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

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Into Motion

All presidents make mistakes and when they do, the consequences can be significant. It appears that Donald Trump made a serious mistake in Syria, not because his position that the United States cannot and should not fight endless wars in predominantly Muslim failed states is wrong, but because he failed to adequately consider the unintended and potentially serious consequences of his signal to withdraw.

Dov S. Zakheim provides reasonable criticism of Trump's action:
The Turkish invasion of Syria, prompted by President Trump’s sudden and stunning announcement that he would withdraw troops from the Syrian-Turkish border, spells only trouble for America’s position in the region. It has boosted Iranian and Russian — and even Chinese — standing in the Middle East. It has once again demonstrated American unreliability by betraying Kurdish allies. It has created new humanitarian pressures on a Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) that abuts Rojava, the Syrian Kurdish enclave, and that has tried mightily to maintain good relations with Washington and the West. And it could lead to an Israeli direct strike on Iran in response to any new provocation by Tehran.

It is certainly true that Iran and Russia would have preferred that Turkey not go more deeply into Syria than it already has done. Iranian spokesmen made that very clear. Nevertheless, Tehran and Moscow, as well as Beijing — an increasingly active player in the region — can only benefit from widespread regional perceptions of American unreliability. America has betrayed the Kurds before, beginning with the 1920 Treaty of Sevres that dismembered the Ottoman Empire but ignored the Kurds.
Trump has given the four constituencies ample reason to howl over his decision on Syria, but much of their hysteria is politically motivated. Recall for just a moment, that it was Barack Obama (think: "red lines") who set the stage for the Syrian civil war in which half a million people died. The Dems and their trained hamsters in the media seemed unperturbed about that casualty count, but are now counting every person killed by the Turks and blaming Trump for the death. Then again, hypocrisy is what the modern politics of the Left is all about.

But having said that, the four constituencies do have a point. The editors of the Wall Street Journal comment:
Mr. Trump now finds himself back in an economic and diplomatic brawl with Turkey that he said he wanted to avoid. Wouldn’t it have been easier simply to tell Mr. Erdogan, on that famous phone call two Sundays ago, that the U.S. wouldn’t tolerate a Turkish invasion against the Kurds and would use air power to stop it? Mr. Erdogan would have had to back down and continue negotiating a Syrian safe zone with the Kurds and the U.S.
At times Donald Trump seems naive about the thugs who operate in the Middle East. Erdogan, among many Middle Eastern leaders, is a thug and cannot be trusted. Trump's position on withdrawal (although well-intentioned) has put a series of deadly events into motion. The unintended consequences are yet to be revealed, but they will not be good.

AN ALTERNATIVE VIEW
---------------------------

John R. Bradley provides an alternative take that is well worth considering (read the who thing):
... almost all the pundits and politicians are of the absurd opinion that — amid the endless cycle of war, revolution and terrorism in that cursed part of the world — we should once again foolishly see this scenario (as in Iraq and Libya) as a simple, folkloric tale of good vs evil. This time around, on one side are the secular, heroic Kurdish freedom fighters, lovers of democracy and steadfast American allies. On the other there are the bloodthirsty foot-soldiers from Turkey, a country that wants to annihilate them. As usual when it comes to the Middle East, almost all the pundits and politicians are talking balderdash.

That the reality on the ground is far more complicated will not be news to those who live in the region, but whose opinions are rarely taken into account by western commentators ...

Another thing the neoconservatives and liberals have in common when it comes to the Middle East, apart from wanting to bomb everything in sight, is the racist belief that the locals are incapable of resolving their problems and therefore need the US military to lord it over them. Thankfully, Trump has a different, more compassionate view. Despite his endless flip-flopping, he is passionately opposed to the endless Middle Eastern wars and determined to allow the major players in the region to take responsibility for their actions. It is a policy that is paying dividends.

Trump’s decision to rule out a military response to a presumed Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil fields in September shook the Saudi royal court to its foundations. But as a result, the Saudis are open to negotiations with the Yemenis to bring that ghastly war to an end. And they have begun peace talks with Iran. In Syria, too, the most likely outcome of Trump stepping aside to allow for Turkey’s invasion is a Russian-brokered peace deal on the back of US sanctions against Turkey that reins in the Kurdish terrorists, protects the rest of the Kurdish population and restores Syria’s control over a region that contains almost all of its oil, farmland and water supplies. So by pulling US troops out of harm’s way, Trump, rather than betraying the Kurds, has saved their bacon.
In the case of Syria and Turkey, the only way to determine whether any decision is correct is to let that decision play out. It's a dangerous game to be sure, but recommendations to continue a never ending presence is a very broken,"cursed part of the world" also has dangers galore.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Thugs

Socialist contender for the Democratic presidential nomination, Bernie Sanders, has returned to the campaign trail after a heart attack, and among his first public statements was an attack on the new Dem frontrunner, Liz Warren, He called her a ... wait for it ... "capitalist." (!!!!) Among the Democrat base, that epithet could sink Warren, even though she espouses pretty much every socialist policy that has been proposed by Sanders and many other Dem contenders. Anyway, the Dems have demonstrated that they are certainly good at name-calling, so we'll add "capitalist" to their long, long list of epithets.

I suspect that once a nominee is chosen, the Dems will make a weak attempt to tack to the center, telling the American people that labeling them as "socialists" is a "scare tactic," and they really aren't socialists at all. That's rich, given that every candidate proposes massive big government expansion, profligate spending, confiscatory taxation, erosion of free speech and other freedoms, and lots and lots of free stuff "for the most vulnerable" among us—paid for not by the rich (although the dems will tell you otherwise) but by working stiffs who don't have tax attorneys and financial advisors to help them avoid the Dem's taxes.

The Dems would very much like to make this election about Donald Trump, but I suspect it'll be more about the current economy and the Dem's attempt to wreck it with socialist programs dragged out of the 1930s. But socialism is more than just a wrecking ball for economic growth and individual prosperity. It's also a governance model that can lead to very bad things. In the extreme, history indicates that as socialism fails (and it always does fail), its leaders cling to power by enacting massive human right abuses. A case in point is Venezuela.

If you've been paying even a little attention, you know that socialist leaders Nichola Maduro and his mentor, Hugo Chavez, (both men were once lionized by many prominent Democrats and incredibly, are still defended by a few) have destroyed a once vibrant country. Shortages of everything, mass immigration fostered by economic despair and violence, a crippled health system, massive corruption, and human rights abuses.

And now, one of the Dems' favorite global organizations, the United Nations, is poised to name Venezuela to its U.N. Human Rights Council. Ex-UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, comments:
The Human Rights Council (HRC) is the United Nations’ greatest failure [and that is saying something]. Instead of protecting human rights, it has long protected the tyrants, dictators and strongmen who abuse them. That’s why the United States withdrew from the HRC last year.

