Author Archives: R.D. Walker

What hath Black Lives Matter wrought?

They have driven the police from patrols and forced them from black neighborhoods. The result? Many, many, many more black lives lost.

Tavon was among more than 400 people shot in Chicago this month. There have been at least 78 homicides, marking August as the most violent month in the city in almost 20 years, according to data provided by the Chicago Police Department. And there are two more days to go.

The city hasn’t seen a deadlier month since October of 1997, when there were 79 homicides. For the whole year, the count was 761, according to department numbers.

Chicago has recorded 487 homicides and more than 2,800 people shot so far this year, compared to 491 homicides and 2,988 people shot all of last year, according to Tribune data.

Chicago has a lower homicide rate than many other U.S. cities that are smaller in population.

Hey, it’s their problem right?

Meanwhile, a few miles away in Lake Forest, Illinois…

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Don’t worry. I am sure everything will be fine.

More here.

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Angela Merkel turns up the heat

Exodus: Migrants leave Budapest on foot in order to leave Hungary.

Exodus: Migrants leave Budapest on foot in order to leave Hungary.

She is putting the heat on European nations not interested in importing terrorism.

Ms Merkel blasted Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania and Slovakia, who have all been ardent critics of her open-door migrant policy and the EU’s attempt to force countries to accept migrants, in an explosive interview this weekend.

Despite EU leaders repeatedly expressing security concerns, Ms Merkel said countries had no choice but to open their doors to a set number of migrants every year, and to oppose the plan was “unacceptable”.

She said: “That’s not right at all that some countries say: ‘generally speaking, we don’t want to have Muslims in our countries.’”

Hungarian PM Viktor Orban has opposed the system ferociously, saying his country did not need to accept “a single migrant”.

He said: “Every single migrant poses a public security and terror risk.”

Last October, during the height of the migrant surge, my wife and I traveled by train from Budapest to Vienna and then on to Prague. In Budapest, we saw groups of migrants and they were always on the move. We left via a suburban train station where no migrants were evident. We rolled across the border between Austria and Hungary without stopping.

In Vienna’s shiny new train station full of upscale shopping, they were everywhere. They were sleeping along the walls and on benches, they were crowded in makeshift camps under escalators. The entire beautiful, shiny chrome and glass train station smelled of pits, feet and ass. We moved on quickly.

The train from Vienna to Prague was stopped briefly at the border with the Czech Republic and police walked quickly through the coaches. I think those of us in the first class car were racially profiled. The Policie České republiky gave us a cursory look and moved on without asking for passports or any other identification.

On the platform at Prague, two young people held up signs that read “Migrant Aid” in English and Arabic. I waited for a while on the platform for my driver to arrive and, after a bit, saw them leave with no takers. I saw no sign of migrants anywhere in the Czech Republic during my five days there. Recall this was at the height of the influx.

So what is the takeaway?

1) The migrants were on the move in Hungary. I was told by different people that the migrants were just passing through and that none wanted to stay. There were no benefits for them in Hungary.

2) In Vienna, they filled the train station trying to move on to Germany, Sweden and the UK where generous benefits awaited them.

3) As far as I could see, there was no sign of migrants in the Czech Republic. As in the case of Hungary, there is nothing for them there. No jobs, no housing, no benefits… Other than a five to ten minute stop at the border, there were no controls between Austria and the Czech Republic. There was certainly no wall or fence.

The bottom line is that while there was no border defenses between Austria which was full of migrants and the Czech Republic because none were necessary. The migrants don’t want to stay in Hungary and they don’t want to go to the Czech Republic. They want to go to countries that offer them benefits, not to those that don’t.

In other words, walls and fences are unnecessary in nations that create legal environments that offer no benefit to illegal immigration.

This is why Merkel has to bully these countries. She can’t pawn off her migrant disaster to nations who won’t play along.

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Team Trump: “There will be a wall.”

And not a “virtual wall” either. They won’t give details about how long the wall will be or where it will be located, but there will be a wall.

Trump supporter Rudy Giuliani said that it would also be a “virtual” wall, prompting further speculation that the Manhattan businessman might be waffling on what has arguably been his most prominent proposal.

“What you’ve seen with Mr. Trump is he’s been remarkably consistent in his pledge to end illegal immigration,” Miller told co-host Brian Kilmeade. “We’re going to build the wall, we’re going to secure our borders, we’re going to enforce our immigration laws. We’re going to end sanctuary cities. We’re going to pass e-Verify and uphold the Constitution. That’s going to make a big difference in this country.”

