Tucker Carlson points out that the people acting like authoritarians have not been Trump and his supporters but the frenzied Resistance and their Deep State allies:
What Trump has revealed is that many people among those who consider themselves the ruling class in this country have nothing but contempt for elections if they threaten to shake up business as usual, and will do almost anything to negate the results of such an election.
The indictment said the Internet Research Agency was registered with the Russian government as a corporate entity in 2013, and by May 2014 the group’s strategy included interfering with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, with the stated goal of “spread[ing] distrust towards the candidates and the political system in general,” the indictment said.
The indictment details an extremely sophisticated conspiracy in which defendants traveled to the United States to conduct research, employed specialists to fine-tune social media posts to “ensure they appeared authentic,” and stole real people’s identities to purchase online ads.
By early to mid-2016 the defendants were “supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump … and disparaging Hillary Clinton,” the eight-count indictment charges.
The defendants also engaged in operations to “denigrate” Republican primary opponents of Trump such as senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Florida’s Marco Rubio, the indictment said.
“Some Defendants, posing at U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities,” the indictment claims.
Foreigners are barred from spending money to try to influence the outcome of a federal election.
As part of their efforts, the defendants also allegedly encouraged minority groups to either not vote for in the election or to vote for a third-party candidate.
Both actions would have hurt Clinton, who received significant support from minority voters.
And after the election of Trump as president in November 2016, the defendants used fake personas to organize and coordinate political rallies in support of Trump, while also doing the same to create rallies “protesting the results” of the election, the indictment said.
Go here to read the rest. That the Russians, and the Soviets before them, have long sought to meddle in our elections I have no doubt. The American Communist Party was the Communist party outside of the Soviet Union most slavish to the interests of Moscow, for example, and they long had a substantial impact on the left wing of the Democrat Party. However, that such meddling has ever influenced the outcome of a Presidential election I see no evidence of, especially in 2016 when the raw incompetence of the Clinton campaign, “Let’s call half the nation deplorables!” “We don’t need to campaign in Wisconsin or Michigan!”, is sufficient to explain how she lost to a first time candidate she outspent two to one, and who was dragging a laundry list of baggage that would have sunk any other candidate. The operation has the feel of a Russian junket: “Da Mr. President, we are having a huge impact on the Americanski election. I just need to go to Miami Beach three more times. Could I have another Americanski $200,000.00 to blow, I mean spend, on the operation while I am there? During Spring Break I can contact Americanski youth and foster their disenchantment with the Americanski political system!”. The Russians clearly did not get value for their money, unlike for example the bribes they paid the Clintons in the Uranium One scandal.
However, thanks to the hysterical refusal of the Left in this country to accept the election results in 2016, spurred on by Hillary Clinton’s adamant refusal to take responsibility for being the worst major party candidate for President in US history, Putin reaped the bonanza of seeing this country, at least in the mainstream media, being consumed with the non-story of Russian influence on the 2016 Presidential Election for more than a year. This all warrants the pen of a Mark Twain to write the ludicrous chronicle of this farce.
Ben Shapiro has been one of the more prescient observers of Donald Trump from the mainstream Right. Never a fan, he concedes that the President has presided over a fairly normal Republican administration even if his tweets and comments are over the top. It is the adversaries of Trump who have often acted in ways that seem to indicate that they are willing to destroy our Constitutional order to save it:
Take, for example, the media’s coverage of North Korea at the Winter Olympics. Suddenly, the worst regime on the planet has been transformed into a cute exhibit from “It’s a Small World.” Those women in red forced to smile and cheer on cue? Just an example of the brilliance of revolutionary North Korean “juche” ideology. Kim Jong Un’s sister, a member of the inner cabinet of a regime that imprisons thousands of dissenters and shoots those who don’t properly worship the Dear Respected? She’s an example of Marxist humility and stellar diplomacy.
It’s not just the media. This week, we learned that former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former national security adviser Susan Rice, former Vice President Joe Biden and former President Obama held a last-minute meeting at the White House to discuss the possibility of Trump-Russia collusion. At that meeting, Rice wrote in an email, Obama reportedly asked whether there was any reason “we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.” That means that Obama asked his top staff, including the FBI, whether he could hide intelligence information from the incoming Trump team.
That amounts to a massive breach in the constitutional structure. The FBI is not an independent agency. It is part of the executive branch. The incoming Trump administration was duly elected by the American people and had every right to see all intelligence information coming from the FBI and the CIA. Yet it was the supposedly normal Obama White House exploring means of preventing that transparency.
Trump isn’t a normal president. But the threat to our institutions doesn’t reside only at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. — or even primarily there. It resides with those who are willing to side with any enemy and violate every rule in order to stop the supposed threat of Trump.
Go here to read the rest. The last scene from the Caine Mutiny comes to mind:
Of course in the present version Queeg is competent and tough and has thus far outwitted the mutineers. We shall see what happens next.
“We’ve got to enforce our border, go to enforce our laws. But there are people willing to do jobs Americans aren’t willing to do. Lots of Americans don’t want to pick cotton in 105 degrees, but there are people who want to put food on their family’s table, and are willing to do that.
We ought to be able to say thank you, and to welcome them. Have a plan in place that enables workers to do work Americans won’t do.
When there’s a populist sentiment it makes it harder to get that kind of issue resolved.”
George W. Bush, Speech in Dubai, February 8, 2018
George W. Bush in a speech in Dubai last week unintentionally helped explain why Donald Trump is President. My favorite living historian Victor Davis Hanson gives us the details:
While in Dubai, Bush criticized the Trump Administration’s lack of progress on immigration reform. Then he weirdly noted, “Americans don’t want to pick cotton at 105 degrees, but there are people who want to put food on their family’s tables and are willing to do that.”
Where to start when Republican elites confirm their own stereotypes?
First, Republicans should agree with Churchill’s dictum about the inadvisability of criticizing one’s government while in a foreign country: “When I am abroad I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the Government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home.” Bush repeatedly followed that guidance when he insisted that he would not attack Barack Obama—even at home. But not now.
Second, Bush is far more critical of Trump’s efforts to reach a compromise on DACA and border security than he was of Barack Obama’s illegal and politically expedient 2012 pre-reelection executive order nullifying immigration law and enforcement. Whether he intended it or not, Bush’s “woke” emergence as a megaphone after eight years of hibernation, confirms the impression that Republican elites were always much closer in spirit to their Democratic counterparts than they were to their own so-called grassroots conservative base. Translated, they mildly were displeased with the Obama agenda, but loathe Trump’s.
Third, how incoherent were Bush’s cotton-picking riffs! (He may not have realized it, but Bush put a 21st-century spin on 19th-century plantation owners’ pleas that they needed imported chattel African labor because American workers were neither acclimatized to heat nor inexpensive enough to pick cotton in scorching Southern temperatures). Bush substantiated the stereotype of crass corporate concern (note the inadvertent contempt in “willing to do that”) that trumps both the law and the idea of promoting the wages of U.S. entry-level workers—as well as general popular cluelessness about illegal immigration in general.
To wit, cotton picking (which I used to do as a child in the 1960s on my father’s small 40-acre cotton allotment) has been widely mechanized for over 50 years. And agriculture now only accounts for about 10-20 percent of illegal alien labor.
Mechanization has revolutionized farming, even in crops once deemed impossible to automate such as nuts, olives, raisins, and delicate Napa Valley wine grapes. New computerized and laser-calibrated breakthroughs will likely mean that even soft fruit and vegetables will soon be mechanically picked, matching ongoing labor reduction in weeding and irrigation.
More importantly, it was not just the Trump tax and deregulatory reforms that have fueled economic growth and prompted workers’ wages to rise, but also the substantial drop in illegal immigration. In the new psychological climate that’s followed, employers are beginning to believe it is no longer worth the risk to hire illegal aliens, as they scour the economy to find citizen workers (in the inner city, the red state postindustrial swath, and the barrio) and pay them more to reenter the workforce.
When the country has a 63 percent labor participation rate, there are more able-bodied workers than we assume, even as unemployment measured by traditional rubrics is about to fall below 4 percent.
The old Republican idea that illegal immigration is a good thing because noble foreign nationals work hard and cheaply for businesses in a way unemployed Americans “will not do” is not a sustainable factual, ethical, or political position. About half of illegal immigrant households use some sort of government assistance, for example.
Mechanization, automation, and higher wages for labor are the future of the American workforce. If we learned anything from the 2016 election it is that we should reject the calcified idea of corporate importation of inexpensive laborers from impoverished countries, profiting from their peak productive years, and then as they age, tire, and become ill, passing them on to the social welfare industry to rely on taxpayer-subsidized health, legal, and education services—even as firms seek out yet a new, young, and recyclable cohort from Mexico and Latin America.
Go here to read the rest. There are few policies that are more class driven in the US than immigration. Liberal elites want future voters. Republican elites, I cannot call them conservative, want cheap labor. All of these elites know that, in all likelihood, they and their offspring will not be directly affected by the criminal gangs that are always active among illegal aliens, that they will not have to wait for treatment in emergency rooms swamped with nonpaying illegal aliens, that they will not see their kids’ schools go downhill trying to educate the children of illegal aliens, that they will not lose their jobs as cheap illegal aliens are used in preference to higher paid Americans. In short, elites get what they want and the tab is paid for by the middle class and poor Americans. If Americans dare speak out about this they are condemned as racists and Nazis. It is not a wonder that Trump got elected, the wonder is that it did not happen long ago.
