Open Thread

As I write this, Ford won’t testify and Grassley is giving her until Friday to agree to testify. The only thing which could keep this alive would be a new accuser…and don’t think the Dems aren’t gaming that out to see if they could make it work, at least to the point where Kavanaugh’s confirmation is pushed past the mid-terms.

What has impressed me most over the past 48 hours is:

1. Aside from a few cowards, most non-left people have stood firm. For once, the non-Democrat part of the country is not running for the hills when the Democrats lob a grenade into the body politic. We’ve got to get into the mindset that we have to jump on the grenade. No more fear: fight back, every time.

2. I’m hearing from and about Average Joe’s and Jane’s – people who don’t follow politics closely and who don’t have strong loyalty to either party – who are furious over this. I’ve even heard such state that even if they could prove Kavanaugh did it, it shouldn’t stop him from being on the Court. As I’ve said before, the one thing Americans tend to unite on is that they don’t like unfairness. It is simply unfair to accuse a person of a horrible act and not only refuse all cross-examination of the accuser, but to make the accusation in such a way that the accused really has no way to even try to disprove the allegation.

How all this will work out in the near and long term, I don’t know: but I’m starting to suspect that this is going to cost the Democrats some Senate seats in November. There is a theory out there that it is all a case of mistaken identity – that it happened, but someone else was the perpetrator. This is possible…but I doubt it was “mistaken” identity…

Muckraking journalist James O’Keefe got a video of Justice Department officials admitting they use their official powers to help the political left. So, here’s the Deep State, guys: a collection of bureaucrats who view their primary loyalty as being to a political party – or movement – rather than to the people of the United States. They brag in the videos about how they can’t be fired – they are relying on the protections built into law so that people can’t be fired for political reasons: but such laws were also written on the assumption that the bureaucrats would remain carefully neutral in the political battles of the United States. It is time to clean house – and if it means changing the civil service laws, it’ll have to be done.

Interesting article on the prospect of microbial life in some briney lakes under the Martian ice…my view: life is probably very rare in the Universe. The conditions necessary for any life like we have on Earth are so narrow that the chances of any particular planet having them are small. One only need look at Mars and Venus to see…here are three planets, Venus, Mars and Earth, that all seem to have the necessary pre-conditions for life, but only one of them has it. My guess is that we’ll search a very long time, out to very far distances, and never detect anything alive.

The Air Force Secretary has mapped out a plan for the Space Force. A lot of people, including many on the right, have heaped ridicule on the President’s proposal…much as many did with Reagan’s proposal for SDI. But, folks, Space is important – I’ve held for 30 years that eventually Space will become as dominant as the Sea in human life. Whomever controls Space will control their own national destiny.

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Open Thread

The DNC/MSM/Never Trump combine went ballistic over the Trump/Putin presser. I didn’t watch it, but I did see it explode in real time over social media. We seriously had people calling for the overthrow of the United States government to “save” us from Putin’s stooge, Trump. Plenty of people on the right – almost all Never Trump, but a few weak kneed others, as well – joined in. Given that this happened in conjunction with the discovery and an alleged Russia-NRA (yes, you read that right) connection to undermine America starting in 2015, it was all clearly scripted to be part of battle space prep for November. Do lay that to heart: everything that will show up in the news relating to politics from now until November will be battle space prep.

The more mundane reality is that Trump has Putin over a barrel and Putin knows it – so, it is time to make nice with the USA until we return an idiot like Obama to power. We’ve checkmated Putin in Syria and in the rest of the Middle East; our increasing oil production is putting a huge strain on the Russian economy; beefing up military forces in Ukraine and the rest of Eastern Europe means there are no more easy pickings for Putin; our calls for NATO to re-arm may create a long period of time when Russia has to behave. Trump, also no fool, knows that while Russia can’t wreck us, they can cause plenty of trouble, and if that trouble can be avoided by making a bit of nice with Putin, no worries.

In 2017, the nation which reduced its carbon emission the most was the United States…which shows that the Paris treaty and all other climate treaties are hot garbage.

Lisa Page testified again on Monday (another reason for the Dems, etc, to have a meltdown over Russia) and was apparently cooperative. I don’t know, of course, but I think she’s flipped on the Deep State.

Meathead made a movie about the Iraq war called Shock and Awe. It opened this past weekend. You didn’t go see it. Hardly anyone did. It grossed $41,000.00 (yes, forty one thousand dollars). Get woke, go broke is becoming a common thing…but more certain is it that if you tangle with Trump, you will lose…mostly because you first have to go insane before you tangle with Trump.

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.

Trump Demands

Back around August of 2016, I was talking over the election with the Mrs and, at that time, was figuring that Trump had a real chance of winning. But I was also thinking that the Establishment would pull out all the stops to prevent this. Not, by the way, because of the policies Trump proposed, nor even because of their false claims that he was a racist or any such thing. No, they were afraid of him winning simply because he would be the first President we’ve ever had who owed nothing to the Establishment. That is the key to understanding the amazing level of hatred directed Trump’s way. He doesn’t care what happens to the Establishment.

