Category Archives: ELIZABETH WARREN

What’s the real story behind Right Wing and Left Wing in America?

In America, the term Right Wing is misused to imply that conservative Americans are fascists lusting for world domination; in fact, the opposite is true.

Right Wing Left Wing Conservative

(As my regular readers (to whom I am endlessly grateful) know, I was away from my blog for some time caring for a relative who had surgery. Being away that long gave me time to think about “going a little crazy,” as Bob Ross likes to say when he adds another tree to a painting. In my case, “going a little crazy” meant wondering if I could do a video as well as a podcast.

In addition to the time spent researching how to do go about making a Power Point video (I’ve got to start somewhere), it took me six hours to create a 35 minute video and companion podcast. They both are a little glitchy, but not bad for a first effort. I will get better.  But I will never forget my readers, so here is the same content in written form.)

The idea for this video came when I ended my trip with a much-needed massage. Because this is Tennessee, my masseur is a liberty-oriented man so, in the midst of a far-ranging conversation, he asked this question: “Why are conservatives called “fascists,” when fascism is a socialist doctrine?” An excellent question, and one I wanted to answer here.

The reality is that, even though the media loves to talk about “right wingers” (although never left wingers), there is no “left wing” versus “right wing” in America, at least as those terms are understood in the rest of the world. Instead, we only have liberty versus tyranny, along with the supporters of both those ideologies.

Ironically enough, although the French Revolution post-dated the end of the American revolution by six years, the terms “right wing” and “left wing” are leftovers from that overseas kerfuffle. Let me explain.

The French Revolution had as its slogan “Liberté, égalité, fraternité.” Liberty, equality, fraternity! In the context of the French Revolution, those words were always lies.

At the start of the Revolution, France had an absolute monarchy that sat on top of a large, equally absolutist aristocracy. It was not a sustainable system, and the revolutionaries intended to topple it. However, unlike the American revolutionaries who envisioned limited government coupled with individual liberty, that’s not what the French wanted. Instead, the revolutionaries imagined an absolutist commune, with the monarchy and aristocracy replaced by an equally controlling cabal of “the people.”

But what, you may ask, does this have to do with “left wing” and “right wing”? Simple. In the French Parlement during the lead-up to the Revolution, the representatives who sought to retain an absolutist government led by the monarchy and the aristocracy sat to the Speaker’s right. The representatives who sought to replace the existing government with an absolutist government led by “representatives of the people” sat to the Speaker’s left.

And that’s where the terms still used today in American and around the world came from: Those on the right seek to “conserve” the old ways; those on the left seek to upend them. Except, as I’ll develop at greater length, America has not traditionally had any cognates to this European left/right divide.

And now we get to my favorite chart, one that, for convenience’s sake, uses a left/right continuum to show how there are two sides to the political spectrum:

On the left (although it could just as easily be portrayed on the right side of the line) is absolutist, totalitarian government, something with which we are all familiar. It exists under many names – monarchy, socialism, communism, democratic socialism, fascism, theocracy, etc. – but it always plays out the same: maximum government control; minimum individual liberty.

Meanwhile, on the right side of the continuum (although I could have easily placed “liberty blue” on the left), is the political system that has limited government and maximum individual liberty. At its extreme, it’s anarchy. Otherwise, it’s . . . well, it’s really only the American experiment. Everywhere else in the world, government control is the standard.

So what is the American experiment? It was build on Britain’s Magna Carta and its 1689 Bill of Rights. That last document was a statement of limitations on monarchical.  William of Orange and Queen Mary II had agreed to this Bill of Rights in order to to attain the British throne in the wake of 1688’s “Glorious Revolution.” (It was glorious because King James II fled, rather than going to war.)

If you look at the British Bill of Rights, you’ll see many echoes in our own Bill of Rights. However, the British Bill of Rights limits only the monarchy. Parliament was not limited, which is why it felt free to impose all sorts of restrictions on British citizens in the American colonies.

When the Founding Fathers decided to draft a Bill of Rights, they did it correctly. Instead, of stating the items as a negative charter (as Obama wrongly put it), one that simply tells government what it can’t do, the Founders stated our Bill of Rights as a set of rights inherent and inviolable in every individual. No government – no monarchy, no legislature, no judiciary, no official whatever – should be able to impede those rights without a high showing of necessity.

Hold that thought in mind as we look at the three most common forms of government outside of America in the years since WWI.

First, we have socialism, which exists not only as a free-standing form of government (National Socialists), but also as an umbrella term for the evil twins of communism and fascism. Under communism, there is no private ownership. Everything – and everybody – belongs to the government. Examples, all of them tyrannical, are the Soviet Union, China (despite its faux market economy), North Korea, and Cuba.

Back in the 1930s, fascism put a softer face on communism, because it did not nationalize all private property, instead limiting itself to nationalizing a few major industries, especially fuel and transportation. However, there is no freedom in a fascist country. Mussolini provided the ultimate definition of fascism: “All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.” (I also include today’s oligarchies in the list of fascist states, since they function much the same way.) In the World War II era, fascist states sought world domination and, in Germany’s case, included genocide and slavery in the service of an imaginary “master race.”

Today’s Europe is still fascist, although that would no doubt horrify Europeans were you to tell them that. Under both EU rule and the governments of the individual European states, there is private ownership, but major industries, especially transportation, are still nationalized. Moreover, the EU and the individual governments tightly control every aspect of people’s lives.

