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.

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Open Thread

Been getting a lot of Progressives Christiansplaining to me about how God’s command to welcome the stranger means I’m wrong about immigration. I’m not buying it – I will welcome the stranger to my front door…I’ll be less welcoming to a guy I find in my backyard uninvited. Any stranger who wishes to knock on my door in the daytime will find me all full of welcome…just as I believe that we, as a people, should graciously welcome any stranger who presents him or herself at a US Consulate, Embassy or Port of Entry. Meanwhile, strangers trying to sneak in should be greeted differently.

Schumer wants Trump to nominate Garland to heal the national divide – Instapundit noted that all such calls to unify involve the GOP giving the Democrats whatever it is they want. Outside the idiocy of Schumer’s suggestion, it illustrates just how whacked out the left is these days. You might not know it if you are wise enough to stay off Social Media, but the left is obsessive about Garland. Of course, 99 out of 100 of them probably couldn’t pick him out of a lineup – but that doesn’t stop them from feeling psychic pain over the fact that they didn’t get to replace Scalia with a liberal. They had been waiting for the happy situation to arise where one of the Court’s real Conservatives retired or died while a Democrat was President. McConnell took that away from them and they are incensed!

Meanwhile, in keeping with the Left’s sole purpose of getting everyone non-left to wear a MAGA hat by 2020, the left seems to want a fight over Barrett’s Catholicism. If Trump nominates her, he’ll have to report the Democrat reaction as an in-kind donation to his 2020 re-election effort. According to exit polls, 52% of Catholics went Trump in 2016: a fight like this would get Trump to 65% of the Catholic vote in 2020.

Pruitt is out at EPA – he was doing a bang up job reigning in that out of control agency, but his personal actions as Director ensured that as Progressives smelled blood in the water, there was no one around to defend him. It is unfair and yet inescapably true that a GOPer trying to reform anything in DC must not make stupid mistakes…Pruitt should be an object lesson for the future.

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.

The Obama/Trump Contrast

Victor Davis Hanson, as usual, has something interesting to say regarding the stark contrast between Barack Obama and Donald Trump:

…The nation did not suddenly become liberal in 2008 or conservative in 2016. Rather, in both years it rejected blasé centrism — first trying out a left-wing deviation from establishmentarianism, then in frustration turning to a right-wing antidote to both the failed medicine and the original diseased status quo.

Antidote One, of unapologetic progressivism under Obama, did not lead to an economically robust and growing America, one safer abroad in a more secure world, and more cohesive, united, and stable at home — at least if that truly was the leftist agenda rather than the more hushed opposite goal of more equal but poorer Americans, America as just another nation among many, and a cultural revolution aimed at accentuating rather than assimilating race, class, and gender identities.

We shall see if the subsequent Antidote Two, of unregretful conservatism under Trump, will provide what conservatism has always promised: greater prosperity, security, and unity…

We shall see, indeed.

I don’t really know what to make of President Trump. Like most of you, I backed someone (anyone!) else in the GOP primaries. I resigned myself – after flirting with Never Trump – to voting for Trump as the only viable alternative to the absolute horror-show that a second Clinton Administration would be. I expected, in the unlikely event of his victory, that he’d do a few Conservative things, but also do a few liberal things…all in the name of a bi-partisan effort to “Make America Great Again”. And I expected the Conservative things to mostly be about cutting taxes and building up the military…I expected a slew of squishes to be appointed to the Courts and some flings with liberal social issues. I never expected Donald Trump – Donald Freaking Trump, Manhattan billionaire and one-time Playboy – to adhere to such a strictly Conservative line on all issues. Even in his expressed opinions on dope and same sex marriage, it really comes down to a defensibly Conservative principle of deferring to States’ Rights on such matters. For a Conservative, there is nothing in Trump’s first year to be upset with – second year does seem to promise some sort of infrastructure bill…but even there, I’m getting the distinct impression that if we’re going to flash the cash at such, Trump will make sure its used for things that will be useful to the nation…unlike Obama’s stimulus bill, we might get a bridge, a dam and a Moon shot out of Trump’s deficit spending. Not Conservative, but at least not something as stupid as bike paths or “cash for clunkers”, right?

