3:30 P.M. The Mainstream Media tries to ruin Bush Sr.s funeral …

There was no mistaking the odd man out.

The Washington funeral service for former U.S. President George H.W. Bush served as a rare reunion of the remaining members of the presidents club, but the front-row banter among Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and their spouses came to an end when President Donald Trump and wife Melania arrived.

The Wednesday encounter was a real-time illustration of the uneasy ties between the current occupant of the White House and his predecessors, suggesting Trump as a member-in-name-only of the Oval Office fraternity. While the funeral ceremony itself was a warm celebration of the late president, the relationships between the surviving presidents are considerably cooler.

Trump gave the two Obamas a handshake before taking his seat in Washington’s National Cathedral without greeting the others. Hillary Clinton nodded at Melania Trump but then stared straight ahead. The Trump-Obama handshake marked the first direct interaction between the current president and his immediate predecessor since Inauguration Day 2017. Trump has not spoken to Democrats Clinton or Obama since that day.

The ceremony’s tributes at times stood as an unspoken counterpoint to Trump’s leadership, as historian Jon Meacham eulogized Bush by recounting his life’s credo: “Tell the truth, don’t blame people, be strong, do your best, try hard, forgive, stay the course.” George W. Bush added of his father: “He could tease and needle, but not out of malice.”

By virtue of health, longevity and opportunities for continued influence, ex-presidents are sticking around longer than ever and staying active in the public eye.

Past presidents often built relationships with their predecessors, Brinkley said. “Bill Clinton would reach out to Richard Nixon for advice on Russia,” he said. “Harry Truman leaned heavily on Herbert Hoover. It’s endless.”

To be sure, Brinkley added, those ties vary from president to president and there have been chilly relationships as well, noting, for example, that “FDR would never talk to Herbert Hoover.”

Busy with a mix of personal pursuits, charitable endeavours — and, in some cases, paid speaking gigs — the former leaders don’t mingle very often, making a funeral in their group a big occasion. Bonded by the presidency, they tend to exercise caution in their comments about each other. Still, all the living former presidents have aimed barbs — directly or indirectly — at Trump.

In a speech in September, Obama slammed the “crazy stuff” coming out of the White House without directly naming Trump. Last year, the younger Bush made a speech that confronted many of the themes of Trump’s presidency without mentioning him by name, cautioning that “bigotry seems emboldened” and the nation’s politics “seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.”

Over the summer, Carter told The Washington Post that Trump’s presidency was a “disaster.” And Clinton — stung by Trump’s defeat of wife Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race — told a weekly newspaper in New York state after her stunning loss that Trump “doesn’t know much.”

Even the late Bush’s feelings about Trump were harsh at times. In Mark K. Updegrove’s book “The Last Republicans,” published last year, the elder Bush called Trump a “blowhard.”

The late Bush said he voted for Clinton in 2016 while George W. Bush said he voted for “none of the above.”

There have been other moments when the ex-presidents offered more sympathetic sentiments for Trump. After Trump’s surprise victory, Obama stood in the Rose Garden at the White House and said he was “rooting” for the next president. Carter told The New York Times in 2017 the media had been harder on Trump than other presidents. Clinton said in June that America should be rooting for Trump to succeed in his North Korea talks.

While he has struggled to set the right tone in past moments of national grief, Trump has gone out of his way to address Bush’s passing with consideration, issuing kind statements and ensuring that Bush family members have whatever they need for the funeral. On Tuesday, first lady Melania Trump welcomed Laura Bush and other family members for a tour of the White House Christmas decorations. And Trump and the first lady visited with members of the Bush family at Blair House.

Like the semi-mythical Christmas truce between the British and the Germans on the front lines during World War I, Wednesday’s state funeral for former president George H.W. Bush showed two Washingtons and two Republican parties — in one sense, two Americas — taking a momentary step back from the bonfire that is now our national politics. The day, unlike almost anything involving President Trump, was subdued and respectful.

