Saturday, June 30, 2018

Homeowners are happy now, but they may soon be reeling.

Investors Business Daily opines,
...In the next housing crisis, banks will hold hundreds of billions in bad loans and the economy will again crater. Then what? Rather than waiting for disaster, why not do what we should've done years ago? Either privatize Fannie and Freddie or shut them down, while the economy's strong and we still have time.

...We've talked before about the strength of the U.S. economy, particularly after tax cuts kicked in. And that's still true. Unfortunately, 10 years after the 2008 financial crisis, there's one exception: The housing market, which, despite superficial signs of health, remains dysfunctional.

Homeowners are happy now, but they may soon be reeling. The Fed, worried about ultralow 3.8% unemployment and rising incomes, has signaled it could raise rates as many as seven times between now and the end of 2019. Not only would new buyers no longer qualify to buy homes, but homeowners who bought during the Fed's zero-interest rate days might get a severe shock as payments surge and buyer demand dries up.

Right now, housing suffers from an affordability crisis. Despite median household income rising strongly since President Trump took office, the average price for a new home today is just under $330,000, vs. about $248,000 in 2006, before the last housing crisis. Higher Fed rates followed by a downturn in housing prices would devastate the U.S. economy.

How did we get here? Unfortunately, you can blame government. Neither Fannie Mae nor Freddie Mac, the two mortgage giants that caused the 2007 housing meltdown, were dismantled. Instead, Washington rewarded them with an even larger role than before.
Read more here.

Who will investigate Clapper and Brennan?

Holman Jenkins makes an excellent point at The Wall Street Journal.
The FBI’s Mr. Comey, since Election Day, has been a model of discretion compared with Obama CIA chief John Brennan and Obama Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Mr. Brennan suggested on national TV that Vladimir Putin possesses secret information he uses to control President Trump. Mr. Clapper, also on national TV, called Mr. Trump a Kremlin “asset” whose election was secured by Russian meddling.

Their involvement in the events Mr. Horowitz details was extensive and pervasive and yet these men are invisible in his report. And it is hardly plausible that they were more restrained in their accusations against Mr. Trump in their private dealings with Mr. Comey before the election than they have been on TV since.

...An underremarked facet of the Horowitz report reveals just how much illegal leaking to the press FBI officials were guilty of. The same rock needs to be turned over with respect to Mr. Brennan’s and Mr. Clapper’s former agencies. If Mr. Putin’s goal was to make a mockery of U.S. democracy, his most useful if unwitting allies may well have been our so-called intelligence community.

Mr. Comey’s FBI is not the only intelligence branch that needs a good shaking out. Historians have a strong case already that both sets of today’s partisan talking points are valid: The Obama intelligence agencies were biased against Mr. Trump and also blunderingly helped elect him—a conclusion based in fact and yet so disconcerting that the press has turned away from it.
Read more here.

Truck Drivers' rising wages are a threat to the economy, says the Washington Post

Jeff Bezos's Washington Post notes with alarm that truck drivers' wages are growing under the Trump economy, and that is a threat to the economy! No, really!

Are you too woke?

Andrew Klavan's guest today is Jenna Ellis. She explains the Supreme Court decisions handed down this week. Thanks to Trump's appointment of Gorsuch to the Court, it was a very good week! Rule of law? No, the Left wants the rule of emotion!

Andrew believes Republicans are bad at selling good ideas.

Andrew answers some letters. God implanted desires in us. Go after the thing you were made to do. Pay attention to what you really want.

Because the Left has so much control over the means of communications, one gets the impression they are far more powerful than they are. Social justice warriors started pumping their stuff into the NFL and Starbucks and we found out they are not untouchable. Starbucks is closing 150 stores mostly in dense urban areas.

Andrew ends the show by playing Tracy Uhlmann's sketch of a support group for people who are too woke. YouTube has banned it, but you can watch it at Louder with CrowderThe group members are "ruining their lives by being overly virtuous."

Not fair!

It is not too much to ask the Supreme Court to support the rule of law.

In PJ Media Andrew Klavan writes,
It is not too much to ask the Supreme Court to support the rule of law.

...But the whole point of the First Amendment is that there are certain choices citizens are not allowed to make — like compelling or curtailing the speech of the opposition.

...The left doesn't like the rule of law much. If they legally lose an election, they take to the streets as if some injustice had been done to them. If we enforce our border laws, they become hysterical and try to intimidate and bully public officials. If they can't get a law passed by constitutional means, they are perfectly happy to use regulation to exert extra-legal control over the citizenry.

All of which is bad enough in leftist media, leftist mobs and leftist officials. But in leftist Supreme Court justices, it's even worse.
Read more here.

Ten reasons she is no longer a Leftist

Aleen Realmuto is a US Marine dedicated to restoring and sustaining individual liberty and national sovereignty in these great United States of America. she writes at about this woman:

Dr. Danusha V. Goska was a lifelong liberal who “could not conceive of ever being anything but a leftist.”

Her fantastic column, “Top Ten Reasons I Am No Longer a Leftist,” details how and why her philosophies changed.

Below are the top ten reasons I am no longer a leftist. This is not a rigorous comparison of theories. This list is idiosyncratic, impressionistic, and intuitive. It’s an accounting of the milestones on my herky-jerky journey.
10) Huffiness.
9) Selective Outrage
8) It’s the thought that counts
7) Leftists hate my people.
6) I believe in God.
5 & 4) Straw men and “In order to make an omelet you have to break a few eggs.
2 & 3) It doesn’t work. Other approaches work better.
1) Hate.
Do click on the link here because she carefully explains what she means by each point.

Join - or not join?

Bill Bennett and Karen Nussle write in Fox News,
In 20 to 30 years, we may look back on this week as the turning point when everything changed for America’s teachers and their students. That’s because the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that individuals who disagree with a union’s political activity will no longer be forced to pay dues to the union.

The 5-4 high court decision in the case of Janus v. AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) is a landmark victory for the First Amendment rights of 5 million public sector employees in 22 states. In addition, a great opportunity for serious school reform may be a consequence as well.

...The court’s clear and affirmative consent requirement means that government employees will have the ultimate choice about whether to join – or not join – a labor union from the outset of their employment.
Read more here.

Today's Manufactured Crisis

Hat tip Lucianne, who is baaaaaack!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Two half-truths added together equals a whole truth. That’s just math.

The Babylon Bee has decided,
It’s time to talk about a troubling trend in how we handle our national discourse: the current political landscape is full of lies, half-truths, and fake news, but the average person only ever consumes half of that. Thanks to people being ever more partisan in their news consumption, most people are only exposed to one distorted version of reality, completely missing out on an equally ludicrous alternative version of events.

This is a crisis. Voters are going to the polls having been manipulated by only one side, scared into voting by one set of myopic irrational fears and not hearing the alternative nonsense that could have resulted in an equally uninformed vote in another direction. Everyone is increasingly comfortable with “their” hyperbolic trolls, seeing only one side as basically Hitler instead of recognizing the Hitler in everyone.

This has to end. People need to broaden the propaganda they listen to and be exposed to all the incorrect ways of looking at an issue. Listening to only one set of lies is part of what leads to all the destructive anger in our politics, but if people only opened up and really listened to all falsehoods, they could replace that anger with much healthier confusion.

And maybe, just maybe, people might stumble onto something real. Two half-truths added together equals a whole truth. That’s just math.


Trying to evade arrest at the convenience store

American Digest brings us this video of a Canadian couple trying to evade arrest.

So you think you are attractive?

Shana Lebowitz at Business Insider compiled information from numerous research studies to inform men what 19 things women find attractive about men. I read them at Science alert.

The illusion of civility; Growing protests in Iran

The Left has been living off the illusion of civility. If you assume that everybody is racist, you don't have to argue with them; just insult them as "racist." Trump is exposing them for who they are and for whom they have always been! The Left has wrapped people in a mental prison. David Bosse tells a man "You're out of your cotton-pickin' mind" and gets suspended from Fox for one week!

This is week three of Andrew's Leftese Dictionary, so, C is for Constitution! Is it living?

Sebastian Gorka is Andrew's guest. Andrew asks him about Turkey. Erdogan is re-Islamizing Turkey.

Nest, Andrew asked him about the growing protests in Iran. They had large protests when Obama was president, too, in 2009, and Obama did not support them. Obama turned his back, the Mullahs retrenched themselves. Obama released $140 billion into the Iranian economy. Tehran has not been the center of these protests. They are happening everywhere in Iran. Iran has one resource, beside Islam: crude oil. Donald Trump has told importers they have three months to end the importation of Iranian oil.

