Pre-Supreme Court Nominee Open Thread

As the people at Instapundit are putting it these days: do you want more Trump? Because this is how you get more Trump:

The British Medical Association (BMA) has told people to stop calling pregnant people expectant mothers because it could offend transgender people. Instead, call those females “pregnant people.”

For some bizarre, inexplicable reason, the MSM is starting to pay attention to military casualties after an 8 year hiatus.

In case you ever need the info: how far away do you need to be to survive a nuclear blast? My father knew a great deal about this – bottom line: far, far away. I actually had his nuclear blast calculator for a long while: handed it off to a niece who is studying physics.

Not all American Muslims are against Trump.

Last night, Progressives were spreading the Fake News that Trump was going to rescind some protections for gay Americans – turns out, he wasn’t. Which is no surprise, at all, as Trump is probably one of the most gay-friendly people we’ve ever elected…remember, unlike Obama, Trump went into office in favor of same-sex marriage.

Like the American left, the French left is figuring that what the people want is even more leftism. We’ll see how that works out – both for French leftists and ours.

A Few Things About the Immigration Executive Order

Naturally, if Trump does something, liberals find some reason to express their faux outrage. I know I haven’t blogged here much–or at all–lately, but I thought I’d just compile some important information for everyone to consider before jumping to conclusions, and of course, to highlight the hypocrisy of those who claim to be outraged.

The list of countries covered by the executive order came from Obama

Contrary to claims that the countries covered were determined by which countries Trump has or doesn’t have business interests, the list actually comes from the Terrorist Travel Prevention Act of 2015, which was signed by Obama.

The Executive Order allows for exemptions

All you have to do is read it.

(e) Notwithstanding the temporary suspension imposed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security may jointly determine to admit individuals to the United States as refugees on a case-by-case basis, in their discretion, but only so long as they determine that the admission of such individuals as refugees is in the national interest — including when the person is a religious minority in his country of nationality facing religious persecution, when admitting the person would enable the United States to conform its conduct to a preexisting international agreement, or when the person is already in transit and denying admission would cause undue hardship — and it would not pose a risk to the security or welfare of the United States.

The president has the authority to restrict travel

For those people who think the Executive Order exceeded presidential authority, they should read 8 U.S. Code § 1182 – Inadmissible aliens

(f)Suspension of entry or imposition of restrictions by President

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate. Whenever the Attorney General finds that a commercial airline has failed to comply with regulations of the Attorney General relating to requirements of airlines for the detection of fraudulent documents used by passengers traveling to the United States (including the training of personnel in such detection), the Attorney General may suspend the entry of some or all aliens transported to the United States by such airline.

Every President since Carter has restricted travel from certain groups of immigrants

Alex Pfieffer at The Daily Caller goes into detail about what each president did with that authority, so give it a read.

 Obama “banned” Iraqi refugees for six months in 2011

ABC News reported back in 2013, “the State Department stopped processing Iraq refugees for six months in 2011, federal officials told ABC News – even for many who had heroically helped U.S. forces as interpreters and intelligence assets.” Does anyone recall outrage about this? Me neither. The action was clearly rooted in a legitimate security concern that was determined to outweigh other considerations.

As it is written, it is not supposed to cover current green-card holders

David French, hardly a Trump supporter, explains at National Review “The plain language of the order doesn’t apply to legal permanent residents of the U.S., and green-card holders have been through round after round of vetting and security checks.” Either the EO is being improperly implemented, or somehow, the Trump Administration is interpreting the EO differently. Regardless, I completely agree that green-card holders should not be targeted by the EO, and if they are, deliberately, or accidentally, it is wrong and needs to be remedied.

On that note, French’s piece as whole is worth reading.

The Realities of Fighting a War

A lot of people are getting bent out of shape over the prospect of waterboarding being resumed, at least in theory, under a Trump Administration. Just to let you know – plenty of my fellow Catholics have been loudly proclaiming the Church’s absolute prohibition against any sort of torture. I, of course, subscribe 100% to Church teaching – I routinely fall short of it, but I believe it to be correct in all respects and that everyone should do their level best to live up to it. I would have it that we would never use waterboarding, or any other terrible thing. But if you were suddenly made President of the United States and found that we had captured people who had immediate knowledge of a pending terrorist massacre, what would you do? I thank God I’ll never be in that position – but if such a situation arises and a President (any President) decides to use forceful measure to obtain information, that President won’t find me in the line of people condemning the action, or calling for a war crimes trial.

