Something to consider.
Two articles that disagree with the conventional wisdom.

(1) Security Studies Group: The Syria Decision.

As we warned at the time, the American position was much more exposed and much less tenable than was commonly understood. The Turks, should they choose to press the issue, were in a much more powerful position unless the American military reinforced itself substantially.

The United States military currently deploys about two thousand personnel in an advisory role. Force protection for these elements is provided especially by air and fire support. Such support recently allowed a small contingent of American forces to wipe out a large Russian mercenary element. Nevertheless, the strength of the position should not be overestimated.

American personnel are spread out and isolated from one another in many places. They are advising, and are thus co-located with, irregular forces that could not have themselves withstood the Russian mercenaries. The Turkish military, which is likely to aim at America’s Kurdish allies, is far more powerful and has integrated air support, fire support, and the capacity to contest control of the air with fighters and anti-aircraft defenses….

It may be that the Turkish military can be convinced to accept an American plan that does not bring them into conflict with the Kurdish units we are supporting, but at this time there is no guarantee of that….The Trump administration must choose between withdrawing from an untenable position, or reinforcing that position so that it becomes tenable. Otherwise, the deployed American forces are at risk of becoming hostages to the enemy at best. At worst, they are at risk of being destroyed.

Just as allowing Iran to run wild hurts China much more than it hurts the United States, China is harmed by our allowing the Turks to provoke an insurgency that will bedevil the stability of the very region where China intends its massive investments. The wars that China’s own allies are starting are going to be the biggest tax on China’s growing power and influence, which means it will become China’s problem — and not America’s — to stop those wars. That means that China and Turkey, and not America, will end up paying the cost of Middle Eastern security. The danger they face is that they will overextend themselves, and provoke fights they cannot walk away from in the process. It may be a bigger burden than Erdogan or Xi imagine that they are taking on here.

It is unlikely that President Trump thinks so strategically or so ruthlessly. More likely he is simply convinced that these wars drain American blood and treasure in an unacceptable way, and he just intends to stop doing it whatever it costs. If the foreign policy community, the establishment or the Senate does not dissuade him, Trump will end America’s participation in this war to save American blood and American treasure.

(2) Trump’s Syria withdrawal bravely puts America First, the establishment last.

The foreign policy establishment is having a meltdown — and if you know anything about the last 20 years of U.S. history, then you know that means something good is happening…………

Nightmare predictions aside, Trump has shown great bravery with this decision, given the inevitable vitriolic political backlash. The president campaigned on putting America first, and he’s fulfilling that promise to voters no matter how angry the establishment gets. His decision will stop risking American lives and wasting taxpayer dollars on policing Middle East politics. This is long overdue, seeing as our security goals in Syria have already been accomplished.

To recap, the U.S. military first intervened in the Syrian conflict in 2014. Our goal was to destroy the Islamic State Caliphate, as the terrorist group had built up territorial control of much of the conflict-ridden region.

Mission accomplished.

In 2015, ISIS controlled large amounts of territory in Syria and Iraq, a territory “roughly the size of Portugal,” according to CNN. As of February 2019, it controlled just 50 square miles of territory.

No, the terrorist group hasn’t been entirely eradicated, but it has been degraded to the point of insignificance. It’s time to declare victory and come home. A complete and total elimination of all terrorist capability anywhere was never a feasible goal. To demand such a utopia prior to withdrawal is a recipe for indefinite occupation of half the world.

And the costs of our continued world-policing are serious. Just in 2019, at least five American service members have died in Syria, not to mention the countless civilians we’ve killed without even intending to. Those hawks who wish to continue our indefinite involvement in Syria until some mythical time in which the Middle East is not a conflict zone ought to look at the family of the deceased soldier Michael Thomason in the eyes — he died in April — and tell his loved ones we are going to keep putting the lives of young men like him at risk to play policemen of the world.

 

Nancy Gets A Wakeup Call.

According to Team Trump, Nancy Pelosi was greeted by at least 300 Trump supporters while attending a fundraiser at the Greenville, South Carolina Hyatt Regency on Friday. The Speaker was confronted by a sea of MAGA caps, “Impeach Pelosi” signs, and at least one woman draped in a “Women for Trump” banner and wearing a Pelosi mask. (A degrading task, but somebody had to do it.)