Donald Trump is not an interventionist. He thinks it is crazy for us to go in to change other countries.

Next, Dr. Gorka talked about the manpower constraints on our border officials.

Who will be the new swing vote?

Both the New York Times and Washington Post are excited that Chief Justice Roberts will now likely be the swing vote on many Supreme Court cases. Ann Althouse quotes from both papers and adds her own thoughts here.

The most callous in fact, the most caring in theory?

Victor Davis Hanson writes in American Greatness,
How could California square its present circle of being both the most impoverished and affluent of states—the most callous in fact, the most caring in theory?

Why not cease the current stampede to private academies that has left the public schools of the greater coastal corridor non-diverse and near-apartheid?

The huge Los Angeles Unified School District is now more than 70 percent Latino, as whites and Asians have fled the arrival of immigrant children. It’s much the same in Silicon Valley, where private prep schools are expanding enrollments to meet the demand from the affluent members of the tech industry.

...Instead, despite the rhetoric of inclusion, and televised and tweeted fury at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the progressive left coast is among the most exclusionary of all American communities.

One of the strangest scenes in impoverished rural Fresno County, where I live, is the epidemic of substandard housing. Almost every small old farmhouse now has trailers and shacks tacked on to them—all substandard and not meeting codes—to accommodate recent waves of new immigrants from Mexico and Central America.

Yet the media often showcase the huge gated homes and enclaves of Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and the journalistic elite. Surely some of all that unused square footage and those guest houses could be used to offer at least temporary hospitality to those in need.

Actor Peter Fonda could do far better to help immigrants than by tweeting threats to 12-year-old Barron Trump from his most non-diverse ranch in Paradise Valley, Montana. Instead, Fonda might advocate that Hollywood actors live among newly arrived immigrants, associate with them as equals rather than as the help, and promote public schools by ensuring that their own children and grandchildren attend them.

Better yet, why doesn’t Fonda invite a few of the immigrant families awaiting word on their legal status to the open spaces of his Montana ranch? Media accounts of his expansive and tasteful digs show an infrastructure that easily could accommodate a few needy immigrant families.

It is easy to invoke the Nazis and the Holocaust to express anger at the temporary detention of children and their families who have entered the U.S. illegally. It would be far more meaningful if marquee journalists, actors, academics, and activists knew immigrants not just as a distant abstract cause, or as nannies and landscapers, but as their neighbors, their children’s school friends—and as their social equals.
Read more here.

Canada puts themselves in a tough spot

Sundance writes at The Conservative Treehouse,
Today Canada released an updated list of retaliatory tariffs designed as countermeasures to the U.S. Steel and Aluminum tariffs [SEE HERE] which will begin Sunday, July 1st.

Additionally, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, and Employment and Labour Minister Patty Hajdu, announced they would initiate an emergency program to use Canadian taxes compensate workers, expand unemployment benefits, and subsidize impacted industry. Yes, in a transparent display of political ideology (throwing capitalism directly out the window), Canada doubles-down on centralized government subsidies to offset market impacts. Brilliant ‘eh!

...Team U.S.A. have applied tariffs to Canadian softwood lumber, Steel and Aluminum as Canada refuses to negotiate new terms for NAFTA where North American products are prioritized. Canada demands the ability to continue importing Asian, mostly Chinese, products for their assembly-based market.

With the latest counter-move by Justin and Chrystia from Canada, it is increasingly likely President Trump will levy a 20% tariff on imported Canadian automobiles. Last month (May) the Canadian economy dropped over 31,000 full time jobs.

Canada has put themselves into a tough spot. The current Canadian government cannot support any NAFTA agreement that requires the actual manufacturing of goods in North America. Both Canada and Mexico have structured their economies to import goods from Asia, mostly China, and use their access into the U.S. market to trans-ship their final goods.

Chinese central government, as well as Asian and EU corporations, pay Canada and Mexico (through trade agreements) for U.S. market access. Essentially Mexico and Canada are trade brokers or pass-throughs. Neither Canada nor Mexico have the actual raw material, infrastructure or processes in place to manufacture goods in North America; they both generally only assemble parts made overseas into finished products.

Because of this structural flaw, the Canadian government is doubling down on their intent to keep the status quo in place. However, this approach also makes it a futile exercise to continue talking about renegotiating NAFTA.

Mexican elections are being held July 1st (Sunday), it is yet to be determined if Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AM LO), Mexico’s virtually guaranteed-to-win next president, will support a Mexican withdrawal from NAFTA.
Read more here.

Informing the president that he was not a suspect when he clearly was!

At National Review, Andy McCarthy asks,
May the president of the United States be charged with obstruction based on non-criminal discretionary acts that are unquestionably within his constitutional authority as chief executive?

...As a matter of principle, the law-enforcement arm of government must operate on a presumption of innocence. Therefore, in this country, a prosecutor should be assigned only if there is strong evidence that a crime has been committed; in the absence of such evidence, a prosecutor should never be assigned to investigate whether an American may have committed some unknown crime.

...Mueller was appointed in the absence of strong evidence of a crime that would legitimately trigger a criminal investigation or prosecution. Since that should not have happened, one must ask: Why?

...Regardless of the motivation, the scheme to sustain the Russia investigation even after Obama left office and Trump was in a position to end it had three parts: (1) important information about the investigation needed to be withheld from the new president; (2) Trump had to be led to believe he was not under investigation (even though he was central to the investigation) so that he would not feel threatened by the investigation; and (3) Trump had to be admonished about respecting the independence of law-enforcement, to instill the fear that if he invoked his constitutional authority to shut down the investigation, he would be accused of obstruction.

This audacious strategy worked for four months, but it was done in by its core contradiction: It called for informing the president that he was not a suspect when he clearly was.

...There was no crime and he had been told he was not a suspect, yet the FBI was conducting itself as if there had been a shocking crime in which he was the main suspect.

Remember: The Obama strategy was to straitjacket Trump by making him the focus of a continuing investigation, even if there was no apparent crime and even though Trump, as president, had the power to end the investigation. With Comey now sidelined, the only way to continue exploiting the Russia counterintelligence investigation for this purpose was to get a special counsel appointed.

It is now clear that the collusion narrative was catalyzed by an unverifiable dossier of rank, anonymous hearsay, commissioned by the Hillary Clinton campaign and compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British spy who lied to the FBI about his communications with the media — which the bureau should have anticipated since, as a mercenary retained by an opposition-research operation working for Democrats, Steele’s job was to get Mrs. Clinton elected, not to investigate Russia. These facts were kept from the FISA court when the Justice Department and the FBI used the dossier to seek surveillance warrants. It increasingly appears that the officials who made these judgments may have more to answer for than the Americans on whom they were spying.

...It is worth repeating that the Russia investigation is a counterintelligence probe; it was not a judicial proceeding or a criminal investigation. Counterintelligence probes are not conducted to enforce the law through judicial proceedings; they are conducted to inform the president of threats posed by foreign powers. The president may shut them down at will, and doing so does not obstruct justice in any way.
Read more here.

"If we're going to have peace, we're going to make it together."

Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee, September 6, 2017. (via C-SPAN)
In National Review, Michael Brendan Dougherty writes that he wants Trump to nominate Amy Coney Barrett to be the next Supreme Court Justice.
...The fight over Barrett’s confirmation would almost certainly build trust between President Trump and social conservatives. It would energize Republicans ahead of the midterm elections.

...The facts of Barrett’s life — that she is a mother of seven children, and that when she speaks about her Catholic faith, she speaks about God as if she really believes in His existence — will provoke nasty and bigoted statements from Democratic senators and liberal media personalities. Again.

You may recall that this has already happened. In 2017, during confirmation hearings for a seat on the Seventh Circuit, Senator Dianne Feinstein surveyed Barrett’s public statements on her personal faith and told her that she worried that “the dogma lives loudly within you.” The bizarre idiom she created was a sign that Feinstein didn’t have an easy way to say what she wanted to say: A Catholic is fine. A believing Catholic is not.

The Feinstein incident caused Christopher L. Eisgruber, president of Princeton University, to publicly defend Barrett and her writings on how her faith relates to her duties as a judge. He then urged against what he saw as an emerging religious test. “In my view,” Eisgruber wrote, “Professor Barrett’s qualifications become stronger by virtue of her willingness to write candidly and intelligently about difficult and sensitive ethical questions: Our universities, our judiciary, and our country will be the poorer if the Senate prefers nominees who remain silent on such topics.”

