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This may have been the one time that conservatives were hoping that President Trump would actually lash out and smack Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) down. Instead, this is the one time that President Trump actually responded in a “politically” correct manner. Which is not a good thing for the GOP or the nation. On Tuesday evening McConnell could be heard whining about the amount of pressure that President Trump was putting on the GOP leadership in their efforts to repeal Obamacare. Here’s what ABC reported about McConnell’s comments: Speaking at a Rotary Club gathering in Kentucky on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vented about how President Donald Trump‘s lack of political experience has led to him setting “excessive expectations” for legislative priorities. McConnell, R-Ky., told the group in Florence that he found it “extremely irritating” that Congress has earned the reputation of not accomplishing anything. “Part of the reason I think that the storyline is that we haven’t done much is because, in part, the president and others have set these early timelines about things need to be done by a certain point,” said McConnell, a Republican and the state’s senior senator… “Our new president, of course, has not been in this line of work before. And I think he had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process,” McConnell told the group. “So part of the reason I think people feel we’re underperforming is because too many artificial deadlines — unrelated to the reality of the complexity of legislating — may not have been fully understood.” President Trump’s chief defender on Fox News, Sean Hannity, had a terse response for McConnell’s complaints. Sadly, President Trump didn’t feel the need to attack McConnell for his comments. Instead, the President decided to give McConnell an unnecessary show of support. In a decision that I believe the President will come to regret, Trump finally decided to endorse a candidate in the Alabama Republican Senate primary. There has been an ongoing battle brewing in Alabama between the Establishment (led by McConnell) and conservatives. The Establishment wants Luther Strange to be the next Senator from Alabama, while conservatives would rather Judge Roy Moore (or Rep. Mo Brooks). Moore has a wide lead over Strange who is barely ahead of Brooks in the most recent polls… but all of this math may be about to change. Why? Because President Trump has stepped in and done McConnell and the establishment a favor by endorsing Luther Strange. The Conservative Review is not impressed with this endorsement: Let’s put aside the fact that Luther Strange has been embraced by every lobbyist, special interest cartel, Mitch McConnell, and Karl Rove. This man has already been in office for six months and has quietly gone along with every last morsel of McConnell’s agenda. When Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz were fighting to repeal Obamacare, Strange was never anywhere close to the fight. Indeed, he’s been in the witness protection program on every issue. Which is just the way McConnell likes it. This is a major misstep by President Trump. Luther Strange is an establishment tool, but Judge Moore would be a strong ally of the President in Congress. By endorsing Strange the President is tacitly giving his endorsement of McConnell’s failed leadership and he is helping the D.C. Swamp survive. Please Mr. President, reverse your decision to endorse Strange and call for new blood in the Senate.

by Martin Lioll

The food stamp rolls have reduced by 1.1 million individuals since Donald Trump took office in January, a new report from the United States Department of Agriculture revealed this week.

The number of those on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program dropped to 41,496,255 in May of 2017, compared to 42,691,363 at the beginning of the year — a 2.79 percent drop

According to Breitbart, that’s the lowest level in food stamp usage since 2010.

Abuse of the food stamp program has been one of the targets of the Trump administration thus far. According to Politico, the president’s budget “asks Congress to slash food stamp spending in fiscal year 2018 by more than a quarter” and to get states to step up their share of spending for the program.

“A small part of those savings would come from tightening work requirements for able-bodied individuals, but the vast majority of the proposed sum would come from making states match 20 percent of the federal SNAP outlay,” Politico reported.

“The documents released by (the Office of Management and Budget) didn’t provide details on where all the cuts would be generated. But a lengthy table included among the newly released budget docs proposes raising $2.3 billion in SNAP retailer fees over the next decade to help defray costs of the program.”

While liberals may rage about these changes, the fact is that the Trump administration is putting Obama to shame. This is one of the most abused programs in the federal pantheon, and food stamp leeches are something that Washington should have done something about long, long ago. Trump’s administration is coming through, and conservatives deserve to be thrilled.

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Mitch McConnell Betrays Trump, Trump Responds by Helping McConnell

by Onan Coca

This may have been the one time that conservatives were hoping that President Trump would actually lash out and smack Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) down. Instead, this is the one time that President Trump actually responded in a “politically” correct manner.

Which is not a good thing for the GOP or the nation.

On Tuesday evening McConnell could be heard whining about the amount of pressure that President Trump was putting on the GOP leadership in their efforts to repeal Obamacare.

Here’s what ABC reported about McConnell’s comments:

Speaking at a Rotary Club gathering in Kentucky on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vented about how President Donald Trump‘s lack of political experience has led to him setting “excessive expectations” for legislative priorities.

McConnell, R-Ky., told the group in Florence that he found it “extremely irritating” that Congress has earned the reputation of not accomplishing anything.

“Part of the reason I think that the storyline is that we haven’t done much is because, in part, the president and others have set these early timelines about things need to be done by a certain point,” said McConnell, a Republican and the state’s senior senator…

“Our new president, of course, has not been in this line of work before. And I think he had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process,” McConnell told the group. “So part of the reason I think people feel we’re underperforming is because too many artificial deadlines — unrelated to the reality of the complexity of legislating — may not have been fully understood.”

President Trump’s chief defender on Fox News, Sean Hannity, had a terse response for McConnell’s complaints.

 Sadly, President Trump didn’t feel the need to attack McConnell for his comments. Instead, the President decided to give McConnell an unnecessary show of support.

In a decision that I believe the President will come to regret, Trump finally decided to endorse a candidate in the Alabama Republican Senate primary.

There has been an ongoing battle brewing in Alabamabetween the Establishment (led by McConnell) and conservatives. The Establishment wants Luther Strangeto be the next Senator from Alabama, while conservatives would rather Judge Roy Moore (or Rep. Mo Brooks). Moore has a wide lead over Strange who is barely ahead of Brooks in the most recent polls… but all of this math may be about to change.

Why?

Because President Trump has stepped in and done McConnell and the establishment a favor by endorsing Luther Strange.

The Conservative Review is not impressed with this endorsement:

Let’s put aside the fact that Luther Strange has been embraced by every lobbyist, special interest cartel, Mitch McConnell, and Karl Rove. This man has already been in office for six months and has quietly gone along with every last morsel of McConnell’s agenda. When Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz were fighting to repeal Obamacare, Strange was never anywhere close to the fight. Indeed, he’s been in the witness protection program on every issue. Which is just the way McConnell likes it.

