3

Trump Is Not the Authoritarian

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.

19

Trump Administration: Go Ahead and Defund Planned Parenthood

The next time some Catholic Leftist claims that the Trump administration is not pro-life, please tell them sweetly from me that they are a damn liar:

 

 

Barack Obama must be crying in his Wheaties these days. Why? Because day after day after day, President Donald Trump is utterly dismantling Obama’s pen-and-phone legacy. From eliminating crushing regulations, to cutting the size of government, to signing into law tax cuts that include the elimination of Obama’s tyrannical “individual mandate,” the eradication of the Obama Era is progressing rather swimmingly. And now, Trump has lobbed grenades at yet another of Obama’s sacred cows: Planned Parenthood:

The Trump administration is overturning Obama-era advisories aimed at preventing states from cutting Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood.

The administration is rescinding an April 2016 letter that the Obama administration sent to states warning them that restricting Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood could violate federal law. Administration officials said Friday it is rescinding the guidance to give states more flexibility over how they manage Medicaid.

“States who run Medicaid jointly have had a say in whether providers in borders eligible to participate in Medicaid program,” said Charmaine Yoest, assistant secretary for public affairs at Health and Human Services.

The Obama administration sent the 2016 letter after 10 states moved to end Medicaid funding to the women’s health and abortion provider. States targeted Planned Parenthood in response to a series of undercover videos from an anti-abortion activist that showed Planned Parenthood officials discussing the donation and harvesting of aborted fetal tissue.

Go here to read the rest.

11

Trump: First Year

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.

16

Trump and Religious Liberty

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.

Of Fake News Awards and Hysteria

 

 

 

Major-General John A. Drx,

Commanding at New York:

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.

A. LINCOLN.

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.

 

4

Black Unemployment Lowest on Record

Black unemployment in this country fell to 6.8% in the last quarter of last year.  That is the lowest black unemployment rate since records began to be kept on that subject 45 years ago.  If you haven’t heard about this anyplace else, Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts explains why:

The reason the Wolff book is so important

 
Is this.  Yep, the unemployment rate for African Americans is now lower than it has been since tracking began.  The press has under reported this*, and if pushed, I’m sure it will rely on giving credit to Barrack Obama.   Just like the press continued to blame anything wrong during the previous eight years on George Bush. 

Nonetheless, the headline ‘Unemployment lowest ever for African Americans’ is bad optics.  So focusing on Wolff’s book is important.  It must keep our eyes off the ball, off of what is happening, and in the trenches of personal attack and character assassination.

Of course the book is really nothing new. It’s nothing other than an author saying trust him, he talked to people who say what the press, pundits and Trump critics insist people have said for the last year.  And insisting he had access to Trump for around three hours over the course of months of campaigning (do the math).

And it’s nothing we haven’t heard before Donald Trump.  Senility, moron, mentally incapable, unfit for office – I heard in in the 80s with Reagan and Dan Quayle.  I heard it again in the 00s during the Bush administration.  In fact, come to think of it, I notice a trend.  When the Left doesn’t get the person it wants, it uses the press and other surrogates to attack and destroy the individuals who have thwarted their designs.  As this book is supposed to do.

I don’t think Trump is the best type of person we could have by a long shot.  Unfortunately, the best type of people we have produced have become part of the problem, as this old piece observes.  A world with a growing elitist class that cares for itself, and nothing else.  If Trump doesn’t care either, he’s at least shaking things up and, so far, doing things that could help that growing demographic of non-elites that had so woefully fallen behind over the last few decades.

*Except for USA Today, the linked to article, and a handful of local or marginal publications, I’ve not found major outlets running this story.  Those few I found that did address the news were like this WaPo piece, which obviously was trying to downplay and deflect, and keep divides alive.

Go here to comment.  This reminds me that Reagan knew that his economic policies were working when the mainstream media stopped referring to them as Reaganomics.  The mainstream media often bears the same relationship to reality as spam bears to filet mignon.
4

Elections Have Consequences

 

The next time someone tells you there is no difference between the parties on abortion, look them in the eye and call them a liar:

 

With a rare tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence, the Senate on Thursday sent a bill to President Donald Trump’s desk giving states permission to withhold federal family planning funds from Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers.

Pence and Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson, who is recovering from back surgery and used a walker inside the chamber, were dramatically summoned to the Capitol to help pass the measure by a razor-thin margin. Continue Reading

16

Trump Reinstitutes Mexico City Policy

 

 

Bravo for President Trump:

 

 

President Donald Trump signed an executive action on Monday reinstating the so-called Mexico City Policy, which bars international non-governmental organizations that perform or promote abortions from receiving US government funding.

The policy, initially put in place by the Reagan administration, was rescinded by the Obama administration in 2009.
 