Now, it would be churlish to choose Barrett only because her nomination will cause some Democrats to bleep, bloop disconcertingly before entering into auto-destruct mode. It would be good to nominate her, however, because the fight to confirm her will contain edifying political lessons. We don’t have religious tests for public office in this country, and having a republic that does not have an established religion does not require excluding sincere believers from positions of authority.

Liberals have lately internalized the idea that so long as they can justify their policy preferences as having egalitarian motives or ends, they should be able to compel religious people to conform to liberal moral norms — which just so happen to track exactly to doctrinal developments in the once dominant Mainline Protestant churches. The ACLU would compel Catholic hospitals to perform abortions. The last administration wanted to compel Notre Dame to offer contraceptives as part of its compensation to employees. The baker will be made to cater at the private solemnities that offend his conscience. Evangelicals at a crisis pregnancy center will be made to advertise for abortion.

An Amy Coney Barrett nomination fight would contain an even deeper lesson, one that is salutary for both liberal secularists, who once indulged in triumphalism, and conservative believers, who have been tempted to despair: Believing Catholics and Evangelicals will continue to make their contributions to the common good of this country. You will live with us. If we’re going to have peace, we’re going to make it together.
Read more here.

The top five

At The Daily Wire, Ben Shapiro reports,
According to Fred Barnes of The Weekly Standard, the White House has narrowed down its list of potential Supreme Court nominees to a top five: Brett Kavanaugh, 53, of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals; Amul Thapar, 49, of the 6th Circuit; Amy Barrett, 46, of the 7th Circuit; Thomas Hardiman, 52, of the 3rd Circuit; and Raymond Kethledge, 51, of the 6th Circuit.

Ben writes what is known about each of the five and then closes with this paragraph:
So, here’s the bottom line: the most outspokenly textualist judges on this list are Barrett and Thapar (though Kavanaugh and Kethledge have spoken in favor of textualism as well). Kavanaugh has some red flags; Hardiman has red flags of his own. We will certainly need to ask probing questions about those on the list, and we’ll need to hear from groups that have spent time vetting all of the candidates. Conservatives simply can’t afford another Souter, Kennedy, O’Connor, or Roberts.
Read more here.

Lather, rinse, repeat!

At his blog, Dan Mitchell posted this chart showing that
Companies are almost making as much money from manipulating Washington as they earn from serving consumers.

What an awful cycle. Government gets bigger and more powerful, which lures companies into viewing Washington as a profit center, which then leads to more policies that expand the size and power of the federal government, which leads to further opportunities for rent-seeking behavior. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Oh, and don’t forget this is one of the reasons why there’s a revolving door of insiders who shift back and forth between the private sector and government, but their real job is always to be working the system to obtain undeserved wealth.

Read more here.

He had Rosenstein under oath for five minutes but didn't ask a single question!

What do you make of the fact that Trey Gowdy had Rod Rosenstein under oath for five minutes but didn't ask him a single question? At the same time, Gowdy urged the appointment of a grand jury and encouraged Rosenstein to file charges against Trump. I don't trust Gowdy. Do you?

Feverishly coming up with rules that nobody has ever heard of before

At the Ace of Spades blog, Oregon Muse writes,
"So with the announcement of the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Kennedy, the progtards are feverishly coming up with rules that nobody has ever heard of before, but nevertheless they claim Trump is bound by. The first one out of the gate was that Trump couldn't appoint Kennedy's successor until Mueller's ongoing investigation cleared him of collusion with the Russians. It's doubtful that that this rule ever existed before three or four days ago, but you have to admire the brazen presumption of guilt here. And now Chuck U. Schumer is claiming that Trump can’t appoint a Supreme Court Justice in an Election Year. Even though Justice Kagan was nominated by Obama and confirmed just 3 months before the 2010 midterms, you have to wonder what other long-standing rules the left is going to suddenly invent out of whole cloth to obstruct the president. Get ready for 'Since Kennedy was a moderate, he has to be replaced with another moderate'. Or maybe 'The president can't nominate any judge in the summer or in months with the letter 'r'. Just watch. The craziness has just begun. And then, years from now, when a Democrat gets elected president, and a SCOTUS vacancy opens up, all of these rules will mysteriously disappear, never to be heard from again."

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Who should Trump pick to replace Kennedy?

In USA Today, seven legal scholars give their views on who Trump should appoint to the Supreme Court. Interestingly, three of the seven chose the same guy, Don Willett. I was particularly interested in reading who Glenn Reynolds picked, and he picked Willett.
Who would I pick from Trump's list? (And note how unprecedentedly transparent and helpful it is to have a president with such a list.) My personal first choice would be former Texas Supreme Court Justice and 5th Circuit Judge Don Willett. Writing in Patel v. Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, Willett quoted Frederick Douglass' joy on receiving the first money he earned as a free man and observed, "Douglass’ irrepressible joy at exercising his hard-won freedom captures just how fundamental — and transformative — economic liberty is. Self-ownership, the right to put your mind and body to productive enterprise, is not a mere luxury to be enjoyed at the sufferance of governmental grace, but is indispensable to human dignity and prosperity." There are, sadly, few other judges who understand this.

And Willett knows about such things. As I've argued in my recent book, "The Judiciary's Class War," the current Supreme Court is a monoculture of Ivy League "thoroughbreds" with elite backgrounds. There's nothing wrong with that, but a little variety would be nice. Willett offers some.

After his father died when Willett was 6, his mother supported the family by waiting tables at a truck stop. He attended Baylor University and Duke — first-rate schools, but a change from the Harvard/Yale monoculture that currently fills the court. And like many previous justices but no current ones, he has actually run for office. A first-rate mind with a background that reflects Trump's America, Willett seems like a great choice to me.

Ilya Somin also prefers Willett because
will stand up against Trump's administration!

Willett was highly critical of Trump during the 2016 campaign, even comparing his border wall to the Death Star. That suggests Willett will not hesitate to rule against the administration, when necessary.

George S. Khoury is the third to prefer Willett. Reason? Willett has a massive Twitter presence!

Eugene Kontorovich prefers Senator Mike Lee of Utah.
He has an unquestionable commitment to interpreting the Constitution as it was understood when it was ratified, not as it has evolved in the minds of Supreme Court justices and law professors. But he is also humble and gracious, important traits when one has to work with the same eight people for decades.

Eric Citron believes Trump
should nominate a conservative who is an economic populist, and not just a conservative.

...Perhaps short-lister Thomas Hardiman, who worked as a taxi driver through college, has greater exposure to and sympathy for the working-class perspective.

William Vogeler recommends
Trump should nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett because she will add a conservative voice for women on the national's highest court.

Adam Feldman thinks
Judge Kavanaugh is the most likely nominee for several reasons. He has a strong track record of ruling on behalf of conservative agenda items and especially on behalf of big businesses’ interests. He also has an extensive record as a judge on a federal court of appeals, which is in contrast to several of the other judges on the short list, including Judges Amul Thapar and Barrett. This is important because the president does not want to be blindsided by a pick thought to be conservative but who later turns out to align with the liberal justices.
Read more here.

Why didn't you recuse yourself?

Here is Congressman DeSantis questioning Rod Rosenstein about his conflicts of interest and why Rosenstein didn't recuse himself.

575 arrested for protesting ICE

Alex Pappas reports at Fox News,
Washington Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal is among the more than 500 protesters who were arrested inside a Capitol office building on Thursday while demonstrating against President Trump’s immigration policies.

The protest, which included hundreds demonstrators, took place in the Hart Senate Office Building. The protesters were calling for the abolishment of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, and were heard chanting “abolish ICE." Most of the protesters were female.

Eva Malecki, a spokeswoman for the United States Capitol Police, said 575 individuals were charged with unlawfully demonstrating in the atrium of the building.
Read more here.

Gunman shoots and kills 5 people at a Maryland newspaper office

Kevin Rector reports in the Baltimore Sun,
t least five people were killed and several others were “gravely injured” in a shooting Thursday afternoon at the Capital Gazette in Anne Arundel County, authorities said.

A shooter is in custody, police said. Police would not name the suspect or say what type of weapon was used.

...Police said a “long gun” was used in the incident. They said officers did not exchange gunfire with the suspect, who was now being interrogated. They said officers had recovered what appeared to be an “explosive device,” and had “tactically secured” the building. About 170 people were inside at the time of the shooting, police said.

Phil Davis, a Capital Gazette crime reporter who was in the building at the time of the shooting, said multiple people were shot, as others — himself included — hid under their desks. He said there was a lone male gunman.

