Open Thread

The Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) case in Michigan is on the rocks:

A federal judge Tuesday dismissed female genital mutilation charges against several doctors in the first criminal case of its kind nationwide, ruling the law is unconstitutional.

And the judge is probably right. It is a religious practice and while we might find it wrong, that doesn’t mean we get to tell people they are wrong for doing it. The only standing I think might have on the matter is whether or not a minor child is sufficiently under parental control as to have no say in whether the operation is performed. Can a minor child refuse parental instruction to have it done? That is something we might be able to test in court…but, even here, I worry that a ruling against the parents means that some liberal, somewhere down the line, will argue that a Catholic teaching her child that homosexual sex is inherently disordered is a violation of the child’s rights. Remember, the Constitution is very blunt here: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, nor prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. There’s no carve out for outlandish religious practices we find disgusting. And, really, it has to be this way – it is the only way to ensure our ability to exercise our religion freely.

So, what do we do? I think we have to say: nothing. Unless we want to amend the Constitution making certain religious practices unconstitutional…and I doubt any of us want to go down that road.

President Trump is refusing to be stampeded into anti-Saudi actions – and, I think, he is right. As you all know, I have no real use for Saudi Arabia…at least, as it has been these last 40 years or so. There are some winds of change blowing there, though, and they might make Saudi Arabia a decent place in the by and by. But, be that as it may, right now it isn’t all that great…but it is the least-bad place in the area and as it stands athwart Iranian ambitions, it is useful for us to have good relations with Saudi Arabia. My personal view is that Khashoggi was killed in a Mafia-like hit ordered by the Saudi government and the pro-Iran echo chamber in the United States is using Khashoggi’s murder to try to help Iran out of the box Trump has placed them in.

A couple guys once wrote a book claiming that Obama is the Worst President we’ve ever had – now, he’s trying to make himself the worst ex-President we’ve ever had.

I’m figuring Kasich will announce he’s a Democrat any day, now. One of the best things about the Trump Era is how all our squishes and backstabbers are leaving.

Today’s TDS outrage is a claim that Trump was warned off of having Justice look into his political rivals. I doubt he was – but, if he was, then whomever suggested it was wrong. The bottom line – the reason we’re in this mess – is that no one ever looks into the actions of their predecessors. I’m completely in favor of it. And, no, I don’t worry about that spotlight being turned on Trump and his people in future years. They should be afraid of that spotlight. Every official of government should live in permanent terror that someone will comb over their actions in office.


Creepy Open Thread

The Creepy Porn Lawyer got arrested for domestic violence. This surprises absolutely no one on the right.

Funny, isn’t it, that everyone who shouts that Trump is bad seems to wind up exposed as a complete piece of sh**? I’m starting to wonder if our Moral Superiors on the Left and in Never Trump are actually the bad guys and that Trump is just a normal human sinner who is basically decent…

Speaking of Never Trump – we all figured that they had merely switched paymasters from Sorta-Right Rich Guys to Liberal Rich Guys, and we were right! The particular case Bill Kristol (and, I’ll bet, many others) is being paid to argue is against Whitaker as Acting Attorney General. They are desperate to protect the Precious (Mueller). But, long term, what Kristol and the rest of Never Trump is planning, in my view, is a Third Party option for 2020 (like Perot) to split the GOP vote and allow whomever the Democrats nominate to win. Don’t discount this too much, guys: it could work. I don’t think it will – but with large financial backing, even the most absurd candidate might gain traction. They’re probably thinking Kasich or Flake, but such wouldn’t even pull McMullin’s numbers, I’m guessing, in the general. They’ll need a personality like Perot to really make a go at it. We’ll see if they find one (Avenatti is suddenly going to be busy).

Acosta’s legal case arguing that he has a special right to be a whiny creep at White House press conferences didn’t get off to a good start. OTOH, Fox News is supporting Acosta, thus providing more proof that the rising generation of Murdochs wants to take the network left…likely and merely because the younger Murdochs are embarrassed at cocktail parties to be associated with Carlson and Hannity.

Trump has signed on to criminal justice reform – which is something that I think he’s wanted to do for a while but old guard people probably frustrated his intent. Trump, unleashed, might prove ever more formidable. Remember, after he won, he did feel the need to make peace with the GOPe…but now, after engineering the defeat of four sitting Democrat Senators (and having a lot of Never Trump House members go down to flaming defeat), the party is definitely more in line with Trump. This means Trump can do, in my view, the one thing best designed to get him re-elected: be more Trumpy.

