Wow Iowa Caucus!

Didn’t expect this – I was resigned to Trump doing well, perhaps winning, and Hillary pushing back the Sanders challenge. As of right now, Cruz has definitely won it on the GOP side while Rubio surged to a very close-behind-Trump third place. Over on the Democrat side, it is razor-close…last I checked, only 0.2% separated Hillary and Sanders.

GOP turnout beat the previous GOP Iowa caucus record by about 50% – and we probably do have to tip our hat a bit to Trump on that, but it is clear that the other candidates had a hand in it, as well. Haven’t been able to find raw numbers on Democrat voters – which makes me suspect the numbers were unspectacular. If that is the case, then what we’ve got is a worn-out Democrat base which is bucking against a coronation of Her Majesty.

Everyone is still playing the “only my guy can win” game – ie, my candidate is the only one who can beat Hillary. Well, first off, the GOP might not square off against Hillary, to begin with, but even if we do, I’m more and more feeling that Hillary can’t win. Sure, she’s not as monstrously unpopular (by approval rating) as Donald Trump, but she’s darned sure more unpopular than any of other GOPer in the race…and her popularity is highly unlikely to improve between now and November. True enough, she and her operatives are nasty people and will use every dirty trick in the book against whomever the GOP nominates, but I don’t think that will work…not least because the American people may be growing tired of Democrat nastiness in the service of raw power.

At any rate, I’m highly encouraged by tonight. We’ll see how it goes to November…

End of Year Open Thread

I’ll get real original on January First and have a “Beginning of Year Open Thread”.

David Thompson fell upon his sword for us and gathered a selection of just how lunatic the left has become in 2015. A sample:

…In May, we witnessed the intellectual heft of the Guardian’s Polly Toynbee, including her belief that obesity isn’t chiefly a matter of inactivity and overeating but instead has a more pernicious cause, i.e., a lack of socialism: “It is inequality and disrespect,” we learned, “that makes people fat.” Though chunkier readers should note that waiting for a socialist revolution probably isn’t the best way to lose those extra pounds. We also pondered the deep ruminations of Marxist philosopher Adam Swift, who insists that reading to your children causes “unfair disadvantage” to the children of parents who are negligent and stupid, and should therefore induce feelings of guilt and discomfort. To our Marxist intellectual, being a competent, caring parent is something to atone for, being as it is an act of class oppression…

I fear they will get even sillier in 2016.

Food stamp usage is at record levels and because of this, the Obama Administration thinks we should expand the program even more. No explanation how this expansion works Administration talking points about how great the economy is doing. The Administration cooked up a report which proves that food stamps are just fabulous for those using them. Mostly, though, they are fabulous for our liberal Ruling Class – the more people dependent upon them for their daily bread, the more likely liberals will win elections. Its funny how that works – control their food, control them.

Ruth Marcus realizes that a Trump vs Hillary battle won’t necessarily go the way the Democrats think:

…Bill Clinton has a penchant for something. He had a successful presidency — with an ugly blot. “Sexism” isn’t the precise word for his predatory behavior toward women or his inexcusable relationship with a 22-year-old intern. Yet in the larger scheme of things, Bill Clinton’s conduct toward women is far worse than any of the offensive things that Trump has said.

Trump has smeared women because of their looks. Clinton has preyed on them, and in a workplace setting where he was by far the superior. That is uncomfortable for Clinton supporters but it is unavoidably true…

No GOPer has ever had the guts to really call out the Clinton’s on their nauseating behavior – personally and professionally. I do think that Trump would not hold back. And if Cruz or Rubio stop the Trump Express, I hope they understand that attacking the Clinton’s will be a vital part of a winning campaign.

It appears that 10,000 unaccompanied minors have illegally cross the US border in the past couple months. No one in our Ruling Class seems to care that this is highly dangerous for these kids…

Jerry Lewis – who is still alive – praises Trump and hammers Obama.

The kook left gotta kook left – already spinning conspiracy theories about how we’re going to steal the 2016 election.

Trump the Politician

I noted yesterday that Trump appears to have trademarked “Make America Great Again” as early as 2012 – right after Romney lost. This indicates to me that Trump’s decision to run for President wasn’t some seat-of-the-pants decision and would also indicate that what he’s saying on the stump is not just whatever pops into his head at the moment but is, instead, a careful script designed to get Trump to where he wishes to be. As an aside, that slogan isn’t brand new – it was used before. By Reagan, in 1980. Reagan, for those old enough to remember, won by bringing over to the GOP large numbers of people who had been voting Democrat.