“Gunman shot through the glass door to the office and opened fire on multiple employees. Can’t say much more and don’t want to declare anyone dead, but it’s bad,” Davis wrote on Twitter as he waited to be interviewed by police.

“There is nothing more terrifying than hearing multiple people get shot while you’re under your desk and then hear the gunman reload.”
Read more here.

Jim Jordan gets under Rosenstein's skin.

Here are two videos. The first is Ohio Representative Jim Jordan questioning Rod Rosenstein. After you watch it, another video appears. It is South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy summarizing for Mr. Rosenstein Gowdy's concerns. Gowdy and Rosenstein seem to be on the same page. Not so with Jordan and Rosenstein!

Poking a hornet's nest

At The Declination, Thales wonders when the other shoe will drop.
nobody really knows exactly where the Rubicon is, in this political mess. Will it be gun control or confiscation? Will it be the next time a Democrat wins control over the federal government? Will they be hellbent on revenge and do something they shouldn’t? Will it be getting Rightists fired from their jobs, destroying their businesses and ability to earn, such that they have nothing to lose? Or will it be a cumulative ‘death from a thousand cuts’ situation, where all of these smaller, lesser attacks will, in aggregate, finally exceed the Rightist’s ability to tolerate?

I have no Earthly idea. But I do know that the Rubicon is somewhere, and that across its shore lies Civil War, or something approximating that. And so, in this, we are generally wiser (though not wise, see: Socrates) than our Leftist counterparts, who haven’t a clue about the hornet’s nest they’ve been poking.
Read more here.

We need more citizen warriors

At a blog called By Spear and Ax, Tom writes that we need more citizen warriors.
For better or worse, the stigmatization of warriors was long ago. It started with parents being told that games like “war” and “cops and robbers” wasn’t fitting for children. They were encouraged to engage in other forms of play. They were told that such things weren’t appropriate and that such play would invariably lead to more violence on our streets.

Some parents listened. Some didn’t.

However, schools carried the effort on. Whereas a schoolyard fight might have landed the kids some mild punishment in times gone by, today it is the cause of dreadful concern. Meanwhile, no effort is made to determine who initiated the fight or why it took place. Both parties are punished the same, thereby teaching that meekness is the only appropriate response to naked aggression.

...we need more citizen warriors so they can be everywhere they need to be. They can be on the New York subway car. They can be on the airplane. They can be in the movie theater or office building. They can be there the very moment they’re needed.

Maybe it’s a mass shooter, some jackass who thinks he needs to take vengeance for some imagined slight. Maybe it’s a terrorist who thinks his 72 virgins await. Maybe it’s some loser who thinks this will make some kind of a point.

It doesn’t matter.

What matters is the moment that evil rears its head, someone is there to meet it and put an end to it. Permanently, if needed.

The only way that happens is if the warriors are there when they’re needed, and for that, we need more of them.
Read more here.

Some Supreme Court rulings could be reversed.

The Washington Examiner explains here six cases that could possibly be overturned if President Trump appoints a conservative to replace retiring Justice Kennedy.

Putting the screws on Iran

Stephen Greene at Instapundit writes,
Trump’s Reaganesque attitude towards Iran’s mullahs — “We win, they lose” — is a refreshing change from George W. Bush’s waffling and Barack Obama’s obeisance.
He links to an article by Michael Lee in the Star Tribune with this headline:
US begins to dismantle Iran nuclear deal sanctions relief,
then, Steve links to a Wall Street Journal article headlined,
King Dollar Tightens Noose on Iranian Economy
Finally, Steve links to this article at CNBC headlined,
Iran protests set to continue amid collapsing currency, increasing pressure on regime

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

“The European ‘we’ does not exist”

Joel Kotkin has been attending a conference in France. His observations are reported at City Journal.
...a 2016 poll by the Communism Memorial Foundation found that 44 percent of American millennials favored socialism, while another 14 percent preferred fascism or Communism. By 2024, these millennials will be the biggest voting bloc.

European media
which downplays coverage of Islamist agitation, as well as rapes and crime associated with refugees, since these disturb its preferred narrative of a multicultural, post-national world.

...“The European ‘we’ does not exist,” suggested Manent. “We don’t know any more what we are.” The EU, that great construct of progressive centralism, he added, “is devoid of any character. European culture is in hiding, disappearing, without a soul.” Critical here is the precipitous decline of Christianity, the ideal that forged Europe’s premodern identity. Well over 50 percent of Europeans under 30 don’t identify with a religion; in the UK, the Muslim population could exceed Anglican Church membership within a decade.

...Perhaps the most heated expression of demo-pessimism comes as a reaction to mass migration, notably from Islamic countries. The decision of German Chancellor Angela Merkel to open her borders to refugees from places like Syria and Afghanistan and the African continent has destabilized European sensibilities in a way not seen since the Second World War. Few speakers defended Merkel’s actions, reflecting almost three-to-one negative reaction to mass migration among Europeans.

...Many progressives see nationalism as a dirty word, associated with fascist regimes through history, two world wars, and the extremists of the racist right. Liberal globalists detested President Trump’s Poland speech last summer in large part because he explicitly defended Western values. Yet in a world where authoritarians are on the rise—most importantly in China, but also Turkey, Russia, and throughout the developing world—embracing Western values has never been more important. To counter the authoritarian wave also means rejecting unrepresentative, allegedly democratic authority that refuses to consider the views of its own citizens.
Read more here.

Unbiased coverage

A core American right?

Mollie Hemingway tweeted,
Resistance outrage machine has shifted rather suddenly from outrage over children separated from parent due to border enforcement to outrage, thanks to Kennedy retiring, that children might not legally be separated from parent and dismembered via abortion.

The Babylon Bee wrote,
Upon the announcement that Justice Kennedy would be retiring soon, liberals across the country expressed their horror that they might soon lose the legal right to kill 60 million more American babies over the next several decades.

Worried that Roe v. Wade could be overturned by a new, conservative-leaning court, progressives expressed their sheer horror that the unalienable right to slaughter unborn children wholesale could be ripped away from the nation’s women.

“We’ve enjoyed so much freedom to kill innocent unborn babies over the past 45 years, but if we take that for granted, if we give up the fight now, the Supreme Court could rip that important, foundational right away from us,” a Planned Parenthood spokesperson said at a protest rally Wednesday. “We must not give up. We must fight to prevent Trump from nominating a justice who doesn’t recognize that ending another human life is a core American right guaranteed by the founding fathers.”

"Civil disobedience" doesn't have to do with harassing individuals and shaming or scaring them out of appearing in public.

Aaron Blake opines in the WaPo,
...When passions run as strongly as they do with a story like this, actions will be ratcheted up.

Which means Democrats and Trump opponents as a whole need to decide where their line is for civil disobedience (or, in Waters's case, possibly going beyond civil disobedience)....

Ann Althouse responds,
Civil disobedience?!! Somebody needs to look up the definition of terms! "Civil disobedience" doesn't have to do with harassing individuals and shaming or scaring them out of appearing in public. Civil disobedience is declining to obey an unjust law. It's governing your own behavior in observance of a higher morality than the government's law. It has nothing to do with violating just norms — such as rules of etiquette or the legal protection from threats and physical violence — to hurt other people when those other people offend your moral standards!
Read more here.

They can't even not be crazy!

At Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds introduces a story with this headline: ALL THEY HAVE TO DO IS NOT BE CRAZY, AND THEY CAN’T EVEN DO THAT! The story is in the Washington Free Beacon and is written by Jeffrey Cimmino.

The man in the photo is Lawrence Key.
A man from Stuart, Florida is in jail after being accused of threatening to harm the children of Republican Rep. Brian Mast (Fla.).

Mast, who represents the state's 18th Congressional District has three young children, all under the age of 8. The arrested man, Laurence Wayne Key, is facing federal charges for the offense of "communication of a threat to kidnap or injure a person." He threatened Mast’s children in response to the Trump administration's immigration policies, according to NBC affiliate WPTV.

A criminal complaint alleges Key called Mast’s Washington, D.C. office and told an intern he would "find the Congressman’s kids and kill them." He continued, "If you’re going to separate kids at the border, I’m going to kill his kids. Don’t try to find me because you won’t."
Read more here.

Today the public space is dominated by screaming crowds of the entitled and their cheerleaders in the media.

Gawain Towler writes at American Spectator,
...What has become the great danger is the way in which Governments are now conspiring with the big platforms to restrict information, to sanitize it and to ensure that it conforms to the current tick list of what is and isn’t acceptable.

