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Cohen: Dems' selective outrage over foreign-sourced oppo research on full display

The selective outrage from the left surrounding foreign interference in U.S. elections is beyond hypocritical—it’s absurd.

Take President Trump’s interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Wednesday. When asked by the TV anchor if his campaign would accept information from foreign nations, including China or Russia, that could damage his opponent, Trump said, “I think you might want to listen. There’s nothing wrong with listening.” He continued. “If somebody called from a country, Norway—‘We have information on your opponent’—oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”

The president downplayed the notion that such a gesture amounts to foreign election interference.

The response, however, from scores of Democratic presidential hopefuls was piercing. They excoriated Trump’s comments, with several candidates amplifying calls for impeachment. Frontrunner Joe Biden tweeted: “President Trump is once again welcoming foreign interference in our elections. This isn’t about politics. It is a threat to our national security. An American President should not seek their aid and abet those who seek to undermine democracy.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders said, “We have a president who thinks he is above the law. The House should immediately begin impeachment inquiries.”

Many other prominent Democrats, lawmakers and biased media made similar utterances.

Of course, there was no such outrage from the left or the #FakeNewsMedia when the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign paid millions for Russian disinformation against Donald Trump. Former British spy Christopher Steele procured the propaganda from foreign “informants” for what’s known as the “dirty dossier.” That foreign-sourced opposition research wasn’t just obtained and listened to by Team Hillary. It was used by former FBI Director James Comey, Democratic lawmakers and the highest echelons of the justice system to derail the Trump campaign and current administration via counterintelligence investigations and other underhanded tactics.

Two sets of rules? Clearly.

Then there’s former President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice, which used the foreign-sourced dossier—despite it being unverified and salacious, per James Comey—to obtain FISA warrants to spy on the Trump campaign and launch several ongoing investigations into the administration.

Democrats aren’t bothered by any of that, as they only care about foreign meddling in our democracy and elections when it hurts them politically. When it benefits them, however, they look the other way.

Then there’s the high-paid DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa who, as Politico reported in 2017, sought dirt on Paul Manafort from the Ukrainian government to harm Trump’s 2016 campaign—and help Hillary Clinton. Politico said: “Ukrainian government officials tried to help Hillary Clinton and undermine Trump by publicly questioning his fitness for office. ... And they helped Clinton’s allies research damaging information on Trump and his advisors.”

Any outrage from the left? Not even a smidgen.

Then there’s Trump nemesis Rep. Adam Schiff, a ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee who is laser-focused on investigating the president and removing him from office—at any cost. Democrats’ feathers weren’t ruffled in 2017 when Schiff solicited dirt on Trump from Russians, who offered nude photos of Trump.

But when Trump says he’d listen to information from a foreign government—not necessarily act on it—or inform the FBI, the left goes ballistic, illustrating how morally bankrupt and ethically challenged Democrats have become in their unbridled quest for power.


Letters
Your Views: Killing babies but sparing the lives of murderers?

In Wisconsin, the kidnapping of 13-year-old Jayme Closs and the murder of her parents have again raised the issue of capital punishment. The murderer, Jake Patterson, confessed this horrible crime and has been convicted and sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole. Throughout our United States, there are now about 50,000 prisoners also serving lifetime sentences without any possibility of parole.

In total contrast, our legal system permits and/or coerces medical doctors to murder innocent unborn babies--doing so barbarically. That total is over 60 million! (No wonder we need illegal immigrants to do our work!) In principle, the Old Testament prophet, Ezekiel, accused the leaders of his time of this same kind of twisted “justice”: “By lying to my people, who listen to lies, you have killed those who should not have died and have spared those who should not live” (13:19).

We may think it is kindness or more civil not to take the life of a murderer. But murder is an ultimate insult to our Creator. God himself stated: “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed for in the image of God has God made man” (Genesis 9:6).

By permitting the murder of little babies and then to allow murderers to live, “justice” is being grossly perverted. We may sing and even pray “God bless America” a million times, but until we repent of this gross evil we are inviting increasing disorder and risking God’s more direct punishment.

ROY ANDERSON

Janesville


Other_views
Guest Views: Fighting merger hurts 5G effort

Ten Democratic state attorneys general on Tuesday sued to block T-Mobile’s merger with Sprint, and the timing was no coincidence. The Justice Department will soon make its decision on the merger, and Democrats, unions and big business are lining up to defeat it at the expense of America’s leadership in 5G telecom networks.