This is a major misstep by President Trump. Luther Strange is an establishment tool, but Judge Moore would be a strong ally of the President in Congress. By endorsing Strange the President is tacitly giving his endorsement of McConnell’s failed leadership and he is helping the D.C. Swamp survive.

Please Mr. President, reverse your decision to endorse Strange and call for new blood in the Senate.

US Spy Satellites Just Caught NK Arming Anti-Ship Superweapon

by Benjamin Arie

The rogue country of North Korea is continuing to rattle the saber in the face of Western nations — and the regime was just caught preparing for a possible strike against the U.S. Navy.

American spy satellites have reportedly spotted the North Korean military loading anti-ship cruise missiles onto a patrol boat.

According to Fox News, the naval missiles in question are a “Stormpetrel” type, which is designed to strike other ships at sea. They were reportedly placed on a “Wonsan” guided-missile patrol boat on the east coast of the reclusive country.

U.S. officials stated that Stormpetrel naval missiles have not been placed on a similar craft since 2014. The move could be a signal that North Korea is stepping up its military posturing, and is ignoring diplomatic pressure from the United States and other countries.

“The best signal that North Korea could give us that they’re prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches,” stated Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has been visiting the Philippines over the last several days.

Officials who allegedly had knowledge of the situation told Fox that the installation of North Korea’s anti-ship weapons could mean that Kim Jong Un is planning another missile test in the coming days.

Under Trump, Coal Mining Gets New Life on U.S. Lands

DECKER, Mont. — The Trump administration is wading into one of the oldest and most contentious debates in the West by encouraging more coal mining on lands owned by the federal government. It is part of an aggressive push to both invigorate the struggling American coal industry and more broadly exploit commercial opportunities on public lands.

The intervention has roiled conservationists and many Democrats, exposing deep divisions about how best to manage the 643 million acres of federally owned land — most of which is in the West — an area more than six times the size of California. Not since the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion during the Reagan administration have companies and individuals with economic interests in the lands, mining companies among them, held such a strong upper hand.

Clouds of dust blew across the horizon one recent summer evening as a crane taller than the Statue of Liberty ripped apart walls of a canyon dug deep into the public lands here in the Powder River Basin, the nation’s most productive coal mining region. The mine pushes right up against a reservoir, exposing the kind of conflicts and concerns the new approach has sparked.

“If we don’t have good water, we can’t do anything,” said Art Hayes, a cattle rancher who worries that more mining would foul a supply that generations of ranchers have relied upon.

During the Obama administration, the Interior Department seized on the issue of climate change and temporarily banned new coal leases on public lands as it examined the consequences for the environment. The Obama administration also drew protests from major mining companies by ordering them to pay higher royalties to the government.

Continue reading the main story

Photo

Art Hayes and cattle on his ranch. He worries that more mining will foul a water supply that ranchers have long relied upon.CreditKristina Barker for The New York Times

President Trump, along with roundly questioning climate change, has moved quickly to wipe out those measures with the support of coal companies and other commercial interests. Separately, Mr. Trump’s Interior Department is drawing up plans to reduce wilderness and historic areas that are now protected as national monuments, creating even more opportunities for profit.

Richard Reavey, the head of government relations for Cloud Peak Energy, which operates a strip mine here that sends coal to the Midwest and increasingly to coal-burning power plants in Asia said Mr. Trump’s change of course was meant to correct wrongs of the past.

Document: Obama-Era Fight Over Coal Royalties Turns Into Trump-Era Alliance

The Obama administration, he said, had become intent on killing the coal industry, and had used federal lands as a cudgel to restrict exports. The only avenues of growth currently, given the shutdown of so many coal-burning power plants in the United States, are markets overseas.

“Their goal, in collusion with the environmentalists, was to drive us out of the export business,” Mr. Reavey said.

Even with the moves so far, the prospect of coal companies operating in a big way on federal land — and for any major job growth — is dim, in part because environmentalists have blocked construction of a coal export terminal, and there is limited capacity at the port the companies use in Vancouver.

Competition from other global suppliers offering coal to Asian power plants is also intense.

But at least for now, coal production and exports are rising in the Powder River Basin after a major decline last year.

Western Coal

The majority of United States coal is produced in the West, with a small share of it then exported. About 85 percent of coal extracted from federal lands comes from the Powder River Basin, in Wyoming and Montana. The Trump administration is rolling back an Obama-era moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands.

U.S. COAL EXPORTS

U.S. COAL PRODUCTION, BY REGION

40

million short tons

300

million short tons

Quarterly

Quarterly

250

30

200

Western region

20

150

100

Interior region

10

50

Appalachian region

0

0

’10

’11

’12

’13

’14

’15

’16

’17

’10

’11

’12

’13

’14

’15

’16

’17

Opponents of the Trump administration’s direction have already gone to court. New Mexico and California sued in April to undo the rollback in royalties that coal mines pay, while ranchers like Mr. Hayes and the Cheyenne tribe joined a lawsuit in March challenging the repeal of a year-old moratorium on federal coal leasing.

“If we hand over control of these lands to a narrow range of special interests, we lose an iconic part of the country — and the West’s identity,” said Chris Saeger, executive director of the Montana-based environmental group Western Values Project, referring to coal mining and oil and gas drilling that the Interior Department is moving to rapidly expand.

Mr. Trump’s point man is Ryan Zinke, a native Montanan who rode a horse to work on his first day as head of the Interior Department. A former member of the Navy SEALs and Republican congressman, Mr. Zinke oversees the national park system, as well as the Bureau of Land Management, which controls 250 million acres nationwide, parts of which are used to produce oil, gas, coal, lumber and hay.

In late June, Mr. Zinke visited Whitefish, Mont., to attend a meeting of Western governors, where he vowed to find a balance between extracting commodities from federal lands and protecting them.

Photo

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, left, with Bill Cadman of Whiting Petroleum in Whitefish, Mont., in June. “We are all affected by this constant regulatory quagmire,” Mr. Cadman said. CreditTim Goessman for The New York Times

“Our greatest treasures are public lands,” Mr. Zinke said in a speech. “It is not a partisan issue. It is an American issue.”

Afterward, protesters from the Sierra Club and other groups held a rally in the town square against the actions taken by Mr. Zinke during his first months on the job, chanting “Shame!” and “Liar!” and carrying signs opposing his policies.

