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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Incredible SECRET WEAPON Trump Brings to US-China Relations

        And Why It Matters!

Michel Hockx

Several U.S. media outlets have picked up on the story of Donald Trump’s rising popularity in China – one of the countries that he represented most negatively during his presidential campaign.
Since doing political opinion polls in China is not a viable option, most reporters interested in what the Chinese people might think about a given topic tend to rely on the country’s vibrant social media, especially the Weibo platform, which is like a mixture of Twitter and Facebook and circulates millions of short messages and images per day.
Weibo is censored by the Chinese government, for sure, but research has shownthat frank opinions about political leaders can be freely expressed on these microblogs, as long as they do not go accompanied by calls for public action. Frank opinions about foreign government leaders are even less censored, so social media trends in China can be a pretty good indicator of what educated Chinese urbanites (the majority of Weibo users) think about Donald Trump.
China is pursuing what is called a “soft power” policy, using initiatives in the teaching of Chinese language and culture to non-Chinese people as a mechanism to foster a deeper understanding of what motivates the country, its people, and especially its leaders, in the hope of eventually presenting a perspective on the world that is persuasive enough to cast doubt on the dominant model of capitalist democracy.
Well, it would seem that many of them love him, at least if we judge by the fact that a video in which his granddaughter Arabella Kushner recites a Chinese poem has gone viral.
The video was recorded in February 2016, around the time of the Chinese New Year, and put on Instagram by Arabella’s mother Ivanka Trump. It drew attention in China back in February but has gone viral in China since Donald Trump won the November 8 election.
Five-year-old Arabella has not lived in China but has apparently been learning Chinese with a Chinese nanny. In the short video, we see and hear Arabella reciting the poem “Sympathy for the Peasants,” as well as the first two lines of the poem “Ode to the Geese.” Both are perennial favorites written during the Tang dynasty (618-907 CE) and continue to be routinely memorized by schoolchildren across China.
“Sympathy for the Peasants” is also popular for ideological reasons, because its theme (hardship among workers in the countryside) can be put to good use in education about the common people’s suffering in China in “feudal” times – from which the people were of course liberated by the Communist Party.
Tang-dynasty poetry is viewed by Chinese people as one of its culture’s highest achievements, if not the highest. It would be unthinkable for any public figure, including political leaders, not to be able to recite at least some of the most canonical Tang poems and to refer to them in speeches and in conversation.
Those same Chinese political leaders, when visiting Western countries, have in recent years been prone to comment on the fact that westerners know so little about Chinese culture.
When former Premier Wen Jiabao visited the U.K. in 2011, he spoke about his love of Shakespeare, as well as his disappointed that none of his Western counterparts were familiar with any of the literary giants of his own country.
Wen was quoted at the time as saying: “Only those political leaders who respect the history of other countries and the creativity of the people of other countries will be able to lay a foundation for fostering friendship with other countries.”
China is pursuing what is called a “soft power” policy, using initiatives in the teaching of Chinese language and culture to non-Chinese people as a mechanism to foster a deeper understanding of what motivates the country, its people, and especially its leaders, in the hope of eventually presenting a perspective on the world that is persuasive enough to cast doubt on the dominant model of capitalist democracy.
Boosting the status of Mandarin as a global language, like English, is part and parcel of that initiative, and what better way of illustrating this than having the granddaughter of the  president-elect reciting Tang poetry with a very good pronunciation.
Amidst all the hard-headed posturing towards China as trade enemy and “currency manipulator,” the surprising popularity of this video, and its message of respect for China’s cultural achievements, may well signal an opening in U.S.-China relations that few will have expected but that is not to be underestimated.