China — which is building a surveillance state and conducting an ethnic cleansing campaign of Muslim minorities — is on the Human Rights Council. Saudi Arabia and Cuba also are members in good standing.

And now, as if to confirm the United States’ decision to leave, Venezuela is poised to become a member on Oct. 16. Thankfully, Costa Rica has mounted a last-minute challenge. But unless other countries support its bid, the HRC will continue to make a mockery of human rights.

The Maduro regime in Venezuela is among the world’s worst human-rights abusers. It has crushed the independent media and legislature. It jails and tortures political opponents by the thousands.

The criminal, socialist, narco-state has ruined its economy and refuses to allow humanitarian aid into the country. The Venezuelan people dig through trash cans and slaughter zoo animals to feed their families.

I’ve watched Venezuelan mothers and children walk three hours in the blazing sun across the bridge to Colombia to get the only meal they will eat that day. The average Venezuelan adult has lost 24 pounds because of massive poverty and food shortages.

And this is a government that the United Nations is considering adding to its Human Rights Council.
Yep. Might be a good idea to ask the Democrat candidates about all of that at their next "debate." Using revisionist history, they've been prepped to tell us that both Maduro and Chavez are now to be considered "thugs," not socialists. Sorta like the 'thugs" that have grown out of other socialist regimes (e.g., Cuba, Cambodia, the Soviet Union, China) of years past. Somehow, socialist leaders tend to morph into "thugs" — over and over again. I wonder why that is.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Enemies of the People

If you read this blog, you understand what the phrase "trained hamsters" means. As a consequence, you understand that I have little respect for a media that purposely distorts the truth, ignores context, omits key facts, and otherwise shows a complete lack of interest in any information and facts that demonstrate just how dishonest and corrupt the Democrat crusade against Donald Trump has been. Kim Stassel comments:
I’ve never engaged much in media criticism, because it’s almost too obvious. Yes, the mainstream media is liberal and biased. But at least in the past, that bias was largely a function of insularity. Most reporters weren’t even fully aware they were prejudiced politically; everyone they worked and socialized with held the same left-of-center views.

That’s changed in the age of Trump. The press has embraced its bias, joined the Resistance and declared its allegiance to one side of a partisan war. It now openly declares those who offer any fair defense of this administration as Trump “enablers.” It writes off those who question the FBI or Department of Justice actions in 2016 as “conspiracy” theorists. It acts as willing scribes for Democrats and former Obama officials; peddles evidence-free accusations; sources stories from people with clear political axes to grind; and closes its eyes to clear evidence of government abuse.

This media war is extraordinary, overt and increasingly damaging to the country.
The sad reality is that the hamsters simply don't care. They have abandoned journalistic ethics and adopted gutter reporting. They have rejected any effort to bring skepticism to Democrat claims of "white supremacy," or "Russian collusion," or "obstruction," or "quid pro quo" and instead, have been the cheerleaders for those lies. They spin even the most innocuous news (e.g., changes in administration personnel) into reports that indicate chaos within the White House. Yet, amid this supposed chaos, they never seem to be able to explain how the Trump administration has achieved its economic, trade, and other policy accomplishments. Sure, there are many legitimate reasons to criticize any president (except, in the hamsters' view, Barack Obama), but the media's treatment of Trump goes far beyond criticism, and crosses a dangerous line into hyper-partisan character assassination.

When Donald Trump suggested that the hamsters are "enemies of the people," he was more right than wrong. Here's why.

They media should inform without obvious and rabid bias—they have failed to do that. The media should report, without cherry-picking the stories that dovetail with their preferred narrative—they refuse to do that on a daily basis. The media should investigate dishonesty, corruption and government-wrongdoing, not just when the GOP does those things, but also when Democrats are culpable—the media refuses to even consider evidence when it might reflect badly on Dems. The media should NOT be an active advocate for one political ideology and exhibit skepticism when any ideology makes crazy claims—that just doesn't happen when Dems make crazy claims on a daily basis that are almost never vetted by the hamsters.

The media is not to be trusted, and that's a sad commentary on America in the 21st century.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Permanent Coup

The first time I used the term "coup" to describe the daily attempts by the four constituencies to destabilize the presidency of Donald Trump and remove him from office was about six months into his presidency—in June 2017. My reference to a "coup" occurred in a footnote to a post. Since that time, I've suggested that a soft coup, conducted by deep state operatives in the FBI and intelligence community has been ongoing and may have been aided and abetted by appointees/holdovers from the previous administration. I admit that this sounds like tin foil hat conspiracy theory stuff. After all, this kind of thing happens only in third world countries, not in the USA. Until Trump. Sometimes a conspiracy isn't a theory—it's an actual fact, spurring an ongoing investigation by serious people—AG William Barr and Special Prosecutor John Dunham—who will report to the nation in coming months.

The Democrats, along with other members of the four constituencies, are terrified of those reports and what they'll imply. Their terror amplifies their attacks on Trump and has taken the 'by any means necessary' meme to new heights. They hope that by delegitimizing Trump and his administration they'll blunt the impact of the Justice department and IG reports and as a consequence, escape censure, condemnation or worse, indictment.

Of course, the Dems' trained hamsters in the media have dismissed all of this, showing an amazing lack of journalistic curiosity about the people and events connected to an attemot to unseat an elected president. No real surprise there. But, in addition to many Right-leaning journalists, a few media types on the Left have shown surprising courage in speaking out. One of them, Matt Taibbi, is a journalist I mentioned in recent post. Today, Taibbi goes even further, suggesting like I have, that an ongoing coup attempt, he calls it a "permanent coup," is being conducted. He writes:
My discomfort in the last few years, first with Russiagate and now with Ukrainegate and impeachment, stems from the belief that the people pushing hardest for Trump’s early removal are more dangerous than Trump. Many Americans don’t see this because they’re not used to waking up in a country where you’re not sure who the president will be by nightfall. They don’t understand that this predicament is worse than having a bad president.
Indeed, "the people pushing hardest for Trump’s early removal" are [emphasis mine] are more dangerous than Trump. The irony is that the mainstream media suggests they are heroes, when in fact, they're anything but. Like all aspects of this travesty, the Democrats use projection when they refer to Trump as a threat to democracy. In reality, with their recent impeachment actions, the Dems represent a dangerous and considerably more significant threat.

Taibbi provides a little history:
The Trump presidency is the first to reveal a full-blown schism between the intelligence community and the White House. Senior figures in the CIA, NSA, FBI and other agencies made an open break from their would-be boss before Trump’s inauguration, commencing a public war of leaks that has not stopped.

The first big shot was fired in early January, 2017, via a CNN.com headline, “Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him.” This tale, about the January 7th presentation of former British spy Christopher Steele’s report to then-President-elect Trump, began as follows:
Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN.
Four intelligence chiefs in the FBI’s James Comey, the CIA’s John Brennan, the NSA’s Mike Rogers, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, presented an incoming president with a politically disastrous piece of information, in this case a piece of a private opposition research report.

