Take the Palestinians’ ‘No’ for an Answer.

They’ve rejected every peace initiative. Their no-show this
week in Bahrain should be the last.
 By Eugene Kontorovich

This week’s U.S.-led Peace to Prosperity conference in Bahrain on the Palestinian economy will likely be attended by seven Arab states—a clear rebuke to foreign-policy experts who said that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the Golan Heights as Israeli territory would alienate the Arab world.

Sunni Arab states are lending legitimacy to the Trump administration’s plan, making it all the more notable that the Palestinian Authority itself refuses to participate.

The conference’s only agenda is improving the Palestinian economy. It isn’t tied to any diplomatic package, and the plan’s 40-page overview contains nothing at odds with the Palestinian’s purported diplomatic goals.

Some aspects are even politically uncomfortable for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Given all that, the Palestinian Authority’s unwillingness to discuss economic opportunities for its own people, even with the Arab states, shows how far it is from discussing the concessions necessary for a diplomatic settlement. Instead it seeks to deepen Palestinian misfortune and use it as a cudgel against Israel in the theater of international opinion.

This isn’t the first time the Palestinians have said no. At a summit brokered by President Clinton in 2000, Israel offered them full statehood on territory that included roughly 92% of the West Bank and all of Gaza, along with a capital in Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority rejected that offer, leading Israel to up it to 97% of the West Bank in 2001.

Again, the answer was no. An even further-reaching offer in 2008 was rejected out of hand. And when President Obama pressured Israel into a 10-month settlement freeze in 2009 to renew negotiations, the Palestinians refused to come to the table.

After so many rejections, one might conclude that the Palestinian Authority’s leaders simply aren’t interested in peace. Had they accepted any of the peace offers, they would have immediately received the rarest of all geopolitical prizes: a new country, with full international recognition.

To be sure, in each proposal they found something not quite to their liking. But the Palestinians are perhaps the only national independence movement in the modern era that has ever rejected a genuine offer of internationally recognized statehood, even if it falls short of all the territory the movement had sought.

India and Pakistan didn’t reject independence because major territorial claims were left unaddressed. Ireland accepted independence without the island’s six northern counties. Morocco didn’t refuse statehood because Spain retained land on its northern coast.

 While there have been hundreds of national independence movements in modern times, few are fortunate enough to receive an offer of fully recognized sovereign statehood. Including 1947, the Palestinians have received four. From Tibet to Kurdistan, such opportunities remain a dream.

Several lessons must be drawn from the Palestinians’ serial rejection of statehood—and this week, even of economic development. First, the status quo is not Israeli “rule” or “domination.” The Palestinians can comfortably turn down once-in-a-lifetime opportunities because almost all Palestinians already live under Palestinian government. Since the 1993 Oslo Accords, they’ve enjoyed many of statehood’s trappings, particularly in foreign relations. Israel undertakes regular antiterror operations, but that’s different from overall power. For instance, the U.S. doesn’t “rule” over Afghanistan.

Second, statehood and a resolution to the conflict is not what the Palestinians truly seek. This is what economists call a “revealed preference”: To know what consumers truly want, look at what they choose. The Palestinians have repeatedly chosen the status quo over sovereignty.

Finally, throw out the assumption that when Palestinians reject an offer, it stays on the table and accrues interest. If offers will only improve with time, the Palestinians have an incentive to keep saying no.

The Palestinian Authority cannot be forced to accept a peaceful settlement, and Israel doesn’t wish to return to its pre-Oslo control over the Palestinian population. But rejectionism, culminating this week in Bahrain, must have consequences.

For more than 50 years, the future of Jewish communities in the West Bank—and the nearly half a million Jews who now live there—has been held in limbo pending a diplomatic settlement. While the authority rejects improved hospitals, port arrangements and employment centers, many of the benefits for Palestinians could still be achieved by locating them in parts of the West Bank under Israeli jurisdiction.

