The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Wayfair

In this week's 5-4 Wayfair decision allowing state and local governments to compel out-of-state retailers to collect taxes on purchases made by their state residents, the Supreme Court broke decades of precedent. In addition, the justices exhibited a surprising lack of common sense by opening the door to a bureaucratic nightmare that could bury small businesses and give an unwarranted competitive advantage to large retailers like Amazon and Walmart. To say this puts an unfair burden on small e-commerce businesses is a gross understatement.

As the founder of a small Florida e-commerce business, I can state unequivocally that it is difficult and time-consuming to collect and pay sales taxes for Florida residents only. There are county by county surtaxes that vary considerably along with a base sales tax. The reporting form is obtuse and the rules change yearly. Now, multiply that bureaucratic burden by 50 states, and you begin to see what this ruling will create.

But of course, states that spend irresponsibly and need additional sources of revenue will rejoice. After all, what could be better than to force small out-of-state businesses to be their tax collectors on a nation-wide basis. A small business has no vote and no control in any state but their own, opening the door to abusive out-of-state audits and otherwise increasing the cost of doing business.

James Freeman comments:
For decades the law has prevented America’s 10,000 taxing authorities from imposing collection burdens on people with no physical presence in their jurisdictions. The court has now repealed that sensible standard and invited a million bureaucratic definitions to bloom. If Justices thought the physical-presence standard was arbitrary, wait until they get a look at the multitude of replacements that will begin oozing out of municipal revenue departments.

The idea that this is a restoration of federalism is a howler—states have never in the history of the republic enjoyed such power to hassle people outside their borders. The power to tax also means the power to impose reporting rules and the power to audit. Now state and city governments are free to impose burdens that crush distant small businesses and there will be no political accountability—because the tax collectors will be oppressing people with no representation in the abusive jurisdiction.
Those who argue that "fairness" demands that on-line retailers collect state and local taxes because brick and mortar retailers must do so, miss a very important point. The brick and mortar sellers collect, report, and pay taxes from one state and one state only, just like the majority of small on-line retailers have had to do. Now, on-line retailers are compelled to collect, report and pay taxes to 50 states. Is that fair and equitable? I don't think so. If anything, it could discourage some small e-commerce businesses from forming and damage a vibrant part of our retail economy. All because state and local politicians can't control their spending* and need more and more money for more and more wasteful policies and programs.

Normally, one would hope that Congress steps in and remedies the situation by developing federal legislation that would be fair to all. Given the current political climate, that's extremely unlikely. Government gets bigger in its reach and intrusiveness and the little guy takes it on the chin.

FOOTNOTE:
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* It's worth noting that politicians are not the only culprits here. Amazon, among many large e-commerce retailers, lobbied in favor of this ruling and is the big winner because: (1) it already has the bandwidth to meet the regulatory hurdles, (2) it can charge smaller sell-through retailers a "fee" to help them with compliance, thereby increasing its own revenue, and (3) the burden of tax collections will eliminate some small competitors and open the big's markets even more.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Stupid Party

When it comes to immigration reform, Congressional members of the GOP has allowed ideological differences to get in the way of common sense, good governance, and doing what's right. The GOP, like its counterpart in the Democratic Party, are wed to ideological memes that are outdated and counterproductive.

Because the economy is booming, jobs are plentiful, and public satisfaction with the future is polling at historically high levels, the only wedge issue that the Dems have is immigration. It also appears that they will do nothing to compromise on the issue, allowing, for example, DACA to remain unresolved even though the GOP floated the idea of a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million people.

But the Dems do stuff like that—all the time. They act like petulant children. But none of that excuses the stupidity that we're now seeing on the GOP side. An immigration reform package could still be offered by the GOP, yet "conservatives" wrongly insist that there be no "asylum." That ridiculous position rejects the reality of our current border situation, suggests that the children of illegal immigrants remain in political and legal limbo forever, and implies that millions can be deported (They. Can. Not.)

So Congressional GOP members fight with one another instead of seizing a unique opportunity to fix a decades old problem. Imagine for a moment if the GOP passed a reasonable bill that included a fix for the 'family separation issue, a DACA fix, a number of modifications to broader immigration issues (e.g., merit based entry, reducing the size and scope of lottery entries), improved vetting of all legal immigrants, and yes, new funding for increased border security (a.k.a. the "wall").

If a bill that covered those issues passed the House (and it could), it would be interesting to watch the Democrat response. Would the party that tells us repeated that they care so, so much about immigration reject the bill in the Senate. If they did, the hypocrisy would be breathtaking. If they didn't, the Trump administration would have done more than the past six presidents in addressing the immigration issue.

The GOP has a historic opportunity and they're blowing it. They're not called the stupid party for nothing.

UPDATE:
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As the GOP continues with its own stupidity on the immigration issue, the Dems sit comfortably, recognizing that a tacit open borders policy will benefit them politically over the long term. Rich Lowry breaks it down when his discussed the impact of the 20-year old Flores consent decree that demands that children be released from custody after 20 days and therefore implicitly required that illegal immigrants be released from custody (but generally not deported) if families are to stay together. He writes:
What is true is that the law makes it impossible to hold Central American parents and children together for any length of time. The children have to be released, and if you are going to keep them together with their parents, the parents have to be released, too. This is the forcing mechanism for waving Central American migrants into the country — more than a quarter of a million children and members of a family group over the past two and a half years — and Trump is right that Democrats have no interest in changing it.

When Republicans this week proposed fixes to remove these perversities in the law and to expedite the asylum process and provide for more detention space, Chuck Schumer had no interest. He thought he could back down Trump unilaterally from the family separations — correctly, as it turned out — and Democrats have no interest in making it easier for Trump to remove anyone from the country.

It’s easy to lose sight of the radicalism of this position. It’s understandable to oppose deporting an illegal immigrant who has been here for, say, 10 years. But these migrants are illegal immigrants who, in some cases, literally showed up yesterday.

The question they pose isn’t whether we are going to let illegal immigrants who are already here stay but whether we are constantly going to welcome more, in a perpetual, rolling amnesty. It is, in short, whether we have a border or whether a certain class of migrants can — for no good reason — present themselves to the authorities and expect to be admitted into the country.

Some of these migrants will claim asylum, but these claims are mostly bogus. There’s no doubt that they are desperate, and desperate to get into the United States. But they aren’t persecuted back home, even if they fear gangs or a violent boyfriend.

The merits don’t matter under the current system, though. If an asylum-seeker passes a credible fear interview — almost all do — and comes into the United States pending adjudication of his case, it’s unlikely that he’ll ever be seen again. And why not? Who wouldn’t take advantage of that opportunity?
Breaking one of the six rules of outrage, it might be worth asking Democratic leaders the following questions:
Are you in favor of open borders? If not, why do you support a loophole (Flores) that allows illegal immigrants be released into the country? And if you want to fix that loophole, how would you do so, specifically? Why do you generally oppose stronger border control measures? If you're in favir of border enforcement, how, specifically, would you accomplish it? Since you have great compassion for children and illegal immigrant families, why is it that you are in favor of policies that encourage those same families to take dangerous journies over thousands of miles, putting young children at risk all the way? How, specifically, would you address child trafficking that occurs daily at our border?

And on ... and on.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Six Rules of Outrage

Outrage is an effective weapon. One that is wielded daily by the Left and less frequently by the Right. The game is simple—select something that offends you, for example, Donald Trump calling members of the murderous Latin gang MS-13, "animals." In righteous indignation, tell us all that humans should not be called "animals," make a very aggrieved face, call Trump a "racist," rinse and repeat. And be absolutely sure that your trained hamsters in the media repeat that meme over and over and over again.