Is Donald Trump a Conservative? He might be. Remember, his wife’s Catholic…and maybe, third time’s the charm, he’s actually learned the lesson all wise men eventually learn: do what your wife tells you to do. Sure, Melania Trump has a bit of a past…but anyone who knows Catholics (or any real Christians of any sort) knows that this is no hang up: all saints have a past, all sinners have a future. Maybe she’s moving him towards the right on social issues while his natural, businessman inclinations, are towards the right on economic matters? Who can know? All I do know is that I’m getting more Conservatism than I’ve had since January 20th, 1989. I like it.

And as Hanson points out, we’re getting a fair test: after eight years of Obama, we’re going to get four to eight years of Trump…and if we Conservatives are even half right in our ideals, then the Trump years will blow the Obama years out of the water. It’ll be undeniable, if it works (of course it will) that the proper way to go is low tax, low regulation, States Rights, individual liberty…we won’t have to struggle against a false, Progressive Narrative anymore because everyone will know that what we say is the way to go. And I think, deep down, this is what the Progressives and the overall Establishment fear the most…that it will be shown that we do better with less intrusive government and free markets. That we don’t need an Obama to lecture us on “who we are”. And that will simply kill them…they’ll hate living in a world where we don’t need them, or even so much as care what they think.

Some Thoughts on Trump/Russia

I was kind of out of the loop – MSM-wise – for the past week, but from checking social media, I guess the Trump/Russia thing is still, well, a thing. This is what is fascinating me about it – “the latest revelations have now caused some Conservatives to doubt Trump’s innocence”, appears to be a line of thought out there. This, to me, is the height of absurdity. Remember, the basic premise of Trump/Russia is “Trump colluded with the Russians to change the 2016 result”. To be sure, getting a Progressive of Never Trump “Conservative” to admit this is well nigh impossible, but that is where it comes from: the stark belief that Trump couldn’t possibly win, and so the explanation for the result must be found in some nefarious plot.

As I’ve said in the past, no matter how good or complex your equation is, if it is based upon 1+1=3, then everything that comes after that will be wrong. Right now, with the meeting between DTJ, Jr and a Russian, the conspiracy theory is taking a step back from things immediately surrounding the election and saying, “aha! Here’s where the collusion started! Don’t you see, now, you Tumpster morons!”. But that is just to try to say that we start with 1+1=2, then go on to 2+1=4 and, presto! Impeachment for Treason! I think what happens is that too many people feel they must obsessively follow – and comment upon – the daily MSM Narrative. This leads people, who engage in this pointless exercise, to somehow come around to the idea that something true (in this case, a definite meeting between DJT, Jr and Russians) can retroactively verify a falsehood. Sorry, guys, but a lie remains a lie no matter how many true things you try to place around it to lend the lie credibility. It is, in fact, a rather old trick of the propagandist to surround his lie with true things – makes it hard to attack the lie and allows the liar to defend those things which are true.

The bottom line is that Trump won the election fair and square – he was the better candidate, the smarter man, the more energetic campaigner, the guy who spoke better to the hopes and fears of the people; he was, in short, everything Hillary was not…and no amount of you wanting it to be Hillary as the better person will change reality. Secondly – and crucially in this idiot-fest of a Trump/Russia issue – PUTIN HAS RECEIVED NO BENEFIT FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP. If Putin hacked and rigged the election to change the result from Hillary to Trump, what did he get for it? First-rate anti-missile technology to Poland. Increased oil and natural gas exploitation in the USA. A vigorous commitment by President Trump to stand by NATO. A willingness – at least on paper – of our European allies to increase defense spending. The US standing firm in Syria and undercutting the Russian position there. Increased US hostility towards Iran’s ambitions. A promised US Naval and military build up. Each and every one of these things works against Russian ambitions. If Hillary had been elected President, does anyone want to argue that any of them would have been done? If Putin bought Trump, then I’d hate to see what an opponent of Putin works out to…