Oh, and on a personal note, when I was a teenager and in my early twenties I often did agricultural labor during the Summer, no matter how hot and humid it got, Central Illinois often gets very hot and humid indeed in the Summer, and I was glad to have the job. Bush insulted the American worker with either lies or sheer ignorance.
Well this is interesting. Professor Allen C. Guelzo, a notable Civil War historian, his Gettysburg: The Last Invasion is the best contemporary one volume treatment of the campaign, takes a look at the first year of Trump. Guelzo is not a partisan, but rather a historian, and I find his analysis compelling;
But despite the Russia investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, despite the unrelenting fury of the princes of the op-ed pages, despite President Trump’s hiring of staff he was forced to fire, and despite his much-criticized tweets, the president is still in charge at the White House. And he appears to be wearing down all but his severest critics.
In addition, the president is racking up enough of the legislative and policy wins that hit voters in the deepest parts of their pockets to make a re-election bid in 2020 look realizable.
The first crack in the wall of Trump denial came in mid-December, when Ross Douthat’s New York Times column, headlined “A War Trump Won,” pointed out that the ISIS caliphate had been shrunk to an insignificant size without sinking the United States into another Middle East war.
Douthat’s observation was followed by never-Trumper and fellow columnist Bret Stephens’ insistence that, despite the collapse of ISIS and other achievements, President Trump must remain beyond the pale because he lacks “character.”
What Stephens didn’t say was that the Constitution does not list “character” as a prerequisite for the presidency, nor do voters necessarily reward it – or punish a perceived lack of character.
The issue of “character” certainly did nothing to affect Bill Clinton, or, for that matter, Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy. Stephens’ attack was a pout, and when pundits turn to pouting, it means they have lost faith in their own argument.
This paved the way for the yet another New York Times columnist, David Brooks, to say what for him was almost unsayable: that people who meet President Trump do not come away convinced that they have met “the raving madman they expected from his tweetstorms or the media coverage.” Brooks warned that people are noticing – especially young people who “look at the monotonous daily hysteria of we anti-Trumpers and … find it silly.”
Silly is not what a political opposition wants to look like. Yet, as we turn the page on President Trump’s first year in office, the dirigible of anti-Trumpism is assuming an amusingly deflated look.
It actually began deflating in the first few weeks of the Trump presidency, after Antifa thugs gave the “resistance” a self-inflicted black eye and a “Women’s March” made the wearing of funny hats its biggest accomplishment.
The leakage became even greater once President Trump succeeded in getting Neil Gorsuch confirmed to fill the seat on the Supreme Court vacated by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. In addition to Gorsuch, the Senate has confirmed 22 Trump nominees for federal appeals and district courts, with another 43 awaiting action.
What’s more, as Jonathan Adler of the Case Western Reserve University Law School has said: “The overall intellectual caliber of Trump’s nominees has been as high, if not higher, than any recent predecessor. That’s almost the opposite of what you might have expected.”
And despite an undeniable string of misfires with Congress (especially on the “repeal and replace” of ObamaCare), there are now more grins than grimaces among Trump loyalists from the increasing number of successes the president has scored over trade deals (withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership), the repair of the crucial diplomatic relationship with Israel, the decline in illegal border crossings, and the economy.
Go here to read the rest. The difference between history and contemporary events is distance. We know how the Civil War turned out. Until very late in that conflict, until September of 1864 to be precise, the participants in that great national tragedy had no idea how that vast War was going to end, and what would come after it. In regard to Trump’s first year, I am struck by the dichotomy between the policies of the Trump administration and the words surrounding those policies. The Left, of course, has argued that Trump is a would be tyrant who must be driven from office, and Trump has responded with Tweets that give as good and bad as he gets. However, under the surface of the apocalyptic war of words, Trump has governed as the most conservative president since Ronald Reagan, and in some areas more conservative than Reagan. For conservatives Trump, for all his frequent oafishness, is earning trust and support by his policies. It is deeply ironic that Trump, a non-ideological business man and media star, should give to the country sound and sensible conservative policies, but such is the case. We are living through odd times, but it also possible that for conservatives we are living through great times. We shall see as the events of the day become the events of the past and we have some distance to judge them.
As faithful readers of this blog know, I long refused to support Donald Trump for fear he was at heart a liberal Democrat. How wrong I was:
The Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday it will form a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division within its Office for Civil Rights. The OCR is the law enforcement agency within the department that enforces federal civil rights laws.
HHS said in a statement the new office will focus on enforcing existing laws protecting the rights of conscience and religious freedom. Existing law already prevents the federal government from discriminating against medical providers for refusing to participate in abortion procedures as a matter of conscience, but some health care professionals recently alleged they have been coerced by their employers to participate in such procedures.
Roger Severino, director of HHS’ Office of Civil Rights, said in a statement that “Laws protecting religious freedom and conscience rights are just empty words on paper if they aren’t enforced.”
“No one should be forced to choose between helping sick people and living by one’s deepest moral or religious convictions, and the new division will help guarantee that victims of unlawful discrimination find justice,” Severino said. “For too long, governments big and small have treated conscience claims with hostility instead of protection, but change is coming and it begins here and now.”
Acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan said in a statement that Trump “promised the American people that his administration would vigorously uphold the rights of conscience and religious freedom.”
“That promise is being kept today,” Hargan said. “The Founding Fathers knew that a nation that respects conscience rights is more diverse and more free, and OCR’s new division will help make that vision a reality.”
Go here to read the rest. The Obama administration persecuted Christians and the Trump administration protects them. Elections have consequences.
Whereas there has been wickedly and traitorously printed and published this morning in the New York World and New York Journal of Commerce, newspapers printed and published in the city of New York, a false and spurious proclamation purporting to be signed by the President and to be countersigned by the Secretary of State, which publication is of a treasonable nature, designed to give aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States and to the rebels now at war against the Government and their aiders and abettors, you are therefore hereby commanded forthwith to arrest and imprison in any fort or military prison in your command the editors, proprietors, and publishers of the aforesaid newspapers, and all such persons as, after public notice has been given of the falsehood of said publication, print and publish the same with intent to give aid and comfort to the enemy; and you will hold the persons so arrested in close custody until they can be brought to trial before a military commission for their offense. You will also take possession by military force of the printing establishments of the New York World and Journal of Commerce, and hold the same until further orders, and prohibit any further publication therefrom.
Executive Order, May 18, 1864-President Lincoln reacting to Fake News.
Trump released his highly anticipated Fake News Awards. Go here to read the list. Eh, color me unimpressed. I could have put together a better, and more colorful, list. It appears to me likely that after Trump tweeted that he was giving out such awards he delegated the work of coming up with a list to some of his more talent-less drones. The more interesting aspect of this meaningless episode in the eternal sparring between the Executive Branch and the media is the reaction to it which has been hysterical in both the senses of hysteria and funny.
Humorless pretend Republican Senator Jeff Flake, soon to be retired rather than face the voters of Arizona, compared Trump to Stalin in a Senate speech this week. The forces of the Left of course have been calling Trump the reincarnation of Hitler since Hillary was throwing objects after learning that she had somehow managed to lose to a man who received one, count them one, major newspaper endorsement.
What all of this demonstrates is not only the hyper-partisanship of our time, and do not doubt that Senator Flake is a member in good standing of the establishment party, but a true lack of knowledge of history. Has Trump passed a Sedition Act of 1798, as a Federalist Congress under John Adams did? Has he thrown critical members of the media into jail as occurred during the Lincoln administration? Has the Trump administration made it illegal to criticize the government as occurred when Congress passed the Sedition Act of 1918 under the Wilson administration? Go here to read about FDR’s war against media critical of him. The Obama administration conducted an eight year war against Fox News. The examples cited could be multiplied a hundred-fold. No administration has liked to be criticized by the media and many have attempted to punish critics in the media.
The only thing unusual about Trump and the media is that almost all of the media is in unified lock-step against Trump and his administration. In the face of that jarring fact, Trump’s criticisms come across to me as being fairly weak and timid, at least in comparison of the actions of most of his predecessors. In any case, this back and forth is part of an American tradition, as old as the Republic, of hostility between opposition media and the party in power. The truly ominous development today, and outside our political traditions, is that almost all of the media now backs one side in our ongoing political battles and that fact of course bothers almost all of the media not a whit.
Trump is in fine physical and mental health. The media’s obsession about Trump’s health stands in stark contrast to their complete indifference about Hillary’s health during the 2016 campaign. What makes this quite bizarre is that Trump continually had a schedule during the campaign, often doing five rallies a day, that would have exhausted men half his age, and never appeared tired. Whatever problems Trump has, ill health is not one of them. Of course if the media didn’t have a double standard which always protects the left, they would have no standards at all.
