Open Thread

The Philadelphia Eagles have decided to make a massive, in-kind donation to Trump’s re-election effort: Trump has disinvited them to the White House to celebrate their Super Bowl victory because some players are still carping about kneeling during the anthem. Trump has this ability to make his opponents do stupid, self-destructive things. It is why I consider his re-election in 2020 to be near-certain. Right now, he’s got them once again defending kneeling during the anthem – not even a couple weeks after they thought the NFL had put the issue to rest.

The EU and Italy are in dispute about economic and migration policy – with the Italian government bucking against EU-imposed economic strictures and also not happy at all with what the EU has utterly failed to do with Italy’s influx of migrants. Powerline has a nice run-down on what is at stake. The biggest problem with the EU is that the people didn’t create it. They were willing to go along with it while it, apparently, ensured prosperity and peace…but right now, especially in places like Italy, it is providing neither…and the people of Italy are getting fully awake to the reality that no people of Europe gets to set EU policy…it is all set by un-elected bureaucrats who hold the people of Europe in profound contempt.

Don Surber notes how Trump just plays the MSM like a fiddle – this time over whether the President can pardon himself. The reality: Trump is working to make the 2018 mid-terms at least in part a referendum on whether or not he should be impeached. He knows – as I’ve long known – that if it is a central issue, his Trumpsters will troop to the polls in numbers never seen in a mid-term election. Naturally, the MSM is falling for it.

Bill Clinton, being Bill Clinton, got himself all bollixed up over questions about the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

Kurt Schlichter has been pointing out – as I have, too – that Never Trump is a gateway drug to being a Progressive. Here’s your proof.

Out and About on a Thursday

So, how are your 401k’s doing lately? Read that this latest slump is because of China covertly devaluing their currency…and the word is that China plans a bit more of this. Ain’t it grand that we got our economy so tightly wrapped around China? Woohoo! Let’s have more of this – nothing like trading with nations which have no freedom…always works best…

Trump has proposed a 45% tariff on Chinese goods – probably to make him more the Populist Hero. I’ve long advocating abandoning all economic ties with China. Has nothing to do with economics, per se; has everything to do with what I wrote above. Trading with tyrants only makes things bad for everyone.

Biden laments his lost opportunity to run for President – if Bernie wins in New Hampshire, expect a late entrant in the Democrat contest.

Senator McCain acts like Senator McCain – going a bit birther on Ted Cruz. No matter what, no one can take away his heroic effort while imprisoned by communist barbarians…but outside of that, his whole career has been a mistake.

Keep in mind that CNN often allows Democrat plants in town halls. Maybe we should make it that various forms of media count as in-kind donations…sure, it would hurt us a bit, but it would utterly wreck the Democrat’s finances if they had to pay for the reporting of the MSM…

Could well be that Hillary loses the War on Women. Sure, most Millenials have only a hazy notion of what Bill was up to in the 90’s…but they are likely to be unforgiving of it because Bill acted the way Millenials have been told is very wrong.

The Prime Minister of Slovakia has decided to become the next object of leftwing hate…he’s shutting off the flow of “refugees”.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention that the same Obama Administration which doesn’t trust the people with guns managed to accidentally (?) ship a hellfire missile to Cuba in 2014…

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.

Out and About on a Sunday

Sources say female troops were given special treatment to pass Ranger School. The thing is no enemy of the United States is going to cut us any slack. Any woman who wants to be in a combat unit should have to meet the exact same standards as the men – and no lowering of standards. In fact, I’d like to see the standards raised for all military services – perhaps even a smaller overall Army and Marines, but each soldier and Marine trained up to Special Forces quality. 250,000 such soldiers and Marines could make mincemeat of most global military forces.

Bill Clinton has identified the culprit in the Hillary e mail scandal: the Republicans.

Trump is claiming that his GOP rivals want to start World War Three over Syria. This is an exaggeration, of course – but that is Trump in a nutshell. But it must be kept in mind that unless we decide we want to back the Assad regime (and there is a case to be made for this – I’d set our price at the removal of Hezbollah from Lebanon), there is a risk of war with Iran and Russia, who are backing Assad (so, if we decide to fight Assad, they might decide to fight us). Careful thought is necessary in the Syrian mine field.

Hey, fellow Conservatives, just because it is a defense program doesn’t mean it isn’t a boondoggle. I’m pretty sure that about 1 in 3 dollars spent by Uncle Sam is waste, fraud or abuse. And that goes for military spending, as well. British Admiral Jacky Fisher in the early 20th century managed to reduce Naval spending while also providing Britain with a vastly more powerful Navy – big spending doesn’t necessarily translate into a strong military. I bet we can actually cut defense spending and get a more powerful military – and as we set about trying to get rid of regressive, anti-human social spending, we’ll need to find some military cuts so that our proposed reforms don’t come out as “cut welfare and spend on military”. Politics is an art – and you’ve got to play the game to win.