Almost all polling so far shows that Hillary would beat Trump. Some Trumpsters try to argue against the polls, but no serious person is going to dispute a trend which has something like 10 out of 11 national polls showing Hillary ahead. Bottom line, this is pretty much a fact – if the election were held today, Hillary would beat Trump (do keep in mind that the GOP establishment keeps hyping this fact because they want to scare GOP voters away from Trump…as if “electability” is something which can be known prior to election day). But the election isn’t going to be held today; it will be held at bit less than 11 months from now. Trump when he entered the GOP primary was a bizarre candidate no one in the GOP took seriously – and then over the past 5 months, Trump hammered on his themes and now is securely in first place for the GOP nomination. It takes no great stretch of the imagination to understand that if Trump is following a plan (and he probably is), then he’s also got a plan for what to do against Hillary – and I think that the past couple days as Trump has started to open fire on Hillary are the start of his beat-Hillary plan. Trump managed to clear the field of two stellar GOP governors (Jindal and Walker), and has forced the Establishment candidates (Buch, Kasich and Christie) into also-ran status. That is not a bad bit of politicking, if you ask me. In fact, what he’s done is about the most astonishing political effort I’ve seen in all my life…and that includes Reagan’s masterful plan for 1980. Polls show Hillary ahead – but the man who has done what Trump has done in the GOP primary is probably going to do pretty well against Hillary.

Trump still has to win the primary, of course. Not a single vote has been cast and Cruz is leading in Iowa. A win there for Cruz could propel him to a decent showing in New Hampshire which would, in turn, allow him to do well in South Carolina. Cruz wins Iowa and South Carolin and that would put a massive hole in Trump’s prospects. Other things could also come up. But Trump isn’t going to lose because he says something – he’s winning because of what he says. Our leaders don’t feel we’re in a crisis because wealth and power have sealed them off from the reality of the United States and the world – but millions of Americans are feeling the heat; they don’t like it; they want it fixed…and only Trump is speaking to them as if there is a crisis. If Cruz or Rubio want to be the nominee, then over the next two to three weeks, they are going to have to let the voters know that they are on their side. Trump is perceived as on their side because he attacks, relentlessly, all those persons and institutions the American people believe are ranged against them: the political class; the corporate class; the media class. No one will beat Trump except by convincing people that they, too, are fighting the enemy – and fighting them tooth and nail, with no apologies.

But if no one steps up to beat Trump at his own game, then Trump will almost certainly be the nominee. If Trump does win the nomination, what does he do against Hillary? Anything he wants. Trump, one way or another, figured out that what the people want is a leader who will go for the jugular. Don’t hold back. If the other guy lies, call him/her a liar. If the other guy says or does something stupid, call it stupid. If the other guy is awash in corruption, point that out. If the other guy is weak and wishy-washy, say just that. Don’t try to snow the people – don’t try to rise above and be polite. Don’t, that is, sit there worrying about what the establishment is going to think – care about what the people care about.

Hillary is a bundle of corruption and dishonesty – there’s nothing in her background which cannot be successfully attacked. Think about this: probably 75% of the American people are unfamiliar with the events surrounding the Clinton’s “charity” organization. We know that someone like, say, Jeb would never attack that aspect of Hillary. Trump, I believe, will. Why not? What’s to stop him? The only reason Jeb wouldn’t is because he’d feel it rude to do so…but Trump, I’ll bet, doesn’t believe it rude. And, truth be told, it wouldn’t be rude – it would be completely acceptable and, indeed, a service to the nation to bring before the American people just what the Clintons have been up to. Let Hillary try to explain it all away – the millions of dollars in donations from unsavory, foreign donors. And that is just one relatively small aspect of the whole Clinton mess. A candidate willing to relentlessly hammer on Clinton’s weaknesses will force the nation to pay attention to those weaknesses and take them into consideration when it is time to decide whom to vote for. Trump is a rich man and the son of a rich man – but Clinton has gotten rich, quite recently, by parlaying access to herself into a plush lifestyle. No matter what slick deals might be discovered in Trump’s background, none of them will quite have the stench of Clinton garnering donations to her “foundation” from Arab oil princes and Russian mobsters-turned-businessmen.

