January 31, 2018

Good speech, beautiful speech

Last night president Trump delivered his first State of the Union speech.  It was a good speech, a beautiful speech. I'm not going to talk about the substance of it today because they  are typically mostly sales pitches (especially under president Trump's not-to-be-named predecessor).  President Trump did outline some things for going forward.  But I'm more interested in the impact of the speech.

In general, I'm not a big fan of polling because it is dependent on a lot of things and many of those things can be subjective and therefore manipulated. Fore example how a question is asked can influence the answer. Who is asked can influence the results (i.e. a non-representative sample will give biased results).  But polling can be done properly and if so, it can be informative and predictive.

I'm not saying that's the case here because I've not read the 'crosstabs' for this poll.  But it is definitely fun to share this one:

The content of the speech was good.  The reactions of the Democrats were visibly at odds with the findings in this poll and that bodes poorly for them in the midterm elections.  As a caveat however, the poll was skewed towards Republican voters compared to the general population, as most Democrat supporters likely did not watch and will continue to get their information distilled and prepackaged by Fake News outlets like CNN who no doubt are already busy spinning the speech to be dour/non-inclusive/evil. 

January 30, 2018

In case you missed it, you're not alone

The media it seems is missing a really big story that Mollie Hemingway did not fail to notice:

Don't Lock Her Up

I'm just spit-balling here, but it makes sense: What if the best course of action for president Trump, and for Republicans is to make sure Hillary Clinton, as corrupt and probably felonious as she is, does not get charged for all of the nefarious activity surrounding her campaign for the presidency?  Further, what if the smart thing to do is to not have a special investigator go after her?
The look of supreme confidence.

Hear me out.  

It does not make sense for Donald Trump to prosecute Hillary Clinton for a number of reasons.  Obviously coming across as a sore winner is never good, but it goes deeper.  If the #ReleaseTheMemo memo is as explosive as is expected (I refer you to the permanently haunted visage of Democrat FBI/DOJ-excuser Adam Schiff),  then the correct target should be the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the FBI and not the Clintons or former president Obama for that matter, regardless of the level of their involvement.  Even if it turns out to be really, really bad.

The laser focus of draining the swamp on the DOJ and the FBI.  With the backing of sunlight of the crimes and/or deliberate lack of due diligence with respect to all things dossier and Clinton email scandal there will be plenty to uncover and it could take years.

That allows the on-going narrative of "look what the Democrats were hiding" and "look at all these things we still need to fix" and "look at all the unresolved corruption issues". That's a political plus but it's not even the biggest one.

The real win in keeping Hillary Clinton hanging in the wind is that it pressures those in the FBI and DOJ to be more forthcoming in hopes of getting a prosecutorial deal.  And it still gets better.  There has been an underlying theme among Democrats that the Clintons had a stranglehold on the institutions surrounding the Democratic party as well as deeply rooted connections to the bureaucracy of government.  The Democrats, many of them at least, have been trying to shed that yoke on the party.  So far there has not been any great ice breaking on that effort. 

Why would the president help the Democrats resolve that by giving them cover to distance themselves from the Clintons?  There's no gain in that.  It helps drain the Democrats' swamp but does nothing to chip away at the deep state.  The deep state needs cleaning, but the Republicans need the Democrats to remain mired in an intra-party fight, right through 2020 and certainly at a minimum the remainder of 2018.

It's a cynical view, but control the investigation timing and you control the mood of the country. You control an eagerness on the right to see prosecutions with a Clinton facing charges as the carrot to dangle.  Conversely on the left, you keep them unbalanced in their desire to free themselves from Clinton fealty versus a real fear of not wanting to be on the wrong side of the Clinton machine.  My advice is simple: even if you have the goods on Hillary Clinton, don't lock her up, at least not until after 2021.

President Trump's first State of the Union

Tonight president Trump will deliver his first State of the Union to Congress.  He's got a lot of accomplishments to talk about and many Democrats will of course, skip the whole thing but it won't stop them from talking about it as if it were the worst thing ever.  Nevertheless, my prediction is that the speech will be polished and he will be at his most presidential he has been in his presidency.

He will stray off script, he'll use the word beautiful a little too often.  But he will be more polished than ever.  The State of the Union is a tremendous opportunity to lay out not only his accomplishment but his vision for the coming year or years.  Given that there are midterm elections this year, he has to come across as the right man for the job if he wants more Republicans in the senate for his second term. Consequently he will be substantive, mostly on script and will deliver it with a more presidential demeanor.  But he is still Donald Trump, and in his calculus, there has to be the notion that he has to be himself to connect with voters because that is what got him elected.  So I expect a bit of improvisation and some Trumpisms sprinkled in there. 

As for the content, there will be plenty of places that will speculate about it so even though I have my thoughts I won't bother to detail them except to say one thing. I don't expect a mention of the memo about the FBI and DOJ, or if there is a mention it will be brief. The mention of that will draw jeers from Democrats but far more importantly it will detract from the golden opportunity to look presidential and that should be the main goal tonight.  The only way mentioning the memo, or collusion or the congressional investigation would merit inclusion in that context is either (1) it helps speed the Mueller investigation into non-existence or (2) it advances the effort, very visibly, to the goal of draining the swamp.  I don't believe the memo, while likely to be very useful and telling, will be strong enough to accomplish either of those goals.  I could be wrong, we'll see.

January 29, 2018

A footnote to the McCabe resignation story

Andrew McCabe resigned today - a mere few weeks before his expected departure date.  Earlier today I surmised that it was because he's in trouble.  Back in December of last year it was revealed much of his testimony was inconsistent with other testimony.  That's troubling because Andrew McCabe's wife got a significant political donation from the Clinton Foundation via Terry McAuliffe.

