Open Thread

President Trump is moving ahead on Welfare reform…which really works out, in the end, to undoing Obama’s un-reform of Welfare.

Everyone says the GOP is doomed in November. Poll results; levels of voter enthusiasm; all those special election victories for the Dems; numerous GOP retirements (especially of Speaker Ryan) all indicate that the historical norm of the party in power getting clobbered in its first mid-term will happen. Hard to argue with all that – but, I do. So does Da Tech Guy, who gives seven reasons 2018 may be different from 2010.

My view remains that Donald Trump has fundamentally altered the electoral dynamic of the United States. We’ll find out if I’m right in November – though 2020 will also play it’s role. My main contention is that people are abandoning the Democrats. This started right around 2014 as the reality of Obama fully sunk in, and Democrats – supremely confident that they would never lose the White House and could ignore Congress – went ever further left not just in their ideology, but in how they presented their ideology (meaning, there was less and less effort on the part of the Democrats to disguise what they wanted…they were more and more openly proclaiming the socialist future they envisioned). Do the American people want identity politics, amnesty for illegals, gun control, tax increases and the impeachment of Donald Trump? As I said, we’ll find out – but my guess is that the number of Democrats in the country is a lot smaller than it was before and that even though Democrats are at a fever pitch (they’re pouring money into the Texas Senate race, for crying out loud: that’s just stupid. They need that money in Missouri…but the far left hates Cruz), there simply won’t be enough of them in November in the State and districts that matter. Stay tuned.

Senator Warren set up the CFPB to be outside Constitutional controls – now she’s mad that its outside Constitutional controls. As I have said, Democrats thought they’d never lose the White House again.

Donald Surber gives his thoughts on Trump and Syria. My view: don’t go in unless we declare war. If we’re saying that a government using WMD’s against its own people is an act of war against us, then go ahead and declare war. Mobilize the reserves; appropriate the money; raise the taxes and send the boys over to compel an unconditional surrender. If we’re not willing to do that, I don’t want to do it.

Alan Dershowitz’ advice is not to fire Mueller, but to have Rosenstein recuse himself. It is an interesting idea. But, I still say Fire Mueller.

47 thoughts on “Open Thread

  1. Jeremiah April 12, 2018 / 8:54 pm

    Rush said that the President should pardon Sessions, Daniels, Cohen and others, which would essentially shut the investigation down.

    What do you think? Think that’s a good plan?

    • Cluster April 13, 2018 / 8:25 am

      Rather than shut down the investigation, let’s expose it. I think Trump should start a clock and let people know just how long the investigation has gone on and what exactly has been discovered in the process. Then at ever press briefing with Sarah, I would have the clock behind her, ticking off the seconds, minutes and the money, that the Deep State is spending all in an effort to impeach the President. This isn’t about collusion, this is about impeachment.

      • Amazona April 13, 2018 / 8:25 pm

        I think that is a brilliant idea. A huge chart and clock, ticking off the days of the “investigation” and long empty columns of nothing discovered and long columns full of dollar signs of what it has cost so far to achieve absolutely nothing. Better yet, three of those digital countdown boards, one with the days rolling up, one with the dollars mounting up, and one with zeroes all across to show that nothing has been found. It’s time to start asking who is going to pay for this when it turns out to have been nothing but an attack on a sitting president by people ticked off that he got elected.

        We also need to start to shift the narrative from, as you said, the claim this is about collusion to the fact it is about unseating a legally elected president of the United States.

  2. Jeremiah April 12, 2018 / 9:05 pm

    I’m tired of hearin bout Raysha everyday on the news.

    I think everyone has heard the old saying, “if there wasn’t any bad news, there wouldn’t be any news at all”

    Well…I say, if it wasn’t for Democrats, there wouldn’t be any bad news. And I think that’d be good thing, don’t you? If there weren’t any democrats? One can dream, right?

  3. Cluster April 13, 2018 / 8:31 am

    One other disadvantage Democrats must confront:

    The DNC originally reported $6.1 million in debt in its March 2018 FEC report filed on March 20 but amended that report on Monday to include an additional $162,368.64 in debt, bringing the DNC’s total debt to just under $6.3 million.

    The Republican National Committee (RNC) has zero debt, according to the committee’s most recent FEC filings.

    The RNC has almost four times as much cash on hand as the DNC, according to the latest available FEC reports. The RNC reported in March FEC filings, compared to the DNC’s $10.1 million.

    Evidently, no one wants to give the Democrats any money

    • jdge1 April 13, 2018 / 12:26 pm

      This will certainly play against the DNC in financing and attacking a multitude of election contests. It also sheds light on where the general public portrays each party. I think Republicans should definitely press the negative ramification of the Democrats gaining either house, especially things like their avowed statements indicating they will rescind the recently enacted tax cuts, the fact that they cater to illegal immigrants OVER US citizens, and where they want to re-impose Obama-care provisions that hinder free choice that certainly impacts many people’s back pocket. That should give the general population great pause to electing Democrats.