Of course, even with those sort of attacks, it could be that Clinton emerges victorious. She will have the MSM as much in the tank for her as they are for Obama. But, I wonder: will that work? An interesting article over at the Washington Post indicates that when people are allowed to back Trump without everyone knowing about it, plenty of people do just that. Trump is speaking out loud what is on a lot of minds…and minds which are afraid to speak for fear of losing jobs or social standing. What I find most remarkable about the Trumpsters I come across is just how many of them simply shouldn’t be. The most recent Trump convert I’ve come across is an older guy I know – not at all a political person, generally patriotic, Army veteran…voted once for Obama. Moderate in his views. But here he is – think I’ll vote Trump. This goes along with the youngsters, African-Americans and single moms who are also trending towards Trump. Why? Because things are loused up – and I mean really badly. People know things are loused up. Who is acknowledging this? Only Trump.

Of course, I could be wrong. Trump could just be an accident. Decided to run, made his outrageous statement and here we are…and if he does win the nomination, he goes down to flaming defeat next November. I acknowledge this could be the case. I also acknowledge that I haven’t the foggiest notion of what he’d really do, supposing he won. Trump will not get my vote in the primary. I just don’t know enough of his actual plans to cast my vote that way – but I do know that in the general he is almost certain to face a Hillary Clinton who definitely would be an utter disaster as President. In that case, I’ve got no choice – I’d have to vote Trump. But I’m starting to suspect that we’re seeing unfold before us a very carefully crafted plan by a man who, turns out, is a masterful politician – and unless someone comes up with a counter-plan, then Trump will be around for a long while to come…

GOP Makes Sure Trump is the Nominee

The GOP base is furious with the GOP leadership – and one of the major bones of contention is the way the leadership is handling immigration. Out of this has come the rise of Trump to the utter dismay of the GOP leadership. So, what to do? Clearly, the times call for the GOP leadership to stab the GOP base in the back on immigration!

The upcoming appropriations legislation would massively expand the foreign worker program, quadrupling the issuance of low-wage visas, according to an analysis from Sen. Jeff Sessions’ (R., Ala.) office.

The H-2B visa program allows employers to hire foreign workers to come temporarily into the United States to work either in nonagricultural labor or a temporary service job. For example, some workers who use the H-2B visa program could be employed as a housekeeper, an amusement park worker, or a landscape laborer…

This is all about importing low-wage workers to replace American workers so that Big Corporation can squeeze out just a little more profit. Why the heck would the GOP sign on to this? I’ll tell you why:

1. The major GOP donors wanted it.
2. The GOP leadership didn’t want a fight with Obama going into 2016.

As for the first bit: screw the GOP donors. We don’t need them. Only inside-the Beltway nitwits give a darn what the mega donors think. As for the second bit – the GOP leadership doesn’t want a fight but the GOP base does. We’d love to have a fight over expanding a program to bring in more low-wage workers! Give it to us! Let’s have Obama and Hillary try to defend that stupid idea at the behest of Big Corporation.

But, we won’t get the fight because our leadership is afraid (seriously) that the MSM would look negatively on such a thing – as if anyone who will vote GOP, ever, pays the slightest attention to what the MSM says.

This action will only make the GOP base more angry – and will allow Trump to gain even more support. Cruz and Rubio needed a knock-down, drag-out fight with Obama and, by extension, Hillary…the GOP leadership gave them craven surrender. What can they say now? Vote for me, I’ll get the people I serve with in Congress to fight for you?

I’m ready to throw up my hands here – what can I possibly say to a Trump supporter? That Trump is irresponsible? That he can’t get things done for our side? Compared to the current GOP leadership Trump is a responsible, hard-working warrior for the Middle Class…

How to Beat Donald Trump – and Hillary

The GOP establishment is getting itself into quite a panic – recently saw that former Senator Sununu is asserting that if Trump is the nominee then not only will the GOP lose the White House, but we’ll also lose the House and Senate. Now, to be sure, the GOP has a treacherous path in the Senate in 2016 because so many GOP Senators are up for re-election, but anyone think that the Democrats, led by Hillary, will have a strong year in the House is just speaking nonsense. But the statement does show the level of fear – and what Sununu and others are trying to do is scare people away from voting for Trump. This is a formula for ensuring Trump is the nominee.