Trump’s trade war has lowered the price of bacon. That’s it. We won the war.


News outlets reported that the Gulfport Police Department said in a news release that 28-year-old Keith Cavalier told officers he intentionally crashed into the Harrison County Courthouse early Saturday because it was the best way to let them know his drug paraphernalia had been stolen.

I guess they do have to investigate the stolen goods, now, don’t they?

Whenever you think the Left has reached Peak Stupid, they always show they can go one better.

Open Thread

We do have a problem with young voters and have to find a way to appeal to them. The first step I think we should take is annulling all student loans in default and then change the law to allow student loans to be discharged in bankruptcy after five years – with a proviso that 25% of the discharged amount is charged back to the institutions they attended. As I’ve said for years, the student loan system is a mere scam – a subsidy for the far left. And, no, I’m not interested in making kids suffer the burden of it. They were conned. So, let’s unburden them and start to gain their trust and support…and with the charge back, start to punish our enemies in the academic left.

We lost in Arizona – and while I’m sure the Democrats did commit voter fraud in Arizona (as they do everywhere they can) the bottom line is that McSally lost. The Republican governor of Arizona got hundreds of thousands more votes than McSally did…so, she was misfiring somewhere.

That said, voter fraud is a huge problem. It looks like we stepped up in time in FL and GA to prevent the most brazen theft in history. Usually, voter fraud works around the small margins. You know – Democrat behind 400 votes on election day, and then finds just enough to win. The reason for this is that manufacturing tens of thousands of votes is a risky business. But, the Democrats seem to have tried just that in FL and GA. It just shows how completely lawless they have become – how absolutely certain they are that the laws simply don’t apply to them. One of the reasons why is neatly shown by Jeb Bush’s statement about it – he wants the Broward official in charge removed, but only after the vote is certified. In other words, old line Republican that he is, he’s ok with the theft and then merely wants the crook to quit. So it has always been – and Democrats have expected it will always be. But the new GOP has a bit of backbone…and all the Democrats may really have done here is put the issue of voter fraud on the front burner.

Latest from the incoming House Democrats is that they’re going to drop the program of impeaching Kavanaugh (maybe Schumer pointed out that this would be an insanely stupid thing to do?), but they are still saying they’ll take on Trump, even if Mueller doesn’t show any criminal behavior (and, he won’t). No one can read the future – I guess we’ll find out if the American people in 2020 will reward or punish such behavior. My view is that Trump holds the advantage here because most casual observers simply don’t care about such inside baseball stuff. And if the Democrats shut down the government over it (and they are de-facto threatening that), then it could end badly for them. But, in the event, we’ll have to see. Maybe Democrat insanity is what the American people crave? Time will tell.

If, as I expect, we do prevail in FL, it means we will have taken down four sitting Democrat Senators in 2018. Not a bad bit of work – in fact, I don’t think the out party has lost that many Senators in a midterm since the 1930’s. Democrats are, rightly, pleased at their House victory…but getting back to 51 in the Senate is going to be a difficult prospect for them. Now, if the GOP gets crushed under a landslide in 2020, lots of GOP Senators will go down with it. But if its a GOP victory or even a narrow loss, then the only GOPer really at risk is in CO. Meanwhile, the GOP has an excellent chance of recapturing Alabama that year and can at least take a shot at New Hampshire and Michigan. Moving on to 2022, the GOP will have a shot at NV, CO and NH while the Democrats really only have hope in Wisconsin. On balance, absent a meltdown by either party, the 53 Seats we’ll hold in January should be pretty tough to take from us over the next two cycles, meaning that if Trump is re-elected, he’s going to have a GOP Senate (at least) through his whole term of office. That will simply be devastating to the Democrats in the judiciary.

And now you know why the Democrats are suddenly talking up abolishing the Senate.

November 11th, 1918

A bit of family research by a cousin indicates my grandfather, George Childs Noonan, Sr, was being held as a POW by the Germans when World War One ended. He was involved in the Battle of the St Quentin Canal at the end of September, 1918, and he and his unit were captured after an epic stand against odds when they got cut off from their main body. My family was well represented in the War, with one grand uncle flying with the RAF and the rest in various American military units.