Even during the Obama years, US law banned direct funding for abortion services. But NGOs that performed the procedure were allowed to receive US funding for other programs, including those related to contraception access and post-abortion care.
Now, NGOs that offer or promote abortions as part of their family planning services will be prevented from receiving any assistance from the US Agency for International Development, one of the largest contributors to international development assistance.

Continue Reading

11

President Trump’s Inauguration

 

 

I will be busy in the law mines when the Inauguration ceremony is held.  Let me know in the comboxes what you think.  Analysis from me when I get home tonight.  Paul Zummo will be live blogging the speech at The Cranky Conservative.  Go here to read it.

 

Update: Here is the text of the speech:

Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, fellow Americans and people of the world – thank you.

We the citizens of America have now joined a great national effort to rebuild our county and restore its promise for all our people. 

Together we will determine the course of America for many, many years to come.

Together we will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done.

Every four years we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power.

And we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent, thank you.

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another – but transferring it from Washington DC and giving it back to you the people. Continue Reading

34

Hilarious: The New York Times Attacks Bannon for Being Too Catholic

Oh this is just too funny.  The New York Times on December 30, ran a story on Trump’s advisor Stephen K. Bannon, in which they attack him for being, gasp, a conservative Catholic:

A week after Stephen K. Bannon helped engineer the populist revolt that led to Donald J. Trump’s election, Buzzfeed unearthed a recording of him speaking to a Vatican conference of conservative Catholics in 2014.

In his presentation, Mr. Bannon, then the head of the hard-right website Breitbart News and now Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, called on the “church militant” to fight a global war against a “new barbarity” of “Islamic fascism” and international financial elites, with 2,500 years of Western civilization at risk.

While most listeners probably overlooked the term “church militant,” knowledgeable Catholics would have recognized it as a concept deeply embedded in the church’s teaching. Moreover, they would have noticed that Mr. Bannon had taken the term out of context, invoking it in a call for cultural and military conflict rather than for spiritual warfare, particularly within one’s soul, its longstanding connotation.

As the Trump administration prepares to take office, the use of Church Militant theology has gone well beyond its religious meaning and has taken on a political resonance. To fully grasp what “church militant” means in this highly politicized atmosphere, it helps to examine the broader movement and the role of a traditionalist Catholic website called — to no surprise — ChurchMilitant.com. Continue Reading

23

Remarks of Stephen Bannon at a Conference at the Vatican

 

Buzzfeed has the remarks of Stephen Bannon, former CEO of Breitbart News, and currently appointed by President Elect Trump to be his chief advisor, at a conference at the Vatican in the summer of 2014:

 

Steve Bannon: Thank you very much Benjamin, and I appreciate you guys including us in this. We’re speaking from Los Angeles today, right across the street from our headquarters in Los Angeles. Um. I want to talk about wealth creation and what wealth creation really can achieve and maybe take it in a slightly different direction, because I believe the world, and particularly the Judeo-Christian west, is in a crisis. And it’s really the organizing principle of how we built Breitbart News to really be a platform to bring news and information to people throughout the world. Principally in the west, but we’re expanding internationally to let people understand the depths of this crisis, and it is a crisis both of capitalism but really of the underpinnings of the Judeo-Christian west in our beliefs.

It’s ironic, I think, that we’re talking today at exactly, tomorrow, 100 years ago, at the exact moment we’re talking, the assassination took place in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand that led to the end of the Victorian era and the beginning of the bloodiest century in mankind’s history. Just to put it in perspective, with the assassination that took place 100 years ago tomorrow in Sarajevo, the world was at total peace. There was trade, there was globalization, there was technological transfer, the High Church of England and the Catholic Church and the Christian faith was predominant throughout Europe of practicing Christians. Seven weeks later, I think there were 5 million men in uniform and within 30 days there were over a million casualties.

That war triggered a century of barbaric — unparalleled in mankind’s history — virtually 180 to 200 million people were killed in the 20th century, and I believe that, you know, hundreds of years from now when they look back, we’re children of that: We’re children of that barbarity. This will be looked at almost as a new Dark Age.

But the thing that got us out of it, the organizing principle that met this, was not just the heroism of our people — whether it was French resistance fighters, whether it was the Polish resistance fighters, or it’s the young men from Kansas City or the Midwest who stormed the beaches of Normandy, commandos in England that fought with the Royal Air Force, that fought this great war, really the Judeo-Christian West versus atheists, right? The underlying principle is an enlightened form of capitalism, that capitalism really gave us the wherewithal. It kind of organized and built the materials needed to support, whether it’s the Soviet Union, England, the United States, and eventually to take back continental Europe and to beat back a barbaric empire in the Far East.