Among other things because the news dropped at the same time Buzzfeed decided to publish the entire “bombshell” Steele dossier, reporters spent that week obsessing not about the mode of the story’s release, but about the “claims.” In particular, audiences were rapt by allegations that Russians were trying to blackmail Trump with evidence of a golden shower party commissioned on a bed once slept upon by Barack Obama himself.

Twitter exploded. No other news story mattered. For the next two years, the “claims” of compromise and a “continuing” Trump-Russian “exchange” hung over the White House like a sword of Damocles.

Few were interested in the motives for making this story public. As it turned out, there were two explanations, one that was made public, and one that only came out later. The public justification as outlined in the CNN piece, was to “make the President-elect aware that such allegations involving him [were] circulating among intelligence agencies.”

However, we know from Comey’s January 7, 2017 memo to deputy Andrew McCabe and FBI General Counsel James Baker there was another explanation. Comey wrote:
I said I wasn’t saying this was true, only that I wanted [Trump] to know both that it had been reported and that the reports were in many hands. I said media like CNN had them and were looking for a news hook. I said it was important that we not give them the excuse to write that the FBI has the material or [redacted] and that we were keeping it very close-hold.
Imagine if a similar situation had taken place in January of 2009, involving president-elect Barack Obama. Picture a meeting between Obama and the heads of the CIA, NSA, and FBI, along with the DIA, in which the newly-elected president is presented with a report complied by, say, Judicial Watch, accusing him of links to al-Qaeda. Imagine further that they tell Obama they are presenting him with this information to make him aware of a blackmail threat, and to reassure him they won’t give news agencies a “hook” to publish the news.

Now imagine if that news came out on Fox days later. Imagine further that within a year, one of the four officials became a paid Fox contributor. Democrats would lose their minds in this set of circumstances.
Every progressive and #NeverTrumper should reread Taibbi's last two paragraphs and provide an honest assessment of their reaction to a coup attempt against their beloved Barack Obama. If they're honest, they would admit that "losing their minds" would be the least of their reaction.

Unfortunately, the Democrats and their supporters within the four constituencies have already lost their minds. Hatred of the man, Trump, is threatening the very foundation of the office of the presidency. The Dems and their supported within the deep state justify their actions with moral posturing, but at its core, the soft coup that they now call "impeachment" is about the fear that their past actions will be exposed and will lead to their ruin. Their actions, as Taibbi correctly notes, have threatened the very foundation of our electoral process and the peaceful transition of power. Their actions have been and continue to be dishonest and repugnant. One can only hope that truth wins out.

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Where's Hunter?

Where's Hunter? It's the wording on a comically ironic tee shirt, but at the same time, it's a question that CANNOT be asked, if you're one of the hundreds of the Democrats' trained hamsters in the main stream media. In fact, it is now verboten to discuss anything even smacking of influence peddling by Joe Biden (think: the Dem's favorite current allegation against Trump—quid pro quo) or inappropriate enrichment of family members (think: Hunter Biden's deals with the Ukraine and China while father Joe was the VP).

Jonathan Turley comments:
Hunter Biden: The mere mention of his name seemingly triggers the vapors among cable TV hosts and their guests.

When President Trump turned to the Bidens and Ukraine in a speech, MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace cut off the coverage, declaring she had to protect the listeners: "We hate to do this, really, but the president isn't telling the truth." When Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) tried to answer a question about the Ukraine scandal by referencing the Bidens, "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd [my opinion of Chuck Todd is noted here] angrily told him not to "gaslight" the nation.

The Bidens, simply, are not what well-bred people discuss in polite company, apparently. Indeed, many journalists seem to be channeling not Edward R. Murrow, the fabled CBS newscaster, but Florence Hartley, the author of "The Ladies' Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness" in 1872. Hartley warned her readers to "avoid, at all times, mentioning subjects or incidents that can in any way disgust your hearers."

For news shows on MSNBC, CNN and other cable networks, nothing is more disgusting than the mention of what Hunter Biden actually was doing in Ukraine.
The trained hamsters have decided that no further discussion of Joe and Hunter is allowed, because ... well, never, ever mention corrupt Democrats who have been outed by the evil Trump.

With panic in their eyes and in their voices, the hamsters fall back on what Turley calls a "conclusory mantra that 'this has all been investigated.'" That is, in essence they're saying, there's nothing to see here, move along. It truly is amazing how incurious the hamsters are when they want to be. And in the case of the Bidens, they really, really, really want to look the other way.

As if somehow to counter-attack, the Dems and their hamsters try a pathetic strategy described by Marc Lotter:
Realizing the severity of the situation for the flagging front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, the left is currently in distraction mode. Democrats want to create a false equivalency between Biden being paid by entities in Ukraine and China while his father was vice president, and Ivanka Trump’s successful business enterprises. Anyone who dares to ask questions about Biden’s shady international business dealings is met with “But, but, but what about Ivanka?” The comparison is ludicrous.

Ivanka Trump spent years in business prior to her father’s leap into politics. As part of building and growing her business, she filed over 120 trademarks to protect her brand and name — all before Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president. It would have been business malpractice for her not to secure legal protections, especially in countries like China where corporate theft is routine. Case in point, within days of President Trump taking office, more than 65 Chinese companies tried to trademark “Ivanka Trump” for different products. As a smart businesswoman, Ivanka fought to prevent companies from stealing and profiting from her name, especially since she was entering public service as an unpaid senior advisor to the president. So, while the media portrays her in a negative light, the truth is that she paid from her own pocket to protect her name while receiving nothing in return.

Meanwhile, Hunter Biden had zero experience in Ukraine and zero experience in the international gas market, but while Joe Biden was vice president of the United States, a Ukrainian gas company found it useful to pay Hunter $50,000 per month for work that is unknown. Hunter also flew to China on Air Force Two with his father, and his firm later received a $1.5 billion investment from China’s national bank. Both “jobs” occurred while Joe Biden was leading the Obama administration’s policy in those two countries. Coincidence?

Everyone knows Hunter Biden received these incredible business opportunities only because of his last name. He brought no other skills or expertise to the table — just look at his resume. This is a classic example of a political family profiteering from public service.
The big question is whether V.P. Joe Biden brought pressure on the Ukraine and China or made a less than subtle suggestion that led to "a political family profiteering from public service."

As I've written many times, the Dems suffer from two serious maladies. The first, Trump Derangement Syndrome is self evident and has led to the second, Projection. Virtually every case of Trump wrongdoing that they have falsely alleged (Collusion, Obstruction, and now Quid pro quo) was actually something that one or more prominent Democrats have done during the Obama years or shortly thereafter (and there's copious evidence to prove it).