(When it comes to nationalized services, I have a real bee in my bonnet about these “soft” socialized states’ so-called “cradle to grave” care, something my parents’ European-based friends and family boasted about non-stop. These benefits had nothing to do with socialism. They were available in Europe because American taxpayers funded European defense costs during the Cold War. It wasn’t socialized medicine; it was American medicine. Now that the Cold War has ended and the money isn’t flowing as much, European socialized medicine is cratering.)

The difference between today’s European fascism and Hitler’s is that (a) it’s not called fascism today and (b) it’s not yet engaged in world domination and anti-Semitic genocide. However, given the speed with which Muslims are populating Europe, all in thrall to an Islamic doctrine that calls for world domination and anti-Semitic genocide, I think it won’t be long before Europe starts to repeat the 1930s.

The third type of government in the world today shows up in monarchies or theocracies, both of which thrive, and are often intertwined in the Middle East. Whether it’s Mullahs in Iran or Kings in Saudi Arabia, these are totalitarian governments that use religious doctrine to control every aspect of their citizens’ lives. (In Saudi Arabia, Prince Muhammed bin Salman is slowly trying to change this but, since he holds the tiger by the tail, it’s a very delicate and dangerous process.)

And then there’s America, which has a totally different system, one that, in its purest form, does everything it can both to limit government power and mob rule. There’s nothing else like it in the world.

The American political system as the Founders envisioned it has a limited federal government composed of three parts – executive, legislative, and judicial – each with unique spheres of power, each with some control over the other branches, and each jealous of its own power as a bulwark against any branch becoming too strong.

The Executive branch eschews pure democracy in favor of an Electoral College, forcing presidential candidates to campaign in every state (as Hillary learned to her cost). Without this, all presidents would be elected out of population centers. If the Democrats were able to do away with the Electoral College, something they’re trying to do through the grossly unconstitutional National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, all future American presidents would be elected by California, New York, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Washington.

Under the Legislative branch, we have two organs. The Senate was originally meant to have its members appointed by each state’s governors, ensuring (a) that the Senators would be responsive to their states and (b) that no senator would be enslaved to the passions of the mob. The 17th amendment changed that in 1912, probably not for the better.

The House controls the power of the purse and, before the 17th Amendment, was the only branch of government with direct democracy. House members must go back to the voters every two years to make their case. This is why impeachment begins in the House and why the current refusal to have a formal impeachment – which would force House members to make their positions known to their voters — is a direct betrayal of the voters.

Finally, the Judicial branch is the least democratic part of our government, for its members get selected by the President, get approved by the Senate, and then sit for life. In theory, it is impartial and rules only on whether matters are constitutional or unconstitutional, a power Chief Justice Marshall arrogated to the Court in the early 19th century.

In recent years, the federal judicial has boldly grabbed for itself both legislative power and executive power. The legislative power appears in its finding emanations of penumbras to justify federally sanctioned abortion, something never contemplated in the Constitution, and writing whole romance novels to allow gay marriage, another concept far afield from the Constitution. Both these issues belong in the states until such time as the Constitution is formally amended. As for executive power, every time some podunk judge in a Leftist district blocks a facially valid executive order from President Trump based upon the judge’s interpretation about the purity of Trump’s mind and soul . . . that’s an improper exercise of executive power.

Lastly, as I said before, our Founders gave us a Bill of Rights holding that certain rights are vested in the people and that the government cannot infringe them. This is extraordinary and differs from all other constitutions in the world, each of which is an endless book of bureaucratic does and don’ts.

So what kind of cool stuff flows from a limited government and a Bill of Rights? For starters, we have free market capitalism, which has been doing wonders since President Trump reformed taxes to leave more money with citizens and cut back on onerous regulations.

Strikingly, our Democrat Party presidential candidates have no room in their platforms for the free market. Bernie is a stone-cold communist. As an aside, given that he’s been alive for the greater part of the 20th century and all of the 21st (to date), he must know about the tens of millions dead and enslaved under communism (a knowledge sadly denied to uneducated millennials). That he still supports communism despite this knowledge means either that he’s the most stupid man ever to walk the earth or an evil tyrant wannabe. Neither reflects well on him or the voters who support him.

Warren also should know better, but I can attest to the fact that she’s stupid. Maybe evil too, but definitely stupid.

The most recent example of the disrespect the Left has for the free market comes from Kamala Harris, another candidate who is dumb as a rock, only dumber. Her candidacy is in free fall, so she’s promising to seize private property to prop it up. (Incidentally, I don’t think the government should fund private companies, but it’s important to note that, government aid notwithstanding, these are still companies with shareholders, employees, and profits.

Democrat presidential candidate Kamala Harris on if drug companies do not comply with her mandatory set drug prices: “I will snatch their patent so that we will take over” Audience asks: “can we do that?” “Yes, we can do that! Yes, we can do that! … I have the will to do it” pic.twitter.com/gpU8nnGt6h — Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) November 23, 2019

Another benefit we have is social mobility of a type that never existed anywhere else in the world before America. I created a little photo montage, just off the top of my head, of people who have attained success in a way that would not have been possible without America:

In America, the fact that your grandparents were rich doesn’t mean you will be, and the fact that they were poor doesn’t mean that is your fate either. We make our own fate in America.

One of my favorite rights – and one that I came to late in life – is the Second Amendment right to bear arms. I think this picture says it all:

In Nazi Germany, the government seized arms as a prelude to seizing people. A government should always stand in awe of its people’s right to defend itself against tyranny.