For that, we can thank the late former president Bush, no fan of Trump. By insisting on his predecessor’s inclusion in the proceedings, Bush forced the current White House occupant to briefly abandon his unfrozen cave-man act, denying him the chance to further debase the office of the president by siphoning the dignity out of 41’s final hours in D.C. — something 45 likely would have relished, given the opportunity.

Recall that Trump skipped former first lady Barbara Bush’s funeral earlier this year to “avoid disruptions due to added security” (read: to avoid a scene) and “out of respect” for the Bushes, with first lady Melania Trump attending solo.

A few months later, Trump was relegated to golfing and tweeting, miles away, after being asked to stay away from Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) funeral (read: given the finger), during which Trump was rebuffed by Meghan McCain, who affirmed, “America was always great,” turning the president’s shallow campaign slogan on its head while her father was eulogized by former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

You could hardly have blamed the Bush family, then, if they had asked Trump to keep his distance from the elder Bush’s memorial, considering Trump’s attacks on the younger former president Bush’s record, Trump’s swipes at former governor Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) and the reality that Trump’s gimcrack persona is an affront to Bush père’s evident character. Bush personified noblesse oblige; Trump is an avatar of the lowest common denominator. And Trump might have half-expected, if not outright welcomed, such a rejection, as it would have given him an opening to abrasively tweet about the Bush legacy, employing Trump’s patented Twitter formula: insulting nickname, distracting punctuation, malapropism, logical fallacy, self-own, hit send.

But in his final wishes, the late former president put the dignity of the office and, by extension, the nation’s dignity, above all, knowing that the passing of a president is a rare occasion and, even in passing, any chance to demonstrate honor and decorum would provide a welcome contrast to this divided political moment. As Rice University historian Douglas Brinkley told People magazine, Bush “does not want to stiff a sitting president.” Wouldn’t be prudent.

Bush proved right. Lacking a snub from which to pivot, Trump did the only thing he could do as a member of the now-five-member living president’s club: He issued an appropriate official statementon Bush’s passing, largely steered clear of the week’s Bush remembrances and showed up for the funeral at which he had no speaking role. Even his scowling abstention from the Apostles’ Creed — which all the other presidents recited — couldn’t detract from a solemn ceremony.

It was a brief political win-win. Bush, the last president to serve in combat, a former congressman, ambassador, CIA director and vice president, could be laid to rest with decorum, and Trump — Cadet Bone Spurs, decorated veteran of Studio 54 — was mostly spared another unflattering comparison to an American hero.

But not completely spared. Trump saw himself eclipsed by the memory of a superior man and his anti-statesmanship outshined by the disdained values of a presently defunct GOP, whose passing we collectively view with increasing regret.

A president who nurtures only his ego saw people from both parties turn out to honor a president who understood the line between partisanship and pragmatism. Trump, a man who exists in a purely transactional bubble, had to sit and listen to stories of friendships that spanned decades, a loving marriage that began before Trump was born, Bush’s commitment to family and his total comfort with the person he was. As to this contrast, the record doesn’t whisper; it screams.

No one in attendance at Washington National Cathedral or watching on TV could have mistaken the difference between Trump’s caustic brand of nationalism and Bush’s patriotism: He flew more than 50 combat missions during World War II. He served when called, over and over. He was a man of deeds, not boasts.

His example wasn’t meant for Trump alone. As he was laid to rest, Bush reminded us that when the studio audience tires of the reality show, a better, kinder, more American style of leadership might one day return. That true patriotism, honor and devotion to family are models of a life well lived, in and after politics. George H.W. Bush’s lifetime of service was capped by one last selfless act, a final gift to the country he served so well. He knew exactly what he was doing by opting not to exclude Trump from his funeral; he controlled the uncontrollable.