      • Amazona April 13, 2018 / 1:21 pm

        You are right about the message the GOP needs to send, and I think the Dems realize this, too, which is why their new focus is on populism, as they define it, and nationalism, as they define it, both new and bogus definitions reeking of evil, suspicion and hatred of anyone who is not a white middle class Christian American. They are working very hard to make the mindless sheeple hesitant to identify with such horrible people as populists and nationalists.

        As I quoted from the recent NYT article: Populism is a form of identity politics because it’s based on in-group/out-group distinctions. It says anybody who doesn’t think or look like us is not a true American.”

        That is going to be their message. They are already identifying a strong border as inherently and viciously racist, and then tying it in to populism and nationalism.

    • M. Noonan April 13, 2018 / 5:53 pm

      They are doing better in their Senate and House campaign funding efforts – but, yeah, the DNC is effectively broke and will play no real role in 2018. Progressives are pouring money into politics, but not into the Democrat party. Thing is, the money is going places it shouldn’t. Democrats gave half a million dollars to McCabe for his legal defense…they are going to need that money elsewhere. The Democrat’s Texas Senate candidate is awash in money even though he has no realistic chance of taking down Cruz…the Democrats will find they needed that money in, say, Missouri. Also, the money is pouring in for far-left candidates…which might be find in the primary, but will be less effective in the general.

      We’ll see how it comes out – I’m just not sure the GOP Is Doomed story is correct.

  4. Cluster April 13, 2018 / 8:55 am

    What do these Democratic Senators have in common:

    Sens. Tom Udall of New Mexico, Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey of Massachusetts, Patty Murray of Washington, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Tina Smith of Minnesota, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Cory Booker of New Jersey, and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin.

    They all tried to shut down the free press:

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) sent a letter Thursday declining Senate Democrats’ request for the government agency to revoke Sinclair Broadcasting Group’s operational license.

    Democrat Senators actually tried to revoke the broadcasting license of Sinclair. That actually happened, and it’s not being reported. I think if more people knew this, Democrats would lose even more support.

    • Amazona April 13, 2018 / 12:24 pm

      Of course they wanted to shut down Sinclair—–the group had several of its on-air talents reading examples of fake news. The Left can’t tolerate having their lies exposed.

  5. Amazona April 13, 2018 / 12:40 pm

    Once again, the NYT steps in it. David Brooks has an article that is a mish-mash of Liberal nonsense.

    It postures as a review of Jonah Goldberg’s new book, but as far as I can tell from the article it is more of a chance to use a purported review as a vehicle for putting out more Leftist nonsense, some of it typically toxic.

    An example, not of Goldberg’s writing but of Brooks’ bias: emphasis mine Identity politics gained traction on the left, but now the Trumpian right has decided to fight fire with fire. Populism is a form of identity politics because it’s based on in-group/out-group distinctions. It says anybody who doesn’t think or look like us is not a true American.”

    This really shows us how terrifying populism, and nationalism, are to the radical Left. When your strategy is to weaken a nation by undermining its foundations, eroding its rule of law, creating unnecessary divisiveness among its people, destroying any unifying culture it may have and creating islands of conflicting loyalties, anything that involves a sense of national identity and culture is a threat.

    This is why the Left and its Complicit Agenda Media never just mention “nationalist”—-it is always “WHITE nationalists” because of their effort to link a sense of national identity with white supremacy. It’s a vicious, vicious tactic that puts human lives at risk, while trying to undermine the fabric of American identity, which has always been one of many races thinking of themselves as Americans.

    Just what does Brooks think the old description of the success of America being due to its being a “melting pot” meant? A “melting pot” describes a nation in which many different nationalities and races—who do not necessarily look alike or think alike—–choose to identify as Americans and live as Americans. This was always a point of pride in this nation, and Brooks and his fellow travelers simply pretend it never existed as they engage in the Leftist tradition of simply rewriting history and redefining terms.

    The article also places the NYT firmly in the camp of the anti-American contingent, as it does what it can to divide the nation into mutually suspicious if not warring camps. There was a time when a free press was an essential part of a free nation, but we are seeing that change into a situation in which a press with unlimited freedom to publish lies is being used to undermine an entire system of government.

    I’m not saying there should be restrictions on what the press can print, or on any medium, but I AM commenting on the need, the absolute and essential need, to have a balancing voice that points out the lies and counters them with truth and reason.