But to do that, the question mark over these places, which include all of the Jews living in the West Bank and a much smaller number of Palestinians, must be lifted. Washington should support Israeli initiatives to replace military rule with civil law in these areas, normalizing their status. The Palestinians’ no-show in Bahrain should end their ability to hold development and growth hostage.

Mr. Kontorovich is director of the Center for International Law in the Middle East and a law professor at George Mason University, and a scholar at the Kohelet Policy Forum.

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The Ugly George Soros — May His Soul Rot in Hell

Three Soros Campaigns to Further Advance the Left’s Radical Agenda

From: Verdict, A News Publication from Judicial Watch

June 2019

Three new George Soros campaigns to further advance the left’s radical agenda have been uncovered in separate news reports published this week. 

Keep in mind that the U.S. government subsidizes the Hungarian billionaire’s deeply politicized Open Society Foundations (OSF) that work to destabilize legitimate governments, erase national borders, target conservative politicians, finance civil unrest, subvert institutions of higher education and orchestrate refugee crises for political gain. 

Details of the financial and staffing nexus between OSF and the U.S. government are available in a Judicial Watch investigative report.

With the help of American taxpayer dollars, Soros bolsters a radical leftwing agenda that in the United States has included: 

_ Promoting an open border with Mexico and fighting immigration enforcement efforts; 

_Fomenting racial disharmony by funding anti-capitalist racialist organizations; 

_Financing the Black Lives Matter movement and other organizations involved in the riots in Ferguson, Missouri; 

_Weakening the integrity of our electoral systems; 

_Promoting taxpayer funded abortion-on-demand; 

_Advocating a government-run health care system; 

_Opposing U.S. counterterrorism efforts; 

_Promoting dubious transnational climate change agreements that threaten American sovereignty. 

_Working to advance gun control and erode Second Amendment protections.

The list extends even further, with Soros tentacles—money—reaching previously unknown domestic and foreign causes that promote a broad leftwing agenda at various levels. 

It turns out Soros donated $408,000 to a Political Action Committee (PAC) that supported Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, whose office just dropped felony charges against the actor who fabricated a hate crime earlier this year. 

The actor, Jussie Smollett, claimed he was attacked in Chicago on his way home from a sandwich shop at 2 a.m. He said two masked men shouted racial and homophobic slurs, beat him, poured bleach on him and tied a rope around his neck. Smollett blamed the crime on white Trump supporters. 

When the hoax was uncovered, prosecutors charged him with 16 felonies but Foxx dropped all the charges. Illinois campaign records provided in the news report show that Soros personally contributed $333,000 to Foxx’s super PAC before the March 15, 2016 primary was over and an additional $75,000 after she became Cook County’s top prosecutor. 

“Soros has been intervening in local races for prosecutor, state’s attorney, and district attorney — often backing left-wing Democrats against other Democrats in doing so,” according to the article.

Another report published this week reveals that a Soros foundation gave $1 million to a nonprofit that favors choosing the president by popular vote. The group, National Popular Vote Inc., gets millions from leftist groups to push its purported agenda of ensuring that “every vote in every state” matters. 

Another group, Tides Foundation, that raises money for leftwing causes, also contributed to the popular vote nonprofit. Soros’ OSF’s have given millions of dollars to the Tides Foundation, according to records provided in the story. Based in San Francisco, the group envisions a world of shared prosperity and social justice founded on equality, human rights, healthy communities and a sustainable environment. The nonprofit strives to accelerate the pace of social change by, among other things, working with “marginalized communities.”

The last article documents what Judicial Watch has reported for years—Soros’ huge influence in the U.S. government, specifically the State Department. 

The agency pressured Ukraine officials to drop an investigation of a Soros group during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Barack Obama’s U.S. ambassador actually gave Ukraine’s prosecutor general a list of people who should not be prosecuted. 