So, no, the revelation that DJT, Jr met a Russian doesn’t impress me – except in the amateurishness of it all. A seasoned political operation would have sent a low-level functionary to the first meeting. But, on the other hand, the very fact of this political amateurishness is part of the appeal of Donald Trump. He doesn’t think or operate like our politicians – who are always about covering themselves and retaining plausible deniability. In the end, I think all of this is backfiring on Trump’s critics. I’ve yet to meet a single person in real life who is remotely interested in this Russian thing. There would have to be some proof – and there will be no proof because there was no way for Putin to alter the election result in Trump’s favor, even if Trump and Putin wanted it to happen. We’re talking about an objective impossibility which is being used by Trump’s opponents in an attempt to bring him down. It won’t work.

Legal Insurrection has some good observations about this, as well.

Post-Election Thoughts

It was a shocker, but the election wasn’t close – Trump rocked it. Those of use who stayed up until the wee hours of the morning waiting for the official word were actually being a bit abused. You see, by about 11:30 Eastern (or even a little earlier), it was already clear that Hillary couldn’t win. You and I were just watching it on TV and the net, but even from such a vantage point, it was clear by 11:30 Eastern that Hillary simply wasn’t getting enough votes in the Philly and Detroit areas to overcome what Trump was doing elsewhere in PA and MI…and with OH, NC, FL and WI already in the bag, there was zero chance Hillary was going to get to 270, regardless of how CO and NV turned out. She should have called Trump right around then…maybe by midnight to make certain the number crunchers had it completely right (and she had the number crunchers – probably very good ones). She knew she lost some hours before she finally fessed up to it. But, she kept us waiting – and kept her supporters waiting. And that was just plain and simple cruel…it was over and it was time to let them know it was over…and let the winners get their celebration. That is how it works – that is how people who care about others do it. Hillary didn’t – it was that last act of petulance, over and above anything else, which demonstrated her unfitness for office.

The MSM is still in complete melt-down over this – and for each lonely MSM voice pointing out the MSM failure, there seem to be a hundred trying to blame-shift. I think they’ve really finished themselves – not just with Trumpsters, but with everyone. They were guaranteeing the Progressives a Hillary victory. It was in the bag – and they said so not just once, but over and over again…without any caveats. Some pollsters started hedging a bit the final weekend, but the MSM just kept right on…and it was clear as we entered the count phase, they were still certain of it. Who the heck is going to trust what they say?

And who is going to believe the polls? RCP still gets my respect because they just report on what’s out there…but the final RCP average had Hillary up 3.2 points. It looks like her popular vote win will be a rounding error – maybe as low as 0.25%. IBD came closest with Hillary at a 1 point lead, but event that was off the mark…and other polls had her up 4, 5 or 6 points! Yeah, “margin of error”…but, seriously, good polling should have shown this thing a complete toss-up on the national vote, and let’s not even start with how badly it missed PA and MI…and OH, where Trump won by more than 8 points! Eight points! The RCP average there had Trump up 3.5. This isn’t a miss – this is malpractice. Polls are useless, as far as I’m concerned – and I do hope that as 2020 rolls around, we just dispense with them. Let’s look at issues, and also (it would seem) at yard signs and rally attendance…and primary voting (though in 2020 with Trump likely cruising to renomination, that’ll only be interesting on the Democrat side…but, here’s a clue well in advance: if Dem primary turnout is down from 2016, then the Democrats are probably in for a lousy year).

The Democrats will now enter the re-build phase – and here’s where it gets interesting. There is a battle in the Democrat ranks as stark as what we had in the GOP ranks until Trump won the election (the Never Trumpers, such as remain, are gone…a few bitter-enders will drift away for good, but most will come home). We had our fight, and one side carried the day – for better or worse, the GOP is now the party of a Conservative-tinged Populism…strongly patriotic, a bit protectionist, semi-isolationist, not opposed to big spending per se, but much opposed to federal government mandates on local communities (this is something I, as a Distributist, can very much work with – some other Conservatives will find it rougher sledding…but, even then, you have an opportunity for education here, folks). You don’t have to like it or be part of it, but that’s what it is, at least for some number of years going forward. But the Democrats didn’t have their fight – the party apparatus, under the thumb of Clinton, Inc., short-circuited the Democrats’ internal fight – now, it will explode with a vengeance. The first battle will be over who will become DNC chair – and the various ultra-left groups who backed Bernie and felt betrayed by Clinton will make a full-court press to get one of their own in the job, and be opposed by the Schumer/Pelosi wing of the Democrat party. It will be fun to watch…the various pressure groups the Democrats created to keep people fired up and divided will now rip the Democrat party apart for at least a year, maybe longer.