    • M. Noonan April 13, 2018 / 5:49 pm

      If you really think it over, they are saying American pre-January 20th, 2009 was “White America”…all it ever amount to was a series of white people stealing money and power from non-white people. Obama was Post-White America…and Trump is an anomaly that never should have been…he’s trying to return us to “White America”, which was nothing but all bad.

      • Amazona April 13, 2018 / 8:21 pm

        That is dangerous territory, as Post White America led us to record numbers of people killed by gang violence, racially motivated threats to kill law enforcement officers, a resurgence of racial hatred that is worse than the old fashioned racism of simply thinking another race was less intelligent or motivated because it is based on the conviction that another race is inherently evil and should not be allowed to live. The legacy of Post White America is one of ugliness, hatred, disintegration of civility, seething violence, and a nation more divided than at any time in its history other than in the pre-Civil War years. The only way to brag about a Post White America is to be able to point out some way, any way, that it is better, and no one can do that, at least not with a straight face. Post White America had us dropping out of space exploration, acting adoring and submissive to tyrants, bringing verbal porn into the White House and attacking our own history and Founders. It tried to make us ashamed of being Americans and opened our borders not just to the desperate poor but to people who came here to destroy us. I know the Left will strive to portray Post White America as an advancement over what came before it, but that will be a tough job dependent on simply lying.

  6. Amazona April 13, 2018 / 1:11 pm

    I like this guy. He used to be on the Hugh Hewitt show a lot—probably still is, I’m just out of range of Hugh’s radio station these days. It’s a funny article, which we Westerners might relate to more than the genteel folk of more civilized parts, but the end of the article says it all: Never trust the people who pathologize joy.

    And isn’t this related to our comments about the sour, nasty, grumpy and hateful nature of the Left?

    • Retired Spook April 13, 2018 / 1:26 pm

      Hillarious article. He must be related to Kurt Schlichter — writes with the same flair and wit.

      • Amazona April 13, 2018 / 5:16 pm

        I agree. There were almost too many funny comments to be able to choose one for a quote. I did really like this one, partly because of the subtle reference to the Prius but a little—-smuttier. So they gave it the name “EcoBoost” to make it sound green, I gather. The credulous will think, “Oh, it uses botanical essences to power the . . . the cylinder thingies.” Great. A car that has to lie to me. Look, if you have a turbocharger, name the danged car the “Ford Priapus” and post specs like “9.3L id-injector that sprays testosterone into the fuel mixer,” because that’s what a lot of drivers want. Me go fast now.

        Great. A car that has to lie to me.

  7. Cluster April 13, 2018 / 1:49 pm

    Let’s also make sure that every voter knows exactly what the Democrats think of the working class:

    In a video with fellow Democratic Senators Chris Van Hollen and Tammy Baldwin, Booker slammed the Republican-led tax reform effort that cut taxes for a vast majority of Americans and led many businesses to give their employees one-time bonuses[.] …

    Booker went on to shame people who received those one-time bonuses, insisting that it is not “free money” and that it came with the cost of “driving up our debt.”

    Booker thinks your money is actually his. This is particularly maddening considering I just read an article this morning on how the head of CFPB makes $216,000 a year with benefits, but regularly takes 5 week vacations….to San Francisco and receives per diems as well, and yet no one really knows what she actually does.

    Still a lot of housing cleaning left to do.

    • Amazona April 13, 2018 / 8:43 pm

      One of the funniest—in a sad and creepy way—-things in contemporary American politics is having an element screeching that Donald Trump is crazy, represented by one of the looniest freaks ever to be in Congress. Cory Booker is flat-out batshit crazy, and mean as a rattlesnake on top of it. I don’t mind having the Democrat Party represented by Cory Booker and David Hogg, I just wonder how many decent if misled Dem voters want to be seen as part of that little club.

  8. Amazona April 13, 2018 / 5:36 pm

    I just got off the phone from a conversation with a friend that turned, as they so often do, to politics. This is a hard-core Trumpist, so I expected some pushback when I said “As much as I like what Trump is doing, I am getting tired of Trump.” And he agreed.

    Just think of what we could be getting done if he would just shut the hell up. I am so tired of three steps forward, two steps back. Or, worse, two steps forward and three steps back.

