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JOSEPH CURL

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The goalposts they are a’ changing.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) said on Sunday that there need not have been a desire for a quid pro quo agreement between President Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for their phone discussion to lead to the president’s impeachment.

Democrats claim Trump was withholding millions in U.S. aid, which he wanted to exchange for Ukranian help investigating the business dealings of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, who made upwards of a million dollars from a gas company in the country. Now, Schiff says no quid pro quo is necessary.

“We have discovered in short order not only the contents of that call, but also the preparatory work that went into the call. The effort to condition something the Ukrainian president deeply sought, and that was a meeting with the president to establish that this new president of Ukraine had a powerful patron in the president of the United States that was of vital importance to Ukraine, was being conditioned on digging up dirt on the Bidens,” Schiff said on Sunday’s episode of CBS’s “Face The Nation.”

“So, you see that as the quid quo pro, not just the military aid?” host Margaret Brennan asked.

“Well, first of all, there doesn’t need to be a quid pro quo,” the California Democrat said. “But it is clear already, I think, from the text messages that this meeting that the Ukrainian president sought was being conditioned on their willingness to intervene in the U.S. election to help the president. That is a terrible abuse of the president’s power. Now whether that abuse goes further, that is the withholding of military aid also as leverage, there’s certainly strong indication that’s true as well.”

Weeks before Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump put on hold $391 million in aid. He says he did so to pressure other nations to contribute more money and to take time to examine programs. Democrats, though, say it was a clear quid pro quo: Dig up some dirt on Biden and his son, or no money.

But The New York Times’ Kenneth Vogel posted an interesting statement on Twitter last week in the midst of the mess. “The Ukrainians weren’t made aware that the assistance was being delayed/reviewed until more than one month after the call,” he wrote.

Here’s exactly what Trump said in the call regarding Biden’s son, according to a transcript released by the White House:

I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what’s happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him, that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news, so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, there’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution, and a lot of people want to find out about that, so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution, so if you can look into it … It sounds horrible to me.

In an odd twist, Joe Biden is on tape discussing his push for the Ukrainian government to fire Viktor Shokin, bragging that he had threatened to withhold $1 billion until Shokin was canned. “If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,” he says he told Ukrainian leaders. “Well son of a bitch, he got fired,” Biden says with a smile in the video clip.

Now that’s a quid pro quo.

Author: Joseph Curl

Source: Daily Wire: GOALPOST SHIFT: Schiff Now Says There Doesn’t Need To Be A Quid Pro Quo

Back in April, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joined several other lawmakers to blast President Trump for keeping U.S. troops in Syria.

“The 2015 introduction of U.S. military forces into hostilities in Syria was never approved by Congress, in violation of the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution of 1973,” says the letter, signed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, including Republican Sens. Mike Lee and Rand Paul and freshman Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. “We believe that the stated intention of withdrawing our forces is appropriate, and we look forward to the orderly return of our service members from this theater of conflict.”

“It is long past time to rein in the use of force that goes beyond congressional authorization, and we look forward to pursuing this longstanding bipartisan objective with your Administration,” the letter reads. “Finally, we hope this will serve as a model for ending hostilities in the future — in particular, as you and your administration seek a political solution to our involvement in Afghanistan.”

So, fast forward to this week. The Trump Administration announces that American troops will begin a withdrawal from the Syrian border to make way for a Turkish incursion into the region.

Trump said Monday on Twitter: “The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do so. They have been fighting Turkey for decades. I held off this fight for almost three years, but it is time for us to get out of these ridiculous endless wars, many of them tribal, and bring our soldiers home.”

And he went further on Wednesday, retweeting a post about the “endless quagmires in the Middle East.” “Should have never been there in the first place!” Trump wrote.

But NOW, Ocasio-Cortez thinks America ought to stay in Syria.

“Trump’s sudden withdrawal from northern Syria & endorsement of Turkey’s actions could have catastrophic consequences & risks laying the ground for immense violence and suffering,” she wrote Tuesday in Twitter.

That stance is completely opposite of her long-held position that the U.S. must pull out of Syria.

When she was running for Congress in 2018, she vowed to work to end U.S. involvement in not just Syria, but across the Middle East.

“Since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the United States has entangled itself in war and occupation throughout the Middle East and North Africa. As of 2018, we are currently involved in military action in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia,” her campaign website says. “Hundreds of thousands of civilians in these countries have been killed either as collateral damage from American strikes or from the instability caused by U.S. interventions. Millions more have fled their broken countries, contributing to the global refugee crisis.”