I had initially thought the Trump surge was due to his mere celebrity status. Then I figured it was his vigorous statements on dealing with illegal immigration. But as time has worn on, I’ve come to a different conclusion. What brought it about is that over the past few weeks I’ve just come across a number of people who aren’t GOP voters but who are enthused about Trump. The cap of it all was when a lady I know said she’d vote Trump to keep Hillary out of the White House – this lady is liberal and a two-time Obama voter. All of this got me thinking – what is it about Trump that makes him acceptable to such a wide variety of people? His celebrity status would only go so far – and if that is all he had, he would have fizzled by now. His policies are vague, so its not like there some definitive thing he proposes to do which gets people on board. And then it hit me: he hasn’t lied to us. And this means that when he says something, people take it at face value – he’s believed. Meanwhile, those most vigorously attacking Trump have a bad reputation among the American people and especially the GOP base: they’ve lied before, lots of times. And so when they say, “Trump is bad”, maybe they’re lying, now?

Oh, to be sure, Trump has said some inaccurate things – but there’s a difference between saying something that is inaccurate and saying something that is a bold-faced lie. An inaccuracy would be claiming that people in the United States celebrated the 9/11 attacks – I don’t remember any such here, but I do vividly remember Palestinians getting in a celebratory mood over it. Trump is still holding to his story, but I think its just a mixed-up memory, which any of us can have; and Trump is not the sort to back down on something he’s said. Even if you could prove to Trump directly that he’s flat wrong, he probably still wouldn’t back down. It’s not his way – and people do admire a person who sticks to their guns. At all events, there is a correct perception among the American people that a large number of people in the world wish the United States ill, and some of them live here. That they weren’t popping champagne on the streets on 9/11 is less important than the fact that such people do exist. The GOP base gives Trump a pass on such a statement because they know that whether or not anyone particularly celebrated 9/11 in New Jersey is trivial in the grand scheme of things. To dwell upon it is pettifogging – mean spirited, too. And it is easy to believe that those trying to shred Trump on it are not necessarily doing so in service of telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth but in service of merely stopping Trump – and just stopping Trump, as Sununu attempts to do with his electoral fear-mongering, is actually something which just reinforces Trump’s “street cred”…it is the Establishment attacking the hero of the hour. It is dumb and counter-productive.

To clarify, a lie is something like saying you’ll campaign on a commitment to repeal ObamaCare and then doing nothing to so much as slow it down. A lie is something like saying your swell new health care program will reduce premiums by $2,500.00 only to have them skyrocket. It is especially a lie when your actions post-lie demonstrate that you knew you were lying from the get-go. I can promise you sincerely that I’ll be over at your house next week to help you move the furniture. If I don’t make it, there are two things it could be: I lied, or something came up. If you know me well, then you’ll swiftly come to a conclusion about which it is. If I’m usually the sort of person who makes a promise and then doesn’t deliver, then you’ll be on firm ground figuring I lied. If, on the other hand, I almost always keep my word then my excuse that my back went out on the day of the move will be credible. Our political class has proven itself over the past few decades that it is just lying – and knowing that it is lying as it states the lies. We listen to their speeches, listen to their promises of this or that definitive action once elected and then we see not only that such promises don’t happen, but very often the exact opposite of the promise occurs, all with an explanation that there never was really a chance of getting that thing done because Reasons. It is those kinds of lies that the American people are sick to death of – and all politicians are smeared with them, even if a particular politician has never stated a specific lie. It is no surprise, given this, that the two top GOPers are non-politicians; ie, people who have not spent the past couple decades lying to us – and the two regular GOPers who are doing the best (Rubio and Cruz) are rather new to national politics, and thus haven’t had time to spread enough bull to fertilize the Sinai. As for Hillary (who has spread enough bull, twice) – sure, she’ll still claw her way to the Democrat nomination, but the astonishing lack of enthusiasm for her candidacy even among Democrats (and her miserable polling numbers) shows that even some Democrats are not willing to put up with liars forever (as noted with my two-time-Obama-voting friend who is willing to do just about anything to keep Hillary out).

