Open Thread

Lot of people seem to think we’re supposed to respect Mueller because he had an excellent record in Vietnam. I don’t buy that – history is littered with fine junior officers who wound up lousy generals, or lousy political leaders. People are what they do – and no past action either permanently lifts up or casts down a person.

Legal Insurrection is saying that Mueller should put up or shut up: his probe, run through our political system, is tearing this nation apart. If he’s got the goods on Trump, let’s hear what they are. If he doesn’t, he should say so. And none of this “ongoing investigation” BS. Tell us, one way or the other.

South Africa is moving down the Zimbabwe route – now with a proposal to expropriate white-owned land without compensation. This will do nothing for South Africa’s poor – who, for the most part, don’t know how to farm. It will inflame racial tensions and give an excuse for the Ruling Class to remain in power. I’ve read lots of things about South Africa of late and none of it is good: but those thinking that the world will lift a finger to help white South Africans are fooling themselves. Now is the time to get out of South Africa, if you can. Flee. Run away. Go somewhere else. Today. It’ll only get worse from here. I do have sympathy, but it was also rather baked in that it would come out this way: there was no way the post-Apartheid government was going to provide the sort of wealth black South Africans thought they’d have if only Apartheid came to an end. Hopes were raised and are now completely dashed…and the ANC does not propose to surrender power simply because they didn’t deliver on their promises.

We all figured that Never Trump, beyond a certain point, would become Democrats – and we were right:

…according to speculation reported by POLITICO, former McCain 2008 chief strategist Steve Schmidt may go one step further: He’s reportedly thinking about signing up with a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, possibly former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

The good news is he’d likely do as well for Schultz as he did for McCain.

Good riddance.

I don’t have too many Progressive followers on Twitter. No more than a handful as a matter of fact. Twitter is very tribal: for the most part, no one wants to listen to the other side on that platform. But there is one I do have and I admire the guy (or gal; can’t tell if the account holder if male or female): I think him wrong, but he is sincere in arguing for what he thinks is right and he’s honest and never gets nasty. I think he follows me for the same reason. Over the years we’ve had some fun discussions…but lately, we’ve both been sliding towards being angry at the same people. Or, at least, the same sort of people. You know: I despise Never Trumpers…this guy despises Neo-Liberals (as he calls them). In this, we’re both despising unprincipled people who merely latch on to a political party to serve their own, selfish ends. And what I’m thinking of late: just how large is a potential coalition of all people who despise the Establishment? And can Trump (and, believe it or not, McConnell) tap into this and create a FDR-size constituency to win the 2020 election in the manner that FDR won the 1936 election? Time will tell.

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Open Thread

President Trump went on a bit of a Twitter storm about Mueller:

There is No Collusion! The Robert Mueller Rigged Witch Hunt, headed now by 17 (increased from 13, including an Obama White House lawyer) Angry Democrats, was started by a fraudulent Dossier, paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC. Therefore, the Witch Hunt is an illegal Scam!

What do you guys think? Is he getting closer to firing Mueller? Some people think so – I have long argued he should, but its been so long I’m wondering if he ever will? Others theorize that Trump, Sessions, et al have their own plan to take care of this plus a great deal of other things right before the mid-terms. I guess anyone’s guess is as good as any other – but one thing I’ve noticed that in the really crucial policy moves of the Trump Administration, there are no leaks. Probably, if there is something cooking, no more than Trump and six or seven of his closest people know what it is.

Justice Ginsburg says she wants to stick around at least five more years…which is nice, but if she wants to make sure Trump doesn’t replace her, she’ll have to hang around until 2025, in my view. And even then she might find President Pence or President Haley offering up her replacement.

Powerline notes that Iran is up against the wall right now – thanks to Trump’s policies. One thing seems to be a constant under Trump: our friends do better, our enemies do worse.

Some Republicans are trying to slip through a bit of Chamber of Commerce-approved semi-amnesty garbage, apparently thinking that Trump will shy away from a budget fight less than 100 days from the midterms. This turns out to have been an incorrect assessment:

I would be willing to “shut down” government if the Democrats do not give us the votes for Border Security, which includes the Wall! Must get rid of Lottery, Catch & Release etc. and finally go to system of Immigration based on MERIT! We need great people coming into our Country!