Well, the Roy Moore v. Doug Jones race will be mercifully over tomorrow, and all current polls show Moore ahead. Nothing is ever certain in politics, but it looks like Moore is headed to victory. A few observations:
Alabama is a very red state. In the divided state of our politics today, it is almost as hard for a Democrat to win a state-wide race in Alabama as it is for a Republican to win a state-wide race in California.
If the scandal card is played, do it close to the election. Moore had enough time to recover from the scandal allegations, and he did.
The national news media is really, really hated by conservatives. Moore has received somewhat worse coverage from the media than a reincarnated Hitler would, and that fact probably redounds to his advantage in Alabama.
Gloria Allred. If you are trying to win an election in a red state, having Gloria Allred do one of her dog and pony press conferences is death on ice for the candidate she supports.
Beware of evidence too good to be true. The whole scandal began to unravel with the yearbook. Evidence too good to be true, is usually too good to be true.
The impotence of the Never Trumpers. Organized Never Trumpers have waged a proxy fight against Roy Moore as part of their ongoing war against Trump, which is beyond peculiar since Moore was not Trump’s first pick. At any rate it demonstrates that the Never Trumpers are a group of chiefs without Indians.
God bless Al Franken and John Conyers. The antics of Democrats in Congress took the heat, and some of the media, off Roy Moore. The Democrats think they have turned the corner on this. I wouldn’t bet on it. Republicans when they behave like pigs around women are hypocrites. Democrats when they do so could fairly state, if they were honest, that they were merely emulating some of the most respected members of their party, including Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy andTed Kennedy. More to come on both sides of the aisle, but I bet much more to come from the Democrats, who haven’t held up fidelity in marriage as an ideal since Truman.
The Republican establishment is really, really hated by the base of the party. Roy Moore has been a huge kidney stone for decades for the Alabama GOP and this fact has greatly aided his political career.
Your money is no good here. Since the scandal card was played against Roy Moore, Doug Jones has been awash in cash. He is outspending Moore seven to one and he completely dominates the airwaves, The primary effect of all this spending seems only to have served to make Roy Moore’s voters more eager to vote.
Abortion. Alabama is a very pro-life state and Jones is in favor of abortion until the umbilical cord is cut. The abortion issue is the prime reason why Moore’s voters stayed with him immediately after the scandal broke.
Where dah white women? Note to Democrats. When you are attempting to play the race card to drive up the black vote, many blacks find it highly offensive when you produce a brain dead flyer that paints a black man eager to be a sexual predator.
Update: Two final polls out today. The Emerson College poll shows Moore with a nine point lead and a Fox News poll which shows Jones with a 10 point lead. Some pollster is going to be wiping egg off their faces after tomorrow.
“I have determined that it is time to official recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” President Trump said. “While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”
He later added: “Today, we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It’s something that has to be done.” Go here to read the rest.
As faithful readers of this blog know, I very reluctantly voted for Donald Trump last year. I must say that overall he is making that vote easier for me in retrospect with each passing day.
James Comey, former FBI Director, is one very strange individual. Go here to read the rest about the above image that Comey tweeted. So now Comey is concerned about the rep of the FBI? Perhaps he should have been concerned about the reputation of the FBI when he was prostituting it during the last administration. The more we learn about the Clinton e-mail investigation, the more we realize that it was an elaborate dog and pony show, orchestrated by Comey, with no intention of ever bringing before the DOJ a recommendation for prosecution. Ironically, Comey’s pretense of performing a serious investigation probably ended up hurting Clinton worse than a prosecution would have, although there is zero chance of the Obama administration ever having initiated such a prosecution. This type of garbage is why I find all the fake horror about Donald Trump hard to take seriously. Smarmy con-men like Comey are held up as dedicated public servants by the media and the party establishments, and much of the real horror about Donald Trump, at least from political insiders, is that in his boastful, crude and bumbling manner, he is revealing that the Wizards behind the veils are, at best, no better than he is. Whatever else is fake about Trump, his calling Washington a swamp is right on target.
It turns out the GOP wasn’t simply out of touch with its voters; the party had no idea who its voters were or what they believed. For decades, party leaders and intellectuals imagined that most Republicans were broadly libertarian on economics and basically neoconservative on foreign policy. That may sound absurd now, after Trump has attacked nearly the entire Republican catechism (he savaged the Iraq War and hedge fund managers in the same debate) and been greatly rewarded for it, but that was the assumption the GOP brain trust operated under. They had no way of knowing otherwise. The only Republicans they talked to read the Wall Street Journal too.
On immigration policy, party elders were caught completely by surprise. Even canny operators like Ted Cruz didn’t appreciate the depth of voter anger on the subject. And why would they? If you live in an affluent ZIP code, it’s hard to see a downside to mass low-wage immigration. Your kids don’t go to public school. You don’t take the bus or use the emergency room for health care. No immigrant is competing for your job. (The day Hondurans start getting hired as green energy lobbyists is the day my neighbors become nativists.) Plus, you get cheap servants, and get to feel welcoming and virtuous while paying them less per hour than your kids make at a summer job on Nantucket. It’s all good.
Apart from his line about Mexican rapists early in the campaign, Trump hasn’t said anything especially shocking about immigration. Control the border, deport lawbreakers, try not to admit violent criminals — these are the ravings of a Nazi? This is the “ghost of George Wallace” that a Politico piece described last August? A lot of Republican leaders think so. No wonder their voters are rebelling.
Truth Is Not Only A Defense, It’s Thrilling
When was the last time you stopped yourself from saying something you believed to be true for fear of being punished or criticized for saying it? If you live in America, it probably hasn’t been long. That’s not just a talking point about political correctness. It’s the central problem with our national conversation, the main reason our debates are so stilted and useless. You can’t fix a problem if you don’t have the words to describe it. You can’t even think about it clearly.
This depressing fact made Trump’s political career. In a country where almost everyone in public life lies reflexively, it’s thrilling to hear someone say what he really thinks, even if you believe he’s wrong. It’s especially exciting when you suspect he’s right.
A temporary ban on Muslim immigration? That sounds a little extreme (meaning nobody else has said it recently in public). But is it? Millions of Muslims have moved to Western Europe over the past 50 years, and a sizable number of them still haven’t assimilated. Instead, they remain hostile and sometimes dangerous to the cultures that welcomed them. By any measure, that experiment has failed. What’s our strategy for not repeating it here, especially after San Bernardino—attacks that seemed to come out of nowhere? Invoke American exceptionalism and hope for the best? Before Trump, that was the plan.Continue Reading →
Hattip to an old ROTC buddy of mine, retired Lieutenant Colonel Peter Dubravec.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said Thursday he was “stunned and broken-hearted” after Rep. Frederica Wilson listened in on a conversation between the widow of a slain U.S. soldier and then criticized President Trump’s attempts to console her.
“There’s no perfect way to make that phone call,” said Kelly, who appeared at a regular White House press briefing. “It’s not the phone call parents, family members are looking forward to,” he said.
Kelly said the comments Trump made to Army Sgt. La David Johnson’s widow, Myeshia Johnson, were similar to those spoken to him after his son was killed in Afghanistan. “He was doing exactly what he wanted to do when he was killed,” Kelly said. “He knew what he was getting into when he joined” the military. “And when he died he was surrounded by the best men on this Earth, his friends,” said Kelly. “That’s what the president tried to say to the four families yesterday.”
Go here to read the rest. In their mad fury against Trump even private calls to grieving families are not off limits by those who pride themselves on being morally superior to Trump.
A completely inept and out of touch leadership class is the main reason. Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel, and lawyer, Kurt Schlichter explains it:
Where are the elite’s achievements? Our betters have been running things and yet they are the ones crying loudest about how awful things are. It’s another scam, of course. Things are awful, but not for them – do you think the Westside Los Angeles folks I dwell among are hurting? No, let the good times roll – on the backs of the people east of I-5. Things are hard out there in actual America (but improving under Donald Trump, the quintessential Anti-Better), and our ruling class is demanding action. That action is to direct more money and power to the ruling class. That’s the answer to every policy question. Yeah, they’ve failed, but if you reward them, well, then they’ll totally start succeeding.Iraq, the 2008 financial meltdown, health care…the hits keep coming, and the answer for the last failure is always the same. Trust us, and double down. Accountability? That’s for us suckers.
The bipartisan ruling class knows what’s up; it’s just deeply cynical and thinks we’re too stupid to spot the scam. Take Bob Corker, please. So, this guy is supposed to be one of the honorable mandarins of the Senate, a deeply committed public servant standing up to that big meanie Donald Trump? This is one of our betters? He mouths off at Trump and Trump, being Trump, shoots back on Twitter. And here come the vapors – how dare Trump not just stand there and take his dressing down from this paragon of pargonness? Then the media, the enabling Felonia von Pantsuit to the establishment’s Bill Clinton, starts talking about how Trump needs Corker’s vote for tax reform and how it was totally stupid and dumb and stupid for Trump to insult a guy whose vote he needs and … wait a minute. Did you detect a troubling premise within that line of reasoning? Did you notice how the media simply assumes that it’s just fine for Bob Corker to block critical reforms that will help normal Americans because his feelingz are hurted and he haz the sadz? We normals are expected to tolerate a crushing tax system even longer because one of the elite is pouty, and that’s perfectly okay. Because us normals are not the priority. The elite is. It’s the ruling class’s country and we just live in it – at least until the elite can import an entirely new and docile electorate from the Third World to replace us.