And the Establishment is corrupt to the bone – and gets away with it simply because no one does anything about it. They can’t – either they are personally compromised, or fearful that their closest allies will be caught up in an anti-corruption sweep. So, everyone just pretends its all good…with only the odd, egregious violator sent up the river, and even then only if such an action won’t harm the Masters of the Establishment, the Democrats. Trump comes rolling in and, being on the right side of the law, himself, sees no reason to worry about investigations…regardless of where they lead.

I don’t know why, exactly, Trump has allowed the Mueller fiasco to continue as long as it has – I can only assume he’s got his own plan, on his own timeline, and has made the calculation that it isn’t the right time to shut Mueller down. But his demand over the weekend that the DOJ look into Obama Administration spying is clearly a shot across the bow. We don’t know what Trump knows – what he has been able to obtain on his authority as President detailing just what happened. We can count on it that many bureaucrats would do all they can to thwart Trump in getting information…but at least some percentage of them still hold to the old, non-partisan ethic of the bureaucracy and so will obey Presidential orders. Trump likely knows a lot about who was doing what and under who’s orders.

But he can’t act precipitously on such information. It is going to be a lot harder to get convictions than most suspect. First off, Justice is riddled with people who will do all they can to blow cases. Secondly, any trials in the DC area would have a juries packed full of anti-Trump people who could easily be lead to saying “not guilty” no matter what. Also, when it all comes out, it has to come in a way very easy for the broad mass of the American people to understand. The MSM will just flat lie about it, of course…but if it is very obvious, even the most blatant lies won’t keep people from understanding the truth.

Big things are about to happen, I think – and what I think they’ll amount to is a full attack on a corrupt Ruling Class. Stay tuned.

Open Thread

We officially opened up our embassy in Jerusalem – naturally, the Palestinian leadership decided that it was time for some Palestinians to die, and so sent a bunch of them to the border to cause enough ruckus to force the IDF to open fire. This is par for the course – but I don’t think it matters much, except to the poor people forced to die for Hamas. For the larger issue, it shows that Trump really does keep his promises.

Trump has shut down a NASA program to track greenhouse gasses. This is great – if Gore, et al really believe in it, let them pony up the money to prove it. As for me, I want NASA working on space exploration…manned and unmanned missions in deep space (I figure the private companies can take the load on communications launches and low Earth orbit stuff). We should be working, in my view, for a manned mission to Mars no later than 2024. Let’s go!

Millions of dollars are being shipped out of our country – and a lot of it appears to be the proceeds of welfare fraud. It has long been my belief that our slackness in all areas of government social spending has produced massive fraud. My guess – I don’t know – is that one in three dollars (at least) is fraud. This has to be stopped.

Mueller’s absurd Russian indictment – could it be his undoing?

We’re getting more and more of these reports which indicate Comey was not exactly forthcoming about the Flynn case. My thinking has always been that Flynn plead guilty to a minor process crime in order to spare himself a horrible ordeal with bankruptcy tacked on to the end of it. This, as an aside, means we simply must reform our criminal justice system – it isn’t fair that the whole power of government can be brought to bear and even if you’re innocent, you lose. But outside of that, I’m pretty confident that everything out of the FBI and the SC regarding Trump and his people is likely false.

Open Thread

There have been reports floating about that Saudi Arabia and the Vatican have agreed to build churches for Christians in Saudi Arabia. These reports are currently being denied by the Vatican:

The Vatican has denied making a deal with Saudi Arabia to build churches for Christian worshippers in the Arab country.

Reports in Middle Eastern media claimed a historic agreement had been made between Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and Mohammed bin Abdel Karim Al-Issa of the Muslim World League.

But a spokesperson for the Vatican said the report was ‘false’…

But the fact that even rumors of such a thing exist indicate the sea-change which is currently taking place in Saudi Arabia under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. We can’t say for sure where all this is going, but it seems pretty clear to me that bin Salman wants to reform his Kingdom. Don’t expect pluralist democracy and casinos in Riyadh any time soon, folks. The Saudi people, themselves, are very conservative in outlook. But I think we will see ever more relaxation of the extremist Islamist activity which has ruled to social and political roost in Saudi Arabia for some decades now. It appears that once upon a time the Saudi monarchy cut a deal with the Islamists (ie, don’t try to overthrow the monarchy, we’ll let you be as Islamist as you like)…now, it seems that this deal is being undone.