Or maybe it's the current outrage du jour—the "ripping" of innocent young children out of the arms of their angelic illegal immigrant mothers and fathers. Make a very aggrieved face, call Trump a "Nazi," rinse and repeat. And be absolutely sure that your trained hamsters in the media repeat that meme over and over and over again.

But here's the thing. The outrage weapon is a cynical scam—pure and simple. And if you have half a brain you can recognize it immediately. Kurt Schlichter writes:
Look for the indicators. Is it something that seems unreasonably horrible? Well, like something that sounds too good to be true probably is, something that sounds too bad to be true likewise is probably not true either. Does Trump ordering screaming babies to be wrenched from their innocent mommies’ arms and cast into dungeons sound pretty extreme? Yeah, because it is. And it’s a lie.
But there's more too it than that. Here are the rules:

1. Use emotions, not facts, to drive outrage. In reality, facts get in the way and should be omitted whenever possible. It's extremely helpful if your allies in the media refuse to present facts or context that might conflict with the outrage narrative.

2. Change labels to obfuscate. Illegal immigrants—that is, people who illegally enter our country, something that is against the law—are re-labeled as "migrants" or "undocumented immigrants," thereby clouding the reason why they have been apprehended in the first place.

3. Be selective. Direct outrage only at your political enemies, never at your allies, even when both your enemies and your allies have done the same thing that is now generating outrage.

4. Avoid or shout down inconvenient questions. For example, the fact is that the Obama administration separated illegal immigrant families and held children in holding pens (there are dozens of photos to support that statement). The question is—why weren't Democrats (or the GOP) outraged about it? That's a VERY inconvenient question and must be avoided at all cost.

5. Use ad hominem attacks, preferably calling the party who has committed the "outrage" (and even members of his or her family) a "racist" or a "Nazi." The reason for this approach is that when the facts aren't on your side, inflammatory language is a useful tool.

6. Finally, insist that morality is a sole virtue of those who are outraged. Anyone who tries to introduce facts that conflict with the outrage narrative, who doesn't use the right labels, who dares to ask inconvenient questions, or to push back against ad hominem attacks or outrageous allegations is characterized as less moral and less worthy. But only in the eyes of the outraged and their supporters.

Those are the rules, and maybe that's the worst outrage of all.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Solidad

Solidad O'Brien is hardly a great intellect. As one of thousands of trained hamsters in the main stream media, she is consistently partisan, has a poor grasp of facts associated with any story she covers, and is a clear example of an attractive talking head that is about as far from a professional journalist as possible. But Solidad worked to lower her already pathetic standing even further when she joined the hysteria concerning the current and past practice of separating children from their illegal immigrant parents when those parents are incarcerated, pending a hearing or deportation.

O'Brien tweeted:
Welp, I guess we've put to rest the question: "Nazi Germany: Could it happen here in America?"
In response, a twitter follower, @Ron_Christie, tweeted:
The Holocaust brought about by Nazi Germany resulted in the murder of 6 million Jews in Europe. 2/3 of the Jewish population there. The notion that anything remotely similar is taking place in America today- or to seek moral equivalence - has me sickened beyond words.
If O'Brien's tweet was a one-off, I'd simply laugh it off as abject stupidity masquerading as moral preening. But that's not the case. Dozens (hundreds?) of leftist commentators regularly attack a variety of Trump administration policies with Nazi metaphors. The vacuity of these attacks is obvious, not to mention a reinforcement of Godwin's Law.

What leftist Democrats don't seem to realize is just how offensive their idiotic comparisons of 2018 America to Nazi Germany are.

I am the son of a Holocaust survivor. I grew up without a single member of my mother's family alive in either Europe or the United States—all brutally murdered by the 1940-era Nazis. And Solidad and her soul mates dare to offer up Nazi metaphors to criticize the current leadership of the United States?

Leftists tell me that detaining people who cross our borders illegally, temporarily separating them from their children when they are arrested, housing them, feeding them, providing medical care when required, and ultimately reuniting parents and children without physical harm is Nazi-like?

My mother's immediate and extended family should have been so lucky.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Infection

The previous administration touted itself as being "scandal free." That laughable claim would have been forgotten, except that like a bad infection that goes deep into the tissue and bone of the host organism, the scandals wrought by the Obama administration have embedded themselves deep into the government agencies and people that are core elements of the federal government.

The Justice department IG report is but the latest indication that the infection is severe, dangerous even, and deeply embedded in government agencies. And like every virulent infection, it will fight any attempt to remove it.

Because the infection is so widespread—the purposely botched Hillary Clinton investigation; the scandalous use of a democrat-sponsored dossier to manipulate the FISA courts; the extreme anti-Trump bias of senior members of the FBI and intelligence communities; the clear implication that the anti-Trump bias morphed into aggressive actions against Trump; the Crossfire Hurricane operation in which an FBI-informant was embedded into the Trump campaign; text messages from senior official that talked about an "insurance policy" against Trump and efforts to "stop him," leaks the emanated from the director of the FBI, and clear evidence that Trump was set up in a manner that lead to a special counsel being appointed. All of that, not to mention the spurious, evidence-free claims that Trump "colluded" with the Russians, indicates a scandal that is historic in its breadth and depth.

But the infection is resisting all efforts to kill it. The same people who were responsible for introducing the infection are fighting hard to resist efforts to eliminate it. Both the FBI and intelligence agencies have resisted all attempts at getting to the root of the infection, stonewalling congressional requests for information in a manner that follows the successful template first applied for other Obama-era scandals (e.g., Fast and Furious).

William McGurn, like yours truly, is fed up and wants Congress to act. He suggests that a contempt citation, impeachment proceeding and even jail are appropriate for people like Rod Rosenstein or Christopher Wray who seem to value the tattered reputation of their agencies more than any attempt to remove the infection. McGurn writes:
Congress has a third option for contempt: It can jail someone until he produces the testimony or documents sought. The advantage here is that Congress can do this all on its own. The last time Congress used contempt to jail was in 1934, when the Senate arrested, tried and then sentenced former Assistant Commerce Secretary William P. MacCracken Jr. to 10 days for allowing the removal and destruction of papers he’d been subpoenaed to produce.

You have to go back even further for the last time Congress impeached an executive-branch official. In 1876, Congress accused Secretary of War William Belknap of using his office for private gain. But if Sally Yates as deputy attorney general could cite the 1799 Logan Act, which no American has ever been convicted of violating, to intervene in the Mike Flynn case, surely Congress needn’t be shy about its Article I constitutional power to impeach.

The obstruction of Justice and the FBI appears rooted in the mistaken idea that they are somehow above the elected representatives of the American people. While Mr. Rosenstein has referred to congressional talk of impeaching him as “extortion,” Mr. Wray, in his statement to a press conference outlining steps to fix the FBI, conspicuously made no mention of better cooperation with Congress.

An impeachment that removed either Mr. Rosenstein or Mr. Wray—or a contempt finding that sent one of them to the congressional pokey for a spell—could send a good message to federal bureaucrats inclined to be dismissive of congressional subpoenas.
It's long past time that there be an accounting. That the infection be clearly identified, that its scope be determined, that a cure be developed, and that it then be eradicated. The only way to do that is to throw those who are resisting the cure into jail. Do it! Now.