But Mr. Zinke was not in public view. Just before the rally started, he was inside a nearby building, meeting with Bill Cadman, a vice president of Whiting Petroleum, a company that drills on federal lands.

Until recently a state legislator in Colorado, Mr. Cadman has lobbied the Interior Department to repeal a rule that limits methane emissions from oil and gas sites on federal land. As he left the brief gathering, Mr. Cadman said he was only catching up with Mr. Zinke, whom he has known for decades, on family-related matters. He also acknowledged that Mr. Zinke wielded a lot of power over the energy industry.

“We are all affected by this constant regulatory quagmire,” Mr. Cadman said.

Seeing a Liberal Attack

Cloud Peak Energy had been preparing for several years to seize upon the arrival of an industry-friendly administration in Washington. But it was also prepared to fight without one.

At a gathering of a coal industry trade group in 2015, Mr. Reavey, the company’s chief lobbyist, left no doubts about the company’s determination to defend mining in the Powder River Basin, which includes operations here in Decker.

Mr. Reavey likened the industry’s existential crisis to that of tobacco companies in the 1990s. The coal industry, he told executives, had been targeted by a liberal conspiracy of environmental groups, news organizations and regulators. Coal would suffer the same fate as cigarettes, he warned, unless the industry stood its ground.

Photo

A rally in Whitefish in June. “If we hand over control of these lands to a narrow range of special interests, we lose an iconic part of the country,” the leader of an environmental group said. CreditTim Goessman for The New York Times

He showed a PowerPoint slide that outlined the strategy of the industry’s opponents. They sought to diminish coal’s “social acceptability,” the slide showed, while also cutting “profits through massive increase in regulation” and reduced “demand/market access.” He equated the situation to a scene in the film “Independence Day” in which the American president asks the alien invaders, “What is it you want us to do?” An alien replies, “Die.”

During President Barack Obama’s second term, the coal industry’s chief antagonist was Sally Jewell, a former oil industry engineer appointed Interior secretary in 2013. Ms. Jewell, an avid hiker, had also served as chief executive of the outdoor gear company REI.

She saw mining companies as a particular problem because they too often left behind polluted mine pits and paid too little for coal leases on federal land.

Starting two years ago, Ms. Jewell took a series of steps to change the relationship between coal companies and the federal government. She imposed a moratorium on new federal coal leases while beginning a three-year study of the industry’s environmental consequences. More than 40 percent of all coal mined in the United States comes from federal land, and when burned it generates roughly 10 percent of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition, she called for greater transparency in the awarding of coal leases, and she backed an increase in the royalty payments made to operate coal mines on public lands.

“The corruption in the coal sector is just so rampant,” she said in an interview.

A central problem, she said, was the lack of competitive bidding for mining leases: Only 11 of the 107 sales of federal coal leases between 1990 and 2012 received more than one bid, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office. A second study, by a nonprofit think tank, estimated that the practice had shortchanged taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.

Another hot-button issue was how much to charge in royalties, which generate about $1 billion a year for the federal government.

Under federal rules adopted in 1920, coal companies are required to pay “not less than” 12.5 percent on sales of surface coal mined on federal lands. But for years, studies indicate, the companies paid far less — as little as 2.5 percent of the ultimate sale price — because they often negotiated large royalty discounts with sympathetic federal officials. Companies also often sell coal first to a corporate affiliate at a sharply reduced price, before reselling it to the intended customer, costing the government a chunk of its royalties, according to the Government Accountability Office study. The technique was particularly popular among mines with foreign buyers.

Continue reading the main story

Photo

Mining operations in 2014 in the Powder River Basin, the nation’s most productive coal mining region. CreditBruce Gordon/EcoFlight

To eliminate the loophole, the Interior Department adopted a rule last yearrequiring that the payment be calculated on the first arm’s lengthtransaction, meaning sales to corporate affiliates would not count. Such a change would be a blow to the bottom lines of companies mining in the Powder River Basin, which accounts for about 85 percent of all coal extracted from federal lands, with a growing share headed to Asia.

The coal industry was bent on killing the rule, sending executives to plead its case to the White House and filing a federal lawsuit to block it. “They are liars, and they know it,” Mr. Reavey, the Cloud Peak lobbyist, said of those who suggested the industry was not paying its fair share in royalties.

Mr. Zinke, then a freshman congressman from Montana, stepped up as an important industry ally, trying unsuccessfully to derail the rule on at least four occasions. He raised objections during a budget hearing with Ms. Jewell at the witness table, signed two letters in opposition and sought to introduce language in a House appropriations bill to prohibit the agency from enforcing the rule.

The alliance between Mr. Zinke and the coal industry is well documented in his campaign finance disclosures.

Elected to the House in 2014, Mr. Zinke received $14,000 in campaign donations from the company that owns BNSF Railway, the chief transporter of coal in the Powder River Basin, as well as a total of $26,000 from Cloud Peak, Arch Coal and Alpha Natural Resources, three of the nation’s largest coal companies. Several of the donations arrived just as Mr. Zinke pushed in Congress to block the new royalty rule, campaign finance records show.

Finishing the Job

What Representative Zinke started, Secretary Zinke and his team were poised to finish.

In February, even before the Senate confirmed Mr. Zinke to his new post, Mr. Reavey of Cloud Peak was meeting at the Interior Department headquarters in Washington with President Trump’s political appointees. Among them was Kathy Benedetto, who was temporarily overseeing the division in charge of coal leases.

Photo

Alvin Not Afraid, far right, the Crow Nation chairman, with President Trump at the White House in June.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

“We made clear that we thought this rule was bad and they had an opportunity to stop this process from going forward,” he said of the change in royalty payments.

Cloud Peak and other mining industry giants also put their objections in writing, asking the department to delay the rule until the industry’s lawsuit was resolved. Within days, they got their wish. The agency, reversing its position during the Obama presidency, froze the rule and told Cloud Peakand other industry lawyers that they had “raised legitimate questions.”

By late March, after Mr. Zinke was sworn in, the rollback continued. Mr. Zinke repealed Ms. Jewell’s moratorium on new coal leases, and canceled further work on the study she had ordered. The first part — 1,378 pages examining 306 active federal coal leaseshad been issued in January.

Document: An Election Reverses Federal Coal Policy

“Costly and unnecessary,” Mr. Zinke said in announcing that the study was, in essence, being thrown in the trash.

The decisions caused an uproar among Democrats in Washington, but the tensions they unleashed were also on display this summer at an extreme sporting event on the Crow Indian reservation, not far from the coal mines here in Decker.