This is unusual for Republicans, who have traditionally maintained a live and let live policy toward the Democrats no matter what the circumstances. This is a large part of the “Republican as wimp” stereotype that has dominated the political scene for generations. The Demunnists were street fighters, toughies from the unions and the slums, whereas the GOP were the “little man on the wedding cake.”

This started to change in 2000 with the attempted Gore coup in Florida. Republicans actually set aside their plaid jackets and contrasting waistcoats to demonstrate in front of the vote-counting offices. This was the first time this had occurred since the civil war, and was a harbinger as to how things were beginning to change.

This is not something that Nancy could possibly welcome. Most of the Dem strategy is based on the assumption that the party of the Bushes, Romney, and Ryan will never strike back. But the ground is shifting, and a new GOP, brought to life by the Orange Cthulhu, is beginning to stir.

So far nobody has chased Nancy or Adam or Little Sandy from a restaurant or confronted them on the street. It would be a shame if anyone did. But these things have a logic of their own and will go the way they go. Fires of this type, once set, will burn until they burn out. The Dems, in their embrace of violence, lies, manipulation, and gutter tactics, have opened a door, and they must deal with whatever emerges.

Just the other day the lovely and demure Maxine Waters was whining about how she can’t even go into a grocery store in Compton without a bodyguard anymore. No doubt much the same was heard from Nancy on Friday. We’ll be hearing a lot more of it before this is over.

ATF Admits No Legal Authority For Bump Stock Ruling

Show of hands, who has been paying attention to the various lawsuits dealing with the ATF’s reinterpretation of Bump Stocks? Because to be completely honest, I haven’t been paying as much attention as I clearly should have been. In their most recent court filing, the ATF has admitted some truly explosive news. Namely, they concede that they do not have the authority to reinterpret the definition of machine guns in the  bump stock ruling under the National Firearms Act (NFA).

ATF Admits No Legal Authority for Bump Stock Ruling

Let’s back up and provide some context. So, on December 26th, 2018, the ATF issued a final ruling on “bump stocks”. A bump-stock is a device that allows an operator of a firearm to simulate automatic fire by muscle power. While previously the ATF had decided that bump-fire or slide-fire stocks were legal devices, they then reclassified them as illegal machineguns. All current owners were ordered to destroy them. If you did not do so, you faced up to 10 years in federal prison.

Naturally, a lot of people became somewhat ticked off that the ATF would seemingly arbitrarily change their ruling to make thousands of Americans potential felons overnight. As a result, many people filed lawsuits. One such lawsuit was filed by the New Civil Liberties Alliance on behalf of plaintiff W. Clark Aposhian.

This Case in Particular

This lawsuit rests on a fairly straightforward presumption. The complaint states that since all legislative powers lie with Congress, the ATF, as a part of the executive branch, cannot reinterpret statutes to mean something else. Since the law regarding machineguns has not changed, bump stocks can’t be reclassified as machineguns.

There are another 30 odd pages of the original complaint, but that’s about the gist of things. Mr. Aposhian is a law-abiding citizen, the ATF told him that bump stocks were legal so he bought one. The filing states that the ATF lacks the authority to reclassify bump stocks, and thus the ATF has violated Mr. Aposhian’s constitutional rights, as well as exceeding its constitutional remit as part of the executive branch.

ATF Bump Stock Ruling Admission – Why Should We Care?

The million-dollar question. Why do we care? Because as of September 18th, the ATF has written a court brief that admits it exceeded its constitutional remit as part of the executive branch. The court filing states specifically that;

The statutory scheme does not, however, appear to provide the Attorney General the authority to engage in “gap-filling” interpretations of what qualifies as a “machinegun”. Congress has provided a detailed definition of the term “machinegun”…

The New Civil Liberties Alliance, on behalf of Mr. Aposhian, quickly filed a for a preliminary injunction. Essentially, as Mr. Aposhian has suffered “irreparable harm” from the deprivation of his lawfully-acquired bump stock, and the ATF (in the opinion of the Plaintiffs) clearly lacks the authority to cause such deprivation, the Final Rule on Bump Stocks should be struck down.

NCLA Brief

ATF’s Brief on the bump stock ruling is behind a login-wall in the PACER system. It can be found in the 10th Circuit Court’s filings, case number 19-4036, Aposhian v. Barr, et al.