House Democrats RE-ELECT Pelosi As LEADER

 Nancy Pelosi defended her spot as the top Democrat in the House, overcoming a challenge from disgruntled rank-and-file lawmakers that demanded a leadership shakeup after the party failed to put a serious dent in the Republican majority in the 2016 election.
The California Democrat defeated Rep. Tim Ryan of Ohio by a 134-63 vote margin, marking the stiffest challenge to her reign since she took over the caucus in 2003.
“This is a time, I think, that we need someone who is battle-tested and there is no stronger, battle-tested person than Nancy Pelosi,” Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland said as the votes were being counted.
This will be the eighth term with Mrs. Pelosi leading House Democrats.
Mrs. Pelosi last faced a challenge in 2010 when then-North Carolina Rep. Heath Shuler ran against her after Republicans regained control of the House in midterm elections.
She bested Mr. Shuler by a 150-43 margin.
The fact that Mr. Ryan, a back-bencher, surpassed Mr. Shuler’s tally underscores how recent elections have weakened Mrs. Pelosi and fueled calls for new blood.
Before the vote was tallied, Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts said Mrs. Pelosi is going to have to figure out how to bolster the party’s image with working class voters if she won another term.
“The old plan didn’t work. So that is why I am voting for change,” Mr. Lynch said, alluding to his vote for Mr. Ryan.
“I don’t know how someone gets elected in the Midwest when they say ‘Elect me, I am going to make Nancy Pelosi the speaker of the House,’” he said. “I don’t know how we win with that message.”
Since 2010, Democrats have gone from holding 256 seats to 193 seats.
Prior to the vote, Republicans poked fun at Mrs. Pelosi, saying they hope she keeps her job given their recent electoral fortunes of her watch.
Mrs. Pelosi had teased the idea that Democrats could win back the House in the Nov. 8 election, but netted five seats — well short of the 30 they needed to flip control of the chamber.
The Ryan challenge has pressured Mrs. Pelosi to consider structural changes to leadership that aim to give newer members more influence in the caucus.

Abdicating MORAL AUTHORITY and WHY it Matters

 When President Obama first announced his plans to normalize relations with Cuba last year, he lectured opponents up front, as is his wont:
'Yes, there are those who want to turn back the clock and double down on a policy of isolation. But it’s long past time for us to realize that this approach doesn’t work. It hasn’t worked for 50 years. It shuts America out of Cuba’s future, and it only makes life worse for the Cuban people.'
Hard to understand how maintaining U.S. policy, when Cuba was for the first time without an outside state-sponsor (i.e., when our policy might actually have worked), was turning back the clock. Still, in short order, President Obama was joined by throngs of Americans who thought all this was a great idea. They wanted to travel to Cuba. They saw Obama as opening a great deal of new free enterprise with and in that country. This was not a uniquely partisan position. Prior to his statement and new policy, Obama was encouraged by Republican Senator Rand Paul and after his statement and new policy, the president was joined and encouraged by Republican Senator Jeff Flake.
But remember President Obama’s words.  The policies of the past 50 years, the same policies generally agreed to by Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and both Presidents Bush were a failure. It takes some ego to think that entire club was wrong and you—alone—would be the first to get it right. But in President Obama, ego is never in short supply. When Dennis Prager heard of the plan to “normalize” relations with Cuba, his remark was an entire lesson in foreign policy, but perhaps too simple and clear for today’s academy and professoriate: “If you want to normalize relations with a country, here’s a condition: that country should be normal.”
What could Prager have meant? And what have he and those of us opposed to the Castro-regime seen that the likes of Obama, his supporters, Paul, and Flake don’t? One would not have to look very hard and could easily enough dismiss or discount the reports of exiles and first- and second-generation Cuban Americans if one wanted to discount their stories as, say, partisan, ideological, or simply part of some kind of resentment or grievance community. Everyone and anyone could simply try the Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 2015 published by the U.S. State Department. In clear and easy-to-read sharp relief, one can see Cuba under the Castros is a place of
[T]he abridgement of the ability of citizens to choose their government; the use of government threats, physical assault, intimidation, and violent government-organized counter-protests against peaceful dissent; and harassment and detentions to prevent free expression and peaceful assembly.
Not bad enough? The report continues:
[H]arsh prison conditions; arbitrary, short-term, politically motivated detentions and arrests; selective prosecution; denial of fair trial; and travel restrictions. Authorities interfered with privacy by engaging in pervasive monitoring of private communications. The government did not respect freedom of speech and press, restricted internet access, maintained a monopoly on media outlets, circumscribed academic freedom, and maintained some restrictions on the ability of religious groups to meet and worship. The government refused to recognize independent human rights groups or permit them to function legally. In addition the government continued to prevent workers from forming independent unions and otherwise exercising their labor rights.
Now, for a quick lesson in hypocrisy—aside from the government controlled media parts—recall what much of the Left shouted and hysterically charged about America throughout the War on Terrorism, shouts and charges without any merit or actual comparison to places like Cuba: same words but with entirely different meanings, same worries but with entirely different realities. One country actually engages in such policies. But it gets a pass—nothing like fake charges to indict the United States with when real charges require notblaming America first.
Did President Obama’s policy “work”? Of course not. Cuba has not become a “normal” country. Even more dissidents have been arrested and more repression has followed our change in policy. But it is true, one country in this arrangement of “normalization” has changed: the United States. And that change—most of all our abdication of moral authority and leadership—has paved the way for allies to engage in the repugnant kinds of encomiums Canada’s Justin Trudeau and others have issued following Fidel Castro’s death.
What the United States does and says still matters, and the renunciation of our own moral authority on human and political rights, in exchange for nothing, will constitute a necessary and challenging part of the great re-teaching and re-learning of common sense our dedication to making America great again must commence.  As we begin to define what a new “America First” foreign policy will mean for the 21st century, it can easily enough start with simply not always blaming America first. I can think of some 12 million Cubans who might care about that, just about now.