“The U.S.-Soros collaboration was visible in Kiev,” the article states. “Several senior Department of Justice (DOJ) officials and FBI agents appeared in pictures as participants or attendees at Soros-sponsored events and conferences.” The piece further reveals that internal memos from Soros’ foundations describe a concerted strategy of creating friendships inside key U.S. government agencies such as the departments of Justice and State.

The relationships go deeper than friendships and Judicial Watch has exposed the disturbing reality of American taxpayers financing Soros’ leftwing plots abroad. This includes uncovering documents showing State Department funding of Soros leftist nonprofits in Albania to attack traditional, pro-American groups and policies; U.S. government funding of Soros’ radical globalist agenda in Guatemala , Colombia, Romania and Macedonia. The cash usually flows through the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

(Absolutely unreal. When President Trump declares the whole system is corrupt, he is not exaggerating one bit. That’s why they all hate him – Democrats and Republicans. 

But, Let us pray that Joe Six-Pack will once again prevail  in 2020. Get out the vote! )  

Jerome S. Kaufman

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Katie Hopkins: “The Jews have Israel. But, where am I going to go?”

Homelands — The Silent Exodus from Europe

A Documentary by Katie Hopkins

Redacted from remarks by Katie Hopkins with additional italicized commentary by Jerome S. Kaufman

The showing of the documentary, Homelands in Israel was originally denied  —  the result of collusion between the Muslims in the UK and deluded, useful idiot, Jewish organizations in the UK and Israel, who joined with the Muslims to prevent the showing.

Despite this opposition the documentary was eventually shown in Jerusalem as a result of the direct action of Fleur Hassan-Nahoum, Jerusalem’s deputy mayor. She explained: 

“I helped  Katie Hopkins because I believe in debate. People with more extreme views and more unsavory friends than her sit in the Knesset. That’s freedom of speech.

Ms. Hopkins’s documentary chronicles anti-Semitism and growing Islamic fundamentalism in Europe and examines how Israel offers protection and shelter to European Jews. 

One might assume that showing this kind of film would not be an issue, but given the current conflicted reality of British Jews, it was.

On the one hand, the community is fighting the terrible plague of anti-Semitism coming from both Islamic fundamentalism and from the liberal left, in the form of Jeremy Corbyn and his band of Jew-hating communists.”  

And, on the other hand these “conflicted” Jews trying to shut down the revealing of Muslim fanatical anti-Semitism throughout Europe have elected to return to their sick shtetl mentality,  hide in their ghetto cellars, try to disappear into the woodwork and not make any waves.

French Jews are rapidly coming to a far more realistic conclusion — one violently thrust upon them.  It is painfully obvious to them that “French pessimists at the time of Adolph Hitler ultimately escaped to swimming pools in Southern California while optimists as to Hitler’s intentions, ended up in Auschwitz.” 

At this very same moment, Non-Jewish English families, like those of Katie Hopkins, are also being forced out of their own towns by Muslim pressure and deliberate orchestrated violence. Mrs. Hopkins lamented to the audience that the Jews were fortunate in one respect, in that they had Israel to which to escape but, where were she and her family to go? Those British capable of leaving are looking at options to escape the UK by emigrating to places like Poland and Hungary where nationalism is a respected concept. (But, what un-British alternatives and surely a sign of their desperation)

 Jews aliyah to France

As usual, the always vulnerable Jews are the main target of Muslim hatred and their centuries-old desire for world domination.

Jews, with terrifying memories, are escaping before the apparently inevitable next Holocaust while the inane toothless optimistic slogan, Never Again, goes down the sewer, where it belongs.

An attack in January 2015 at a Kosher market in Paris that killed four people just days after shootings at the Charlie Hebdo newspaper seemed to confirm just how dangerous France had become for Jews.

A few days after the attacks, the Jewish Agency said it was being flooded with calls inquiring about “aliyah,” the Hebrew term for moving to Israel. The Jewish Agency, an organization created by the Israeli government to encourage aliyah, projected that as many as 15,000 French Jews could leave for Israel in 2015.

The numbers of French Jews making aliyah increased to 3,293 in 2013 and 7,200 in 2014, according to the Jewish Agency.

