This headline announces, “First British man to get pregnant has been bombarded with abuse and threats since revealing he is due to give birth.”

I’m truly sorry that this woman is suffering such abuse and getting ugly threats. I’m also sorry that she wants to be both the mother and father of her child.

Speaking of children, have you heard about the latest? It’s drag queens reading stories to little kids. Major media headlines celebrate it. “Drag Queen Story Hour Puts the Rainbow in Reading” says The New York Times. “Early reading just got a lot more glamorous” says the Smithsonian. And Circa tells us, “Drag Queens Are Reading Books to Help Fight Gender Stereotypes”

And who knows what’s coming next? Who can even imagine?

Three Possible Outcomes

As a God-fearing follower of Jesus, I can see three possible outcomes for the near future:

1. Jesus comes back before we completely self-destruct

2. We completely self-destruct.

3. We have a great (and rude) awakening that saves us from self-destruction.

While I long for the Lord’s return, I also work and pray for a great awakening. We should all pray that the Holy Spirit will transform the people I mention above. If not, it will be a rocky ride. (For more from the author of “Undeniable Proof That America Has Gone Mad” please click HERE)

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‘Last Man Standing’ Was More Than a Show; It Was a Prophecy

The progressive mind is easy to laugh at and make fun of on a daily basis, but our charge must be to know our opponents more deeply than that if we actually want to defeat them.

What does it truly tell us when ABC cancels a right-leaning sitcom starring Tim Allen that had better ratings than several of the shows it chose to renew? And remember, your answer should take into account that ABC is owned by Disney, and we just saw what gobs of progressive politics have done to the health of what used to be an iconic sports channel.

It would seem that the bottom line for the Disney family tree isn’t always the bottom line.

While it may be obvious to say that propaganda is its first goal, that doesn’t really make the point starkly enough. There are plenty of business enterprises, or at least there used to be, that engaged in propaganda as long as they could financially get away with it. But once the proper pressure or blowback was applied, it served as a de facto cease-and-desist order.

Now, though, no such concern seems to exist. Entities like Disney, Target, and public institutions of learning like the University of Missouri seem unmoved or even self-righteous about the financial hit they are often taking. Their SJW street-cred appears to come first with them.

When you begin to see significant swaths of mankind largely forgo a self-preservation instinct like profit in favor of faux utopian wishcasting, you know why I call progressivism the heresy of the age. It is its own cult, for a hallmark of any cult is the forgoing of individual interests to serve the groupthink. And groupthink isn’t a noble cause worth self-sacrificing for, but rather an ignominious one that seeks to diminish and destroy the inherent value of the individual as an image-bearer of God.

Cults, which are counterfeits of true religion, can’t be reasoned with. Just like a true religion, they see opposition as a sign that they’re onto something. The devil doesn’t give up his strongholds without a fight. But when it comes to a cult, that isn’t opposition they’re seeing, but an intervention. That is people who care about you enough to try to stop you from sprinting towards Gomorrah, heading down the highway to hell, or stepping into the Twilight Zone.

While greed may not be good, as Gordon Gecko once said, the desire to make an honest dollar is as firm an assessment of cultural sanity as there is. It is a sign of belief in self-sufficiency, as one created with certain unique talents, skills, and gifts that the Creator wants you to maximize to their fullest potential. It is a reliance on the productivity of your fellow man instead of on his blind obedience, and as such all boats can indeed rise with the tide. The Keynesian zero-sum game is mistaken.

But progressivism is nothing if not zero-sum. The nanny state doesn’t like competition. It prefers slaves. And its total commitment would be admirable, if you ignore the fact that all the things you truly care about will be destroyed by it.

This is why one of my fundamental recommendations to President Trump, both before he took office and earlier this week, as I begged him to reboot his presidency, was to focus on tax reform and on actually repealing Obamacare.

The smart play, in a culture this morally dysfunctional, is to turn the momentum of the fiscal apathy associated with that dysfunction against it. You may not make much sense about God or marriage to the lost and forsaken in our current cultural matrix, for example, if you don’t seem to have any answers that put more money in people’s wallets. But if we can create a climate of prosperity, where the difference between Disney’s financial death wish and free markets would make Milton Friedman blush, maybe then we will stand a chance of turning America’s attention to matters of more ultimate and existential import.