UPDATE:
----------------

Conservative bomb thrower Kurt Schlichter summarizes the infection nicely:
The IG report, simultaneously a devastating indictment of elite misconduct and a total whitewash, is a symptom of the moral leprosy infecting our elite. It is rotting away our institutions, and the foundations of the United States as we knew it. But the elite can’t, or won’t, even admit to itself what we all see.
Indeed. On the one hand, the IG report describes the infection in some detail, noting the symptoms in dozens of instances and naming names. However, it concluded that the infection isn't dangerous to the tissue and bone (that "no bias" could be identified). It's an amazingly ridiculous conclusion.

Schlicter uses a metaphor with commentary:
Let’s try a hypothetical. You are on a jury. My client is a black man claiming racial discrimination by his company. I present you with texts from key leaders in the company – who are still employed in high positions at the company – discussing how they hate black people. I demonstrate that at every single opportunity, the company made choices that hurt my client, just like at every opportunity the FBI and DOJ made choices to help Hillary the Harpy. Then, I show the company fired my client with no evidence of his wrongdoing, just like the FBI exonerated Stumbles O’Drunky with tons of evidence of her wrongdoing. Do you think I presented “no evidence?”

You, as a juror, have a choice – was my client discriminated against?

I, as his lawyer, also have a choice – Ferrari or Lamborghini?

The IG report sidestepped the most critical point, the one that is resulting in the American people losing their last remaining fragments of faith in our system, the fact that there are demonstrably two sets of rules, that there are two brands of justice in America.

There is one for you, me, and everyone else not in the elite – the infuriated, angry Normals. And there is another one for the elite.

I bet if you, me, or anyone else not in the elite were being prosecuted by the feds, the feds would be totally neutral regarding our politics, they would show us deference and give us breaks, and they would resolve from the beginning that we were going to walk. Let’s ask Scooter Libby or Dinesh De Souza or Conrad Black or Mike Flynn about that.
And yet, the Democrats have grabbed on the the "no bias" conclusion like a drowning man grabs onto a straw. The fact that it's ludicrous is of no concern.

Infection—what infection?

Monday, June 18, 2018

Godwin's Law

Members of the Trump Derangement Syndrome crowd seem unaware on Godwin's Law. It states: "... if you accuse your enemy of being a Nazi, you’ve lost the argument."

There have been a lot of "Nazi accusations" over the weekend as members of the four constituencies (e.g., General Michael Hayden. ex-Congressman Joe Scarborogh) have suggested that the long-running government policy of separating children from their parents temporarily when they have crossed into the United States illegally is akin to Nazi concentration camp behavior. In their view, Trump is Hitler. Okay, then.

The separations occur because the courts have ruled (in a 1997 law, Flores v. Reno) that minor children can be separated from their parents for a period not to exceed 20 days while the parents legal status is adjudicated. This certainly is not an ideal outcome. It is traumatic for the kids and the parents. It's also a direct result of the parents' decision to cross into the United States illegally.

Despite the propaganda being promoted by the trained hamsters in the main stream media, every shred a credible evidence indicates that the children are being treated well. But that doesn't jibe with the TDS narrative, so CCN reports that a baby was "ripped" from a nursing mother's arms. The Victory Girls blog comments:
CNN related a heart-wrenching story about an illegal Honduran mother whose baby was “forcibly” ripped from her while breastfeeding. At least, that’s the story that Natalia Cornelio told CNN.

So who’s Natalia Cornelio?

She’s a civil rights attorney. Yeah, color me shocked, too.

Here’s what Cornelio said: “When she resisted having her daughter taken from her she said agents forcibly took her child and then placed her in handcuffs.”

Cornelio added that the mother was “sobbing.”

The problem with this tale is that no one else reported it other than Cornelio. There are no other witnesses. Just the word of the mother and an attorney with an agenda.

So what does DHS say?

“We do not separate breastfeeding children from their parents. That does not exist. That is not a policy. That is not something that DHS does.”
I find it interesting that over the past six months the TDS crowd has been the first to defend our intelligence agencies and FBI, interpreting clear public evidence of wrong-doing as nothing to be concerned about. They were okay with the weaponization of the IRS against American citizens, they were sanguine about the Fast and Furious gun running scandal, they didn't blink an eye when a senior presidential advisor blatantly lied about the death of a US ambassador and three other Americans. That was all a big yawn. But they are the first to promote hearsay evidence about kids being "ripped" from their mothers arms as fact, and run around screaming "Nazi, Nazi, Nazi" backed by 75-year old pictures of concentration camps and their victims. Derangement does strange things to a person's psyche.

The solution to all of this hyperventilation is for the Congress to pass immigration law that addresses child separation, but also considers everything from DACA to the border wall to the status of illegals in the USA at the moment. But that doesn't serve the Democrat strategy of using immigration as a wedge issue, so nothing is done. And yes, the GOP isn't blameless either, but at least they're proposing legislation that attempts to correct immigration problems, even though they can't seem to agree within their own caucus. Dumb politically and bad for the country.

At the risk of being accused of cynicism, I do find it an interesting coincidence that the shrill accusations of Nazi-like behavior coupled with wall-to-wall media coverage by the trained hamsters is occurring at exactly the same time as news of a significant government scandal involving the FBI, the intelligence agencies, and yes, the Obama administration is breaking. What a perfect way for the trained hamsters to drown out any news of the scandal, relegating it a brief mention in passing. The strategy is brilliant, I must admit, if a bit venal. But what else is new.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Cult

Since his election in November of 2016, Donald Trump has faced many obstacles, some of his own making and some erected by the millions of people who were absolutely certain that he would lose the election. When he did not, unjustified fear, understandable anger and emotional distress, and then unhinged "resistance" followed. Over the intervening 18 months, most objective observers thought that the fear, anger and resistance would moderate into the normal partisan political opposition. They have not. In fact, Trump Derangement Syndrome is now morphing into a cult-like experience in which the elites within the four constituencies shape the narrative for the millions of less sophisticated members of the cult.

Speaking about another important subject—the hard-left influence at far too many college campuses—Professor Bret Weinstein writes:
Am I alleging a conspiracy? No. What I have seen functions much more like a cult in which the purpose is only understood by the leaders and the rest have been seduced into a carefully architected fiction. Most of the people involved in this movement earnestly believe that they are acting nobly to end oppression. Only the leaders understand that the true goal is to turn the tables of oppression.
This statement could equally be applied to the TDS/#Resistance crowd.

Their accusations of Trump the "racist," Trump the "misogynist," Trump the "Hitlerian monster," Trump the anti-immigrant bigot have become so common and so tedious that they are in fact, like the mindless, robotic chants of a dangerous cult. The accusation have become so over the top, that many millions are forced to look away, embarrassed and repelled by the crazed voices of the TDS cult.

In their nonstop effort to 'monsterize' Trump, the cult now levels accusations that Trump is "tearing children from the arms of their parents" as those parents illegally cross our borders. It's a compelling and emotional accusation (perfect for those who are dedicated to moral preening). The TDS crowd went so far as the show photos of cages holding small children—until they realized that those photos were of Obama-era vintage. The discussion never addresses the roll of the immigrant parents themselves, putting their family structure and children in jeopardy by risking capture and incarceration.

Cults are dangerous because the few do the thinking for the many. The many parrot the memes offered by the few, and believe that as their outrage grows it will spread to others. Instead, the "others" begin to feel a different type of outrage and over the long term, that outrage will not bode well for the TDS cult.