Hundreds of people, including members of both the Crow and neighboring Cheyenne tribes, had gathered for an annual competition known as the Ultimate Warrior. The event consists of a mile run to a river, a mile of canoeing, seven more miles of running and then a nine-mile bareback horse race.

Cloud Peak is a sponsor of the event. In 2013, the Crow had signed an agreement giving the company the right to extract up to 1.4 billion tons of coal on the tribe’s lands. The industry-friendly approach of the Trump administration had leaders feeling optimistic that Cloud Peak would move forward, as the project still needs many permits from the federal government.

The tribe estimates the Cloud Peak operations could generate $10 million in payments for a community where the unemployment rate in June was 19.4 percent, five times the state average. “Coal, for us, is the ticket to prosperity,” said Shawn Backbone, the tribe’s vice secretary, who attended the warrior competition. “We are rich in coal reserves. But we are cash poor.”

But the Cheyenne are not happy. They have historically opposed coal mining and worry Cloud Peak’s expansion would irrevocably damage the environment. They have joined the lawsuit by the nearby rancher, Mr. Hayes, challenging the decision to lift the moratorium on new coal leases.

“We are wealthy in life here,” said Donna Fisher, a Cheyenne who lives along the Tongue River and who attended the warrior competition with her grandson. “We don’t have money. But we have land, water and air. Snuff that out and we are gone.”

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Photo

The Tongue River in Montana. “We have land, water and air,” said Donna Fisher, a Cheyenne who lives along the river. “Snuff that out and we are gone.” CreditKristina Barker for The New York Times

Friends in High Places

As he walked on stage at the governor’s gathering in Whitefish, Mr. Zinke exuded confidence. The United States, he argued, can and should expand energy production from its federal lands, with money earned from leases going toward repairs to roads and bridges, and at national parks.

“As Interior secretary, I am looking at both sides of our balance sheet,” Mr. Zinke said. “There is a consequence of not using some of our public land for the creation of wealth and jobs.”

It was a decidedly familiar venue, and Mr. Zinke was relaxed. Whitefish is where he played guard on the high school footballteam and where as a Boy Scout he had built a rope-and-pole footbridge over the river.

“I think I am probably the only person who has played trombone on this stage,” he joked in his opening remarks.

The top sponsors of the event were familiar, too. They included Anadarko Petroleum and BP, oil and gas companies, as well as Barrick Gold and Newmont, mining companies. BNSF, the railroad, was also represented, as were major coal-burning utilities like Southern Company.

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Photo

A coal train in Sheridan, Wyo. “I am looking at both sides of our balance sheet,” Mr. Zinke said. CreditKristina Barker for The New York Times

Most of them had a keen interest in the Interior Department and Mr. Zinke’s new stewardship of it. Barrick’s Cortez mine, for example, has a pending application to expand open pit mining in Nevada, while Newmont is seeking approval for the environmental cleanup of a Nevada mine.

Conrad Anker, a mountaineer and author, took the stage after Mr. Zinke. He said in an interview that organizers had instructed him not to mention climate change, or its effect on the glaciers at Glacier National Park. According to a federal study, the glaciers have lost as much as 85 percent of their mass over the past 50 years.

There was no such restraint on the nearby town square, where protesters flashed signs with slogans like “Zinke Sells Soul to Big Oil” and “What Would Teddy Do?” — a reference to Mr. Zinke’s statements that he admired President Theodore Roosevelt, a conservationist who helped set aside millions of acres as public land.

Next to the square, at a pizza restaurant, a once-powerful Washington couple reflected on the frustration of those opposed to the administration’s new direction.

Jennifer Palmieri, a senior adviser in the Obama White House and later a top campaign aide to Hillary Clinton, was eating with her husband, Jim Lyons, an Interior official during Mr. Obama’s second term.

Both had expected senior administration roles had Mrs. Clinton won. Now, Mr. Lyons was in Whitefish trying to salvage the rules on oil, gas and coal that he had helped develop just a few years ago. He was holding sessions with governors hoping to enlist them to pressure Mr. Zinke and others.

“Instead of driving change, we are searching for ways to continue to be an influence,” Mr. Lyons said. “Frustration is an understatement.”

Toyota, Mazda Plan $1.6B US Plant in EV Partnership

Japanese automakers Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. said Friday they plan to spend $1.6 billion to set up a joint-venture auto manufacturing plant in the U.S. — a move that will create up to 4,000 jobs and drew praise from President Donald Trump.

The plant will have an annual production capacity of about 300,000 vehicles, and will produce Toyota Corollas for the North American market. Mazda will make cross-over models there that it plans to introduce to that market, both sides said.

The companies will split the cost for the plant equally.

Toyota said that it changed its plan to make Corollas at a plant in Guanajuato, Mexico, now under construction, and instead will produce Tacoma pickups there.

Trump had criticized Toyota for taking auto production and jobs to Mexico. With the investment, both automakers can hope to prove their good American corporate citizenship and appease the Trump administration’s concerns about jobs moving overseas.

On Friday morning, however, Trump praised the plan on Twitter.

The companies will also work together on various advanced auto technology, such as electric vehicles, safety features and connected cars, as well as products that they could supply each other, they said.

Toyota will also acquire 31,928,500 shares of common stock newly issued by Mazda through a third-party allotment, which will amount to a 5.05 percent stake in Mazda, valued at 50 billion yen ($455 million).

Mazda, which makes the Miata roadster, will acquire 50 billion yen worth of Toyota shares, the equivalent of a 0.25 percent stake. The investment deal is expected to be final by October, the companies said.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda praised Mazda as a great partner.

“It has also sparked Toyota’s competitive spirit, increasing our sense of not wanting to be bested by Mazda. This is a partnership in which those who are passionate about cars will work together to make ever-better cars,” he said.

The companies said their collaboration will respect their mutual independence and equality. Toyota already provides hybrid technology to Mazda, which makes compact cars for Toyota at its Mexico plant.

The sheer cost of the plant also makes a partnership logical, as it boosts cost-efficiency and economies of scale. Working together on green and other auto technology also makes sense as the segment becomes increasingly competitive due to concerns about global warming, the environment and safety.

“Given the massive level of competition in the industry, partnerships are no longer a surprise,” said Akshay Anand, an executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book.

Politics are another incentive.

“The new presidential administration has made it clear investments in the U.S. are a top priority, and this plant may be another nod to that mindset,” Anand said.

