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

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


It was fascinating to watch Senate Democrat Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, reduced to tears over Donald Trump's 90-day moratorium on immigration from seven predominately Muslim countries. By the way, each of those countries are hotbeds of radical Islamic thought and terror activities.

The reason that Schumer's tears were fascinating is that to the best of my knowledge he didn't cry publicly when Americans were slaughtered by the thousands during the 9-11 attacks, nor did he cry when Americans were killed at San Bernadino or Orlando or Paris or Belgium or Nice or London or Madrid. He didn't cry when Barack Obama agreed to a "deal" with Iran that threatened the entire Middle East while Iran continued to advocate the annihilation of American ally, Israel.

Schumer didn't cry when ISIS—the current manifestation of radical Islam—slaughtered Christians by the thousands, nor did he cry when Boco Haram kidnapped hundreds of young girls and converted them to sex slaves. He didn't cry when Hamas used American taxpayer money, not to help its people, but instead to tunnel under the Israeli border to kill civilians.

Nah, none of that warranted tears.

I suspect that the real reason for Schumer's tears is the creeping feeling of powerlessness that has pervaded the progressive/Democrat community. They are slowly coming to the realization that their "values" are not necessarily the values of the rest of the country—you know, the deplorables—and that their influence, at least for now, has waned. That's why we're seeing all of the angry protests, the crazy diatribes, the tantrums, the hyperventilating, and yes, even tears.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Simple Sentences

Even the most casual observer of Donald Trump understands that the man thinks and speaks in simple sentences. Subject—Predicate—Object. His tweets and often his spoken words have few descriptive phrases and almost no elucidation. That allows his supporters, along with a generally hostile media, Trump's many opponents on both the Left and the Right, and the public at large to interpret his comments and ultimately his policies in a variety of different ways. That's okay in some instances, but when policy positions are announced, it's very important to provide details, exceptions, and explanations.

In his first week in office, Trump failed to do this, and the result can be chaos—recoverable, but unnecessary nonetheless. Case in point—his moratorium on immigration and travel from Middle Eastern countries that are hot bed of radical Islam and therefore, Islamic terror. His approach was analogous to his simple sentence mindset—few descriptive phrases and almost no elucidation.

The media, of course, reports Trump's move as a "Muslim Ban," even though (1) it's a 90 day moratorium, not a permanent ban and (2) it's a ban on all citizens of the countries, regardless of religion, not just a ban on Muslims. The media tells us that green-card holders are banned, even though that issue was resolved—in favor of green card holders—over the weekend. Part of that reporting is overarching hostility to the new president, but part is the new administration's failure to provide details, exceptions, and explanations. That's a serious failure and need to be corrected immediately. The reality is, however, that despite all of the uproar, just over 100 people out of 325,000 visitors were stopped at U.S. airports over the weekend.

The other key point that the administration has failed to make is that immigration to the United States or any other country, for that matter, is not a "right," it is a privilege granted at the discretion of the country. The trained hamsters of the main stream media provide the public with the impression that everyone has a "right" to immigrate to the United States— and that restrictions are against the law—a canard. The media purposely omits reporting on the sometimes catastrophic impact of unrestricted Middle Eastern immigration on many European countries.

On the drive home from work today, I was listening to NPR. The soft-spoken moderator was speaking with an Pakistani doctor—a green card holder who had been in the U.S. for a number of years. Much to the moderator's dismay, the doctor pointed out that immigration delays, visa denials, and other difficulties are part of every immigrant's life and the life of their families. He went on the cite the case of his own mother, who, during the Obama years, was refused a Visa to visit her new grandchild. "It's not really fair," he shrugged verbally, "but it's part of an immigrant's life." He expressed concern about what Trump did, but was neither hysterical or hyper-critical, admitting that the borders must be protected.

Trump's moratorium was executed poorly. He did not lay the political groundwork, achieve consensus from government agencies, and make a proper case. When compared to, say, the debacle in the roll-out of Obamacare, it's actually no big thing. Hopefully, Trump and his administration will learn from it.

The Wall Street Journal comments:
The larger problem with the order is its breadth. Contrary to much bad media coverage, the order is not a “Muslim ban.” But by suspending all entries from seven Muslim-majority nations, it lets the jihadists portray the order as applying to all Muslims even though it does not. The smarter play would have been simply to order more diligent screening without a blanket ban.

The order does say the government should “prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion” in that country.

That could apply to Christians, whom the Obama Administration neglected in its refugee admissions despite their persecution in much of the Middle East. But it could also apply to minority Sunni Muslims in Iraq who have fought with the U.S. Yet that wasn’t explained, and in an interview with a Christian broadcast network Mr. Trump stressed a preference for Christian refugees.

The order also fails to make explicit exceptions for Iraqis, Afghans and others who have fought side by side with Americans. These include translators and others who helped save American lives and whose own lives may now be at risk for assisting GIs. The U.S. will fight wars in foreign lands in the future, and we will need local allies who will be watching how we treat Iraqis, Kurds and other battle comrades now.
An honest critique that makes good points.

Thursday, January 26, 2017


Glen Reynolds provides an interesting take on why many of the left believe that Donald Trump is not only unacceptable by downright dangerous. He writes:
... if Americans increasingly find it intolerable that their political opponents control the government, that’s because government controls too much.

Then, of course, there was the weaponization of the IRS. When it was Tea Party groups being harassed, nobody cared much. But now Democrats fear that under Trump, the IRS might target them. And they should: Going back at least as far as FDR, as Jonah Goldberg noted in his book, Liberal Fascism, presidents have used the IRS and other parts of the bureaucracy to target opponents.

But now, of course, we’ve just finished eight years of a president who claimed the legal right to kill Americans, without a trial, anywhere in the world outside the United States. One who spied on journalists, and imprisoned those who leaked to them. One who openly boasted that with his pen and a phone he didn’t need Congress.

And that was fine with Democrats, until the other team took power. Then, as libertarian Bretigne Shaffer notes, everything changed: “I understand that a lot of people are worried, upset, even frightened over the prospect of a Trump presidency. Good. They should be. But they should have been worried eight years ago, or at the very least, four years ago. . . . It cannot be that all of these people only see evil when it wears the other team’s uniform. It cannot be that they are more upset by offensive speech than by a man claiming the right to kill any human being on earth at his whim. These things simply cannot be. And yet it sure looks like they are.”
In an odd way, the Left, usually champions of Big Intrusive Government (B.I.G.), are now fearful that it will act against their interests under a new president. There's an easy way to stop that—reduce the size of the federal government and dampen its influence on our daily lives.
As Reynolds notes:
I’m certain that, as my old law prof Stephen Carter has predicted, with Trump in power “the left will swiftly rediscover the virtues of limited government and, in particular, strong constitutional restrictions on the independent exercise of authority by the executive. In a further turnaround, the left will celebrate corporate power as a check on government.” But the truth is, no president should have as much power as presidents enjoy now.
Wow! That's something that the left and the right might now agree on.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Target

Historian Victor Davis Hansen provides us with useful insight when he writes:
The election of Donald Trump has turned everything in the political world, from the trivial to the existential, upside down. He is the first non-politician without military experience to become president. The polls and press caricatured him for nearly two years as a classic loser. He won despite being outspent and out-organized, and without real support from his own party or the mainstream conservative press. The Left is rightly convinced that he is a danger to the postmodern redistributive state. The Never Trump Right is still invested in his eventual implosion, issuing “I warned you about him” messages in a nonstop effort of self-justification.

Trump’s demeanor, language, and comportment remain antithetical to what we are accustomed to in a sober and judicious president. Cat-like Barack Obama gracefully tiptoed down the steps of Air Force One almost like a prissy metrosexual; a grimacing Trump stalks about as if he were on a work site inspecting the cement on a newly laid foundation. Obama, with his Mussolini-like strutting jaw, conveyed collective revolutionary confidence to the Left; to Left and Right alike, the scowl from a slouching Trump suggests unrepentant payback to come ...

Trump is intent on overturning Obama’s therapeutic foreign policy, slashing federal spending, rebuilding the military, exporting fossil fuels, waging a cultural war against political correctness and the liberal media, and enforcing immigration law. In other words, from his person to his policies, Donald Trump is a revolutionary, with a huge target on his back that the foundations, universities, networks, major newspapers, Hollywood, and the coastal-strip elite will always have in their scope.
After only four days, the target becomes more and more obvious.

As I predicted before the election, Donald Trump will be resisted in his actions by the Left, but also by the Right, by the elites on both coasts, by the media, by academia, by most old-school institutions, and by those in the bureaucracy (the "deep state"). Those who worry that he'll run amuck are really saying that each of the entities I just mentioned are powerless. That, of course, is nonsense.

But if Trump succeeds in bringing back jobs, improving the economy, providing a modicum of coherence to our foreign policy, developing a more realistic approach to Islamic extremism, and establishing better control of the border, the resistance from all of his opponents across the entire political spectrum will moderate and in some cases, evaporate. It's unlikely he'll accomplish much of that, given the forces arrayed against him and his own foibles. But then again, those (including your truly) who have discounted him before have been wrong every time.