That capitalism really generated tremendous wealth. And that wealth was really distributed among a middle class, a rising middle class, people who come from really working-class environments and created what we really call a Pax Americana. It was many, many years and decades of peace. And I believe we’ve come partly offtrack in the years since the fall of the Soviet Union and we’re starting now in the 21st century, which I believe, strongly, is a crisis both of our church, a crisis of our faith, a crisis of the West, a crisis of capitalism.

And we’re at the very beginning stages of a very brutal and bloody conflict, of which if the people in this room, the people in the church, do not bind together and really form what I feel is an aspect of the church militant, to really be able to not just stand with our beliefs, but to fight for our beliefs against this new barbarity that’s starting, that will completely eradicate everything that we’ve been bequeathed over the last 2,000, 2,500 years.

Now, what I mean by that specifically: I think that you’re seeing three kinds of converging tendencies: One is a form of capitalism that is taken away from the underlying spiritual and moral foundations of Christianity and, really, Judeo-Christian belief.

I see that every day. I’m a very practical, pragmatic capitalist. I was trained at Goldman Sachs, I went to Harvard Business School, I was as hard-nosed a capitalist as you get. I specialized in media, in investing in media companies, and it’s a very, very tough environment. And you’ve had a fairly good track record. So I don’t want this to kinda sound namby-pamby, “Let’s all hold hands and sing ‘Kumbaya’ around capitalism.”

But there’s a strand of capitalism today — two strands of it, that are very disturbing.

One is state-sponsored capitalism. And that’s the capitalism you see in China and Russia. I believe it’s what Holy Father [Pope Francis] has seen for most of his life in places like Argentina, where you have this kind of crony capitalism of people that are involved with these military powers-that-be in the government, and it forms a brutal form of capitalism that is really about creating wealth and creating value for a very small subset of people. And it doesn’t spread the tremendous value creation throughout broader distribution patterns that were seen really in the 20th century.

The second form of capitalism that I feel is almost as disturbing, is what I call the Ayn Rand or the Objectivist School of libertarian capitalism. And, look, I’m a big believer in a lot of libertarianism. I have many many friends that’s a very big part of the conservative movement — whether it’s the UKIP movement in England, it’s many of the underpinnings of the populist movement in Europe, and particularly in the United States.

However, that form of capitalism is quite different when you really look at it to what I call the “enlightened capitalism” of the Judeo-Christian West. It is a capitalism that really looks to make people commodities, and to objectify people, and to use them almost — as many of the precepts of Marx — and that is a form of capitalism, particularly to a younger generation [that] they’re really finding quite attractive. And if they don’t see another alternative, it’s going to be an alternative that they gravitate to under this kind of rubric of “personal freedom.”

The other tendency is an immense secularization of the West. And I know we’ve talked about secularization for a long time, but if you look at younger people, especially millennials under 30, the overwhelming drive of popular culture is to absolutely secularize this rising iteration.

Now that call converges with something we have to face, and it’s a very unpleasant topic, but we are in an outright war against jihadist Islamic fascism. And this war is, I think, metastasizing far quicker than governments can handle it.

If you look at what’s happening in ISIS, which is the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant, that is now currently forming the caliphate that is having a military drive on Baghdad, if you look at the sophistication of which they’ve taken the tools of capitalism. If you look at what they’ve done with Twitter and Facebook and modern ways to fundraise, and to use crowdsourcing to fund, besides all the access to weapons, over the last couple days they have had a radical program of taking kids and trying to turn them into bombers. They have driven 50,000 Christians out of a town near the Kurdish border. We have video that we’re putting up later today on Breitbart where they’ve took 50 hostages and thrown them off a cliff in Iraq.

That war is expanding and it’s metastasizing to sub-Saharan Africa. We have Boko Haram and other groups that will eventually partner with ISIS in this global war, and it is, unfortunately, something that we’re going to have to face, and we’re going to have to face very quickly.

 

So I think the discussion of, should we put a cap on wealth creation and distribution? It’s something that should be at the heart of every Christian that is a capitalist — “What is the purpose of whatever I’m doing with this wealth? What is the purpose of what I’m doing with the ability that God has given us, that divine providence has given us to actually be a creator of jobs and a creator of wealth?”

I think it really behooves all of us to really take a hard look and make sure that we are reinvesting that back into positive things. But also to make sure that we understand that we’re at the very beginning stages of a global conflict, and if we do not bind together as partners with others in other countries that this conflict is only going to metastasize.

They have a Twitter account up today, ISIS does, about turning the United States into a “river of blood” if it comes in and tries to defend the city of Baghdad. And trust me, that is going to come to Europe. That is going to come to Central Europe, it’s going to come to Western Europe, it’s going to come to the United Kingdom. And so I think we are in a crisis of the underpinnings of capitalism, and on top of that we’re now, I believe, at the beginning stages of a global war against Islamic fascism. Continue Reading