UPDATE:
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The Cult and their trained hamsters in the media (some who are active members of the cult and others that control it) rush to present anecdotal stories of illegal immigrant families "torn apart" when the parents are captured crossing the border.

They are far more hesitant to present anecdotal stories of America children living under the threat of immigrant gangs that have, in some cases, taken over schools from Maryland to Massachusets. Here's a Washington Post (certainly not a pro-Trump media source) story that never achieved meme status:
Gang-related fights are now a near-daily occurrence at Wirt [William Wirt Middle School in Riverdale, Maryland], where a small group of suspected MS-13 members ... throw gang signs, sell drugs, draw gang graffiti, and aggressively recruit students recently arrived from Central America.... The situation inside the aging, over-crowded building has left some teachers so afraid that they refuse to be alone with their students.”

Nor is Wirt unique: “Dozens of schools from Northern Virginia to Long Island to Boston are dealing with a resurgence of MS-13, which has been linked to a string of grisly killings throughout the country.”
Hmmm. Why is it, I wonder, that the Cult is so, so concerned about the children of illegal immigrants but seems to be far less concerned about the impact of illegal immigrant gangs who threaten American children and their teachers.

Sure ... only a small percentage of illegal immigrants are gang members. In fact many just want a better life. By the same token, not all family separations are unjustified. In fact, many, as tragic as they are, are done for the overriding good of the children. But that's a degree of subtlety that the Cult can't seem to grasp.

I wonder, for example, whether a family composed of an MS-13 leader, his wife, and three small children should be allowed to cross the border untouched because they are a family. Would the arrest and deportation of the father be characterized as "tearing his family apart?" I recognize that this is a special case, but so are the situations offered up by the Cult. They can't have it both ways.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Two Narratives

Since the election of Donald Trump, illegal immigration has become the cause célèbre for social justice warriors. They conflate legal, vetted and appropriate immigrants, many of whom have waited for years to get a visa into the USA with illegal immigrants who sneak across our borders and then hide in the population. That enables them to label Donald Trump and his supporters as anti-immigrant monsters.

The problem, of course is that illegal immigrants are breaking the law when they cross the border. But that doesn't stop the narrative. SJWs argue that illegal immigrants are "forced" to come to the United States due to horrific conditions in their own countries—poverty, crime, corruption, to name only a few. Undoubtedly, those conditions do exist, but if we opened our borders and allowed people who live under regimes that foster poverty, crime, corruption, poor health care, poor education, and the like, our population would swell uncontrollably, and social services designed for our own citizens would disappear.

Recently, SJWs have added a small twist to their cause célèbre, telling us that victims of domestic violence should be granted asylum. Angered that many claims of domestic violence among asylum seekers are deemed to be bogus, Nancy Pelosi accused the Trump Administration of "staggering cruelty."

But here's the irony. The same people who follow Nancy Pelosi's ideological path, tell us repeatedly that the American patriarchy subjugates all women, that misogyny abounds among white males, that a "rape culture" exists at American universities, that the workplace is toxic for women, that the USA is not a "safe space" for women—in short, that their own country is a caldron of domestic violence.

Heather McDonald comments on the irony of all of this:
But why should social-justice warriors want to subject these potential asylees to the horrors of America? In coming to the U.S., if you believe the dominant feminist narrative, the female aliens would simply be exchanging their local violent patriarchy for a new one. Indeed, it should be a mystery to these committed progressives why any Third World resident would seek to enter the United States. Not only is rape culture pervasive in the U.S., but the very lifeblood of America is the destruction of “black bodies,” in the words of media star Ta-Nehesi Coates. Surely, a Third World person of color would be better off staying in his home country, where he is free from genocidal whiteness and the murderous legacy of Western civilization and Enlightenment values.

But the same left-wing establishment that in the morning rails against American oppression of an ever-expanding number of victim groups in the afternoon denounces the U.S. for not giving unlimited access to foreign members of those same victim groups. In their open-borders afternoon mode, progressives paint the U.S. as the only source of hope and opportunity for low-skilled, low-social-capital Third Worlders; a place obligated by its immigration history to take in all comers, forever. In their America-as-the-font-of-all-evil-against-females-and-persons-of-color morning mode, progressives paint the U.S. as the place where hope and opportunity die under a tsunami of misogyny and racism.

Which reality do progressives actually believe? They likely hold both mutually exclusive concepts in their heads simultaneously, unaware of the contradiction, toggling smoothly between one and the other according to context. But both claims cannot be true. And actions speak more loudly than words. In pressing for an immigration policy determined by the desire of hundreds of millions of foreigners to enter the U.S., progressives implicitly acknowledge that the left-wing narrative about America is false. In fact, there is no place on earth less governed by tribal prejudice and machismo than the United States. The left-wing narrative is simply a form of moral preening.
At the end of the day, maybe the most important question is why millions want to come here—even if they must come here illegally? Maybe, despite what social justice warriors continually tell us, their outrage over the ills of our country is monumentally overblown. Maybe, just maybe, the illegal immigrants have a better feel for the benefits offered by the United States than their supposed protectors on the Left.

500 Pages

Scrambling to put the best possible spin on a scathing 500-page report that eviscerates the FBI actions associated with the Hillary Clinton email investigation (opps, sorry, "matter") and all of the other actions taken in the run-up to the 2016 presdiential election, the democrats appear to have settled on two talking points. Quoting from the report's findings, they claim there was (1) "no bias" in the investigation, and (2) that James Comey's "insubordinate actions" were responsible for Hillary Clinton's defeat.

Wait! What?

For the past 18 months the Dems have claimed the Trump's "Russian collusion" brought Hillary down ... or was it misogyny on the part of White males? Or maybe it was white women who know no better than to do the bidding of their anti-Hillary husbands?

The last time I checked, even the most unhinged member of the Trump Derangement Syndrome crowd has not claimed that Comey was a Russian puppet, nor that he was a misogynist, and he's certainly not a woman. When reality collides with progressive fantasy, we find that Hillary Clinton's decision to use a private email server, her irresponsible disregard for national security documents, and a cloud of self-serving dishonesty and corruption that goes back decades, is what brought her down. But never mind.

The FBI actions associated with the 2016 campaign are old news—concerning, but old news. The key point is that many of the same high-level FBI actors and some of the DoJ lawyers who were involved in 2016 are still involved right now—in Robert Mueller's "investigation" of Russian "collusion."

Kim Strassel summarizes what happened in 2016:
it is the report’s findings on the wider culture of the FBI and Justice Department that are most alarming. The report depicts agencies that operate outside the rules to which they hold everybody else, and that showed extraordinary bias while investigating two presidential candidates.

There’s Loretta Lynch, who felt it perfectly fine to have a long catch-up with her friend Bill Clinton on a Phoenix tarmac and whom the inspector general slams for an “error in judgment.” Mr. Comey’s entire staff was complicit in concealing the contents of the July press conference from Justice officials. We discover that significant FBI “resources” were dedicated in October to spinning FBI “talking points” about the Clinton investigation—rather than actually investigating the new Anthony Weiner laptop emails the bureau discovered in September. We even find that Mr. Comey used personal email and laptops to conduct government work.

There’s former Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik, who was tipping off the Clinton campaign even as he took part in the investigation, and who “failed to strictly adhere to [his] recusal” when he finally stepped away. Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe also did not “fully comply with his recusal,” and he’d already been found to have lied to the bureau about a leak to the media. Speaking of leaks, Mr. Horowitz needed full attachments and charts to list the entire “volume of communication” between FBI employees and the press. Not only did these folks have “no official reason to be in contact with the media,” but they also “improperly received benefits from reporters, including tickets to sporting events, golfing outings, drinks and meals, and admittance to nonpublic social events.”