And that brings me to the subject of war crimes. The basis of them are various international agreements entered in to which prescribe the ways and means a nation can behave in war time – against enemy soldiers and against enemy populations. It is all very admirable stuff and if everyone would at all times obey such rules then war, while still being a cruelty, would be a lot less worse. But the plain fact of the matter is that international conventions about warfare don’t work in the breach. We only refrained from using poison gas in WWII because the enemy refrained – had the Germans or the Japanese used them, so would we have. And even without enemy first-use, as the Battle of Okinawa ground on and our losses mounted, there was an official request from the military to use poison gas against dug in Japanese forces. It was vetoed at the highest level – but had there not been an atomic bomb and we had invaded Japan, my bet is that we would have used it, if the defense of the Japanese homeland had been in any way like the defense of Okinawa.

The gold standard for how to deal with war crimes remains the Nuremberg trials in Germany after World War Two. But while there was a grandeur about them, the fact that Soviet judges participated made them not what they should have been. Stalin’s regime never packed people into gas chambers to murder them, but millions were still done to death by Stalin’s henchmen – it is hard to find a crime which the Nazis committed and the Soviets avoided. And even in things like charges about plotting aggressive warfare and engaging in unrestricted submarine warfare, our side was guilty, too…with the Brits only being beaten by the Germans invading Norway by a matter of hours, and our unrestricted submarine campaign against Japan being vastly more effective than the German’s campaign against us and the British (indeed, German Admiral Donitz was helped to a lesser sentence by no less a figure than Fleet Admiral Nimitz, who wrote a letter to the Nuremberg judges advising them that the submarine charge against Donitz could be equally applied to Nimitz).

War is cruelty and you cannot refine it – so said General Grant. By one means or another, in war you are seeking to kill and destroy. It is better for you if you use only the minimal force necessary, and that you treat a defeated enemy with mercy. But especially when faced with a cruel foe who makes no distinction and seeks to win by any means necessary, you may at times be forced to brutal methods, yourself. And it is not for us to judge the men and women, forced into horrible circumstances, about the decisions they made. If you aren’t the person making the decision – in a swift, terrible moment when you cannot possibly have all necessary facts at your disposal – then you are not the person to judge. Only God can do that.

Today, we are faced with a very cruel enemy who sticks at nothing to win. It is to be hoped that our government and military leaders will come up with a good plan which will help curb and, perhaps, eventually destroy the wicked enemy and bring peace to the world. But one thing they don’t need is high-minded virtue-signalling from those of us who don’t have to make the decisions and carry them out.

What Media Bias? Part 202

From Conrad Black:

The two signal facts, or “alternative facts” in the well-chosen parlance of the brilliant and engaging co-counselor and victorious campaign manager of the president, Kellyanne Conway, are that public approval of the national news media now stands at 14%, and the allegations the press are now making against the new administration are of no interest to any serious segment of the public.

After a while, if you lie constantly, no one is going to believe you – even if, for the moment, you are telling the truth.

What happened to the MSM in 2016 was the cumulation of their dishonesty over a many-decade period. This was helped along by the MSM going entirely overboard, even by MSM standards, in their desire to destroy Trump at the behest of their Democrat friends and Trump’s ability to command the center of attention with a willingness to punch back very hard. The MSM is now exposed as a hollow threat – and even mainstream GOP politicians will cease to tremble in fear of offending it. But let’s take a look at how the MSM did this to itself.

G. K. Chesterton – himself a journalist – pointed out very long ago that there was no need of a censorship of the press because we already had a very functional censorship by the press. The press – the MSM as we call it today – takes sides. If they like a person or a particular grouping of people, they will go soft on them. If they don’t like a person or grouping of people, they will be merciless in hounding them. This does have an effect on how some people can be viewed even long after they are dead.

Take, for instance, Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. Roosevelt is lauded in the history books as the strong President who got things done. Taft is derided as a well-meaning man who simply didn’t have the ability of Roosevelt. But, if you dig a bit into the history of things, you’ll find that even on something as signature to Roosevelt as his “trust busting”, Taft actually did far more. Roosevelt did start the Panama Canal, but he did it in a manner which caused grave harm to America’s reputation among Latin American people…Taft actually got the thing properly organized for construction and then kept a close eye on matters until it was nearly done (it was completed about 18 months after he left office…but by then it was all over but the shouting). If you’re liked by the MSM, you’ll have an easy ride – if you’re hated by them, then no level of excellence will be sufficient. When you translate this to the political parties, the MSM likes the Democrats, hates the Republicans – and this goes back quite a long ways: at least to FDR, but a case can be made that the MSM has hated the Republicans ever since Republicans thwarted Wilson, whom they liked, after World War One.