You can tell a lot about a people by who they hate and who they idolize. They hate Donald Trump, and it’s because he has no allegiance to them and because he knows them so well from first-hand experience that he has absolutely no respect for them. All their hard-earned status within the hierarchy of the elite? He doesn’t give a flip, and the normals love it. Finally, someone is holding these pompous perfumed princes to account.
Go here to read the rest. It is deeply ironic that Trump, a life long insider, is the vehicle for the rage that misgoverned Americans feel, but that is the case. Under normal circumstances I would find Trump deeply appalling in many ways, but the circumstances are far from normal and have been since Reagan flew off into the sunset in 1989. The anger that Trump inspires among elites is, at bottom, the panic that people feel that change is coming and that they will not like it one whit. Trump is a last resort for those disgusted beyond belief by the status quo. Let us pray that Trump is successful. If he his not, I fear we are headed for a time of violence and chaos akin to the American Revolution, or, God forbid, the Civil War. Our elites are dancing at the top of a cliff and they are completely clueless as they do so, blaming Trump and the American people for their abysmal failures.
West Point grad, Vietnam Vet, and former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, Roy Moore, decisively beat incumbent Luther Strange in the Republican primary and will now go to the general election in Alabama on December 12 against Democrat Doug Jones. The Democrats haven’t won a Senate race in Alabama since 1992.
Trump endorsed Strange and campaigned for him, but Moore, an unconventional politician to say the least, seems more in the Trumpian mode of being outside of conventional politics. Moore was heavily supported by Breitbart chief Steve Bannon, in a slap against his former boss. As a trial judge in Alabama Moore successfully defended his right to keep a copy of the Ten Commandments on the wall of his courtroom.
He was elected Alabama Chief Justice in 2000 in an upset election. Removed from office in 2003 due to clashes with Federal Judges, he was re-elected in 2012. (In each of his elections Moore has been heavily outspent by his adversaries, usually five to six to one. In the current election he just won he was outspent fifteen to one.) In 2016 Moore defied the Supreme Court’s gay marriage ruling, and for his was suspended from office. He resigned to run for the Senate.
Moore has been a building political force in Alabama for decades, and I expect him to crush the Democrat in December. The Senate will be a livelier place with him.
Healthy democracies have ample room for politics but leave a larger space for civil society and culture that unites more than divides. With the politicization of the National Football League and the national anthem, the Divided States of America are exhibiting a very unhealthy level of polarization and mistrust.
The progressive forces of identity politics started this poisoning of America’s favorite spectator sport last year by making a hero of Colin Kaepernick for refusing to stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” before games. They raised the stakes this year by turning him into a progressive martyr because no team had picked him up to play quarterback after he opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers.
The NFL is a meritocracy, and maybe coaches and general managers thought he wasn’t good enough for the divisions he might cause in a locker room or among fans. But the left said it was all about race and class.
All of this is cultural catnip for Donald Trump, who pounced on Friday night at a rally and on the weekend on Twitter with his familiar combination of gut political instinct, rhetorical excess, and ignorance. “Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s fired,’” Mr. Trump said Friday.
No doubt most Americans agree with Mr. Trump that they don’t want their flag disrespected, especially by millionaire athletes. But Mr. Trump never stops at reasonable, and so he called for kneeling players to be fired or suspended, and if the league didn’t comply for fans to “boycott” the NFL.
Well, Trump’s got his opponents arguing against the National Anthem, so maybe he’s not as dumb as you think. But whenever you wonder why we’re in a situation where Trump’s driving this sort of narrative, remember that we got Trump because the respectable political class did such a sorry job that there was an opening for Trump.
When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains, And the women come out to cut up what remains, Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains An’ go to your Gawd like a soldier. Go, go, go like a soldier, Go, go, go like a soldier, Go, go, go like a soldier, So-oldier of the Queen!
Rudyard Kipling, The Young British Soldier
Further proof that Trump can give a good speech when he wants to.
Almost sixteen years in Afghanistan. The attempt to reform Afghanistan was a noble effort, but now stands revealed as complete folly. In certain areas on Earth all you can do is raid them if they give sanctuary to your enemies and get out as quickly as possible. Afghanistan is one of those places. In Afghanistan governmental corruption is not a crime, but a time-honored way of life. It is impossible to eliminate the loathsome Taliban because of their sanctuaries in Pakistan. The Taliban draw their recruits from the Pashtuns. There are 13 million Pashtuns in Afghanistan and 30 million in Pakistan. Pakistani military intelligence give support to the Taliban. Not all Pashtuns support the Taliban, but enough do so that throughout our sixteen years we have often been able to take territory from the Taliban but eventually they always come back. They can’t hurt us much. Last year 14 Americans died in the War. However, they believe they can outlast us and that is their clear strategy. If Trump can shut down Pakistani support, the Taliban may wither away, especially if support is given to non-Taliban elements among the Pashtuns. I doubt if that is possible and stasis will result until the Americans tire of this unending conflict and withdraw.
Kurt Schlichter, columnist, attorney and retired Army Colonel, has written the first part of a fictional account of a military coup against President Trump in 2018:
But how would one pull off a coup d’etat in the United States? Most of the political hacks had no idea, while the military experts understood the massive challenge. Some answers were obvious – in the Third World, the first thing the plotters take control of are the radio and TV stations and the newspapers. In America, the media was already in the bag. Hell, they would cheerlead a coup. But the actual seizure of power? That was more complicated.
“You just send in some soldiers and take over everything,” said the younger and, astonishingly, stupider California senator. “You know, with guns. How hard can this Army stuff be?”
Retired – actually, fired by Trump – General Leonard Smith, who had been promoted by Obama after failing to win in Iraq and Afghanistan, but who successfully spearheaded the transsexuals in foxholes initiative, tried to explain.
“Look, it’s a matter of numbers. We take all our land forces in CONUS…”
“What’s CONUS?” asked a former Clinton Deputy Assistant Undersecretary of Defense.
“The continental United States,” the general replied, annoyed. “We have maybe 45 brigade combat teams total available, counting everything active and reserve, Marine and Army. Less than one per state. And a city takes a brigade to control – at least. New York would take ten. And that’s assuming they were all loyal to us. There’s police and federal law enforcement too, but we also have 100 million armed Americans who might object.”
“Ridiculous,” sniffed the senator. “How can a bunch of citizens armed with their deer rifles stop a modern army?”Continue Reading →
Corporal Klinger was born too soon. A furor has erupted due to President Trump’s reversal of the one year old allowance of the Obama administration enabling so-called “transgenders” to serve in the military. The Army this month was warning soldiers that they might encounter “transgenders” in showers who appeared to be the opposite sex and that they should go along with this exercise in make believe. Go here to read about it. All people not mentally ill owe a vote of thanks to President Trump for the simple common-sense conclusion that people so mentally twisted that they believe that their DNA does not establish their sex have no business serving in the military. Next up, fire burns and water is wet.
Trump, as I keep saying, is a symptom of how rottenly dysfunctional our sorry political class is. Take away Trump and they’re just as awful and destructive. He just brings their awfulness to the fore, where it’s no longer ignorable. Now they’re willing to play with fire, risking the future of the polity over little more than hurt feelings, in a way that would have been unthinkable not long ago.
So Donald Trump Jr. was conned during the campaign into meeting with a female Russian attorney who allegedly had dirt from the Russian government on Hillary Clinton. The meeting was held, the Russian attorney, Natalia Veselnitskaya, had no information on Clinton and wanted to talk about her pet cause, Americans adopting Russian kids. The biggest foe of the Trump administration is the clownish manner in which they often conduct themselves. As for going to a foreign government to get dirt on a political adversary: bad, very bad, and very common, as the Clinton campaign demonstrated by working with the Ukrainian embassy in regard to producing dirt against Trump. Go here to read all about it.
Trump’s best speech yet. The Polish people love freedom and seem largely immune to the pc death virus that has infected so much of the West.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. That’s so nice. The United States has many great diplomats, but there is truly no better ambassador for our country than our beautiful First Lady, Melania. Thank you, Melania. That was very nice. (Applause.)
We’ve come to your nation to deliver a very important message: America loves Poland, and America loves the Polish people. (Applause.) Thank you.
The Poles have not only greatly enriched this region, but Polish-Americans have also greatly enriched the United States, and I was truly proud to have their support in the 2016 election. (Applause.)
It is a profound honor to stand in this city, by this monument to the Warsaw Uprising, and to address the Polish nation that so many generations have dreamed of: a Poland that is safe, strong, and free. (Applause.)
If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.
7:00 AM – 3 Jul 2017
After a statement by what was formerly the Pontifical Academy for Life, go here to read it, which basically defended the sentencing to death of the infant by the European courts, Pope Francis apparently, to his great credit, personally intervened:
Pope Francis has backed Charlie Gard’s parents’ desire to “accompany and care” for their sick baby boy “to the end”, saying he hopes their wishes will not be ignored.
The pope weighed in on the situation as Charlie’s parents spend their last days with him after being given more time before his life support is turned off.