Sure, many progressives claim that Trump is a "monster" and that's the source of their angst. But in reality, the outside chance (and it is an outside chance) that Trump just might succeed in improving life for "deplorables" throughout our country is what they fear most.

Sunday, January 22, 2017


The Women's March and its collective protest against the election of Donald trump were impressive—in the sense that a few million women (and their male supporters) were galvanized to meet and act against something they believe is a real threat. It doesn't much matter whether the threat is real (it is not), the belief and emotion are real, and that seems to be all that really matters.

The trained hamsters in the main stream media celebrated the protests with drone shots of the massive crowds in D.C., NYC, LA, and elsewhere. Best estimates are that about 1.5 million women participated in all cities—about 0.5 percent of the U.S. population. The other 99.5 percent chose to do other things on a Saturday in January.

I guess everyone who participated in the marches feels good about their actions and themselves, speaking "truth to power" and demanding social and climate "justice" along the way. Those of us who watched from the sidelines can't help but note that there is just tiny bit of hypocrisy in all of this. Roger Simon writes about what motivated this vast outpouring of protest:
Oh, right, Donald Trump, that vulgar misogynist who bragged about pu**y grabbing (asterisks to dissociate myself from Madonna, even though I'm aging too). I'm going to skip over the obvious - these same women almost all ignored Bill Clinton actually doing (not just mouthing off about) similar activities in the Oval Office, not to mention on numerous other occasions, some of which we know about and some of which we may not. Further, these women didn't have much to say -- no demonstrations, no marches, maybe a few hashtags -- when radical Islamists of various stripes regularly kidnapped large numbers of women (Nigerians, Yazidis, Kurds, etc., etc.) from their homes and took them as sex slaves, often beheading them after they finished raping them. Nor did they even pipe up when honor killings were going on in their own backyard.

I could go on. But those are just, shall we say, a few of the minor inconsistencies mixed with, perhaps, a soupçon of cognitive dissonance. Something more must be motivating these hundreds of thousands of women.

Oh, yes, reproductive rights. Break out your clothes hangers. The Donald is going to bring back the era of backroom abortions

Could it be that there was just a little bit of political motivation going on? After all, the Democrats were crushed in this election so they desperately need: (1) a raison d'etre, (2) a easy boogieman (Trump), and (3) a solid mechanism for keeping the progressive base energized and cohesive. The Woman's March, followed I suspect, by an anti-Racism March in the spring, followed by a Climate Change March in the summer (when its really, really hot) may be the most effective mechanisms for achieved points 1, 2 and 3.

But listening to the speakers and reading some of their tweets, a troubling phenomenon is also present. Again Simon comments:
The success of the demonstrations in terms of size attests to the power of mutually reinforced paranoia. This paranoia is of course magnified by the extraordinarily fractured nature of our society with almost everyone living inside their own echo chamber with fears building upon themselves, much in the manner of the Salem Witch Trials.

This makes demonstrations to a great degree pointless because the demonstrators make little attempt to reach out beyond the converted and convince their opponents of the rightness of their cause. If fact, they rarely even try. Instead, they parade their "rightness," their superiority, to impress themselves, as did the myriad women in the pink pudenda beanies Saturday. They are mostly showing off.

Ironically, these women's marches are strangely behind the times in today's America and therefore largely irrelevant, though the participants may not realize or acknowledge it. More women have been going to college than men for several years and are just now surpassing them in law school as well. Hillary Clinton may have lost the election but women are well on track to win the war. Within a very few years, historically we may be living in a matriarchy of sorts. Instead of freaking out over an election, these women should relax and enjoy their coming power. It's manifested all over the Trump administration already in the persons of Kellyanne Conway (she could run for president herself -- and win) and Ivanka Trump (so could she).

Imagine Ivanka allowing her father to backpedal on abortion rights. Not happening.

Which leads me to a final point -- people who demonstrate all the time should consider they risk morphing into a collective version of the boy who cried wolf. When there's something really worth protesting, no one believes them anymore.
That's a really good point. When you continuously demonize a man who has been in office for less than 2 days, attribute positions to him that he has not adopted, call him a "Nazi" or a "monster," and suggest that he intends to take all rights away from women, you become the girl who cried wolf.

Pussy references are clever, but it is truly disingenuous to suggest that a man who makes a lewd reference in private (that was made public) has the clear intent to somehow create policy that threatens the power of modern women. But then again, it seems to have worked. After all, the paranoia is real.

There is reason to fear an entity that truly does want to enslave women, remove their rights, mutilate their body parts, turn some into sex slaves, smetimes kill them for following their innate sexuality, and otherwise control every aspect of their lives. By the way, that same group wants to do much of the same thing to the LBGT community. The only question is whether the 1.5 million woman who participated in the marches might be looking over their shoulder at a make-believe monster and missing the real monster lurking in the shadows but moving ever closer to them.

UPDATE#1 1-23-17:

There is a certain smug arrogance among those who claim to be members of #resistance, who suggest that their strategy is impeachment, and who vow not only to oppose (that's perfectly okay) but to suggest that every action taken by this new president (after 3 days!!) is designed to oppress or to victimize some preferred group.

Ed Morrissey comments:
Rather than take on the honorable and difficult task of the opposition party and rebuild themselves for future success, some on the Left have decided that they’re victims of oppression. To excuse that and their actions that have followed, they now wrap themselves in the mantle of the free French in World War II, or perhaps more relevantly, those few and brave dissidents in actual dictatorial regimes like Cuba. That’s not only ridiculous, it’s an insult to those who have had to fight true oppression and who had self-governance stripped from their hands, to the extent they had it at all.
It is laughable to suggest that women, the LBGT community, religious minorities, or anyone else for that matter is under a threat of oppression or victimization that is even close to the threat in places that the Left seems to idealize, e.g., Cuba, not to mention almost any country in the Middle East (but be very careful, we certainly don't want to be accused of Islamophobia). It is obscene to suggest that Trump and/or the GOP is the next coming of the Nazis.

As I've said a number of times since the election, the Left in general, many progressives and Democrats in particular are embarrassing themselves, even though they think they are brave soldiers of virtue and are "resisting" an evil that exists only in their fevered imaginations.

UPDATE#2 1-23-17:

It just keeps getting better. Uber-left writer Charles Blow writes:
I have given quite a few speeches since the election and inevitably some variation of this “reaching out” issue is raised in the form of a question, and my answer is always the same: The Enlightenment must never bow to the Inquisition.
The Inquisition! Does Blow even understand the meaning of the word hyperbole? Then again, the Inquisition was all about uncovering and intimidating those who the Catholic Church of the 12th century claimed were committing "heresy." And I suppose that the "deplorables" committed heresy when they voted by the 10s of millions to overturn and undermine the influence of the left. Maybe Blow is on to something after all.

Friday, January 20, 2017


Every four years, the United States of America makes a fundamental decision. Do we keep the governance model of the last 4 or 8 years, or do we make a change? The decision is based on many things, but the perception of the success of the governance model of the past president and his party and the emotion tied to that perception are dominant factors. Americans rejected the governance model of the past 8 years and decided to change direction.

Today, Donald Trump becomes President. I wish him well.

Trump's campaign message, "Make America Great Again," is like all such slogans. It elicits an emotional response but is extremely difficult to quantify. And unlike the past president, Trump will be forced to show quantifiable improvements in a number of important area or he will be deemed a failure.