Be ready to hear the report absolves the FBI and DOJ of “bias.” Not true. It very carefully states that “our review did not find documentary or testimonial evidence directly connecting the political views these employees expressed in their text messages and instant messages to the specific investigative decisions we reviewed.” Put another way, he never caught anyone writing down: Let’s start this Trump investigation so we can help Hillary win.

But the bias is everywhere. It’s in the texts between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and those of three other employees who are routinely “hostile” to Candidate Trump. It’s in Ms. Page’s freak-out that Mr. Trump might win the presidency and Mr. Strzok’s reply: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.” It’s in a message from an unnamed agent in November 2016 who writes that although the FBI found Clinton aide Huma Abedin had “lied,” it doesn’t matter since “no one at DOJ is going to prosecute.” To which a second agent replies. “Rog—noone is going to pros[ecute] even if we find unique classified.”
The same bias that pervaded top levels of the 2016 FBI campaign investigations also pervades the Mueller probe. After all, the majority of Mueller's team are documented Clinton supporters who contributed to Hillary's campaign and likely have a distinct animus toward Trump. Sure, they're not as stupid as Strok (as far as we know) and have not put their feelings down on paper or in digital messages, but that doesn't mean the feelings don't exist. They cannot be trusted to do an objective assessment of evidence or lack of evidence surrounding any allegation of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.

Couple all of that with the DoJ stonewalling on current Congressional requests for documents associated with the Crossfire Hurricane scandal and we have an out of control attempt to bring Trump down.

It's not clear who will win, but one thing is certain, public trust in our federal law enforcement agencies and the DoJ is the big loser.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Best People

It has been 100 percent predictable as well as immensely amusing to watch the four constituencies try their damnedest to denigrate Donald Trump's summit with the Nokos. The same elite constituencies who were, no more than six months ago, suggesting that Trump would undoubtedly get us into a full-blown nuclear war are now gravely concerned (frowns and furrowed foreheads all around) that Kim Jong-un got some TV time, or that our flag and the NoKo flag were sitting next to one another, or that "there aren't enough details" in the loose commitment to denuclearize or that Trump was played (gosh, those same elites seemed remarkably sanguine when Barack Obama actually was played by the mad Mullahs of Iran), or that we've committed to cancel war games (oh, the humanity) in an effort to show good faith, or ... I know, this does get tedious.

Because Trump has made more progress with North Korea in 18 months than Clinton, Bush and Obama made over a period of 24 years, the Trump Derangement Syndrome crowd doesn't know where to turn. At CNN and MSNBC (along with the vast majority of main stream media sites), the trained hamsters are demonstrating a combination of bias and idiocy that will do nothing to polish the already abysmal public perception of their "journalism." They are beclowning themselves, and they don't even know it.

They drag in "foreign policy experts" who have been consistently wrong about everything associated with NoKo (and most other international issues) and encourage them to criticize Trump's efforts. They question Trump's stability, intelligence and sanity, but lack the humility to recognize that their own stability, intelligence and sanity did not insulate them from failure after failure—some catastrophic.

Matthew J. Peterson comments on all of this expert (and unhinged) criticism with an understandable dose of cynicism:
Assuming North Korea has some desire to reform itself—admittedly, the very assumption we are now testing—the biggest obstacle to peace on the Korean Peninsula is the disastrous legacy of Hillary-Obama foreign policy, which mimics decades of earlier, similar American failures.

Even if Kim Jong-un is willing to make a deal trading in nukes for becoming the hero and leader of a potentially burgeoning economy, thanks to the previous administration he’s worried about getting killed with the assistance of the United States government as happened with Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.

Gaddafi gave up his nuclear program in Libya in exchange for the promise that we wouldn’t depose him during a Republican administration. He kept his part of the bargain. When Obama and Hillary came into office, and Hillary supported the rebellion against him, they helped cause a continental humanitarian refugee crisis after his death.

“We came, we saw, he died,” Clinton publicly joked of Gaddafi’s ouster. But, of course, she and Obama were surrounded by all the best people. They were all very smart. Very well educated. Perfectly competent. Rational. Professional. Not like the nasty Trumpsters.

Meanwhile, the human slave trade is thriving in Libya.

Of course, Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, so I suppose it was all Hillary’s fault.

But you still worry that Trump is constitutionally incapable of living up to the expert wisdom and Nobel Prize-winning peace of the Bush-Obama legacy?
It amazes me how all of the "best people ... all very smart. Very well educated. Perfectly competent. Rational. Professional" can be so consistently wrong about so much.

The DTS crowd turns to these failures for commentary and direction. The deplorables reject their incompetence, their hubris and their blatant bias and instead are willing to risk another, admittedly disruptive, approach.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Mushroom Cloud

Donald Trump is the first American president to have achieved the true potential for major change on the Korean Peninsula. And to think, just a few months ago, the four anti-Trump constituencies—the #Resistance, the #Never Trumpers, the trained hamsters in the media, and the denizens of the deep state collectively clutched their pearls and shuddered as Trump called out Kim in rather bellicose terms. The four constituencies were certain that Trump was headed toward nuclear war. Their condemnation was a loud as it was unanimous. Trump was unstable. Trump was uninformed. Trump was a war-monger. Trump had no strategy. Trump's threats would never get Kim to the table. Trump threatened the entire Asian region. Millions would die!! Remember that?

The four constituencies were also — DEAD WRONG. About everything.

Now, with the historic meeting only a few hours away, you'd think they'd show some humility. You'd think that for just a few days they'd lay aside Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) and wish the president well. In this case, you'd be dead wrong.

As Trump prepared for his meeting in Singapore, another self congratulatory awards show, the Tonys, was held in New York. It comes as no surprise that the artists who perform on Broadway exemplify TDS as well as any progressive group. But it was a bit unsettling to watch actor Robert DeNiro exhibit full blown TDS when he exclaimed on live television, "Fuck Trump!" The audience gave him a standing ovation. Classy ... real classy.

Like all self-important glitterati, the progressives on Broadway think they're moral arbiters for the rest of us. That their politics should be everyone's politics, and that anyone who disagrees is a "deplorable." And when the rest of the country pushes back ... they become hysterical, possibly because they realize deep down that they're not nearly as important as they think they are. That includes DeNiro. Anyone who thinks that what DeNiro did in front of an adoring audience was the brave expression of "truth to power," has a very loose understanding Power and no concept whatsoever of Truth.

As Donald Trump begins a long and complex negotiation with Kim, he has a difficult and uncertain path that is unlikely to yield the instant gratification that the DTS crowd now demands. Longer term, there is hope, if not certainty. Trump could achieve something important. Something that presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama were unable to achieve. I, for one, hope he succeeds.

On the other hand, I honestly do believe that DeNiro along with a non-trivial percentage of the audience that gave him a standing ovation, hope Trump fails. After all, what's more important—a failure that will make Trump look bad or a world that is less likely to see a mushroom cloud.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Bacon

Kevin Williamson is one of those commentators whose insight comes from writing outside the box. He is acerbic, brutal even, in his analysis of our current political landscape. He's also an African American conservative, making him an anomaly who drives his predictably liberal media colleagues just a bit nuts.

Williamson explores the underlying sociology of Samantha Bee's tasteless attack on Ivanka Trump by considering another commedian, George Carlin. Carlin has always been a social commentator, exploring the small things in life that can evoke a smile. Now at the very end of his career, Carlin's attempts at humor are angry, yet his followers laugh. Why is that?