Castro Coverage Confirms ANTI-WESTERN IDEOLOGUES Dominate Press



Like a seizure that leads to the discovery of a brain tumor, the death of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro may finally have revealed to Western readers the cancer that has grown in our midst: a highly ideological press that, to varying degrees, tries and fails to hide its anti-Western bias.
While several Western leaders reacted to the news by releasing statements that were anodyne at best — none worse than Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose statement had non-francophone Canadians looking up the French word for “obsequious” — it is the initial reaction of the Western press that truly warrants more attention.
With rare exceptions, politicians are little more than a lagging indicator of culture. And anyone paying attention already knows that Western self-confidence and self-perception are deeply broken. The media, on the other hand, is an engine of that culture. While they react to the market like any other business, their editorial choices — and word choices in hard news stories are often highly, even if unintentionally, editorial — necessarily color the perceptions and opinions of readers.
And the editorial choices made by the Western press were as instructive as they were disgraceful. NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell uncritically tweeted that Castro was “the symbol of the revolution,” which strikes the reader as an interesting use of the word “the.” The Toronto StarChicago TribuneNew York Times, Associated Press and many others called attention to Castro’s “defiance” of the United States and successive presidents. The L.A. Times called him a “charismatic icon,” while Agence France Presse settled for “revolutionary icon.” Even ESPN got in on the action with the headline “Fidel Castro dies; used sports to promote Cuba.” None of them led with the words “dictator” or “tyrant” or “oppressor” or “murderer.”
This isn’t merely burying the lede — it’s dismembering it in the basement, saving some of it in vats of acid, and stuffing the rest in the crawlspace. It is sickening, pathological, and demanding of further inquiry. Are the aforementioned descriptors used by the media defensible? Yes, they are. Castro was charismatic. He was a revolutionary. He was a symbol — of different things to different people. Defiance of the United States was, perhaps, his only real foreign policy. But do those words sum up the man? An equally factually defensible headline might read “Castro dies; hirsute cisgender male University of Havana grad often wore green.” But that wouldn’t really tell the story, would it?
And so, quite apart from the lamentably tardy death of Castro, the real news here is what the press would like us to know not about a dead Cuban dictator, but about ourselves. And, as most news accounts laudatorily framed Castro’s life in his “defiance” of the United States, those reports were necessarily creating the (sometimes not so) subtle impression that we are worthy of defiance. They want us to know that someone who defies American policy is to be admired. American policy is bad.
The media is populated overwhelmingly by leftists who are more likely to be deeply skeptical of American power and Western institutions and ashamed of American and Western history. While journalists as a group tend to be proudly skeptical — a trait necessary for exposing truths that powerful people may not want exposed — their suspicions seem, often, directed primarily at the open societies that most zealously guard the rights of a free press. Further typical of contemporary leftists, many in the press, when confronted with a poor and/or non-white actor in conflict with a rich and/or white one will reflexively favor the former. All of these are at play in the coverage of Castro. None of them are stated explicitly and the accusation will, no doubt, draw indignant responses from journalists whose biases are fairly obvious to all but themselves and those whose worldviews they reinforce.
Until we find something other than human beings to report the news, journalism will be — the best efforts of its best practitioners notwithstanding — susceptible to bias and perspective. In the meantime, the kind of subtle editorializing people do when they’re trying to be fair is, in many ways, more insidious than beating readers over the head with ideology.
We are in the midst of a historic upheaval in the way people receive news. Shouldn’t this upheaval also occasion a reconsideration of the way we produce it? Human beings have points of view. These perspectives color everything we do and the way we process and describe events. Rather than try to hide their biases — which has led to record levels of mistrust of the media — journalists should embrace and admit them.