Conservative writer Roger Kimball offers some advice for the Trump team as they take over the White House, recognizing that there will be an onslaught of negative media, Democrat demagoguery, and outrage from the usual social justice warriors. Kimball suggests quick and decisive moves. He writes:
The success of [Trump's] administration will depend on many things: luck, skill, effective alliances. But all will be for naught if he tarries. It's not just the first 100 days that will matter. It's the first week, nay, the first 48 hours. His team should come to town ready to undo, right now, today, every executive order promulgated by Obama. Every appointment that can be made should be made instantly, every nomination should be put forth and, so far as is humanly possible, fast-tracked. It should be a shock-and-awe performance. The media will howl. The political establishment will squeal. But they will have been rendered irrelevant before they knew what hit them. It will be a spectacle worth watching.
I think that position is a bit extreme. It's no longer about simply undoing the past governance model. Rather, it's about creating specific policy and taking specific actions that can and will undo the wreckage created by the past administration. In so doing, Trump must produce quantifiable results that all can see. Here a few random suggestions for early actions:
  • Meet with Democrat leaders and extend an open hand to work together on bipartisan efforts, but be very clear that the days of past administration are over. Suggest that meaningful negotiation is always an option, but if the Dems choose not to negotiate, or negotiate in bad faith, or continue to throw the never-ending tantrum that began on November 9th, the majority will go it alone.
  • Reverse the worst of the past administration's questionably legal "executive orders" on immigration, the environment, and energy. Do not replace them with other executive orders, but work with the GOP majority to pass meaningful legislation and do it quickly. Use the Reid Rule (see below), if applicable.
  • Begin a thorough examination of every regulation proposed by every government agency with the intent of removing those that increase costs beyond any reasonable benefits that might derive from them.
  • Begin the long and arduous process of Obamacare repeal and replacement but do not mire the new administration in a political swamp that has no good exit.
  • Make tangible efforts at improving border security and addressing the reality of an illegal immigrant population.
  • Announce that there is a clear intent to reduce the influence of government agencies and return control and taxpayer dollars to the states. Specific targets are the U.S Department of Education, the U.S Department of Energy, and the U.S Department of Commerce.
  • Investigate the IRS to determine why it has consistently targeted conservative groups.
  • Emphasize methods for better education in the inner city and pass legislation to make that happen.
  • Encourage the use the "Reid Rule." It was Democrat Senate leader, Harry Reid, who forced the so-called "nuclear option" that allowed a Dem majority to ram through legislation and candidates that they wanted, overriding the 60-vote rule that has been an historic protocol in the Senate. Like most Dems who backed the Reid Rule, he concluded that their party would always be in the majority and his unprecedented take-over would give the Dems significant political power. Heh. What goes around ... and all that. Since the Dems created this monstrosity, it's only appropriate that they suffer its consequences.
  • Propose a center-right jurist with impeccable credentials to fill Antonin Scalia's seat on the Supreme court. 
  • Do everything possible to reduce the size and scope of the federal government, including giving serious consideration to eliminating or consolidating entire federal departments.
  • Announce that funding for the UN will be cut significantly and immediately and work with Congress to determine the appropriate U.S. contribution going forward.
  • Announce that a new U.S. embassy will be built in Jerusalem and that U.S. funding for the palestinians will be dramatically reduced until they remove the clause in their constitution that denies Israel's right to exist.
  • Focus on actions that do not increase a national debt that is dangerously high.
  • In a major speech on global threat of Islamic terror, call on Islam to begin a reformation that rejects violent Islamists, hunts them down from within the Muslim community, and eradicates them.
I have no illusions that Donald Trump will accomplish all of these things, but he can try. He'll make mistakes and experience failures both large and small. He act like a boor more times than I'd like. He'll use and misuse Twitter and pick fights were he shouldn't. He will battle a blatantly biased media continuously and will give as well as he gets. He won't have Hollywood star power on his side—and that's a good thing.

But in the end, I think he has an opportunity to succeed in ways large and small. He has assembled an outstanding team, and if he listens to their counsel, he just might achieve more than most expect. Good luck to him and his administration.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


I honestly thought that by now the hysteria over Donald Trump and his approaching presidency would have abated to at least some extend. Not. A. Chance. Congressional boycotts, street protests, and unhinged commentary are a sure thing for the foreseeable future, as the anti-Trump fervor continues.

At the core of it all is the ridiculous notion that somehow, after spending $1.2 billion (about twice what Trump spent), having the media, the current administration, and most Democrats (with the except of Bernie Sanders supporters) shilling for her for at least six months prior to the election, Hillary Clinton had the election "stolen" from her by any of a long list of culprits (e.g., Putin, Comey, fake news). But at the core of the hysteria over this is the prevailing narrative that Hillary Clinton would have made a better, more stabilizing president—that somehow the country and the world would have been better off under her leadership.

Daniel Henninger comments on this:
It is said that the Trump electorate wanted to blow up the status quo. And so it did. The passed-over truth, however, is that the most destabilizing force in our politics wasn’t Donald Trump. It was that political status quo.

The belief that Hillary Clinton would have produced a more reliable presidency is wrong. Mrs. Clinton represented an extension of the administrative state, the century-old idea that elites can devise public policies, administered by centralized public bureaucracies, that deliver the greatest good to the greatest number.

Future Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, in a 2001 article titled “Presidential Administration,” justified what soon would become President Obama’s broad use of executive authority as promoting “the values of administrative accountability and effectiveness.” This has been the lodestar idea of governments here and in Europe since World War II.

Today, that administrative state, like an old dying star, is in destructive decay. Government failures are causing global political instability. This is the real legitimacy problem and is the reason many national populations are in revolt. Some call that populism. Others would call it a democratic awakening.
Big Intrusive Government (B.I.G.) fails in far more ways that it succeeds. It's enormously wasteful, breathtakingly incompetent, unreasonably slow to act, and in recent years, relentlessly intrusive, affecting the lives of both citizens and businesses in ways that are counterproductive and sometimes downright authoritarian.

The Democrats and their trained hamsters in the main stream media can't (or won't) understand this. They prefer to label those who pushed back and voted for Trump as "deplorables," when in fact, the vast majority of deplorables see the world far more clearly that the elites on the East and West coasts. The deplorables see failure after failure coming from government, inaction that would be unacceptable in the real world, incompetence that is startling, and worse, the simple reality that no one is held accountable. For example, the Obamacare website failed to launch for months, wasting hundred of millions of dollars in the process, and no one of any importance was fired. The IRS attacked small citizen groups, and no one—no one—is held to account and the main stream media largely avoided any independent investigation. Four men were murdered by Islamic terrorists in Benghazi, Libya and we got a long litany of lies, crafted by government agencies and operatives.

Sixty-two million deplorables in 30 states said "enough," and they focused their anger at Hillary Clinton. In an odd way Clinton was a victim of Democratic Party governance, a demonstrably failed approach that never made the lives of deplorables (and even the Democrat's own constituencies) no better, and in fact, often made them worse.

So spare me the handwringing about the "fear" that pervades the progressive community as Trump is sworn in. An honest assessment of the last eight years (and more) uncovers failed policies and bad decisions that many feared would continue and expand under a Clinton presidency. The deplorables wanted that to stop, and they voted accordingly.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Rip van Winkle

To say that the main stream media and Donald Trump will have an adversarial relationship doesn't even begin to explain the venomous reporting that has become a daily occurrence, even before Trump is inaugurated as president. And when Trump "counter-punches" in ways that are sometimes justified and in other ways, thin-skinned, the media becomes instantly offended and defensive. They'd like to be seen as victims, attacked by the soon-to-be-president, but in reality, the vast majority of MSM reporters are (in the words of Instapundit's Glen Reynolds) "Democratic operatives with by-lines."

There are rumors that Trump intends to open the White House media to many others outside the MSM. In years past, that might have been a problem, but I think it's a master stroke. The MSM is among the least trusted of all American institutions—condemnation they richly deserve after many decades of blatant partisanship and journalistic malfeasance (culminating in the latest BuzzFeed debacle that was reported gleefully by MSM sources, even as they covered themselves by suggesting that the source was "unverified."

Cartoonist Michael Ramirez provides an almost perfect visual description of the MSM:

After eight years of sycophantic coverage of the Obama administration the media has rediscovery its adversarial role. Their coverage of Obama wallpapered his administration's many bad decisions, blatant dishonesty, major scandals, and dangerous foreign policy. The Rip van Winkles of the MSM have awoken to challenge the new President who doesn't meet their political proclivities. But like the fictional van Winkle, the MSM have slept through the last near-decade and is no longer in touch with the American people.

The bias of the MSM feeds on the unhinged positions taken by people who they otherwise elevate. Consider Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters who suggested on MSNBC, after agreeing that Trump is "illegitimate," that a congressional investigation of Trump (remember, he isn't yet the President) be conducted and that "impeachment" would be appropriate should the "investigation" come up with sufficient cause. Here's Waters in her own words:
“If we discover that Donald Trump or his advocates played a role to help provide strategy — if they’re the ones who came up with ‘Crooked Hillary,’ if they’re the ones who came up with, ‘she’s ill, something’s wrong with her energy,’ and the way that he basically described her during the campaign — I think that is something that would put the question squarely on the table whether or not he should be impeached.”
It's funny that Waters doesn't seem at all concerned over the many, many "opposition research' leaks emanating from the Clinton campaign.  Or that the media used incessantly in a failed attempt to demonize and delegitimize Trump. Or that the cries of "Trump violence" were part of the media narrative for months, when we later learned that operatives close to the Clinton campaign hired paid agitators to disrupt Trump events in an effort to get a violent response.  Or the simple reality that the media never once investigated the source of the violence.

Nah, Waters and some other Democrats use two sets of rules—one for Democrats and another for anyone from the GOP. She and the trained hamsters in the MSM are partisan shills—nothing more. Her comments should embarrass every Democrat that actually wants to learn from Clinton's upset loss and rebuild the party.


John Kass provides a comical metaphor that seems to capture the outright hysteria of many within the mainstream media, the Hollywood Glitterati, among most social justice warriors, and more than a few progressives in the run-up to the Trump inauguration. He writes:
It's as if some evil zookeeper has released a boa constrictor into the friendly meerkat exhibit when the cute little mammals were sleeping.

And all we hear are pitiful, high-pitched meerkat shrieks and then, those tiny paws frantically scratching upon the glass.

And for those of us who have calmly accepted the election and inauguration of more than one President we didn't like, we look on as the Meerkats shreek ... and boycott ... and demonstrate ... and condemn ... and name call ... and hyperventilate. In the end, their behavior is nothing short of pathetic, and you know what, it'll hurt them far more than it'll help them. That's okay. After this national tantrum, they all deserve to be scorned.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


At last count, 36 Democrat Congress members have decided to boycott the inauguration of Donald Trump. Tens of thousands of women and an untold number of social justice warriors will be in Washington to express their displeasure. All of these people have the absolute right to peacefully protest in whatever manner they choose.