The 10-month-old, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, has been at the centre of a lengthy legal battle that has made headlines around the world.
A statement issued by the Vatican today on Pope Francis’ behalf was in stark contrast to a controversial one issued just days ago by his Pontifical Academy for Life.
In an unsigned opinion today the Supreme Court lifted stays imposed by lower courts on President Trump’s travel ban on travel for 90 days from Sudan, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, except for nationals of those countries who have a connection with the US, for example through relatives, etc. The ban itself will be argued before the Court in the fall, by which time the 90 days would have expired in any case. Justices Thomas, Gorsuch and Alito joined in a dissent written by Thomas which argued that the injunctions should have been lifted in toto. Go here to read the decision.
Republicans are now 4 for 4 in special House elections since Trump took office:
Republican Karen Handel has won Georgia’s record-breaking special congressional election, dashing hopes by Democrats to pull off an upset in the run-up to the 2018 midterm elections.
Seen as an early proxy for whether Democrats can flip certain Republican-leaning districts in the President Donald Trump era, Tuesday’s election drew national attention and record cash from around the country. Democrats have aimed to leverage Trump’s dismal approval rating and opposition to the Republican health-care bill into winning Republican seats and potentially taking control of the House in 2018.
The race for Georgia’s 6th District for the seat vacated by Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price pitted Handel, 55, the former Georgia secretary of state, against Democrat Jon Ossoff, a 30-year old former congressional aide. Fueled by a rush of donors from around the U.S., Ossoff pushed for an upset in the suburban Atlanta district that Price repeatedly won easily.
He came up short, as Handel won by about 5 percentage points, according to incomplete returns.
The Comey testimony was the best farce I have ever viewed on live television. My take:
Comey came across as a cowardly lion, constantly trembling in fear of the White House.
He admitted that Loretta Lynch, former Attorney General, told him to call the criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton a “matter” rather than a criminal investigation and that this disturbed him greatly.
That he leaked material which may expose him to criminal indictment. Comey stated that he did so in order to spur the appointment of a special prosecutor.
That he was most outraged by the Trump administration stating the obvious truths that Comey had been a poor Director of the FBI and that the Bureau was in disarray under his leadership.
He refused to state whether he thought that Trump was trying to obstruct the Russia investigation by asking him if the investigation of Mike Flynn could be dropped. If Comey did think that Trump was trying to obstruct an investigation he was required to immediately report it, and failure to do so would constitute a possible criminal offense.
Comey confirmed that he told Trump on three occasions that he was not the subject of an investigation. He had no good explanation as to why he refused Trump’s request to announce this publicly.
I kept imagining how J.Edgar Hoover would have handled this. I picture Hoover telling a President trying to pressure him that an FBI Director led an arduous life with many duties. That one of his duties was to restrain overzealous FBI agents gathering huge amounts of embarrassing material about lots of politicians, and that as Director he was continuously engaged in making sure such shocking material did not end up being revealed, ending careers and unduly alarming and disturbing the American people. Hoover was quite a few things, but a simpering, impotent non-entity like Comey, placed in a job well above his capacity, he never was.
Trump kept a campaign promise and pulled out of the Paris Climate Change Accords. The reaction on the left in this country was apocalyptic and amusing to watch. The biggest humbug on the planet today is global warming. Among global elites the belief in climate change is one part religious faith to two parts cynicism. A minority embrace climate change with a religious fervor. The cynics find it useful for fund raising, to enlist foot soldiers in political crusades, and to engage in Eco-profiteering, Al Gore serving as the model for this.
The Paris Accords allowed global elites to be on the side of the green angels while committing their nations to nothing. The US under Obama, waging war against its domestic coal industry, was one of the few nations taking this tripe seriously. For the junk science of global warming Americans were to lose jobs while India was allowed to double its emissions and China had to do nothing at all until 2030. No wonder this agreement was never submitted to the Senate where it would have been voted down overwhelmingly.
Donald Trump, to his everlasting credit, refused to go along with this nonsense. What he did was the green equivalent of spitting in the Holy Water for a Catholic, and Trump was obviously having a good time while doing it. Pope Francis hardest hit. Well played Mr. President, well played!
Ah, the country truly dodged a bullet last November. Clinton has a thousand reasons for why she lost instead of the real one: her campaign message boiled down to this: “Hey, you ignorant peasants, vote for me, it’s my turn!” I guess excuse-making is better than looking in the mirror and thinking: “Somehow I managed to lose to a man who had been never been elected dog catcher, whose campaign organization was congealed chaos, who had worse media than Satan, who had half the campaign funds that I had, who often had difficulty getting out three consecutive coherent sentences, who had more women alleging gross behavior than even the accusers of my “husband”, who had a large section of his party in revolt against him, who has mutant hair, and who hawked steaks and other Trump products during his campaign! What does that say about me?”
As faithful readers of this blog know, I long opposed the election of Donald Trump last year. I viewed him as unfit to be President, I doubted his conversion to the pro-life cause and I knew that he wasn’t a conservative in the mode of Reagan. I came around, reluctantly, after he signed a pledge letter to the pro-life cause. Since his election I occasionally wonder if I made the right decision, and then something like what is documented below happens, and I am very happy with my decision:
YouTube removed a video showing top Planned Parenthood officials making gruesome comments about abortion on the order of a federal judge in California.
U.S. District Judge William Orrick, who granted the preliminary injunction in favor of the National Abortion Federation to halt the release of the videos, ordered any links to the video to be removed after it was published by the Center for Medical Progress on Thursday.
Judge Orrick also ordered CMP lead investigator David Daleiden and his attorneys to appear in court June 14, The Associated Press reported, for a hearing where he will consider holding them in contempt for releasing the footage.
Mr. Daleiden has been charged with 15 felonies in California stemming from his undercover investigation into the abortion giant. His attorneys have called it a “witch hunt” that flies in the face of the First Amendment.
YouTube has not responded to a request for comment.
The three-minute video showed top Planned Parenthood executives joking about severed fetus heads, admitting to altering abortion procedures to preserve fetal organs and conceding that clinics have a financial incentive to sell the human remains from abortions.
Lisa Harris, medical director at Planned Parenthood of Michigan, laments that abortionists cannot easily confide in others about their workplace difficulties, such as removing the severed heads of fetuses from women undergoing abortions.
“Our stories don’t really have a place in a lot of pro-choice discourse and rhetoric, right? The heads that get stuck that we can’t get out,” Ms. Harris says in the video, drawing laughs from an audience.
She also says pro-choice advocates should concede that the practice is murder.
“Let’s just give them all the violence,” she says. “It’s a person. It’s killing. Let’s just give them all that.”
The video features footage recorded at an annual National Abortion Federation meeting by the undercover pro-life journalists. The Center for Medical Progress says it’s just a preview of never-before-seen content that has been caught up in a legal fight for nearly two years.
In the video, Ann Schutt-Aine, director of abortion services at Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, admits to using forceps to hold a fetus in place and circumvent a partial-birth abortion.
“If I’m doing a procedure, and I’m seeing that I’m in fear that it’s about to come to the umbilicus, I might ask for a second set of forceps to hold the body at the cervix, and pull off a leg or two, so it’s not [partial-birth abortion],” she says.
President Trump was ridiculed during the campaign for suggesting abortions happen in the U.S. up to the moment of birth.
Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, said the video proves him right.Continue Reading →
Lots of ink has been spilled over the investigation into the Trump campaign as to whether it had contacts with the Russian government during the campaign last year. Kevin D. Williamson at National Review, the same Kevin D. Williamson who hates Trump with the undying hate of the bitterest Never Trumper, states the obvious about the hysteria over this investigation:
But here’s the thing: For all the risible and irresponsible cries of “Treason!” and “Obstruction of justice!” there is not really much reason to believe that Trump has done much of anything wrong — though perhaps the special counsel will learn otherwise — certainly nothing that rises to the level of a treason charge (this is ridiculous talk, but it nonetheless must be taken seriously), or the “high crimes and misdemeanors” that would lead to impeachment, or to the incapacity that would allow for his removal under the 25th Amendment. Trump does not know what he is doing, and he is not very good at this job, but there’s no law against that. It is not unconstitutional to be a fool.
The doings in Washington have a distinctly tropical feel to them, and it isn’t global warming. Republicans who rallied to Trump are now learning that it is very difficult to steer the ship of state with one middle finger. American institutions are very robust, and this moment’s banana-republic stuff probably can be digested, provided there is not too much more of it. But there is no sign that Democrats will be satisfied with paralyzing the administration — at the grassroots, it is plain they will be satisfied with nothing less than driving him from office, and maybe not even with that.
But that is not how constitutional, democratic republics work.
There will be another election in 2020, at which time the American electorate can render its judgment on Trump.
This is going to cause a firestorm, although after the events of last year I don’t see how any President could trust Comey.
President Trump has fired FBI Director James B. Comey, who had been criticized by Democrats and Republicans since the presidential election.
“The president has accepted the recommendation of the attorney general and the deputy attorney general regarding the dismissal of the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters in the briefing room Tuesday afternoon.
Comey was confirmed in 2013. He has been investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and any potential collusion with the Trump campaign.