The state AGs say the merger “would eliminate Sprint as a competitor and reduce the number of (mobile network operators) with nationwide networks in the United States from four to three.” But a market of three strong wireless players would be more competitive than a de facto duopoly led by AT&T and Verizon. T-Mobile has 79 million customers while Sprint boasts 54 million compared to Verizon (118 million) and AT&T (94 million). The Big Two need a strong competitor, not two weaklings that may not survive for long.

For years, T-Mobile and Sprint have been slashing prices to compete with the Big Two. As the state AGs note, the average cost per megabyte of data declined by between 72% and 83% between 2013 and 2017. The problem is that all of the carriers have piled up debt that could retard their 5G build-out.

While AT&T and Verizon have begun to roll out 5G service in some markets, T-Mobile and Sprint lack the complementary spectrum and capital to compete nationwide. So there’s less impetus for AT&T and Verizon to accelerate their 5G plans, improve efficiency or redirect misallocated capital from more glamorous media plays.

The Democratic AGs claim to be standing for competition, but in opposing the T-Mobile-Sprint merger they’re entrenching the Big Two. It’s worth recalling that competition from Sprint and MCI is what finally broke AT&T’s monopoly on long-distance service in the 1980s. Long-distance prices fell rapidly.

Sprint and T-Mobile have already committed to deploying a 5G network that would cover 97% of the U.S. population within three years including 85% of rural Americans. They have also agreed to maintain current prices for at least three years, which is three years longer than either Verizon or AT&T. The AG warnings about price increases are false.

As ever, there’s a union-Democratic Party merger here. The Communications Workers of America, who represent AT&T and Verizon workers, oppose the tie between the nonunion Sprint and T-Mobile. The last thing they want is a stronger nonunion competitor. The union is a big financier of Democrats, and it endorsed the AGs in coordinated fashion on Tuesday.

While the media obsess about Big Tech and antitrust, the T-Mobile-Sprint merger may be more consequential for America’s future. More of the world economy is becoming digital every day, and 5G is essential to capturing the benefits of artificial intelligence and much more. The U.S. can’t afford to fall behind by depending on a unionized duopoly. While Democratic AGs and unions may not care if 5G plods along, anyone who wants to preserve America’s global competitiveness should.


Other_views
Other Views: Combating human trafficking is a bipartisan cause

Since Day One, I’ve said I would work with anyone to get results for southeast Wisconsin and the American people. Five months into my first term in office, that motive hasn’t changed.

If you look past the partisan headlines, cable television and social media, productive and meaningful work is happening in Congress.

Human trafficking is an issue that transcends politics. It’s also not just a faraway crime. This is an issue that impacts every neighborhood, every state and every country. Right here in Rock County, law enforcement officials are working day in and day out to combat this epidemic.

Human trafficking has been reported in every Wisconsin county. Victims of human trafficking are girls, boys, men and women of all nationalities, ages and backgrounds.

This crisis requires support from Republicans and Democrats, from every corner of our country.

That’s why I teamed up with Rep. Madeleine Dean, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, to combat human trafficking. I’ve introduced the Exposing the Financing of Human Trafficking Act. Along with Dean, we have 31 cosponsors, Republicans and Democrats from across the nation, who’ve joined our efforts.

Dean and I sit on the Financial Services Committee. We see firsthand how human traffickers and other criminals abuse the financial system to further their illegal activities. We understand that American financial institutions play an important role in preventing illicit finance. The United States requires institutions to partner with regulators and law enforcement to report suspicious activity. Countries that receive U.S. foreign aid must be held to similarly high standards.

While our bill may be a simple change, it will have a global impact on how countries combat human trafficking.

With the advancements in technology, traffickers have even greater access to financial services and other resources to commit these crimes.

Right now, countries that receive U.S. aid have no responsibility to report their efforts to prevent money laundering from human trafficking. This bill holds countries accountable.

My bill will not only strengthen our efforts to combat human traffickers’ use of our domestic financial system; it will also encourage other countries to cut off traffickers from the global financial system. Following the money will give countries the ability to see where these crimes begin and where they’re going. More than 500,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year. More than 14,000 women, children and men are trafficked into the United States.

Fighting human trafficking requires a multifaceted approach. That’s why awareness campaigns, school counselors and teachers and law enforcement are a vital part of this effort. Local, state, federal and international partners must work together to take this crisis head-on.

This legislation is just one piece of the puzzle to combat human trafficking. Our work isn’t done. As we continue gaining support for our bill, I will work with my colleagues and our community to build upon these efforts.