An American RENEWAL

Prosperity, security and freedom should be top priorities

Illustration on making America great again by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times
Illustration on making America great again by Linas Garsys


Slowly and perhaps even surely, Donald Trump is pulling together a team he believes can help him achieve his goals. Which are what exactly?
The most basic are given to him in Article II, Section One, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution. On Jan. 20, 2017, Mr. Trump will swear to “faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States,” and to the best of his “ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Faithful execution implies a presidential obligation to enforce the laws of the land. What about laws he objects to as a matter of principle or policy? He can work with Congress to repeal them. But to disregard them (as one might argue President Obama has done) is to violate his oath.
As for protecting and defending the Constitution, President Trump can make a strong start by nominating to the Supreme Court a justice who regards the Constitution as the highest law of the land, a contract that can be amended (however cumbersome that process may be) but not reinterpreted to suit to policy preferences (however well-intentioned those policies may be).
OK, so that covers Mr. Trump’s first afternoon in the White House. What’s next? His campaign vow was to “make America great again.” What that means depends on your definition of “great.”
Alexander the Great conquered far-flung territories. Muhammad Ali (the boxer, not the Ottoman Khedive of Egypt) called himself “The Greatest” because he could “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee” in the ring. Great Britain is the largest of the British Isles.
Mr. Trump probably has something rather different in mind. What he intends, I think, is to reverse the decline in American prosperity, power and prestige.
If that’s true, it echoes Ronald Reagan who, in 1980, pledged to restore “the great, confident roar of American progress and growth and optimism.” Four years later, the opening line of his famous television ad was: “It’s morning again in America.” In other words, his theme then, like Mr. Trump’s now, was American renewal.
What most urgently needs renewing? President Reagan prioritized rebuilding the American economy after years of economic malaise and defeating America’s enemies rather than pursuing an elusive and illusory detente.
Mr. Trump could do worse than to make the same choices. True, he’s a populist, not a conservative like Mr. Reagan. But achieving populist goals — such as job creation — can best be achieved through conservative policies — such as cutting high corporate tax rates and excessive regulations that have discouraged investment and entrepreneurship.
Couple that with policies conducive to the production of more and cheaper energy and a significant economic recovery could result. “Trump’s popularity at home is likely to depend in large part on whether he can revive blue collar jobs,” writes Walter Russell Mead, a Bard College professor and neither a populist nor a conservative. “An energy boom offers the best prospect for growth in manufacturing jobs.”
As for defeating America’s enemies: That requires a central role for the U.S. military which, thanks to Mr. Obama and bipartisan congressional acquiescence, has been seriously diminished. Fixing what’s broken — e.g., increasing forces and readiness, modernizing equipment, investing in next-generation capabilities — will require a strong secretary of defense, one who understands that a long war has to be waged against the imperialists and caliphate-builders of the 21st century.
Opposition to such policies will come from the left but also perhaps from populists wary of interventions abroad. They should be reminded that the best way to avoid wars is to convince your adversaries that it would be irrational to challenge you — or even to incur your wrath. That’s what President Reagan meant by “peace through strength.” While that’s a conservative doctrine, I have to believe it’s embraced by most of the patriotic Trump supporters in the heartland.
Time and energy permitting, perhaps President Trump also might attempt to renew America’s commitment to liberty — a word seldom heard these days, a synonym not for entitlements but for the “natural rights” that governments do not grant and no legitimate government can take away.
Among the most fundamental is freedom of speech, now an endangered species in academia where groups on the left (the alt-left?) routinely use intimidation and even violence to shut down speech they deem politically incorrect.
Internationally, there’s the “Istanbul Process,” entered into five years ago by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in partnership with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, one of the largest voting blocs in the United Nations. Its purpose is to restrict or punish speech that the Muslim rulers of unfree countries consider blasphemous, Islamophobic or just plain offensive.
Finally, let me suggest a novel way to announce these priorities for American renewal. Mike Pence, after he’s sworn in as vice president, could pay a return visit to the cast of “Hamilton.” He could say: “The last time I was here, you said you were ‘alarmed and anxious’ that the administration in which I serve ‘will not protect’ you, that we wouldn’t ‘defend’ what you called ‘diverse America,’ and that we wouldn’t uphold your ‘inalienable rights.’
“I want to make sure you know we will. We understand about ‘inalienable’ rights — including your right to criticize me. Know, too, that in our administration the brave men and women who serve in our military will be given the resources they need to protect you. We also plan to revitalize the economy so that for years to come, plenty of people will be able to afford to spend hundreds of dollars for a ticket to ‘Hamilton’ because without such diverse — and wealthy — Americans, you’d all be out of jobs. And we wouldn’t want that, would we?”