The number of Jewish people who left France in 2015 remained relatively flat, at 7,328, according to the Jewish Agency. More recently, the Agency reported that immigration from France to Israel was 3,424 in 2017, down down another 28% from 2016.

This relative diminishment of emigration from France reminds me of the mindless chickens quickly forgetting yesterday’s invasion by the fox of the chicken coop,  only to be quickly reminded by his return the very next day.

There continue to be hundreds of anti-semitic incidents in France each year. There were 385 incidents during the first nine months of 2018, two-thirds of which were threats and the other third were physical attacks on persons or property, a 69 percent rise compared to the same period the year before. 

While in the Detroit area where she has visited several times, Mrs Hopkins  was kind enough to comment on our own local situation. She  unequivocally  declared that Dearborn MI and Hamtramck MI are Sharia Law dominated areas, in fact, taken over by the Muslims, their mosques and their ideology.

What was a revelation from Ms. Hopkins and a very knowledgeable former Dearborn politico in the audience was that Democrat Party icon John Dingel,  now deceased, long time Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, was firmly in the pocket of the Muslims of Dearborn. Upon his retirement in 2015, his wife Debbie successfully ran for election to succeed him in his Congressional district and was reported to have also taken over his place in the Muslim pocket. No wonder Dearborn, MI has come under virtual Sharia law.

The audience was, as usual, left with the elephant in the room question – What do we do about this unbelievably successful Muslim invasion?  The only answer, in a genuine democracy, is to try to make our reluctant, blindly “liberal” population, acutely aware of the problem, its immediate danger and the very clever strategy of the enemy. We must  then vigorously move against them with our  police forces, our courts, our elections and in our naive, useful idiot Left wing media.

Wake up America before you go the way of fallen continental Europe and the UK.

Available at the lecture was a straight forward educational pamphlet, Sharia Law for Non-Muslims by Dr Bill Warner, Ph.D  The pamphlet is only $5.00 plus postage and can be ordered online at:

The Center for the Study of Political Islam:   www.CSPIPUBLISHING.COM

You can also follow Dr. Bill Warner on YouTube or
politicalislam.com for his latest video blog.

Katie Olivia Hopkins is an English media person, award winning document maker, radio talk show host and best selling author.  She was a contestant in the third series of The Apprentice in 2007, and following further appearances in the media, she became a columnist for British national newspapers. 

Her Educational background:  University of Exeter, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Petroc (North Devon Campus)

Compiled by Jerome S. Kaufman from numerous sources including the  Jerusalem Post, The Jewish Press and the Wikileaks biography of Katie Hopkins and John and Debbie Dingell

    

    

For those under the misconception that the Israelis are “on Arab land”. “Nothing could be further from the truth.” 

By Eugene W. Rostow, former US Assistant Secretary of State, (1966-l969) and former Dean of the Yale Law School and primary producer of the pertinent UN Resolution 242

The True Story of the Israeli Settlements (The communities of Judea, Samaria and Gaza) 

 www.israel-commentary.org                                                                                                                                                                                             

United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338. Resolution 242, adopted after the Six-Day War in 1967, set out criteria for peace-making by the parties to the conflict.

Resolution 338, passed after the Yom Kippur War in l973, makes resolution 242 legally binding.                                                   

 Resolution 242, which as Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs between 1966 and 1969, I helped produce, calls the parties to make peace and allows Israel to administer the territories it occupied in l967 until a just and lasting peace in the Middle  East is achieved. 

When such a peace is made, Israel is required to withdraw its armed forces”from territories” it occupied during the Six-Day War not from “the” territories, nor from “all” the territories, but some of the territories, which included the Sinai Desert , the West Bank, the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip,      

Five-and-a-half months of vehement public diplomacy made it perfectly clear what the  Resolution 242 means. 

