Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud the Trump administration for slapping sanctions on Russia and salute UN Ambassador Nikki Haley for calling out Russia’s chemical weapons attack against a Kremlin critic in Great Britain. They also chew out Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson for not keeping a better watch over the effort to spend more than $31,000 on a dining set and for possibly misleading the public about it. And they roll their eyes as President Trump tells GOP donors that Japan engages in unfair trading practices by dropping bowling balls on the hoods of U.S. imports and deeming them unfit for sale in Japan.
Archives for March 2018
As the media focus on the thousands of students walking out of school Wednesday to protest gun violence and demand gun control legislation, a longtime officer and police academy director says a critical element of stopping or limiting mass shootings is finding the right people to become police officers and training them well.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School did have armed security when a former student killed 17 people on Feb. 14, but resource officer Scot Peterson did not enter the school when he determined shots were being fired inside.
Many critics branded Peterson a coward for his inaction, but 21-year Illinois police officer Randy Petersen (no relation) says it’s more complicated than that.
“Maybe it’s not a cowardly person but someone who is unsure of themselves, unskilled, haven’t been trained up properly. Anytime you have something like that, we can have this situation where we shoot people that we don’t want shot or we don’t shoot people that need to be shot,” said Petersen, who also directed one of the largest police academies in Texas and is a senior researcher at Right on Crime.
“To go to the point where we have a police officer that is either incompetent in their physical skills, their defensive tactics skills, their shooting, they’re not going to have confidence and a lack of confidence can get you to a point where an officer either fails to act or overreacts,” said Petersen.
Petersen says a special type of demeanor is needed to be an effective police officer.
“We want a blend of these two qualities where a person is not overly excitable, not easily offended, but at the same time very competent and very capable,” said Petersen.
He says finding those qualities ought to be a high priority in the hiring process.
“We can train people to fight. We can train them to be good at sports. We can train them for an event, but we don’t know how they’re going to perform before they actually do it. What we can do is, during hiring and testing, we can have an idea of what we’re looking for an officer to be able to do,” said Petersen.
However, Petersen admits the vast majority of police officers never fire their weapons during their careers, so how can there be any certainty how they’ll perform under pressure?
He says training drills can be very effective.
“You’d be surprised at how realistic your role players, if you have good ones. Some of the technologies we have can really re-create the situations you can get in the training academy or in inservice training. You can get a real picture for how someone’s going to respond,” said Petersen.
“You can put them under pressure where the stress levels will give them that adrenaline dump, make them scared, make them nervous, make them physically exhausted, right up to the point to where the real situation is going to be just a little bit different,” said Petersen.
He says the key question is what police departments are wiling to do about the officers who can’t do the job well.
“The problem becomes whether or not we’re willing to weed out people who can’t. In a lot of situations I think that we don’t. We don’t weed out the people that we recognize and say, ‘I think this person’s not going to be able to do this,'” said Petersen.
Petersen says the problem is often not with the police departments but with the powerful allies of the officers not measuring up to the job.
“The union can make it difficult in a lot of states to terminate an officer that either has a lot of complaints filed against them or is basically incompetent. A lot of times they can end up getting their jobs back.
“It’s not that police agencies themselves are hesitant to get rid of them. Sometimes they fire them and they come right back on the job,” said Petersen.
While Right on Crime does not endorse any particular legislation to address mass shootings, Petersen says armed school security officers can be a good thing, but only if proven to be capable of handling a crisis of that magnitude.
He also says those officers can be limited in their effectiveness on a large piece of property.
“A police officer that’s on a sprawling campus still may have to run all the way across the campus to get to it, which may only take a matter of a minute or two but that’s a minute or two that we have active shooting going on. By the time the officer gets there, they may be winded. That changes the dynamics of being able to shoot and fight skillfully,” said Petersen.
On the issue allowing teachers to carry guns if they want to, Petersen says it may make a big difference when seconds count.
“Having administrators and/or teachers that are armed would be keeping in line with the doctrine of active shooter training because you’re going to have people with guns on scene faster to intercept that person,” said Peterson.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are glad to see red state Democrats push back against Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that she lost those states because of racism and misogyny but also get a kick out watching the Democrats squirm. They also discuss the rough confirmation road ahead for Trump CIA nominee Gina Haspel as a result of her involvement in the enhanced interrogation program during the George W. Bush administration. And they slam Viacom for going dark on all if its cable channels for 17 minutes Wednesday morning in solidarity with the national school walkout event promoting gun control, including kids’ channels like Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. Of course, they then feel compelled to offer their assessments of Nick Jr staples “Bubble Guppies” and “Paw Patrol.”
President Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Tuesday, in a decision that ends months of speculation about Tillerson’s future, and former Pentagon official Jed Babbin believes it also ends a disappointing tenure for the nation’s top diplomat.
Babbin also urges President Trump to make concrete demands before going forward with face-to-face meetings with North Korea.
News of Tillerson’s firing came from Trump’s Twitter account Tuesday morning.
“Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!” tweeted Trump.
News reports later indicated Tillerson learned of his firing from the tweet, but reports had circulated for months that Trump and Tillerson might go their separate ways and that Pompeo was the leading candidate to replace him.
Babbin says it was time for a change.
“I hate to say it, but I think he pretty well failed,” said Babbin, who served as deputy undersecretary of defense in the George H.W. Bush administration and is now a contributing editor at the American Spectator.
Babbin says Tillerson was ineffective because he mishandled some of the biggest national security issues facing the U.S.
“In December, he basically begged the North Koreans to come to the negotiation table. He said, ‘We’ll talk about the weather. We’ll talk about the shape of the table. We’ll talk about anything you want without preconditions.’ That was precisely the wrong thing to do,” said Babbin.
“He has been opposing the president on getting rid of the Iran deal that Obama made. I think that’s the prescient reason why Mr. Trump fired him,” said Babbin.
And Babbin believes Iran policy might be a key reason Pompeo is Trump’s choice to replace Tillerson
“I think he’s going to be much more on President Trump’s wavelength. He certainly has the president’s confidence, which Tillerson did not, and I think that speaks well for his relationship with the outside world. After all, he’s going to be our top diplomat and someone in that position has to be on the president’s wavelength and Tillerson certainly wasn’t,” said Babbin.
Pompeo is likely to win Senate confirmation without much trouble. The same cannot be said for Gina Haspel, the deputy CIA director whom Trump is tapping to replace Pompeo.
“She going to have a very rough time getting confirmed and she may not be confirmed. The Democrats are going to go completely ape about the fact that she supervised the enhanced interrogation program. She was heavily involved in the extraordinary renditions business. She’s not going to get a warm reception on Capitol Hill by any means,” said Babbin.
Babbin says the early reviews on Haspel are mixed.
“She’s been head of the clandestine service. She’s gotten a lot of top awards at the CIA. She’s a CIA career professional. It seems like she could work out. On the other hand, I’m hearing from a lot of my sources in that community that she pretty much is a Brennan clone and that’s not a good thing,” said Babbin, referring to controversial Obama-era CIA Director John Brennan.
“I think that Mr. Trump would not have selected her if he was not confident that she would support him on things like getting out of the Iran deal,” said Babbin.
The White House has explained that the Tillerson-Pompeo switch is happening now so that the new diplomatic team can be running at full steam heading into the talks with North Korea in May.
Babbin says regardless of who is on the negotiating team, President Trump needs to insist upon some preconditions before ever meeting with Kim Jong-Un.
“There has to be preconditions to any such negotiation. There almost always are. Any major summit is set up with the other side meeting some preconditions that we establish. The fact that the president jumped into this without setting preconditions is something that’s a really big mistake,” said Babbin.
However, Babbin believes Trump can correct that mistake with very specific demands.
“The only real precondition, the only thing that means anything, would be for them to verifiably mothball their nuclear testing and their missile testing. That means we would have to have inspectors in North Korea, which frankly I think they’ll never allow,” said Babbin.
While hopes rise for some sort of easing of nuclear sanctions as a result of the upcoming talks, Babbin is pouring the cold water of reality over the event. He says every North Korean leader has reneged on their promises.
“They have broken every single agreement that they have ever entered into. They renounced the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Heck, they’ve even renounced the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War in 1953. So you can’t trust these guts in any way unless you have immediate, intrusive, and at-will inspections of everything in North Korea there’s not going to be a basis for any agreement,” said Babbin.
And that’s just fine with him. He says no deal is probably the best outcome from the summit.
“I think there’s no room for agreement here. There is room for our sanctions to continue to work and President Trump needs to have considerable praise and credit for that. That’s the only reason they’re coming to the negotiation table right now and we need to keep [the sanctions] up indefinitely,” said Babbin.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America are not all surprised by President Trump firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson given their distant relationship and they hope Mike Pompeo can be effective as America’s top diplomat. They also unload on Hillary Clinton after her ugly overseas explanations that Trump won the red states by appealing to people who don’t want blacks to have rights or women to have jobs and that white married women backed Trump because they did what their husbands or bosses told them to do. And they slam liberal school administrators for actively supporting Wednesday’s National School Walkout to push for gun control.
Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger recently announced he would be working to bring forth lawsuits against the big oil companies “for knowingly killing people all over the world,” but a leading policy expert says this sort of legal action is nothing short of a “shakedown.”
Schwarzenegger revealed his intentions at the annual SXSW festival in Texas during an interview with Politico’s “Off Message” podcast.
“This is no different from the smoking issue. The tobacco industry knew for years and years and years and decades, that smoking would kill people, would harm people and create cancer, and were hiding that fact from the people and denied it. Then eventually they were taken to court and had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars because of that.
“The oil companies knew from 1959 on, they did their own study that there would be global warming happening because of fossil fuels, and on top of it that it would be risky for people’s lives, that it would kill,” said Schwarzenegger.
He says legal action is coming.
“We are now talking to law firms to go and do exactly the same thing as they’ve done in the tobacco industry, where we sue the oil companies for knowingly killing people all over the world. There’s 7-9 million people dying every year because of pollution because of fossil fuels,” said Schwarzenegger.
Competitive Enterprise Institute Senior Fellow Christopher C. Horner believes there’s not much sound logic behind this legal effort.
“I think he’s beginning with the seed of something he’s heard somewhere and then just flying off into nutty land,” said Horner. “I know it’s very fashionable, including in the courts in California, to say things where he begins, but it doesn’t make it any more sane.”
Horner also takes aim at the 7-9 million people who supposedly die from man-caused global warming each year. He has no idea where Schwarzenegger gets that number.
“That’s a lot, so I guess he could name 7-9 of them, right? But no, he can’t. They just sort of pull these things out of the ether. There are computer models to do everything this agenda requires, including computer model statistical deaths. They don’t have names or toe tags,” said Horner, who says he does have the names of people who died because of energy poverty, which he asserts is the end result of the climate change agenda.
“We do have names and toe tags and I’ve got a whole Power Point presentation drawn from the English-speaking press about seniors who have died of hypothermia as these policies take root in the UK.
“There are people who are dying from energy poverty, which comes when, as one man put it, this causes your electricity rates to ‘necessarily skyrocket,'” said Horner, quoting then-presidential candidate Barack Obama from 2008.
Horner says this sort of threatened legal action is really just a money grab.
“In essence, this is a shakedown. In 2012, there was a meeting out in -surprise – California, in La Jolla, in which they produced a report. The report said if they could just get one sympathetic attorney general or district attorney to start subpoenaing these people’s documents to use against them, then we could wring this big settlement out of them,” said Horner.
This is not conjecture, says Horner. He says the left openly admitted this strategy until they got called on it.
“The lawyer who started all this for all of these plaintiffs, named Matt Pawa, admitted to Nation magazine that they were tired of waiting for legislation, and so they were going to try to use the courts. He later denied to the Washington Times that he ever said that,” said Horner.
“We caught him, using Freedom of Information Act requests, working with state attorneys general to push this agenda because it was a failed agenda through the proper political process,” said Horner.
But while the total number of people dying from hazardous environmental conditions may not be quantifiable, many climate change activists point to poor air quality in places like Los Angeles, Beijing, and beyond.
Horner says that’s a non sequitur.
“They’ll yell about catastrophic, man-made global warming and immediately shift to cancer and smog. That’s what you call changing the subject,” he said.
“I would change the subject too. It’s not called catastrophic man-made global smogging. You’re talking about a pollutant and a pollution issue for which we have regulatory regimes. You want to reduce smog, go through the smog laws and regulations we have,” said Horner.
“But that wouldn’t really pay off, would it? That wouldn’t pay off the trial lawyers. That wouldn’t pay off your political constituencies through these tobacco-style settlements,” he added.
Horner says the climate change agenda is still dangerous even though activists are not convincing the public or lawmakers to enact their policies.
“No one has ever spent this kind of money and not prevailed, except for the Soviets, as the global warming industry. And it does end up at a number called the bottom of every list. The environment is at the bottom and this is at the bottom of environmental concerns.