People should also be able to defend themselves against evil-doers in their own community. Mexico, a rapidly failing state, with appalling gun violence and skyrocketing murders, has some of the toughest gun control laws in the world.

Of course, the Democrat Party desperately wants your guns. Beto, before dropping out, was open about this – and please note the audience roar of delight:

And then there’s the right to free speech. In England, the cradle of free speech, it’s already gone:

Free speech isn’t doing so well in Leftist America either. In New York, you can be find $250,000 for “misgendering” someone. And in California, when it comes to long-term care facilities, it’s the law that you can be fined for “misgendering” residents there too.

So, going back to my chart and the left/right divide, here’s what you need to know about the rest of the world: it’s not tyranny versus liberty; it’s two different types of tyrants fighting each other for total control over citizens. In America, we have half of that equation. The American left wants total control over American citizens:

“We’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money, but you know, part of the American way is, you can just keep on making it if you’re providing a good product.” – Barack Obama (net worth $40,000,000).

“You built a factory out there, good for you. But I want to be clear. You moved your goods to market on the roads that the rest of us paid for. You hired workers that the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.” — Elizabeth Warren (net worth $18,000,000).

“I will snatch their patent so that we will take over.” – Kamala Harris (net worth $4,000,000).

“Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15.” Beto O’Rourke (net worth $10,000,000-$15,000,000).

On the opposite side of the political aisle in America, however, things are different. Conservatives don’t crave power. They crave a smaller government that leaves citizens alone to pursue their own lives, and that concerns itself solely with such core issues as national security, a stable legal system, functional transportation across the country, and managing (God forbid) major health crises.

“A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.” – Gerald Ford

“No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we’ll ever see on this earth!” – Ronald Reagan

With the above in mind – American conservatives are the sole political movement in the world dedicated to individual liberty – why are American conservatives called “right wing” or “fascist,” terms that are tied to totalitarian control, while American leftists are called “liberal,” implying a dedication to individual liberty? It’s time for a little history lesson to answer that question.

Back in the 1930s, Hitler and Stalin both presided over socialist governments. The former was fascist (private ownership but government control), while the latter was communist (no private ownership of the means of production). They were hideous, evil fraternal twins of socialism.

As is often the case with sibling rivalry, the two countries (and their leaders) hated each other. Nevertheless, in August 1939, a week before Hitler invaded Poland, sparking WWII, Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia entered in the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. Under that pact, they swore to be neutral vis-à-vis each other in times of war.

When Hitler invaded Poland, Soviet Russia did nothing. Taking their cue from Russia, in America, communists also took a very lukewarm stance against Hitler.

The Pact ended abruptly on June 22, 1941, when Hitler initiated Operation Barbarossa by invading the Soviet Union. When America entered the War, it found itself allied with Russia against the Nazis. On the American home front, communists instantly became staunch and fervent anti-Nazis.

However, when the war ended, with the Allies victorious, and socialist/fascist Germany in ruins, American communists had a problem: Fascist socialism stood exposed as one of the most evil ideologies of all time. How were they to protect communist socialism, which was also one of the most evil ideologies of all time?

The answer was to create a false syllogism that took hold in academia and media, and that now controls American thought:

Communists and Fascists were enemies.

Communists helped win World War II, with the war’s end providing unquestioned proof that Fascists were completely evil.

Communists and American Republicans are enemies.

Republicans are therefore akin to Fascists and, like fascists, must be completely evil.

And what’s the moral of this story?

Next time someone accuses you, or any other conservative, of being “fascist” or “right wing,” object vigorously. You are a person committed to individual liberty as opposed to being a slave to an all-powerful government (no matter how woke, intersectional, and politically correct that government claims to be).

The post What’s the real story behind Right Wing and Left Wing in America? appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

On Trump, Progressives confused by irony and facts

The NYT published an article asserting 40 “facts” indicting Trump. In truth, each of those “facts” was false or pure opinion based upon intractable bias.

The New York Times published an article by one of its opinion columnists, David Leonhardt, that purports to indict Trump in a mere 40 sentences, each asserting a supposedly devastating “fact” showing Trump to be a criminal, a fascist, or a fool. Reviewing these 40 sentences, I found that most are premised on erroneous facts, with the remainder relying on underlying assumptions that deserve to be challenged. A fisking is in order.

“He has pressured a foreign leader to interfere in the 2020 American presidential election.”

Follow this link and you’ll discover that it refers to the fact that Trump asked the president of Ukraine to finish a legitimate corruption investigation that then-Vice President Biden had stopped through the use of strong-arm tactics. We know that’s what Biden did because he boasted about it, loud and proud. Of course, reopening the investigation means Ukraine will resume asking questions about Hunter Biden’s business dealings in that country — which is no doubt the reason that Biden stopped the investigation in the first place.

As one would expect from alleged “news” reports of late, this is absolutely, completely 100% poppycock. John Solomon explains what actually happened — and it had nothing to do with Trump begging for Ukraine to throw the election (emphasis mine):

But there is a missing part of the story that the American public needs in order to assess what really happened: Giuliani’s contact with Zelensky adviser and attorney Andrei Yermak this summer was encouraged and facilitated by the U.S. State Department.

Giuliani didn’t initiate it. A senior U.S. diplomat contacted him in July and asked for permission to connect Yermak with him.

Then, Giuliani met in early August with Yermak on neutral ground — in Spain — before reporting back to State everything that occurred at the meeting.