Of course, to take sides means you are simply not going to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. You can’t – because the truth will some times work against your side. Even you don’t flat-out lie for your side, you’re still going to present things in a manner which gives best advantage to your side, and most disadvantage to the other side. And you can speak quite a lot of truth without giving the whole truth; of course, if you don’t give out the whole truth, you’ve carried out the functional equivalent of a lie…but as you can’t be caught out in a factual inaccuracy, you can pretend that you just speak the truth. And that is what the MSM did for many decades. As long as their good friends, the Democrats, generally ran things – and from 1932 until 1980, they generally did, in spite of a few GOPers managing to get into the White House – there was no need to lie; you could just tell that part of the truth which reflected most ill upon Republicans. After the election of Reagan – and, especially, his re-election – that started to change.

I still date the break with truth-telling to be Ted Kennedy’s speech against Robert Bork in 1986. No matter how you want to slice it up, Kennedy got out there and delivered a pack of lies about Robert Bork and then the MSM refused to just call them lies. This, I think, is where old Rush gets his view that, for the MSM, it isn’t the facts of the case but the seriousness of the charge which matters…we are to discuss the charge, not the facts. Kennedy made serious charges – essentially saying that Bork was a Nazi set to destroy freedom in America. Republicans were then asked to prove that he – and they – weren’t in favor of Nazi tyranny. We still weren’t to outright fabrication by the MSM, but we had stepped away from telling even partial truth. Later, especially after the GOP won Congress in 1994, the MSM went to flat out lies in defense of their side.

They felt they had to. The reason Reagan won – and Gingrich’s GOP won – was that the system created by the Democrats was starting to fall apart. The Welfare State wasn’t working. The military system and alliances created by the Democrats wasn’t working. The economic system of the Democrats wasn’t working. To tell the truth about anything pretty much meant you were going to have to say something bad about Democrats. The MSM could still tell bits of truth about the GOP which were bad for the GOP – so, of course, whenever a GOPer was caught in genuine scandal, it was played up for all it was worth – but that wasn’t enough, because the GOP was proposing alternatives to failed policies and even if the alternatives were untested, it was clear that we couldn’t just go on and on with policies which were failing right in front of everyone’s eyes. It became necessary to just cook up things to say which would either help Democrats, or harm Republicans. And that is where things started to go wrong for the MSM – took a while, but as I noted, when you lie enough, eventually people just stop believing you.

And it did take a while. It took ten thousand accusations of GOP racism, sexism and homophobia. Ten thousand accusations that GOPers want to starve kids and shove granny off a cliff. It took ten thousand stories about how swell Democrat things are while people could see for themselves that they were getting worse. It took, finally, eight years of servile MSM devotion to Obama winding up in lunatic MSM opposition to Trump to finish the job.

I’ve seen some articles by MSMers wondering how they can get their mojo back – in none of them do I see, “we’ll report the truth, no matter what it is”. They still can’t go there for the same reason they could never go there: they still like the Democrats (actually, of course, they are Democrats), and still hate Republicans. How things will work out for the next four to eight years remains to be seen. But we do actually need an MSM which will just tell the truth. The alternative media is great – and played a role in breaking through the MSM lies – but it is also contains many people just as willing to lie for their own side as the MSM has been. As soon as someone figures out that what will really sell is an MSM outfit which will just tell the truth – the verified, honest truth – no matter whom it hurts, that will be the MSM outfit which comes to dominate all others…and leads to a restoration of a genuine free press in the United States.

Out and About on a Monday

While everyone argued about Trump’s crowd size and a zillion Hillary supporters engaged in bizarre demonstrations over the weekend, a few real things happened:

Jerusalem mayor says he’s talking with with Trump Administration about moving our embassy to Jerusalem.

Bergdahl’s lawyers are now trying to claim he can’t get a fair trial under President Trump.

On his way out the door, Obama gave us one more lie.

Democrats are just not getting it: Caroline Kennedy being talked up as a possible Senate and Presidential candidate. You see, she doesn’t have Clinton’s “baggage”, so that will make us all want to elect a member of a worn out, has-been political dynasty…

Some law professors are suing President Trump over the Emoluments clause. Said clause:

No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State

So, even if a foreign leader staying at a Trump hotel is considered an “emolument”, all Trump would need is a waiver from a GOP controlled Congress to get past the difficulty. But, I don’t buy the argument that such is an emolument – the definition being, “a salary, fee, or profit from employment or office”. Donald Trump is neither an employee nor an officer of his various private concerns at the moment. You can argue that because it is still “all in the family”, as it were, he’s getting paid but that stretches it to near impossible lengths. Suppose, Progressives, your favorite Progressive movie star became President…would a foreign leader renting one of their movies work out to an emolument? No – this is just an attempt to work up nothing into something.