MORBNOTE ; The above is a joining of two ‘ reports ‘ on George H.W. Bush’s funeral … One outlet being the Washington Post ( American ) and the other CTV ( Canadian ) … Isn’t too tricky to figure out what descriptions and quotes came from which one ! …

 I had a look at a bit of the fanfare of the proceedings and , aside from the typical political adversarial atmosphere that all politicians exist in , saw nothing to corroborate the Washington Post ‘ opinion ‘ … Not to mention that Jackhole Stephan Colbert who thinks he’s funny and informative !!! …

Pity they can’t heed the advice from the man who once said ‘ Read my lips ‘ and just take the time out , set aside that adversarial attitude , in honour of the ceremony of a passing President … 

I know !!! … The ‘ Read my lips ‘ quote wasn’t one of his finer moments ! … Couldn’t resist it tho …

Source: Trump could’ve ruined Bush’s funeral. Bush didn’t let him. – The Washington Post

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3:10 P.M. Trump odd man out as presidents assemble for Bush funeral | CTV News

By virtue of health , longevity and opportunities for continued influence , ex-presidents are sticking around longer than ever and staying active in the public eye. Past presidents often built relationships with their predecessors,

Since his swearing-in , Trump has spurned most contact with his predecessors … And they have snubbed him in return. But while the staid group of Oval Office occupants has been disrupted since Donald Trump’s election , the Bushes had made it known to the White House months ago that , despite differences in policy and temperament , the late president wanted Trump to attend the national service.

MORBNOTE ; You can say many things about the Senior Bush , but at least he’s man enough to set aside the typical , petty attacks from ALL sides and insist that a sitting President be at his funeral …

” It’s unusual that a cabal of ex-presidents from both parties dislike a sitting president and that’s what you’ve got happening right now ” said Douglas Brinkley , a history professor at Rice University.

Brinkley said. ” Bill Clinton would reach out to Richard Nixon for advice on Russia,” he said. “Harry Truman leaned heavily on Herbert Hoover. It’s endless “.

To be sure , Brinkley added , those ties vary from president to president and there have been chilly relationships as well , noting , for example, that ” FDR would never talk to Herbert Hoover “.

Busy with a mix of personal pursuits , charitable endeavours and , in some cases , paid speaking gigs , the former leaders don’t mingle very often , making a funeral in their group a big occasion. Bonded by the presidency , they tend to exercise caution in their comments about each other. Still , all the living former presidents have aimed barbs , directly or indirectly , at Trump.

In a speech in September , Obama slammed the ” crazy stuff ” coming out of the White House without directly naming Trump. Last year , the younger Bush made a speech that confronted many of the themes of Trump’s presidency without mentioning him by name , cautioning that ” bigotry seems emboldened ” and the nation’s politics ” seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication “.

Over the summer , Carter told The Washington Post that Trump’s presidency was a ” disaster ” … And Clinton , stung by Trump’s defeat of wife Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race , told a weekly newspaper in New York state after her stunning loss that Trump ” doesn’t know much “.

Even the late Bush’s feelings about Trump were harsh at times. In Mark K. Updegrove’s book ‘ The Last Republicans ‘ published last year , the elder Bush called Trump a ” blowhard “.

MORBNOTE II ; Again I point out , George H.W. , despite his thoughts on Trump himself , felt it ‘ proper ‘ that the ‘ Sitting President Trump ‘ join the others … As has always been done …

Also to note ; The late Bush said he voted for Clinton in 2016 while George W. Bush said he voted for ‘ none of the above ‘…

There have been other moments when the ex-presidents offered more sympathetic sentiments for Trump. After Trump’s surprise victory , Obama stood in the Rose Garden at the White House and said he was ” rooting ” for the next president. Carter told The New York Times in 2017 the media had been harder on Trump than other presidents. Clinton said in June that America should be rooting for Trump to succeed in his North Korea talks.

MORBNOTE III ; I can see Hillary , after taking the verbal beatings she did from the piehole of The Donald during the campaign , being understandably bitter … But the reporter here points out that it apparently isn’t the ‘ complete , unified condemnation of Trump that the MSM ( and Jackholes from Hollywood like Stephan Colbert ! ) attempt to sell to the public …

While he has struggled to set the right tone in past moments of national grief , Trump has gone out of his way to address Bush’s passing with consideration , issuing kind statements and ensuring that Bush family members have whatever they need for the funeral. On Tuesday , first lady Melania Trump welcomed Laura Bush and other family members for a tour of the White House Christmas decorations. And Trump and the first lady visited with members of the Bush family at Blair House.