CHINA Says It Wants Smooth MILITARY TIES With Trump

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump gestures to the news media as he appears outside the main clubhouse at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, U.S., November 20, 2016.  REUTERS/Mike Segar

China said on Wednesday it wanted to develop smooth military-to-military ties with the new U.S. administration of Donald Trump.

While the world's two largest economies are frequently at odds over issues like the disputed South China Sea, both have been trying to improve trust between their armed forces to reduce the risk of misunderstanding in any encounters.

This month, China and the United States staged a three-day humanitarian relief military drill as part of that trust-building exercise.

New concern looms with Trump's election as U.S. president. He lambasted China on the campaign trail and has suggested Japan and South Korea be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.

Asked about Trump's election, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun said it went without saying there were tensions in the military relationship and China hoped the United States would respect its core interests and concerns.

"China is willing to work hard together with the defense department of the next U.S. government to promote the healthy and stable development of military-to-military relations," Yang told a monthly news briefing.

Trump will take over as president in January.

(Reporting by Ben Blanchard; editing by Robert Birsel)


Trump, Pence SAVE nearly 1,000 JOBS from MOVING to Mexico

 Joe Tacopino
Make America work again.
President-elect Donald Trump and Vice-President-elect Mike Pence struck a deal with Carrier on Monday, saving “close to 1,000” jobs in Indiana by preventing the air-conditioning company from moving its production lines to Mexico.
“I will be going to Indiana on Thursday to make a major announcement concerning Carrier A.C. staying in Indianapolis,” Trump tweeted Tuesday night. “We will keep our companies and jobs in the U.S. Thanks Carrier.”
The company also sent out a tweet, saying, “We are pleased to have reached a deal with President-elect Trump & VP-elect Pence to keep close to 1,000 jobs in Indy. More details soon.”
Pence, who is governor of Indiana, is believed to be spearheading the plan, which includes unspecified incentives from the state, according to the Indianapolis Star.
The company had come under withering criticism from Trump during the presidential campaign when it announced that it would move some of its production to Monterrey, Mexico.
Trump’s transition team did not comment on the deal, but he and Pence are expected to make a joint appearance in Indianapolis on Thursday to formally announce the agreement.
Trump made bringing back factory jobs to the United States and revitalizing America’s working class a staple of his campaign.
He reiterated his pledge after the election, tweeting last week that he was “working hard, even on Thanksgiving, trying to get Carrier A.C. Company to stay in the U.S.”
Carrier had announced during the campaign that it planned to relocate 2,000 jobs south of the border.
When the union protested, the company said it expected to save $65 million a year by paying the Mexican workers just $3 an hour, the Indianapolis Star reported.
That would have been about $23 an hour less than what the American workers make.

Trump repeatedly threatened the company during the campaign by warning he would slap a 35-percent tariff on any products made in the Mexican factories.
Carrier’s parent company has a cozy financial relationship with the federal government.
United Technologies gets some $5 billion in revenue annually from the federal government, about 10 percent of its cash flow, according to The New York Times.
The union, meanwhile, is concerned about the jobs that are still in limbo.
“If they’re saying they’re going to retain 1,000 jobs, that would mean 400 are going away,” Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers Local 1999, told USA Today.
Jones said Monday night that he still did not know the details of the deal.
“We’re trying to find out what that consists of,” he told the paper.
“We haven’t had any luck.”