Maybe that's why the Dems' trained hamsters have decided to stonewall for the Bidens.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Blizzard

For those of us who have been in blizzard conditions, there's a phenomenon called a "white out." This occurs when there's so much snow and so much wind that visibility goes to zero. The world looks white—you can't see a thing at any distance from your face.

Part of the Democrat strategy in their impeachment coup attempt is to create a white out. They introduce a snow storm of unrelated and often inaccurate or misleading information. They then have their trained hamsters in the media create blizzard with a never-ending high velocity verbal wind that whips this bad information into a blizzard. It's effective—until the wind dies for just a moment and you get enough visibility to understand that there's nothing of substance beyond the white out. It's a sham.

Kim Strassel has a way of looking through the snow that has distinguished her during these chaotic times. She writes:
In the two weeks since the White House released the transcript of President Trump’s call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, the debate has descended into the weeds of process and people. This is unsurprising given House Democrats’ decision to keep hidden the central doings of their impeachment inquiry, and the media’s need to fill a void.

The press has responded by seeking to weave dozens of obscure Ukrainian and U.S. names into a crazy quilt of corruption. Readers have no time to keep track of all the Vlads, envoys and meetings in Spain, and that’s the point. The goal is to cover the Trump administration in ugly ...

It alleged, for instance, that Mr. Trump asked Ukraine to “locate and turn over servers.” He didn’t. It claims Mr. Trump “praised” a prosecutor named Yuriy Lutsenko and suggested the Ukrainian president “keep him in his position.” That didn’t happen either. There’s more, and when the whistleblower can’t get the facts of the call right, it’s no surprise he got his conclusion wrong too.

There is simply no evidence of what House Democrats have made the central claim of their impeachment inquiry: that Mr. Trump engaged in a “quid pro quo” by withholding aid to Ukraine unless it “opened an investigation” into former Vice President Joe Biden.

We now have the transcript of the call, in which Mr. Trump never threatened to withhold aid as a condition of an investigation. He doesn’t even mention money. The press is trying to suggest the threat was “implicit”—which means he didn’t say it.

There’s also the belated and devastating fact that the Ukrainians say they had no knowledge the aid was being withheld until a month after the call. How can you demand a quo when the target is unaware of the quid? Further, the aid was released—despite no “investigation” or “dirt” from Ukraine. And Mr. Zelensky has twice said there was no “pressure” or “blackmail” from the U.S. with regard to an investigation.

We also now have the opening statement of Kurt Volker, the former special representative to Ukraine, from his testimony last week to the House Intelligence Committee. “As you will see from the extensive text messages I am providing,” Mr. Volker said, “Vice President Biden was never a topic of discussion” during negotiations with Kyiv. He also testified he did not discuss the withholding of aid with his Ukrainian counterparts until “late August.” This is second confirmation of the Ukrainians’ statement that they had no clue during the July phone call there was any risk to aid.

Then there are the text messages. Democrats have highlighted several in which a State Department diplomat frets that aid is being withheld for political reasons. They neglect to point out that the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, shut down that claim in his own text: “You are incorrect. . . . The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind.”
The wind from current impeachment "blizzard" warps facts and twists them into lies, creating drifts of unfounded and unsubstantiated accusations. As a consequence, it closes any road that might lead to a government getting things done for the benefit of its citizens.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Rudy's Notes

The Dems and their trained hamsters in the media have made much of the fact that Donald Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, conducted and investigation in the Ukraine related to foreign interference in the 2016 presidential campaign. Now, it's worth noting that it was the Dems who made a big deal about foreign interference in the election after Hillary Clinton lost; it was the Dems who promoted the canard that Trump colluded with the Russians during that time (disproven by their own Special Counsel), and it is the Dems who are now pushing impeachment based on a single phone call with the new president of the Ukraine. The Dems and their trained hamsters are hyperventilating that Guiliani—a past U.S. District Attorney—had the gall to investigate. It's fascinating that they seem uninterested in finding out what Giuliani learned. Worried, I suppose, that what Rudy found out might destroy their dishonest narrative.

Turns out that Rudy produced a set of contemporaneous notes (sorta like the ones developed by the Whistleblower that the Dems swear by) and those notes are pretty explosive. Real Clear Politics Investigations provides some background:
The notes, evidently from interviews Giuliani conducted in January, are likely to figure in any Trump impeachment proceedings, but have not been publicly released in the United States. They made it to the State Department’s Office of the Inspector General, which passed them on to the FBI. They have now been distributed to congressional committees, according to the inspector general in a cover letter to Capitol Hill leaders.

Giuliani has promised blockbuster revelations from his independent investigation into alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

The five pages of typewritten, printed-out notes – not transcripts –together with the IG’s cover letter to lawmakers, were posted this week on a Ukrainian website, The Babel. They appear to memorialize two conversations: one on Jan. 23, when Giuliani spoke by phone with the former general prosecutor of Ukraine, Viktor Shokin; the other is from two days later, when Shokin’s successor, then-General Prosecutor Yuriy Lutsenko, met Giuliani in New York.

In addition to the fired Shokin's claim that President Poroshenko warned him not to investigate Burisma because it was not in the Bidens’ interest, the notes say, the prosecutor also said he “was warned to stop” by the then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey R. Pyatt.

The State Department declined to explain this assertion about Pyatt, who was ambassador to Ukraine from 2013 to 2016 and now is Ambassador to Greece. The Biden presidential campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Recounting Shokin’s version of events, the notes say he “was called into Mr. Poroshenko’s office and told that the investigation into Burisma and the Managing Director where Hunter Biden is on the board, has caused Joe Biden to hold up one billion dollars in U.S. aid to Ukraine.” Poroshenko later told Shokin that “he had to be fired as the aid to the Ukraine was being withheld by Joe Biden,” the Giuliani interview notes say.
Gosh, could it be that Trump wasn't lying, that Biden did, in fact, do something nefarious and that an investigation of wrong doing by the then Vice President of the United States is well-within the bounds of presidential inquiry? Or ... maybe this is all made up by Rudy?

Regardless of what you want to believe, you'd think the trained hamsters in the media, not to mention the intrepid Democrat investigators looking into impeachment, would be all over this. You'd think wrong.

One of the most comical things about the Dems in the era of Trump is their projection. It seems that they are hell-bent on accusing Trump of nasty things that they themselves have done. Russian collusion (think: the DNC/Clinton-sponsored dossier) and obstruction of justice (think: Hillary's destruction of 33,000 emails) come to mind. And now, quid pro quo. Suffering mightily from Trump Derangement Syndrome, the Dems open one Pandora's box after another. It looks increasingly likely that this latest "Ukrainian inquiry" is going to blow up in their faces. It couldn't happen to a more dishonest and deserving crew.

Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Chuck Todd

Poor Chuck Todd. He's a lightweight clown who was asked to fill the shoes of legendary journalist, Tim Russert. Russert was a liberal, but he rarely allowed his personal ideology to interfere with an objective view of political events or a fair interview. Not so with Chucky—a trained hamster who now hosts Meet the Press, a once respected Sunday morning political show. Todd has become a vocal advocate for the Democrats, no matter how extreme their positions and how preposterous their faux outrage over Donald Trump. I suppose that's because Chucky shares their outrage.

Over the past weekend, Todd got into a shouting match with Senator Ron Johnson (R-UT) because Johnson had the temerity to suggest that the Ukraine phone call be put into broader context. Johnson suggested—correctly—that the Ukraine was ground zero for the Democrats' efforts in 2016 to besmirch Trump the candidate, and therefore, an investigation of the goings-on during that period had as much or more to do with election interference in 2016 as it does with Joe Biden's candidacy. Unfortunately, Chucky and the Dems don't want to go there ... because, impeachment!!! It might also be because a hard look might uncover some really dirty dealings on the part of the Dems, Hillary Clinton, the Obama administration, and yeah ... may even Joe Biden.

So Chucky got upset with Johnson, started yelling, and as a consequence he got criticized rather harshly by a few real journalists like Mollie Hemingway. She tweeted:
"The @chucktodd meltdown is instructional. It is clearly very frustrating for those in the media who are pushing impeachment (after the Russia hoax they pushed for years) that those outside of their bubble are not falling for this latest attempt to undo the 2016 election."
Mark Hemingway (spouse of Mollie) provides a more complete analysis of Todd's bias here.*

In response to the criticism, Todd tried to cover with this tweet:



With that, Sean Davis couldn't resist a snarky comment or two:
Chuck Todd, a reporter for NBC News and the host of NBC’s Meet The Press, appeared to imply on Twitter earlier today that reporters in politics are really no different than referees in sports. And that probably seems like a really great analogy if you’re someone who’s completely ignorant about reporters, politics, referees, and sports. If you happen to be an individual who knows a little something about any of those topics, then the inanity of Chuck Todd’s equivalence is readily apparent.

That declaration from Chuck Todd raises so many questions. Questions like, “You’re not really that dumb are you?” and “What brand of paint did you just huff off camera?”

The implication from Todd is that he and his reporter friends are just independent arbiters of the daily goings-on of politics. They have no skin in the game. They’re irrefutable experts on the rules. They’re highly qualified. They don’t care who wins or loses, just so long as the rules are followed.

The big problem is that the only people who believe these assumptions about Chuck Todd and his reporter friends are Chuck Todd and his reporter friends.
Chucky and his trained hamster pals in the mainstream media are anything but "independent arbiters." They don't like it one bit when they are called out for the biased hacks they are.

Todd and the army of trained hamsters who try to define what we think and more important, what we know, don't want to consider any facts that might threaten their preferred narrative, so they throw a hissy-fit when someone like Johnson defies the narrative. They shout "conspiracy theory" when faced with proven factually accurate assertions that they don't want to hear. They play defense for a politician, Joe Biden, who at the very least, allowed his son to use Biden's government position to enrich himself mightily. They obfuscate or ignore any independent investigation that begins to close in on political corruption on the part of the Dems (watch what happens when the long-awaited IG report is released).

Chuck Todd is an embarrassment to the legacy of Tim Russert, but worse than that, he's an embarrassment to a once respected profession that has now become a laughingstock.


FOOTNOTE:
-------------------

* In Mark Hemingway's commentary on Chuck Todd, he mentions that after Sen. Johnson correctly noted that an on-going coup attempt began before Trump's inauguration, Todd responded: “I have no idea why Fox News conspiracy propaganda stuff is popping up on here.”

Hemingway provides a few salient facts about Todd's "conspiracy theory" claim (something that is a go-to rejoinder by Democrats whenever facts get in the way of their narrative):
While Todd’s dismissal of Johnson was met with applause from fellow journalists, was this an appropriate stance from a newsman purportedly concerned with facts?

The Trump campaign and administration were investigated for several years both by an internal counterintelligence probe at the FBI and a powerful special counsel. Many apparent abuses of power at the FBI during that probe have been found and are being officially investigated.

In August, fired FBI Director James Comey was the subject of a criminal referral from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz for illegal leaks to the media meant to undermine Trump and further the Russia investigation. The DoJ declined to prosecute. Former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe was fired after the inspector general found he lied under oath to investigators about his own leaks. Many other officials involved in surveillance of the Trump campaign were fired, transferred, or left under pressure. Peter Strzok, the nation’s former top counterintelligence officer, was having an extramarital affair with FBI colleague Lisa Page, and their text messages betrayed extreme bias and unprofessional attitudes. In one text exchange, Strzok suggested the probe of Trump was an “insurance policy” in case Trump won in 2016.

Attorney General William Barr is investigating how the theory of Trump collusion with Russia was used to launch a probe of the political campaign. Veteran prosecutor John Durham is also investigating the origins of the probe, which led to the use of wiretaps, human informants, overseas intelligence assets, national security letters, and other surveillance by the FBI. Barr has testified that he is also looking into the role agencies other than the FBI played in the surveillance.
Todd is either too stupid, too ideological, or too frightened of the consequences for Dems to fully grasp that Johnson's allegation of a conspiracy isn't a "theory." Rather it's a direct reference to proven actions on the part of Democrat partisans within the government who tried and failed to initiate a soft coup against a candidate and then election winner they didn't like..


Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Pump the Brakes

As Donald Trump announces a withdrawal from Syria, the usual suspects begin to gin up the usual rhetoric. In this case, the situation is complex and any decision vis a vis withdrawal is not easy. Here are some of the issues as I see them:
  • The United States cannot and should not police a collection of failed Muslim countries in the Middle East, trying to moderate long-standing tribal hatreds between rival Islamic factions that have gone on for centuries. Our Military should not be a police force nor should it stay in countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, or Syria indefinitely. The conflicts in those countries are never-ending and our chances of success, much less nation building, approach zero.
  • The United States should not abandon allies in the Middle East who have fought as our proxy and helped to defeat Islamic terror groups, including ISIS. The Kurds have been a staunch ally who we have abandoned in the past.
  • The United States should never allow an Islamist, autocratic thug, like Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, to attack our allies with impunity.
  • Threats of economic sanctions will do little to dissuade the Turkish military once it has established presence in northern Syria. Threats will also do little to stop a country that threatened the Kurds with annihilation.
Give these issues, my take is that Donald Trump is wrong in abandoning the Kurds and giving Erdoğan free rein in Northern Syria. There is no guarantee that ISIS will continue to be contained if the Kurds are decimated nor is there any guarantee that unintended consequence—all of them bad—will not result from this move.

The editors of the Wall Street Journal comment:
President Trump’s defeat of Islamic State as a territorial power was a major foreign-policy success, yet he may now undo it with a retreat from Syria that will also signal to U.S. allies that the White House can’t be trusted.