“And let me tell you, thank you people like Gov. Schwarzenegger. One of the reasons catastrophic man-made global warming hysteria ranks last is because of this sort of moonbattery. Keep it up. If wee didn’t have you, we’d have to invent you,” said Horner.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America applaud White House Chief of Staff John Kelly for blasting four cabinet secretaries on ethics matters ranging from travel to office decor. They also shake their heads a day in advance of the special congressional election in Pennsylvania, as the Republican appears to be running a very weak campaign and the Democrat believes life begins at conception but opposes late-term abortions. And they get a kick out of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren refusing to take a DNA test to resolve the controversy over her claims of Cherokee ancestry.
Every destructive weather event is not caused by climate change, there is no scientific consensus that human activity is endangering the planet, and there’s no proof the carbon dioxide is actually bad for us.
Those are among the iconoclastic conclusions reached by ClimateDepot.com founder Marc Morano in his new book, “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change.”
The first target for Morano is the environmental movement changing the terminology from global warming to climate change. Because of that, climate change activists can now chalk up every severe weather event to humans damaging the planet.
“What they try to do is switch it over to extreme weather. In other words, every drought, flood, hurricane, tornado, and yes blizzard, is now the result of global warming and what they expected. That was one of the shifts in the name of climate change because then they could cover anything and everything,” said Morano.
But the blame doesn’t stop at weather developments. He says the climate change movement sees the impact everywhere.
“An increase in prostitution? That’s global warming. Vehicle thefts going up? That’s global warming. Bar room brawls? That’s global warming. Bad coffee crop? That’s global warming. That’s climate change. Everything’s shifted over to the name climate change and they blame everything on it,” said Morano.
By 2018, many of the dire climate predictions of flooded coasts and other calamities were predicted to come true. So how do those scientists explain those erroneous projections?
“They have opposite predictions. If you bet for both teams to win the Super Bowl, you’re going to be a winner no matter what. They’ve done that. They can go back on snow in particular. Global warming will cause less snow. That’s what the United Nations said, that’s what the United Nations scientists said. That’s what was in all these studies.
“But they had a few studies that said global warming will cause an increase in snow. So they predicted global warming will cause more snow and less snow. now they can come out and say they predicted it. They predicted global warming will cause fewer lightning strikes and more lightning strikes. Now, not matter what happens, they predicted it – more malaria and less malaria, more hurricanes and fewer hurricanes,” said Morano.
But how can a “consensus” of 97 percent of climate scientists be wrong?
Easy, says Morano. That number is made up and there is nowhere near that kind of consensus.
“One study claiming 97 percent of scientists wasn’t even 97 scientists. It wasn’t even 87 scientists. It was 77 scientists and we don’t even know who these 77 anonymous scientists are. We don’t know their university affiliation. We don’t know their expertise.
“They got a survey that started with tens of thousands and they whittled it down. They tortured the data until they got what they wanted,” said Morano.
And Morano stresses the reason for all this sleight of hand is not to be missed.
“In the words of the United Nations climate chief, whom I interviewed for the book, she actually says, ‘We want a centralized transformation that will make life on planet earth very different in order to fight global warming,” said Morano.
He says this is nothing new.
“I go back to the 1970’s and I show that different environmental scares had the same solutions: wealth redistribution, central planning, and global governance. These are the exact phrases they’ve been using for 40 years trying to promote the solution to the crisis. Global warming is just the most recent crisis,” said Morano.
Morano interviewed former Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus, an ardent opponent of the climate change movement because it reminds him of what he saw for decades behind the Iron Curtain.
“He said, ‘Since the fall of the Soviet Union and the Eastern Bloc, the greatest threat since the fall is ambitious environmentalism from the climate agenda.’ He considers them the greatest threat to liberty, this whole climate agenda. And this is a man who grew up under that agenda,” said Morano.
Morano is fully confident the truth is on his side in this debate, but he is unsure whether his side will win the debate given the United Nations, most world leaders, Hollywood, the media, and liberal politicians all insisting the science is settled and action must be taken.
He is especially concerned about how early schools are targeting young kids with this message.
“This is absolute brainwashing of children. They are taught from a very young age that there is no dissent on this issue. Not only is there no dissent but no dissent is allowed. You are going to be called an idiot. You are going to be disenfranchised. You will have no career unless you toe the line. This is very far from science.
“One scientist I interviewed was actually called a heretic after she reversed her view and became a skeptic. Those are not the words of science. Those are the words of religion,” said Morano.
Morano says he wrote the book to give kids and parents a way to push back.