Mazda President Masamichi Kogai said he hoped that the partnership will help energize the industry, by nurturing more car fans, as rivals come together for the shared goals of innovation and fostering talent and leadership.

Japanese rival Nissan Motor Co. is allied with Renault SA of France and Mitsubishi Motors Corp., and is the global leader in electric vehicles. Nissan-Renault became the top automaker in world vehicles sales for the first time in the first half of this year — underscoring how alliances can propel such groups into powerful leading positions.

Toyota is vying for the spot of No. 1 automaker in global vehicle sales against Nissan-Renault and Volkswagen AG of Germany, as the industry gradually consolidates.

The tie-up with Mazda, although still limited, marks the latest addition to Toyota’s sprawling empire, which includes Japanese truck maker Hino Motors and minicar maker Daihatsu Motor Co. It is also the top shareholder in Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru cars.

In the past, Toyota, which makes the Prius hybrid, Camry sedan and Lexus luxury models, was not overly bullish on electric vehicles, noting the limited cruise range of the technology. But recent breakthroughs in batteries allow for longer travel per charge.

Mazda, based in Hiroshima, Japan, used to have a powerful partner in Dearborn-based Ford Motor Co., which bought 25 percent of Mazda in 1979, and raised it to 33.4 percent in 1996. But Ford began cutting ties in 2008, and has shed its stake in Mazda.

Also Friday, Toyota reported its April-June profit was 613.0 billion yen ($5.6 billion), up 11 percent from 552.4 billion yen a year earlier. Quarterly sales rose 7 percent to 7.05 trillion yen ($64 billion), as vehicle sales improved around the world, including in the U.S., Europe and Japan.

Toyota sold 2.2 million vehicles for the quarter, an improvement of 42,000 vehicles on-year, and stuck to its earlier projection for global vehicle sales for the fiscal year at 10.25 million vehicles.

Toyota also raised its fiscal full year profit forecast through March 2018 to 1.75 trillion yen ($16 billion), higher than its earlier forecast of 1.5 trillion yen ($14 billion). But that’s still lower than the 1.8 trillion yen earned in the previous fiscal year.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

IN MY OPINION BY BOB LIVINGSTON

 

Throughout the history of civilization, empires rise and then fall.

Although the final stages of collapse can be rapid and violent, the actual collapse is gradual and occurs over years and decades. Because of gradualism, the collapse is usually imperceptible to the people. Only a handful observe the increasing oppression of the people and recognize it for what it is. And no one, it seems, learns from history.

There are several schools of thought as to what precipitates the end of empires. Two years ago Stratfor, the globalist think tank for multinational corporations, posited two of them. Citing the 1987 The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, it pointed out that western powers since 1500 AD all fell after they were drawn into foreign entanglements that forced them to spend more of their wealth for wars. This created underinvestment in domestic needs, sending the country into an economic and social decline that emboldened more enemies. This created a cycle of more war and oppression.

In The Collapse of Complex Societies, author Joseph Tainter suggested that empires collapse following a loss of confidence in the ruling elite and traditional institutions. This idea was echoed in the book, Empire and Civilization by Niall Ferguson.

Do you see this in America today?

I believe both of these are true and would add another. There is a direct connection between debauching of the currency and the moral and social breakdown of society. America is experiencing all three simultaneously: engagement in multiple foreign entanglements (wars), loss of confidence in the ruling elite and traditional institutions and debasement of the currency through money printing.

The first is only made possible by money creation. Wars and foreign entanglements are always funded by fiat currency. The second is the result of the first. So the three causes go hand-in-hand.

When people are forced into impoverishment by devaluation and depreciation of their money, not only will they be impoverished, but they are headed for social and moral breakdown and finally internal war and revolution.

The devaluation of the currency as in the United States today is nothing less than undeclared war between the government and the people. This is all under the umbrella of patriotism and benevolence.

What the American people don’t understand is that when the Federal Reserve creates trillions of dollars that it calls “quantitative easing,” it does two things. No. 1: It dilutes the currency, thereby reducing the value of all currency in circulation. No. 2: It is transferring wealth to the government away from all dollar holders.

This is stealth or silent warfare against the American people. This is serious because it leads to impoverishment of the middle class and finally to complete economic collapse. This is happening now and has been occurring since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913!

How is it that not everyone knows about this? Many people see the chaos and feel the economic oppression, but they refuse to believe the cause. Yet it is laid bare for all to see. By refusing to look, we are sanctioning our own enslavement.

We are square in the middle of decadence masquerading as civilization. Social and economic oppression is closing in, but we accept it under all manner of rationalization and government propaganda. Declining morality is further evidence of empire in decline.

While most of the people may be oblivious, the elites and ruling powers are well aware of what is transpiring. The Pentagon recently published a study in which it makes clear it is aware that the primacy of America in the world order developed after World War II is rapidly coming to end, that the American empire is collapsing and it is making plans for this “post-primacy” environment.

And its conclusions, though not surprising because failing regimes have always used oppression, manufactured enemies and psychological warfare in their last days, are frightening prospects for liberty.

The solution proposed to protect America in the “post-primacy” era includes more of what the establishment is doing now: more surveillance, more propaganda and more military expansionism.

According to the study, the future without American dominance will be one in which there are Arab Spring-style events, not just in the Middle East, but all over the world, because of loss of confidence in traditional institutions and what the Pentagon describes as a breakdown “traditional authority structures.” The report notes the U.S. homeland is especially vulnerable to breakdown of traditional authority structures, stating:

The United States and its population are increasingly exposed to substantial harm and an erosion of security from individuals and small groups of motivated actors, leveraging the conflu­ence of hyperconnectivity, fear and increased vulner­ability to sow disorder and uncertainty. This intensely disorienting and dislocating form of resistance to author­ity arrives via physical, virtual and psychological vio­lence and can create effects that appear substantially out of proportion to the origin and physical size or scale of the proximate hazard or threat.

But the report ignores the role of the ruling establishment in these attitudes.

The report notes that one of the great drivers of the decline is the loss of message control due to the rise of alternative media which challenges conventional wisdom. To counter this, the report proposes stepped-up use of mass surveillance and psychological warfare.

Additionally, the report says efforts by Russia, China and, to a lesser extent, North Korea and Iran, to improve their economic status and act in their own best interest pose a grave threat to American dominance.