It is, however, quite ironic that this same cohort condemned Donald Trump before the election (you know, the election that Hillary Clinton was a lock to win) when he suggested that he might not accept the election result (if there were irregularities at polling places). Trump was "attacking the constitution," an "enemy of Democracy," a "sore loser," among the many epithets thrown at him at the time. The Democrats trained hamsters in the media spent hours discussing Trump's reticence to accept the results of his upcoming loss, parroting the aforementioned accusations. I guess those same accusations don't apply when you're a Democrat with social justice on your side.

Bobby Jindal, a conservative with who I disagree on a number of social issues, used the obvious "little league" metaphor to describe the reaction of Democrats to trump's victory:
Like so many parents, we want our kids to learn the value of hard work, striving, discipline, teamwork, and winning and losing graciously. I welcome the competition, and smiled inwardly when my kids kept score even when the adults tried to discourage them from doing so. My kids have shed tears in the face of hard defeats, and worn proudly their unwashed winning jerseys. Simple experiences, like learning not to blame the referees or make excuses, will serve our children well as they mature and enter the real world.

The growing sense of entitlement and victimization evident in our society makes me wonder if our political leaders ever learned these lessons. I am not simply condemning partisanship or suggesting we all holds hands and sing “Kumbaya.” While I would like to see less name-calling and more cooperation in the political arena, I also believe that substantive disagreements over consequential issues can and should arouse passionate debate. What worries me is that the Left seems determined not just to win, but to also delegitimize their opponents.
There's little question that some of Trump's problems are self-imposed—he is far too think-skinned, often coarse and overly simplistic, and certainly not presidential in the way most people have come to expect. He reacts to criticism when it might be best to let it pass, making a little story into a needlessly big one. He uses a communication medium (Twitter) that is not amenable to explication or subtlety, forcing people to overly interpret his tweets (usually to his disadvantage). He is different and not always in a good way.

But having said all of that, he deserves a chance to succeed, just like Barack Obama—an inexperienced back-bench politician with a collection of ideological associations that were questionable at best—was given in 2008. No Republican Congress member publicly boycotted Obama's inauguration although many had serious concerns about the man. No elected official at the federal level called his victory "illegitimate." There were no mass demonstrations on or immediately after inauguration day, even though millions of citizens were less than thrilled with Obama's world view.

Jindal comments further:
It is hard to find common ground, while recognizing real differences, if one is quick to condemn any who disagree as racists, sexists, or otherwise immoral. Those terms rightfully carry a powerful punch, but risk losing some of their impact if used promiscuously. I believe one of the reasons for the populist surge that powered Trump’s candidacy is the frustration many decent, middle class Americans feel as academic, political, and cultural elites sneer at their practices and experiences.

While conservatives have been busy running and building things in the market, liberals have done a good job at capturing the academic, entertainment, and media citadels that together define so much of our popular culture. (I am reminded of the students that once derided my classmates and me as “doers, not thinkers.” We regarded the epithet as a compliment.) University faculty, Hollywood stars, and reporters are so much more likely to be liberal, that it is noteworthy to find the conservative exceptions. However, supposedly conservative-leaning institutions, e.g. the military and the business world, do not exist entirely apart from the popular culture and are therefore not immune from these liberal influences.
And that may be at the crux of all of this. Conservatives cannot help but be exposed to liberal thought. Whether it's TV, the movies, most national publications (paper or digital), almost all celebrities who are given a national voice (think Meryl Streep). Progressives, on the other hand, can easily avoid being confronted with conservative thought or argument by simply avoiding the relatively few national media outlets that offer a conservative view. Maybe that's why many progressives have reacted so emotionally to the Trump win.

Even more interesting, Donald Trump is hardly a classic conservative. He's a coarse man, but a moderate politician. In that moderation, he just might be able to accomplish a few things that will benefit the country—improved health care, a more robust economy, far-better border control, less intrusive and job-killing regulation, and just possibly, a more competent and efficient government. He deserves a chance to try.

Many Democrats talk about a climate of "fear" that has pervaded the land now that Trump will be president. At first, I thought that talk was overwrought, but in thinking about it, it might just be accurate. After all of the demonization, all of the protest, all of the talk of illegitimacy, the real "fear" among Democrats is that Trump might just succeed at accomplishing a few things that make our lives a little better.

Monday, January 16, 2017


As Donald Trump prepares for his inauguration, the Democrats seem mired with excuses for their loss. At the same time, they revel in claims of illegitimacy concerning the new Trump administration. More than a few of my Democrat friends have lamented the DNC's treatment of Bernie Sanders (exposed by the "Russian hacks of the DNC). They argue that Sanders would have "easily" beaten Trump in a head to head matchup. Maybe they're right, and maybe they're not, but they really should be careful what they wish for.

It seems that the majority of Democrats feel quite strongly that the party needs to become more progressive, i.e., that it needs to move even further to the left. After all, many Dems think that their losses in recent elections occurred, not because they have been too moderate, but because their candidates were not left-wing enough. Hence, Bernie Sanders and his shrill compatriot, Elizabeth Warren, and their push toward a socialist version of the USA. Sort of like the late Hugo Chavez and his socialist version of Venezuela.

It's worth taking a fresh look at South America's socialist paradise, so we all fully understand what could happen if Sanders and Warren somehow prevail in their attempted take-over of the Democratic Party. Thor Halvorssen reports:
Venezuela is no longer a country with a government, institutions and a civil society. It’s a geographic area terrorized by a criminal enterprise that pretends to govern, with a civil society made up of two sets of people: accomplices and victims.

More than 30 million of the latter.

The Hugo Chavez-led looting spree began in 2000. By “looting,” I mean fraudulent government contracts, a celebration of bribery, phantom payrolls across all government ministries, bogus government-grant programs, the sacking of Venezuela’s gold reserves and a massive currency-exchange scam.

More than $1 trillion has disappeared — some of it wasted on social programs that produced nothing — and a staggering amount has ended up in bank accounts in Andorra, Panama, New York, Hong Kong and Switzerland.

And the pillaging has turned Venezuela into a dystopian landscape. There are shortages of every imaginable foodstuff and basic necessity; diseases once thought eradicated are back with a vengeance; and a crime wave that has given Caracas the highest murder rate in the world.
To be honest, it's hard to imagine a Sanders/Warren party take-over of the Democratic party resulting in the chaos that now reigns in Venezuela, but then again, I'm certain that the left wing Glitterati who lionized Chavez and the many Democrats who enjoyed his venomous criticism of George W. Bush never thought that Chavez' socialist experiment would cause Venezuela (a country rich in oil) to become the equivalent of a failed state.

I know, I know, if you listen to Bernie or Liz, it's all because the socialist experiment in Venezuela wasn't properly conducted, just like every other failed socialist experiment of the past century. I'm sure they have the proper solution and their transformation of America will go very well. After all, that's what Chavez believed and look how his transformation turned out.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Something Else

In the view of many progressives, the FBI's Jim Comey went from good guy to bad guy to good guy and back to bad guy all in a period that spanned no more than six months. His public disclosure of the findings of an FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's "extremely careless" use of a private email server is now excuse #101 for why Hillary lost the election. Although some Dem's give lip service to problems with the Clinton's campaign, and an even smaller number suggest (quietly) that some of Barack Obama's failures were the underlying cause for Clinton upset defeat, the majority insist it was nefarious outside forces (e.g., "fake news," the FBI, the Russians) that brought down Hillary.

Of course, it painfully obvious that if Clinton never violated State Department ethics guidelines and rejected the use of a private email server (the questionably legal use of a private server was unprecedented, despite the obfuscation that was part and parcel of Clinton's public statements), she never would have been under investigation in the first place and the FBI never would have conducted any investigation to begin with. But ... never mind.

It seems as if Hillary's action to circumvent FOIA requests and otherwise conduct, shall we say, off-the-books communication don't seem to matter.

The trained hamsters at the New York Times seem use the new FBI inspector general's inquiry as some kind of bizzaro vindication for Clinton:
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department’s inspector general said Thursday that he would open a broad investigation into how the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, handled the case over Hillary Clinton’s emails, including his decision to discuss it at a news conference and to disclose 11 days before the election that he had new information that could lead him to reopen it.

The inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, will not look into the decision not to prosecute Mrs. Clinton or her aides. But he will review actions Mr. Comey took that Mrs. Clinton and many of her supporters believe cost her the election.
Hmmm. The inspector general isn't looking into the extremely controversial decision not to prosecute. What a shock! After all, Clinton's potential national security violations don't matter, but her election loss—that's something else entirely.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


After Donald Trump's upset victory over Hillary Clinton in November, the media appeared to be reflective. After all, their anti-Trump bias was so obvious and so blatant, some believed that a significant percentage of pro-Trump voters cast their ballots not so much for the man, but as a "giant F.U." to the media. I think there's some truth to that. There were long faces among many in the main stream media as they tried to "understand" what happened, but all of that lasted for about a minute.