[snip]

Why would Ukraine want to talk to Giuliani, and why would the State Department be involved in facilitating it?

According to interviews with more than a dozen Ukrainian and U.S. officials, Ukraine’s government under recently departed President Petro Poroshenko and, now, Zelensky has been trying since summer 2018 to hand over evidence about the conduct of Americans they believe might be involved in violations of U.S. law during the Obama years.

The Ukrainians say their efforts to get their allegations to U.S. authorities were thwarted first by the U.S. Embassy in Kiev, which failed to issue timely visas allowing them to visit America.

Then the Ukrainians hired a former U.S. attorney — not Giuliani — to hand-deliver the evidence of wrongdoing to the U.S. attorney’s office in New York, but the federal prosecutors never responded.

In other words, the Ukrainians have long been concerned about Americans engaged in illegal conduct in their country, but when they tried to raise those concerns, Deep State operatives rebuffed their efforts.

As for more specific information about what Trump’s allegedly “treasonous” phone call said . . . we don’t have any. Instead, the more credulous among us have been tricked again by one of those Lefty games of telephone. You know what I mean. We saw it with the latest Kavanaugh attack, which is that an alleged reporter heard something from someone who heard it from someone else who heard it from. The same is true with regard to the Ukraine telephone call, for it turns out that the Deep State whistleblower didn’t hear the call himself (herself?) and was not acting in his professional capacity when s/he relayed hearsay information to other Deep State officials:

It turns out the complaint is nothing more than a rumor reported by someone in the intelligence community. Buried in a lengthy CNN article about the complaint is the following paragraph:

The whistleblower didn’t have direct knowledge of the communications, an official briefed on the matter told CNN. Instead, the whistleblower’s concerns came in part from learning information that was not obtained during the course of their work, and those details have played a role in the administration’s determination that the complaint didn’t fit the reporting requirements under the intelligence whistleblower law, the official said.

Granted, this is yet another anonymous source giving more context on what another anonymous source told a different outlet, but it still calls the entire story into question.

In other words, this whole Ukraine thing has nothing to do with Trump having done anything wrong and everything to do with Biden abusing his power to protect his family. Biden gets points for family loyalty, but demerits for corruption.

“He urged a foreign country to intervene in the 2016 presidential election.”

Back in the days when Hollywood made anti-communist movies, one of the tropes was that communists have no sense of humor. The whole point of both the 1939 movie Ninotchka and its 1955 musical remake Silk Stockings was to show that believing in socialism is a singularly joyless activity and that only embracing capitalism can bring humor and laughter back to ones life. Indeed the whole campaign for the original movie was built around the gift of laughter:

Ninotchka garbo laughs

What Americans understood when socialism was still a dirty word is that being a Leftist is a very serious business. You’re remaking the world, after all. This photo of a hysterical, enraged, and deeply frightened Greta Thunberg is the modern incarnation of humorless, angry socialism:

The adults who did this to an Asberger’s child — meaning that she has high anxiety and often erroneous fixations — should be prosecuted for child abuse . . . but that’s for another post.

Moreover, when you’re in the midst of a revolution, you always have to keep an eye out for fellow revolutionaries, who might be more zealous than you or, worse, who might openly question your own zeal. In Soviet Russia, that last led to an actual death sentence. In today’s America, it means social media death. In our brave new revolutionary world, there is no place for humor.

I’m not writing this to bemoan the lack of comedy in late night TV, which is now devoted to joyless attacks on Trump, or the fact that comedy is dead on college campuses, where blank-eyed, angry students kill visiting comedians with strident cries of “That’s not funny. I’m offended.” I’ll leave that for other writers. What I want to talk about, because it will show up in other rebuttals to Leonhardt’s indictments, is that Progressives can’t take a joke.

Leonhardt’s umbrage is directed to the fact that Trump stated at a rally (to much laughter from the crowd), “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” The crowd was in on the joke, which is the fact that Hillary’s uber-illegal decision to forfeit the State Department’s secured email system for an unsecured system in her bathroom meant Russia already had the emails — and so did China and any of a number of bad actors in the world. The joke was that the national security horse had not only long since left the barn, it was grazing in a field somewhere outside of Moscow.

In other words, Trump wasn’t inviting a foreign country to steal America’s secrets. He was using humor to show that Hillary Clinton, by intentionally violating America’s national security laws, had long before handed those secrets over to other countries.

“He divulged classified information to foreign officials.”

Much as Progressives don’t like it, Trump is America’s president. And as president, commander in chief, and head of the executive branch of government, including national security, it is he who has the ultimate say about whether something is classified or not, and when to declassify something.  His power is plenary and he got it when the American people elected him.

Moreover, it appears that Leonhardt isn’t in the habit of reading his own newspaper, because the story to which he links is the recent report that Trump’s big mouth resulted in a spy having to be exfiltrated from Russia. Except that, as even the Times later had to acknowledge, it was the media’s collective big mouth that exposed the spy during the Obama administration. Moreover, the CIA made the decision to withdraw the spy in 2016, again during the Obama administration. As for the other alleged security breaches in the linked article, let me say again: The president gets to make the call about what is and is not classified; not the New York Times.

“He publicly undermined American intelligence agents while standing next to a hostile foreign autocrat.”