Miller demurred when Kilmeade asked whether he felt as though the wall would go “from sea to shining sea.”

“So, I wouldn’t say that I’m the best person to be the actual adviser as far as how exactly you build the wall, but there will be a physical wall,” Miller remarked, reiterating that “nothing has changed with Mr. Trump’s stance” and repeating that Trump has been “remarkably consistent.”

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More here.

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Trump to flip Iowa back?

Iowa went Democrat three of the last four elections. Can Trump flip the 91% white state back?

Hillary Clinton is barely ahead in Iowa. Obama won this state by 6 points in 2012 and by nearly 10 in 2008, and George W. Bush barely won it 2004 and barely lost it in 2000. Trump was in Iowa this weekend. The state has only six electoral votes, but if Trump won a state that

Republicans had lost in three of the past four election cycles, that would represent a victory for Trumpism, at least once piece of evidence that populist Republicanism can win in some places that traditional GOP conservatism hasn’t.

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Is Herky scaring the snowflakes?

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A University of Iowa professor is asking the athletics department to make the university’s mascot, Herky the Hawk, display friendlier facial expressions, arguing that his angry grimace is traumatizing students.

“I believe incoming students should be met with welcoming, nurturing, calm, accepting and happy messages,” Resmiye Oral, a clinical professor of pediatrics, wrote Tuesday in an email to athletic department officials, obtained by the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

“And our campus community is doing a great job in that regard when it comes to words. However, Herky’s angry, to say the least, faces conveying an invitation to aggressivity and even violence are not compatible with the verbal messages that we try to convey to and instill in our students and campus community,” she argued.

I fully expect the Morlocks to show up and start harvesting these Eloi any day now.

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US-EU Free Trade Talks Fail

So says Germany.

Germany’s Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Sunday that talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a free trade deal being negotiated by the United States and the European Union, had essentially failed.

“The negotiations with the USA have de facto failed because we Europeans did not want to subject ourselves to American demands,” he said, according to a written transcript from German broadcaster ZDF of an interview due to be broadcast on Sunday.

Question: If these talks failed because Europeans refused to submit to American demands, how would Trump getting tougher with Germany make them succeed?

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I keep telling you, it ain’t the Chinese taking your jobs…

It is the rise of the machines.


If you think this is scary, wait until self driving trucks hit the highways.

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The Law and the Gospel

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Protestant Christians, especially Lutherans, often talk of the Faith in terms of “the Law and the Gospel”. In simple terms, the law is God’s rules for living and avoiding sin. An example of the Law is the Ten Commandments. The Gospel promises the forgiveness through the work and suffering of Jesus Christ. The tension between the Law and the Gospel in Lutheranism is that you are expected to obey the law but obeying the law has nothing to do with salvation. Only faith in the Gospel and Christ’s passion will save you.

I think there is a similar tension in our secular lives. This tension, I think, exists for conservatives between the rule of law and individual liberty.

Most conservatives value both the rule of law and personal liberty. They may not realize, however, that the rule of law generally limits personal liberty. You may, for example, believe you have the right to use your private property as you wish but not support your next door neighbor raising 100 hogs in his quarter acre fenced yard.

The bottom line is that, while there is tension associated with simultaneously believing in a system of laws and individual liberty, the latter cannot exist without the former. The challenge is finding the balance between the rule of law and maximum liberty.

Rights come into conflict. It is possible to simultaneously believe in the right to privacy and the right of a woman to control her own body and to oppose abortion. It involves balancing the real rights of the mother with the very real right to life of her unborn child.

Putting rights in the balance isn’t easy but it is necessary in any society that values the rule of law and individual liberty. As Martin Luther said, “Hence, whoever knows well this art of distinguishing between Law and Gospel, him place at the head and call him a doctor of Holy Scripture.”

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“Who knew it would be Trump who converts the base on amnesty?”

RUSH: Could you imagine what it’s like to be Jeb Bush today? Who knew — (laughing) I’m sorry, folks. “She’s a bigot!” Who knew. First they tried Marco Rubio. They tried the Gang of Eight. They tried Jeb Bush. They tried any number of people to convince — they tried me! They sent emissaries to the EIB Network Southern Command. They tried everybody they could think of to try to convince the Republican base to support some form of amnesty for illegal immigrants, and — (laughing) — sorry — who knew — (laughing) — I know it frustrates you to hear me laughing. Sorry.