Glen Reynolds of Instapundit likes to say that the main stream media is actually a collection of "Democratic operatives with bylines." Nothing could be closer to the truth. Regular readers of this blog know that I refer to many within the main stream media as "trained hamsters," doing the bidding of their Democrat overlords while they run endlessly and mindlessly on a rotating wheel of pro-Democrat, anti-GOP stories, getting nowhere and benefiting no one.

There is nothing in the "news" that has happened in the last few weeks to indicate that the media has changed it ways. First, the crazy obsession with a "hacked" election—a not so subtle suggestion that Donald Trump's presidency is illegitimate. And now, the equally crazy allegations of sexual escapades (again in Russia!) intended to sully Trump's character.

Daniel Henninger
A standard journalistic defense for publishing, or reporting on, the sort of thing BuzzFeed put on the web Tuesday night about Donald Trump’s alleged compromise by the Russians is that “the people” ultimately will sort it all out. You could say the same thing about tornadoes.

Conventional wisdom after the election held that the media had been chastened by its coverage of the campaign, that it had learned to be more careful about separating facts from the media bubble.

The past week’s news, if one still can call it that, was bookended by two Trump files. The first was the intelligence community report that Russia’s hack of the presidential election favored Mr. Trump. The second was a salacious opposition-research file on Mr. Trump published by BuzzFeed, which says it is about “trending buzz.” Below the site’s Trump-in-Russia stories Wednesday sat, “Lauren Conrad Just Posted The Most Adorable Photo Of Her Baby Bump.”

No one has learned anything.
In actuality, there is nothing shocking about the media circus that will be an on-going part of Donald Trump's presidency. Whether it's a talking head suggesting that Trump's offer to donate any profits from his Washington hotel to the U.S. Treasury is somehow a nefarious plot to enrich the billionaire even further, or the Buzzfeed attempt at character assassination, what the "deplorables" see is the Left and their trained media hamsters in a deep hole in which they continue to dig.

In a way, it all goes back to the Boy Who Cried Wolf fable. The media has manufactured, exaggerated, and otherwise spun so much vicious, anti-Trump garbage, that even if there is a true scandal, it will be discounted by millions. And yet, other millions have decided that Trump is the devil and that his destruction by any means is justified.

Henninger offers a word of warning:
When people played on real pinball machines, everyone knew that if you banged on the machine too hard, it would lock up. It would “tilt.” Because so many once-respected institutions are behaving so badly, the American system is getting close to tilt.
The Left and their trained hamsters have no fear of banging on the machine. It's what they do. In fact, now that the electorate has removed them from power at virtually every level, a tilt is exactly what they now want. They may very well get it.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Middle East Peace

Listening to Barack Obama's eloquent farewell speech last night, you'd think he had accomplished great things. After all, the economy is booming with a labor participation rate that is the best in decades, our borders are secure, Obamacare has saved billions, reduced costs, and provided zero-deduction policies for millions, without costing the taxpayer a dime, our debt is at the lowest level in a century, racial relations are the best ever, Russia has withdrawn from Crimea, Syria is at peace, Islam has had a reformation and Islamist thought is no more, the Middle East is calm, North Korea has given up its nukes ... oh wait ... none of that has happened.

Despite the eloquence and the unbridled adulation by Obamaphiles, it's actually difficult to assess which of his many bad decisions, ideologically driven policies, or disastrous outcomes is Barack Obama's true legacy. I won't try.

But in the past month, his petty and ideologically abandonment of Israel at the UN does provides an indication of his warped foreign policy vision. Obama, like all leftists, believes that the "oppressed" palestinians deserve a state and that the creation of that state will lead to peace in the Middle East. That. Is. Fantasy. But then again, fantasy is all most leftists have to work with.

Bret Stevens comments on this in light of still another "Middle East Conference" set for Paris on Sunday in which the Europeans and others will work hard to force Israel into a suicidal "peace" agreement that establishes a "state" for a people (the palestinians) who want nothing more than Israel's complete and utter annihilation. Stevens writes:
Would a Palestinian state serve the cause of Mideast peace? This used to be conventional wisdom, on the theory that a Palestinian state would lead to peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors, easing the military burdens on the former and encouraging the latter to address their internal discontents.

Today the proposition is ridiculous. No deal between Jerusalem and Ramallah is going to lift the sights of those now fighting in Syria, Iraq or Yemen. Nor will a deal reconcile Tehran and its terrorist proxies in Lebanon and Gaza to the existence of a Jewish state. As for the rest of the neighborhood, Israel has diplomatic relations with Turkey, Jordan and Egypt, and has reached pragmatic accommodations with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states.

What about the interests of Palestinians? Aren’t they entitled to a state?

Maybe. But are they more entitled to one than the Assamese, Basques, Baloch, Corsicans, Druze, Flemish, Kashmiris, Kurds, Moros, Native Hawaiians, Northern Cypriots, Rohingya, Tibetans, Uyghurs or West Papuans—all of whom have distinct national identities, legitimate historical grievances and plausible claims to statehood?

If so, what gives Palestinians the preferential claim? Have they waited longer than the Kurds? No: Kurdish national claims stretch for centuries, not decades. Have they experienced greater violations to their culture than Tibetans? No: Beijing has conducted a systematic policy of repression for 67 years, whereas Palestinians are nothing if not vocal in mosques, universities and the media. Have they been persecuted more harshly than the Rohingya? Not even close.
Encouraged by Obama's despicable anti-Israel move at the U.N., the meeting on Sunday just might try to force an agreement on Israel. It won't work, but it will provide new "moral authority" for the disgusting BDS movement—a attempt by leftists to destroy Israel by other means. Just another piece of Barack Obama's legacy.

Steven goes on to dissect the notion that a palestinian state would be good for palestinians and good for Israel. Read the whole thing.


I'm hopeful that among Donald Trump's earliest foreign policy actions will be an explicit move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Sure, the palestinians will go ballistic and violence will be forthcoming, but in its own way, that actually strengthens the argument for the move. After all, tip-toeing around palestinian "rage" hasn't done much good over the years, has it?

The palestinians and their leftist supporters state that such a move would be "disastrous to the peace process." Roger Simon comments on that meme:
Really? As opposed to what? The U.S. embassy has been in Tel Aviv since 1966 and almost nothing positive has happened. The 1993 Oslo Accords have come and (more or less) gone. Through all this, the Palestinians have shown little indication they want a two-state solution or "security and stability" of any sort.

What we have had is outbursts of terror, long and short, intermixed with quieter periods when Palestinian leaders enrich themselves at the expense of mostly American and European taxpayers, while doing absolutely nothing to advance peace.

Someone or something must be done to shake up this stultifying pattern, this useless "bribe culture," and moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem is as good a place to start as any. It would signal to the Palestinians, particularly to their greedy, lethargic leaders, that the status quo is over and that the new American administration is going to pay no heed to the recent UN resolution engineered by Obama and Kerry. If the Palestinians really want a two-state solution, they will have to negotiate with the Israelis one-on-one for it. If not, more bad news for them, worse than a Jerusalem embassy, will be ahead.

No doubt in the short run there would be explosions -- physical and verbal -- but the old approach, the Oslo approach, has failed miserably. Time to toughen up and make the Palestinians face reality. Time to stop treating them like children because that's what we (and the Europeans perhaps even more) do. Time to make them take some responsibility for their fate.
Nah ... the palestinians don't have to take any responsibility for their fate. As international victims, they can do whatever they want—corruption, terrorism, anti-Semitism. Only Israel must compromise. Maybe that should change. Until the palestinians show an indication that they actually want peace—not through hollow words but with distinct actions—there will be no peace. And that's a good thing under the current circumstances.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


Confirmation hearings begin for Donald Trump's cabinet this week. Since Democrats view Trump as the devil, it's only natural that they view each and every one of his cabinet appointees as demons. So, Chuck Schumer and his crew will work to delay the appointment of Trump's cabinet in a show of moral preening that will be fun to watch. High on their list of complaints is "conflict of interest." Because Trump has appointed a disproportionate number of people from the private sector (recall that Barack Obama appointed no one from the private sector), there are bound to be business interests in play. To the Dems, that's anethema. After all, anyone who pursues a profit is somehow sullied in their eyes.

Thanks to Harry Reid, the Dems can delay, but they can't really do much else. They'll throw a tantrum and might even find enough dirt to disqualify one or two appointees, but on balance, Trump will get the people he wants.

The Dems are crazed by their election defeat, and as a consequence, they're having trouble isolating the most "dangerous" of the demons. Is it Jeff Sessions, who in the fevered imagination of progressives, somehow snuck through 20-plus years as a well-liked Senator but was really a veritable white supremacist. Or maybe Betsy DeVos, who has the temerity to suggest that poor black children might be better served educationally by being able to choose the school they attend. Or maybe it's Scott Pruitt, who thinks that the EPA has over-reached with far too much regulation and has been labeled a climate change "denialist" because he has the gall to demand clear scientific evidence to back up EPA climate change regulations.