Follow the trail of breadcrumbs (or connect the dots if you prefer).

(1) A key figure into the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email scandal and the supposed Trump-Russia collusion scandal was tied to the Clinton campaign at the hip pocketbook (read the full details there).  The got a significant campaign donation, from the Clinton's albeit in such a way as to launder the money's source. What's worse they clearly tried to cover up any connection to each other.

Click to enlarge.
(2) Hillary Clinton gets in zero actual trouble for gross negligence, incompetence or worse, in terms of national security while she was head of the National Security Administration (the NSA).  

(3) Andrew McCabe offers worthless testimony (and worse, probably ensured that relevant evidence did not come to light) and McCabe's wife gets a generous campaign donation.  That's the very definition of pay-for-play and not only is it unethical, I'm no legal expert but that has to be illegal.

Via Fox News:
Congressional investigators tell Fox News that Tuesday’s seven-hour interrogation of Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe contained numerous conflicts with the testimony of previous witnesses, prompting the Republican majority staff of the House Intelligence Committee to decide to issue fresh subpoenas next week on Justice Department and FBI personnel.
There is a lot of circumstantial evidence that favors were exchanged, criminally.  And today, unexpectedly, Andrew McCabe is stepping down mere weeks ahead of schedule, and the day before president Trump was being urged to read the memo as part of the State of the Union address.

UPDATE: It appears I'm not alone in my thinking.  Gateway Pundit discusses the connections.

UPDATE:  I hadn't considered this Angle via HotAir;
Follow the timeline. Trump and Sessions have been leaning on Chris Wray to dump McCabe for awhile now, with Wray allegedly resisting to the point where he threatened to quit if they didn’t back off. Then, yesterday, he finally reads the Nunes memo. Now, 24 hours later, with the House set to vote on whether to release the memo, McCabe suddenly decides it’s time to end his career with the Bureau even though allegedly he had enough vacation time amassed to have done that weeks ago.

That’s a lot of coincidences. Too many, maybe...
Must be a juicy memo.

Andrew McCabe "resigns"

Don't let the door hit you...

Via CBS, Andrew McCabe has resigned:
FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is stepping down from the FBI, CBS News' Pat Milton has confirmed. According to Milton, a source familiar with the matter confirmed that McCabe was urged to step down. However, sources at the FBI said that this was largely his decision, CBS News' Andres Triay reports. He is currently on what's known as "terminal leave," that is, McCabe had accumulated enough leave time to depart the FBI now. His official retirement is in March.

The White House had no comment on the matter, although White House press secretary told reporters Monday that "the president wasn't part of this decision-making process."

McCabe was under considerable scrutiny from Republicans, as special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election meddling and any ties to Trump associates continued. McCabe took temporary charge of the FBI after President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey earlier this year, and some skeptics viewed McCabe as too close to his former boss.
The obvious question is why now? If he was uncomfortable with Trump as president why did he wait until the day before the State of the Union where it is rumored president Trump would reveal the contents of the #ReleaseTheMemo memo?

It's clear that there's something more to this than just bad feelings between the president and McCabe.

January 28, 2018

January 27, 2018

Saturday Learning Series - Geography (Germany)

Germany is a country in utter flux but they're still an economic power and from a geographic and historical perspective very interesting.

The flag:

An answer for Gateway Pundit

This morning Jim Hoft (of Gateway Pundit) asked, is the Bureau of Economic Analysis also Deep State?

Yes. Of course it is.  Why would one department be any different from so many others?

The IRS (which targeted conservative Tea Party groups for audits), the Congressional Budget Office (or CBO) (which laughably predicted a surplus budgetary impact from Obamacare),  the Bureau of Labor Statistics  (which systemically revised prior months stats after the initial flash good news for president Obama), the EPA and of course the DOJ, FBI among others.

So why not the BEA?  Frankly it would be much more surprising to find a department which hasn't been infected by either progressivist partisanship or self-interest.  It's not just a conspiracy theory when year after year new revelations about various departments continue to arise; it's a problem.

America is a Deep State country and the sooner the tentacles of progressivism are disentangled from government, the sooner it can actually do the things it supposed to do, and only those things.  Washington is dysfunctional not just because of politics in Congress but because politics has deliberately and systematically worked its way into the bureaucracy for decades.  That's what most needs to be fixed, and in such a way as to create barriers (walls if you will) to prevent it from ever happening again.  

January 26, 2018

Friday Musical Interlude - Down tempo trippy jazz

A mix of what the video description calls Jazzy Hip Hop, but it seems more like just some catchy jazz music with a back beat.  It's a relaxing song sampler for a Friday in any case.

January 25, 2018

Manchin Machinations

West Virginia senator Joe Manchin seems to be onside with president Trump on the wall, and apparently he loved Ronald Reagan.  He's definitely more reasonable than your average Democrat politico. But he's still a Democrat, and his votes in the house are not representative of a Trump voting state. In 2018, as reasonable as he is, he's not a dependable vote on reforming Washington as a Trump leaning Republican would be.

Sorry Joe, you're a more reasonable guy than Chuck Schumer. You are on Fox News trying to look reasonable but you are still a Democrat and a lot of things you said in that interview are still dependably liberal. You have got to be voted out in 2018.

#ReleaseTheMemo suffers it's own diversionary tactics claims

The background is apparently black and white: either president Trump colluded with Russia to steal the election from Hillary Clinton, or Hillary Clinton, former president Obama and the FBI and Justice Department colluded to discredit then candidate Donald Trump from having a chance to win the 2016 presidential election.