“The book is an entertaining, humorous book first and foremost. Make no mistake about it, this is not a boring textbook. This is for parents and for anyone in the public who wants to debate and parents who want ammunition as their kids get indoctrinated,” said Morano.
He applauds President Trump for setting the U.S. on the path to withdrawing from the Paris climate deal and for rolling back a number of government regulations from water rules to emissions standards on coal-fired power plants. Still, Morano urges Trump to find a science czar to push back on the science as well as the damage such rules could do to the economy.
Morano also says the environmental movement will never stop.
“They are all in on this. They are going to keep pushing and they have an agenda. And if global warming were to fade, they would replace it with another environmental scare at some point, with the same solutions,” said Morano.
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America look at the possible pros and cons of President Trump meeting face-to-face with Kim Jong-Un, hoping there’s a shot at progress but realizing the North Koreans have no track record of honesty. They also fume as radio chatter from the Florida high school shooting confirms Deputy Scot Peterson knew right away that shots were being fired inside the building, a direct contradiction of his earlier explanation that he did not enter the building because he thought the shots were coming from outside. And they celebrate a robust jobs report, with over 300,000 new jobs added in February.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton says North Korea has no intention of scrapping its nuclear program, is trying to sucker the United States into relaxing sanctions, and is now just months away from being able to deploy nuclear weapons capable of reaching any point in the United States.
Earlier this week, South Korea trumpeted the news that North Korea is allegedly willing to suspend nuclear testing in exchange for direct talks with the United States and may even be open to ending its nuclear program altogether.
Bolton doesn’t believe a word of it.
“The North Koreans have been conducting an absolutely masterful propaganda campaign, beginning with their participation in the Winter Olympics,” said Bolton.
But he says the true objective is clear.
“The only thing they’re trying to do is get us to abandon the pressure that we’re putting on them and hopefully foreswear the possible use of military force, which nobody wants but nobody wants North Korea with nuclear weapons either. That’s what this is about,” said Bolton.
Bolton says the North Koreans are on the verge of posing a very real danger to every part of the United States.
“They are very close to achieving their long-sought objective of deliverable nuclear weapons. CIA Director Mike Pompeo said recently that the North was within a “handful” of months – his phrase, a handful of months – of being able to land a thermonuclear weapon on any target in the United States they want,” said Bolton.
However, Bolton says this is not merely a distraction to buy time. He believes the big stick approach from the Trump administration is working.
“I think the North, finally figuring out that Barack Obama is no longer president, is worried about what Donald Trump might do. So their response is to throw up a lot of smoke and dust in the air and hope to divert our attention, first with the Olympics and now with this supposed offer to sit down,” said Bolton.
Bolton is adamant that North Korea has zero interest in actually making nice with the U.S. or South Korea and says the proof can be seen in our recent history.
“They’ve made commitments four separate times in international agreements to give up their nuclear weapons program.
“Four times they’ve lied about it. Does history ever mean anything? If you’ve negotiated with somebody for 25 years and failed to get agreement, what possible reason is there to think they’d agree in year 26,” said Bolton.
So what will deter North Korea? Bolton says we’re facing a series of difficult options. He outright rejects former National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s recommendation for the world simply to accept North Korea as a nuclear power, but hopes the solutions can come through engagement with China.
“There’s really only one diplomatic play left here and that’s trying to convince China either to do what they uniquely have the capability of doing, overthrowing the regime in North Korea and putting in something that’s at least vaguely more reasonable, or working with us for the reunification of the Korean peninsula,” said Bolton.
And while he hopes to avoid it, Bolton says the military option must be considered.
“The other things we have to look at is the potential to use military force against the regime’s program to make sure that they don’t endanger us and our allies in South Korea and Japan. Neither of these options is very attractive, but that’s where we are after 25 years of failure,” said Bolton.
But one of those allies is also contributing to the problem. South Korean President Moon Jae-in is a strong advocate of reunification with North Korea and Bolton says Moon is actually strengthening the regime that wants to conquer him.
“There’s a compassionate, humanitarian argument here. Many South Koreans have family in the North. But the fact is the North is a 25 million-person prison camp. It’s not going to treat its people humanely. It’s going to take the subsidies and use them for its own purposes,” said Bolton.
He says South Korea’s generosity was fully exploited by North Korea at the Winter Olympics.
“South Korea actually paid for the North to participate, one more series of subsidies to keep the Kim Jong-Un regime in power, unfortunately by our allies in Seoul,” said Bolton.