...The list of what is and isn’t acceptable grows like knotweed in a stagnant pond. Ism’s and ’phobias proliferate and are condemned. The most obvious are racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, Islamophobia, but now we have transgenderism, fattism, and Lord alone knows what else. All are labeled beyond the pale and all are to be driven out. All are labeled hate speech. Subtlety there is none, and freedom of speech has left the preserve of so-called fascists. Today the public space is dominated by screaming crowds of the entitled and their cheerleaders in the media.
Read more here.


hat tip The News Junkie

Another new opportunity for Trump!

Big news! Justice Kennedy is retiring next month! CNBC reports,
In a statement, the Supreme Court said the 81-year-old Kennedy will step down effective July 31. The judge called it "the greatest honor and privilege to serve our nation in the federal judiciary for 43 years, 30 of those years in the Supreme Court." Kennedy wants to spend more time with his family, even though they were content with him staying on the court.
(I found that humorous).
Read more here.

Kushner, the dealmaker

President Trump is going to Wisconsin today with his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Are you aware of Jared's accomplishments? Paul Bedard reports in the Washington Examiner,
Fresh from a whirlwind peace mission through the Middle East, the administration’s top dealmaker, Jared Kushner, is heading to Wisconsin Wednesday with President Trump to celebrate the biggest jobs deal of his young White House career, the groundbreaking of the massive Foxconn Technology Group project.

While Trump will likely be the focus of the event to highlight the $10 billion investment from FoxConn, the Taiwanese manufacturer best known for making Apple’s iPhones, it will also be a crowning moment for Kushner who helped negotiate the deal, his biggest in the U.S. and set to create 13,000 jobs.

It joins a growing list of deals administration officials credit to Trump’s son-in-law:

The emergence of a Middle East peace outline.
Work bringing the 2028 Summer Olympics back to Los Angeles.
A $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
Securing soccer’s World Cup in North America in 2026, with an expected 75 percent of the games being played in the U.S., the rest in Canada and Mexico.
Bipartisan support for criminal justice reform.
And don’t forget his behind-the-scenes role as the Trump presidential campaign’s CEO.

As with most of the projects he runs, Kushner shunned fanfair around his FoxConn efforts. But his was the operation he runs for Trump, the Office of American Innovation, that helped nail down the job to bring TV and other technology manufacturing to Racine, Wisc.
Read more here.

Supreme Court today: government workers can’t be forced to contribute to labor unions!

At AP Mark Sherman reports that the Supreme Court in a 5 to 4 decision today
that government workers can’t be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining, dealing a serious financial blow to organized labor.

The court’s conservative majority scrapped a 41-year-old decision that had allowed states to require that public employees pay some fees to unions that represent them, even if the workers choose not to join.

...More than half the states already have right-to-work laws banning mandatory fees, but most members of public-employee unions are concentrated in states that don’t, including California, New York and Illinois.

Labor leaders fear that not only will workers who don’t belong to a union stop paying fees, but that some union members might decide to stop paying dues if they could in essence get the union’s representation for free.

A recent study by Frank Manzo of the Illinois Public Policy Institute and Robert Bruno of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign estimated that public-sector unions could lose more than 700,000 members over time as a result of the ruling and that unions also could suffer a loss of political influence that could depress wages as well.

Alito acknowledged that unions could “experience unpleasant transition costs in the short term.” But he said labor’s problems pale in comparison to “the considerable windfall that unions have received...for the past 41 years.”

Billions of dollars have been taken from workers who were not union members in that time, he said.

“Those unconstitutional exactions cannot be allowed to continue indefinitely,” Alito wrote.
Read more here.

Engaging with Julian Assange

Investigative reporter John Solomon at The Hill tells us about a missed opportunity for the US government
to engage Julian Assange in a dialogue over redactions, a more responsible way to release information, and how the infamous DNC hacks occurred was lost — likely forever.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Mexico — a friend, an enemy, neither, or both?

Victor Davis Hanson writes in National Review,
...Facts are stubborn and reveal Mexico, not the United States, as a de facto aggressor and belligerent on many fronts. Mexico runs a NAFTA-protected $70 billion trade surplus with the U.S., larger than that of any other single American trade partner (including Japan and Germany) except China.

A supposedly affluent Mexico was supposed to achieve near parity with the U.S., as immigration and trade soon neutralized. Despite Mexico’s economic growth, no such symmetry has followed NAFTA. What did, however, 34 years later, was the establishment of a dysfunctional Mexican state, whose drug cartels all but run the country on the basis of their enormous profits from unfettered dope-running and human-trafficking into the United States. NAFTA certainly did not make Mexico a safer, kinder, and gentler nation.

In addition, Mexican citizens who enter and reside as illegal immigrants in the U.S. are mostly responsible for sending an approximate $30 billion in remittances home to Mexico. That sum has now surpassed oil and tourism as the largest source of Mexican foreign exchange. That huge cash influx is the concrete reality behind Obrador’s otherwise unhinged rhetoric about exercising veto power over U.S. immigration law.

What is also unsaid is that many of the millions of Mexican expatriates in the United States who send remittances home to Mexico are themselves beneficiaries of some sort of U.S. federal, state, or local support that allows them to free up cash to send back to Mexico.

Mexico plays the same role with the United States that North African countries play with Europe, except in the former’s case, it has a deliberate rather than chaotic emigration policy — and uses it as direct leverage over the U.S. Mexico’s sense of immigration entitlement is predicated on the assumption that corporate America wants cheap labor, that liberal America wants voters, that identity-politics activists need constituents, that a liberal elite expresses its abstract virtue by its patronization of the Other — and that until recently most Americans were indifferent.

Illegal immigration provides a useful and nearly perpetual demographic for Mexico inside the U.S. About 12 percent of the Mexican population now lives inside the United States, the great majority illegally. Los Angeles may be the second-largest city of Mexican nationals in the world. Of all U.S. immigrants, legal and not, it is estimated that more than 30 percent come from Mexico, and another quarter arrived from Central America through Mexico.

But most importantly, the moral calculus of illegal immigration has gone haywire and must be rebooted. It is an immoral act, not a moral one, to deliberately break the laws of a host country as one’s first act on entering it.

A million cases a year of tax fraud through the use of fake names and identification is not just an artifact of illegal immigration, but a moral crime that callously harms U.S. citizens and their institutions.

It is not ethical to cut in front of an immigration line, when millions of others abroad await, legally and with patience, their applications for U.S. residence.

It is not honorable for a foreign leader to claim that his own people are privileged immigrants who deserve, on the basis of their race or nationality, favoritism over Asian, African, or European would-be immigrants.

It is not kind to bring small children illegally into a foreign country, much less to send them ahead, unescorted, as levers for one’s own later entry.

It is an act of belligerency for a nation to undermine the laws of its neighbor — and boast that more of the same is to come.

There has been much wild talk of the “servitude” and “serfdom” of impoverished illegal aliens. But the real moral travesty is that Mexico’s entire foreign and economic policy is based on exporting its poor people abroad to scrimp and save cash to send home to provide the support their own government will not.

The United States has many enemies in the world, but it is hard to find one that deliberately is trying to undermine U.S. law by exporting its own citizens to change the demographic and politics of its supposed ally.

It is almost impossible to find enemies that can so carefully extract billions of dollars in remittances and surpluses from the U.S. economy. Most enemies do not send as many human traffickers and drugs into the U.S. as does Mexico. And does an Iran or North Korea boast that it has the right to violate U.S. law, interfere in the domestic politics of America, and vow that it will continue to do so as it pleases?

So, what, then, is the new Mexico — a friend, an enemy, neither, or both?
Read more here.

Is the Trump Justice Department protecting the corruption of the Obama Justice Department?

Paul Sperry writes at Real Clear Investigations,
The FBI had little problem leaking “unverified" dirt from Russian sources on Donald Trump and his campaign aides – and even basing FISA wiretaps on it. But according to the Justice Department’s inspector general, the bureau is refusing to allow even members of Congress with top security clearance to see intercepted material alleging political interference by President Obama’s attorney general, Loretta Lynch.

That material – which has been outlined in press reports – consists of unverified accounts intercepted from putative Russian sources in which the head of the Democratic National Committee allegedly implicates the Hillary Clinton campaign and Lynch in a secret deal to fix the Clinton email investigation.

“It is remarkable how this Justice Department is protecting the corruption of the Obama Justice Department,” said Tom Fitton, president of Washington-based watchdog Judicial Watch, which is suing for the material.
Read more here.