Let me regain my composure. Who knew that it would be Donald Trump to come out and convert the GOP base to supporting amnesty the same week Ann Coulter’s book comes out. Poor Ann. Oh, my God, she’s got this book In Trump We Trust, and in it she says the only thing, the only thing that could cause Trump any trouble whatsoever is if he flip-flops on abortion or on immigration, goes amnesty. It looks like he’s getting close to it, and she’s just beside herself with this. I mean, what timing.

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University of Chicago bucks the trend…

The pussification of America continues apace with trigger warnings and so-called safe spaces on campuses. In this way, schools coddle, protect, stupefy and enervate their students. The University of Chicago, on the other hand, has decided to focus on education. Here is their message to incoming students.

Welcome and congratulations on your acceptance to the college at the University of Chicago. Earning a place in our community of scholars is no small achievement and we are delighted that you selected Chicago to continue your intellectual journey.

Once here you will discover that one of the University of Chicago’s defining characteristics is our commitment to freedom of inquiry and expression. … Members of our community are encouraged to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn, without fear of censorship. Civility and mutual respect are vital to all of us, and freedom of expression does not mean the freedom to harass or threaten others. You will find that we expect members of our community to be engaged in rigorous debate, discussion, and even disagreement. At times this may challenge you and even cause discomfort.

Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so called ‘trigger warnings,’ we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual ‘safe spaces’ where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.

The unofficial motto of the University of Chicago has long been “Where fun goes to die”. I don’t know if it is that but it has also long been the American home to the Austrian School of Economics and where Milton Friedman taught real world truth. I have a soft spot for the school.

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Raise minimum wage, jobs evaporate…

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It never ceases to amaze me how many supply and demand skeptics exist. You would think by now that the common sense logic of S&D would be universally accepted. That is obviously not the case.

If you increase the cost of something without a commensurate increase in demand, the quantity demanded of that thing will fall. Not only is this common sense, it has been proven literally millions of times.

Yet proponents of increased minimum wage continue to delude themselves that prices can be raised without proportionate decreases in quatity demanded.

I guess they believe the following is just bad luck.

New BLS data for restaurant employment in July for both the District of Columbia (city only, see dark line above, data here) and the surrounding suburbs in Virginia and Maryland (full DC MSA data here, the light blue line shows the MSA minus the city of DC) are displayed above and tell the story pretty clearly. Since the DC minimum wage increased in July 2015 to $10.50 an hour, restaurant employment in the city has increased less than 1% (and by 500 jobs), while restaurant jobs in the surrounding suburbs increased 4.2% (and by 7,300 jobs). An even more dramatic effect has taken place since the start of this year – DC restaurant jobs fell by 1,400 jobs (and by 2.7%) in the first six months of 2016 between January and July – that’s the largest loss of District food jobs during a 6-month period in 15 years.

More here.

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You can push Trump supporters too far…

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Trump may be able to gun down an innocent on 5th Avenue and not lose his supporters but if he doesn’t build his beautiful wall, all bets are off.

Per The Blaze, a Trump supporter named “Nate” called into Beck’s radio show on Wednesday and threatened to “go after” Donald Trump “personally” if he gets elected president and breaks his promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Oh, he’s in so much trouble,” the caller said of Trump if he broke his wall promise. “You don’t even understand the backlash of us, the ones who are so frustrated and angry and tired of all the political stuff. We’re going to come after him personally. You know what I mean? We’re going to get him.”

Beck looked alarmed by these words and asked the caller if he meant he’d push for impeaching Trump if he didn’t deliver on the wall. The caller said yes, but also left open the possibility that violence might be necessary.

This is quite a pickle for Donald. Don knows he is never going to build a wall. Trump knows it, you know it and I know it. The problem for Trump is that millions of people just like Nate don’t know it. If Trump manages to fall ass-backwards into the White House, he is going to have some explaining to do.

Read it all.

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The job killing plan of Hillary Clinton

Her plan not only eliminates hundreds of thousands of jobs, it further drives up the cost of energy.

The “keep it in the ground” fossil fuel strategy described by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as a “done deal” would kill more than 380,000 jobs and deliver a $70 billion annual hit to the economy, according to a report released Wednesday.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for 21st Century Energy found that banning fossil fuel production on public lands and offshore waters would result in a loss of $70 billion in annual gross domestic product as well as $11.3 billion in royalties, along with massive direct and indirect job losses.