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


'Maybe there will be a movement where people wear the head scarf'

First lady Michelle Obama wears a hijab while President Obama visits Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta in 2010 (Photo: Screenshot/CNN Turk)
First lady Michelle Obama wears a hijab while President Obama visits Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta in 2010 (Photo: Screenshot/CNN Turk)
Just hours before a Muslim jihadist stabbed Ohio State University students with a butcher knife and plowed into them with his car, a CNN host suggested Americans should wear Islamic headcoverings to show “solidarity” with Muslims who fear for their safety in the U.S.
“Maybe there will be a movement where people wear the head scarf in solidarity. You know, even if you’re not Muslim,” suggested CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota on CNN’s “New Day.”
“Maybe it’s the way people shave their heads, you know, sometimes in solidarity with somebody who is going through something,” she said.
Camerota made her comments following a news segment on Muslims who say they fear they will be attacked for wearing a religious head covering, or hijab, in public. The report, headlined “The Trump transition: Fearful Muslim women take steps to be safe,” claimed President-elect Donald Trump’s election is somehow tied to alleged “attacks” on Muslims. However, as WND has reported, some claims are suspect. In one case, a female Muslim student at University of Louisiana accused a Trump-supporting man of attacking her and ripping off her hijab, but she later admitted she made the story up.
In the CNN package, a Muslim woman named Marwa Abdelghani told the network, “I hope I can wear it one day again. I hope I can feel safe enough to do so.”
During the CNN report, host Chris Cuomo suggested Muslim women take measures to defend themselves.
“I think self-defense training is good for everybody,” he said. “Prepare yourself for whatever can come.”
Hours after CNN’s report, a Somali refugee stabbed Ohio State University students with a butcher knife. Police shot and killed the man as he was attacking students outside a science building. Eleven people were transported to area hospitals with various injuries, according to the Columbus, Ohio, fire department.
The dead attacker was reportedly an Ohio State student – an 18-year-old Somali refugee named Abdul Razak Ali Artan, who left Somalia with his family for Pakistan in 2007 and obtained a green card to enter the U.S. in 2014.
Artan had expressed his concern regarding his ability to pray in public.
“I wanted to pray in the open, but I was kind of scared with everything going on in the media,” he told the campus newspaper, the Lantern, several months ago. “I’m a Muslim, it’s not what the media portrays me to be.”
He blamed the negative view Americans have of Muslims on “Islamophobia” planted in their minds by the U.S. media.
“I don’t blame them,” he continued. “It’s the media that put that picture in their heads so they’re just going to have it, and it’s going to make them feel uncomfortable.”