As of this point, there are only two GOPers who can possibly stop Donald Trump – Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. As I noted, they are still rather fresh to politics – they are far more trusted than, say, Jeb or Christie, who have long political lives. Even if people don’t attach a particular lie to either Jeb or Christie (or any of the other career politicians running), they have just been around too long – and the GOP base figures that if they get in then no matter what they promise on the campaign trail, it will be Corrupt Business As Usual once they are in the White House: that they’ll sell us out to cut deals with the liberal part of the political class. Both Rubio and Cruz have their weaknesses – especially Rubio over the “Gang of 8” immigration proposal. Do not for a moment think that it is necessarily just amnesty which is causing Rubio his problems – after all, even a President Trump will eventually sign on to some sort of amnesty (it is just in the cards, folks). But by being involved in the “Gang of 8”, Rubio has shown himself willing to work with the open-borders Democrats…and that means, in the minds of many, that once he’s President Rubio, we’ll get the amnesty with no border control, at all. That is what has, so far, prevented such a superlative politician like Rubio from rising to the top – fear among the base that he’ll betray the base. Cruz has less of a problem on that than Rubio, but he’s still an elected politician – he’s still a career politician. Sure, he’s got a lot of great things going for him (goes the GOP-base mind), but he’s still one of Them. How can we be sure that President Cruz won’t cave? And, so, to Trump – who hasn’t lied (in a manner which the people, on the whole, care about) and who isn’t a career politician (or, ditto to Carson).

So, how can Rubio or Cruz take on Trump and win? Simple – out Trump Trump. At the end of the day, Donald Trump is a rich business man who has worked the political system to advance his own wealth. To beat Donald Trump, you’d have to show yourself more on the side of the people than Trump possibly can. Trump is rising high because he proposes to take on our Ruling Class and Make America Great again. But Trump is part of the Ruling Class, too. If Senator Cruz wants to be President Cruz, he has to take on the part of Trump which is vulnerable – the businessman who works the system part of Trump. But that means taking on not just Trump, but the whole Chamber of Commerce part of the GOP. A Republican who wants to beat Trump will have to go to war with a great deal of the GOP Establishment – accepting the fact that, if nominated, a huge amount of normally GOP money will flow into Hillary’s coffers. That a large number of prominent GOPers will endorse Hillary and maybe even campaign for her. It means going after the banks. After the multi-national corporations. After the defense contractors. Of course, there would also be the more fun aspects of it – going after Big Education, the MSM and all the institutions feeding off the American people and leading it to destruction. The key is going after the entire Ruling Class, not just part of it, as Trump is doing…and by going after all of it, you go after Trump, as well. A pledge from Rubio or Cruz to intensely investigate our financial institutions and send sharp operators to jail will go far – as will a pledge to investigate corrupt union bosses, corrupt city governments, etc. From what I can gather just talking to people, everyone is just fed up – and that is left and right (except for those parts of the left – which will nominate Hillary – who live off the corrupt system).

This is not a sure-fire way to win, by the way. Trump has built up an impressive political following. He might be unbeatable in the primary by this point. But if there is a way to beat him, then it the way I’ve stated: going after everything from top to bottom, and making sure that everyone knows that Trump is actually part of the problem. He’ll still be able to fight back on that score and his followers are pretty firm…but I suspect that a real red-meat fight against all that is wrong with America would resonate. Done by a good politician – and Rubio and Cruz are good politicians – it could swing enough voters over to either of them to make sure that Trump starts coming in second place in the early primaries. The hardest part for Rubio and Cruz in this is keeping enough of the GOP Establishment on-side to ensure they don’t all coalesce around someone like Christie, presuming that Trump is political toast by Florida. Politics ain’t easy, folks.

And if you’ve beaten Trump, then you’ve just about automatically beaten Hillary. She’s going to talk a great game about fighting for the poor and middle class, but it’ll be Hillary who is raking in the money from major corporations. It is Hillary who has made untold sums of money off of the major corporations. You want to talk about an insider who has been twisting the system to get herself ahead? That is Hillary in a nutshell. She simply cannot win a race against someone who is attacking the very basis of her existence in politics because she cannot separate herself from herself. She is America’s problem demonstrated – everyone knows she’s only going to be the Democrat nominee because her last name is “Clinton” and the Powers That Be want her to have it…because they know full well she won’t actually rock the boat. She won’t actually help the poor and middle class. She can’t – she won’t be allowed to, even if she was so inclined; all she’ll do is ensure that her particular cronies are rewarded. And everyone knows this other than the most blinded of partisans (which, I suspect, won’t make up more than 40% of the electorate in 2016).