Again, this is an example of the fact that being a Leftist means never understanding a joke. It also represents another chapter in the never-ending book entitled I Don’t Care What Mueller Said Or The Evidence Shows — I Still Think Trump Colluded With Russia. Thus, the article to which Leonhardt links, although it was written long after the Mueller report and after Mueller’s Sergeant Schultz-style testimony (“I know nothing. Nothing!”), is premised on the debunked theory that Trump colluded with Russia to win the election. The article also ignores entirely the fact that Hillary paid for all of the baseless and salacious claims that came out of Russia meaning that she, not Trump, conspired with a foreign agency to try to win the election.

So let’s go back to the claim that Trump “publicly undermined American intelligence agents.” One of Trump’s chief negotiating skills is to create an amicable environment within which to negotiate. He doesn’t insult the person unless, of course, the person insults him first, in which case Trump is a no-holds barred fighter. What he’ll fight like a demon over is the substantive matter at issue.

In this case, reporters were demanding that Trump call Putin a spy to his face. Doing so would have made a viable negotiation impossible. Putin would have been publicly offended and could not possibly engage in meaningful discussions with Trump. In other words, the media, intentionally or not, was doing its best to sabotage talks before they began.

Trump did the only thing possible under the circumstances — he made a joke, and it was a good one too, considering that we’ve learned in the last two years that high-level operatives in the intelligence community actively worked within American politics to destroy a candidate and, when that candidate still won the election, engaged in a coup attempt to get him out of office. All things considered, Trump’s little joke that “They [intelligence agencies] said they think it’s Russia [but] I have President Putin; he just said it’s not Russia,” was a perfect way both to defuse his relationship with Putin before talks began and to lob a humorous grenade in the direction of those who, for the first time in American history, tried to thrown an election.

“He hired a national security adviser who [sic] he knew had secretly worked as a foreign lobbyist.”

Considering that Leonhardt works for a newspaper, you’d think he could do better than to use a newspaper article from early 2017 to attack Michael Flynn. In the two years since then, we’ve learned a lot about the intelligence agencies’ successful attempt to take out Flynn and about Robert Mueller’s despicable tactic of destroying someone economically and going after his family in order to get him to plead guilty to the process crime of lying to the FBI.

Worse, in the years since the linked article was written, we’ve learned that there probably wasn’t a process crime at all because the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn contemporaneously agreed that he wasn’t intentionally lying. There’s also the little “fruit of the poisonous tree” problem, given that the entire basis for questioning Flynn for a Logan Act violation was a blatant attempt to create a process crime without any good faith belief that an underlying crime had been committed.

And what about the merits of the claim that Flynn “secretly worked as a foreign lobbyist”? Well, not quite, according to The Hill. In November 2016, Flynn wrote an op-ed defending Erdogan, who had survived a coup attempt, in which Flynn claimed that the American-based coup-plotter, an Imam named Fethullah Gulen, was a “shady Islamic mullah.” That article gave intelligence agencies, who were already gunning for Flynn because he’d challenged Obama’s Iran Deal and because he’d clashed with intel types on myriad occasions, an opening.

I’ll say right off the bat that I think it showed bad judgment and bad taste for Flynn to defend Erdogan, who is (in my opinion) a bad actor. Nevertheless, it appears that Flynn didn’t realize that Bijan Rafiekian, who co-founded Flynn Intel Group (“FIG”), had the group working with Turkey. Instead, what Flynn knew was that a Dutch-based company called Inovo BV got paid $530,000 to do PR work to boost Turkey’s image. It was Inovo that had ties to the Turkish government. In March 2017, FIG did a retroactive registration as foreign agents on Turkey’s behalf. By December 2017, Flynn claimed that was a false filing and that he knew about Turkey all along. Well, maybe….

The problem with my wholeheartedly believing that Flynn’s December 2017 statement is true is that, by December 2017, Mueller had Flynn in a vice and was hell bent on destroying him. Flynn was trying to salvage his life savings, avoid jail, and protect his son from Mueller’s army. Things may be quite different in a few weeks if Judge Sullivan grants the discovery motion that Flynn’s new attorney, Sidney Powell, filed. In it, she alleges that the alphabet agencies railroaded Flynn and that they’re hiding the documents that prove it — including exculpatory documents that they were required by law to produce to Flynn and his counsel.

Frankly, of all the charges Leonhardt levies against Trump, this is probably the most serious, not in terms of Trump being treasonous, but just in terms of bad judgment — but I remember, as others may not, that Trump was treated like such a pariah, he had a hard time finding people willing to work with him in the beginning. He was in a “beggars can’t be choosers” position, and, at least on paper. And as I said, it’s entirely possible that Flynn is simply another victim of the Deep State who will be gloriously exonerated in the near future.

“He encourages foreign leaders to enrich him and his family by staying at his hotels.”

This is the “emoluments clause” argument that Democrats cannot let go. However, the emoluments clause was never meant to address a situation in which a foreign government tries to curry favor with the president by staying in a hotel from which president’s family, after taxes and costs, will earn a small amount of money.

Let’s start with the source, which is the Constitution. At Art. II, Section 1, it states as follows:

The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

It scarcely needs to be said that Trump’s businesses, to the extent they provide him with money, do not constitute payments from either the federal government or the individual states. Incidentally, Trump, unlike any other president before him, donates every penny of his salary as president to charity or government agencies.

the real question, then, is whether hotel stays fall into the next part of the emoluments clause, the part that bars any person — including the president — “without the Consent of the Congress” from accepting “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.” (Const. Art. I, Section 9.) Both history and constitutional analysis reveal that Indirect income from foreign nationals using Trump hotels does not fall into that category, since any monies are so diffuse they can only be incidental to Trump’s overall wealth.