And of course, there's Rex Tillerson, Trump's appointee for Secretary of State. He or Sessions may very well become the poster-Demons for the Dems.

Let's consider Tillerson: If you listen to the trained hamsters in the media, most Democrats (and a few Republican elites), think Tillerson is a Russian stooge who will sell out our country's interests to Vladimir Putin. Of late, the Russians have become the progressives' Boogieman. As a consequence, we're witnessing an organized political and media campaign that is working to blame the Russians for Hillary Clinton's upset loss to Donald Trump.

To be clear, the Russians are not our friends. Putin and his crew act solely in their country's narrow self-interest. In ways large and small, they tweak us whenever possible. Over the past eight years, our feckless approach to many Russian actions (including, but not limited to their invasion of the Ukraine, their hazy cyberwarefare activities, and their actions in Syria) have emboldened Putin. Hard men—and Putin is a hard man—view weak or feckless people in the same way a wolf views a stranded lamb.

But the world is a complex place and alliances with hard men are not only necessary but often critical to a broader global stability. Given that, why on earth would we not celebrate Trump's attempt to work with Putin? Of course, the interaction between the US and Russia should not be conducted with the wide-eyed naïveté of the Obama/Clinton "Reset", but with the steely-eyed negotiations by people who actually know how to negotiate.

Since we're on the subject of wide-eyed naïveté, just a few years ago we watched the catastrophically bad "deal" with Iran unfold. It became painfully obvious that the Obama Team of 2s had no clue how to negotiate with hard men. The lamb, John Kerry, was stranded in the presence of wolves, the Mullahs. The result was the worst foreign policy "deal" in a lifetime. It strengthened our enemies and weakened our allies. With every passing month, it unraveled in ways that were both predictable and dangerous. Yet, the trained hamsters of the media never suggested that Kerry was less than competent in negotiating the deal or that Obama sold out our country's interests for nothing more than a hollow legacy. No one in the MSM suggested that either Obama or Kerry was an Iranian stooge. But Trump nominates a specific person as Secretary of State and soon we'll all be speaking Russian? Puleeze.

But back to Rex Tillerson. He will be demonized by some on the left (along with their trained hamsters in the media) because he represents everything they despise—big business, the oil industry, wealth, and economic success. Here's an anecdotal essay that provides at least a glimpse at his character.

Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry suggests that Tillerson might be a really good pick for the following reasons:
Dealing with governments is an integral part of running a major oil company. Governments play key roles in any energy deals, and dealing with those governments is part of the job. An in-depth feature by Politico's Hounshell describes Tillerson's rise through the ranks at ExxonMobil as driven at least in part by his skill — and toughness — in dealing with governments, including trouble spot governments.

In other words, there's no question that Tillerson is intimately familiar with the geopolitics, politics, and characters involved in many of the trouble spots that are key for American policy, including places like Russia, Central Asia, the Middle East, West Africa, and Venezuela. Before being assigned to Russia, Tillerson spent three weeks in the Library of Congress reading books about Russian history and politics. He's no dummy.

Just because he didn't take part in international negotiations and geostrategic thinking as a State Department diplomat or member of a Senate committee doesn't mean he doesn't know how to do those things; in fact, he has done them throughout his career, and pretty successfully as far as we can tell.
Maybe that's why there's so much political pushback to Trump's proposed team of negotiators. Say what you will, but accomplished business people, unlike feckless politicians and many career diplomats, know how to negotiate. They're willing to walk away if the deal isn't right, to offer reasonable alternatives when things stagnate, and to keep our country's interests paramount. I think the Dems and their trained hamsters in the media are worried that history just might compare team Obama's negotiating skills to those of the Trump team—and the comparison may not be kind to Barack Obama.


In an outstanding analysis of the current hysteria over anyone and anything that might be less than fully antagonistic toward Russia, Noah Millman (read the whole thing) writes:
... major news outlets are suggesting that Trump is a Manchurian Candidate [and that Rex Tillerson is his enabler], or implying that Russia did not merely try to influence the election but "hacked" it, even urging that the Electoral College should reject him because his ties to Russia make him unfit for office. The overwhelming tenor of coverage doesn't merely assume that where there's smoke, there's fire, but that a pro-Russian policy itself constitutes smoke.

This is a problem because it empowers bad behavior by opponents in both parties. Republican hawks have lined up to denounce Trump's proposed change of direction — but rather than make the case against it, they use claims of Russian interference in the election to presumptively shut down the very idea of a more productive relationship. And Democratic opponents of Trump lean on those same allegations to suggest that Trump's election was itself illegitimate. Indeed, the Clinton campaign has gone so far as to join calls for the electors to be briefed on Russia's involvement before they vote on Dec. 19, presumably so that they can break faith with the voters in their states if they are sufficiently disturbed.

Both parties have an incentive, in other words, to fan the flames of anti-Russian sentiment, while neither benefits from open debate on Russian policy ...
That's the kind of analysis and context that should be presented by the NYT or CNN and their kindred hamsters. But it doesn't fit the narrative, and besides, anti-Trump hysteria is so much more satisfying.

Monday, January 09, 2017

The Russians—Ad Nauseum

Based on intelligence assessment, there's little doubt that the Russians were involved in the email hacks of the DNC and John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's right-hand man. But this is simply indicative of a "cyberwarfare" threat—it is not cyberwarfare itself. Let me explain.

Cyberwarfare does direct and serious damage to a country's infrastructure, to its economic base, to its state secrets and/or intellengence methods, or to it's ability to defend itself in the case of more conventional attacks. The Russian hack that has given the entire Democrat party and many of the GOP elites the vapors is none of those things—although the hack is indicative of a capability to do those things.

The hack in question was bush-league, stealing embarrassing (and revealing) emails from (stupidly and irresponsibly) unprotected servers at the DNC, or in the case of Podesta, falling for a (low level) phishing expedition that crosses each of our in-boxes almost every day. The information release was not propaganda or lies or disinformation—it was the Democrats in their own words—embarrassing yes, cyberwarfare, no.

Yet the Dems and their trained hamsters in the media would have us believe that "the hack" is a reason to believe that Hillary Clinton really won the election, and if it wasn't for the manically evil Russians, she's be getting ready for the White House, not Donald Trump. What unmitigated nonsense!

Trump, of course, handles all of this with his Trumpian tweets, exacerbating the issue, rather than resolving it. The Wall Street Journal comments:
What a spectacle. Two weeks before a peaceful democratic transition of power, Democrats are using Russian cyber hacks as an excuse to explain their defeat, and Donald Trump is playing into their hands by refusing to acknowledge that Vladimir Putin is no friend of America. The only winner here is Mr. Putin, who must be laughing at his success in causing Americans to mistrust their own democratic system.
It comical to listen to progressives (and a few GOP hawks) rail against Russia and Putin, suggesting that they be given no quarter, that any attempt at discussion, or heaven forbid, working together, must be immediately quashed. Putin is not our friend, but it is possible that he and the new president would have joint interests, and that working together in limited and specific instances (e.g., Syria) might undo some of the wreckage caused by Barack Obama's disastrous foreign policy.

The WSJ summarizes the intelligence agency assessment this way:
... the report offers no evidence or judgment that the hacking influenced the election result. The leaks from Clinton aide John Podesta’s email and the Democratic National Committee were embarrassing in their candid views of individuals, but they included no bombshells. The emails that really hurt Mrs. Clinton’s electability were those she kept on a private server while Secretary of State.
Ahh ... the harsh truth. It was Hillary's server and all the negative press that flowed out of its existence, that hurt her. It was the Clinton foundation and the clear indication of corrupt pay-for-play that hurt her.

You'd think the opposite, that it was "the Russians." But that's what the Democrats want you to think. Like most things in their through-the-looking-glass world, it's far better to believe in a appealing fantasy that to look at real world results and make intelligent changes as a consequence of those results.


The conservative blog, The American Interest, has an interesting take on all of this:
The unclassified version of the Intelligence Community assessment has been published, and as widely predicted, it contains no bombshells. Part of that has to do with the IC protecting its sources, and part of that has to do with the fact that one could have reached most of the conclusions merely by closely following the news and being aware of recent history.

One quick observation: If Putin thought helping Trump win the election would give him the weakest possible opponent, he would not be alone in his assessment: Hillary Clinton thought the exact same thing. [The hacked emails indicate that] Team Clinton tried to help Trump win the GOP nomination race because they thought he would be the weakest possible opponent in the general.
Gotta be careful what you wish for ...

Friday, January 06, 2017

Seven Key Guidelines

Politicians never seem to learn. When they win big, they gloat and act as if they'll be in power forever. They make bad decisions that lead to bad law that results in no accomplishments that leads to angry citizens. Ultimately they're voted out of office, just like the Dems under Barack Obama.