For those who think that Trump getting the nomination means a sure-Hillary win, think again. Hillary is disliked – and not just by GOPers. And even those who aren’t nauseated by her politics are just not all that fired up for her. First Woman President is just not that big a thing – not after we’ve already had our first African American President. Hillary plus a War On Women campaign won’t do it. This is not to say that beating Hillary would be easy. It would be a hard fight and may come down to excruciatingly narrow margins in a bunch of States. On the other hand, it could be a substantial loss for Hillary and the Democrats – it is notoriously hard for a party to win the White House three times in a row and Obama isn’t popular (Bush the Elder really got in back in ’88 because Reagan was so popular…Gore lost because Bill Clinton just wasn’t all that popular in ’00; people tend to forget that the Political Genius which is Bill Clinton never secured a majority of the vote). Trump could well win the nomination and then go on to win the White House. If you don’t want that to happen, then you’ve got to figure out how to beat him…and just insulting him and his followers isn’t the way to beat him. In fact, insulting him and his followers just makes his nomination more likely. Attack what Trump stands for in his real life: Big Business and slick deals. People don’t like either or those things. Once you’ve beaten Trump then just do the same to Hillary because she’s also all about Big Business and slick deals.

At the end of the day I think that a solid majority of Americans want a place where the rules apply to everyone equally. That no one is getting a rake-off. That everything is above-board. No one minds it when someone works hard and gets rich – the weakness of the left is because they don’t differentiate in their policies, and it gets worse for them when people perceive that if you toe the left’s line, you can be rich as you like (and make as many corrupt deals as you like). But people do mind it when they perceive that someone is getting special treatment – and that is whether its a government union, a big bank or a real estate developer who likes the idea of confiscating people’s property so he can build a hotel. No one minds immigration – people do mind people jumping the line, and they also don’t like it at all when the line-jumpers get government benefits; the left tries to make out that such sentiments are anti-immigrant and/or racist but it isn’t that, at all. It is cheating the system. It is something that most people can’t do – and it is something that some get to do because others benefit from it (liberals at election time, big business in low-wage employees). If someone will set themselves at the head of a movement to make sure that a fair deal is had by all, then that person will win big, in my view. Trump’s appeal is that he is saying he’ll do that – fight for a good deal for everyone. But he’s vulnerable on the fact that he’s been deep in the economic-political system all his life. It might not be enough to beat him, but it is the only way to beat him I can see. And it is the way to beat Hillary – and why I see a nominated Trump beating Hillary: whatever sharp practice Trump has ever engaged in is nothing compared to the monumental stench of corruption emanating from Hillary’s doings.

Since Jindal and Walker dropped out, I’ve no longer got a dog in this hunt. None of the candidates for President are my cup of tea. At all events, I’m ever more convinced that neither party as currently constituted can successfully implement the deep reforms needed to restore America. I think that Rubio or Cruz could do some good things – I don’t know what Trump will do. I can’t go on anything he’s done in the past because all he’s done is make business deals and appear on television. Maybe he’ll surprise me and become one of the greats, if elected President. I don’t know. I do know that if he’s up against Hillary, he’ll get my vote – whatever flaws he has are as nothing compared to the disaster which would be a second Clinton Presidency.

While neither of the party’s are vehicles for reform at the moment, the Trump phenomena does demonstrate that the GOP is still my best bet for eventually getting a party of reform. The Democrats had their shot with Sanders – socialist as he is, he’s an honest man. He would actually try to do what he says he wants to do. But the Democrats, after a short fling, are starting to fall in line behind Hillary. But I think that such Democrats are a decided minority of all Americans (just as the GOPers who would turn out for an establishment GOPer are a minority – and if the GOP does go establishment for 2016 then the race is a complete hold-your-nose tossup with a slight advantage to Hillary; it’ll be two minorities battling it out to see who can drag the most number of disappointed people to the polls). I do believe there is a majority which wants real change – real reform. Trump is catching a bit of that lightening in a bottle – will anyone else step up and make a try for it? We’ll see.