Remember, Republicans have been gun-shy on government shutdown since the shutdowns in the mid-90’s which…did absolutely nothing to harm the GOP. And who can forget the government shutdown in 2013 which led, just the following year,…to the best GOP mid-term since the 1920’s? Seriously, I don’t get why the GOP thinks a shutdown is a bad thing. It never adversely affects the GOP and it often clarifies issues. And with Trump in the White House, you can rely on it that any shutdown will be crafted to discomfit the American people as little as possible. Immigration reform with strong border security is popular overall, and especially popular with the GOP base which needs to turn out in November to save the House. A shutdown over the issue will merely fire up the voters we need…so, do it, unless the Dems cave on border security (if they were smart, they would cave, as that would make a lot of GOP voters relax, and thus be less likely to show up in November).

Austin, Texas, is thinking of re-naming itself because Stephen Austin owned slaves. As part of the plan to ensure we keep re-electing Trump President, forever, this is great…but outside of that, it is idiocy. Austin was a man of his times – a Southerner who grew up with slavery as an established thing who also had his doubts about it as the concept of slavery as an evil was gaining currency in the Western World. That he was wrong to hold slaves – and in seeing to it that slavery remained legal in Texas – is a sin he cannot escape…but the bottom line is that he helped lay the foundations for Texas’ liberty which ultimately benefited all Texans. To expunge his name won’t change the past.

I’m sure you guys have heard of the straw ban. Absolute Progressive idiocy. Heard it is based upon the conclusions of a middle school kid’s science project. Wouldn’t surprise me if that were true. Paper straws will now make a comeback. Here’s the thing, for those of old enough to remember: we switched from paper to plastic in the 1970’s to save the trees. Now, we’re going to slaughter trees again…the circle is complete!

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

President Trump is moving ahead on Welfare reform…which really works out, in the end, to undoing Obama’s un-reform of Welfare.

Everyone says the GOP is doomed in November. Poll results; levels of voter enthusiasm; all those special election victories for the Dems; numerous GOP retirements (especially of Speaker Ryan) all indicate that the historical norm of the party in power getting clobbered in its first mid-term will happen. Hard to argue with all that – but, I do. So does Da Tech Guy, who gives seven reasons 2018 may be different from 2010.

My view remains that Donald Trump has fundamentally altered the electoral dynamic of the United States. We’ll find out if I’m right in November – though 2020 will also play it’s role. My main contention is that people are abandoning the Democrats. This started right around 2014 as the reality of Obama fully sunk in, and Democrats – supremely confident that they would never lose the White House and could ignore Congress – went ever further left not just in their ideology, but in how they presented their ideology (meaning, there was less and less effort on the part of the Democrats to disguise what they wanted…they were more and more openly proclaiming the socialist future they envisioned). Do the American people want identity politics, amnesty for illegals, gun control, tax increases and the impeachment of Donald Trump? As I said, we’ll find out – but my guess is that the number of Democrats in the country is a lot smaller than it was before and that even though Democrats are at a fever pitch (they’re pouring money into the Texas Senate race, for crying out loud: that’s just stupid. They need that money in Missouri…but the far left hates Cruz), there simply won’t be enough of them in November in the State and districts that matter. Stay tuned.

Senator Warren set up the CFPB to be outside Constitutional controls – now she’s mad that its outside Constitutional controls. As I have said, Democrats thought they’d never lose the White House again.

Donald Surber gives his thoughts on Trump and Syria. My view: don’t go in unless we declare war. If we’re saying that a government using WMD’s against its own people is an act of war against us, then go ahead and declare war. Mobilize the reserves; appropriate the money; raise the taxes and send the boys over to compel an unconditional surrender. If we’re not willing to do that, I don’t want to do it.

Alan Dershowitz’ advice is not to fire Mueller, but to have Rosenstein recuse himself. It is an interesting idea. But, I still say Fire Mueller.