Karl Marx long ago suggested that capitalist economies escape from their “internal contradictions” by going to war. So the U.S. government is poised to turn its attention from its constitutional duty of assuring the general welfare of Americans to assuring the general welfare of the global elite and their global economy in order to maintain world dominance.

Governments since the Roman Empire have created enemies to instill fear in the population so that the people are manipulated into giving more police power over to the government. Politicians always go along with this Machiavellian deception.

Another great danger to the American people is that the elite who are presiding over the downfall of America will create a new tyranny disguised as a new and better system. We do not wish to exchange organized crime for organized crime under another name.

The world is bound up in a paper money/credit explosion that can only end badly. What it really means is impoverishment for millions of people, most of whom are totally oblivious to the roaring undercurrent.

There is little wisdom in announcing an economic crash after the fact. Yet some people get upset that I continue with ongoing warnings of a coming financial “pandemic.” Seeing the probabilities before they happen is the only prediction that is worthwhile. Afterwards is merely reporting the obvious.

My findings are that the American people don’t believe that we can have economic collapse followed by economic and social chaos. They suffer from normalcy bias. We need to pay more attention to history of the United States and the world.

The U.S. dollar is progressively buying less and less. The middle class and savers are impoverished. The process of currency destruction is getting faster and faster. This always happens in the final stages.

Even former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, whose policies have contributed to the collapse, is sounding the alarm, stating to CNBC on Friday that the bond market is on the cusp of a collapse that also will threaten stock prices:

The current level of interest rates is abnormally low and there’s only one direction in which they can go, and when they start they will be rather rapid… I have no time frame on the forecast. I have a chart which goes back to the 1800s and I can tell you that this particular period sticks out. But you have no way of knowing in advance when it will actually trigger.

And that is the point. No one ever knows exactly when the collapse finalizes. That’s why we preach preparedness ahead of time. Hold some cash in your possession, along with gold and silver. You should have food and water stockpiled, along with guns and ammo.

As the collapse continues and escalates, look for violence to also escalate. People get more desperate as they get hungrier. Desperate people do desperate things. Arab spring was just a picnic.

Better times are coming, but the firestorm comes first.


Yours for the truth,
Bob Livingston
Bob Livingston
Editor, The Bob Livingston Letter™

THE DEEP STATE WAR ON TRUMP’S FOREIGN POLICY AGENDA

President’s policies on Israel, Iran, Qatar and climate change under attack by a rogue State Department.

The State Department’s own “deep state” is trying to sabotage President Trump’s foreign policy agenda. From the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Iran, Qatar and climate change, the State Department, under Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, is reported to be in “open war” with the White House. Key high level positions remain vacant as Obama holdovers “continue running the show and formulating policy, where they have increasingly clashed with the White House’s own agenda,” according to the Free Beacon. Secretary Tillerson has reportedly run interference to protect the Obama holdovers from being removed, allowing resistance to President Trump’s foreign policy agenda to flourish within the State Department.

The first casualty of this internal coup by the State Department’s deep state is Israel. The shadow of the Obama administration’s anti-Israel bias was reflected in a report the State Department released on July 17, 2017 entitled Country Reports on Terrorism 2016. It praised Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for reiterating “his commitment to nonviolence, recognition of the State of Israel, and pursuit of an independent Palestinian state through peaceful means.” The report referred to what it called “significant steps during President Abbas’ tenure (2005 to date) to ensure that official institutions in the West Bank under its control do not create or disseminate content that incites violence.”

The State Department report brushed aside clear evidence of a continuing barrage of incendiary rhetoric appearing on official Palestinian Authority and Fatah social media outlets and of inflammatory statements by Palestinian officials, including Abbas himself. Instead, it claimed that the Palestinian Authority “has made progress in reducing official rhetoric that could be considered incitement to violence.”

The State Department report conveniently skipped over the fact that Abbas remains committed to paying regular salaries to Palestinian terrorists imprisoned for killing Jews and to terrorists’ families. Their perfidiously named “Martyrs Fund” has a treasure chest of about $300 million dollars. That blood money comes in part from foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority, some of which is contributed by American taxpayers. President Trump has spoken out against the ‘pay to slay Jews’ terrorist payments, but the State Department has turned a blind eye. Obama holdover Stuart Jones, the Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, is reported to have steered Secretary Tillerson into making the erroneous claim that the Palestinian Authority had ceased spending U.S. taxpayer funds to pay terrorists, according to the Free Beacon’s sources.

After reciting the litany of Palestinian terrorist attacks against Israelis, the State Department report held Israel largely responsible:

“Continued drivers of violence included a lack of hope in achieving Palestinian statehood, Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank, settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, the perception that the Israeli government was changing the status quo on the Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount, and IDF tactics that the Palestinians considered overly aggressive.”

Just a few hours after three members of an Israeli family were massacred by a Palestinian terrorist, a State Department official tried to defend the report’s conclusions on the drivers of Palestinian violence. The official sounded like a clinical psychologist or a social worker, declaring that there is “no one single pathway to violence—each individual’s path to terrorism is personalized, with certain commonalities.” This is the same type of irresponsible rhetoric used by the Obama administration in discussing the supposed root causes of what it called “violent extremism.”

The State Department has also carried over the Obama administration’s soft pedaling on Iran. Instead of presenting options to President Trump supporting a refusal to re-certify that Iran has complied with all of its obligations under the disastrous Obama nuclear deal with Iran, the State Department took Iran’s side. It recommended twice that President Trump sign certifications of Iran’s compliance. Deprived by the State Department of any analysis to the contrary, as he had requested, the president reluctantly signed the certifications in April and July. However, he has reportedly decided to sidestep the State Department going forward and rely instead on a White House team to prepare the way for refusing to sign the certification the next time it is presented to him. CIA Director Mike Pompeo, senior strategist Steve Bannon, and deputy assistant to the president Sebastian Gorka opposed the State Department’s recommendation.

“The president assigned White House staffers with the task of preparing for the possibility of decertification for the 90-day review period that ends in October — a task he had previously given to Secretary Tillerson and the State Department,” a source close to the White House told Foreign Policy.

Foreign Policy quoted one senior State Department, speaking on condition of anonymity, as saying, “The White House, they see the State Department as ‘the swamp.’”