But wait, there’s more, which I’ll quote from National Review article on the subject:

Trump’s opponents claim that every time, say, a foreign diplomat books a room in a Trump hotel or pays for a meal in a Trump restaurant, the Constitution is violated. They seek to force the president to sell off all his holdings and demand disclosure of his tax returns to track foreign payments.

Before assuming office, President Trump disposed of his publicly traded and liquid investments. He put his illiquid assets (e.g., hotels, golf courses, and commercial properties) into a trust. He further resigned from all official positions with the Trump Organization and turned over management of the businesses to his adult sons. None of this is enough for his enemies.

[snip]

the term “emolument” is not in our modern vocabularies. In his first inaugural address, George Washington used the term as synonymous with government salary when he refused “any share of the personal emoluments, which may be indispensably included in a permanent provision for the Executive Department.”

In Hoyt v. United States (1850), the U.S. Supreme Court defined emolument as “embracing every species of compensation or pecuniary profit derived from a discharge of the duties of the office.” Accordingly, President Trump argues that “emolument” must be understood as a prohibited benefit arising from the services a federal officer provides to a foreign power, either on account of his office (making a decision favorable to a foreign government for pay) or as an employee/agent of the foreign power. He further argues that the foreign-emoluments clause does not prohibit his companies from engaging in market transactions on the same terms as any other citizen or private business.

Early presidential practice supports the president’s interpretation. Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe all owned massive plantations and sold agricultural commodities in Europe. Undoubtedly, some of their customers were foreign governments, but no political opponent ever raised the specter that they were violating the foreign-emoluments clause.

‘Nuff said, I think.

“He genuflects to murderous dictators.”

First, politics makes for some ugly bedfellows. For example, I loath the Saudis because they are violent, misogynistic, anti-Semitic, and anti-Christian, but they’ve also been our stalwart allies throughout the Cold War and after. (Also, I currently have hope that Prince Mohamed bin Salman will be an effective reformer and I appreciate that Saudi Arabia and Israel are discovering that life is better when they cooperate than when they don’t.)

Second, because I know Leonhardt’s statement refers to Kim Jong-un, the New York Times is effectively saying that the only way to deal with him is what’s been done before: insult him and then, when he rattles his saber, give him money. That, after all, is what Clinton, Bush, and Obama did — and every time, the North Korean saber grew bigger until a nuclear bomb practically landed in Trump’s lap. Trump is using a different tactic, which is to try and bring the Swiss-educated dictator back into the fold by offering him wealth, respect, and personal security instead of national poverty, world isolation, and the constant fear of being assassinated in the dog-eat-dog world of a total tyranny.

Third, people who live in Progressive houses shouldn’t throw stones. Exhibit A is Obama making nice with Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a man whom Obama described someone with whom he’d forged “bonds of trust.” Indeed, looking back, you really can’t blame Flynn for working with Erdogan given Obama’s liking for the man.

Exhibit B is Obama’s reverential bow before the Saudi King. Right now, the Progressives are gunning for the Saudis because they see the Saudis as a barrier to reinstatement of Obama’s Iran deal. Back in the day, though, Obama became the first American president ever to bow before a foreign monarch. It wasn’t a good look.

Exhibit C is Obama’s chumminess with Raul Castro, brother of Fidel. Cuba’s communist government is a dictatorship that has murdered, imprisoned, impoverished, and starved its people for over 60 years. I think we can call the Castro brothers murderous dictators — and yet, here we have a picture in which Obama looks like a puppet with the murderous Raul literally pulling his strings:

Exhibit D is Obama with Hugo Chavez, the man who, through socialism, started the rape of Venezuela. Under his and Maduro’s leadership, Venezuela went from one of the richest countries in Latin America, to one of the poorest, with people dying of starvation and disease — when they weren’t being murdered in the streets by their own government. It is a tragedy beyond comprehending, but Obama still managed a friendly smile and a handshake for this murderous dictator:

“He has alienated America’s closest allies.”

This is a matter of opinion. By “America’s closest allies,” I assume Leonhardt is referring to European leaders. But European leaders have not been acting like allies. They won’t pony up money for their own defense, they undermine American efforts to restrain Iran, and they provide succor for Islamists who murder Americans and Israelis. They liked Obama, who reflected their values, but they were routinely hostile to the country he led (never mind all the money from America that kept their soft socialism afloat for decades after WWII). With Trump in office, they’re no longer make any pretense of hiding their disdain for both our country and its duly elected president.

So no, Trump hasn’t alienated anyone. He’s simply revealed that European leaders resent America, no doubt because America had to rescue Europe twice and keep it afloat for the entirety of the Cold War. It made Europeans feel weak, so they responded, like trapped rats, by turning vicious. Trump’s presidency merely exposed what was there all along.

But what about other alliances? Do others like Trump? In a word, yes.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Trump get along extremely well.

Trump also gets along extremely well with India’s popular Prime Minister Modi, something the media has been at pains to hide. Just the other day, the media went out of its way to ignore a rally for Modi in Houston that attracted 50,000 people who greeted Trump with resounding cheers. I happen to like this earlier picture of the two leaders:

Trump also gets along extremely well with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyanu. Much as the media doesn’t like Israel, the reality is that Israel has been America’s friend through thick and thin for 60 years now. It is one of America’s most stable allies and, when it comes to technology, both military and civilian (oh, and medical), it is one of our most important allies.