    I said I wish Trump would go on TV with a carefully scripted speech and stick to it, and say in essence “I came into this job pretty confident that I could handle setbacks and opposition, because I’ve been doing it successfully for almost 50 years. But I’ve finally come to accept that politics, especially Washington DC politics, is not like business. In the business world, people lie. People lie a lot. But they don’t always get away with it because sooner or later the figures will prove them to be liars. But in politics, especially DC politics, this is not the case. In politics, when something is proved to be a lie, they just tell another lie. In politics, especially in DC, the people are usually not told the truth because the media are no longer real journalists whose job it is to tell people what is really going on, the media are now agenda-driven advocates for one side, usually the increasingly radical Left, so truth has a hard time getting to the surface and when it does, it gets drowned out by bigger and louder lies. I admit to being wrong. I admit that I have let my ego convince me that I could overcome decades of this kind of corruption and dishonesty. I can’t. I’ve let myself get drawn into the gutter, where these people live, and I have decided I won’t do it any more. This is where they live, this is where they are comfortable, and when they can get someone to join them there they have the home field advantage. But I was not hired to wallow in the gutter with liars and people who will willingly, even eagerly, damage the very fabric of our government to gain power and political advantage. I have a pretty clear idea of why I was hired, and I think I’ve done a pretty good job so far, in spite of thinking I could apply the same tactics that worked so well in business to the swamp here in the federal government. I can’t, and I apologize for letting you, the Americans who put your faith and trust in me, down. From this point on, I am going to ignore the gutter. I am still dedicated to draining the swamp, but I’m not going to join the gutter people. Let them wallow in their lies and their hatred and their willingness to destabilize the government itself because of their resentment and their greed for power. I’m not saying that lies and attacks will be ignored, but one attribute of a good leader is the ability to delegate, so I am going to delegate this kind of dirty job to other people while I concentrate on the job you hired me to do.”

    He could still tweet, but only to talk about successes. No more attacks, no more name calling. No more press conferences unless he has a clear idea of what to say and how to say it and a commitment to not saying more.

    Let others speak to the attacks and the lies. I personally think that just as the concept Fake News has become part of the dialogue, so would references to wallowing in the gutter. When a gotcha question is hurled at Sarah Sanders or Kellyanne Conway or whoever and the answer is “that sounds a lot like a gutter question—-can you ask a legitimate question? I think this would play well with the independents who are already disgusted with pussy hats and foul-mouthed Dirty Girls, and show disdain for gutter politics.

    The problem is, this would require a disciplined Donald Trump, and at his age and with his temperament I don’t think he has it in him to change, even if it would lead to him being the most successful president in history.

    • M. Noonan April 13, 2018 / 5:46 pm

      There is that – because I’ve also come across it, as well: people pretty solidly behind Trump but wish he was more, well, quiet. I can definitely agree that greater message discipline would help. But, I don’t think we’re going to get it. Trump is Trump. OTOH, things like his slam at Comey today is worthwhile – it lays down the marker in an unmistakable way that he’s not having any of this…the Libby pardon was part of that, as well. I think his view – and, overall, it may be correct – is that everyone gets fed such a steady diet of “Trump is doomed” that he feels the need to reassure his troops that he’s not done fighting. In the long term, will this be a plus or a minus? We’ll find out when the votes are counted in ’18 and ’20.

      • Amazona April 13, 2018 / 8:12 pm

        But for every tweet that has a good effect there are those that are the opposite. His term so far has been a litany of self-imposed injuries that could have been avoided, and he needs to develop some discipline. If his antics lead to losing the House his will be a term permanently tainted by even more raucous and unprincipled harassment as they try to impeach him.

        The litany of “Trump is doomed” comes, in large part, to the damage he does to himself. The best way to counter it is to prove that he is, in fact, serious and disciplined and focused, and schoolyard taunts just add to the impression he is none of those things.

    • Amazona April 13, 2018 / 9:12 pm

      VDH has a perspective on Trump that I am willing to consider. From his article: I have highlighted the part that reflects something I have thought about. As I have often quoted Mick Jagger, you don’t always get what you want but sometimes you get what you need, and I think Trump is what we need. I just get squeamish sometimes, and fret that while he might personally survive his persona might damage the rest of the party.

      Trump could not cease tweeting, not cease his rallies, not cease his feuding, and not cease his nonstop motion and unbridled speech if he wished to. It is his brand, and such overbearing made Trump, for good or evil, what he is — and will likely eventually banish him from establishment Washington, whether after or during his elected term. His raucousness can be managed, perhaps mitigated for a time — thus the effective tenure of his sober cabinet choices and his chief of staff, the ex–Marine general, no-nonsense John Kelly — but not eliminated. His blunt views cannot really thrive, and indeed can scarcely survive, in the nuance, complexity, and ambiguity of Washington.

      Trump is not a mannered Mitt Romney, who would never have left the Paris climate agreement. He is not a veteran who knew the whiz of real bullets and remains a Washington icon, such as John McCain, who would never have moved the American embassy to Jerusalem. Marco Rubio or Jeb Bush certainly would never have waded into no-win controversies such as the take-a-knee NFL debacle and unvetted immigration from suspect countries in the Middle East and Africa, or called to account sanctuary cities that thwarted federal law. Our modern Agamemnon, Speaker Paul Ryan, is too circumspect to get caught up with Trump’s wall or a mini-trade war with China.