“Omnipotent algorithms"

At PJ Media, Nicholas Ballasy writes about the fact that the CEO of the New York times is very critical of Facebook's plan to use "trusted" news sources. I think that is hilarious! News Corporation (Wall Street Journal) is also worried. Their CEO recommends
the idea of creating an “Algorithm Review Board” to hold “omnipotent algorithms to account” and bring more “transparency” to digital techniques used at Facebook, Google, YouTube and Amazon.

“If you buy a small bar of chocolate in the U.S., you’ll be told the precise ingredients on the pack and generally how many calories per serving. There will be stark health warnings on even a low-alcohol bottle of beer,” he said. “Clothing labels are often synthetic screeds, in multiple languages, to ensure compliance. And yet the powerful, mind-altering, behavior-shifting, mood-changing algorithms are allowed to work their invisible alchemy on our personalities, on our societies and on our young people.”

...Facebook admitted to us that their practical problem was that they were under immense public pressure to label political advocacy, but that their algorithm was unable to tell the difference between advocacy and journalism. This would be the same algorithm, which will soon be given the new task of telling the world which news to trust,” he added.
Read more here.

Is it time to leave Afghanistan?

Richard A. Carrick writes in Small Wars Journal that it is time for the US to exit Afghanistan.
There are specific reasons why the latest U.S. strategy used to defeat Isis in Iraq/Syria is not transferable to the Afghan conflict. Three of the important strategic elements that made it work are missing in Afghanistan. In Iraq/Syria ISIS was defending a series of fixed positions located mostly in large cities and towns. These locations offered excellent targets for aerial attacks by U.S. planes, drones and missiles with maximum cost effectiveness. Heavy artillery directed by U.S. advisors was also successfully used against these fixed targets. Additionally, Russia periodically applied devastating aerial bombardment in Syria, although not always against ISIS.

In the Afghan war the U.S. military is in the reverse situation with the Afghan/ U.S. forces defending fixed positions in cities and bases. It is the Taliban that is effectively attacking these positions, frequently with suicide bombers. The new U.S. strategy of increasing the aerial bombardment of widely dispersed Taliban positions in rural locations cannot replicate the success of bombing ISIS held cities like Mosul and Raqqa. Although increased U.S. air attacks will reduce opium production, a source of funding to the Taliban, it will not be decisive because the lost revenue will be made up by their covert allies that are increasing their assistance.

The second missing factor is an effective ground force. No matter how destructive an air war, ground forces are needed to take and hold territory. In Iraq/Syria there were large numbers of trained and highly motived local ground forces. These included the Kurdish Peshmerga, Iraqi Shite militia and Hezbollah (with Iranian advisors) that conducted successful campaigns to recapture the cities and destroy ISIS. The presence of these forces required only limited use of U.S. troops resulting in few casualties. These local forces were motivated not by abstract Western ideas of universal values, but rather their own strong sectarian beliefs and interests.

In Afghanistan, however, after seventeen years of training and assistance by the U.S., most government troops are ineffective even when supported by U.S. advisors and air power. Except for some elite units, government forces are motivated only to collect pay checks. A similar situation existed with the Korean, Vietnamese and Iraqi armies also trained by U.S. military. Without U.S. military and financial support these forces rapidly collapsed as would the Afghan army and government. Conversely, the Taliban, even with vastly smaller resources, has proven to be a highly motived and effective fighting force with unusual resilience. The logical conclusion is this Taliban success reflects Afghan antipathy to Western military intervention.

The third missing element is lack of local regional allies. In the campaign to defeat ISIS the U.S. was part of a coalition of regional states that was crucial to success. All were committed to the defeat of ISIS along with their own agendas. In Afghanistan the situation is the exact opposite. All the regional powers to one degree or another are working against U.S. objectives. As the U.S. escalates its policies against these powers, Iran, Russia and Pakistan, they are responding by increasing their covert support to the Taliban.

...After seventeen years, the U.S. generals have again failed to find a strategy to defeat the Taliban or even to force them to negotiate. Last year President Trump gave them another chance, but after ten months there is little to show for it. Shortly this revised strategy is up for review and it is then the President must finally order the generals to bring the troops home and accept whatever the consequence including a return of Taliban rule.
Read more here.

Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers have free speech!

At PJ Media Tyler O'Neill tells about a Supreme Court decision today. PJ's headline: Supreme Court Strikes Down Law Turning Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers Into 'Abortion Referral Agencies'
...Other pro-life leaders emphasized the radical nature of the pro-abortion movement. "Today's decision protecting pregnancy centers from having to advertise or refer for abortion reveals the extremism of the abortion industry," Ashley McGuire, senior fellow at The Catholic Association, said in a statement.

"These centers exist to offer women a clear alternative to abortion and the abortion lobby bullied them all the way to the Supreme Court because they could not tolerate authentic choice for women. From the start, the case was a free-speech no-brainer," McGuire declared. "Our First Amendment right to freedom of speech not only protects the right to speak out, it protects the right not to speak. Compelled speech is the doing of authoritarian regimes, not free and flourishing democracies."

There is also an article in the New York Times about this but I don't recommend it. It is mostly just pathetic whining about McConnell holding up the appointment of Judge Garland and now we have Judge Gorsuch boo hoo!
Read more here.

Don't mess with Elaine Chao!

Mitch McConnell's wife tells Georgetown protestors to "back up" and "Leave my husband alone!"

Christina Laila reported at Gateway Pundit,
Pro-open borders protesters confronted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his wife, US Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao as they were leaving a Georgetown event Monday evening.
Read more here.Two videos can be seen at the link.

China's unavoidable trade reality

Sundance writes at The Conservative Treehouse,
China is a production-based economic model, they do not have the ability, or wealth, to consume their own durable goods production; they rely on exports.

The U.S. is a more balanced economy; we consume 80% of our own production. We are self-sustaining, China is not.

Without a market to sell their products, the Chinese economy cannot survive.

Conversely, China has focused so intensely on durable-goods manufacturing, their consumable goods market (food) is dependent; they cannot feed themselves. The U.S. can survive without exporting food, China cannot survive without importing food. The U.S. economy can survive without importing durable goods; the Chinese economy cannot survive without exporting durable goods. This is the unavoidable trade reality. As a consequence, President Trump has all the factual leverage.

Again, the key dynamic: The U.S. economy can survive without importing durable goods; the Chinese economy cannot survive without exporting durable goods. This is the unavoidable trade reality.

Now, frame that in a similar way for NAFTA.

The Canadian and Mexican economy (due to NAFTA) cannot survive without importing cheap durable goods from China to use in their assembly-based economies, and then trans-ship into the U.S market. However, the U.S. economy can survive, it can actually expand BIGLY, without accepting trans-shipped assembled goods from Mexico and Canada

Put simply, without NAFTA, the assembly processes just moves INTO the U.S because the market *is* the United States. We are the $20 trillion customer. We hold the leverage.
Read more here.

Unmasked rage of American fascists

At American Spectator Jeffrey Lord takes the time to list many, many incidents promulgated by American fascists "on the loose amongst us."
... And I use the word “fascists” (as I have before) advisedly. These aren’t “bullies” — the standard “hey I’m bigger than you” tough guys encountered periodically in everyday life on schoolyards or in executive suites or labor halls. These are out-and-out Mussolini-style fascists, determined to terrorize and silence their political opponents and anyone else they see as getting in their way.

This has been a long time coming. Decades worth of leftist violence have preceded this moment — whether at the Democratic National Convention in 1968 or the window-smashing spree in Seattle when the World Trade Organization came to Seattle in 1999 or the car-burning, window smashing rage on the streets of Washington, D.C. during Trump’s 2017 inauguration — and, oh, so much more.

The central reality, as Roger Simon nails it over at PJ Media, is that the American Left , having been stymied by Donald Trump, has finally gone over the edge. Wrote Simon, bold print supplied:

The problem is that it’s not just Hollywood lamebrains and jejune social justice idiots that have been infected, it’s the entire liberal/progressive side of the country, starting with the literary/media elites who give them their marching orders.

They are all having a nervous breakdown and it keeps getting worse, because… because… because Trump.

But I have news for them. It’s not at all about Trump. It’s about them.

Trump is what the shrinks call the “presenting complaint.” The real problem, as is often the case in psychotherapy, is something entirely different. And it is this: The left is dead. It’s not only dead, it’s decomposed with no there there or anywhere.