As the GOP begins its reign with majorities in both the House and the Senate, they would be well-served to follow seven key guidelines for any action taken by the Republican Congress (and President) proposed by Ed Morrissey (bolded statements are Morrissey's words, comments that follow are mine:
  1. Does it serve to bring accountability to the political establishment in Washington DC? The beginning of accountability is the active attempt to reduce waste and abuse. There are literally thousands of wasteful programs that should be cut or eliminated, and many more thousands of unnecessary and harmful regulations that do nothing more that concentrate power in Washington. Wasteful programs and unnecessary regulations should all be eliminated.
  2. Does it add to the economic power of the US and create good jobs for Americans?  No one wants a trade war, but it is necessary to establish better trade policies and  as a consequence, open export markets to American companies that produce goods and services in the United States. Our trade deficit should be reduced.
  3. Does it address the most critical needs of the country ahead of the ideological agendas of the parties? For example, wasting time on ridiculous ideological issues (e.g., the never-ending abortion fight) does nothing to further our nation's goals on either the domestic or foreign policy level. We need focused leadership from both the executive branch and the Congress. If the Democrats throw a hissy-fit and refuse to work with Trump, so be it. Get on board or get out of the way!
  4. Does it enhance national security and the defense of Americans both at home and abroad?  The key here is not necessarily more, but rather, smarter. The DoD tells us constantly that it needs more money, more people, more weapons systems, but in reality it needs a smarter defense strategy that has been tuned to the future, not 20th century boogie men. It is inconceivable that a smart Pentagon (with, say, 20 percent fewer senior officers with little to do) could not live within it budgets if it forced contractors to rigidly control costs.
  5. Does it serve the rule of law equally applied to all?  But that doesn't mean that the rule of law is skewed toward favored groups. It's long past time that we no longer excuse poor group behavior because of past abuses or slights.
  6. Does it restore the proper balance of power between the executive and legislative branches? During the Obama years, we teetered on the edge of an imperial presidency. This worked out very poorly for the country and for Obama's party. The Congress has distinct responsibilities under our Constitution. It should step up and perform them.
  7. Does it restore the proper balance of power between Washington DC and the states?  The closer decision-making and raw political power is to the people it affects, the better life is for the people. In an ideal world, Washington should become far less powerful. The states should be in charge of many things that are currently center in Washington, DC.
I have no illusions that the power elites in Washington will follow these guidelines, but it sure would be nice if they tried.

Thursday, January 05, 2017

Weapons of Choice

The hard left is anti-Israel—period. They are obsessed with denigrating any policy that supports Israel, often aggressively backing efforts to roll back borders won in defensive wars. The left views the "palestinians" as if they were citizens of a actual country that was somehow invaded and destroyed by the Israelis (a canard) and characterizes a tiny nation of six million in the midst of more than 100 million Muslims (many of whom would gladly annihilate it) as an aggressor. Like most things the left believes, this is nonsense, but given voice by the Barack Obamas and John Kerrys of the world, the meme has force among the ignorant.

Victor Davis Hanson comments:
Secretary of State John Kerry, echoing other policymakers in the Obama administration, blasted Israel last week in a 70-minute rant about its supposedly self-destructive policies.

Why does the world -- including now the U.S. -- single out liberal and lawful Israel but refrain from chastising truly illiberal countries?

Kerry has never sermonized for so long about his plan to solve the Syrian crisis that has led to some 500,000 deaths or the vast migrant crisis that has nearly wrecked the European Union.

No one in this administration has shown as much anger about the many thousands who have been killed and jailed in the Castro brothers' Cuba, much less about the current Stone Age conditions in Venezuela or the nightmarish government of President Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines, an ally nation.

President Obama did not champion the cause of the oppressed during the Green Revolution of 2009 in Iran. Did Kerry and Obama become so outraged after Russia occupied South Ossetia, Crimea and eastern Ukraine?

Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power was never so impassioned over the borders of Chinese-occupied Tibet, or over Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus.

In terms of harkening back to the Palestinian "refugee" crisis that started in the late 1940s, no one talks today in similar fashion about the Jews who survived the Holocaust and walked home, only to find that their houses in Eastern Europe were gone or occupied by others. Much less do we recall the 11 million German civilians who were ethnically cleansed from Eastern Europe in 1945 by the Soviets and their imposed Communist governments. Certainly, there are not still "refugee" camps outside Dresden for those persons displaced from East Prussia 70 years ago.

More recently, few nations at the U.N. faulted the Kuwaiti government for the expulsion of 200,000 Palestinians after the liberation of Kuwait by coalition forces in 1991.

Yet on nearly every issue -- from "settlements" to human rights to the status of women -- U.N. members that routinely violate human rights target a liberal Israel.
The palestinians are a weapon used by Muslim countries in the Middle East to make the entire region Judenein. The palestinians failed attempts at self-governance, their culture of violence and corruption are not due to Israel, but to a decades old attempt, supported by leftists and much of the corrupt U.N., to demonize the only liberal democracy in the Middle East.

VDH continues:
Partly, the cause of global hostility toward Israel is jealousy. If Israel were mired in Venezuela-like chaos, few nations would care. Instead, the image of a proud, successful, Westernized nation as an atoll in a sea of self-inflicted misery is grating to many. And the astounding success of Israel bothers so many failed states that the entire world takes notice.

But partly, the source of anti-Israelism is ancient anti-Semitism.

If Israelis were Egyptians administering Gaza or Jordanians running the West Bank (as during the 1960s), no one would care. The world's problem is that Israelis are Jews. Thus, Israel earns negative scrutiny that is never extended commensurately to others.

Obama and his diplomatic team should have known all this. Perhaps they do, but they simply do not care.
No matter how the Trump administration interacts with Israel, it cannot be worse than the treatment meted out by the Obama administration. I can only hope that Trump takes an aggressive pro-Israel position and an aggressively anti-palestinian stance, as long as the people who call themselves "palestinians" continue to embrace terror and ignorance as their weapons of choice.


Here's a little guessing game. I've eliminated the name of the country from an environmental news story published in EcoWatch coming out of the Middle East:
Construction of the world's tallest solar tower is underway. The 820-foot tower, which stands in the middle of a 121-megawatt concentrated solar complex in {deleted} sun-drenched {deleted} desert, is slated for commercial operation by the end of 2017.

The {deleted} Solar Thermal Power Station, {deleted}, consists of more than 50,000 computer-controlled heliostats, or mirrors, that track the sun and reflect its rays onto a boiler on top of the tower. The boiler creates superheated steam that then feeds a steam turbine for power generation.

Like other concentrated solar power (CSP) plants, the beauty of the {deleted} complex is that it's designed to produce energy even when the sun isn't shining.


The electricity generated at the {deleted} facility will be enough to supply 120,000 homes with clean energy and avoid 110,000 tons of CO2 emissions each year.
In general, the Left would be cheering this accomplishment but let's see ... can you guess what country has achieved this—Egypt? Jordan? Lebanon? the palestinians? Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan? Nah ... It's Israel, but you already knew that. I have to wonder why.

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Restorative Justice

Heather McDonald is one of a very small number of outstanding journalists who have the discipline and intelligence to investigate a story thoroughly, evaluation the data dispassionately, and draw clear-eyed conclusions even if they happen to be politically incorrect. Her expertise is the investigation of crime and police contact in urban settings. The natural consequence is the discovery of statistics that fly in the face of politically correct thought. Rather than studying her findings and trying to develop workable solutions that would have lasting benefits for the black urban community, her unwelcome news is branded "racist" and those who write about it are immediately suspect. That works for the social justice warriors because it is suppresses reality and allows their view of the world to prevail. The only problem is that there view is warped, and promoting it at the national level does no good.

In a recent article, McDonald writes:
The Obama Justice and Education Departments have strong-armed schools across the country to all but eliminate the suspension and expulsion of insubordinate students. The reason? Because black students are disciplined at higher rates than whites. According to Washington bureaucrats, such disproportionate suspensions can mean only one thing: teachers and administrators are racist. The Obama administration rejects the proposition that black students are more likely to assault teachers or fight with other students in class. The so-called “school to prison” pipeline is a function of bias, not of behavior, they say.
Of course, the progressive position is fantasy based. Volumes of data do not support the PC claim that black students are no more likely than students of other races to assault teachers and even less data to indicate that school administrators are "racist."

McDonald discusses police data that clearly indicate that instances of urban street violence and recently, shopping mall attacks, often involve black youths and then writes:
The idea that such street behavior does not have a classroom counterpart is ludicrous. Black males between the ages of 14 and 17 commit homicide at ten times the rate of white and Hispanic males of the same age. The lack of socialization that produces such a vast disparity in murder rates, as well as less lethal street violence, inevitably will show up in classroom behavior. Teens who react to a perceived insult on social media by trying to shoot the offender are not likely to restrain themselves in the classroom if they feel “disrespected” by a teacher or fellow students. Interviews with teachers confirm the proposition that children from communities with high rates of family breakdown bring vast amounts of disruptive anger to school, especially girls. It is no surprise that several of the Christmas riots began with fights between girls. School officials in urban areas across the country set up security corridors manned by police officers at school dismissal times to avoid gang shootings. And yet, the Obama administration would have us believe that in the classroom, black students are no more likely to disrupt order than white students. Equally preposterous is the claim that teachers and administrators are bigots. There is no more liberal a profession than teaching; education schools are one long indoctrination in white-privilege theory. And yet when these social-justice warriors get in the classroom, according to the Obama civil rights lawyers, they start wielding invidious double standards in discipline.