MORBNOTE SUMMATION ; It’s pretty obvious to me that in the midst of all the politics of today and the partisanship that goes on … The DEEP entrenchment of the ‘ establishment … Donald is dealing with this properly … He was vilified for not being at McCain’s funeral … He wasn’t invited ! … Had Lucien Bouchard not died ,Brian Mulroney swore that he wanted the ceremonies stopped if Bouchard made an entrance at his funeral !!! …

Trumps damned if he does … Damned if he doesn’t by this one sided Media horde … 

I watched the coverage of the funeral , inside the church … I saw no evidence to present it the way the MSN and Colbert do … In their obviously BIASED ‘ OPINION ‘ …

Source: Trump odd man out as presidents assemble for Bush funeral | CTV News

4:14 P.M. Democrats overwhelmingly nominate Pelosi as Speaker …

House Democrats voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to nominate Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to the Speakership in a 203-32 vote.

The outcome was no surprise despite an entrenched rebellion from insurgent lawmakers who want changes to Democratic leadership. Pelosi was running uncontested and enjoys widespread support within the liberal-heavy caucus she’s led since 2003. The 32 votes against her were fewer than the 63 votes won in a 2016 contest for minority leader by Rep. Tim Ryan ( D-Ohio ) , who ran against Pelosi at the time.

Still , Pelosi faces a tougher test the first week of January , when the full House meets to choose the Speaker in a public vote requiring a majority of the entire voting chamber. Pelosi can not afford 32 Democratic votes against her in that contest , though she has weeks to convince some of her opponents to either vote for her on the floor or vote present … Reducing the total number of votes needed for victory.

MORBNOTE ; Two things here … First … ALL members should vote their view on this important duty and voice it .. Not just ‘ keep quiet ‘ for the ‘ good of the party ‘ … This is , after all , what is supposed to be good for the COUNTRY !!! …

And secondly , I think this great for the Donald … He’s got the stupid old wench pegged !!! … He can carry on having a field day with her !!! .. If they elected someone that could ruthlessly quip back and for with Trump he’d have to guard himself more …

Reminds me of Joe Clark and Jr. Turdo’s old man Pete … Clark always put his foot in it … Mulroney came in and could go head to head with Pete … Didn’t think much of any of these three , but I’ll give it to Pete for not leaving the country stuck with Joe having a second chance at it … He could see Brian at least had a bit of game in him and took his ‘ walk in the snow ‘ …

Source: Democrats overwhelmingly nominate Pelosi as Speaker amid rebellion | TheHill

3:41 P.M. Sorry Y.Y. …. Not buyin’ your defense of unskilled ‘ skip the rules ‘ entry into Canada and expecting all the freebees …

According to some bleeding heart leftwing , nutjob so called ‘ expert ‘ the term ‘ illegal ‘ ignores the fact that many of these migrants have come here on a work visa … That work visa expires … ( Morbnote ; That is when they should leave and carry on from where ever they came from to attempt re-entry … Instead they remain here ILLEGALLY and … ) try to regularize their status only to be thwarted by a process that is long , arduous , expensive and with a modest chance of success.

MORBNOTE II ; Tough shit !!! … You were lucky ya got a year or two work visa outta the deal !!! … Now get to the back of the line … We’ll keep ya in a special , faster moving line … If ya conducted yourself well … But get to the BACK of that one !!! … But NOOOooo….

Nell Toussaint was once one of these irregular illegal migrants. She arrived in Canada in 1999 as a visitor from Grenada and stayed past her visa’s expiration after finding a job here. For nearly a decade , she worked and contributed to Canada’s tax and social security systems through payroll deductions. She twice attempted to apply for permanent resident status based on humanitarian and compassionate considerations. Both times , her effort was stalled partly because she couldn’t afford the cost of the permanent residency application. ( Thought she was working for a decade !!! ) …

As Toussaint was trying to regularize her status , her health deteriorated. Like most irregular illegal migrants in Canada , she was neither eligible for public health insurance nor able to pay for health services privately … ( MOST ? … Ya mean SOME ARE ?!!! ) This forced her to rely on a combination of emergency and charitable care that fell short of halting the progression of her illnesses.