Williamson comments:
What’s interesting about the late-period Carlin is that it illustrates how things that are not actually funny can still get a laugh provided they are presented in the form of a joke or with the familiar comedic bump set spike vocal modulation and other stand-up genre conventions. There is tremendous subconscious social pressure to laugh when presented with something that is shaped like a joke — how many times have you seen somebody laugh at a joke he didn’t get?

Williamson goes on to describe a sociological study at Duke University suggesting that "Humor is in part an exercise in tribe building." He writes:
This may very well be hardwired into us in the so-called mirror neurons that fire in primates both when they perform an action and when they see that action being performed by another. Tribes are hierarchical, and primate brains are evolved to accommodate those hierarchies: A paper authored by scientists at Duke and published in the March issue of Scientific Reports finds that mirroring (“interbrain cortical synchronization”) is strongly influenced by social status — among monkeys, at least. Among humans, social status can be permanent or situational: A celebrity has high status, a person standing on a stage at the center of attention has high status, and George Carlin in performance was both.

Williamson then transitions to Samatha Bee and writes:
Samantha Bee has never to my knowledge said anything that is funny. Her business is the sort of thing that would be of keen interest to those monkeys in the Duke study: the ritual raising and lowering of status — which, as Tyler Cowen and Arnold Kling and others have argued, is what politics is mostly about. The same holds true for media criticism, which is of course only another form of politics. Professor Cowen: “I have a simple hypothesis. No matter what the media tells you their job is, the feature of media that actually draws viewer interest is how media stories either raise or lower particular individuals in status. . . . The status ranking of individuals implied by a particular media source is never the same as yours, and often not even close. . . . Indeed that is why other people enjoy those media sources, because they take pleasure in your status, and the status of your allies, being lowered.”
As a card-carrying member of the Trump Derangement Syndrome crowd (a definite tribe"), the entire Bee episode exemplifies the need to do anything and/or say anything that might lower the status of Trump, his supporters, or members of his family.

Yet, for reasons that are difficult to explain, the non-stop effort to lower Trump's status doesn't seem to work as it normally does. In fact, in a bizarre reversal (if you can believe the polls) it somehow improves his status. It might be that Trump, unlike most of celebrities/presidents, punches back—hard. But that in itself is a violation of the normal rules. Again, from Williamson:
Calling Ivanka Trump a “feckless c***” on television is a win-win for Bee et al.: One possibility is that Ivanka Trump offers no response, in which case her status is lowered by her being obliged to endure outrageous insults by a relative nobody on TBS; the second possibility is that she responds, in which case her status is lowered by her being obliged to condescend to respond to the outrageous insults of a relative nobody on TBS. The proverb holds that the problem with wrestling a pig is that you both get dirty but only the pig enjoys it. Samantha Bee is that pig.
But here's the thing—when Donald Trump wrestles the pig, he enjoys it. The pig is incapable of understanding that, and the result is bacon.


Thursday, June 07, 2018

Helping the Mullahs

There is nothing more aggrevating than the double standard that has been applied by the main stream media to the previous administration and the current one. Imagine for a moment if Donald Trump had gone to two major U.S. banks and pressed them to allow North Korea to avoid monetary sanctions and covert currency in a manner that would provide them with benefit. Given that Trump's pressure essentially asked the banks to violate U.S. law, it would be a major scandal, and screeches of "impeachment" would fill the air. Even better, the banks refused to cooperation, demonstrating the moral vacuity of the request.

The only problem is Donald Trump did none of that for the NoKos, but Barack Obama did all of it for the Mad Mullahs of Iran as he negotiated his infamous Iran deal. Sohrab Ahmari explains:
Wednesday’s bombshell Associated Press scoop detailing the Obama administration’s secret effort to help Tehran gain access to the American financial system was a case study. In the months after Iran and the great powers led by the U.S. agreed on the nuclear deal, the Obama Treasury Department issued a special license that would have permitted the Tehran regime to convert some $6 billion in assets held in Omani rials into U.S. dollars before eventually trading them for euros. That middle step—the conversion from Omani to American currency—would have violated sanctions that remained in place even after the nuclear accord.

That’s according to the AP’s Josh Lederman and Matthew Lee, citing a newly released report from the GOP-led Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Lederman and Lee write: “The effort was unsuccessful because American banks—themselves afraid of running afoul of U.S. sanctions—declined to participate. The Obama administration approached two U.S. banks to facilitate the conversion . . . but both refused, citing the reputational risk of doing business with or for Iran.”

Put another way: The Obama administration pressed American banks to sidestep rules barring Iran from the U.S. financial system, and the only reason the transaction didn’t take place was because the banks had better legal and moral sense than the Obama Treasury.

This was far from the first instance in which the Obama administration bent over backward, going far beyond the requirements of the deal, to help the Iranian regime cash in on the deal. In May 2016, then-Secretary of State John Kerry encouraged a gathering of European banking leaders in London to invest in Iran. This, even though the world’s leading anti-money laundering standards body had deemed Iran “a serious threat to the integrity of the global financial system” a few months earlier.
The comedy in all of this is that the Democrats are the first to accuse Trump of "obstruction of justice" and "collusion," when the last Democrat president did all of that and more vis a vis Iran. Of course, the past president could do no wrong, so what's the big deal? After all, he was on the path of the angels, even if a few laws were broken on the way.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Cerebral Cortex

CNN is the cerebral cortex of the hive-mind that is Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS). In addition to an on-going flow of fake news reports (retractions occur regularly), the talking heads at CNN offer a continuous parade of anti-Trump "opinion leaders" who spout aggressively anti-Trump propaganda. Recently, Dan Helmer, a candidate for congress from Virgina opined: "The greatest threat to our democracy today is a president who doesn't take the oath to defend the Constitution seriously."

The CNN anchor nodded sagely and frowned, and the progressive base no doubt cheered. Both appear to be absolutely oblivious to the irony of Mr. Helmer's statement. Apparently, they and he are too blinded by their #Resistance ideology to consider the true threats to our democracy that have happened and are happening.

1. The weaponization of the IRS designed to attack political opponents of the previous administration. When uncovered, CNN and other trained hamsters in the media were notably incurious about the details and really quite blasé when a senior IRS officer took the Fifth, rather than testify before congress. There was copious evidence of wrong-doing, but never mind.

2. The weaponization of federal law-enforcement and intelligence agencies designed to attack the campaign of an opposition candidate. When uncovered, CNN and other trained hamsters in the media were notably incurious about the details and in the long tradition of biased media when Democrats are in office, defended the government, rather than work to uncover the truth.

3. The outright dishonesty that was the hallmark of the previous administration's attempt attempt to sell Obamacare, even as the electorate was skeptical. Lies were used to promote the proposed healthcare system (e.g., "it will save money, you can keep your Doctor, you can keep your insurance plan").

4. A double standard within the DoJ that defines who gets investigated and who gets prosecuted. When a government official (Hillary Clinton) clearly violated national security, the fix was in—she was neither indicted nor prosecuted while others from the opposition party (think: David Patreus) were convicted for significantly less serious national security offenses.

5. The political prosecution of Denesh DeSousa, a harsh critic of the then sitting Democrat president, who was forced to plea guilty by the DoJ for a minor campaign finance offense. The trained hamsters yawned, and now have the chutzpa to suggest that his recent pardon is somehow a bad thing.