Ingeniously drafted resolutions calling for withdrawals from “all” the territories were defeated in the  Security Council and the General Assembly. Speaker after speaker made it explicit that Israel was not to be forced back to the “fragile” and “vulnerable” Armistice Demarcation Lines, but to “secure and recognized” boundaries agreed to by the parties  

THE FOURTH GENEVA CONVENTION                                                                    

Israel has established its settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in accordance with international law. Attempts have been made to claim that the settlements violate Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 which forbids a state from  deporting or transferring “parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” However, this allegation has no validity in law.                                 

Israel maintains that the Convention (which deals with occupied territories) is not applicable to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. As there was no internationally recognized legal sovereign in either territory prior to the l967 Six Day War, they cannot be considered to have become “occupied territory” when control passed into the hands of Israel.                                                                        

 Article 49 would not be relevant to the issue of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza. The Convention was drafted immediately following the Second World War,  against the background of the massive forced population transfers that occurred  during that period.

Israel has not forcibly transferred its civilians to the territories and the Convention does not place any prohibition on individuals voluntarily choosing their place of residence. 

Moreover, the settlements are not intended to displace Arab inhabitants, nor do they do so in practice. According to independent surveys, the built-up areas of the settlements (not including roads or unpopulated adjacent tracts) take up about 3% of the other territory of the West Bank.                                              

Other communities, such as the Gush Etzion bloc in Judea, were founded before 1948 under the internationally endorsed British Mandate. The right of Jews to settle in all parts of the Land of Israel was first recognized by the international community in the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine. 

As the former US Under- Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Professor Eugene Rostow, has written: ” the Jewish right of settlement in the area is equivalent in every way to the right of the  local population to live there.” (AJlL, 1990, volume 84, p.72). 84, p.72)     

II  Addendum from The Jewish Press, May 17, 2019

Over 400 rabbis, leaders of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP) issued the following statement of principle:

“The original sin and root or all problems is the delusional theory that withdrawing from territories brings peace and security to Israel.”

We have sounded the alarm repeatedly clearly showing that previous withdrawals from Gaza, a small section of south Lebanon and parts of the Golan have been a major mistake and must never be repeated. 

These areas have only resulted in creating bases for terrorist strong-holds used to launch missile attacks against Israel. They are also used to create massive tunnels into Israel proper which are the groundwork for further direct invasion.  

(Israelis and their leaders would have to be out of their minds to give up one more inch of territory and thus contribute to the centuries-old ambition  of the Arabs to drive the Jews from their G-d given land.) jsk

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Questions about the House Committee Investigation of President Trump

Questions about the House Committee Investigation of President Trump

Redacted from an article by Aaron Klein

Jerusalem Bureau Chief for Breitbart News

The Jewish Press,    May 24, 2019

Now that Attorney General William Barr has appointed a U.S. attorney to examine the origins of the Russia collusion investigation targeting President Trump, these suggestions, in no particular order, may be helpful in divining possible wrongdoing in the sordid Russia affair.

1. Was a false crime deliberately reported to the FBI?

pastedGraphic.pngFormer British spy Christopher Steele reportedly met on July 5, 2016 with a Rome-based special agent, where he turned over the unsubstantiated, largely-discredited anti-Trump charges listed in his infamous dossier alleging collusion between Russia and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

The controversial Fusion GPS firm hired Steele to do the anti-Trump work that resulted in the compilation of the dossier. Fusion GPS was paid for its anti-Trump work by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee via the Perkins Coie law firm.

The dossier contents were so unverified that numerous major media outlets briefed on the document refused to publish stories on the salacious material.

2. Did Steele know key dossier claims were false when he reported them to the FBI?

3.Were Obama administration officials involved in passing dossier charges of questionable political origin to the FBI or bolstering Steele’s credibility to the bureau?

David Kramer, a long-time adviser to late Senator John McCain, revealed in testimony that he met with two Obama administration officials to inquire about whether the anti-Trump dossier authored by former British spy Christopher Steele was being taken seriously.