Hillary Clinton blamed his late disclosures of an investigation of her emails for her electoral loss
In a statement, the White House said that Trump had told Comey that he has been fired. No reason was provided. Continue Reading →
Toast offered by President Jackson, April 13, 1830
Another tale in the ongoing annals of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Let me say at the outset that I doubt if Donald Trump knows all that much about Andrew Jackson. Like most Americans, his knowledge of American history is superficial. Most politicians fit into this category. Certainly Obama, who didn’t know how to pronounce medical corpsman and Joe Biden who recalled television addresses by Franklin Delano Roosevelt were in that category. I regret this, but such ignorance is not considered newsworthy unless the politician displaying ignorance is Donald Trump or some other Republican.
Trump in an interview with the Washington Examiner’s Salena Zito, mused that if Andrew Jackson had been born a little bit later perhaps he could have stopped the Civil War. Go here to read about the interview. In the interview Trump fully displays his limited knowledge of history especially in regard to the Civil War. Trump finds the parallels between himself and Jackson flattering and was attempting to play up his knowledge of Jackson and fell on his face while doing so. The media has been having a field day with this, hauling out historians to denounce Trump. What has been missed is that Trump was correct on his main point.
Andrew Jackson, born in 1767 ,was a veteran of the American Revolution, something that marked him for life. When the Declaration of Independence was issued, he was picked to read it aloud to his largely illiterate frontier community. Both of Jackson’s brothers fought in the War and died in it. He served in the militia and at the age of 13, as a POW, refused to shine a British officer’s boots and received a saber cut on his forehead for his defiance. Like most Americans who fought in the Revolution, his service inspired in him a deep love for the new nation he had helped to create. For all his days he was an ardent American patriot and a defender of the Union. His steadfast stance against nullification during the Nullification Crisis of 1832 was completely in character as was his threat to lead an American army against South Carolina if it seceded and to hang every secessionist he could get his hands upon. Although he was pro-slavery, I have no doubt that if he had been alive at the time of the Civil War he would likely have fought for the Union. His state of Tennessee was divided during the war with East Tennessee being a hotbed of Union sentiment. The man who considered himself the political heir of Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson, was the only Southern Senator to stand by the Union. His admirers called him Young Hickory, and in that I think they were absolutely correct. In his love for the Union he shared with Jackson a sentiment that would override all sectional allegiances. Abraham Lincoln understood this aspect of Jackson. He had spent his entire political life fighting the political party founded by Jackson, yet in his office during the Civil War, he had an engraved portrait of Jackson hanging over his fireplace. If Jackson had been President in 1860 I have no doubt that he would have taken action to militarily quelch secession. Whether he would have been successful is another question. However if Jackson had been there secessionists dreaming of a peaceful withdrawal from the Union would have realized that this dream was a delusion. Continue Reading →
President Trump proclaimed today as Loyalty Day and the port side of our politics went crazy on twitter, the above photo allegedly from the Ivanka Trump Loyalty Day Collection being one sample. Go here to read all about it. The problem is that May 1 has been Loyalty Day by Federal law starting in 1955 and all Presidents since, including Obama, have proclaimed it to be such. Go here to read my post on Loyalty Day in 2014. Trump Derangement Syndrome is not merely a political brickbat, but it is a real phenomenon, and it would be pointed out as such if so many of the chattering classes in reporting, the professions, academia and entertainment were not deeply in the throes of it.
I found another little known piece (I dashed off) which might bring you to beg the Muse for … the… thing muses give.
The Trumping of the Shrew
Dramatis personae: Chorus Lord Trump: President of these USA Lord Sean: Baron of Spicer – Secretary of Press Lord Bannon: Earl of Breitbart – Counselor CNN New York Times Lord Sessions – Attorney General Hillary Clinton MSNBC Crowd – Outside
CHORUS: O for a network pundit that would salve the anxious outcome of elections tense, a stage for wonk debates, senators to prate, and congressmen to guide th’ electorate. So has the ruddy Donald, hair swept up, defied th’ establishment and, in his wake, has claimants one by one discomfited, brought down in vanquishment and loss. But pardon, sponsors all, for we halt now your pandering for sales with this stock gang of mainsteam media elites, who press in conference for POTUS now to hear. List! List! O list if ever you did county love and office high respect. For Donald, hair in place, has enteréd a statement now to make, with many quips to batter newsies where they stand or sit, because their daily coverage is for….
I missed this story last year. The country really dodged a bullet when it kept the mother of this nutcase out of the White House last year:
In a new interview, Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of pro-abortion presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, says she left the Baptist Church at the age of 6 because it has a strongly pro-life position opposing abortions.
Clinton made the comment at a recent fundraiser for Hillary Clinton in an attempt to address evangelicals who question her mother’s faith in God. She said she was upset when teachers in a Sunday School class talked about the wrongness of abortion.
“I find it quite insulting sometimes when people say to my mom, my dad or me . . . that they question our faith,’ said Chelsea. “I was raised in a Methodist church and I left the Baptist church before my dad did, because I didn’t know why they were talking to me about abortion when I was 6 in Sunday school — that’s a true story.”
Go here to read the rest. And to think that self-proclaimed pro-lifers like Mark Shea were supporting abortion-uber-alles Clinton in preference to Trump.
When Senator Hayne of South Carolina told Senator Benton of Missouri that he doubted if Jackson would really hang anyone, Benton, a good friend of Jackson and a man who had shot him in a brawl, one of many such affrays Jackson was involved in during his life, in 1813 before they became friends, told him that “When Jackson begins to talk about hanging, they can begin to look out for ropes”.
Trump launching a Tomahawk strike on a Syrian airbase demonstrates the true idiocy of the idea that Trump is a pawn of Putin. Trump is his own man as Putin now realizes. Trump may well be a President who does what he says he will do. Americans, and our enemies abroad, should take note. Trump has placed a portrait of Andrew Jackson in the Oval Office, and I don’t think it is mere decoration but a signal to our enemies and our friends.
Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.
My favorite atheist internet commenter Pat Condell explains what caused Brexit and Trump: the manifest incompetence of leadership throughout the West. Political revolutions rarely occur because they are planned through conspiracies, but rather as a result of the blindingly obvious inability of the Old Regime to successfully grapple with the problems that confront it. The incompetence of the Old Regime shatters confidence in it, and allows new sources of leadership to come to the fore, sometimes for the good and sometimes for the bad. The news media in the West tend to be ardent defenders of the current Old Regime and therefore are missing the biggest story since the fall of European Communism in 1989, which, come to think of it, took most of the news media then by complete surprise, most members of the press assuming that the Communist states were a permanent feature and not a momentary blip of History. That same May Fly view still remains at work in our time and helps explain why Brexit and the victory of Trump came as such shocking surprises to the people who dedicate themselves to knowing what is going on in their societies. Blind guides indeed.
Judge Jay Bybee, Circuit Judge of the US Ninth Circuit, has written a brilliant dissent in the now moot travel ban executive order case. The dissent is joined by four other judges of the Ninth Circuit. It is a model of what a judicial opinion should be: a clear look at relevant constitutional law, statutory law, and applicable prior case law. The problem in our society is that the left has succeeded in weaponizing our courts to use political tactics to reach desired ends, rather than a dispassionate search for the law. Such methods win momentary political battles, but they destroy what a court should be: a neutral forum dedicated to applying the law. The last paragraph of the dissent is poignant:
Finally, I wish to comment on the public discourse that has surrounded these proceedings. The panel addressed the government’s request for a stay under the worst conditions imaginable, including extraordinarily compressed briefing and argument schedules and the most intense public scrutiny of our court that I can remember. Even as I dissent from our decision not to vacate the panel’s flawed opinion, I have the greatest respect for my colleagues. The personal attacks on the distinguished district judge and our colleagues were out of all bounds of civic and persuasive discourse—particularly when they came from the parties. It does no credit to the arguments of the parties to impugn the motives or the competence of the members of this court; ad hominem attacks are not a substitute for effective advocacy. Such personal attacks treat the court as though it were merely a political forum in which bargaining, compromise, and even intimidation are acceptable principles. The courts of law must be more than that, or we are not governed by law at all. I dissent, respectfully.
Of course the comments were made because it was clear that the courts were acting as political forums and issuing political, not legal, rulings based upon the personal predilections of the judges involved. When courts get political any concept of the rule of law flies clear out the window and we are left in a world where the law is merely another tool in the arsenal of those with whom the judges political sympathize. In the context of the Trump administration it is clear that many Federal judges share the view of the left that Donald Trump is not a legitimate president and they will prostitute their courts, and ignore applicable legal precedents, in order to hinder him. God help us all.
Matter! Matter! Why, everybody’s gone crazy! What is the matter with all of you? Here’s this convention going headlong for Roosevelt for Vice President. Don’t any of you realize that there’s only one life between that madman and the Presidency? Platt and Quay are no better than idiots! What harm can he do as Governor of New York compared to the damage he will do as President if McKinley should die?