The State Department is a swamp infested with Obama holdovers such as Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, the former Iran director for Obama’s National Security Council, who helped push through the Iran deal. When she moved over to the State Department during the waning months of the Obama administration, she was assigned to oversee the Persian Gulf region policy planning portfolio, which included issues related to Iran. She continued in that high-level advisory position until April of this year, when she was re-assigned to the Office of Iranian Affairs. In other words, a strong supporter of the Iranian nuclear deal with a vested interest in its continuation was on Secretary of State Tillerson’s policy planning team. Secretary Tillerson no doubt relied on this tainted team for input into his decision to recommend the first certification signing last April. Ms. Nowrouzzadeh is still working on Iranian-related issues for the State Department where she can do some damage. However, at least she is no longer part of the Secretary of State’s brain trust.

The State Department has also sought to undercut President Trump’s sharp criticism of Qatar, a major state sponsor of Islamic terrorism. The president had tweeted that Qatar funds radical Islamists, which is demonstrably true. Nevertheless, the State Department contradicted President Trump’s observation.

“We recognize that Qatar has made some great efforts to stop financing of terror groups,” said State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert at the June 6, 2017 briefing. “Our relationship with Qatar is strong.”

Dana Shell Smith, ambassador to Qatar until she left in late June, who believes that Qatar is a “great country,” was another Obama holdover. She was still the ambassador when the row over Qatar erupted. The day before Heather Nauert’s news briefing extolling Qatar’s supposed “great efforts to stop financing of terror groups,” the U.S. embassy in Qatar, still led by Dan Shell Smith, retweeted the following, which was originally tweeted during the Obama administration: “U.S. supports #Qatar’s efforts in combating terrorism financing & appreciates its role in coalition against ISIL.”

These sentiments are in direct contradiction to the views expressed by President Trump. Indeed, Smith had little use for President Trump and was not shy about saying so. Stationed in an autocratic country ruled by sharia law, she tweeted in May while still ambassador: “Increasingly difficult to wake up overseas to news from home, knowing I will spend today explaining our democracy and institutions.” Did this Trump-hater ever once think that the very idea of democracy, religious tolerance and equal rights for women are alien concepts to begin with in a country like Qatar that she called “great”?

After Smith’s departure, the State Department continued its praise of Qatar for supposedly being a partner in the fight against terrorism. In the same Country Reports on Terrorism 2016, which praised Abbas and blamed Israel for creating the conditions that fostered Palestinian terrorism, the State Department lauded Qatar for collaborating “to foster closer regional and international cooperation on counterterrorism, law enforcement, and rule of law activities.”

Finally, there is the issue of climate change. President Trump decided to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change because it disadvantaged America economically. However, the Paris Agreement was the pride and joy of Secretary of State John Kerry’s State Department. Obama holdovers have remained at the State Department, in a position to do mischief to President Trump’s plans to extricate the United States from the bad climate change deal.

Within the bowels of the State Department, for example, is the Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change, which, according to its website, is responsible for developing, implementing, and overseeing U.S. international policy on climate change. Its website still boasts how it led the way “in the negotiations in Paris at the 21st Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (COP21).” The website goes on to praise the Paris Agreement as the “most ambitious climate accord ever negotiated.”  This website remains operational even though President Trump has reportedly decided not to name a special envoy for climate change. The United States deputy special envoy for climate change, Trigg Talley, who served as head of the U.S. delegation for negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, remains in office, however. The opportunity for the State Department to conduct a deep state war against the president’s climate change policies is a real threat unless the Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change is completely shut down.

There are other potential pockets of resistance to President Trump’s climate change policies inside the State Department, such as the Office of Global Change. It too should be shut down or sharply curtailed.

President Trump, not State Department bureaucrats, was elected by the American people. He should have the final say on policy matters within his scope of executive authority, which includes the setting of foreign policy priorities. Deep state saboteurs within the State Department and other government agencies need to be rooted out at once and removed from positions of influence where they can do harm to the president’s agenda.

Justice Department Opens Investigation Of FBI Head Attorney For Leaking Classified Information

FBI General Counsel James A. Baker is purportedly under a Department of Justice criminal investigation for allegedly leaking classified national security information to the media, according to multiple government officials close to the probe who spoke with Circa on the condition of anonymity.

FBI spokeswoman Carol Cratty said the bureau would not comment on Baker and would not confirm or deny any investigation.

From Circa

This comes as Department of Justice Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he would soon be making an announcement regarding the progress of leak investigations. A DOJ official declined to comment on Circa’s inquiry into Baker but did say, the planned announcement by Sessions is part of the overall “stepped up efforts on leak investigations.”

Three sources, with knowledge of the investigation, told Circa that Baker is the top suspect in an ongoing leak investigation, but Circa has not been able to confirm the details of what national security information or material was allegedly leaked.

A federal law enforcement official with knowledge of ongoing internal investigations in the bureau told Circa, “the bureau is scouring for leakers and there’s been a lot of investigations.”

The revelation comes as the Trump administration has ramped up efforts to contain leaks both within the White House and within its own national security apparatus.

Baker is a close confidant of former FBI Director James Comey, and recent media reports suggested he was reportedly advising the then-FBI director on legal matters following private meetings the former director had in February with President Trump in the Oval Office.

Baker was appointed to the FBI’s general counsel by Comey in 2014 and has had a long and distinguished history within the intelligence community.

After working as a federal prosecutor in the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice during the 1990s, he joined the Office of Intelligence Policy and Review In 1996, according to his FBI bio. (https://archives.fbi.gov/archives/news/pressrel/press-releases/james-a.-baker-appointed-as-fbis-general-counsel).

In 2006 Baker received the George H.W. Bush Award for Excellence in counter-terrorism—the CIA’s highest counter-terrorism award, according to his biography. During Baker’s long and distinguished career he received the “NSA’s Intelligence Under Law Award; the NSA Director’s Distinguished Service Medal; and DOJ’s highest award— the Edmund J. Randolph Award.”

He is a fellow at the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a lecturer at Harvard Law School.

Tom Price reveals how Trump administration could dismantle much of Obamacare on its own

Department of Health and Human Services Sec. Tom Price said on July 30, 2017, President Donald Trump’s administration will work to dismantle key parts of the Affordable Care Act if Congress fails to act. (Image source: ABC News screenshot)

 Department of Health and Human Services Sec. Tom Price has said President Donald Trump’s administration will work to dismantle key parts of the Affordable Care Act if Congress fails to act, although Price pledged he won’t do anything to hurt Americans.

Speaking on Sunday on ABC News’ “This Week”with Martha Raddatz, Price said “the current system is imploding” and that HHS has a “responsibility” to improve the health care system using the authority granted to it by the ACA.