Only dopes or con artists believe in socialism anymore (hello, Venezuela!) and identity politics has been exposed as the racist shell game it is with blacks and Latinos actually doing better than they have in decades under the current pro-capitalist administration.

So the left has nothing to say, only most of them don’t quite realize it yet. But this blockage, this reluctance and even inability to deal with what is actually happening shuts down the brain and emerges as anger, the hamster wheel of constant rage against Trump.

One only has to read the Twitter feed out there of this or that progressive — or of conservatives when progressives show up to rage — and one is struck by the mental unbalance, the raw anger, the foaming-at-the-mouth frustrated fury. Tellingly, they project on to others what is in fact true of themselves. “Fascist! Nazi! Racist!” they shriek, celebrating those who threaten or wield the clubs of verbal or physical repression not to mention the racism of identity politics. And downhill it goes from there.

The question is: what to do about the rage of now-unmasked American fascists? Before someone gets hurt?

Or, in the case of Congressman Scalise, before this unmasked rage of American fascists gets someone else hurt?
Read more here.

A sting operation intended to dirty a presidential campaign.

Ace of Spades writes,
It's almost as if there were a covert operation against Trump, directed by high partisan officials of the US government.

Here's the first approach, and the second.

I have long found it very interesting that one man with connections to Western intelligence attempted to "incept" George Papadoplous with the claim that Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton, and then another man with connections to Western intelligence then arranged, for some reason, to meet with Papadopolous and extract this same information from him.

Then this information was fed to the US government, and used as the basis for opening an investigation.

Almost as if this was all a set-up.

Ace then links to an article in Real Clear Investigations by Lee Smith. It is a summary of what has been uncovered by investigative journalists like Smith.

No plans for winning!

Angelo Codevilla writes at the Washington Examiner,
...The Declaration of Independence set the objective: “a separate and equal station among the powers of the earth” — no more, no less — and George Washington’s Farewell Address encapsulated the meaning: “observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all.” America, John Quincy Adams wrote, “enters the lists in no cause but its own.” Theodore Roosevelt re-formulated the essence of the founding generation’s legacy: (“speak softly and carry a big stick”) as, most recently, did Jeanne Kirkpatrick (“no society exists to conduct foreign policy. Rather, foreign policy exists to allow the society to live in peace.”) Adherence to that legacy is what made America great at home and respected abroad. The American people, by and large, continue to share these views and to revere this legacy.

This view of America first, however, is alien to progressives. From Woodrow Wilson’s generation at the turn of the twentieth century to our own time, they have imagined themselves as mankind’s improvers, forcefully preparing mankind for their ministrations. Speaking big words that they hardly understand and wielding power incompetently, they squandered the founders’ legacy. Acting as sorcerers’ apprentices they gave us disdain and war instead of peace and respect.

...both parties’ progressives have spent thousands of lives and trillions of dollars replicating their failures in Vietnam: endlessly policing bad guys while trying to infuse their societies with their own evolving ideas of liberal democracy, including radical culture-war ideas on sexuality.

What can be done?

When in a hole, the first thing to do is to stop digging. In the 2016 election, the American people ordered that, and more, by electing Donald Trump. More than any other candidate, Trump had vowed to do what is common sense to ordinary Americans, but incomprehensible to our progressive foreign policy establishment: to stop interfering in other people’s business, while preparing to defeat whoever troubles ours — thoroughly and quickly.

Doing this requires, first of all, wise decisions about what our business is around the globe, and what might interfere with it.

Trump judged that, after our own land borders, the Pacific Ocean is of the greatest importance, and that China’s military-political efforts to expel us from its western rim, and its economic challenge, are our weightiest problem. Hence he ordered major military improvements and economic countermeasures against it. His predecessors had vowed fidelity to our allies in Japan and South Korea. Trump meant to involve them in dealing with our common problem. This seems to have led them to trusting America some more.

America’s oldest allies in Europe, however, trust Trump’s America less. That is because Western Europe’s progressive ruling class is a copy (or an extension) of our own. Its rulers were the firmest of allies so long as we went along as they divested themselves of the capacity to defend themselves from invasion. They resent us as we begin to take care of our own interests. Under them, Europe no longer matters much, for good or ill. The good news for us is that they are being rejected by their own peoples, many of whom look to Trump’s America as a model.

...As ever, military power is the foundation of respect among nations. The U.S military establishment is plenty large. It has increasingly resembled a police force that tries (and fails) to police the world while neglecting its most basic tasks. Simply, our ruling class has not been serious regarding strategic weapons, especially missile defense. The American people notwithstanding, our ruling class long since decided to put no barrier to Russian or Chinese missiles striking America, that America’s intercontinental missiles must remain immobile and vulnerable, and that tactical nuclear weapons are things of the past.

The reason why no one takes seriously U.S complaints about Russia is that the U.S. has neither the equipment nor the plans that would allow for a confrontation on the European landmass with a Russia that integrates nuclear weapons into its armed forces, whose strategic missiles are mobile and invulnerable, and whose missile defense is tailored to its geography and strategy.

The same goes for China. U.S. policy is to avoid a military confrontation with it, but without plans for winning one. This is not a formula for respect, or for peace.

China’s strategy to control nearby seas from the land is designed to push U.S influence out of the Western Pacific. Its artificial islands extend its air and missile forces more than a thousand miles into the ocean. Guam is in range. Its coast bristles with medium-range missiles, covered by intercontinental ones that are mobile or otherwise invulnerable because they are based in deep tunnels. U.S. missile defense is an expensive pretense, which North Korea has just exposed.
Read more here.


Stephanie Wilkinson and family, owners of Red Hen restaurant.

Hat tip Sundance

The Supreme Court has upheld President Trump travel restrictions and rejected the challenge to the Trump administration’s September 2017 travel ban.

Sundance reports at The Conservative Treehouse,
The Supreme Court has upheld President Trump travel restrictions and rejected the challenge to the Trump administration’s September 2017 travel ban.
Here is the statement from President Trump.
Today’s Supreme Court ruling is a tremendous victory for the American People and the Constitution. The Supreme Court has upheld the clear authority of the President to defend the national security of the United States.

In this era of worldwide terrorism and extremist movements bent on harming innocent civilians, we must properly vet those coming into our country. This ruling is also a moment of profound vindication following months of hysterical commentary from the media and Democratic politicians who refuse to do what it takes to secure our border and our country.

As long as I am President, I will defend the sovereignty, safety, and security of the American People, and fight for an immigration system that serves the national interests of the United States and its citizens. Our country will always be safe, secure, and protected on my watch. ~ President Donald Trump

Fighting back

At the Ace of Spades blog, CBD writes,
The Left has mastered the destruction of language, and Hillary is a dedicated student of their technique. She has always parsed and edited and manipulated language for her own benefit, in this case to attack President Trump for, apparently, taking away rights that the invaders at the borders never had. What she says makes no logical sense, but it is enough for a sound-bite or a pull quote for an article or news snippet.

But don't pretend that it is benign. It is evil. It is the manipulation of the language that Orwell warned us about, and we must fight it at every opportunity.

...I am curious where in the US Constitution it says that we are to afford invaders all of the rights and privileges of citizenship. Now, I am not a Constitutional scholar like the FAB or the Chocolate Messiah, but I have read the damned thing and nowhere is it written that we must give non-citizens everything that we have fought and died for.

But to answer her question; Nobody is next. They are not citizens, they have no rights other than to be treated humanely because that's what we do as Americans. But we have every right to protect our borders and the President is doing exactly what most Americans want him to do.

The fear of a burgeoning police state is simply projection. It's what the Left would do...

...the Left's big weapons are being blunted by President Trump's rapid-fire responses, trolling the Left at every opportunity, and ability to laugh at their worst. That has emboldened some of us on the Right to fight back.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Change of heart

The Babylon Bee reports,
After a restaurant recently asked White House press secretary Sarah Sanders to leave, liberals across the country announced they were suddenly in favor of allowing businesses the right to refuse service, despite their previous insistence that everyone be served, even if a business owner has a conscientious or religious objection in a particular case.
Read more here.

Government-funded agency separates innocent children from their mothers

The Babylon Bee reports,
U.S.—The nation is growing increasingly outraged over a government-funded agency that is forcibly separating 1,000 innocent children from their mothers each and every day, sources across the country confirmed Tuesday. Although no law mandates that the agency separate the children from their mothers for the rest of their lives, the organization’s policy has been to perform the separations anyway, causing millions of Americans to begin calling for the agency to cease this cruel, barbaric practice. According to reports, the agency has been working in this same manner for decades, all while receiving federal tax dollars to continue its operations, despite the brutal, anti-child, and anti-parenthood nature of its family separation policy.