Now, all is not entirely rosy for the GOP – we will have to face a mid-term in 2018 where we will be the party on it’s first Presidential Administration. Traditionally, this works out badly for the party in power – one of the exceptions to this rule was 2002, when the GOP made good gains. But that was also in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. But, we do have some advantages here. First off, 10 Democrat Senators are up for re-election in States won by Trump – some by crushing margins. Democrats also have far more Senate seats to defend (this being the class of 2012 which was carried to victory by Obama). Anything is possible, but we can justly rely on the Senate remaining GOP through 2018, unless there is a spectacular melt-down. The House is more iffy. Looks like we’ll wind up with 241 House members and so Democrats would have to net 23 to gain a slim majority – a tall order, given the gerrymandered districts out there. But it could be done – we might as well expect a recession next year given that the change in policies will alone unsettle the economy for a while, and we’re also very much due for one given the terrible economic policies of the Obama years. A very severe recession coming in, say, early 2018 could be disastrous for the House GOP…on the other hand, a recession showing up in April of 2017 and largely over with strong, renewed growth in 2018 would help the GOP. Also, if the GOP is really grinding out popular reforms, that will also help protect the GOP from the inevitable electoral backlash coming off a big win.

My largest hope for the next four years is in “drain the swamp” activities. Trump should make sure that Hillary, the IRS, Holder, the EPA and a host of other things are investigated. We also need a full push on investigating voter fraud – we know its out there, but GOPers have always been afraid to look into it. Hopefully, that will change. Just getting rid of the pay for play corruption endemic to our government will do a great deal to restore America – because it would allow real issues to be addressed, rather than just getting whatever someone was bribed to push.

I also hope that we get a couple or three Supreme Court picks – and that they are picked with a mind towards genuinely restoring the Constitutional order. And I’ve long felt that we need to increase the size of the Court – to at least 11 members, maybe as many as 15. And increase the number of circuit courts, and especially break up the 9th circuit…let that court represent San Francisco and Los Angeles, and get the rest of the 9th’s territory out of there. I’d like to see Roe go, of course, but also I’d like more expansion of individual rights…that the people, as individuals, really do have the right to say what they want, believe what they want, do what they want and that they can’t compel anyone to help them say, believe or do things.

We also need to bring the bureaucracy to heel. They work for us – all of us; this means they can’t even by accident favor one side of the political divide over another. They must be neutral in thought as well as action…and anyone who can’t set aside their personal views has no business serving the American people. The weaponization of the IRS during Obama’s term has laid it bare – and we must go to work making sure that government employees never so much as even think of favoring one side over another. It can be done – after all, our military obeys whomever is the constituted authority and would never dream of working against it…or against any political view. We can enforce this ideal throughout the bureaucracy – and we must enforce it. In addition to ensuring neutrality, we also must ensure honesty – we have to be able to swiftly fire bureaucrats who prove corrupt or incompetent. One of the most pathetic things about the last 8 years is how the bureaucrats, no matter how badly they messed up, never paid any serious price…no loss of pension, often no loss of job. I’d prefer to end the defined benefit pensions they have and put them on 401k’s, and put them into the Social Security system, as well. Public sector unions must be curbed as Walker did in Wisconsin.

I’m sure you’ve all got your hopes, dreams and worries for the next four years – but this is what comes to my mind, at least this early in the process. I’m glad we stopped the Clinton’s, cautiously optimistic about Trump and very hopeful for our nation’s future.