ATF Admits It Lacked Authority to Issue Legislative Rule, NCLA Condemns the Agency’s Attempt to Ban Bump Stocks Anyway

This case is not about whether gun control is a good idea. Rather, Mr. Aposhian’s appeal raises key issues about how an agency may create such a ban—that is, whether agency regulations may contradict a statute passed by Congress. The appeal also challenges the notion that a mere interpretive rule can bind third parties, such as owners of bump stocks.

The bump stock rule made it a new federal crime to own a bump stock, even one purchased with ATF’s prior permission. ATF knows it didn’t have the authority to enact such a law. Instead of defending the rule, ATF now pretends the ban is just a recommendation for the public. NCLA is confident the court will see through ATF’s games and strike down this invalid rule.” Caleb Kruckenberg, Litigation Counsel

ATF is caught between a rock and a hard place. The agency lacks legal authority to issue a so-called legislative rule, but a mere interpretive rule is not legally allowed to bind any third parties outside the government. By ordering half a million bump stock owners to surrender their devices—or face prosecution—ATF has acted in a completely unconstitutional fashion. It is high time for the federal courts to put a stop to this regulatory nonsense.”
Mark Chenoweth, Executive Director and General Counsel

Congress could have passed bipartisan legislation making bump stocks illegal. Instead, ATF has tried to ban them via administrative action in the Bump Stock Final Rule. This Court has a constitutional obligation to strike down ATF’s attempted legislative rewrite. Otherwise, the Executive Branch will usurp Congress’ legislative function in other areas, and the Constitution’s careful limits on how laws are made will be undone.

Trump Whistleblower Drama Puts Biden In The Hot Seat Over Ukraine

For days we’ve been treated to MSM insinuations that President Trump may have betrayed the United States after a whistleblower lodged an ‘urgent’ complaint about something Trump promised another world leader – the details of which the White House has refused to share.

Then, we learned it was a phone call.

Then, we learned it was several phone calls.

Now, we learn it wasn’t Russia or North Korea – it was Ukraine!

Here’s the scandal; It appears that Trump, may have made promises to newly minted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky – very likely involving an effort to convince Ukraine to reopen its investigation into Joe Biden and his son Hunter, after Biden strongarmed Ukraine’s prior government into firing its top prosecutor – something Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani have pursued for months. There are also unsupported rumors that Trump threatened to withhold $250 million in aid to help Ukraine fight Russian-backed separatists.

And while the MSM and Congressional Democrats are starting to focus on the sitting US president having a political opponent investigated, The New York Times admits that nothing Trump did would have been illegal, as “while Mr. Trump may have discussed intelligence activities with the foreign leader, he enjoys broad power as president to declassify intelligence secrets, order the intelligence community to act and otherwise direct the conduct of foreign policy as he sees fit.”

Moreover, here’s why Trump and Giuliani are going to dig their heels in; last year Biden openly bragged about threatening to hurl Ukraine into bankruptcy as Vice President if they didn’t fire their top prosecutor, Viktor Shokin – who was leading a wide-ranging corruption investigation into a natural gas firm whose board  Hunter Biden sat on. 

In his own words, with video cameras rolling, Biden described how he threatened Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in March 2016 that the Obama administration would pull $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees, sending the former Soviet republic toward insolvency, if it didn’t immediately fire Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. –The Hill

“I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion.’ I’m going to be leaving here in, I think it was about six hours. I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money,’” bragged Biden, recalling the conversation with Poroshenko.

Gun Sales Jump 15.5 Percent in August as Dems Renew Push for Regulations.

Background checks for gun sales, concealed-carry permits, and security spiked in August as congressional Democrats renewed their push for expanded gun control in the wake of several mass shootings.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System recorded a 15.5 percent uptick in background checks last month, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

The jump in gun sales appears to have been spurred by a desire to secure self-protection amid an epidemic of mass shootings in the U.S., before Congress potentially approves stricter gun-control measures such as an assault-weapons ban, universal background checks, or limits on ammunition.

The NSSF also pointed out that some states saw a particularly steep jump in background checks last month, with Alabama’s NSSF-adjusted number jumping over 100 percent from August of last year, and Minnesota’s number increasing 68.9 percent.