When Trump visited Saudi Arabia, the respect accorded him was so great that, not only did his wife and daughter not cover themselves Saudi-style, but his daughter, Ivanka, had important meetings with high ranking Saudi officials:

Now that’s respect. I bet you all can think of other leaders I haven’t thought of.

“He lied to the American people about his company’s business dealings in Russia.”

Like the emoluments clause and the Russia conspiracy, this is one that the Democrats just won’t let die a natural, decent death. Putting aside Hillary’s profitable dealings with Russia (often at America’s expense), there was nothing nefarious in Trump’s business dealings with Russia before he went into politics.

A comprehensive IBT article details the Trump business interests in Russia. The main takeaways are that, during the Soviet era, Trump said it wasn’t profitable to do business in Russia; in 2008 Donald Trump Jr. puffed about Russian money; in 2015, before throwing his hat in the ring, Trump talked about building a Trump Tower in Moscow; and in 2013, Trump held the Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow.

Trump’s conduct was neither illegal or nefarious. The Democrats just gave it an evil gloss when paired with the imaginary Russia collusion accusation. Stripped of the heavy breathing, we get a hotelier who saw Russia as a good emerging market after the Soviet Union fell. End of story.

“He tells new lies virtually every week — about the economy, voter fraud, even the weather.”

The above statement offers a cognitive bias that’s impossible to overcome. Those who like Trump understand that he employs puffery, boasting, and New York style humor to make his points. Those who hate Trump are incapable of appreciating these things. As Salena Zito so perfectly said, “When he makes claims like this [i.e., using statistics from sources other than those that the Progressives prefer], the press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.”

In other words, although Leonhardt dresses this statement up as “fact,” it is actually an opinion — and one with which I disagree.

“He spends hours on end watching television and days on end staying at resorts.”

So what? Obama was a famously lazy president. Trump is a ferociously energetic president, who went to work within hours of his inauguration. He hardly sleeps and he churns out material constantly. So what if he watches TV? So what if he hangs out at his resort? Weren’t were told during the Obama presidency that it was racist to point out Obama’s endless rounds of golf? I guess it’s not racist to do so if the golfer is the wrong color (i.e., white).

There’s also the strong possibility that, when Leonhardt makes this claim, he’s still getting confused by the gorilla channel joke that so many in the media took seriously.

“He often declines to read briefing books or perform other basic functions of a president’s job.”

Again, this is opinion. I think it’s fairly obvious that Trump is an auditory learner, preferring to have people provide oral, rather than written, briefings. Regardless of how he’s getting the information, he’s achieved a great deal more than Obama ever did in terms of making the economy grow, lowering unemployment across all demographics, slimming the welfare roles, reinvigorating the military, and keeping his campaign promises, such as building the wall, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, cutting back on over-regulation, and so forth.

At the end of the day, the well-read Obama had a sluggish economy, record unemployment, unenforceable agreements on climate and with Iran, a weakened military, and a self-destructing Affordable Care Act.

In other words, it appears that Trump is doing just fine — and then some — when it comes knowing what’s going on and performing his “basic functions.”

“He has aides, as well as members of his own party in Congress, who mock him behind his back as unfit for office.”

The GOP loathes Trump. He’s a disrupter. Of course, they’re going to go after him.

Conservative voters understand that there’s a schism on the Republican side of the aisle, with Republicans divided unequally into a huge bollus of pro-Trumpers and a dwindling, constantly humiliated little cadre of NeverTrumpers facing off. Significantly, the NeverTrumper’s dwindling numbers are composed primarily of Washington insiders, since they had a good little sinecure whining about Progressive initiatives and Trump, by actually addressing the things about which they whined, is upsetting their apple cart. After all, if you’ve built your brand being the perpetual opposition, you lose money when there’s nothing left to oppose.

For this reason, it’s instructive to true conservatives to see that the NeverTrumpers are backing Democrat candidates even as Trump enacts the most conservative agenda since Reagan, or even before. In other words, Trump’s supporters fully understand that Trump is weeding out Big Government types, faux-conservatives, and do-nothings, and they greatly appreciate that he is doing this, both through his actions and merely by being Trump.

“He has repeatedly denigrated a deceased United States senator who was a war hero.”

McCain was a rat-weasel. The Left hated him right up until he got into a fight with Trump (with McCain throwing the first verbal punch). Then, suddenly, McCain became a saint-like figure who is worthy of such reverence that the rough-and-tumble of American politics no longer has meaning.

Read my paragraph immediately above about Trump haters and you’ll understand why conservatives appreciate that Trump took no guff from McCain. One can be a POW who survived horrible treatment, with all honor due for that fact, and still be a horrible human being with bad values and no decency.

“He insulted a Gold Star family — the survivors of American troops killed in action.”

Again, Trump is a counter-puncher and a dirty fighter. The Gold Star family insulted Trump, so he insulted them back.

For years, Republican politicians politely took it on the chin when they were savaged in the crudest, most vile terms. Funnily enough, that did not make Democrats respect them more.

No wonder, then, that conservatives and Republicans (who are not always the same group) thirsted for someone who would fight back. Trump does. He never throws the first punch, but he always finishes the fight good and hard.

“He described a former first lady, not long after she died, as “nasty.”