America should not be in the business of destabilizing countries. While we may see ourselves as liberators, the world increasingly views us as occupiers and aggressors. Alexandria believes that we must end the “forever war” by bringing our troops home, and ending the air strikes that perpetuate the cycle of terrorism throughout the world.

She also wrote on Twitter in April 2018 that “A ‘mad king’ President, with majority disapproval of Americans, just decided to bomb a nation without the Constitutional requirement of Congressional approval.”

Author: Joseph Curl

Source: Daily Wire: FLIP-FLOP: Ocasio-Cortez Was Against U.S. Involvement In Syria Before She Was For It

President Trump’s approval rating on the economy has soared to an all-time high, according to a CNN poll released on Thursday.

In the survey, 56 percent said they approve of the way Trump in handling of the economy, compared with 41 percent who disapproved. Trump has consistently been in the mid-40s and low 50s throughout his term, but the 56 percent rating is a new high.

“Here’s is the Trump card for the president: 56 percent of Americans approve how he’s handling the economy,” gushed CNN’s political director David Chalian in a report about the poll. “This is the highest number we’ve ever seen in CNN polling. … That 56 percent, if you stack it up historically, it’s the high-water mark in the entirety of the Trump presidency in CNN polling.

“As you know — James Carville made famous — ‘it’s the economy, stupid.’ We know the sensibility about the economy heading into an election matters a ton,” Chalian said.

The numbers were high, even though the methodology said that of the 1,007 people surveyed, “33% described themselves as Democrats, 26% described themselves as Republicans, and 41% described themselves as independents or members of another party.”

Meanwhile, as CNN hit new lows in its ratings, another poll released on Wednesday showed Trump’s overall approval rating has hit the highest level in two years, at 43 percent. That rating is the highest since an April 2017 CNN poll, which came about 100 days mark of his presidency.

On Monday, Trump wrote on Twitter that yet another poll had good news as well. “Gallup Poll: 56% of Americans rate their financial situation as excellent or good. This is the highest number since 2002, and up 10 points since 2016.

“A majority of Americans, 56%, rate their current financial situation as ‘excellent’ (12%) or ‘good’ (44%), while 29% rate it as ‘only fair’ and 15% as ‘poor.’ This overall positive rating has increased 10 percentage points since 2015 and is currently the highest since 2002, though it is statistically unchanged since last year. Likewise, the 57% of Americans who now say their overall financial situation is getting better has risen 10 points since 2016 and is at its highest numerical point since 2002,” Gallup wrote.

Asked about the new numbers, White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney also quoted Carville, the top architect of Bill Clinton’s victory in 1992.

“You hate to sound like a cliché, but are you better off than you were four years ago? It’s pretty simple, right? It’s the economy, stupid. I think that’s easy. People will vote for somebody they don’t like if they think it’s good for them,” Mulvaney said.

As Trump’s numbers go up, CNN’s numbers go down. The liberal network’s prime-time ratings plunged 26 percent in April, compared to 2018. MSNBC’s ratings, meanwhile, fell 14 percent compared to last year.
According to Nielsen Media Research’s ratings, CNN suffered its lowest-rated month in viewers since October 2015. CNN had just 767,000 average primetime viewers, down from 1.04 million in April 2018. “In the 25- to 54-year-old demographic that advertisers covet most, it was the network’s least-watched month since Aug. 2015,” The Hill reported.

In prime time, Fox News beat CNN and MSNBC for the 208th month in a row. MNSBC had double the viewership of CNN — and Fox News tripled CNN total viewers.

Author: Joseph Curl

Source: Thegatewaypundit: CNN GUSHES: Trump’s Approval Rating On Economy ‘Highest Number We’ve Ever Seen ’

Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to use taxpayer money to “cancel” hundreds of billions of dollars in student-loan debt and offer debt-free college for millions more, which would cost $1.25 trillion over the next decade.

In a blog post on Medium, the Massachusetts Democrat said the “huge student loan debt burden” is “crushing millions of families and acting as an anchor on our economy. It’s reducing home ownership rates. It’s leading fewer people to start businesses. It’s forcing students to drop out of school before getting a degree. It’s a problem for all of us.”

The first step in addressing this crisis is to deal head-on with the outstanding debt that is weighing down millions of families and should never have been required in the first place. That’s why I’m calling for something truly transformational — the cancellation of up to $50,000 in student loan debt for 42 million Americans.