The memo in question is explained pretty well by the NeverTrump (and formerly august publication) The National Review:
Over the last several days, online debate has centered around a memorandum drafted by Devin Nunes and House Intelligence Committee staff that allegedly details surveillance abuses in the American intelligence community. When the hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo trended on Twitter, Democrats suspected possible help from Russian bots, but preliminary reports on Twitter’s internal analysis, according to the Daily Beast, suggest that the “groundswell . . . appears thus far to be organically American — not Russian propaganda.” More than 200 members of Congress, nearly all of them Republican, have seen the four-page memo, but Republicans are reportedly refusing to share it with the Department of Justice.
The diversionary tactic regarding the memo (which is claimed to be a diversionary tactic), is that Russian bots are behind the trending hashtag #ReleaseTheMemo. They're not Russian bots and to say so is the very diversionary tactic they are accusing the memo to be.
On Tuesday, two Democratic leaders urged Facebook and Twitter to conduct an “in-depth forensic examination” of #ReleaseTheMemo to determine the extent of Russian propaganda promoting the hashtag. They relied on a report from the German Marshall Fund’s Alliance for Securing Democracy claiming that #ReleaseTheMemo was had become the favorite hashtag of Russian-sponsored Twitter accounts. (The report did not make any judgements about such activity on Facebook.)

“If these reports are accurate, we are witnessing an ongoing attack by the Russian government through Kremlin-linked social media actors directly acting to intervene and influence our democratic process,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Adam Schiff, two California Democrats, wrote to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

But a knowledgeable source says that Twitter’s internal analysis has thus far found that authentic American accounts, and not Russian imposters or automated bots, are driving #ReleaseTheMemo. There are no preliminary indications that the Twitter activity either driving the hashtag or engaging with it is either predominantly Russian.
All of this would be solved by releasing the memo, after all, the details are so explosive as to be a bigger deal and worse than Watergate. Ironically, the Democrats turning Russia into a bogeyman, may indeed be helping Russia as it continues to paralyze Washington.  

President Trump offers to meet Mueller under oath!

Via The Hill:
Trump also told reporters that he plans to speak with special counsel Robert Mueller in two to three weeks, but said his lawyers are working out the specifics. “I'm looking forward to it," Trump said about being questioned by Mueller. "I would do it under oath.”
President Trump is in a difficult position - Mueller must be in a position where he is trying to get an obstruction of justice charge to stick to the president, since he has done nothing official given the other witnesses he has interrogated.  President Trump could be walking into a trap by talking under oath (unlike James Comey had Hillary Clinton do while he was busy excusing her illegal activity).  On the other hand, should he refuse to talk, either under oath or not, he's going to look guilty for his refusal.  It's a no win situation. There are only down sides and no up side to any action by the president.

The president's statement is nevertheless a bold declaration of having nothing to hide. But his lawyers were quick to say "let's not be so hasty here". It's expected a deal will be worked out between the president's lawyers and the Mueller team.  If the president is careful not to perjure himself, the whole investigation will go away with nothing more than a coffee boy indicted.  That will be a lot of egg on the face of those who are fighting for impeachment, and it's why they seem to have moved on to mental stability as the reason to impeach (not that it is working out any better for them).

Scandal - the liberal strategy on display

In Canada's most populous province of Ontario an election is approaching and defending their long held grip on power the provincial Liberals are facing a disaster, trailing the conservatives in the polls a drubbing has been expected for a long time.  The newly chosen leader of the provincial party has been crafting his image as a compassionate conservative for a long time now.  In the face of tanking numbers the governing Liberals have tried everything - crazy handouts to every imaginable interest group, rebates on electricity bills,

It hasn't worked so there was only one route left - scandalize your opponent. The conservative leader Patrick Brown has been hit with a sexual assault allegation for something that happened a long time ago.  Sounds familiar in the Roy Moore torpedoing, does it not?

Patrick Brown denied the allegations but has been left hanging in the wind, as has his party and the probably the chances for a conservative win in my home province. In the future it seems, unless you are a woman, as a conservative you cannot successfully run for office. This is the new modus operendi for liberals - dig up allegations from a long time ago and sit on them until necessary. It's the politics of personal destruction. It's Saul Alinsky's tactics in the extreme.

Patrick Brown has denied everything and it is just breaking so he has not had his day in court but for the liberals, courting public opinion, it doesn't matter.

Conservative Insurgent Thursdays - coming soon

Previously Nonsensible Shoes has had regular Thursday installments, most prominently the Thursday Hillary Bash wherein Hillary Clinton's issues were exposed week after week, for years, leading up to the 2016 election.  Hillary hasn't entirely gone away but the need to continue to bash her week after week long since has.  That's left a gap in Thursdays.  A couple of ideas have come up, but I've decided to take Thursdays in a positive direction.  Starting next week, Conservative Insurgent Thursday will make its debut.  The purpose is to highlight new, exciting and cutting edge conservatives who will take up the mantle of conservatism that has been passed along from the likes of William F. Buckley to the Rush Limbaughs and Sean Hannitys of the world.  The stalwart standard bears like Limbaugh are not going anywhere just yet, but they will not be around forever.  Knowing who will carry the torch next is like looking at a crop of football rookies and being excited about the potential they hold. It should be fun.

January 24, 2018

GOP getting a backbone? Let's hope so.

Yesterday I posited that conservatives and Republicans alike cannot afford to be purists and that we have to get our hands dirty, just like president Trump. Today I found this article from American Greatness, also from yesterday, that expresses the same idea;
If Trump is Jell-O, Schumer is pudding. And the Democrats’ prospects for winning the House and Senate this November could be toast.

For long-suffering Republican Party activists and observers like myself, this weekend felt different. We waited for the usual cave-in, the standard Republican capitulation, another retreat by the Stupid Party...

The president spent the weekend shaping the GOP’s message: The military and millions of legal, tax-paying American citizens should not be held hostage to Democrats’ demands over DACA...