True, this is a bit like getting Al Capone on tax evasion instead of on murder, but beggars can’t be choosers. Conservatives need a major win, and fast. Trump and this Congress are doing nothing with their 2016 wins. And if they can’t even get behind the good old-fashioned money train to make that happen, then the cult of SJW cred (not the “swamp”) is in fact king.

There’s hope, though. Even the Pilgrims didn’t get this right when they first came to America. With all their piety, their first attempts at living were socialist in nature and quickly crashed and burned — as the lazy sought to leach off the hard-working. That was their “first 100 days,” if you will. Thankfully, though, they had the leadership to critically look at why they failed and correct themselves, rather than whining and blaming elements they couldn’t control.

And now we come to the real rub, don’t we? Are there modern-day John Winthrops and William Bradfords willing to lead us through a necessary course correction in the White House and halls of Congress?

See, one of the reasons the spirit of the progressive age seems so daunting is it that has no real opposition. With a few noteworthy exceptions, we are an army without generals. Men without chests. Conviction without courage, and courage without conviction.

Until that changes, Tim Allen is not only a sitcom star, but also an unintentional prophet. Little did he know how prophetic the title of his just-cancelled show would turn out to be. (For more from the author of “‘Last Man Standing’ Was More Than a Show; It Was a Prophecy” please click HERE)

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After Sweden Drops Charges, What’s Next for Julian Assange?

WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, will not quit releasing pertinent information, even after Sweden announced it’s dropping the rape allegations against him. Assange, the biggest enemy of the state, issued a defiant statement after Sweden dropped the charges. He won’t be kowtowing to the political elites, though; in fact, just the opposite.

Julian Assange had previously expressed concern that he could end up being extradited and face the death penalty in the United States because he continues to reveal government “secrets” through his website, WikiLeaks. On Friday afternoon, Assange appeared on a balcony at the Ecuadorian embassy and described the dropped charges as “an important victory.” But he’s not going to stop releasing the information about the government’s wrongdoings, and that has become a thorn in the side of the political elites.

“Today is an important victory for me and the UN human rights system, but by no means erases seven years of detention without charge…while my children grew up. That is not something I can forgive or forget,” Assange told journalists from a balcony at the Ecuadorian embassy where he has lived for the last five years. Marianne Ny, Sweden’s director of public prosecutions, earlier said the investigation was dropped because Sweden had “exhausted the possibilities” for investigating the allegations against Assange. –Newsweek

It is also becoming more clear as to why the Trump administration now loathes Assange as much as the political left does. No one, Assange included, is supposed to release information showing that the government is not the benevolent magical unicorn partisan politics pretends that it is. Adding fuel to the fire of truth in his statement Friday, Assange said he would continue to release even more of US government’s classified information, regardless of the reports last month that said U.S. officials were preparing charges for Assange’s arrest.

The UK has said it will arrest me regardless. Now the U.S. CIA director [Mike] Pompeo and the U.S. attorney general [Jeff Sessions] have said that I and other WikiLeaks staff have no rights and that my arrest and the arrest of other staff is a priority. That is not acceptable … Our publications are proceeding at speed and that speed in relation to [recent high-profile leaks about the CIA] is accelerating.

Basically, Assange is saying that he has no intentions of stopping the flow of information to his website. Instead, he’s going to speed up the rate he releases the damaging information because of governments’ insistence on continuing to threaten him for the crime of publishing their hard-to-swallow truths.

In the meantime, Ecuador is offering Assange asylum. Guillaume Long, Ecuador’s foreign minister, pledged to help Assange Friday. “Given that the European arrest warrant no longer holds, Ecuador will now be intensifying its diplomatic efforts with the UK so Julian Assange gains safe passage [to] Ecuador,” said Long.

Julian Assange, and other whistleblowers, such as Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, are the only chance we have at regaining a little bit of the truth the governments of the world insist on hiding from us. Some of the information is hard to hear, but wouldn’t you rather know the truth about the government, or do you prefer to be coddled with the lies the political elite think you’re too stupid to understand?

The insistence that Assange is bad and Manning is a traitor resonate only in the minds of those so entrenched in their worship of the government that there is nothing the ruling elites could do to them to warrant a change of heart. The fact remains, that Assange is releasing relevant information proving that the government is the largest corporate gang of criminal masterminds on Earth. And, unfortunately, that truth is just too hard to hear for most voters. (For more from the author of “After Sweden Drops Charges, What’s Next for Julian Assange?” please click HERE)

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