CNN hiring head fiction writer

The Babylon Bee features this job announcement from CNN.

The Bee explains,
ATLANTA, GA—Shortly after being forced to let go three journalists for their involvement in publishing a fake story regarding President Trump’s alleged connection to Russia, media and news network CNN listed a new job opening Wednesday morning for a new head fiction writer.

The network is reportedly looking for a seasoned author of thrilling fiction novels to fabricate news stories for its online and televised news coverage.

“Must have a penchant for weaving complex narratives and fabricating intricate storylines out of thin air for the sake of ratings. Experience in Cold War-era spy novels preferred, in the style of Tom Clancy, etc.,” the listing states. “Author will be responsible for making stuff up out of the blue to form the basis of 5-6 news stories per day. Full salary & benefits.”

The listing also states that “no journalism background is required.”

The network is also reportedly accepting resumes from authors in the genres of science fiction, epic fantasy, and dystopian novels in hopes of bringing well-rounded coverage of completely made-up stories to its followers.

"Why is the guy yelling "Nazi" often best at imitating one?"

Greg: "Why is the guy yelling "Nazi" often best at imitating one?"

Jesse: The Left's meltdown is helping Donald Trump succeed!

Greg: Charles Krauthammer said, "We think the Left is wrong, but they think we are evil." If you are evil, the Left feels anything they do to you is justified.

Juan twists everything negative toward Trump and Kimberlee calmly explains the truth.

Harvard's blatant discrimination against Asia-Americans, Mob violence against women, Trump will not stand down!

Should we give the employees of the Red Hen sensitivity training? Or should we just let the stinking, hate-filled restaurant die from its own stench?

Are these "troubled times?" Andrew reminds us we have seen the media this outraged at least two previous times: Reagan and Giuliani. Like Giuliani and Reagan, Trump will not stand down! The Left is bringing the full Katrina playbook. The Democrats are run by the press. The battle is between freedom loving Americans who love America and the press which hates America. The Left lost. So now they go to Plan B: bullying, mobsterism and violence.

Sanders and Nielson were not the only victims of mob violence. Pam Bondi, Florida's Attorney General, was attacked as she tried to see a show about Mr. Rogers! Yes, that Mr. Rogers! The magic of Leftism is it allows you to think you are the good guys while terrorizing a woman! Maxine Waters even gets into the act: "God is on our side!" (You remember Jesus saying "If thou seeest someone you disagree with, create a crowd, surround them, and let them know you hate them")! Andrew points out that it is us they hate. Somebody is going to get hurt. They will blame Trump!

Michael Knowles comes on the program to talk about a lawsuit against Harvard for their blatant discrimination against Asian-American students.

Has it begun?

People have been asking if we are headed for a civil war. Glenn Reynolds writes at USA Today that the Sanders and Nielson incidents reveal that it has already begun!

VDH on education, North Korea, Middle East, the Trump presidency

Producing graduates who are ignorant and arrogant.

North Korea made fools of Clinton, Bush, and Obama. Trump is trying to deal with it by pressing China to press North Korea. It is a four-party negotiation: China and North Korea versus the United States and South Korea. South Korea is incredibly naive. If the United States is removed as a guarantor, the north or China will invade and absorb South Korea!

We always had three main aims in the Middle East. One was to ensure the world's oil supply. A second was to protect Israel. A third was to contain violence in the Middle East and not let it spread into Europe. The first two are now irrelevant.

Delegitimizing Donald Trump. What they thought was going to be career-enhancing turned out to be criminal!
But Trump's enemies in the media, Hollywood, the progressives, the academy and the bureaucracy are circling him. He is going to have to be more disciplined. He is 71-years-old. How much longer will he be so energetic? It doesn't make sense to create more problems for himself.

"Art, not science"

Three New York Times reporters have written a piece about New York Times reporter Ali Watkins who had a three-year intimate relationship with James Wolfe, who has been indicted on three felony charges of making false statements to FBI agents.
In Washington, meals and late nights out with sources are part of a journalist’s job description. But becoming romantically involved is widely viewed as a conflict, opening a journalist to accusations of bias.
Read more here.



Victor Davis Hanson writes in American Greatness,
...Various hearings, lawsuits, and IG reports likely will confirm the Obama Administration “knew” Hillary was going to win the 2016 presidential election and therefore did not worry much about breaking the law to ensure she did. In other words, the Obama Administration systematically used the agencies of the federal government to interfere with a U.S. election campaign in order to help the candidate of its own party win. That fact marks one of the most sordid political scandals in U.S. history and explains both why these anti-Trump hysterias will continue to be contrived to deflect attention from Obama’s own culpability in such government-wide abuse, and yet why eventually the sheer magnitude of such wrongdoing will overshadow all of these melodramas.

...According to his absurd mandate, Mueller was asked to investigate a crime that did not exist, while ignoring plenty of crimes that most certainly did.

...Mexico is certainly not a sympathetic player. The likely upcoming election of Andrés Manuel López Obrador will crystalize the absurdity of a supposedly aggrieved Mexico, as the beneficiary of a $71 billion trade surplus with the United States (such imbalances were not supposed to happen according to the architects of NAFTA 34 years ago).

Americans are not in sympathy with the $30 billion in remittances sent home to Mexico by its expatriate community in the United States, knowing many of them are beneficiaries of America’s generous local, state, and federal social welfare aid that frees up such cash. Americans do not like the idea of a would-be foreign leader boasting that the United States has no rights of sovereignty inside its own country. In the midst of a contrived transit of Central Americans across Mexico to the U.S. border, Obrador is calling for more Mexican citizens to crash into the U.S. For a country, a people, and a leader who feign to dislike their neighbor to the north, they certainly do not seem to be able to live without it.

The American people know that there was not a Holocaust on their border and that their often slandered border patrol officers are not the Waffen SS, that Mexico does not act like a particularly friendly power, that illegal aliens will do almost anything to enter a country illegally, which, otherwise, many do not seem especially fond of once they make it in, and that the progressive movement must somehow abort Donald Trump’s presidency before a booming economy and a more secure world abroad make that impossible.
Read more here.

Branco is right on the money, as usual!

hat tip Lucianne

Sunday, June 24, 2018

What skills and resources do you have that would be useful in an emergency?

Do you know about the Cajun Navy? Robin Burk cites their role in rescuing people in Houston during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. A couple years later, though, systems collapsed in Puerto Rico, even though the US Navy had ships full of needed materials just off shore. What skills and resources do you have that would be useful in an emergency? The potential for system collapse is real and it is growing.

Oppressed people, Democrats, and Saul Alinsky

I usually dislike using material that is not current. This 2017 video is an exception. Dinesh D'Souza says the Democratic Party of today is not the Democratic Party of Harry Truman, JFK, or even Jimmy Carter. The Democratic Party of today supports lawlessness in public policy. It is willing to use the power of the state against its opponents. Obama and Hillary enriched themselves by figuring out how to use leverage to public power to enrich themselves. Despite being in government all their lives, Bill and Hillary have a net worth of 300 million dollars. Obama hobnobs with billionaires. At a key time of life, both Obama and Hillary imbibed the Alinsky Koolaid. So did I! Now do you see why I chose to watch this video?

Obamacare: smoke and mirrors. In bed with the insurance companies, while pretending to be on the side of the little guy. Dinesh says this was Alinsky's specialty: spewing the rhetoric of social justice while for him it was about power.

Ralph Benko is President of something called the Alinsky Center. He says the Left has appropriated Alinsky. Alinsky respected the dignity of the people and wanted them to be able to participate in the solutions to their own problems.

David Alinsky is Saul Alinsky's son and is Chairman of the Alinsky Center. Saul was a committed capitalist who believed that it was through self-interest that individuals and groups achieved anything. He said he never could be a communist or a socialist: they don't have a sense of humor, and that would be deadly. When asked, he would say, "I'm Jewish." He attended synagogue and David grew up attending. Rules for Radicals was the essence of Saul Alinsky and what he believed in and dedicated his life for. He believed in the Republic and the ability of individuals and groups to organize and gain for themselves the collective rights our country provides.

Dinesh spoke next. Obama and Hillary out-Alinskied Alinsky! They used state power against their enemies!

David: If you are being oppressed, what is the means you have to fight back, and what is the end you wish to obtain?

Here is something I wrote in 2015 about about myself and Saul Alinsky.