Amazingly, Republicans stayed on message, pushing the president’s theme...

One unappreciated reason why Republicans voted for Donald Trump was their growing frustration with the feckless leadership in Washington. Most of the people I know who voted for Trump did so as not just as a message to the Clinton machine, but also to folks like Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, John McCain and others who failed to use their majority status to fight President Obama and his policies. Time and again, the Thank-You-Sir-May-I-Have-Another GOP leaders were slapped around by Obama and the media. Rank-and-file Republicans were fed up with losing...
Exactly. You don't choose a champion to go into battle to lose.

The article goes on to conclude;
If the past few days offered any lesson, it is that Republicans can capitalize politically by exposing a Democrat Party with no message and no policy agenda. This is Clinton-Trump 2.0. He pulled no punches to defeat Hillary Clinton, and did it in a fashion no other Republican presidential candidate would have had the nerve to. Trump is governing the same way, and giving much-needed spine to the jellyfishes (I see a trend here) in GOP leadership.

GOP candidates don’t need Trump’s coattails, they need to borrow his backbone for the next six months.
I'd go a step further and say it's more than just backbone, it's grit and the lack of regard for personal ad hominem attacks and a willingness to fight as dirty as you are being fought. It's not a dignified way to fight your political opposition, but it's the only way to win when they are alreadt fighting that way.

But will they vote Republican?

Short answer: NO. But they really should consider it.

January 23, 2018

President Trump, and getting our hands dirty

Years ago I argued that then Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was not really a left-of-center conservative.  My point was that in a generally far left of center country, he had to move the country to the right cautiously or risk losing his government to the Liberals. I stand by that even though after a decade he finally lost power to ultra-liberal, ultra-clueless Justin Trudeau after accomplishing far less than I'd hoped during that time.

The situation in the United States is different than Canada when it comes to president Trump.  His predecessor tried to move the country to the left radically and with as much haste as he could muster.  The United States moved from it's historical position to something that looks a lot more like Canada and given the upset that candidate Trump sprung upon the left in 2016, the fierce resistance to moving the country back to the right is not unexpected, nor is it's ferocity or subterfuge

The president has taken exactly the right tack on getting America back to it's original place in the world and it's original course.  That is to say he's playing hard ball, he's fighting everything they throw at him and not backing down and he's charging headlong into the fight and wasting little time in doing so.  That seems to have rubbed off on some other Republicans. The Democrats have been taken aback and are on their back foot but do not expect that to last (even the wording of the story is laughable - the president did not negotiate and Schumer backed down and is now trying to save face with his base, by claiming withdrawing something he never had any say on, which will only serve to further his look of indecisiveness). Trump is winning by playing hard ball.  Yes he fights dirty and that's the point.  Arguably he does not fight as efficiently or focused as he could, but he has a team in the Senate and House that can, should and often does take up the fight alongside him.

Now is the time to shift the pendulum back to the right as far as possible in the next 10 months, four or eight years while the opportunity lasts because the march to the left is unrelenting. You can say you don't like his demeanor and I'd agree to some degree, but you cannot argue his successes; judges, economy and elsewhere. If you are not on his side as a conservative, you could at least do the right thing and stand aside rather than joining those who stand in the way who your future complaints about will ring hollow after this presidency.

Getting our hands dirty in the effort to thwart progressivism may be unlikable but it is necessary and it is at this point in history a requirement - anything else will result in the failure of conservatism and ultimately, America. 

Down the Rabbit Hole

If the underworld of American government is going to be exposed, be prepared for it to get much more shocking. To appropriate the words of The Carpenters, we've only just begun with this stuff.  Here are some examples just from today.

Anti-Trump Strzok says Mueller probe is a nothingburger. (Via The Daily Caller)

Missing texts were probably deliberately deleted. (Via Hot Air)

The volume of unmasking requests increased exponentially in the same time frame as the missing Strzok-Page text messages. (Via Gateway Pundit)

They conspired to try to wrap up the Clinton email investigation and sweep it under the rug (Via Hot Air).

This is the cost of the mainstream media not doing their job - their liberal icons from former president Obama and Hillary Clinton all the way down to the DOJ and FBI agents run amok doing whatever they want with no fear of consequences, no matter the crimes.  The fifth estate should be ashamed for giving Democrats a free pass for the last decade (and in fact far longer). Sadly, they'll just continue thinking that they are on the right side of history and that their acts of turning a blind eye to one side while relentlessly persecuting the other is morally wrong and it's own form of tyranny.

Secret Society Scandal

Apparently the United States government was being run by a secret society that continues to exist.  It's not like we didn't suspect it, but it's about as bad you'd expect in its undermining of democracy. And unfortunately, it's real.
There is serious talk on Capitol Hill about the appointment of a second special counsel amid several new bombshell revelations swirling around the Trump/Russia probe. First, there are the allegations of shocking and substantial government surveillance abuses under President Obama outlined in the FISA abuse memo. Secondly, the FBI lost five months of key text messages between the anti-Trump/pro-Clinton FBI officials Peter Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page. And now there's talk of a "secret society" of officials within the FBI that apparently met the day after the election of Donald J. Trump to plot against the president-elect.
They called themselves the secret society. And they were predetermining outcomes of investigations before they were finalized. It's so bad, the president had to comment.

People on the left will tweet about the president  being out of line for comment but his response was more restrained than I expected and it doesn't go far enough.  I think president Trump is holding his powder because more will come out soon. The Strzok-Page texts that have been referenced are just the tip of the malfeasance iceberg.

January 22, 2018

Sham Schumer Shutdown Shuttered

Last Friday I pointed out that the government shutdown was a front, or window dressing if you will, for the left Democrat base.  Today Rush Limbaugh was arguing that nothing had changed, and either Chuck Schumer blinked and the GOP have grown a spine, or else there was something in the deal that he was not yet aware of, to get the government back open today.