      Trump does not seem to care whether he is acting “presidential.” The word — as he admits — is foreign to him. He does not worry whether his furious tweets, his revolving-door firing and hiring, and his rally counterpunches reveal a lack of stature or are becoming an embarrassing window into his own insecurities and apprehensions as a Beltway media world closes in upon him in the manner that, as the trapped western hero felt, the shrinking landscape was increasingly without options in the new 20th century.

      The real moral question is not whether the gunslinger Trump could or should become civilized (again, defined in our context as becoming normalized as “presidential”) but whether he could be of service at the opportune time and right place for his country, crude as he is. After all, despite their decency, in extremis did the frontier farmers have a solution without Shane, or the Mexican peasants a realistic alternative to the Magnificent Seven, or the town elders a viable plan without Will Kane?

      Perhaps we could not withstand the fire and smoke of a series of Trump presidencies, but given the direction of the country over the last 16 years, half the population, the proverbial townspeople of the western, wanted some outsider, even with a dubious past, to ride in and do things that most normal politicians not only would not but could not do — before exiting stage left or riding off into the sunset, to the relief of most and the regrets of a few.

      The best and the brightest résumés of the Bush and Obama administrations had doubled the national debt — twice. Three prior presidents had helped to empower North Korea, now with nuclear-tipped missiles pointing at the West Coast. Supposedly refined and sophisticated diplomats of the last quarter century, who would never utter the name “Rocket Man” or stoop to call Kim Jong-un “short and fat,” nonetheless had gone through the “agreed framework,” “six-party talks,” and “strategic patience,” in which three administrations gave Pyongyang quite massive aid to behave and either not to proliferate or at least to denuclearize. And it was all a failure, and a deadly one at that.

      When I started the article I kind of choked on the concept of Trump as a “tragic hero” but Hansen makes some good points and as usual has an interesting perspective.

      • Retired Spook April 13, 2018 / 10:39 pm

        My youngest daughter married a guy in 2007 that everyone in our family liked. His grandfather was my scoutmaster in the 50’s, and his dad and uncle were both in my Boy Scout troop and grew up a few blocks from me. We were delighted that he and our daughter were getting married. It soon became apparent, however, that his favorite things were drinking beer, hunting, fishing and gambling. Our daughter went into the marriage thinking she would either adapt to his lifestyle or change him. She did neither, and three years later she gave up and divorced him. I’ve given up hope that Donald Trump will change who he is, or even tone down who he is, but I’ve come to see him pretty much as VDH, and the last thing I want to do at this point is divorce him.

      • Retired Spook April 14, 2018 / 2:41 pm

        I guess I didn’t say it as well as I could have, but, yeah, I agree with National Review.

      • Amazona April 14, 2018 / 3:29 pm

        One of Trump’s successes seems to be more attention paid to the role of the media. This is an interesting article, as it comes out and says what a lot of us have been saying/thinking for quite some time now.

        For decades, we’ve been living under the misimpression, purveyed by our media elites, that politics revolves around the president. First, it was Bill Clinton; then it was George W. Bush; then it was Barack Obama; now, it’s Donald Trump. All matters of policy and rhetoric must be filtered through the prism of the man occupying the Oval Office.

        But this executive-centric vision of the political universe is completely wrong. We’ve been subjected to a pre-Copernican political model. In reality, the actual center of gravity around which all politics revolves are the media themselves. The stories we see are promoted by the media; the stories we don’t are buried by them. The figures we admire are touted by the media; the figures we hate are ripped by them. Members of the media will suggest that this is merely a responsive mechanism: that they give us the facts, we react to those facts, and they react to our reactions. But that simply isn’t true. The media shape the news cycle.

      • M. Noonan April 14, 2018 / 9:28 pm

        Historical perspective is always good – and that is why Hanson always repays reading. Remember, Winston Churchill was never popular (except, perhaps, in the brief June-September period of 1940). He was a hired gun – the Brits turned to him in desperation in May of 1940 because there was simply no one else who would do whatever was necessary to save Britain when real disaster threatened. And as soon as they could, the Brits tossed him out on his ear precisely in favor of the people who would have lost World War Two. Very strange – but illustrative.

        Trump is the proposed antidote to the poison we’ve allowed into our system…and, like most antidotes, is a bit of a poison, himself. He is quinine for our fever.

      • Amazona April 15, 2018 / 3:37 pm

        Churchill was not only not popular, he was hated and reviled and insulted in a way I can’t compare to anything but the savaging of Trump. But he got the job done, partly because he just ignored the haters. If only Trump could adopt a little of Churchill’s stoicism about being attacked we would all be better off, but in any case I agree that Trump, with all his faults, is doing what no other president could or would have done.