That’s the risk of Mr. Trump’s abrupt decision late Sunday to abandon northern Syria to Turkey. Washington and Ankara had been negotiating to create a buffer zone to avoid a conflict there, but on Sunday the White House announced that American forces will cede the area to Turkish troops. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is now free to wage war on Syria’s Kurds, who were America’s most important allies against ISIS.
It seems that the entirety of Washington is against Trump's decision. In the past, that should give any president pause, but in recent years, the entirety of Washington has been so wrong about so much that being a contrarian just might have its merits. A counterpoint is offered by Charles Hurt:
Why is it always foreigners who manage to unite all the politicians from both parties in Washington?

Illegal aliens — I mean “Dreamers.” Haitian boat people. Olde Europeans. Sudanese. And now the Kurds. It is never support for regular Americans that brings politicians from both parties together.

Even military veterans seem to offend half the politicians in Washington. Democrats in Congress would give illegal aliens free health care before they would give it to our wounded veterans.

And don’t get me wrong. I’ve got nothing against the Kurds. They seem like great people. Brave, hardworking — a considerable step up from your average American college student today. And they seem to be truly trying to shake off the yoke of tyranny, which at least half of Americans support.

But why do politicians drop everything they should be working on and come together to do something only for the “Dreamers,” who, again, are illegal aliens? Or for the Kurds?
This is a hard one, but on balance, I think we need to pump the brakes. Trump should reconsider his decision.

Monday, October 07, 2019

Blowing the Whistle

You have to give Democratic strategists and leadership credit—they learn from their own vicious and repugnant behavior and adapt accordingly. Take the Kavanaugh hearing. In an effort to destroy the reputation of a respected judge, Bret Kavanaugh, and at the same time injure the hated Donald Trump, the Dems "found" a "witness," Christine Blasey-Ford, whose background as a Dem partisan was suppressed, who lied about elements of her case (think: fear of flying), who lawyered up long before she testified, and whose fantastical story could not be substantiated in any way. That didn't stop the Dems or their trained hamsters in the media, but when everyday people using just a little common sense came to the conclusion that unproven allegations from 35 years past were just not enough, what did the Dems do? They trotted out witness #2 and then witness # 3 with stories that were even more outrageous and unbelievable. Their despicable crusade against Kavanaugh crashed and burned.

Fast forward to the Ukrainian phone call. Apparently, the Dems learned that the label "witness" didn't work (particularly when you're conducting a smear), so they rebranded with the label "Whistleblower." It has a more solid ring to it, don't you think? And when Whistleblower #1 doesn't quite do it, well, there's always Whistleblower #2, who was trotted out to much fanfare this weekend. Does any of this begin to sound familiar?

To his credit, left-leaning writer, Matt Taibbi, of Rolling Stone Magazine blows the whistle [pun intended] on the Dems' latest attempt to destroy Donald Trump:
Start with the initial headline, in the story the Washington Post “broke” on September 18th:

TRUMP’S COMMUNICATIONS WITH FOREIGN LEADER ARE PART OF WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT THAT SPURRED STANDOFF BETWEEN SPY CHIEF AND CONGRESS, FORMER OFFICIALS SAY

The unnamed person at the center of this story sure didn’t sound like a whistleblower. Our intelligence community wouldn’t wipe its ass with a real whistleblower.

Americans who’ve blown the whistle over serious offenses by the federal government either spend the rest of their lives overseas, like Edward Snowden, end up in jail, like Chelsea Manning, get arrested and ruined financially, like former NSA official Thomas Drake, have their homes raided by FBI like disabled NSA vet William Binney, or get charged with espionage like ex-CIA exposer-of-torture John Kiriakou. It’s an insult to all of these people, and the suffering they’ve weathered, to frame the ballcarrier in the Beltway’s latest partisan power contest as a whistleblower.
I don't often agree with Taibbi, but in this case he's got it exactly right— the Dems' latest "whistleblower" is a partisan participant in an on-going coup attempt who is almost assuredly a "ballcarrier in the Beltway’s latest partisan power contest..."

Saturday, October 05, 2019

No More Mr. Nice Guy

Remember Candy Crowley? She was a CNN political correspondent and a trained hamster for the Democrats who also happened to be named moderator of the 3rd 2012 presidential debate between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. Crowley protected her favorite candidate, Barack Obama, by using “fake information“ to “correct“ Mitt Romney during the debate. She inserted herself into the debate (an ethical no-no) and successfully made Romney look foolish even though her assertions were 100% incorrect. Romney, always a gentleman, said nothing and allowed her outrageous bias to stand. That single incident was part of the reason that Romney lost an election he should’ve won. He lost, but he was a gentleman. Woo hoo!

Now Mitt Romney, a well-known NeverTrumper, tweets the following:
By all appearances, the president's brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and the Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling.
It appears that Romney is perfectly okay with the Democrats vicious and dishonest tactics in their attempt to complete a coup against an elected American president. After all, Mitt capitulated to Crowley (and lost), shouldn't Trump do the gentlemanly thing and capitulate to the Dems?

Here's a rather pithy Twitter exchange following up on Romney's tweet:



Romney is a member of the old-school GOP. He is a gentleman, and I suspect he honestly believes that a stiff upper lip in the face of vicious attacks is the thing that gentleman do. Unfortunately, American politics has devolved to such an extent that stiff upper lips no longer cut it.

Nothing has changed on one side of the political aisle, but there's a stir on the other. The Democrats continue their vicious ad hominem attacks against any conservative who threatens their narrative, they trade in continuous hyperbole and sanctimony, they lie because they are never called on their dishonesty by a sympathetic media—all in the name of never-ending #Resistance.

If it were just about Trump, that would be one thing, but it's been going on for decades (think Bush (chimp-Hitler) or McCain ("Unstable") or Romney ("giving a woman cancer"). The old-school GOP absorbed the body blows and pulled their counterpunches like gentleman. But Donald Trump—whether you like his style or not—has single-handedly changed the rules. J.R. Dunn writes:
This is not your grandfather's — or even your uncle's — GOP. For generations, the GOP has accepted the role of the battered wife of American politics, cheated, beaten, and manipulated repeatedly with no response whatsoever. In fact, party officials — along with conservative spokesmen — have gone so far as to claim this as a virtue, in that being constantly humiliated in public was somehow keeping traditional values alive.

This, along with much else, has ended with Donald Trump. Trump has clearly demonstrated that the only way to answer a belligerent, hostile Left is to go blow for blow with leftists. He has continued this round after round and shows no sign whatsoever of backing off. (His current campaign commercial states flat out: "No more Mr. Nice Guy.")

It appears that the younger GOP pols have been paying close attention. So along with his other accomplishments, President Trump has presented us with a clean new deck of cards at the political table. It's about time.
Yes. It. Is.