The War, when not simply forgotten, has a reputation of being nothing but a waste. But, it wasn’t. It was a war that had to be fought – the world couldn’t allow Imperial Germany to carry out its program of using unlimited military force to secure national ends. It is true enough that the Kaiser wasn’t nearly as evil as what came after him, but he was setting in train evil, and it had to be stopped.

And stopped it was. Though at a cost so high, as Churchill pointed out, that victory was indistinguishable from defeat. That is the real tragedy of the war – that the sides were so evenly balanced in power and military skill that no one could ever gain a decisive advantage until technological advances in 1918 made it possible for the superior mass of the Allies to just overwhelm the Germans with brute force.

No great Captains emerged from the war – no Rommel or Patton or MacArthur (though all three fought in the war). There was no spectacular victory on the field to fire the imagination. Just an intense, six weeks shock at the start of the war and then four very long years of grinding away at each other until one side quit.

It is worthwhile remembering them. They were very brave soldiers, on each side. They stuck it out in horrible conditions, year after year, and hardly a murmur of complaint arose. They were men, and they did their duty. And, now, 100 years later, that is all that really matters.

After the Blue Puddle

It was lousy to lose the House – but I’ve read a story where the Democrats are seriously considering impeaching Justice Kavanaugh…so, the Democrat majority will likely be short lived. But, we still need to think about the future.

Looking ahead at the Senate maps in 2020 and 2022, there isn’t too much of a risk to the GOP majority – absent a meltdown of epic proportions, the GOP might have a very enduring Senate majority. Like in the 10+ year range. More than long enough to replace both Breyer and RBG, assuming Trump is re-elected in 2020 (a likely event given how simply difficult it is to eject a sitting President). There are some 135 (or more, not sure) open Federal seats in the judiciary and you know that Trump and Cocaine Mitch are going to go into overdrive filling them – fundamentally, the Judiciary is going to be under our control for a generation. Over time, this will become more and more noticeable as more and more cases are decided in favor of the Constitution. A great deal of what Democrats have accomplished these past 40 years has been via the Courts…now that will stop, and a good deal of it might even be reversed.

But we clearly failed in the House…and there are simply too many big population States where we are just doing miserably. California and New York most notably, but also Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey. We can’t count on holding the red States all the time and forever. We’re going to lose some in the red States…better to shore up our position with some major blue State wins in both the House and Senate. To do this, we’re going to have to ask what the blue Staters want, and then figure out how to give as much of it to them as we can consistent with the Populist-Conservative stamp of the modern GOP.

It is a tall order, but not impossible. We lost the California governorship by 18 points..but if we just get 1 in 10 CA voters to switch from Democrat to GOP, we win the governorship…and perhaps a Senate seat, as well. And likely a few House seats, into the bargain. And have a shot at winning California’s electoral votes. It is certainly worth the effort. Heck, just forcing the Democrats to defend their California position is worth the effort. Every dollar and minute spent in California is a dollar and minute they aren’t spending invading our territory. We ran less than 400 House candidates this year – and that is just criminal negligence, in my view. No Democrat, anywhere, should ever be without an opponent. I don’t care if it is the most forlorn hope in history, every Democrat should get a challenger – and a challenger who is provided at least enough money to show up. You never know when someone might catch fire and by a combination of pluck and luck, do the impossible. It is also crucial to run in the deep blue areas because it at least gets people everywhere used to the idea of voting GOP – that there is always an alternative. And it can’t be emphasized enough that it is in the battles on enemy territory that you breed the sort of warriors who will eventually bring you victory.

As for what to do to convince them to vote for us – that will be a case by case basis. What works in suburban Los Angeles might not work as well in suburban Chicago. But I’ll suggest a few, broad strokes we could try.

1. Annul defaulted student loan debt and allow the rest of it to be discharged in bankruptcy 5 years after the student leaves school. The stuff in default is mostly money gone for good, anyways, and I don’t see any reason to fatten lawyer pocketbooks by forcing the kids to go through bankruptcy on it. It is also, to me, absurd that student loans are pretty much the only sort of debt that can’t be discharged. Either a person is making enough money to pay, or they aren’t – and if they aren’t, then that should be the end of it. Lots of youngsters get suckered by the schools into thinking that any degree will make them rich. The truth is that only certain degrees are big money makers. Part of this, I think, should be putting part of the liability on the schools…if a kid goes bankrupt on his student loan, some percentage of it should be charged to the school where the loan was used. That’ll force the schools to be more careful, and stop selling degrees as a path to easy money.

