11:30 am || Receives his intelligence briefing
1:45 pm || Participates in the Diwali ceremonial lighting of the Diya; Roosevelt Room
All times Eastern
Rep. Jason Lewis, R-Minn., who was defeated in his bid for reelection, has a theory that makes a lot of sense about why Republicans lost the House: John McCain.
According to exit polls, the top issue on people’s minds as they entered the polling stations was health care. That was by design. Democrats waged a massive, national effort to convince voters that if Republicans maintained control of the House, they’d take away the right to get health care regardless of preexisting conditions.
Lewis writes in the Wall Street Journal:
The Republican Party lost its House majority on July 28, 2017, when Sen. John McCain ended the party’s seven-year quest to repeal ObamaCare. House leadership had done an admirable job herding cats. On the second try, we passed the American Health Care Act in May. Then McCain’s inscrutable vote against the Senate’s “skinny repeal” killed the reform effort.
McCain’s last-minute decision prompted a “green wave” of liberal special-interest money, which was used to propagate false claims that the House plan “gutted coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.” That line was the Democrats’ most potent attack in the midterms.
It was endlessly repeated by overt partisans in the media . . . because the AHCA didn’t pass, it was impossible to refute the lies about it.
And since the plan had not passed, it was possible to create fear about the prospect that it would.
McCain will go down as one of the great men of our time because he was palatable to Democrats, at least as long as he wasn’t running for president. And Democrats write history.
His conduct under capitivity during the Vietnam War was heroic. But his career as a senator was marked at times by deep concern for . . . John McCain. His support for campaign finance reform, I believe, was an attempt to revive his reputation after the Keating Five scandal. And his vote against Obamacare repeal was pure vengeance against President Trump, who had insulted him. It was petty, and it harmed the country.
President Trump, who has taken such a hard-headed approach to so many issues, is stuck in a land of happy talk on the most critical one facing us, the ongoing expansion of the North Korean nuclear weapons and nuclear missile program.
Kim Jong-un has played the author of the “Art of the Deal” masterfully, making a false show of friendship and cooperation that Trump immediately embraced.
Meanwhile, Trump claims progress because missiles are not being tested, even though their development expands. And he says we have all the time in the world while sanctions harm North Korea, even as North Korea has already proved itself impervious to such steps and the sanctions are undermined by Russia and China.
Let’s be clear. Once North Korea can credibly hit Chicago with a nuclear weapon, we are Kim Jong-un’s hostages. He can conduct his foreign policy with the confidence that we are unable to take decisive action against him.
What’s more, as in all nuclear standoffs, the possibility of a mistake or miscalculation is always present. Particularly with a backward country whose elite troops have intestines, and perhaps brains, filled with worms.
A North Korea with nuclear-tipped ICBMs is simply unacceptable. And yet Trump is allowing them to progress toward this goal. He took a hard line at first, and then fell for the usual North Korea nonsense about cooperation, which is always a tactic to buy time. Which is successfully being purchased.
According to the New York Times:
North Korea is moving ahead with its ballistic missile program at 16 hidden bases that have been identified in new commercial satellite images, a network long known to American intelligence agencies but left undiscussed as President Trump claims to have neutralized the North’s nuclear threat.
The satellite images suggest that the North has been engaged in a great deception: It has offered to dismantle a major launching site — a step it began, then halted — while continuing to make improvements at more than a dozen others that would bolster launches of conventional and nuclear warheads.
The existence of the ballistic missile bases, which North Korea has never acknowledged, contradicts Mr. Trump’s assertion that his landmark diplomacy is leading to the elimination of a nuclear and missile program that the North had warned could devastate the United States.
“We are in no rush,” Mr. Trump said of talks with the North at a news conference on Wednesday, after Republicans lost control of the House. “The sanctions are on. The missiles have stopped. The rockets have stopped. The hostages are home.”
His statement was true in just one sense. Mr. Trump appeared to be referring to the halt of missile flight tests, which have not occurred in nearly a year. But American intelligence officials say that the North’s production of nuclear material, of new nuclear weapons and of missiles that can be placed on mobile launchers and hidden in mountains at the secret bases has continued.
And the sanctions are collapsing, in part because North Korea has leveraged its new, softer-sounding relationship with Washington, and its stated commitment to eventual denuclearization, to resume trade with Russia and China.
Hey John Bolton, where are you?
Finally, someone in the MSM writes about the sheer incompetence and possible corruption that has characterized the election oversight in major Democratic strongholds of Florida.