‘A Pack of SORE LOSERS’ Nixon GRACIOUS Compared to Hillary


It was election night 1960 and as the votes trickled in, those surrounding Vice President Richard Nixon were convinced Democratic vote fraud in Illinois and Texas were about to cost their man the White House in the closest presidential election since 1840. It would all turn, in the end, on Illinois. The Republican-leaning counties had already reported in while Chicago Mayor Richard Daley was holding back the Cook County vote, knowing exactly how many votes he would need to report to give the state to Democrat John F. Kennedy.
Former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee, a Kennedy intimate, reported years later that a worried Kennedy called Mayor Daley that night for assurances that all would be well. Mr. Daley didn’t hesitate, assuring his candidate that “with a little bit of luck and the help of a few close friends, you’re going to carry Illinois.” Daley was right, of course, and by morning he and a few of his close friends delivered the White House to Mr. Kennedy.
Mr. Nixon’s friends, including Illinois’ legendary Sen. Everett Dirksen, believed they had convincing evidence of what had happened and urged Mr. Nixon to demand a recount. In the end, however, Mr. Nixon said no, because even if they were right, a refusal to accept the results would result in turmoil and undermine the foundations of the country.
But that was then. This year Hillary Clinton and the American left are acknowledging nothing. They are convinced that fraud, lies and foreign governments conspired to elect Donald Trump on Nov. 8 and are apparently willing to do whatever might be necessary to keep him from being sworn in as our 45th president in January. The far left took to the streets as soon as the networks declared him the winner and has vowed to close down Washington on Inauguration Day.
During the campaign itself and since, Mrs. Clinton’s supporters and friends in the media have charged that the voters were somehow bamboozled by “fake news,” the FBI and hackers working at the behest of Russian President Vladimir Putin to keep her from being elected. Back in 1960, Mr. Nixon blamed the machinations of vote-stealing elected officials for what went on, while Mrs. Clinton and her allies are essentially blaming foreign powers and an easily bamboozled and not overly bright electorate for her defeat. The old liberal question of “What’s wrong with Kansas?” has morphed into the broader “What’s wrong with America?”
There seems no conspiracy too bizarre as they spin facts to support their belief that Mr. Trump should be denied the White House. Prior to the election when they thought the lady would win in a walk, the nation’s media and Mrs. Clinton spent a good bit of time warning us that if Mr. Trump and his followers didn’t immediately accept the results, they would be responsible for destabilizing the very foundations of our democracy. In their third debate, Mrs. Clinton said that in suggesting things might be rigged against him, Mr. Trump was “talking down our democracy” and The New York Times suggested that questioning the outcome “risks lasting danger to the Republic.”
Mr. Nixon would have agreed with these observations, but not Mrs. Clinton or her allies in the media. First came the attacks on the Electoral College, an institution both her campaign and the media had prior to the election pointed to as the firewall protection against a Trump victory. Anyone who watched the television talking heads will remember the smugness with which they talked about Mr. 
Trump’s narrow if not nonexistent path to an Electoral College majority, and can compare it to the post-election demands that the college needs to be abolished or that duly elected electors somehow have a moral obligation to ignore the voters of their state, abandon Mr. Trump and cast their votes for Mrs. Clinton. Electors are receiving hundreds of emails, letters, telephone calls and death threats by those demanding they go rogue and the campaign to get them to do so is actually being applauded by the anti-Trump media.
Lest these efforts be dismissed as the rantings of a few half-crazed Clinton supporters inhabiting the fever swamps of the left, it should be noted that the campaign is being spearheaded by the left-wing, which claims to have collected the signatures of 4.6 million people in support of what they are doing.
Mrs. Clinton has herself decided to support the campaign to demand recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania if Green Party candidate Jill Stein is successful in getting something going — a desperate last shot at the brass ring. Even though few of her supporters think a recount will change anything, they harbor the hope that if the recounts cannot be completed by the Dec. 13 deadline, denying the Electoral College the ability to declare a winner when it meets on Dec. 19, there is an outside chance that they can throw the whole thing into the House of Representatives and give her one last shot at the office she has craved for so long.
As Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said upon hearing this news, “What a pack of sore losers.”
Hillary Clinton should be ashamed of how badly she comes off when compared to Richard Nixon.

GOP Eyes Lightning Strike on OBAMACARE

Steven T. Dennis, Billy House

Slim Senate majority leaves little room for additional efforts
Some Republicans also want to end Planned Parenthood funding

Congressional Republicans are considering a lightning-strike rollback of Obamacare early next year to kick off the Donald Trump era, but first they have to agree on a plan limited enough to hold their caucus together.

Republicans won’t have much room for error to successfully repeal Obamacare, a top campaign promise of Trump and congressional Republicans. Even if they delay the repeal to allow more time to come up with a replacement, there will be pressure to use the legislative maneuver to push through other top GOP priorities, such as defunding Planned Parenthood.

But Senate Republicans would have to keep unified the 52 senators they expect to have when the new Congress convenes Jan. 3.

The Republican plan would take advantage of reconciliation, a budget-related mechanism to circumvent the 60-vote threshold in the Senate and prevent Democrats from being able to block legislation on their own. By striking early, the GOP could set itself up to invoke the same procedure again later in the year on a broader range of targets, including tax cuts.

The quick-strike bill, like one vetoed earlier this year by President Barack Obama, H.R. 3762, would likely set what amounts to an expiration date for the law’s financial underpinnings, leaving Congress to act at a later date on any replacement plan. That’s because more than six years after the law’s passage, Republicans still don’t have a consensus on how to replace Obamacare.
Early Win

But passing something in Trump’s first 100 days would allow Republicans to claim a big win early on, and conservatives are demanding the GOP deliver quickly.

"In order to give a clear and unambiguous message there’s a new occupant in the White House, one of the first things that should be done after the oath of office is passage of a bill through reconciliation repealing Obamacare and defunding Planned Parenthood," Representative Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican, said Monday in a interview.

Franks, chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution, said he worries some in Congress may seek more time to pass a bill. But he said the bill should be passed "almost the first moment after the oath of office."