“The responsibility of the department is to improve the health and the safety and the well-being of the American people, and we take that mission extremely seriously,” Price said. “Which is why we are so passionate about making certain that we’ve got a health care system, again, that works for patients.”

“So the ACA, Obamacare, had it stated 1,442 times — 1,442 times — ‘the [HHS] secretary shall,’ or ‘the secretary may.’ And what the previous administration did was made it so it was harder to care for patients and drove up the costs of coverage and drove up the costs of care,” Price added.

“We’re going to look at every single one of those rules and regulations, all 1,442 of them, and determine: Does it drive up costs? Does it drive down costs? Does it help patients? Does it hurt patients? And when it drives up costs and hurts patients, we’re going to move in the other direction,” Price said, indicating HHS could play a key role in reversing many Obamacare provisions in the future.

On Saturday, Trump announced on Twitter that if Congress doesn’t act soon on health care, he would effectively force them to by ending federal “BAILOUTS” — cost sharing reduction payments — given to health insurance companies.

“If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” Trump wrote.

On Friday, Trump suggested if Congress can’t get a deal done, the federal government should “let Obamacare implode.”

“3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!”

Price seemed to walk back those threats when pressed by Raddatz on Sunday, although he also said “no decision has been made” about whether the federal government will continue make the cost sharing reduction payments.

“But this week, [Trump] said he was going to let [Obamacare] implode. Is that what he’s going to do?” Raddatz asked Price.

“No,” Price responded. “I think again the fact — that punctuates the concern that he has about getting this moved in the right direction. … This is a system, again, that’s not working for patients, and that’s what the president understands. That’s what he appreciates. That’s why he’s so passionate about making certain that he does all that he can to get this repealed and replaced with a system that works for patients.”

 

If Congress fails to replace Obamacare, it’s possible the Trump administration could effectively eliminate much of the law in the way Price described in his interview with Raddatz, by rolling back many of the costly regulations, refusing to enforce the individual mandate and granting states significant flexibility in how they manage their health care systems. However, without a new law, those actions could be reversed by another administration in the future, and the reforms that could be instituted would be relatively limited compared to what a law passed by Congress could accomplish.

THE ATLANTIC PUBLISHES ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE LEFT

Last week, The Atlantic rendered a great service to those of us who contend that America is in the midst of a civil war between the right and the left. It provided a smoking gun — actually, the gunshot itself — to those of us who contend that the left (never to be confused with liberals) is intent on dismantling Western civilization.

It published articles by two left-wing writers, one by Peter Beinart titled “The Racial and Religious Paranoia of Trump’s Warsaw Speech,” and one by its national correspondent, James Fallows, written on the same theme as Beinart’s.

The subject of both articles was President Donald Trump’s speech in Warsaw, Poland, last week, a speech described by The Wall Street Journal as “a determined and affirmative defense of the Western tradition.”

Yet, to the Atlantic writers, defending Western civilization is nothing more than a defense of white racism.

Beinart begins his piece saying: “In his speech in Poland on Thursday, Donald Trump referred 10 times to ‘the West’ and five times to ‘our civilization.’ His white nationalist supporters will understand exactly what he means. It’s important that other Americans do, too.”

And Fallows begins saying, “what he called ‘civilization’ … boils down to ties of ethnicity and blood.”

Is there one liberal or conservative American who thinks that the words “the West” and “Western civilization” mean a celebration of white-blood purity?

I doubt it.

What we have here are two vital lessons.

One is that leftism is the primary racist ideology of our time, seeing everything in terms of race, whereas mainstream liberalism and conservatism advocate a race-blind society as manifest in Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “content of his character” line. The left disdains this view.

To cite one of innumerable examples, the University of California has published a list of biased “microaggression” statements students and faculty are to avoid. One of them is “There is only one race, the human race.”

In other words, the left, which controls our universities, teaches American students that it is wrong to believe in one human race. That was precisely what the Nazis taught German students. And now, we have another expression of this doctrine enunciated in the pages of The Atlantic: that those who wish to protect or save Western civilization are talking about saving the white race.

I am certainly not equating leftism with Nazism. The left doesn’t seek to annihilate all Jews (it merely supports the Palestinians, who seek to annihilate the Jewish state). I am merely stating an unassailable truth: No significant political movement since the Nazis has “honored” race or equated Western civilization with race, as Beinart and Fallows do.

The second service provided by The Atlantic writers is proof that the left loathes Western civilization and therefore has become the internal enemy of Western civilization both in America and Europe.

In the left’s eyes, the mere suggestion that Western civilization needs to be saved is, by definition, a call for the preservation of the white race. Therefore, the left opposes calls to save Western civilization. As Beinart wrote: “The most shocking sentence in Trump’s speech — perhaps the most shocking sentence in any presidential speech delivered on foreign soil in my lifetime — was his claim that ‘The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive.’ … Trump’s sentence only makes sense as a statement of racial and religious paranoia.”

Those of us who have long equated the left with opposition to Western civilization are vindicated. We didn’t need Beinart and Fallows — we already had innumerable examples, such as the University of Pennsylvania English department removing its longstanding poster of William Shakespeare because he was a white male — but in their explicit articulation of the left’s view, they are immensely helpful.

Shakespeare is read in every language that has an alphabet not because he was white or European but because he is regarded as the greatest playwright who ever lived. But the leftists who run that English department place race (and gender) above excellence — a thorough rejection of Western values.

Ironically, outside of liberals and conservatives, those most likely to celebrate Western values are likely to not be Western. The Japanese would scoff at the idea that Bach and Beethoven did not write the greatest music ever composed. That is why some of the greatest Bach recordings of our time come from Japanese musicians living in Japan. Nor would the Japanese deny that their modern country’s democratic values come from the West.

The West’s disdain for its own values seems to getting increasingly strident with each passing day. President Trump is making an important and laudable effort to reverse this trend. He’s walking in good company. In an address to the Pan-American Scientific Congress in Washington, D.C., on May 10, 1940, then-President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Americans might have to become the guardian of Western culture, the protector of Christian civilization.” FDR frequently spoke about protecting both Western and Christian civilization.

We owe a debt of gratitude to The Atlantic, CNN (whose senior White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny described Trump’s address as a “white America, America first kind of speech”) and others. They have made it clear that the left has contempt for Western civilization and therefore constitutes the greatest threat to its survival.

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