Thanksgiving Open Thread

For years our Progs have been telling us that Thanksgiving is just the memorial of the racist, white Europeans who invaded the Americas and deliberately with malice aforethought committed genocide against the native peoples. Now that we’ve got to get Obama’s refugees into America, the Progs are all about how if we don’t allow the refugees in, we’re betraying the very idea of Thanksgiving…which, per the Progs, is the idea of invading and massacring. I don’t think our Progs ever think things through.

But what is Thanksgiving, really? Just what it says – giving thanks. To God, boys and girls. For all that we have. And for the overwhelming majority of us, that is quite a lot.

Here ends another day, during which I have had eyes, ears, hands and the great world around me. Tomorrow begins another day. Why am I allowed two? – G K Chesterton

To be given two days of life is something astounding. And most of us are given many decades of it – and, indeed, an eternity of it, if we want. Be thankful on Thanksgiving – if you are, then you’re doing it right.

That Iran deal thingy? State Department says it isn’t legally binding. At the end of the day, the only legally-binding thing of the Obama Era is ObamaCare – and that only because the Supreme Court re-wrote it for him, twice. The good news here is that the next President is simply not bound by most of what Obama has accomplished.

Rubio might have actually killed off ObamaCare, by the way.

In polling, Trump is still running away with it – but keep in mind that at around this time in 2003, Howard Dean was at 23% and Kerry was at 4%. Things can change massively in a very short time.

Pope Francis Open Thread

He does seem to be the subject of conversation, doesn’t he?

First off, Hillary is thrilled that the Pope is in town – it was the perfect time for her to announce her opposition to the Keystone pipeline. Document Dumps – they are a Clinton specialty.

Bernie Sanders is going to join a group of DC workers out on strike while the Pope is in town.

Democrats celebrate the arrival of the head of the Catholic Church in classic Democrat style – blocking a ban on late-term abortions.

Meanwhile, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul and Ted Cruz will join in various events surrounding the Papal visit.

Arguably the smartest man in the United States, Thomas Sowell, has a critique of Pope Francis:

…As distinguished economic historian David S. Landes put it, “The world has never been a level playing field.” But which has a better track record of helping the less fortunate — fighting for a bigger slice of the economic pie, or producing a bigger pie?

In 1900, only 3 percent of American homes had electric lights but more than 99 percent had them before the end of the century. Infant mortality rates were 165 per thousand in 1900 and 7 per thousand by 1997. By 2001, most Americans living below the official poverty line had central air conditioning, a motor vehicle, cable television with multiple TV sets, and other amenities.

A scholar specializing in the study of Latin America said that the official poverty level in the United States is the upper middle class in Mexico. The much criticized market economy of the United States has done far more for the poor than the ideology of the left.

Pope Francis’ own native Argentina was once among the leading economies of the world, before it was ruined by the kind of ideological notions he is now promoting around the world.

If you’re going to criticize the Pope, at least do it with the grace, wisdom and deep, historical knowledge of Thomas Sowell. That said, I will point out that George Soros is a capitalist. But even laying aside people like Soros (who pile up the cash while claiming to be for social justice), we do need to look at the whole picture, as I’m sure Mr. Sowell would agree. It is good that America’s poor are relatively rich, compared to past measures and, indeed, in comparison with the poor in other nations. But tens of millions of them don’t work: they live on government hand-outs. It is financially “good” that we can use sweated Chinese labor to produce I-crap so cheap that we can afford to give it to our poor…but I don’t believe this is morally good for our poor, the Chinese workers or any of us. We can do better, folks – and that is all Pope Francis is really saying on matters economic.

It isn’t just me – there are other conservative voices in favor of the Pope:

…Pope Francis has also drawn our attention to issues such as income inequality, the plight of immigrants, or the degradation of the environment. At times, he has gotten quite specific. But here is the clincher that people just don’t seem to get. When it comes to how to tackle these complex and difficult topics, the church steps back and leaves it to policymakers to debate and discuss. Even more important, Pope Francis, true to his Jesuit roots, is inviting debate, disagreement and — what was the word? — differences. Difference of opinion on these issues, termed by the church as prudential policy matters, is welcomed by the church and considered healthy and important by Pope Francis. Even when it means disagreeing with the pope…

The Pope will be driven around in a little Fiat. I think every aspirant to the White House should be asked why he or she should be driven around in anything upscale from that.