The Senate Democrats caved - not just enough to get to 60 votes; they got 80+ votes to extend a continuing resolution.  Apparently they will get a  DACA floor vote before February 8th. It won't pass in any Democrat-friendly form.

So what did the Democrats get?  A nod to their base perhaps?  Maybe not.  There seems more and more to be a looming Democrat intra-party fight over how to challenge Republicans in the midterms.  Chuck Schumer doesn't want Democrats being held responsible for the shutdown and the far left wants this to (a) destroy president Trump and (b) not be a Democrat cave in to their minority status.

Grab some popcorn and enjoy, conservatives; either this becomes a brawl or else just enough disarray to mess up any hope for Democrats in the midterms.  Either way, it seems the Democrats blinked.

January 21, 2018

What is #SalonHot25?

I was searching around the internet today looking for something to write about.  I cam across the hashtag #SalonHot25 in the comments on a post on HotAir  Of course it's a lot more prominent on hashtag central (Twitter).  While I'm well read, I don't spend much time on Twitter anymore so I had no clue what the hashtag meant.

Apparently in it's condescending 'wisdom' of the Left, uber-liberal Salon posted an article indicated the 25 Conservatives on Twitter actually worth following.  As though the rest of us are dirt.
One recommended solution: Search out opposing points of view. Turn on Fox News every once in a while; follow more conservative voices on Twitter. This would be an honorable endeavor for liberals, if it didn't expose them to pure lunacy on a regular basis.
Okay, that's great, Salon. Well done...

But the real eye opener is that the list is populated with Never-Trumpers so in the tank against the president, that they would fit in at a Bernie Sanders rally (politics making strange bedfellows and all).

It instantly makes the list a joke of a list, and it probably serves more as a list of people conservatives should ignore. I doubt anyone who reads Salon has stepped out of their bubble yet. At least that's how it appears to me.

Sunday verse

January 20, 2018

A visual aid for Democrat voters

I found this on the internet somewhere (Twitter I think it was).  It explains Russia collusion in a simple easy to follow visual for your low information Democrat-voting friends.  Please share liberally.

That's illegal.

Trump's first anniversary shutdown, brought to you by Democrat pols


It's a Schumer shutdown, no doubt about it. Do you think it's a coincidence that it happened on the first anniversary of the Trump presidency? The president is right - this is like an anniversary present but the media will rush to blame it on the Republicans as they always do. They'll say the GOP controls the congress, senate and the presidency, but as we all should know - the senate required 60 votes and the GOP has only 51 potential GOP senator votes. The Democrats did this by playing politics. They should be held to account for it. Just as they blamed the Republicans in 2013 and in the 2015 battle, for that shutdown, FOR THE SAME REASON.

Saturday Learning Series - Georgia (the other one)

There's a country called Georgia of which Russia sees itself as the rightful owner (kinda like it does the Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and the Baltic states. 

Here's some interesting information on Georgia.

The flag:

January 19, 2018

In Canadian politics, if you erase emails, you pay the consequences

Unlike Hillary Clinton, In Canada the Ontario provincial liberals were engrossed in a gas plant scandal and some emails implicating top politicians were deliberately erased.  Today, someone paid the price with a conviction:

Maybe someone in the Justice Department in America could perhaps buy a vowel on this notion?

It's Schumer's shutdown

This morning I argued that the government shutdown is a Democratic visual ploy.  Rush Limbaugh today pointed out the same thing and discussed pushing back:

Pushback is a thing and it's already in use by conservatives on this issue.  Watch Director of the OMB Mick Mulvaney pushback on CNN's Jim Acosta:


Where I come down on unpresidential remarks

It's really questionable what was or wasn't said in the whole s'hole countries non-issue.  Frankly, I don't care what was or wasn't said.  What matters is what's being done or not done.  And as far as president Trump my approval or disapproval of his job is predicated on the results of what he's doing not how he acts or how coarse he is.

Would I prefer he were eloquent?  Of course I do, but then again maybe a more eloquent candidate would not have beaten Hillary Clinton.  Either way, it's about 703rd on my list of desirable qualities in a current presidential context.

Right Angle is exactly right.

No new voices

I know a lot of conservative Youtube creators like Mark Dice and Gary Franchi (of the Next News Network) have been rightfully complaining about YouTube demonetizing their Youtube Channels.  In a similar vein to the Twitter shadow banning scandal there is clearly a tech drive to silence conservative voices, or at least to minimize the size of those voices.  Youtube has taken things a step further, but I don't think it's a political move, it seems to be more about monetization and revenue.

I have a Youtube channel that I've dabbled in.  I typically don't mention it here because (a) it's small and (b) it's about music, not politics.  The videos I have posted are fan-videos and most only have a a few hundred views.  One managed to make it through the noise and is currently closing in on 75,000 views.  As a result, I have 91 subscribers and over the last year nearly 3000 hours of viewed video.  Not bad.

But I received an email notification a couple of days ago that Youtube was changing it's monetization policy to only allow creators to monetize their videos if they have met both of the following criteria (i) 4000+ hours of viewed video in the last 12 months (as of Feb 2018) and a minimum of 1000 subscribers.  I suspect that will demonitize 95% of all content providers on Youtube.  


I get the thinking - let's provide advertisers with a platform that gets a lot of eyeballs. We can charge higher advertising rates that way.  But a lot of smaller creators are going to become disenfranchised.  Many, not all, like the idea of being able to create something and actually profit from it.  Many, not all, are going to reconsider creating content.  The result is inevitable, less content providers.  Less diversity in content, more homogeneity of content.  Boring.  Fewer viewers of Youtube.  It won't happen overnight, but it will happen to some extent.