Corporations are selling each other corporate bonds in order to buy back their own stocks. I’m sure this will end well…

A lot of my fellow conservatives have taken strong issue with some statements by Pope Francis. Well, here’s something he said which will make you happy:

In this place which is symbolic of the American way, I would like to reflect with you on the right to religious freedom. It is a fundamental right which shapes the way we interact socially and personally with our neighbors whose religious views differ from our own. Religious freedom certainly means the right to worship God, individually and in community, as our consciences dictate. But religious liberty, by its nature, transcends places of worship and the private sphere of individuals and families.

In other words, liberals, religious liberty means we’re allowed to act upon our religious beliefs even in the public square.

His Majesty, Barack I

With the completely unconstitutional imposition of the DREAM Act and, now, the absurd claim of Executive Privilege regarding the “Fast and Furious” scandal, a lot of conservatives and libertarians are furious with President Obama over his assumption of rather autocratic powers.  But I ask everyone to pause for a moment – one has to consider just what sort of government the United States has.  To do this, I think it best to refer to an outside observer of proven sympathy for the United States, Winston Churchill:

…The rigid Constitution of the United States, the gigantic scale and strength of its party machinery, the fixed terms for which public officers and representatives are chosen, invest the President with a greater measure of autocratic power that was possessed before the war by the Head of any great State…

Churchill was referring, in that instance, to Woodrow Wilson.  Keep in mind the time frame Churchill was using – this was the day of Nicholas II of Russia, Wilhelm II of Germany and Franz Josef of Austria.  And yet Churchill was asserting that these three men had, in practice, less autocratic power than was held by Woodrow Wilson.  And, he was right.  Churchill correctly perceived a truth about the the United States which to this day escapes nearly everyone:  the President of the United States, while his term lasts, possesses an immense amount of autocratic power.  Boiled down, in our President we have an elected king – limited in real terms only by three things:

1.  His term of office.

2.  His inability to appropriate funds without Congressional approval.

3.  The risk of impeachment.

Lincoln understood this – stating that he would maintain the contest with the South until he died or his term ended.   When in 1864 Lincoln looked to be the loser of the Presidential election he was yet determined to win victory between election day and the end of his term (which in those days ended in March, not January).  And he could have done it – Congress could have cut off funds for additional military power, but the military power he already had was sufficient and no power in the United States government could have prevented him from ordering Grant to continue, election results be darned.

The real lesson in Obama’s abuse of power is this:  always have a great deal of care whom is elected President.  Because you’ve got him for four years and while you can limit the amount of money he spends, you can’t really limit what he does with the money he is allowed to spend.  Jokingly, someone has written a list of 10 things Romney can do after he takes office in the manner of Obama’s DREAM Act – among them, cease enforcement of various environmental laws and of any tax rate above 18%.  It was put out as a joke, but it is also a reality.  Suppose Romney did tell the IRS not to prosecute anyone who failed to pay more than 18% of their income as taxes – what could anyone do?  Impeach him?  Impeachment has only come up three times in American history: with Andrew Johnson it was a GOP witch hunt against a War Democrat; with Nixon it was a Democrat witch hunt against someone they didn’t like; with Clinton we actually had a genuinely impeachable offense but Democrats ensured that it wouldn’t go anywhere.  Impeach Obama?  It would require the votes of 20 Senate Democrats to do it – short of committing rape or murder live, on television, do you think that there is anything Obama can do which would move 20 Senate Democrats to vote to convict?  Get real!

We elect a king every four years and then allow that king one more shot at an additional four years.  In office, he is mostly limited by his own conscience and sense of right and wrong.  A President who simply does not care about the law (or, as in Obama’s case, understand what a law is) is highly dangerous – as we can see with Obama.  For more than two centuries we have been extraordinarily lucky – even with a cad like Clinton or a twisted man like Nixon, there was still a sense of respect for the Constitution and a desire to live up to great predecessors – looming over all was the figure of Washington, who defined what a President is and offered a model for all who came after if they cared at all about the United States.  Trouble is, if we get someone who doesn’t care about the United States – who, in a real sense, has nothing but contempt for Washington and the edifice he raised – then we’re in a bad way.

Now there are some practical steps we can take – from re-asserting Congressional power to declare war, to putting more strings on what is done with appropriated money, to insisting that no US ground troops are deployed outside the United States except during time of declared war.  These and other measures can hem in a President a bit and ensure that he seeks Congressional cooperation before doing something.  But, fundamentally, unless we want to re-write our Constitution in to a parliamentary abomination (ie, where the head of government is the leader of the House of Representatives and the President is a mere figurehead), then we simply have to ensure that when we elect a person to the Presidency that we are sure he or she is fit for the job.  King Obama is the first man we’ve elected who is entirely unfit by temperment, training and education for the Presidency – and it shows in the way he is (deliberately or not is immaterial) wrecking the manner of American government.

So, rather than whine about what Obama has done, let us set to work with a will to oust him on November 6th and then lay the lesson to heart:  never be fooled again.