Hardest hit would be Western states such as Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming, along with states with shoreline on the Gulf Coast.
“American voters deserve to understand the real-world impacts of the proposals that candidates and their allies make,” Karen Harbert, institute president and CEO, said in a statement.

Why do our presidential candidates hate us?

More here.

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Trump open to softening immigration law

Yesterday we reported that Donald Trump said that he would enforce existing immigration laws in the same manner of Obama and Bush. This was a departure from his previous plan to deploy a “deportation force”.

Since that discussion, he has taken further step saying that he is open to softening existing immigration law.

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Tuesday he is open to “softening” laws dealing with illegal immigrants in a “Hannity” town hall with Fox News’ Sean Hannity.

His remarks were the latest sign he is considering softening a position he has taken since the onset of his campaign.

Hannity asked Trump if he would change current parts of the law to accommodate law-abiding citizens or longtime residents who have raised children in the U.S.

“There could certainly be a softening because we’re not looking to hurt people,” Trump answered. “We want people — we have some great people in this country.”

Since Trump’s immigration policy is now to the left of that of Marco Rubio and the Gang of Eight, is there any change we can get Rubio back? I ask because, you know, he could actually beat Clinton.

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Good news for Trump!

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All the polls are wrong and he is actually winning.

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told the UK’s Channel 4 that Donald Trump is actually winning the election, but every poll is wrong because Trump voters are undercover.

Conway denied on the Channel 4 special “President Trump: Can He Really Win?” that Trump was losing and denounced the polls that showed him down to Hillary Clinton as “cherry-picked polling numbers that are put out there by media outlets that are also bent on his destruction.”

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Super-cut of Improbable Weapons

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#firstsevenjobs

Over at Slate they don’t approve of listing your first seven jobs because, you know, white privilege or some such crap.

Here are my first seven jobs…

1) Private pool supervisor
2) US Army paratrooper
3) landscaping worker
4) maintenance man
5) liquor store cashier
6) marketing intern
7) market research analyst

(I would like to point out that during jobs 4, 5 and 6 I was also in college on Uncle Sugar’s GI Bill.)

What are your first seven jobs?

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Obama deported a tremendous number of illegals…

So sayeth Donald Trump. He is going to use the same laws and “do the same thing.”

“We’re going to obey the existing laws. Now, the existing laws are very strong. The existing laws, the first thing we’re gonna do, if and when I win, is we’re gonna get rid of all of the bad ones. We’ve got gang members, we have killers, we have a lot of bad people that have to get out of this country,” he said on Fox News. “As far as everybody else, we’re going to go through the process. What people don’t know is that Obama got tremendous numbers of people out of the country, Bush the same thing. Lots of people were brought out of the country with the existing laws. Well, I’m gonna do the same thing.”

O’Reilly then mentioned detention centers, prompting Trump to quickly shoot down the idea of keeping undocumented immigrants in detention centers.

“You don’t have to put them in a detention center,” Trump said.

“I never even heard the term. I’m not gonna put them in a detention center,” he added. “We want to do it in a very humane manner.”

Finally, someone in Washington who is tough on illegal immigration: Barack Obama.

There you have it one-issue-voters. Trump is going to do the same thing Bush and Obama did.

More here.

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A vote for Brexit was a vote for free trade

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The European Union is rife with protectionism and economic stagnation. Brexit will allow Britain to boost the UK economy for decades to come. If Britain embraces unrestricted free trade, it will flourish even as the European Union continues to decline.

The increasing demand for British goods and services from Commonwealth nations has the potential to boost the UK economy for years to come. Last month we saw Air Asia make the largest single order of Airbus A321 neo-aircraft at the Farnborough Air Show – again demonstrating the huge potential of Asian markets for UK companies.

Modern technological developments have made trading with the other side of the world easier than ever before. The huge size of these potential markets should have British exporters licking their proverbial lips.

One plan for Dr Fox’s new department to consider might be establishment a Commonwealth free trade area. This should include a free trade zone with common labour and environmental standards, and measures to protect data and the intellectual property of large companies, in a similar vein to the Trans Pacific Partnership.

Unlike the EU’s single market, which is based upon protectionist principles designed to prop up uncompetitive companies, this Commonwealth free trade area would encourage greater competition amongst its members. This would in turn drive innovation, and with it, productivity leading to further economic growth.