        Bush’s biggest problem was his effort to be a statesman and his playing to the history books, trying to establish consensus, trying to appease, trying to keep from getting too many people too upset. Aside from Trump’s schoolyard taunts and childish tweets, he’s doing what has to be done and he just doesn’t give a flip about what the history books say. When you play the long game, you know that all that counts is the score at the end, not who was the nicest or smartest or had the best press.

  9. jdge1 April 13, 2018 / 6:26 pm

    In recent new news Trump has granted Libby a full pardon. To many of us conservatives it was obvious Libby was innocent and simply a hard target of the left. There are numerous points of evident to bear this out. For example;

    ” The District of Columbia Court of Appeals unanimously reinstated Mr. Libby to the bar, reauthorizing him to practice law. The Court agreed with the District of Columbia Disciplinary Counsel, who stated that Mr. Libby had presented ‘credible evidence’ in support of his innocence, including evidence that a key prosecution witness had ‘changed her recollection of the events in question,'” she continued.

    When Bush commuted his prison sentence I wondered why he didn’t offer a full pardon. The best I can figure is Bush is a coward. I’m glad Trump has stepped up to right a wrong. Now that he been pardoned, I wonder if he’ll see any of the $250,000 in fines he was forced to pay?

    • Amazona April 13, 2018 / 8:08 pm

      He’ll never get those years back and he’ll never get that money back. There is no way to compensate him for the living hell imposed on him by unscrupulous people eager to sacrifice any innocent person in their zeal to harm any of Bush’s people.

      All we can do is try to learn from it. It would be great if Libby were the kind of guy to go on talk shows now and compare the Mueller prowling around trying to find something to pin on somebody, anybody, to what he went through. But he doesn’t come across as the kind of guy who would be comfortable doing that.

  10. jdge1 April 13, 2018 / 11:41 pm

    US, UK and France launch air strikes in Syria. Not sure how this will play out, but I’m sure glad Obama is not in office.

  11. Cluster April 14, 2018 / 9:02 am

    Trump’s approval rating is high 40’s and even 50% in a couple polls. Can you imagine how much higher it would be if their wasn’t the 24/7 media attacks? The relentlessly personal and unending attacks on this President on behalf of our media is unprecedented, and if those attacks would cease just a bit, and some of Trump’s success’s were more widely known, his approval ratings would be in the 60’s and 2018 would be another GOP win …. and the media knows it. The only chance Dems have is to destroy Trump, and they and their media colleagues are doing their best.

    • Amazona April 14, 2018 / 1:18 pm

      But we don’t have many people talking about Trump’s successes. In the NR article I linked to above, even NR is starting to appreciate the work he has done, but we need to figure out how to get that message out there. Perhaps the national GOP could have some training sessions for state and local candidates, so they can incorporate these successes into their own campaigns—-a good idea, as their opposition will be basing a lot of their campaigns on linking the GOP folks with Trump and then trashing them all.

      I simply don’t understand why we even HAVE a national GOP, as it seems to do absolutely nothing about coordinating campaigns around the country to amplify the Republican message or helping new candidates campaign more effectively.

      • Retired Spook April 14, 2018 / 2:47 pm

        Perhaps the national GOP could have some training sessions for state and local candidates, so they can incorporate these successes into their own campaigns—-a good idea, as their opposition will be basing a lot of their campaigns on linking the GOP folks with Trump and then trashing them all.

        Not just incorporating the successes, but heading off the Dems at the pass and explaining how they will reverse those successes if they regain control of Congress.

  12. Retired Spook April 15, 2018 / 9:38 am

    I caught a bit of Fox and Friends while eating breakfast this morning. My wife watches it every day, but I almost never do, so I don’t know the names of people on the show. A female host had two guests, a black male liberal Democrat and a black female conservative Republican. The subject of the latest Rassmussen poll of Trump’s approval came up, and the black guy ridiculed it as one of the historically least accurate polls around. The host said it was one of the most accurate polls in the 2016 election, and the black Liberal said, no it wasn’t, but he would agree to disagree. Turns out the top two most accurate polls in the 2016 presidential election were Investor’s Business Daily and the Rassmussen poll of likely voters. I know it will never happen, but just once I’d love to see a host say to a guest that deliberately lies to make a point, “sorry, but you’re the one who’s lying, and here’s the proof. If you can’t make your point without lying, then you’re not welcome here, Please leave, and don’t come back.”

    • Cluster April 15, 2018 / 11:06 am

      ….you’re not welcome here, Please leave, and don’t come back.

      I can think of a lot of people who need to hear that.