MORBNOTE III ; I’m supposed to feel guilty and pay for some law breaking individual from another country ?! … Don’ t waste my time !!! …

By early 2009 , her life was in grave danger. Thankfully , in 2013 , Toussaint became a permanent resident of Canada , qualifying her for provincial health care. Her health has stabilized. ( AMAZING !!! … JUST LIKE THAT … She’s all healthy again ! … Only liberal progressives could buy and sell this shit !!! ) …

Against this background , Toussaint lodged a complaint against Canada before the UN Human Rights Committee , arguing that her rights to life and equality under international law were breached when she was excluded from public health care.

MORBNOTE IV ; FUCK OFF !!! … Funny how they can barely speak the language here … That’s if they can at all !!! … But they’re quite well educated in laws both national and international !!! …

The committee agreed. ( Liberal commitee ! ) In a decision issued last summer , it asked Canada to prevent similar rights violations in the future by ensuring irregular migrants’ access to essential health care that would guard against ‘ reasonably foreseeable ‘ risks to lives. And it requested that Canada advise the committee before February 2019 of the reform measures that are implemented.

MORBNOTE V ; Since she was all fine and dandy once she knew she was safely in the Liberal safety net , I’d say there was NEVER any ‘ risk to her life  whatsoever !!! …

The UN Human Rights Committee’s decision in the Toussaint case doesn’t suggest Canada must provide health care to individuals who enter the country with the sole purpose of accessing health care. It found that denying health care and causing life-threatening risks to someone who had lived and worked in Canada for almost a decade ( ILLEGALLY !!! VERY IMPRTANT POINT !!! ) was in violation of Canada’s international human rights commitment.

The Netherlands , Belgium , France , Switzerland and Portugal , with Spain poised to join the ranks this year , all grant roughly the same health-care coverage to irregular illegal migrants and their respective citizens. There’s no indication that ‘health tourism’ has plagued these countries as a result.

MORBNOTE VI ; Just because someone down the street let’s a criminal into their house and raid the fridge doesn’t mean you should do the same !!! …

Most irregular illegal migrants , like Toussaint , are contributing members of society … ( BULLSHIT !!! … We don’t need 90 % of ALL immigrants !!! … Absolutely NONE from these third world shitholes !!! ) For too long we’ve condoned their exclusion from health care. The time for change is now.

Y.Y. Brandon Chen is an assistant professor at University of Ottawa Faculty of Law and a member of the University’s Centre for Health Law, Policy and Ethics.

MORBNOTE ( Summary ) ; And I see that ‘ professor ‘ Y.Y. is a prime example of the leftwing education system that has evolved over the past 4 or 5 decades , producing idealistic simpletons that can’t deal with reality …

Source: Excluding irregular migrants from health care violates international law | Troy Media

7:18 A.M. Blame Trump and cry me a river !!! …

There are far too many people in our society that , clearly , can’t take in too much information at once and make reasonable conclusions … Numerous people in this article state their opinions with a very narrow veiwpoint , not taking in the whole picture … Completely missing the obvious …

At one time , Donald Trump’s words sounded reassuring to Tommy Wolikow. Now more than a year later , they just torment him.

” Don’t move , don’t sell your house ” the U.S. president urged a cheering crowd in Youngstown , Ohio , in July 2017 , promising to resurrect the region’s dwindling manufacturing jobs. ” They’re all coming back “…

Wolikow , a 36-year-old father of three , was standing there listening , hopeful. The former General Motors quality control worker at the GM Lordstown Complex had been laid off months earlier , and bought a two-storey home for $110,000 US with his wife, Rochelle , located just three kilometres from the factory.​ He was hoping to soon return to work.

After nine years at GM , Trump’s inauguration day , Jan. 20, 2017 , turned out to be Wolikow’s last day on the job. Once a diehard Trump supporter , Wolikow’s faith has waned. Over the last two years , he has seen only job losses in Ohio … Including both his and Rochelle’s , who was a GM employee on the door line at the Lordstown plant.