2. Always side with the private sector unions in their battles with large corporations. Never, ever, never, no how, no way take the side of the large corporation. If we can’t pick a side, at least shut our traps about it. If we want to have a shot at breaking the Democrat hold on the blue cities, we’re going to have to get working class people to at least consider us. They won’t if they think we are siding with the bosses.

3. Work is what makes a person dignified. We Conservatives know this, but we aren’t doing enough to make sure that work is rewarded. Income tax cuts don’t resonate with working poor people who don’t functionally pay income taxes. Nor do fights over property rights mean much to renters. While keeping taxes low and protecting property, we’ve got to find a way to do something for poor working people who rent. Something has to be done to show working poor people that we give a darn about them…and we’re trying to help. Perhaps some sort of income support for low-income working people? Perhaps allowing them to write off sales taxes on major purchases (autos, home appliances, that sort of thing) on their taxes? Perhaps a low-income per child subsidy? Not sure here, guys: just thinking and spitballing.

4. Make firm and public enemies of the super rich. Most of them are liberals, and the few that aren’t are open borders hucksters who want to move their factories to China. They don’t care about us, and they don’t care about America.

5. Make firm enemies of all large corporations. No one likes them. At all. Pick fights with them. Break them up. Rake them over the coals for their idiocy. Show regular folks that the corporations which they dislike are also disliked by us.

Just a few ideas to show where I’m going here. We’ve got to expand the map, and we won’t expand it by the old Chamber of Commerce, GOPe tactics. Something new is needed. Maybe others will come up with better ideas than mine and that’s great. But we can’t assume we’ll keep winning with what we’ve got. Trump has shown us that if we start talking about issues people care about (in his case, immigration and trade), people respond. Lets find out what else they’ll respond to.

UPDATE: Mueller writing his final report.

2018 Mid-Terms

Just a reminder – if we do get blown out tonight, after the President’s party suffered stinging rebukes in the ’82, ’94 and ’10 mid-terms, the President went on to be comfortably re-elected two years later. Also, if we lose tonight, we still have the White House, the Senate (almost certainly, unless there is an unexpected Blue Tsunami) with an increased majority and a solid, 5-4 majority on the Court. We’re still ahead of the game. Though, don’t kid yourself: losing will be bad in the sense that it will embolden the Democrats…though that, long term, could work to our advantage. They are crazy, after all, and two years of them being nuts as a House majority might work to our advantage in 2020.

Rumors have been flying all day, as is natural during Election Day. I can’t make out any pattern…some rumors are good for the GOP, others for the Democrats. I guess we’ll have to wait. But not much longer.

UPDATE: 8pm Eastern…not looking good for the GOP tonight.

UPDATE II: 8:41 Eastern…looking a lot better.

UPDATE III: GOP wins IN Senate race (thanks, Spook)

Pre-Midterm-ageddon Open Thread

No one actually knows what will happen tomorrow – thing about the future is you can never tell exactly what it will be like.

That said: it does appear that the Blue Wave isn’t coming. There’s still a chance that Democrats surge to the polls and are joined by gigantic numbers of Trump-hating Republicans, but it is in the realm of a 1% chance, now. Even the most liberal pundits have pretty much conceded this – though, of course, anything but a Red Wave will be touted as “the people rejected Trump”.

The worst case scenario that I can see is a net gain of 3 for the GOP in the Senate and a narrow loss of the House (with the Democrats, at most, getting to 223 members). This would be irritating in a lot of ways – first off, no more legislation. The House simply wouldn’t pass anything that the Senate or Trump would agree to. So, reform-wise, we’d only have Trump’s ability to change regulations. The budget would just become a series of continuing resolutions carrying the FY 2019 budget through to the end of FY 2021. If the GOP holds the Senate – as just about everyone says they will – then at least Trump has no trouble staffing his Administration and appointing judges…easier, as if there winds up being 54 GOPers, makes it harder for a squish or two to wreck the program.

Best case scenario is the GOP gains 10 Senate seats and either gains or loses just two or three House seats. This is probably not going to happen…but I rate it as a 5% chance against the 1% chance of a Blue Wave.

If you haven’t voted, don’t forget to vote tomorrow!