      I heard a pundit say the other day that the Mueller had better find something big vis a vie Cohen, to justify the heavy handed, authoritarian no knock raid. It’s not as if Cohen was hiding any documents to begin with, but so far the only thing Mueller may have found is a possible trip the Czech republic in 2016. Do you think that finding justified a no knock raid? How about Rice and Powell unmasking American citizens? This is who these people are –

      I heard Chuck Todd ask Paul Ryan if the GOP needs a “unifying leader” this morning – my answer is HELL NO. I don’t want to unify with people like Chuck Todd. I want to eliminate people like Chuck Todd.

      • Amazona April 15, 2018 / 11:10 am

        Maybe he meant a leader who could unify the GOP. That would be great, unless the direction of the “unification” was to line everyone up with McCain, et al.

      • Cluster April 15, 2018 / 11:48 am

        I don’t even want the GOP unified. I don’t have much in common with people like Mitch McConnell and John Mccain.

        Good things come from conflict.

      • Amazona April 15, 2018 / 3:23 pm

        That’s kind of what I was getting at. If unifying the GOP were to mean unifying behind an actual coherent political philosophy of adhering to the Constitution, it would be a good thing for the party, a good thing for the country, and would kick McCain and McConnell to the curb.

        If you don’t want the GOP to be fixed, what DO you want? A symbolic oppositional party that is toothless? One that stands on principle while the established parties run the country? I’m not big on symbolic virtue signaling gestures. The GOP is a large and fairly sturdy structure that needs some work, and I don’t see any sense at all in walking away from it to live in a tent to make some kind of point just because I don’t like some of the tenants.

        The GOP has power, but has chosen not to use it, letting some inmates run the asylum. I believe that a good leader could call in all the GOP Congresscritters and lay down the law—-“this is what the party stands for, regarding how to govern the nation. We’ve spent too much time and too much political capital getting sucked into “values” arguments. No more. We represent this and this and that, regarding how the nation has to be governed, and when you people are running for Congressional seats this is how you argue. When asked about issues that are not in the scope of federal power, say so, and tell people that for these issues they need to take to their state and local people. Get focused, get a grip, and stop being such morons. We have a few positions, we stick to hem, and we don’t let ourselves be dragged down in the gutter. If you don’t have a clear picture of how to govern according to the Constitution, and a commitment to do so, get out of the way for someone who does.”

        And then the national party could put together some national themes. Look how they dropped the ball on Obamacare. When it was passed, people knew it was passed by people who hadn’t even read the bill, and a lot of people were ticked off about that. But then they forgot, some other shiny thing distracted them, and it fell by the wayside. I always thought that nationally, in every single state in the nation, every Dem who voted for it should have been held accountable, not for voting for a bill he or she truly believed in but for voting for something he or she never even read. That is common sense. That is the bare minimum we should expect from our representatives, and Dem voters didn’t get it. And the anemic, distracted, unfocused GOP couldn’t even recognize the opportunity, much less take advantage of it.

        The party will always have people in it we don’t like, but ditching the whole party because of it just playing Identity Politics, but with the gun aimed at your own head. It’s a big party. The outliers, the progressives, the squishies, the backstabbers, can be isolated and eventually run off if the rest of the party is unified. The Dems have what power they have BECAUSE THEY ARE ORGANIZED AND BECAUSE THEY HAVE A UNIFYING THEME THEY ALL STICK TO . That’s not that hard to understand.

      • Amazona April 15, 2018 / 3:25 pm

        Good things come from conflict.

        Sometimes. And sometimes chaos comes from conflict, creating a vacuum of leadership that allows the opposition to step in. Sometimes conflict leads to disintegration. Sometimes it just creates so much noise it is a distraction that leads to paralysis. And even when there is eventually a good outcome, it is seldom BECAUSE of conflict, but in spite of it.

      • Cluster April 16, 2018 / 7:54 am

        I would like to see a coalition of traditional Americans unify. The coalition that elected Trump and people like Dave Brat, Mark Meadows, & Jim Jordan. Americans who run small business’s, work at small trades, raise families, pay taxes, support local charities, and volunteer when needed. These people have less representation in DC than anyone…..until Trump. And I would like to see that coalition emerge even stronger and take over the GOP.

      • Amazona April 16, 2018 / 10:00 am

        Which is just another way of reforming the GOP. And at that point you get down to the mechanics of it—-do you form a coalition outside the GOP and then storm the gates with your group, or do you work from inside the group, drawing in like-minded people and building your coalition from the inside.

        Remember that the GOP is a political entity, and that the people you are talking about coordinating are not political people but people who have their own lives—-running businesses, working at trades, raising families, etc. They might share wishes and dreams for how they would like America to be governed, and they might vote for candidates they think will legislate in that direction, but they are no more capable of taking over and running a large political entity than they are of flying a jumbo jet. All they can do is promise their votes to someone who can. And that is as tight a “coalition” as you are ever going to get from people who have nothing in common but a desire to see the nation run a certain way, while they run their own lives.