UPDATE (10/6/2019):
--------------------------------

The reason that the "No More Mister Nice Guy" meme will resonate, not only with Republicans, but with more than a few Independents, and yes, even a few Democrats, is the utter hypocrisy and dishonesty of this latest coup attempt by the Dems. Their candidate for President in 2016 didn't just make a phone call, she bought and paid for a phony dossier developed in collusion with Russian sources, but somehow, that was perfectly okay. She then worked with supporters inside the deep state to undermine Trump before he was elected and incredibly, after he was president, but somehow, the trained hamsters in the mainstream media (Democrat toady, and NBC "journalist," Chuck Todd, comes to mind) characterize it as 'tin foil hat' conspiracy stuff, despite hard evidence proving it's true (wait for the IG and Justice Department reports coming soon).

Jenna Ellis Rives writes:
The impeachment narrative pushed by House Democrats needs to be called exactly what it is, which is a political coup. Contrary to what Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Chairman Adam Schiff, and progressive left wingers would have you believe, the United States still does have an objective rule of law, and the Constitution is not merely a guideline subject to interpretation and application at the whim of power grabs.

Regardless of whether you are a Republican, a Democrat, an independent, or anything else, it should concern all of us that the rule of law is being tossed out in favor of an open coup designed to undermine a free and fair election in the United States. Sheer partisan hatred toward an American president by the other party is not and has never been a sufficient legal or constitutional basis for impeachment. The Constitution specifically lays out “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

Political leverage or the inability to win elections are not listed. Over the past few weeks, some commentators have suggested that the phrasing “high crimes and misdemeanors” is an intentionally vague term that has no specific articulable definition. Not only is that false, but a lack of brightline jurisprudence does not render a term in the Constitution so malleable that the Democrats can fashion a political weapon of it.
The only true crimes and misdemeanors that have occurred over the past 30-plus months have been perpetrated by the Democrats, who then project them onto a president they hate. This coup attempt is a travesty and is doing great harm to our country.

Friday, October 04, 2019

Inoculation

Here's a thought ... every four years Hillary Clinton should run for president—no matter that she's getting older by the year, the Democrats don't really want her as a candidate, and the general public recognizes her for what she is—dishonest, corrupt, and ruthless. She should run. In fact, so should James Comey, James Clapper, John Brennan and other assorted conspirators who in 2016, decided that they would manufacture evidence to destroy a then GOP candidate for President.

But why?

Well, according to the prevailing "logic" that is being espoused by the Democrats, their trained hamsters in the media, some #NeverTrump GOP Republicans, and plenty of deep state operatives—the infamous four constituencies,—running for President inoculates you against any investigation into your past doings—no matter how serious, no matter how conspiratorial, no matter how dishonest, and no matter how blatantly you traded your government position to enrich or otherwise benefit yourself or others.

As the coup attempt (a.k.a. impeachment) against Donald Trump lurches onward, that's exactly the "logic" that is being used to assert that Trump has no right as a sitting President of the United States to ask others (foreign and domestic) to investigate wrongdoing by a presidential candidate that occurred in the recent past. More important, that presidential candidate, Joe Biden, was VP of the USA during the time that the alleged corruption occurred and as important, he is NOT Trump's opponent, only one of 10 or so remaining candidates running for the Democrat nomination to be Trump's opponent.

Now, let's be honest. Was there was a political component to this? Of course there was! Nothing, and I do mean NOTHING, happens in DC that is NOT political. But Donald Trump, his people, and the federal law enforcement agencies have every right to ask for help in looking into potential wrong doing, even if it by a potential opponent. I suspect that if this story involved a sitting Dem president whose target was Trump and his son Donald, Jr., the four constituencies would be cheering on the investigation. The GOP would, of course, try to defend their guy, but past history indicates that they would NOT use the venal, dishonest tactics that we now see being applied to push the Dem coup forward. Don't believe me? Tell me about the Obama impeachment hearings conducted after Benghazi, the IRS scandal, Fast and Furious, The Iran bribe, the Russian promise of "more flexibility," and other Obama-era scandals. Any one of those was considerably more serious than Ukrainia, and yet, no impeachment was initiated. Sure, those scandals were investigated, but no one in a position of GOP leadership seriously suggested that Obama be removed from office because of them.

The level of hypocrisy here is astounding, but that's par for the course.

Every time you hear a trained hamster call Biden "Trump's opponent" be sure to substitute the phrase "one of Trump's opponents who is unlikely to make it to the nomination" and in fact, one that is slipping in the polls by the week. Every time you hear a Democrat suggest that there was quid pro quo or coercion, recognize that none of that happened. Every time you hear a NeverTrumper solemnly talk about "unprecedented unconstitutional actions," smile and ask whether Biden's comments on removing a prosecutor who was about to investigate shady dealings by his son were "unprecedented unconstitutional actions," and every time you hear someone call the "Whistleblower" a "hero," ask why the Whistleblower met with smarmy Adam Schiff before submitting his/her report and whether this member of the deep state just might be a partisan Trump hater.

After two years of false and misleading claims, dishonest accusations, and vicious political tactics by the four constituencies, the Russian hoax was proven false and evaporated into thin air. No one in the four constituencies was held accountable for this slander. Now the same crew that brought us that hoax wants the American people to believe in another hoax, this one inoculated to appear bullet proof.

The only political party that bought and paid for false information to sink an actual Presidential candidate of the opposing party in 2016 is the Democrats. They demand to be inoculated against any investigation into their wrongdoing (evidence abounds). This coup attempt is part of that inoculation. We'll see whether it works or whether, or like some weak vaccines, the patient still gets sick and succumbs.

Thursday, October 03, 2019

Ukrainia

The lastest coup attempt (a.k.a. impeachment inquiry) that the Democrats have mounted against a duly elected president gives us a fascinating look into the ugly side of human nature. Talk of impeachment among the Dems happened from the moment Trump won the presidency in a major upset. It continued through hoax after hoax based on phony allegations that occurred nonstop. It proceeded even though months of "collusion," then "obstruction," then "emoluments," and now—the horror—a phone call requesting that the Ukraine investigate an attempt by a Democrat Vice President in 2015-2016 to obstruct an investigation in that country. The fascinating thing about all of that is the the allegations aimed at Trump appear to have been the very things that the Dems actually did in the run-up to the 2016 election.

Collusion. There is hard, irrefutable evidence that Hillary Clinton and the DNC worked with foreign nationals and the Russians to create a phony dossier on Trump. The dossier was them used as evidence to convince a court to allow spying on the trump campaign. There is hard, irrefutable evidence that Dem sympathizers in the FBI and CIA planned a soft coup once Trump was elected, based on a Russian collusion narrative that has now been proven by their own special counsel to be a hoax.

Obstruction. Wow, let's begin with 33,000 emails that were destroyed after an investigation was launched into Hillary Clinton's email server, or maybe the implication that Joe Biden removed a Ukrainian Special prosecutor because he was about to investigate a Ukrainian company that was paying his son $50K a month for a position the son has no qualifications for.