A vote to Remain inside the European Union would have been a vote for stagnation and decline. The Great British Public’s vote to Leave is based on optimism and growth for our future. After all, the EU is in decline as an economic force.

Now, if only the United States can likewise avoid the protectionist quagmire and resulting economic decline being promised by both presidential candidates.

More here.

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Obama’s toilet policy blocked up…

Obama has been blocked by the courts yet again.

The Obama administration was barred by a judge from enforcing a directive that U.S. public schools allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms according to their gender identity.

A federal judge in Fort Worth, Texas, on Sunday sided with Texas and 12 other states that argued the administration’s policy usurps local control and threatens students’ safety and privacy.

The use of public bathrooms and locker rooms by transgender people has become the latest front in civil rights struggles between social conservatives and the administration following battles over same-sex marriage and military service by openly gay members of the armed forces in which President Barack Obama has sided with gay-rights advocates.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor comes after the U.S. Supreme Court on Aug 3 temporarily blocked an order that would let a transgender student use the boys’ bathrooms during his senior year at a Virginia high school.

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“Try it now.”

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Feed the trombone!

Makes as much sense as anything else they say.

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Manafort goes under the bus…

Even Trump sees the danger in appearing too pro-Putin.

Paul Manafort, installed to run Donald J. Trump’s operation after the firing of his original campaign manager, handed in his resignation on Friday, signifying the latest tumult to engulf the candidate, whose standing in the polls has steadily dropped since the Republican Party’s convention in July.

Mr. Manafort left nearly a week after a New York Times report about problems within the Republican presidential nominee’s campaign helped precipitate a leadership shake-up. His departure reflects repeated efforts to steady a campaign that has been frequently roiled by the unpredictable behavior of its tempestuous first-time candidate.

Mr. Manafort was also dogged by reports about secretive efforts he made to help the former pro-Russian government in Ukraine, where he has worked on and off over several years. Those news reports were blotting out much of the press coverage of the candidate this week. And they contributed to Mr. Manafort becoming viewed with trepidation by Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and a major force within the campaign, particularly after a number of false starts since the Republican National Convention, according to three people briefed on the matter.

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Where are manufacturing jobs going?

Many are being made obsolete by robotics and other technology. Some are just being destroyed.

One in five manufacturers in New York said they were reducing the number of their employees due to Obamacare, according to a survey from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The survey asked businesses how the Affordable Care Act has affected them, including questions about health coverage costs, how health plans would change under Obamacare, and how the Cadillac Tax would apply to their current health care plans.

The number of manufacturers who said they were cutting jobs totaled 20.9 percent. Nearly a third of New York manufacturers said they would increase prices they charge on their customers due to Obamacare. Almost 13 percent said they would increase the proportion of employees working part-time.

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Russians staging near Ukraine

Whether this is an immediate threat remains to be seen. That the Russians want Ukraine back in the fold as it was during the glory days of the Soviet Union is not in question.

The Pentagon has identified eight staging areas in Russia where large numbers of military forces appear to be preparing for incursions into Ukraine, according to U.S. defense officials.

As many as 40,000 Russian troops, including tanks, armored vehicles, and air force units, are now arrayed along Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia.

Additionally, large numbers of Russian military forces will conduct exercises in the coming days that Pentagon officials say could be used as cover for an attack on Ukraine.

“Russian units will likely practice reinforcing the [Crimean] peninsula through such activities as amphibious landings and air defense exercises, and this may involve the change out of equipment and long convoys of military vehicles,” one defense official said.

The military exercises are an ominous sign. Similar large-scale Russian exercises were conducted near Ukraine a month before Moscow carried out the covert military operation to take over the strategic Black Sea peninsula in March 2014.

The Trump GOPe won’t help.

The Trump campaign worked behind the scenes last week to make sure the new Republican platform won’t call for giving weapons to Ukraine to fight Russian and rebel forces, contradicting the view of almost all Republican foreign policy leaders in Washington.

Throughout the campaign, Trump has been dismissive of calls for supporting the Ukraine government as it fights an ongoing Russian-led intervention. Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, worked as a lobbyist for the Russian-backed former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych for more than a decade.

Still, Republican delegates at last week’s national security committee platform meeting in Cleveland were surprised when the Trump campaign orchestrated a set of events to make sure that the GOP would not pledge to give Ukraine the weapons it has been asking for from the United States.

If you don’t think that the Russians are making contingency plans for the potential of a Russia friendly Trump Administration, you are really need to pay better attention.

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