The best solution to such alleged teacher racism, according to the Obama Justice and Education Departments, is to pressure teachers to keep unruly students in the classroom rather than removing them. This movement goes by the name of “restorative justice;” its result has been anarchy, adding a school-to-hospital pipeline to the school-to-prison pipeline. The St. Paul school district has been in the restorative-justice vanguard. Assaults on teachers tripled in 2015, reports Katherine Kersten of the Center for the American Experiment; one teacher sustained a traumatic brain injury, while another required staples in her head. Melees of 40 to 50 people (resembling the mall violence) are common, according to Kersten; roving packs of students attack isolated individuals. One high school issued emergency whistles to teachers.
So, if you ask the Obama administration, the best solution to school violence is to allow the violently disruptive student to remain in the classroom. As usual, under "restorative justice" the very students that progressives tell us they care so, so much about, are now subjected to disruptive behavior that hurts or destroys the learning experience. But proportionality is all that matters, let the other students who are trying to learn be damned.

There is, of course, push back from teachers and administrators, but the social justice warriors at Department of Education and DoJ are undeterred. McDonald writes:
Teachers’ unions in Fresno, Des Moines, New York City, and Indianapolis have all lodged complaints about the anti-discipline philosophy, according to Education Week. The Fresno teachers signed a petition pointing out that students are returned to class after cursing at teachers and physically assaulting them, without suffering any consequences. Fresno’s teachers have been injured trying to stop fights; some are retiring because teaching where severely disruptive students cannot be dislodged has become impossible. In Des Moines, students now hit and scream at each other and their teachers, reports the Des Moines Register.

Undeterred by such news, the Obama administration has rolled out reams of material for combating supposed teacher racism. Since 2014 alone, it has produced a School Climate and Discipline Guidance Package, a Rethink Discipline Public Awareness Campaign, a Resource Guide for Superintendent Action, a National Resource Center for School Justice Partnerships, a template for “School Climate Surveys,” and a “Quick Guide on Making School Climate Improvements.” The DOJ is “investing” $1 million (read: showering money on left-wing consultants) for the Pyramid Equity Project, which is supposed to establish national models for addressing issues of implicit bias in early learning programs.

Naturally, federal litigation has followed. Just this month, the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division imposed a consent decree on the Watson Chapel, Arkansas, School District, after suing it for racially discriminatory school-discipline practices. Those practices “prevent students of color from reaching their full potential,” according to Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta. A federal court will continue to have jurisdiction over the school until the DOJ declares it in absolute compliance with the decree, a process anticipated to take three years.
Given this threat of lawsuits, it’s no wonder that district superintendents dismiss the rising violence and announce that restorative justice is “working.” It’s certainly “worked” to reduce expulsions and suspensions—in Seattle, by a whopping 77 percent from 2013 to 2016. Never mind that students aren’t learning and teachers are at risk.
Fortunately, the through-the-looking glass world championed by Obama's Team of 2s is coming to a close, but only if the new Trump administration can drain the swamp of social justice warriors that inhabit every government department. I'm not sure he can, but I certainly hope he tries.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017


As progressive talking heads summarize what they characterize as a "horrible year," you'll hear the phrase "Russia hacked the election ..." It has become ingrained in the Democrat's narrative to help explain a humiliating election loss. But here's the thing: Russian may very well have hacked the DNC and John Podesta's email (although no clear evidence that it was government sponsored has been produced). The hack embarrassed the Dems by publishing DNC and Clinton Campaign emails written by Democrats in their own words. Those words provided an honest look inside these organizations and were often less than flattering.

Barack Obama was quite sanguine when evidence of a Chinese hack that impacted 20 million government employees was uncovered many months ago, but a hack of the DNC was beyond the pale, resulting in the ejection of 35 Russian operatives within the U.S. and the closure of a few safe houses. It's curious that in the former instances nothing was done, and in the latter we saw action. There's no politics in play here, is there? But back to the hack.

Just as the some fringe elements of the GOP (including Trump) tried to suggest that Barack Obama's citizen was questionable in an effort to delegitimize him, the phrase "Russia hacked the election ..." is intended to delegitimize Donald Trump's election victory. The only difference is that the Democrat claim is far from the fringe. I suppose what goes around comes around.

It's also interesting to note that of the Dems' many excuses for their election loss is "fake news." Ironically, the Russian election hacking meme is a clear example of Democrat-driven fake news. Steven Miller comments:
To be perfectly clear, there is zero evidence of actual election hacking, such as the hacking of voting machines, paper ballots or voter fraud on the part of Russia in an effort to install Donald Trump into the White House. There’s no evidence Russia employed a massive cloaking device from a secret submarine in Lake Erie, over the state of Wisconsin, where Hillary Clinton did not campaign once during the general election.

There’s no evidence Russia influenced Clinton campaign operatives to steer SEIU members on the ground away from Michigan. As of yet, there is no proof it was Russia who directed Lena Dunham to campaign in North Carolina, or the aged cast of the West Wing to stump in Ohio. There is no evidence that rural voters in Pennsylvania, whom Mrs. Clinton ignored in the final weeks of the campaign, are actually Russian spies. It is still not known whether Katy Perry is in fact a Russian agent.

If any actual electoral fraud was engineered by Putin and Russia, giving Hillary Clinton almost 3,000,000 more votes than Donald Trump is an amazing cover. But again, none of this occurred on the day Americans went to the polls. The word “hacked,” or variations thereof, does not appear in the White House statement and only once, prefaced by “allegedly” in the DHS statement. There is no evidence of any illicit activities occurring on Election Day.

John Podesta was hacked. The election was not. Podesta’s emails were stolen, not via some sophisticated cyber operation, but through a common email phishing scam, the same ones your grandparents fall for when you catch them writing a big check to that wonderfully nice and thankful Nigerian prince.

There was no forced breach of information, or Russian agents hanging from ceilings at Langley, or stealing files from offices late at night . No one broke into the DNC and stole discs in a daring midnight raid. The information was given willfully and ignorantly by Podesta and his staff. They are the ones responsible.

If the illegal attainment of leaked information is considered “hacking the election,” then file the 2012 election under being hacked as well.

So the question becomes why is our national media intent on spreading misinformation about a “hacked election”? It certainly looks purposeful, if not downright dishonest.
"Dishonest" is what the trained hamsters of the mainstream media will be throughout 2017 and into 2018, 2019, and 2020. This is simply a reality for the Trump administration. They'll have to deal with it, if they intend to accomplish anything at all.

Trump will be completely justified if he matches the media's newfound adversarial relationship with the president (rediscovered after eight years of collective swooning over Barack Obama) with an adversarial relationship of his own. It'll be fun to watch Trump try to "hack" the media.


Glen Reynolds comments on the Russian Hack:
If there’s any single statement that Barack Obama probably wishes he could undo, it was his mockery of Mitt Romney during the 2012 presidential debates. Referring to Romney’s characterization of Russia as America’s greatest geopolitical foe, Obama said the 1980s are now calling, and they want their foreign policy back.

Now of course, Democrats are up in arms about the Russians, sounding like madcap John Birchers from the 1960s. As Twitter wag IowaHawk noted, they didn’t get upset when Russia invaded Crimea, they didn’t throw down when Russia shot down a civilian airliner over Ukraine, but stealing John Podesta’s password via a phishing scam is apparently grounds for restarting the Cold War. Well, only one of these crimes constitutes a threat to Democrats’ political power.

It’s easy to mock the Democrats’ hysteria over all this, which seems mostly like an inability to accept that they lost an election they thought was in the bag. Instead, they blame a password-phishing scam that John Podesta fell for like somebody’s technologically-challenged grandmother. (Another IowaHawk tweet: “Breaking: State Dept expels 20 Nigerian diplomats after John Podesta fails to receive $1 million wire transfer from nephew of General Okezi.”) And, partly to cover for Hillary and to delegitimize Trump, much of the press has talked about “election hacking” in a way that suggests — entirely falsely — that the Russians were changing votes instead of (maybe) being the ones who copied embarrassing emails from John Podesta and gave them to Wikileaks. (I say “maybe” because some people, like Ars Technica’s security editor Dan Goodin, don’t think that the Obama Administration has made the case that the Russians were behind it.)


Kurt Schlichter, never one to mince words, pokes fun at the Democrats' Russian meme when he writes:
Anyway, their new theory – as I understand it, because it seems coherence-challenged – is that the Russians somehow forced us to vote for Trump by releasing authentic emails that revealed the depths of Democrat perfidy and the media’s Clinton collaboration. Basically, the Russians unfairly told us the truth that Democrats and their media minions wanted to deny us, and that “hacked” the election. Oh, and Trump is insufficiently mad about Hillary and Company not being able to effectively hide their web of corruption and lies thanks to John Podesta not understanding that you don’t click the link in the email from the Oil Minister of Nigeria, Crown Prince Goodfellow Scamoscammer.