Youtube must be banking on the idea that creators are predominantly in it for the enjoyment.  Perhaps.  But there are many who put a lot of effort into their content and enjoyment is not enough of a payoff.  Not me - I'm in it for the enjoyment, but I have made some money.  It's a bonus, but not a motivator.  What I'm concerned about is eventually being able to find fewer unique content providers because of this change. Or perhaps content with less effort attached.  What might have been smarter is a two tiered monetization policy where smaller creators would attract smaller advertisers at lower rates and be compensated at a lower rate accordingly.

I don't own Youtube, Google does, it's their call.  But their decision has narrowed the world of voices in media. Self-serving, which is okay, but it is spectacularly Dumb.

Friday Musical Interlude for the possible government shutdown

Democrats in the senate are going to filibuster the temporary bill that was passed in congress that would prevent a partial government shutdown.  Then they'll blame the Republicans for the shutdown.  You know it's a show right?  It's a 4 week resolution to avoid a shutdown.  The Democrats WANT a shutdown to blame on Republicans to help them win the midterm elections.  It's all a front.

So today's musical interlude is a song about living a facade and it's devoted to the cynical, political Democrats: The Who's Eminence Front from 1982.

January 18, 2018

The frightening addendum to my last post

Previously I posited that there were a lot of things that the president is counting on with respect to his agenda and the 2018 midterm elections. They might each fall in his favor to enough of a degree that the Republicans might do quite well in November. But they might not.

Here's the frightening addendum to that scenario.  The other thing the president might be counting on is that should the Republicans get shellacked in the November 2018 midterms, maybe he's counting on the fact that he can work with Democrats too.  He's governed as a right of center Republican so far, but that could simply be because that's how he got to where he is.

It's a frightening scenario and it's likely not the case, but as a conservative, it's enough to keep you up at night.  The only way not to find out if his Plan C is to revert to liberal positions is to ensure Republicans win in the 2018 midterms.  That's up to you and me as much as it is the GOP and president Trump.

Government Shutdown, Trump, Durbin and "The heat"

Last week the president met with members of both parties to discuss DACA, immigration, and everyone's wishlist. It was well received. It was a master stroke of refutation of the mainstream media's Fake News meme that's he's senile and dangerous (especially when followed in short order by a doctor's analysis that Trump himself requested, indicating he was in excellent mental health).  But that's not the real push here for president Trump.  He even said he'd take the heat for any bi-partisan bill put to him on immigration. Similarly, Democrats had an ulterior agenda as well.

Dick Durbin immediately tried to quiet any praise being received by the president's well managed meeting by asserting, without any real substantiation, that the president made racist remarks towards Haiti and African countries. He did that for either one (or both) of two reasons. 

  1. He wanted to cut off any potential change in the narrative that president Trump is unfit for the presidency, and
  2. Democrats are angling for a government shutdown (which they can count on the mainstream media to pin the blame on Republicans)

But president Trump clearly had an agenda as well.  He wants a wall because it was a campaign promise.  He wants a budget deal.  Knowing the Democrats would tie the DACA issue to a government shutdown thinking they have all the leverage, there's no doubt he had a Plan B.

In fact, that may have been a covert signal to Republicans that if the deal fell through, they would not have to worry about the fallout.  The heat he said he'd take may have been not so much about DACA as it was about the potential government shutdown and the 2018 midterm elections.  So on to Plan B - Durbin's outrageous claims are what killed the DACA deal and have led to a possible government shutdown. 

President Trump is no stranger to taking the heat.  It's what he's been doing since he announced his candidacy.  The reason he is so persistent at firing back is because he is persistently being fired at by the media.  He has the bully pulpit of the presidency to have his voice heard.  He uses Twitter to go around the media and directly to his supporters.  He's counting on his ability to stand firm in the face of a shutdown and not have the Republicans shellacked in the 2018 midterms.  He's counting on a robust economy to put the wind to his back in the argument on the budget and on immigration.  He's counting on his supporters to continue to back him, and therefore Republican candidates in the 2018 midterms regardless of what polls are saying (and the pollsters did not tell the correct story in 2016, despite being within the margin of error - he may be counting on that scenario too).  And he's counting on support for him personally to not only exceed what pollsters are seeing but also to extend to the Republicans in congress.

That's a lot of things to count on but they are not meant to be counted on individually.  He's hoping for some strength in each of those areas, to varying degrees, to

matter come November.  He's right - to some extent each of those things will help him.  What's not clear is the extent to which each will help and whether cumulatively they will turn the Blue Tide of November Red. The economy alone should make a huge difference - I believe it will - but it remains to be seen.

Lined up against those things are the mainstream media, a "Republican-caused" government shutdown, apparently low job approval for the president and potential Republican disunity and the perception on the left that the president is mentally incompetent.

The shutdown is a gamble for Republicans and the president.  Caving to Democrat demands on DACA and immigration or anything else is also a risk.  What it comes down to is whether this truly is a divided country. Are voters entrenched in their ideologies regardless of any of the factors above?  If that's the case, don't expect a blue wave or a red wave in the midterms.  Expect gains by both parties exactly where you'd expect to see them - in their home field advantage areas.  Recent one-off special cases like Roy Moore's loss in Alabama are just that - one-offs. The district by district and state by state elections, with few exceptions, will perform as historically expected. That for Republicans is not only not bad news, it's good news for 2018.