6. The promotion of the canard that an opposition candidate colluded with Russians to swing an election that was supposedly in the bag for a Democratic candidate. The implication is that a legitimate democratic vote is invalid – still another threat to our democratic process.

Of course all of those "threats to our democracy" came from the Left, from Democrats, so they don't count within the hive mind. Since he professes to be soooo concerned about "threats to democracy," the voters of Virginia might ask Mr. Helmer to explain why a single man (Trump) no matter how powerful, represents a greater threat than an entire political party (the Democrats), its leadership and the preceding examples of their corrupt manipulation of major branches of our government.

Monday, June 04, 2018

Outflows

Every few months, I revisit a story that far too many in the main stream media ignore—Venezuela. There has never been (in my lifetime) a more extreme (and poignant) example of the utter and complete failure of the socialist model. Once wealthy Venezuela has now become a failed state—all in period of less than 20 years, and all because Leftists decided that their model would somehow result in a utopian existence where free stuff accrued to the poor and the rich were taxed and otherwise demonized so that the poor and middle class would be ascendant.

Anthony Faiola and Rachelle Krygier report on the latest events in this sad drama:
This collapsing socialist state is suffering one of the most dramatic outflows of human talent in modern history, with Aquiles Nazoa offering a glimpse into what happens when a nation begins to empty out. Vast gaps in Venezuela’s labor market are causing a breakdown in daily life, and robbing this nation of its future. The exodus is broad and deep — an outflow of doctors, engineers, oil workers, bus drivers and electricians.

And teachers.

So far this year, 48,000 teachers — or 12 percent of all staff at elementary and high schools nationwide — have quit, according to Se Educa, an educational nonprofit group. The vast majority, according to the group, have joined a stampede of Venezuelans leaving the country to escape food lines and empty grocery store shelves ...

During the first five months of the year, roughly 400,000 Venezuelans have fled the country, following 1.8 million who left over the last two years, according to the Central University of Venezuela. Yet even those numbers may not fully capture the scope of the exodus. Aid workers dealing with the crisis in bordering nations say an average of 4,600 Venezuelans a day have been leaving since Jan. 1 — putting the outflow during this year alone at nearly 700,000.

The Venezuelans are running from a nation broken by failed socialist policies, mismanagement, corruption and lower global oil prices — the country’s principal source of cash.
The trained hamsters in the main stream media are the first to ask politicians they don't like to condemn right wing groups when they promote "hate speech." That's fair. It is interesting, however, that they NEVER ask left-wing politicians (now a significant majority of all Dem politicians) to condemn the human catastrophe that is occurring in Venezuela, identify the reasons that it occurred, and ask how they can support proposals that would have been happily embraced by Hugo Chavez and Nicholas Maduro. Every time Bernie or Liz open their mouths, that question should be asked and asked again.

Instead of achieving a workers' paradise, the Leftists in Venezuela destroyed a prosperous country. It's an object lesson that should not be ignored.

UPDATE (6/7/2018):
--------------------------

As if the current situation in Venezuela isn't bad enough, Jim Wyss reports:
BOGOTA, COLOMBIA
Venezuelans perceived their country to be the most dangerous place on the planet in 2017 — worse than war-torn nations, failed states and global trouble spots.

In its annual 2018 Global Law and Order Index, Gallup found that Venezuelans distrusted their police, felt unsafe walking at night and had been robbed or assaulted at an alarming rate compared to the rest of the world.

The country had a law and order score of 44 in Gallup’s survey, putting it dead last among 140 nations — behind Afghanistan, South Sudan, Gabon, Liberia and South Africa. It was the second year in a row that Venezuela anchored the global list, as the once-wealthy nation faces broad economic, political and social collapse.
What a triumph for the socialist model!

Sunday, June 03, 2018

The Meeting is Back On

Those with Trump Derangement Syndrome are experiencing a lot of cognitive dissonance lately. First the economic numbers for the past month are so good, even the New York Times admits that there aren't enough positive synonyms to describe them. The TDS crowd is struggling to explain how a "stupid incompetent" like Trump could have achieved in 16 months what their icon, Barack Obama, could not achieve in 8 long years.

Now, after a master stroke in negotiating technique in which Trump cancelled the planned meeting date for the North Korean de-nuclearization summit, it's back on again—at the behest of the NoKos. To help shore up their case that we're being led by a "insane madman," the DTS crowd suggested that Trump's letter of cancellation was another indication of his "instability." With that empty criticism, their utter lack of negotiating knowledge became obvious. The very first thing any negotiator must impart is a willingness to walk away. Trump did that—in spades! The second thing he telegraphed was that the U.S. would not be bullied with empty threats. He did that. The third thing he implied is that the NoKos have far more to lose that we do. True again. It obviously worked.

Now, the TDS crowd has pivoted to a new meme—one in which Trump has flip-flopped by initially insisting on immediate and full de-nuclearization. I guess they've never entered into a negotiation. You ask for the moon and settle for a bit less. No rational person believes that after 70 years of hostilities, the Nokos will roll over. They should not be trusted, and Trump and his team of foreign policy 10s understand that. They'll get what they can in phase one, will not, reward half-measures with full measures, and may very well achieve much over time.

It's comical to listen to the TDS crowd suggest that Trump is "unprepared" and "rushed" into these negotiations. Heh. The previous administration simply kicked the Noko can down the road, never entered into any meaningful talks, and allowed North Korea to become more bellicose and more dangerous. Nice work! And the TDS crowd worries about the speed at which this is happening?

Finally, the TDS crowd warned that Trump could get played by the NoKos—that he wants the deal too much to salve his ego. Trump's ego is huge—that's true, but unless I'm mistaken, was it not Trump who cancelled the meeting when the NoKos acted as the NoKos act? Indeed it was.

Robin Wright ends a New Yorker piece on the summit in which she tries hard not to compliment Trump, but grudgingly does so while looking for trivial issues to pick apart. She writes:
Skeptics remain, however. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned Trump on Friday against being “snookered” by North Korea. “For these situations to work, you have to not want the deal too much," he said, at a conference in Kentucky. “If you fall in love with the deal, and it’s too important for you to get it, and the details become less significant, you could get snookered.”
That would be, I suppose, exactly the way Barack Obama was "snookered" by the Iranians because he wanted "the deal too much." Trump corrected Obama's egregious error, and it's unlikely that he'll repeat it in Singapore or in the meetings that follow.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Not Enough Synonyms for “Good”

The New York Times sits in the pantheon of the Democrats' trained hamsters in the media. The NYT editorial policy is decidedly anti-Trump. That is their right. But the news division has allowed the same anti-Trump bias to pervade its reporting. Through omission, lack of context and even outright fake news, the NYT has tarnished its reputation as a solid news source.

It is very surprising, therefore, when the following comments appear in the NYT:
The real question in analyzing the May jobs numbers released Friday is whether there are enough synonyms for “good” in an online thesaurus to describe them adequately.

So, for example, “splendid” and “excellent” fit the bill. Those are the kinds of terms that are appropriate when the United States economy adds 223,000 jobs in a month, despite being nine years into an expansion, and when the unemployment rate falls to 3.8 percent, a new 18-year low.

“Salubrious,” “salutary” and “healthy” work as words to describe the 0.3 percent rise in average hourly earnings, which are up 2.7 percent over the last year — a nice improvement but also not the kind of sharp increase that might lead the Federal Reserve to rethink its cautious path of interest rate increases.
As the Times loyal readership process these words, I suspect some cognitive dissonance has occurred. After all—Trump is incompetent, evil, a poor manager, doesn't understand the economy, is a bully ... yadda, yadda ... but even the Times must admit: "The real question in analyzing the May jobs numbers released Friday is whether there are enough synonyms for “good” in an online thesaurus to describe them adequately." If he's so bad, how did his administration accomplish all of that really good stuff.