Seems that while some of the senior leadership at CIA dislikes Trump, perhaps the rank and file are more pleased with him.

Don Surber reminds us that the same CNN which is after Trump is the CNN which hid Saddam’s crimes in order to retain “access”.

Plenty of speculation on who will be Trump’s Supreme Court pick.

Progressives want to get Trump out via impeachment. The plan works like this:

1. Hold loud, nasty protests on a regular basis.
2. ????
3. Win 218 House seats and 67 Senate seats in the 2018 mid-terms.

No one mention to them that even if Democrats held on to all their Senate seats up for election in 2018 and won every GOP seat up (this would include winning Senate seats in such areas as Tennessee and Utah, by the way), Democrats would only get up to 56 Senators… As I said, don’t bring this up too often…let them dream their little, dreamy dreams. Keeps them busy while Trump and the GOP Congress get things done.

Out and About in Trump’s America

So, what happened today?

Some of our Progressive friends made some rather nasty tweets about Barron Trump…because Presidential kids are off limits, but only if you’re a Democrat.

Another great hearted Progressive had an epic meltdown when Trump was sworn in. Seriously, you’ll get tears of joy just watching it.

No matter how hard any Progressive tries, they’ll never outdo this bit of virtue signalling.

Trump’s anti-ISIS statement in his speech got one Progressive really worried.

Kurt Schlichter has a kind word to say about the protestors.

Trump proposed to de-fund Planned Parenthood on the Roe anniversary.

Nancy Sinatra’s boots were made for walking all over CNN’s lies.

Sweet Meteor of Death apologized.

A guy who goes by the name of “Mad Dog” is now officially our Secretary of Defense.

With Trump, we’ve got our first President who has been in favor of gay marriage since day one in office.

All references to Climate Change were removed from the White House website as of Noon, Eastern.

Progressives were gleeful that fewer people turned out for Trump’s inaugural than Obama’s – like Hillary winning the popular vote, this is meaningless. Maybe if we gave Progressives a cookie for every time they Pretend Win, they’ll go away?

Robert Stacy McCain clears out some of the Progressive cobwebs regarding reality:

Notice how (a) the anti-Trump protests are endorsed by the rich and famous, and (b) the violence of the anti-Trump mob attacking people in D.C. is depicted as a “clash” for which the victims of mob attack are made to seem equally responsible. Also (c) the violent mob getting pepper-sprayed by police is the headline, rather than the criminal activity of the mob which provoked this police crowd-control response.

The news media and the entertainment celebrities have chosen sides, and if any Trump supporters are injured as a result of the anti-Trump mob violence, the liberal elite will say, “They deserved it.”

Bathing in Progressive tears was rather fun today – but never forget that these people will not quit. At least, they won’t quit until they are de-funded and they are forced to get jobs…

It’s Trump’s America, and We’re just Living In It

I say that because everything seems to be revolving around him – especially regarding our Progressives. I think a week ago or so I was thinking that the left’s lunacy about Trump had peaked. I was wrong. One of the accounts I follow on Twitter is that of Godfrey Elfwick (@GodfreyElfwick), who describes xirself thusly:

Genderqueer Muslim atheist. Born white in the #WrongSkin. Itinerant jongleur. Xir, Xirs Xirself. Filters life through the lens of minority issues.

Someone like that is going to have a hard time over the next four to eight years as satirizing the left is getting difficult. However, Godfrey xan’s up and comes up with this:

Calling people racist worked a treat during both Brexit and Trump. We just weren’t screaming it loud enough is all

And that does seem to be what the left is doing – but as Godfrey also discovered today, there are quite a lot of tolerant, caring Progressives who figure that peace, justice and unity will best be created by calling for actual violence – scroll through his TL to earlier today for some samples of it.

I’ll make this prediction – unless we’re sitting on 25% unemployment in 2020, Trump will get re-elected. The left is just going to keep going bonkers, as far as I can see, and thus just continue to remind all of us why we sucked it up and voted Trump.

There is a wonder – will Obama be booed as Bush was? Decorum says it shouldn’t happen – if it does, though, it is because of the nastiness Obama has injected into American life.