MORBNOTE ; Trump had yet to be inaugurated when GM laid off all these people … The bigwigs didn’t just wake up that morning and decide to slash jobs !!! … They decided to do this long before then , based on corporate greed …

But it’s Trump’s fault !!! …

” The information we got is devastating ” he said about the new layoffs and GM’s plan to idle five factories in Ohio , Michigan , Maryland and Oshawa , Ont.

Consumer preferences are changing. Only 30 per cent of American automobiles sold today are cars , like the Chevrolet Cruze compact , manufactured in Lordstown. Trucks and SUVs make up the remaining 70 per cent. Sales of the Chevy Cruze have been flagging for a while due to the growing SUV market share. 1,500 employees were laid off earlier this year. And Lordstown is not alone. GM will eliminate roughly 14,000 jobs between five plants in the U.S. and Canada next year.

General Motors continues to make the Chevy Cruze hatchback model in Mexico and has expanded its operations there to include new production of the Chevy Blazer. President Trump said he would not allow Ohio jobs to be sacrificed to enrich other countries, but that is exactly what is happening.

GM employs 5,600 people in Mexico to make the Chevy Cruze hatchback – basically the same car GM is taking away from Lordstown. The average wage of a Mexican worker in a GM plant is $3 per hour. Meanwhile, 1,600 Ohioans will lose jobs that pay roughly $24 per hour to an assembly line worker.

MORBNOTE II ; There’s two points here … 1 ) The writer of the article states ( admits ! ) that sales of the Cruz were ‘ flagging ‘ in the first place , with GM laying off 1,500 employees earlier in the year … Again a decision formulated over much debate and , I’d say , considerable time before that …

And 2 ) GM CHOSE ( That’s General Motors ‘ bigwigs ! ) Decided YEARS ago to move a considerable amount of production south to Mexico for the sole reason of profit increase … They employ FIVE THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED people in MEXICO !!! … GM profits were 2.5 BILLION last quarter !!! …

But … Of course … It’s Trump’s fault …

Yet Trump’s vow in Ohio last year seemed to disregard that fact, as well as the shift toward autonomous and electric cars , in favour of crowd-pleasing pledges to build new plants and reverse manufacturing job losses.

“The moment that was said , it was literally an impossibility ” said Bell , a former senior director of economic policy at the Washington-based Bipartisan Policy Center who now does consulting work. “I t’s like saying we’re going to make coal have a huge comeback. We’re not “…

” Look at it from a business perspective ” Sumell said … ” All of a sudden , you have millions of more dollars than you expected to have. There’s no rule that you have to use those dollars to invest in new plants and new jobs “…

Much as it might be convenient to blame the president , Charlie Chesbrough , a senior economist with Cox Automotive , said the biggest driver was shifting consumer tastes.

” I don’t think we can hang this one around the president’s neck ” he said.

The cuts on Monday could be GM trying to play catch-up to Fiat Chrysler , which announced in the summer it would cease making cars in the U.S. to focus entirely on pickups and SUVs.

MORBNOTE III ; It appears that GM has not anticipated customer trends very well … I wonder how many 6 and 7 figure salaried executives managed to not see that comin’ !!! …

But is HAS to be Trump’s fault !!! …

After he was laid off , Wolikow went back to school to earn his diesel technician’s degree. He’s still looking for work. Rochelle is scraping by as a waitress at Cracker Barrel , earning $4.15 an hour , plus tips.

In the meantime , he’s waiting for the president to respond to a letter from his United Auto Workers president … A letter he hand-delivered to Trump’s 2020 campaign chief operating officer at a recent rally, pleading for help for autoworkers.