As I'm sure you'll recall, almost every prominent Democrat (along with the trained hamsters at the NYT) told us that Trump's tax reform plan wouldn't help the economy, that the middle class would suffer, that it would do little to spur economic growth. Yet, the NYT admits:
Mr. Trump’s policy of cutting the burden of taxes and regulation on business appears to be creating faster economic growth. But as of today he’s now adding tax and regulatory burdens on business when it comes to global trade. This will reduce growth.

Mr. Trump should not disrupt the success resulting from the reforms he’s already enacted in order to fulfill a campaign rant. Instead, he should reflect on his overall mission. Voters elected him to revive the American economy, not to cut a particular trade deal or set a specific tax rate on a given category of imported products.

There is every indication that his assault on corporate income taxes and federal red tape is enabling the expanding opportunity Americans desperately need and that voters demanded in 2016. In 2020 voters will reward him for an economic revival, or punish him for stagnation.
Yeah, yeah ... they're clutching their pearls over trade, but why on earth should we believe them now when they were sooo wrong just a few months ago.

The NYT conveniently leaves out another few nuggets of good news that represent a clear threat to their Democrat base—the employment numbers for both African Americans and Latinos are the best in history. That's wonderful for them and the country. For the Dems ... no so much.

As Scott Adams often says, on domestic economic policy, Donald Trump is "winning bigly."

Friday, June 01, 2018

Clowns

It's fascinating to watch the Left react to the election and presidency of Donald Trump. They have passed through a number of distinct phases, culminating not in acceptance, but in a particularly vicious form of derangement.

Let it be said that Donald Trump has a style that rubs many people (including yours truly) the wrong way. He is grandiose, crass, painfully blunt, argumentative, inexact in his language, brutal with his employees ... you know the list. He is not, as the left and their trained hamsters in the media would have us all believe, a "racist," or a mysogynist" or a xenophobe. What he has turned out to be is an effective president. After only 16 months on the job his real-world accomplishments far exceed those of his predecessor. For the #Resistance, that's a bitter pill indeed.

Trump's style sucks, his effectiveness ... not so much. But I get it, many on the Left value style over accomplishment, not to mention that Trump ruined their dreams of uninterrupted Leftist rule.

The only way to square the circle is for the #Resistance to demonize Trump and everyone who voted for him. That's why they claim that most who voted for him are "racists" ... why women who voted for him are gender traitors, why blacks who dare to note that he has helped their community are Uncle Toms; that's why being against the murderous MS-13 gang and calling them "animals" is characterized as "anti-immigrant." The hatred and derangement runs red hot.

Earlier this week, Rosanne Barr made a racist comment that got her fired from her hit TV show. She deserved it, both for the the offensiveness of the remark and also for her abject stupidity in making it. Of course, the Trump Derangement Syndrome crowd tried hard to connect her to Donald Trump, suggesting repeatedly that somehow Trump has set the stage for Rosanne to be a racist. Because they arrived at that conclusion without rational thought, it is impossible to rebut it, so I won't try.

Last night, continuing Rosanne's tradition of offensive and idiotic tweets, a B-list commedian named Samatha Bee made the following tweet (apologies for the offensive language, but the language is Bee's, not mine]. After viewing an innocuous picture posted by Ivanka Trump with her young son, she tweeted
"Let me just say, one mother to another, do something about your dad’s immigration practices you feckless cunt!”
But in the best tradition of those with TDS, she didn't stop there. She implied with a smile that Trump and his daughter have an incestuous relationship. Gosh ... that's not offensive at all, is it?

Jim Treacher comments on this:
So, Samantha Bee dropped a C-bomb on Ivanka because... um... because she posted a picture of herself holding her baby, at the same time that her dad is... er... continuing the immigration policies of the Obama administration. That's what Samantha Bee is so performatively angry about. That's what one of her writers wrote for her to say, and TBS approved it for broadcast. On a half-hour show that she gets an entire week to put together. That's the best she could do.

Just as Roseanne was held to a different standard because she [actually, her TV character] supports a president she's not supposed to support, Samantha Bee will be held to a different standard because she hates a president she's supposed to hate. It doesn't have to make sense. It doesn't have to be intellectually consistent. Tribalism doesn't work that way. Ms. Bee just has to reinforce her ties to her tribe. She has to remind them that she's one of them, not one of us. She's expected to say certain things, with a certain level of invective. Even if it means she has to throw out that word on national TV.
At the time of this writing, Ms. Bee has suffered no professional consequences. That's okay. Unlike those on the Left who would limit speech they don't like, I think Ms. Bee had every right to make her offensive comments ... and I don't think she should be fired.

Treacher explains why:
Note to our friends on the other side of the aisle: Sorry to indulge the cliché yet again, but this really is how you got Trump. You claim to be righteous. You claim to be above the fray. But then the minute things don't go your way, you leap right into the mud and start slinging. Then you make all the excuses in the world for a member of your own tribe. The benefit of the doubt is for insiders only.

The moral preening of the #Resistance is getting really, really tiresome. And when you add a dollop of sanctimony, a measuring cup of hypocrisy, and blend in a blatant double standard on what is offensive and what is not depending on the political affiliation of the person who made the remark, you get to a point where the "brave" resisters are nothing but clowns.

Update:
--------------------

I'm not alone in my feeling that #Resistance has somehow crossed over a line into full blown derangement. Here's Julie Kelly addressing her #Resistance friends on the subject:
Hey, what’s up. Long time no talk.

I think the last civil conversations we had occurred just days before November 8, 2016. You were supremely confident Hillary Clinton would win the presidential election; you voted for her with glee. As a lifelong Republican, I bit down hard and cast my vote for Donald Trump. Then the unimaginable happened. He won.

And you lost your freaking minds.

I knew you would take the loss hard—and personally—since all of you were super jacked-up to elect the first woman president. But I did not imagine you would become totally deranged, attacking anyone who voted for Trump or supported his presidency as a racist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic Nazi-sympathizer.

The weirdness started on social media late on Election Night, as it became clear Hillary was going to lose. A few of you actually admitted that you were cradling your sleeping children, weeping, wondering what to tell your kindergartner the next morning about Trump’s victory. It continued over the next several days. Some of you seriously expressed fear about modern-day concentration camps. Despite living a privileged lifestyle, you were suddenly a casualty of the white patriarchy. Your daughters were future victims; your sons were predators-in-waiting. You threatened to leave Facebook because you could no longer enjoy the family photos or vacation posts from people who, once friends, became Literal Hitlers to you on November 8 because they voted for Donald Trump.

I admit I was a little hurt at first. The attacks against us Trump voters were so personal and so vicious that I did not think it could be sustained. I thought maybe you would regain your sanity after some turkey and egg nog.

But you did not. You got worse. And I went from sad to angry to where I am today: Amused.
I guess it's hard to be introspective when you're so busy resisting, but honestly, it's way past the time that the intrepid members of #Resistance examine their own language, their over-the-top indictments of their fellow citizens, and their blatant double standards concerning civility.

There is nothing attractive about being a sore loser—nothing at all. And when your derangement stretches from weeks into months and then into years, it becomes ugly and off-putting, but at the same time, oddly amusing.