In a deposition on Dec. 13, 2017 that was recently posted online, Kramer said that McCain specifically asked him in early December 2016 to meet about the dossier with Victoria Nuland, a senior official in John Kerry’s State Department, as well as an official from the National Security Council.

Nuland’s specific role in the dossier episode has been the subject of some controversy for her.

In their book, Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump, authors and reporters Michael Isikoff and David Corn write that Nuland gave the green light for the FBI to first meet with Steele regarding his dossier’s claims. It was at that meeting that Steele initially reported his dossier charges to the FBI, the book relates.

Another former official from Kerry’s State Department, Jonathan M. Winer, admitted to interfacing with Steele. Winer authored a Washington Post oped in which he conceded that while he was working at the State Department he exchanged documents and information with Steele.

Winer further acknowledged that while at the State Department, he shared anti-Trump material with Steele passed to him by longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal, whom Winer described as an “old friend.” Winer wrote that the material from Blumenthal – which Winer in turn gave to Steele – originated with Cody Shearer, who is a controversial figure long tied to various Clinton scandals.

4. Did James Comey withhold from the FISA court key information raising questions about the dossier, which was utilized as evidence in successful FISA applications to obtain successive warrants to conduct surveillance on Carter Page, a former adviser to President Trump’s 2016 campaign?

Comey signed the first of three FISA applications in late October 2016. The second and third were renewal applications since a FISA warrant must be renewed every 90 days. All three applications reportedly cited the dossier.

Comey cited the Steele dossier in the applications to monitor Page even though his own FBI determined the document was “only minimally corroborated.”

5. Who leaked a classified briefing about the dossier contents to CNN?

On January 10, CNN was first to report the leaked information that the controversial contents of the dossier were presented during classified briefings inside classified documents presented one week earlier to then President Obama and President-elect Trump. The classified briefings were presented by Comey, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers. Comey reportedly briefed Trump alone on the most salacious charges in the dossier.

CNN cited “multiple U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the briefings” – in other words, officials leaking information about classified briefings – revealing the dossier contents were included in a two-page synopsis that served as an addendum to a larger report on Russia’s alleged attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Prior to CNN’s report leaking the Comey briefing to Trump, which was picked up by news agencies worldwide, the contents of the dossier had been circulating among news media outlets, but the sensational claims were largely considered too risky to publish.

All that changed when the dossier contents were presented to Obama and Trump during the classified briefings. In other words, Comey’s briefings themselves and the subsequent leak to CNN about those briefings by “multiple US officials with direct knowledge,” seem to have given the news media the opening to report on the dossier’s existence as well as allude to the document’s unproven claims.

Following the CNN report, the full dossier document was published hours later by BuzzFeed.  

(With no clarification as to it having been contrived and paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DEM party, its creation by a former British Spy Christopher Steele and its apparent legitimization by former FBI Director James Comey, Director of  National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers)  jsk

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Voters should ask, What exactly is the cost of “Free” under Socialism?

The GOP’s Duty: Explain the Cost of ‘Free’

Republicans can’t outbid Santa Claus, but they can make the case for honesty, liberty and aspiration.

www.israel-commentary.org

Redacted from article by Bobby Jindal

Wall Street Journal May 30, 2019

Progressives are changing the Democratic Party’s focus from building stronger safety nets for the disadvantaged to subsidizing everything for everybody. Whereas Barack Obama once appeared radical for subsidizing health-care costs for the middle class as well as the poor, Democrats now promise free college, free health care and more—for everyone. 

Republicans can’t outspend Democrats, but they can make the case for freedom and against the idea that everything is “free” without sounding like Scrooge.

The Republican ideal isn’t penny-pinching but an aspirational society. The American Dream is to get a good job and live better than one’s parents; becoming dependent on government is the American nightmare. Even Howard Schultz, the man who brought America $5 coffee, realizes promises like Medicare for All are unrealistic and too expensive.