President Trump is winning 2018

Let's see if I can encapsulate president Trump's economic miracle of 2017 and 2018 so far with just a few pertinent observations:

  1. The Dow Jones Industrial average in early 2018 is even better than 2017's impressive performance. In fact the latest surge smashed the Top 10 1000 point gains in terms of speed of ascent.
  2. Apple is going to pay $38 Billion in taxes and invest heavily in America and American jobs
  3. Jobless claims are at their lowest level since 1973
  4. African American unemployment is at an all-time low and despite a decade low overall unemployment rate best, things are poised to get better still.
What an incredible turnaround. What a remarkable economic performance by the American people that the president has unleashed. This is what success looks like. THIS, could be the new normal if the American people are smart enough to recognize what's been done so far and what more can be done still. The 2018 midterms SHOULD reward this performance. But the mainstream media really don't want that to happen.

If this were at the end of president Obama's first term, could you imagine the headlines and praise he'd be receiving from the Mainstream Media and also the footnotes about the witch hunt by scurrilous Republican sore losers of the previous election? But that didn't happen under Obama's watch. Instead he infected the economy with a Cartereque malaise and was praised anyway. That's what you call Fake News.

January 17, 2018

Oprah, president Trump ruined it for ya

This is rich.
Americans love Oprah Winfrey. But they aren’t exactly clamoring for the media mogul and former talk-show host to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020.

A majority of voters across several polls don’t think Winfrey should run for the White House, according to polls conducted since Winfrey’s much-heralded speech at a Hollywood awards show launched a round of presidential speculation. Even among Democratic voters, more say she shouldn’t run for president than should...

And despite the persistent disapproval of Trump’s job performance thus far, voters are still open to political neophytes as presidential candidates — though Democratic voters are more likely to say they want candidates with experience in elected office.
The latter paragraph about sums it up; Trump supporters should have no issue with Oprah Winfrey running for president because (a) lack of government experience is not a disadvantage, and perhaps even an asset and (b) she and her liberal policies would lose. The poll itself somewhat validates the latter point. The right would never vote for her, but apparently neither would the left. Democrats, whose policies Oprah would espouse, view president Trump's lack of government experience as a detriment, would as a result tend to lean away from Oprah. Even Oprah's ardent fans probably don't want her going through the meat grinder of presidential politicking.

The result is not surprising, Oprah is not the preferred candidate of the Left, Hollywood excepted.

CNN, purveyors of your favorite end-of-Trump fantasies

CNN, no doubt disappointed by president Trump's apparent mental well-being as a possible means to have him removed from office, have replaced it with their own fantasy Trump-death-porn.  No kidding.

Talk about being in denial and just hoping that something, anything might happen. 

January 15, 2018

You're getting the American Zeitgeist wrong

Democrats want the national zeitgeist to forever remain that the Republicans are the party of the rich, while the Democrats are the party of the working class and the poor.  They are wrong, and that notion must be dispelled or it could return Democrats to power someday and re-orient the nation on yet another ruinous path.  And while the Democrats have historically been pretty successful at perpetuating that myth, it means that you're getting the American zeitgeist wrong.

Republican's fairly or not, once were considered the party of the rich.  They no longer are.  From Goldwater to Reagan, Republicans have stressed individual liberty as the most important thing that they value, and that America's founders valued.  It is a unique enshrinement of such a principle in human history. Sure, other countries have varying degrees liberty and will certainly pay lip service to it, no other country has ever been founded on the principle of liberty and justice for all. Clearly, Republicans have got that right - liberty is innate and not a government given right; if government can give it they can also take it away. Indeed, Democrats have never stopped the march towards taking away those rights, at least during my lifetime.

Back prior to the 1920's and in the 1930's Americans faced a different set of challenges than they do today.  There were indeed companies that took advantage of workers. It was never all companies to be clear, but there were sweat shops and unsafe conditions and poor wages.  And then, there were few jobs, and the Great Depression.  It heralded the start of government as the solution. Minimum wages, social security, safer job conditions, unionization and welfare.

At the time those things were necessary. The biggest threat to the individual health and welfare and liberty was big business, but now it's big government. They are the oppressors of the working class. As much as 70 years of various forms of welfare and social safety nets have not lifted the less advantaged out of poverty.  It has not eliminated slums, or made everyone well off.  America has progressed not because of welfare but in spite of it. 

The very fact that government overreach has been viscerally realized by tens of millions of Americans is the reason Donald Trump is now president Trump. His efforts to put money back in the hands of corporations, and the wealthy and the working class is about to explode what remains of the Democrat myth that really does not reflect the American zeitgeist. They nevertheless, continue to push that notion hard.  It's the only narrative they have to offer.

Conservatives understand that the economy and well being of individuals is not a zero-sum game.  Republicans not so long ago understood that you can help the rich at the same time you help the poor, that helping business is helping individuals and vice versa.  Republicans understood the notion of interdependence and that helping one is actually helping all.  They may have forgotten that in some establishment corners in recent years.  But president Trump in his vulgar, unpolished and uncouth way has dragged Republicans, and to a lesser degree so far, America in general, back to that reality. If the price for the realization is a vulgar president, you are getting of very easy America.

As unseemly as president Trump might be, he is a painful medicine for America; his presidency, if the economic success that follows his Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is as expected, will lay the foundation for an understanding that freedom is paramount, that a strong economy with a level playing field benefits everyone, and that government is not the provider of liberties, or even the the sole protector of those rights and the opportunities they offer.  That's the American zeitgeist and has been since it's founding in a rebellion against taxation without representation. Americans are finding that truth again, and it's about time.

January 14, 2018

Quote of the Week

At Gateway Pundit, Wayne Allyn Root encapsulates the notion of putting your own house in order first as it applies to immigration, in one and a half succinct paragraphs:
Why on earth would we allow the world’s poor, unskilled, desperate and dependent masses to come into our country, while we’re $20 trillion in debt? Those days are over. It’s time to be picky and choosy.