Hey, It’s January: How About Another Open Thread?

We’ll have a lot of Presidents going forward, but I don’t think we’ll ever have such a Grand Master Troll on Twitter like Trump, again:

I will be announcing THE MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR on Monday at 5:00 o’clock. Subjects will cover Dishonesty & Bad Reporting in various categories from the Fake News Media. Stay tuned!

What is most amusing is that his opponents take such jokes seriously. They light their hair on fire every time he makes a joke like this…they have intense discussions of What It All Means and how We’re Doomed Because of This Tweet. It is a glorious thing to behold. I highly recommend getting on Twitter just to watch.

William Jacobson Legal Insurrection goes over the Iranian crisis. Do read it. For me, I’ve been watching Elite Opinion cover itself in filth over the whole thing – trying to some how twist this yearning for freedom on the part of Iranians into a bad thing. They are just so desperate to preserve Obama’s legacy in the Iran Deal. I can only imagine its because they get paid – no one would be that stupid except for money.

Don Surber points out that the purveyors of Fake News just never seem to learn their lesson.

Further to that point, CNN’s Pentagon Correspondent wonders why the Secretary of the Navy would wear a sidearm in Afghanistan…I don’t know, maybe it’s because there’s a war going on, or something? Just my best guess, of course…

Deep State agent complains about Trump bringing attention to the Deep State.

That Grand Jury Mueller is using to railroad Trump people? There’s a bit of a perception of bias according to people in the know. Quite honestly, given the overwhelmingly Democrat make-up of the jury pool in the DC area, federal grand juries and trials should be held outside of the DC area…randomly select a city with a federal court for each case.

The Ghost of John Calhoun has settled in California.

Open Thread

Seems that Mueller’s people obtained a lot of documents and computers relating to Trump’s transition – trouble is, getting that stuff might have been illegal. Once again: shut it down. Whole thing stinks of corruption.

Don Surber goes over just how rotten this whole thing is – really, we’re talking about an Obama Administration attempt to undermine an incoming American President. That’s the subject which needs to be investigated.

Hollywood sucks. We all know that – but Michael Walsh goes into some details about why it sucks. Greed and stupidity, mostly. They simply don’t make movies – they make comic books on film for money, and then some nauseating, Progressive tripe for the Oscars. Of course, good movies could be made – if anyone wanted to make them. They wouldn’t be global blockbusters (or, at least, they probably wouldn’t – but you never know what might catch on), but they would make money, I bet. All it would take is some talent. I’ve even got some subjects that I think could be great movies:

Soapy Smith: this guy was like the ultimate con-man of all time. You could do it for laughs, or you could do it serious. Either way, its a compelling story which would be interesting to see.

Ernest E. Evans: posthumous Medal of Honor for his actions as skipper of the USS Johnston in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. The man had Native American blood, so you can play that angle. His ship was commissioned on October 27th, 1943 and sunk on October 25th, 1944: the crew was mostly recent-civilians but, my goodness, they fought and fought and fought until their ship was shot out from under them. You could research to find the stories of the men who served and have this fantastic combination of interesting characters and stunning battle scenes.

Ann and Josie Bassett: old west ranchers and associates of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. They were being pressured by cattle barons to sell out, and the outlaws helped them fight off the pressure. You can make all kinds of good stories out of that.

But, Hollywood won’t make the movies…because Hollywood sucks.

Governor Walker forges ahead with the complete reform of Wisconsin government – now tackling welfare reform. We’ll see what comes after Trump, and Pence is building up a lot of good will for a future White House bid. But we could do a lot worse than getting Walker as our President one of these days.

Trump wants to repeal the misbegotten Johnson Amendment – that law which supposedly prohibits all religious groups from engaging in politics, but which actually prohibits Conservative religious groups from engaging in politics. It was in the tax bill, but now has been taken out. Once again, Trump is seen as pushing for the more Conservative reform, while the supposedly True Conservative Congress is undermining his efforts. Some how or another, we’ve got to get 6 or 7 more GOP Senators next year so we can just overwhelm the Fredo-Cons.