Yet Republicans have to do more than mock the Green New Deal’s bans on air travel, targeting of flatulent cows and subsidies for those unwilling to work if they want to persuade young voters of the case for limited government and personal freedom. Many Americans remember the Great Recession but not the Reagan Revolution, and they may find the false promise of government-provided economic security tempting, not having seen a better alternative.

In reality, “free” means more government control at the expense of consumer autonomy. When progressives promise government will pay for health care and college, they are really saying government will run medicine and higher education. Medicare for All explicitly calls for the abolition of private health insurance. Whereas Mr. Obama falsely promised that Americans who liked their plans could keep them, progressives now say if you like your plans, too bad.

Progressive health, education and energy policies would result in government interference in larger parts of the economy, affecting more people’s lives in profound ways. Consumers have a hundred choices of coffee but won’t be able to choose their health plans. Government paying for college would result in even more political interference with academic freedom. Progressives admit they want government to take ownership stakes in the projects mandated by their energy plan.

pastedGraphic.pngpastedGraphic.pngIt is one thing for Ford to tell consumers they could have any color Model T, as long as it was black, and quite another for government to tell citizens they cannot choose their health plans. Consumers and workers rightfully resent their decreasing bargaining power against large, sometimes oligopolistic companies, but the answer is not to consolidate power further in the hands of an even less responsive government bureaucracy. 

The correct response to reduced competition is more capitalism, not less. The way to resist consolidation in corporate America is to enforce existing antitrust laws and, especially, to reduce the regulatory pressures that cause consolidation in the first place.

“Free” means less efficiency, more expense and lower quality. While progressives highlight the unpopular aspects of private insurance, they won’t tell voters the private sector is more likely to promote innovation without concern for lobbyist-armed special interests and rent-seekers. Think of how long it took for the federal government, via Medicare, to pay for prescription drugs, ambulatory surgery and other outpatient services. It already takes tens of thousands of pages of regulations to administer Medicare, whereby the government sets thousands of prices in thousands of counties for millions of beneficiaries.

The top-down, one-size-fits-all Industrial Age approach is especially ill-suited to the constantly changing health care and education sectors. Hence the popular support for Medicare Advantage, charter schools, Veterans Choice and other programs that empower consumers with more control and harness the efficiency and creativity of the private economy to deliver public benefits.

“Free” means robbing from America’s children. It is one thing to take money from the present-day wealthy. It’s another to take it from future generations. Despite proposed marginal rates as high as 70% or even 90%, none of the tax plans Democrats have put forward would raise nearly enough revenue to pay for the promised spending. It is immoral for adults to force their children to sacrifice their quality of life and pay higher taxes to subsidize today’s spending. Good parents sacrifice to give their children more opportunities. This is the opposite.

Progressives aren’t willing to let America’s $22 trillion debt slow them down. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez objected to Congress’s pay-as-you-go rule, already honored more in the breach than in the observance; and progressives have conveniently discovered a monetary theory that allows them to ignore deficits and simply print whatever they want to spend.

Republicans have lost credibility on fiscal responsibility. Spending vastly increased on their watch. Even so, Medicare for All’s $32 trillion price tag makes even today’s appropriators look miserly. Republicans must remind voters—and themselves—that deficits are a drag on the economy, with interest payments crowding out private investment and government spending. It wouldn’t hurt for the GOP to act as if deficits matter when they govern, not merely when they’re in the minority.

Republicans can’t outbid Santa Claus. Americans are willing to work hard and sacrifice for a better life but need to know how pro-growth policies benefit them. Voters may be tempted by progressives’ crazy plans because they desperately want more affordable health care, reasonable tuition costs and a sustainable environment. They will embrace effective market-based solutions that promote freedom if Republicans offer them, but voters will only wait so long.

Mr. Jindal served as governor of Louisiana, 2008-16, and was a candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

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President Trump trying to deal with long neglected lethal Chinese threat despite mindless, partisan opposition

By Kate O’Keeffe 

Wall Street Journal    Dec. 2018 (but more pertinent than ever)

The two global powers have grabbed headlines over trade tensions, but confrontations are flaring up on other fronts as well. Washington is seeking to counter Beijing’s moves to expand influence around the world through investment and infrastructure loans.