Daniel Henninger comments:
As the Trump impeachment narrative descends into the familiar bog of incomprehensibility, some guidance: Do not confuse Ukraine with Ukrainia.

Ukraine is a real country. Ukrainia is an imaginary place created by the national Democratic Party and the Washington press corps.

It was probably inevitable that after 2½ years of the Trump presidency, the Democrats and the press would end up in Ukrainia. For years, they have accused Mr. Trump, with some justification, of creating his own reality. Last week, they decided to create their own.

This story began two weeks ago, on a Thursday, with reports of a whistleblower filing a complaint to the intelligence community’s inspector general about Mr. Trump’s July 25 phone call with Volodymyr Zelensky, the real president of the real Ukraine. For about 48 hours, the issue was simple: Had Mr. Trump pressured Mr. Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter?

That Sunday, Mr. Trump said he did bring up Mr. Biden during a conversation about corruption. On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she had approved a formal inquiry into Mr. Trump’s impeachment. Then, in what became the working headline for everything else last week, “the dam broke.”
In their fevered attempts to negate the results of the 2016 election, the Dems have taken up permanent residence in their fantasy place—Ukrainia. In this fantasy world, the Dems are the White Knights battling the evil Orange Man. They use magic to conjure events that never happened; they sit on high benches and pontificate about morality and honesty, while exhibiting neither in their day-to-day attempts to destroy a presidency; they rely on an army of trained hamsters in the media (a.k.a. their Praetorian guard) to protect them when their misdeeds come to light; they use spies embedding with the evil Orange Man's castle to make him out to be the Devil or Hitler, or ... whatever.

The only problem for the Dems is that Ukrainia is a fantasy place. In the real world, where the vast majority of the electorate actually lives, the White Knights armor has become tarnished; their non-stop moralizing has become a laughingstock because their hypocrisy is so evident, and their army of hamsters has been routed by a continuing stream of fake news.

This epic tale will undoubtedly end badly, but the big question is whether the bad ending will apply to the Dems of their Orange enemy. My guess is former. Why? To use an aphorism I've used many times: When fantasy collides with reality, reality wins every time.

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

Among the most prominent inhabitants of Ukrainia is Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chair of the House Intelligence Committee. Schiff is a congenital liar—a man who has made literally dozens of claims and accusations that have been proven untrue. Yet in Ukrainia, he is point man for the Dems' coup (a.k.a. impeachment inquiry). Matt Margolis comments:
On Wednesday, Adam Schiff, who's leading the Democrats' effort to impeach Donald Trump, said any efforts to interfere with their investigation by anyone in the Trump administration "will be considered as evidence of obstruction of justice." Real cute, considering that it was Trump himself who wanted the Zelensky call transcript released, and the whistleblower complaint as well. Schiff added, "We're not fooling around here."

Oh, really? Wasn't Adam Schiff the one who made up a fictitious version of Trump's phone with Ukrainian president Zelensky because the actual transcript wasn't damning enough, only to then claim it was a "parody"?

Even if you choose to accept Schiff's parody excuse as a legitimate explanation, how does one square that with "We're not fooling around here"? How does one square that with the fact Schiff claimed for two years he had evidence of Russian collusion even though he didn't? Schiff has been "fooling around" with impeachment threats for three years now, how dare he pretend to be the adult in the room? Democrats have been making a mockery of the entire process because they've been calling for Trump to be impeached since he was elected.
Indeed, they have. Ukrainia is much like the place that Alice visited when she went down the rabbit hole and met the Chesire Cat—a Character in Alice in Wonderland who reminds me of the Democrats. The Cat was smug and at the same time delusional when he said, “Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Taxes

The wave of hardcore socialist and socialist-lite Democratic party presidential candidates are enthusiastic about defining multi-TRILLION dollar programs (Medicare for All, payoff of student loan debt, reparations for slavery, etc., etc.) designed to provide 'free-stuff' as a bribe to get votes from young people, and a variety of "victims" demographics, and social justice progressives who demand bigger, more intrusive government. This will all be paid for, they tell us, by taxes on the very rich.

Because the majority of these political hacks are either innumerate by choice or by virtue of low intelligence, they never mention that the taxes they will levy on billionaires won't even get close to raising enough money to pay for their policy proposals. But since lying is now a core value among Democrats (think: details surrounding the on-going coup that the Dems call "impeachment"), another little lie won't hurt, right? What it does mean is that taxes are going to go up for just about everyone—and not a little, if the Dems get their way. After all, government confiscation of wealth as espoused by socialism leads to Utopia, sorta like what's happening in Venezuela at the moment.

Anyhow, back to taxes.

Terence P. Jeffrey writes:
Americans on average spent more on taxes in 2018 than they did on the basic necessities of food, clothing and health care combined, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Expenditure Survey.

The survey's recently published Table R-1 for 2018 lists the average "detailed expenditures" of what the BLS calls "consumer units."

"Consumer units," says BLS, "include families, single persons living alone or sharing a household with others but who are financially independent, or two or more persons living together who share major expenses."

In 2018, according to Table R-1, American consumer units spent an average of $9,031.93 on federal income taxes; $5,023.73 on Social Security taxes (which the table calls "deductions"); $2,284.62 on state and local income taxes; $2,199.80 on property taxes; and $77.85 on what BLS calls "other taxes."

The combined payments the average American consumer unit made for these five categories of taxes was $18,617.93.

At the same time the average American consumer unit was paying these taxes, it was spending $7,923.19 on food; $4,968.44 on health care; and $1,866.48 on "apparel and services."

These combined expenditures equaled $14,758.11.

So, the $14,758.11 that the average American consumer unit paid for food, clothing and health care was $3,859.82 less than the $18,617.93 it paid in federal, state and local income taxes, property taxes, Social Security taxes and "other taxes."
I have to believe that social justice warriors like Bernie or Liz or members of The Squad would find comfort in these numbers. After all, socialism doesn't want you to have the freedom to choose how you spend the money you earn. In fact, earning money itself is suspect. Better to give your money to the government in taxes and then have the government give you (or another more worthy demographic) some (but not all) of that money back (think: "Guaranteed Income Payments" per a couple of this year's crop of Dem candidates). And God forbid if you own a small business! Profit itself is suspect—better for government to tell you how much you must pay your employees, how much you can raise rents if you're a property owner, how much you can charge for your products. In fact, the whole notion of competition is oh, so "privileged." Better to have the government control it all, sorta like what's happening in Venezuela at the moment.

In fact, if the current Democratic coup (a.k.a. impeachment) succeeds and Trump is removed from office and replaced in 2020 by a hardcore socialist or socialist-lite president, social justice will reign! Privilege will disappear and we'll be in a much better place, sorta like what happened in Venezuela.