If it were white Republicans messing around with the vote, the charges of race-based election fixing would be screaming from the tops of the front pages of every MSM news organization.
Anyway, the New York Times decided to put a toe in the water:
But some number of irregularities do appear to have occurred.
On Sunday, one candidate filed an affidavit in court from a fired poll worker who claimed to have witnessed elections employees filling out ballots days before the 2016 election. It was unclear whether what the worker witnessed was wrongdoing, or a routine process in which staffers fill out fresh blank ballots to replace those that come in too bent, torn or otherwise defective to be read by machine. The affidavit was intended to prove that similar problems could be at work in the current election.
In Broward County, 22 rejected ballots were mixed in with about 180 valid ones and were counted. In Palm Beach County, damaged ballots that were duplicated by hand, as required under state law, were handled without independent observers having a good vantage point to witness the process. Staff members had made rulings themselves on questionable ballots that were supposed to be judged by a three-person panel.
In Miami-Dade County, 266 mailed ballots passing through a sorting facility where bombs targeting Democratic politicians had been found were apparently delayed — they arrived on Saturday, after the deadline, and were not counted.
A number of absentee ballots that arrived on time were not all counted by election night — which is legal. But a candidate who saw his lead for agriculture commissioner diminish overnight filed a motion in court asking a judge to order the county elections supervisor not to count mail-in ballots that arrived late. There was no indication that the supervisor had been doing so.
Yes, some “irregularities” appear to have occurred. These are the ones we know about Maybe the Democratic House will investigate . . .
Republicans must be on guard that Democrats don’t continue their long tradition of election stealing. As in JFK and LBJ – honored members of the Democratic election-stealing hall of fame.
On Veterans Day, we are reminded of the remarkable service of average Americans who care so much about this country that they risk their only lives to protect it.
I sometimes think of people like Major Brent Taylor as I listen to all the nonsense and navel-gazing here in Washington. Taylor, father of seven, mayor of North Ogden, Utah, and an officer in the Army National Guard, was killed November 3 in an insider attack at a base in Kabul by an enemy plant within the Afghan security forces.
Through his service and that of so many others in Afghanistan who these days are so little talked about by a news media obsessed with itself and attacking the commander-in-chief, America is being defended. Our politicians have never bothered to decisively win the war in Afghanistan, but the presence there of people like Brent Taylor has in all likelihood prevented terrorist attacks on our soil that would have killed many thousands.
Colin Kaepernick, a mediocre professional sports player who disrespects the flag, will end up in history books. Brent Taylor, who died for the flag and whose coffin returned from Afghanistan wrapped in it, will be forgotten except by those who loved him. Fortunately, there are many.
KUTV in Utah quotes some of Taylor’s family members to give you an idea of the patriotic outlook of an average American who understood that with freedom comes responsibility and the need to love the country that provides it to you.
And for some, those we call heroes, the love of country is so great that they would risk everything they have to defend it.
“I call ourselves proud but sad — we have no regrets either,” said Stephen Taylor, father to Brent and seven other kids in the Taylor family.
Five of the Taylor sons enlisted in the military.
“The boys, over the years, they just decided on their own, one by one,” Taylor said.
This military family is now dealing with the ultimate loss after Brent was killed on a deployment to Afghanistan with the Utah National Guard.
“It’s not for everyone; it’s a tough thing, especially when they are deployed and they have families at home — it’s hard for everybody,” said Tamara Taylor, Brent’s mother.
His brother, who can’t be identified because of his job, said the boys’ mom helped instill their love for their country.
“I feel like she is responsible for a lot of that because how she is very patriotic and how she raised us,” he said.
He said he knows Taylor, who was on his fourth volunteer mission, was proud to serve his country and defend its citizens’ rights.
“Those rights don’t exist without obligation and responsibilities, and that was something that Brent spoke about and understood more than most,” Taylor’s brother said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to take contributions to help support the large and loving family Taylor left behind so that I might type these words and you might read them. If you’d like to contribute, here is the link.
A warm thank you to one of our readers, who brought Brent’s story to my attention.
5:00 am || Meets with French President Macron; Élysée Palace, Paris, France
6:20 am || With the first lady, attends a lunch with Macron and his wife; Élysée Palace, Paris, France
8:40 am || With the first lady, visits Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial; Belleau, France
4:10 pm || With Melania, attends a dinner hosted by Macron and the French first lady; Musée D’Orsay, Paris, France
Remains overnight in Paris
All times U.S. Eastern. Time in Paris is six hours ahead of U.S. Eastern
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