U.S. warships and planes routinely patrol the South China Sea to challenge Beijing’s claims to the disputed territory, just as China ramps up military spending. And the Trump administration is taking measures to thwart the tactics China uses to acquire technology, particularly from U.S. companies.

Both sides accuse the other of aggression, but the Trump administration has gone out of its way to assert that its strong stance against China is a significant departure from previous U.S. administrations, and that its tough new approach will continue for the foreseeable future.

At the core of the tensions between the world’s two largest powers is President Trump’s belief that U.S. trade deficits are tantamount to the loss of American wealth. China has the greatest trade advantage among all U.S. trading partners, with an annual surplus in merchandise trade of $375 billion.

The Trump administration has placed ever increasing tariffs on Chinese imports to address the imbalance, and China has retaliated with its own levies on U.S. exports. U.S. businesses are generally unhappy with the tariffs, seen as a blunt instrument that hurts U.S. markets and consumers more than it helps.

Meanwhile, the U.S. business community—long seen as a natural ally to China among U.S. interest groups—has grown much less willing to defend it in the face of the Trump administration’s efforts, in large part because of mounting discontent with Beijing’s policies to acquire coveted U.S. technology, sometimes with military applications.

Chinese policy makers, through a variety of means, require foreign businesses to share technology with domestic counterparts as a condition of gaining access to their huge markets. In other cases, Chinese entities steal U.S. technology or attempt to circumvent processes that would prevent them from buying it.

China’s loss of support among the business community, to some observers, is another sign that the tensions between the two countries could extend well into the months and years ahead.

The Trump administration has tapped into this shift, recently launching a new plan to use export controls, indictments and other tools to counter China’s theft of intellectual property.

The opening move in the new strategy came in the form of a recent crackdown by the Commerce and Justice departments on a Chinese state-owned chip maker, which the U.S. administration accused of stealing trade secrets from Idaho-based Micron Technology Inc. as part of China’s quest to build its own semiconductor industry, the people familiar with the matter said.

Meantime, an interagency committee led by the Treasury has also been playing a key role in stopping Chinese technology deals that it deems a threat to national security. That even includes deals that don’t involve Chinese companies but hold potential implications for U.S.-China relations.

Earlier this year, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. cited the dominance of China’s Huawei Technologies Co. in the telecommunications-equipment industry when it advised President Trump to block Broadcom Ltd.’s $117 billion bid for U.S. semiconductor giant Qualcomm Inc.

The U.S. and China are also increasingly at odds over political issues including human rights. Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), chair of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and Bob Menendez (D., N.J.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced the Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act in response to China’s internment of some one million Uighurs, a largely Muslim minority group, as well as Chinese Communist Party intimidation of U.S. citizens and permanent residents on U.S. soil.

Tensions between the two countries’ militaries are also escalating, especially in the South China Sea. China’s Central Military Commission earlier this year took direct control over the country’s coast guard, adding reinforcements to the region.

Some of the U.S.-China issues cut across multiple themes. For example, the U.S. administration is struggling with policy options to protect U.S. universities, where Chinese Communist Party initiatives target technology and threaten academic freedom. It is a particularly difficult problem because the American academic system prides itself on its openness, and many Chinese scholars bring both expertise and funding.

A new report by a nonpartisan think tank backed by the Australian government found that scientists from China’s military—at times obscuring their military affiliation—are significantly expanding research collaboration with scholars from the U.S. and other technologically advanced countries in areas like quantum physics, cryptography and autonomous-vehicle technology.

“America had hoped that economic liberalization would bring China into greater partnership with us and with the world,” Mr. Pence said in his speech. “Instead, China has chosen economic aggression, which has in turn emboldened its growing military.”

Ms. O’Keeffe is a Wall Street Journal reporter in Washington. 

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