Ohio Senator Mark Hanna at the Republican Convention of 1900
I have been rolling around in my brain the thought that as President Donald Trump reminds me of Theodore Roosevelt. At first glance the two New Yorkers seem entirely dissimilar with Roosevelt the scholar turned politician who led the charge up San Juan Hill having little in common with the blue collar billionaire. However, in their shared endless energy, their desire to attack intractable problems, their appeal to restoring America greatness, their willingness to make enemies of the powers that be, etc. they do strike me as quite similar and unlike most other Presidents. Stephen Beale at The American Conservative makes the case for Trump being in the same mold as The Colonel:
Roosevelt—a career politician who sought military service, an avid outdoorsman who hunted elephants and explored the Amazon, and an intellectually curious historian who dabbled in anthropology and zoology—might seem an unlikely model for Trump.
But in terms of policy, the parallels are legion.
On trade, Roosevelt was—like most Republicans then and Trump now—a proud protectionist. “Thank God I am not a free-trader. In this country pernicious indulgence in the doctrine of free trade seems inevitably to produce a fatty degeneration of the moral fibre,” Roosevelt wrote in an 1895 letter to his friend Senator Henry Cabot Lodge.
Roosevelt was also a committed immigration restrictionist. In 1903, after radical socialists had bombed Haymarket Square in Chicago and assassinated his predecessor, Roosevelt signed into law a ban on anarchists—including those who professed radical political views, even if they didn’t have any actual terrorist affiliation. Four years later, another law excluded “idiots, imbeciles, feeble-minded persons,” prostitutes, those with certain medical conditions, such as epileptics, and polygamists, or even those who believed in polygamy. Notably this last provision was wielded against Muslim immigrants.
Roosevelt famously railed against “hyphenated Americanism” and declared that America was not a “mosaic of nationalities.” In language that rings as distinctly Trumpian today, Roosevelt demanded total allegiance and nothing else from American citizens, native and naturalized alike: “A square deal for all Americans means relentless attack on all men in this country who are not straight-out Americans and nothing else.”
Roosevelt built up the military, specifically the Navy, which he showed off to the world as the “Great White Fleet.” Both presidents have a defining public works project. For Trump, it’s the border wall. For Roosevelt, it was the Panama Canal. As with Trump, Roosevelt ruffled international feathers with his proposal, even sparking the secession of Panama from Columbia.
As an undergraduate student at Harvard, Roosevelt had fallen under the influence of Hegelian philosophy, which holds to an evolutionary view of history. He came to believe that the old view of a limited government entrusted with the protection of natural rights was outmoded. Instead, Roosevelt championed an exalted view of executive power that was limited only by what the Constitution explicitly said it could not do. As he put it in his autobiography:
I declined to adopt the view that what was imperatively necessary for the Nation could not be done by the President unless he could find some specific authorization to do it. My belief was that it was not only his right but his duty to do anything that the needs of the Nation demanded unless such action was forbidden by the Constitution or by the laws. Under this interpretation of executive power I did and caused to be done many things not previously done by the President and the heads of departments.
More than anyone since Lincoln, Roosevelt expanded executive power, laying the foundations for the modern presidency. He sought to govern by executive order as much as possible, issuing a whopping 1,081 orders—nearly six times as many as his predecessor and still the fourth highest overall in the history of the U.S. presidency. (His cousin FDR holds the record at 3,721. Woodrow Wilson and Calvin Coolidge rank second and third at 1,803, and 1,203, respectively.)
It has been fascinating watching Trump develop as an orator. A year ago I thought the only positive thing to say about him as a public speaker was his raw energy. Tonight he delivered the best address to Congress since Reagan rode off into the sunset. As to substance it was a mixed bag of good ideas and bad but a more coherent overall policy than I was expecting. More analysis after Ash Wednesday.
The outrage over Trump telling the truth over Sweden continues to reverberate:
A Swedish detective who has triggered a row by blaming violent crime on migrants has gone one step further and accused politicians of turning a blind eye to the problem because of ‘political correctness’.Earlier this month Peter Springare, who has spent more than 40 years in the police, aired his anger on social media when he was told not to record the ethnicity of violent crime suspects.Springare, 61, who is based in the central city of Orebro, wrote: ‘Countries representing the weekly crimes: Iraq, Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Somalia, Syria again, Somalia, unknown, unknown country, Sweden. ‘Half of the suspects, we can’t be sure because they don’t have any valid papers. Which in itself usually means that they’re lying about your nationality and identity.’ Prosecutors launched an inquiry, suggesting he had incited racial hatred, but later dropped the charges.
Now Springare has told The Sunday Times: ‘The highest and most extreme violence – rapes and shooting – is dominated by criminal immigrants. This is a different criminality that is tougher and rawer. It is not what we would call ordinary Swedish crime. This is a different animal.’ In his Facebook post Springare wrote: ‘I’m so f***ing tired. What I will write here below, is not politically correct. But I don’t care. What I’m going to promote you all taxpayers is prohibited to peddle for us state employees.’ He wrote: ‘Here we go; this I’ve handled Monday-Friday this week: rape, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, rape-assault and rape, extortion, blackmail, off of, assault, violence against police, threats to police, drug crime, drugs, crime, felony, attempted murder, Rape again, extortion again and ill-treatment. ‘Suspected perpetrators; Ali Mohammed, mahmod, Mohammed, Mohammed Ali, again, again, again Christopher… what is it true. Yes a Swedish name snuck on the outskirts of a drug crime, Mohammed, Mahmod Ali, again and again.’ Springare said he was due to retire soon and therefore no longer feared the disciplinary proceedings which might be brought against a younger officer for disobeying their superiors and raising the issue.Continue Reading →
Oh this is too hilarious. Just twenty-four hours after Trump was ripped by the left in this country and the Swedish government for clumsily pointing out the problems that mass Islamic immigration has caused to Sweden, this happens:
As we reported last night, just days after the media mocked Trump for his allegations of major problems with Swedish migrant policies, the president was vindicated after a violent riot broke out in the borough of Rinkeby, also known as “little Mogadishu.” Now that the incident is over, in their “post-mortem” Swedish officials confirm that riots erupted in the “heavily immigrant Stockholm suburb” Monday night, as masked looters set cars ablaze and threw rocks at cops, injuring one police officer, Swedish officials said.
The violence erupted just days after President Trump was ridiculed during a Saturday campaign rally for mentioning Sweden alongside a list of European targets of terror. Trump later said his “You look at what’s happening last night in Sweden” remark was in response to a Fox News report on the country’s refugee crime crisis that aired on Friday evening.
“Sweden. They took in large numbers [of refugees],” Trump added at the Florida rally. “They’re having problems like they never thought possible.”
Sweden’s official Twitter account – which is operated by a different user each week – tweeted at Trump on Monday morning: “Hey Don, this is @Sweden speaking! It’s nice of you to care, really, but don’t fall for the hype. Facts: We’re OK!”Continue Reading →
Fate has a way of picking unlikely material,
Greasy-haired second lieutenants of French artillery,
And bald-headed, dubious, Roman rake-politicians.
Stephen Vincent Benet, John Brown’s Body
And thrice married billionaires and their nude model wives? I have long thought that God has a well developed sense of humor. Wouldn’t it be beyond the absurd for Him to hand victory to almost defeated Christians on issues such as abortion and religious freedom by such unlikely material? From everything I have read about her, Melania Trump is a devoted mother, religious and attempts to stay out of the lime light as much as possible. May she be a positive influence on her husband, and may she grow in faith and love.
Just barely two weeks into his presidency, Donald Trump has managed, over the course of just one interview, to do much to vindicate the Never Trump movement. It was the Super Bowl interview with Bill O’Reilly where the following exchange took place:
O’REILLY: Putin’s a killer.
TRUMP: We’ve got a lot of killers. Boy, you think our country’s so innocent? You think our country’s so innocent?
O’REILLY: I don’t know of any government leaders that are killers.
TRUMP: Well, take a look at what we’ve done too. We’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’ve been against the war in Iraq from the beginning.
O’REILLY: Mistakes are different than –
TRUMP: A lot of mistakes, okay, but a lot of people were killed. So a lot of killers around, believe me.
What we have here is President Trump engaging in moral equivalence between the United States and present day Russia and Vladimir Putin and George W. Bush. Whatever one may think regarding the Iraq war, comparing President Bush’s decision to invade Iraq with the murderous thuggery of Vladimir Putin is beyond revolting. Over at the Daily Wire, Ben Shapiro pretty much nails it, so I don’t see the need to add much to what he says. But I would like to answer a question he poses:
“…will mainstream conservatives go silent on Trump no matter what he does? Has the halo effect of victory relieved Trump of any pressure to behave with even the most remote semblance of decency? Will Republicans go along with anything Trump says, lying for him like Pence, because they like his policy preferences?”
Well, from what I’ve seen, they (meaning mainstream conservatives) haven’t necessarily “gone silent”. In addition to Vice President Pence not only insulting any reasonably intellectually honest person’s intelligence, but impugning his own integrity, I just heard David Horowitz, of Front Page Magazine, on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox deny that it was moral equivalence in much the same way Pence did.
To his credit, Sen. Marco Rubio, who I am not at all fond of, did denounce Trump in a Twitter post.
Not only do I believe the conservative commentariat needs to denounce President Trump’s moral equivalence in the strongest terms, conservatives serving in his administration should demand the President retract that statement, in the form of a “clarification” perhaps, failing which will result in mass resignations. They need to make clear to President Trump that they refuse to serve in an administration that actively engages in undermining our moral standing in the world.