There are quite a large number of Christians in Saudi Arabia. I once knew a priest who had actually said Mass for them. All very, very quiet – the Christians keep their heads down and as long as nothing is out in the open, the authorities look the other way. Most Christians there are foreign or children of foreigners…Saudi Arabia having quite a lot of immigrants who do the more difficult and dirty work of living. But, I also understand that even some Saudi natives have converted – which is something almost unheard of in history. Any attempt to actually open a Church in Saudi Arabia will be done with great care on both sides, to prevent an overt reaction. I’ve long said that the cure of Islamism is to have a Church in Saudi Arabia (a Synagogue, too…but let’s take it one step at a time). Once that happens, then there can be real peace between Islam and the West. I hope this all works. I think it will work; but, we’ll just have to see.

Rosie O’Donnell is alleged to have done the same sort of campaign finance violations that got Dinesh D’Souza arrested. We’ll see if there’s equal justice under law.

You know me and polls – but some recent polling indicates that Trump and the GOP are starting to rise against the Democrats. My view remains that the number of GOPers now exceeds the number of Democrats in the United States for the first time since the 1920’s. If I’m right, then the pundit class will be shocked in November. If I’m wrong…so, what? I don’t make my living by punditry.

You might have missed Judge Ellis ripping Mueller’s team a new one:

A federal judge on Friday sharply criticized Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s criminal case in Virginia against President Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and openly questioned whether Mueller exceeded his prosecutorial powers by bringing it.

“I don’t see what relationship this indictment has with anything the special counsel is authorized to investigate,” U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III in the Eastern District of Virginia said.

There’s nothing to investigate so, yes, Mueller is exceeding his authority – which was to investigate the paranoid delusion of Trump-Russia. So, anything he’s done is going to be outside the scope of that. Nice to see some judicial push back against Mueller’s flailing investigation.

Baghdad isn’t doing so badly these days. We did have a hand in this…and it shows what the Middle East still might become.

UPDATE: NY’s Attorney General has resigned over allegations of sexual misconduct. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you’re really missing out…we’ve got Tweets from Trump from years ago slamming the guy, we’ve got the AG’s Tweets about how he fights for women’s rights…and everyone is having a ball with it. More importantly, this is one of the guys who was supposed to get Trump. Seems to me that everyone who goes after Trump ends up losing.

Open Thread

I finished the first draft of the novel – will be working on revisions to it for a while, maybe weeks, perhaps a few months. It has been a lot of fun writing it.

Meanwhile, Matt notes that Hogg got himself a book deal:

Just how much fame can one person milk simply for witnessing a tragic event? As if countless television interviews, a nationwide rally, and a highly publicized boycott effort weren’t enough to satisfy the apparently inflated ego of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg, he has now scored himself a book deal. The book, titled #NeverAgain, will be published in June by Penguin Random House—one of the biggest publishers in the world.

A lot of people go gleeful when Hannity’s name came up in the wake of the Cohen raid – and nothing better illustrates how stupid our opponents are than this. First off, in thinking there would be anything legally incriminating about Trump in that office and, secondly, in their blind inability to see that if the attorney-client privileged can be violated in one case, it can be in others. It’s like they don’t realize that carefully filed away in law offices across the nation is enough information to destroy the entire Ruling Class.

Luntz did a focus group on Comey and found that a lot of people don’t like his actions. This is the difference, guys: 20 years ago, the MSM – as much a tool of the DNC then as now – would be able to drive a Narrative and make it stick. If this were 1988, Comey would have 75% approval ratings and everyone would consider him a national hero. But that just doesn’t work any longer. The ability of the non-left to get the word out if vastly superior…and the MSM squandered its credibility defending the indefensible. The MSM is still able to have a large effect, of course…but it doesn’t dominate like it used to, and it is getting weaker all the time.

Looks like Trump and Pompeo may have an shot of bringing a semblance of actual peace to the Korean peninsula. Naturally, the left and Never Trump is giving Trump no credit for this – in fact, some are condemning it outright. But, to me, it is a good thing…maybe it doesn’t work and, of course, North Korea will try to cheat. But if something could be done to take down the nuke threat and allow a sense of long-term security there, I’m for it. I’ll even say an agreement to withdraw our forces in return for verified termination of NK’s nuke program will be a good deal. At all events, our foreign policy under Trump is going in a very different direction from Obama…and even from previous Republican Administrations. I don’t know if it will all work – but it can’t possibly be worse than what we’ve done in foreign policy for a century.

Along these lines, David Goldman has an interesting analysis of the foreign policy issues we face vis a vis Russia, Iran, China and the Middle East. It is a good read.

Don Surber notes that in keeping with the rule that if you clash with Trump, you lose, erstwhile Trump opponent Evan McMullin is in some hot water:

McMullin is more qualified to run a McDonald’s than he is to be president.

His campaign for president may be his undoing.

“The Federal Election Commission sent numerous letters to the McMullin For President Committee over the last year warning that the organization risks fines for failing to file and for making errors on financial statements it did manage to submit,” the Daily Caller reported.

Wanted to save us from Trump, can’t even keep his books in order…