MORBNOTE ( Summation ) ; You are now harvesting what your union has sewed all these decades pal … OVER-PRICED LABOUR … Combine that with ‘ out-sourcing ‘ to cheap labour shitholes like Mexico … CORPORATE BOTTOM LINE GREED … and it’s clear that the old system has finally busted … 

Trump’s trying to do something about it …

But .. I guess he should try to do something about it … It is … After all …

Trump’s fault !!! …

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11:38 A.M. Rex Murphy : Shelve those ‘ carbon ’ taxes until the oil is flowing …

Lewis Carroll is alive and well , and writing Canada’s energy policy. I am willing to offer the dead but gifted master of the absurd the credit , mainly because I think it would be cruel to ascribe it to living intelligences.

However , that gesture of mercy aside , reality sees it otherwise, and we know it is the masterminds of the PMO who have brought the energy policy of our country to the total and possibly irredeemable mess that it now so very emphatically is. Even so , the combination of regulations and procrastination , surreal taxation , endless court battles and insensate opposition by brigades of wild-eyed foundations and NGOs can be said to constitute a ‘ policy ‘ only in the way that tumbling off a precipice to splatter on the rocks below might be described as “ finding a neat shortcut to the valley ”…

Gotta love ole Rexmeister’s way with words !!! … Hit the link below for full article …

Source: Rex Murphy: Shelve those ‘carbon’ taxes until the oil is flowing | National Post

3:10 P.M. A different viewpoint from … The New York Times ?!!! …

2018MediaHeader

There’s not much Republicans and Democrats agree on nowadays, but President Trump’s expression of support for Saudi Arabia on Tuesday in the wake of the Jamal Khashoggi killing managed to unite them. Democratic and Republican leaders declared that the president’s statement was dishonest, morally blinkered and strategically obtuse.

True, Mr. Trump’s sidestepping of reports that the C.I.A. believes that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing as “Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” was jarring. But every president since Harry Truman has aligned with unsavory Middle Eastern rulers in the service of national interests. The difference here is that Mr. Trump seemed unapologetic about this state of affairs with only a passing nod to the affront to our values that Mr. Khashoggi’s murder represents.

That’s nothing to cheer. But it is vitally important to evaluate the policy on its merits more than its mode of expression. And the truth is that on the big strategic questions, Mr. Trump is cleareyed and right.

Let’s start with the question of honesty. Critics focused on Mr. Trump’s claim that “we may never know all of the facts surrounding” Mr. Khashoggi’s death, highlighting the contradiction between this energetic uncertainty and the reported assessment of the C.I.A.

 

Presidents, however, routinely advance useful fictions.

President Barack Obama, for example, helped sell his nuclear agreement with Iran by claiming that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons. No bipartisan clutch of senators insisted that Mr. Obama’s claims clashed with the views of intelligence analysts, who possessed hard evidence of a nuclear weapons program.

The true test of whether a presidential fiction is acceptable is whether the strategy it serves is sound.

In Mr. Obama’s case, the answer was no, because his policy did not actually stop Iran’s nuclear program. It only delayed it, and, in the meantime, strengthened Iran without moderating Tehran’s fundamental anti-Americanism. But Mr. Trump understands the centrality of Riyadh in the effort to counter a rising Iran and he is rightly unwilling to allow the murder of Mr. Khashoggi to imperil that strategy.

 

The Saudis are not the moral equivalents of Iranians and the Russians. The kingdom has sheltered comfortably for over 75 years under the American security umbrella, which the United States happily extended not least because the Saudis and their oil have played a pivotal role in American economic strategies. Mr. Trump’s statement acknowledged that the Saudis are assisting him with stabilizing global oil prices as he seeks to quash Iranian oil sales.

Whatever Prince Mohammed’s faults may be, he actively supports the American regional order that the Iranians openly seek to destroy.

The murder of Mr. Khashoggi was a brutal and grotesque act. The United States has registered its feelings loudly and clearly by putting sanctions on the 17 men who were directly involved in the killing. Punishing the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia will not bring justice for Mr. Khashoggi, nor will it make Saudi Arabia a more dependable ally. It will simply diminish the influence of the United States and embolden its enemies.

The biblical advice to be as “wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” offers sound counsel to anyone who seeks to see their principles influence the world. The advice of Mr. Trump’s critics is long on abstract morality but lacking in strategic wisdom.

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