        The work of rebuilding a political entity has to be done by people who understand politics and work in that arena, not by a bunch of well-meaning sincere and earnest people who know what they want but probably have no idea of how to get it.

        I have no image at all of the construction or dynamics of the national party. None. Sometimes I know the head of the party, sometimes I don’t. I don’t know its structure or its composition or who are the core members who drive the agendas. Not a clue. So I can’t say it should be scrapped, or assaulted from without by a mob of reformers, because I don’t know what it would take to reform it from within. For all I know, one strong leader could get the job done. As I write this, the name that comes to my mind is Mitt Romney—the guy who turned around the Olympics and changed it from a chaotic mudhole with no buildings completed and no coherent plan and millions of dollars in debt to an example of a beautifully functional event. The guy whose job it was, for decades, to look at messed-up businesses in danger of falling apart and take them over and make them function properly and succeed. Someone who (1) has not only a clear vision of what Constitutional governance looks like but a commitment to it, (2) someone with the kind of mind that can look at chaos and see the underlying pattern that needs to be brought out to make it functional, what has to be tossed and what has to be changed and what just needs to be tweaked, and (3) the leadership qualities that let him or her walk that line between getting people to follow and making people follow.

        The party is not just the few obnoxious people in Congress who have their pictures in the media every day. There is an organization of people who, supposedly, in a perfect world, control the agenda, control the purse strings, do the fundraising, do the organization and provide the foundation for the legislators who are the face of the party. Get control of that management group, get control of that agenda, get control of those bank accounts, and the people in Congress can be brought to heel or nudged out the door. These are the people who decide which candidates will get money for their campaigns, who decide on campaign strategy, and so on.

    • Amazona April 15, 2018 / 11:08 am

      Exactly. A show like this ought to have a crew of fact checkers on hand to immediately check something like this to provide, within a minute, rebuttal, at which time the host could say, if he or she is feeling charitable, “Here are the facts to prove I was right and your were wrong. Do we consider this a lie on your part or just a mistake?” Otherwise, “We need to concentrate on guests who don’t lie, so we won’t be seeing you here again”.

      In either case the host should be prepared to build on this and say this kind of determination to just say whatever seems to advance their agenda is a large reason for the divisiveness in this country.

      A focused effort on the part of all the talk “news” shows doing this would hurt the Lefty talking head industry. Of course this would be painting a bullseye on the back of every conservative guest, who would then be accused of lying if she said it was 10:15 when it was really 10:14. But people who agree to be on these shows ought to be fairly skilled at handling questions.

      I love Sarah Sanders’ tactic—-“That’s a really stupid question. Does anyone have a real question?”

  13. Cluster April 15, 2018 / 11:26 am

    Pajama boy Chris Wallace is trying to convince everyone that Trump’s policies allow Assad to slaughter Syrians with conventional weapons, but draws the line with chemical weapons.

    What juvenile and asinine assumption ….

    We need more MEN in this country.

    • Amazona April 15, 2018 / 10:03 pm

      By “everyone” I assume you mean the 327 people who watch his show.

  14. Cluster April 15, 2018 / 11:46 am

    Let’s just assume for a second that Putin did collude with Trump and helped him win.

    How do you think Putin is feeling about that right now?

    And knowing that Putin could end his Presidency by simply revealing the collusion, why do you think Trump is being so hostile & belligerent towards Putin?

    Doesn’t even pass the smell test does it?

    • Amazona April 15, 2018 / 3:32 pm

      Nothing about any of this has passed the smell test.

      There has never been a compelling argument for why Putin would want Trump to be elected.

      Trump was unpredictable, he couldn’t be bought, and he was wholeheartedly a capitalist down to his toes. Hillary was weak, predictable, corrupt, leaned very strongly toward the Left and had basically put her fee schedule up on the internet. She’d been bought so many times it was a given. She was much more compatible with Russian politics than Trump.

      But setting aside the simple-minded concept that Putin supported one candidate over the other, there is the fact that the best thing for Putin, and for Russia, would be internal strife, divisiveness and chaos within the United States. Just as governments have throughout history been destabilized by introducing counterfeit currency, they have been even more destabilized by introducing counterfeit information. We are so stupid, so easily led, so gullible, that all Russia had to do was drop in a few hints that Trump had been up to something, knowing the Dems would be on anything fed to them like ducks on June bugs, and then all they would have to do would be to sit back and watch us tear ourselves apart from the inside out. And so we have been doing, with Putin sitting back and grinning. All that damage to the United States for the cost of a couple of IT guys and some help from the Dem Party. So much cheaper than missiles and tanks.

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