We know President Trump met with high level Russian officials.  We know he talked with them about on-going actions taken against ISIS, as well as proposed security measures for air traffic.  However, we do not know if he revealed classified information.

The Washington Post has accused the President of breaching protocol with the Russians, based on anonymous sources.  You can read details here:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-revealed-highly-classified-information-to-russian-foreign-minister-and-ambassador/2017/05/15/530c172a-3960-11e7-9e48-c4f199710b69_story.html?utm_term=.eba9ac24c3d5

National Security Adviser Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster said Monday:

There’s nothing that the president takes more seriously than the security of the American people. The story that came out tonight as reported is false. The president and the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries including threats to civil aviation. At no time, at no time were intelligence sources or methods discussed. And the President did not discuss any military operations that were not already publicly known. Two other senior officials who were present, including the secretary of state, remember the meeting the same way and have said so. Their on-the-record accounts should outweigh anonymous sources. And I was in the room, it didn’t happen.

Of course, there will be an investigation.  If the Post’s accusations are accurate, then the Trump administration will need to take serious steps to assure this does not happen again, and lessen the damage done by a major security leak by the President.  If the Post’s accusations are false, then the media must take responsibility for smearing the reputation of the President.  Either way, the public will have lost faith in an important institution, either the White House or the Fourth Estate.

 

forsale

Earlier this month, Football Hall of Fame member Shannon Sharpe gave perhaps the clearest summary of the Social Justice philosophy, as it relates to race, I have ever read.  In response to a fellow athlete’s call  (Dez Bryant) for a focus on individual responsibility and achievement, rather than a focus on systemic racism, Sharpe said the following:

Okay, so I’m supposed to hold me accountable for slavery? What about Reconstruction? What about the Jim Crow South? What about segregation? What about the violation of my civil rights and my voting rights? So who do I hold accountable for that?… Dez, I can’t get ahead if someone is constantly keeping me behind.” – Shannon Sharpe

 

Sharpe’s analysis comes in two parts.  The first part is his question about who he (or we) can hold accountable for slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow laws, and segregation, in other words, systemic racism.  The answer is he (or we) can hold accountable those who were responsible for slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow laws and segregation.  The people who inflicted slavery on their fellow human beings are responsible.  The community leaders (and followers) who inflicted Jim Crow laws and segregation on other citizens are responsible.  But those people aren’t around any more.  They are gone and have been for a long time.

Read the rest of this entry »

church-fire

 

The church bombings in Egypt last week, on Palm Sunday, are sadly far from uncommon.  Raymond Ibrahim of PJ Media documents multiple attacks on Christian churches in Egypt, called for by the Muslim leaders of that country.  ISIS, of course, has targeted Christians in Syria, Iraq and other countries.  Persecution of Christians continues in Africa, Asia, South America and even in Europe.  A report by Release International predicts a rise in violence against Christians around the world.

 

The President’ budget proposal appears true to his campaign promises and includes the following elements:

Budget Blueprint for 2018:
• provides for one of the largest increases in defense spending without increasing the debt;
• significantly increases the budget for immigration enforcement at the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security;
• includes additional resources for a wall on the southern border with Mexico, immigration judges, expanded detention capacity, U.S. Attorneys, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Border Patrol;
• increases funding to address violent crime and reduces opioid abuse; and
• puts America first by keeping more of America’s hard-earned tax dollars here at home.

You can read the full budget proposal here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/omb/budget/fy2018/2018_blueprint.pdf

According to the New York Times – yes.  Here are excerpts from an article published in the NYT on 1/19/17:

WASHINGTON — American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said.

and

The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.

and

It is not clear whether the intercepted communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump’s campaign, or Mr. Trump himself.

Note the language: “intercepted communications” and “some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.”  This certainly warrants (no pun intended) an investigation into the Obama Administration’s actions.