My plan for broad student debt cancellation will:

Cancel debt for more than 95% of the nearly 45 million Americans with student loan debt;

Wipe out student loan debt entirely for more than 75% of the Americans with that debt;

Substantially increase wealth for Black and Latinx families and reduce both the Black-White and Latinx-White wealth gaps; and

Provide an enormous middle-class stimulus that will boost economic growth, increase home purchases, and fuel a new wave of small business formation.

“Experts estimate my debt cancellation plan creates a one-time cost to the government of $640 billion. The Universal Free College program brings the total cost of the program to roughly $1.25 trillion over ten years,” Warren wrote.

But Warren says “the actual costs of these new ideas are likely to be even less than that,” and claims “we can fully cover the cost of these ideas with revenue from my Ultra-Millionaire Tax on the wealthiest 75,000 families in the country — those with fortunes of $50 million or more.”

The Wall Street Journal reported that would entail “an annual 2% levy on wealth above $50 million and an additional 1% tax on wealth above $1 billion.”

The senator, who is running for president in 2020, also proposes using $50 billion in taxpayer funds for historically black colleges and universities, known as HBCUs. And she wants to “prohibit public colleges from considering citizenship status” when making admissions decisions.

In addition, Warren wants to phase out federal money that now goes to for-profit schools. “After an appropriate transition period, ban for-profit colleges from receiving any federal dollars (including military benefits and federal student loans), so they can no longer use taxpayer dollars to enrich themselves while targeting lower-income students, servicemembers, and students of color and leaving them saddled with debt,” she wrote.

Student loan debt has more than doubled over the last 10 years to $1.5 trillion, and some economic experts say that is driving the declining home ownership rates among young adults.

Author: Joseph Curl

Source: Dailywire: $1.25 TRILLION: Sen. Elizabeth Warren Proposes Using Taxpayer Money To Pay Student Debt

For the first time in 75 years, the United States exported more oil than it imported, carrying out a pledge from President Trump that America can achieve “energy independence.”

While the U.S. has been a net oil importer since 1949, over the final week of November, U.S. net imports of crude oil and petroleum products fell to minus 211,000 barrels per day (bpd) — which means America exported more than it imported, according to data from U.S. Energy Information and Administration.

Oil production has been booming in the U.S. as the shale revolution swept the nation. America is now the world’s largest producer of petroleum, passing Russia and Saudi Arabia. As the U.S. oil boom spread, the power of OPEC was reduced and gas prices in the U.S. have dropped from the $4+ highs under former president Barack Obama.

Net imports peaked in 2005, topping 14 million bpd, but in the last few months, the U.S. has imported an average of 2 million bpd. U.S. production has more than doubled since 2012 because of the new technologies for extracting oil.

“U.S. crude exports are poised to rise even further, with new pipelines from the Permian in the works and at least nine terminals planned that will be capable of loading supertankers,” Bloomberg reports. “The only facility currently able to load the largest ships, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, is on pace to load more oil in December than it has in any other month.”

The shift to net exports is the dramatic result of an unprecedented boom in American oil production, with thousands of wells pumping from the Permian region of Texas and New Mexico to the Bakken in North Dakota to the Marcellus in Pennsylvania. …

The massive Permian may be even bigger than previously thought. The Delaware Basin, the less drilled part of the field, holds more than twice the amount of crude as its sister, the Midland Basin, the U.S. Geological Service said Thursday.

Meanwhile, the International Energy Agency said in its latest World Energy Outlook “that the United States will be the biggest contributor to the oil market, accounting for almost 75 percent of global oil production growth in the period to 2040,” Epoch Times reported.

The news about the United States becoming a net oil exporter was largely ignored last week, as markets were obsessed with the OPEC meeting in Vienna.

“While there is so much focus on the drama in the OPEC cartel, the real historic news that went unnoticed was that the United States last week exported more crude oil and fuel than it imported for the first time on record,” Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago, wrote in an email.

OPEC, the massive oil cartel in the Middle East, voted Friday to cut oil output by 1.2 million bpd for the first six months of 2019. The move is an effort to push prices up.

Trump, though, called on OPEC and Saudi Arabia not to restrict oil production. “Hopefully OPEC will be keeping oil flows as is, not restricted. The World does not want to see, or need, higher oil prices!” he wrote on Twitter last Wednesday.

Author: JOSEPH CURL

Source: Dailywire: GOOD TRUMP: U.S. Ends Reliance On Foreign Oil For First Time In 75 Years

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