Also at stake is the message that when people vote based on promises made during a campaign, "that their votes will matter," he said.

John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Senate Republican, said Monday that a Obamacare repeal is "going to be high on the list right when we come back."

"It will be early, because we have to get that done," Cornyn said. "January would suit me just fine." He said Republicans may use the reconciliation procedure again later in the year to push through other matters, such as a tax overhaul.
‘Does No Harm’

Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, predicted during an interview with reporters that it would ultimately take "several years" to fully move to a new system with less federal control. He said that while Republicans can do some things with reconciliation, they’d ultimately need 60 votes.

"We need to gradually move those decisions back to states and to individuals and do it in a way that does no harm to people today," the Tennessee Republican said.

"If we want a lasting solution eventually we’re going to have to have 60 votes in the Senate to get it."

While a lightning-strike bill could be used for other priorities Republicans agree on, House Budget Chairman Tom Price of Georgia predicted in a recent interview it would be focused on something similar to the Obamacare repeal bill lawmakers have already passed because expanding it would require more time for committees to work.

"There is an opportunity there," Price said. "All this has to go through the process obviously."
Democratic Ire

The idea for a lightning-strike bill has been percolating among Capitol Hill Republicans since long before the election, and it’s sure to provoke howls from Democrats.

But there’s not much they can do under the rules, beyond kick up a fuss. Senate Democrats’ leader-in-waiting, Chuck Schumer of New York, has said in several interviews that Republicans will rue the day they roll back the health law.

Representative Gerry Connolly, a Virginia Democrat on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the law has worked in many important ways, including insuring millions of people and banning the denial of coverage for pre-existing conditions.

"But it’s not about facts or data or performance. It’s about political promises, and what they said they would deliver," he said, adding that he doubts Trump and congressional Republicans could backtrack now politically.
Budget Resolution

To pull off a lightning strike, Republicans would have to pass a budget resolution first for the current budget year, which can take a week or two even if they are in agreement on what it should say. That resolution would set budget targets for the bill to follow. Then the committees would have to push through the actual repeal bill.

Republicans will also face internal fights if they end up keeping much of the law in its current form.

"When we all run for office, we run on repeal and replace with a free-market alternative," said Representative Dave Brat, a conservative member of the Freedom Caucus from Virginia. "We did not run and say: ‘Let’s kind of soften this failed experiment down a little bit and keep most of the elements of socialized, top-down central planning in health care, along with 20 to 50 percent premium increases, and mandates forcing you to buy products by the federal government.’"

"We don’t need to be nasty, but we need to be rational and principled. And if we do not move forward with what we promised, the American people will rightly judge us as a failure, and a moral failure, as well, for not keeping our word," said Brat.

But already there are some Republicans who want to scale back the scope of the reconciliation effort now that whatever they pass could actually become law.

One House centrist, who didn’t want to be identified by name in order to speak more freely, confirmed several members are voicing their opposition to leaders about voting again to defund Planned Parenthood in the reconciliation package.

But Speaker Paul Ryan suggested that GOP leaders plan to push ahead. During his most recent Capitol news conference on Nov. 17, he said, "We’ve already shown what we believe with respect to Planned Parenthood. We put a bill on President Obama’s desk in reconciliation. Our position has not changed."
Talking With Trump

Republican leaders are also talking with Trump about how exactly to move forward.

"Obamacare has hurt families across the country through higher costs and less choice, and they made their disgust with the law known by voting for a candidate who ran on repeal," said Ryan spokeswoman AshLee Strong.

"Speaker Ryan is in near-daily communication with President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence about the agenda for next year," she added. "We will share more when we have it."

Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, said they have nothing to announce yet on the schedule.

“This continues to be a top priority for the Senate Finance Committee, which has kept a steady pace with its efforts to replace Obamacare with common-sense reforms that will lower costs and increase choice," said Julia Lawless, spokeswoman for Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch of Utah. "The chairman is working with members to find the best way to move forward and is confident Congress will be prepared to act quickly next year.”

The reconciliation process can also be used on tax bills and to raise the federal debt limit, which must be done sometime in mid-2017. The last time Republicans had control of the House, Senate and the White House during George W. Bush’s administration, they pushed through an assortment of items via reconciliation packages, affecting taxes, Medicare, Medicaid, and numerous other programs.