Unfortunately, I don’t see either happening, at least in any meaningful way, particularly with those in the administration. Whatever one can say about Donald Trump, he has good instincts in choosing yes men to surround himself with. In the case of his choice for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, he picked another set of lips to plant on Putin’s backside.
Will we hold President Trump to at least the same standard we held President Obama to? Or will we, in exchange for some good SCOTUS picks and other sort of conservative policies, sacrifice our own principles?
I am afraid that the nomination of Donald Trump as its presidential candidate will be one of the darkest periods in GOP history. Perhaps its very darkest. I would like to be wrong. But its starting to look like I am right.
When a Seattle Federal Judge, James Robart, imposed a nation wide injunction on portions of President Tump’s executive order, most of the media hastened to noted that he had been appointed by Bush 43. True, but misleading, as noted by Jerome Wohrle at Liberty Unyielding:
Judge Robart’s Friday order against Trump sheds little light on his thinking. But at an earlier hearing on Washington State’s motion for a temporary restraining order, he asked what rational basis the government had for restricting entry from the seven countries covered by Trump’s order: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen. As NPR notes, these seven countries were previously singled out by Congress for milder restrictions on visas. Congress did so after terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, in a 2015 law tightening up the Visa Waiver Program that was signed by President Obama. Critics argue that there was no rational basis for restricting travel from these countries but not other countries in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia. This argument is silly, since America has deep economic links and security ties with Saudi Arabia that it lacks with the seven countries subject to the 2015 law and Trump’s executive order. America need not antagonize a key ally when it takes steps to increase border security. Perhaps for this reason, Judge Robart’s order in State of Washington v. Trump does not even make this argument, simply suggesting that for some unexplained reason the executive order may violate the “Constitution.”
To cover up the embarrassing weakness of Judge Robart’s temporary restraining order, reporters at the Washington Post and elsewhere have trumpeted the fact that Robart was nominally appointed by President George W. Bush. They have done this to suggest that his ruling must have merit, because otherwise he would not have ruled against a President of the same party as the man who appointed him. But this is misleading, since Robart is a “staunchly liberal” judge whose appointment was “effectively forced on Bush” by liberal Senator Patty Murray in 2004, when Washington State had two liberal Senators.
The media ignores the fact that Robart’s appointment as a federal judge was championed by liberal Senators like Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who used Senatorial custom allowing senators to veto Presidential appointments of trial judges to obtain the appointment of liberal trial judges like Robart in Washington State. An April 13, 2005 press release by Murray touts Robart’s appointment as the “bipartisan” result of using a state commission to select federal trial judges in Washington, whose appointment Bush then rubberstamped. This Senatorial veto power, known as the “blue slip,” is an old tradition, dating back to at least 1917, that lets senators have a say on which trial judges are appointed to courts in their home state.
When Obama was president, the media did not do this. They would not cite the fact that Obama appointed a judge to suggest that the judge’s ruling against Obama had merit. When Judge James Boasberg ruled against the Obama IRS, few news stories mentioned the fact that he was a liberal Democrat appointed by Obama himself. When Judge Amos Mazzant issued an injunction against Obama’s overtime rule, most of the media either did not report the fact that Mazzant had been appointed by Obama; or if they did, they also suggested that he was a conservative judge, because Republican Senators in Texas used their “blue slip” privilege to block Obama from appointing liberal trial judges in Texas.
Even critics of Trump’s order have found Judge Robart’s order senseless. As one put it,
Judge Robart’s temporary restraining order … may make things even worse in the long run, and had no basis in law. The judge’s temporary restraining order is harmful — it bans giving priority in asylum claims to Yazidi and Christian applicants, even though they are the ones who face a high risk of being killed in Iraq and Syria. (It bans ‘proceeding with any action that prioritizes the refugee claims of certain religious minorities,’ see Order at pg. 5, paragraph 1). This ban is perverse, because under U.S. law and international treaties, asylum is SUPPOSED to be given to members of groups facing persecution based on religion, and the threat of genocide faces only certain religions. The judge provided NO REASONING AT ALL for his assertion that the constitution might be violated by the executive order, and lawyers like Scott Johnson have noted that the judge’s order had no real legal basis.
Judge Robart, the oddball judge who issued that TRO against the executive order, is the same guy who issued the bizarre college sexual assault ruling that Robbie Soave wrote about earlier at Reason Magazine.
He ruled a falsely-accused male student could not depose or obtain relevant documents from the female student who got him expelled because that would traumatize her (never mind that it was SHE who performed a sex act on him when he was blacked out, meaning that if anyone was guilty of sexual assault it was HER). Reason’s article about it can be found here.
…Robart also bellowed “Black Lives Matter” in open court, as the Daily Caller noted (in a context in which it made little sense).
What is it with liberals and coups? Recently several liberals, including entertainer? Sarah Silverman, and Obama era Pentagon bureaucrat Sarah Brooks, have been calling for/predicting a military coup against the Trump administration. Such fools have no concept of our military where the officers are trained from day one of their careers in the essential fact of civilian control of the military. If the impossible ever happened and some rogue faction of the military ever did move against Trump, the shots fired in such a coup attempt would merely be the opening shots in Civil War II. Liberals have often fantasized about a conservative military coup against the government of the United States, perhaps most famously in the novel and film of the Sixties entitled Seven Days in May. From current calls for a military coup emanating from the portside of our politics, such concerns about a conservative coup apparently were a case of the left projecting upon the right what the left would be tempted to do if confronted by a civilian government they viewed as a menace.
Hard to believe that it is more than half a century since the film Seven Days in May (1964) was released. Directed by John Frankenheimer with a screenplay by Rod Serling based on a novel published in 1962, the movie posits a failed coup attempt in the United States, with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force General James Mattoon Scott, played by Burt Lancaster, being the would be coup leader. Kirk Douglas plays Scott’s aide Marine Corps Colonel Martin Casey who, while agreeing with Scott that President Jordan Lyman’s nuclear disarmament treaty with the Soviets is a disaster, is appalled when he learns of the proposed coup, and discloses it to the President, portrayed by Frederic March.
The film is an example of liberal paranoia in the early sixties and fears on the port side of our politics of a coup by some “right wing” general. The film is unintentionally hilarious if one has served in our military, since the idea of numerous generals agreeing on a coup and keeping it secret, even from their own aides, is simply ludicrous. Our military leaks like a sieve, and general officers almost always view each other as competitors for political favor, rather than as co-conspirators.
Well this is interesting. Crux has an interview with Iraqi Archbishop Bashar Warda:
What do you make of the protests against President Trump’s refugee order?
Everyone, including the administration, seems to agree that this should have been implemented with more clarity. There was much confusion about what the order meant and many people were very upset.
From my perspective in Iraq, I wonder why all of these protesters were not protesting in the streets when ISIS came to kill Christians and Yazidis and other minority groups. They were not protesting when the tens of thousands of displaced Christians my archdiocese has cared for since 2014 received no financial assistance from the U.S. government or the U.N. There were no protests when Syrian Christians were only let in at a rate that was 20 times less than the percentage of their population in Syria.
I do not understand why some Americans are now upset that the many minority communities that faced a horrible genocide will finally get a degree of priority in some manner.
I would also say this, all those who cry out that this is a “Muslim Ban” – especially now that it has been clarified that it is not – should understand clearly that when they do this, they are hurting we Christians specifically and putting us at greater risk. The executive order has clearly affected Christians and Yazidis and others as well as Muslims.
Here in Iraq we Christians cannot afford to throw out words carelessly as the media in the West can do. I would ask those in the media who use every issue to stir up division to think about this. For the media these things become an issue of ratings, but for us the danger is real.
Most Americans have no concept of what it was like to live as a Yazidi or Christian or other minority as ISIS invaded. Our people had the option to flee, to convert, or to be killed, and many were killed in the most brutal ways imaginable. But there were none of these protests then of ISIS’s religious test.
Our people lost everything because of their faith – they were targeted for their faith, just like the Yazidis and others too. Now these protesters are saying that religion should not matter at all, even though someone was persecuted for their faith, even though persecution based on religion is one of the grounds for refugee status in the UN treaty on refugees.
From here I have to say, it is really unbelievable.
It is exactly this reasoning, that religion should not be a factor at all in American policy, that has resulted in Christians and other minority communities being overlooked by U.S. and UN aid programs. We are too small to matter, our communities are disappearing from constant persecution, and for years the American government didn’t care. Now when someone tries to help us, we have protesters telling us that there can be no religious basis for refugee status – even though the UN treaty and American law say that religious persecution is a major reason for granting the status, and even though ISIS targeted people primarily on the basis of religion.
I am not saying that any group should have a blanket preference when it comes to being admitted as a refugee in the United States. Such a policy would not be right, and would clearly be against our Catholic faith and teaching. And that is not the policy as I understand it.
But it is very hard for me to understand why comfortable people in the West think those who are struggling to survive against genocide, and whose communities are at extreme risk of disappearing completely, should not get some special consideration. We are an ancient people on the verge of extinction because of our commitment to our faith. Will anybody protest for us?Continue Reading →