We don’t have enough jobs for middle class Americans. We don’t have enough money for poor Americans. We have no obligation or need to let in more people who desperately need to use up our resources and our hard-earned taxpayer money. It’s time for “America First.” It’s time for extreme vetting. It’s time to cut off “Visa lotteries.” It’s time to let in skilled craftsman from Norway, and business owners from China, and doctors from Israel.
It's hard to argue against that logic.  The notion of putting your own house in order usually applies to criticizing others when your own affairs are a mess.  In this case it's more about getting things working properly before inviting or allowing more people inside. But the fact remains, America needs fixing and that has to be a priority.

When you fly on an airline, they instruct parents that in the event of an emergency they are to put their own oxygen masks on first before helping their children.  It's the same principle. And no, it's not a paternalistic condescending analogy, it's just an analogy - you have to be able to function properly before you can help anyone else. 

It's just common sense.

Sunday verse

January 13, 2018

January 12, 2018

Friday Musical Interlude - Beethoven

A change of pace this week, a true musical interlude on a Friday.  Beethoven's 9th symphony.

January 11, 2018

WalMart announces bonuses thanks to Trump Tax Cuts

Some Democrats (I'm looking at you Elizabeth Warren) are still hollering that the Trump cuts in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 have to be reversed.  I wonder how WalMart employees are feeling about that after the company announced (like many others) that it's bonusing employees as a result of the tax cuts. Oh, and Walmart is also raising it's minimum wage, so this is not a one-time pacifying thing. 
Walmart's workers will soon reap the benefits of the recent tax law changes, as the world's largest private employer raises its starting wage, creates new benefits and distributes bonuses to eligible workers.

The big-box retailer announced Thursday it will increase its starting wage rate for hourly employees in the U.S. to $11, and expand maternity and parental leave benefits. Currently, Walmart's starting wage is $9 until workers complete a training program. Then, they receive $10.

Walmart will also pay a one-time cash bonus to eligible employees of as much as $1,000. The payouts, which should total roughly $400 million, will result in a one-time charge that the company will take in its fiscal fourth quarter.
Apparently tax law matters and lower taxes can benefit both employers and workers.  In other words it's not a zero sum game. So, are you still expecting a Democrat wave in 2018? Stop looking in the rear view mirror.

Twitter shadow banning

Twitter might be evil in the sense that if they don't like what you have to say they silence your voice. They're a private company, they can do that.  It's not unconstitutional but it is unconscionable.

First they did it with their Trust and Safety Council banning any conservative voice for the slightest of reasons while allowing some on the left to continue to spew the most vile, hate-filled garbage. Again, that's their right, but they are not being transparent about it - trying to sound official and well-meaning by putting the name Trust and Safety Council to it makes it all the more sinister.

But it gets worse.  They've been shadow-banning people.  James O'Keefe at Project Veritas is doing a wonderful job exposing evil leftists like CNN.  He's turned his attention to Twitter and exposed the secret shadow banning being done at Twitter.

January 10, 2018

Bizarro World: CNN's Wolf Blitzer praises president Trump

President Trump really is a stable genius.  His move to allow cameras into the immigration meeting with both Democrats and Republicans - it was brilliant.  He was seen to be a fair, polite and respectful negotiator.  The media who have been slamming the president as unsuitable for office were forced to show the president being a leader.  It blows up their narrative.  It shows him not only being stable but the move itself was genius.  CNN apparently does not realize they've been cleverly trolled by the president.  

Maybe the president should do this more often, it's a better way than Twitter to get the truth out. Now he's not only got Republican and Democrat positions on the public record, he's done so in a presidential manner.

There's no word if rabid anti-Trumpian stooge Jim Acosta's head exploded after Wolf's comments.

January 9, 2018

3 things you need to know about the left (just from today only)

Things you need to read about the left, from just today:

1. You knew it already, now you have proof.  Democrats want illegal immigration amnesty, because votes:
The Center For American Progress (CAP) Action Fund circulated a memo on Monday calling illegal immigrants brought here at a young age — so-called “Dreamers” — a “critical component of the Democratic Party’s future electoral success.”...

CAP Action’s memo says protecting DACA is not only a “moral imperative” for Democrats, it also key to getting votes.

“The fight to protect Dreamers is not only a moral imperative, it is also a critical component of the Democratic Party’s future electoral success,” reads Palmieri’s memo, obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“If Democrats don’t try to do everything in their power to defend Dreamers, that will jeopardize Democrats’ electoral chances in 2018 and beyond,” reads the memo. “In short, the next few weeks will tell us a lot about the Democratic Party and its long-term electoral prospects.”
It's already told us a lot about Democrats' cynical views on human worth - a vote is a vote, right? 

2. They don't care about the law, just their agenda. Anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok, he formerly of the Mueller probe on Russia collusion is even more sinister than previously imagined. He may have been one of those leaking of information to the media inapporpriately.
The Hill article says contacts between the FBI and the media aren’t necessarily problematic but given Strzok’s involvement in two major cases (Hillary emails and Russian collusion) and his previously uncovered bias for Hillary and against Trump, what he said to reporters prior to the election seems worth investigating.
3. They advance their agenda at any cost, even if erstwhile allies get hurt in the process. Hillary Clinton was trying to sting Green Party candidate Jill Stein with fake Russia collusion.
“This is a year’s worth of a smear campaign that began actually by some Democratic party operatives after the embarrassing emails revealed collusion by the Democratic party with Hillary Clinton’s campaign in order to interfere with our election,” Stein said. “The same people who launched that smear campaign are now celebrating that I’m being investigated, really as a consequence of this smear.”

Stein then addressed a widely circulated image of her at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s table at a 2015 banquet honoring the Russian propaganda channel RT.
Is there any part of the Democrat party that is not corrupt at this point?
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