See my point above about Trump being a counter-puncher. Barbara Bush was a nasty woman. She was proud, strong, funny, loving, and . . . extraordinarily mean and vicious. When she attacked Trump, he never forgot and he called her out.

I don’t believe in de mortuis nil nisi bonum if the dead person was on record being vile to achieve political ends.

“He described white supremacists as ‘some very fine people.'”

The Democrats cannot let go of this hoax. It is an absolute certainty that Trump described as “some very fine people” only those people who showed up because they were disturbed about statues being torn down, something that has a very banana republic feel to it. Trump made absolutely clear only a couple of minutes later that he condemned absolutely the white supremacists who showed up as well:

very fine people hoax

If Trump weren’t a public figure, he would be able to sue every media outlet in America for defamation and win.

“He told four women of color, all citizens and members of Congress, to ‘go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came.’

First, although the tweet was taken as going to “the squad” of four new Democrat congresswoman, in fact Trump simply refers to “Progressive” Democrat Congresswomen. I’ve always understood it to refer, primarily, to Ilhan Omar, who in fact comes from a broken country yet constantly denigrates America and, secondarily, to Rashida Tlaib, who may be from Michigan, but acts as if she comes from — and represents — an imaginary country called Palestine and also constantly denigrates America.

As for the other two in the squad — and, mind you, Trump does not refer to either “the squad,” AOC, or Pressley directly, or even the number four — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez plays up her Puerto Rican roots over her American upbringing and constantly denigrates America, while Rep. Ayanna Pressley is a hanger-on-er, whom nobody remembers most of the time.

Another problem with Leonhardt’s “fact” is that, whether Trump was talking to one, two, three, or four Progressive congress woman, he didn’t tell them to exile themselves from America. The fact is that Trump said that, if their political ideas are as great as they claim, the Progressive congresswoman should use them to fix their broken countries (Somalia and the imaginary Palestine). Then, having proved that their theories work, they can bring them back to America.

But don’t take my word for it. Read Trump’s tweets:

Fact: Trump didn’t say what Leonhardt accuses him of having said.

“He made a joke about Pocahontas during a ceremony honoring Native American World War II veterans.”

The Native Americans at that ceremony were not offended, merely confused. Had they not been confused, they still wouldn’t have been offended because the joke wasn’t about Pocahontas.

That is, Trump wasn’t insulting that fascinating and important historic figure. Instead, he was throwing in a cutting remark about a white woman who falsely claimed to be a Native American so she could take Ivy League jobs that were reserved for genuine minorities. Now that’s offensive.

“He launched his political career by falsely claiming that the first black president was not really American.”

Again, Leonhardt completely misstates (or maybe deliberately lies about) what Trump said. Contemporaneous reporting reveals that Trump took note of the fact that Obama’s birth certificate had become a cause célèbre because some people claimed that Obama was born in Kenya. Indeed, you can see where they might think that, because Obama’s literary agency stated that in an author’s bio in the 1990s, and it’s inconceivable that Obama didn’t provide the info, or at least know or approve of the bio as written:

With the debate raging across the country, Trump didn’t take sides. Instead, he insisted that Obama produce the birth certificate to quiet the debate, something that Obama, rather peculiarly, refused to do:

“I want him to show his birth certificate. I want him to show his birth certificate,” Trump shouted to the show’s five co-hosts. “There’s something on that birth certificate that he doesn’t like.”

Indeed, contrary to Leonhardt’s assertion, when it came to the question of Obama’s natal country, Trump held that he came from America (emphasis mine):

Trump, who was on the show to discuss his own potential presidential run in 2012, said he felt Obama was probably born in the U.S.

But the follicle-challenged “Apprentice” host argued the president has been reluctant to definitively prove his detractors wrong.

“I really believe there’s a birth certificate,” Trump said. “Why doesn’t he show his birth certificate? And you know what? I wish he would. I think it’s a terrible pale [sic] that’s hanging over him.”

So Leonhardt’s “fact” is a lie.

“He launched his presidential campaign by describing Mexicans as “rapists.”

Once again, Leonhardt’s facts and actual facts diverge. What Trump said is that illegal immigration means that the raff and scaff who inhabit every country — in this case, with the country being Mexico — were crossing the borders. He also implied that Mexico wasn’t sad to see its worst citizens leave so that it could hang on to the good ones:

The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems.

Thank you. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

It’s apparent that he’s saying that too many illegal immigrants are from the criminal class (think MS13 or Maryland rapists), while he acknowledges that other illegal immigrants are not criminals. That is most decidedly not the same as saying that all Mexicans are rapists.

As always, it’s hard to tell whether the collective Progressive media is so stupid it believes this crude misinterpretation or just too vicious to let a manifest falsehood go.

“He has described women, variously, as “a dog,” “a pig” and “horseface,” as well as “bleeding badly from a facelift” and having “blood coming out of her wherever.”

Yeah, these appellations were tacky. On the other hand, did I mention the thing about counter-punching and being the first conservative ever to hit back at the endless stream of lies and insults emanating from a Democrat-run media machine? If you insult Trump, he’ll come back at you twice as hard.

“He has been accused of sexual assault or misconduct by multiple women.”

Yes, he was accused — and every one of those accusers was a Democrat party operative or Hillary fanatic. Bias and context matter. I can accuse Leonhardt of being a big fat doody face, but that’s kind of meaningless once you learn that I’ve never actually met him although I dislike his politics.

All of these accusers vanished back into the woodwork immediately after the election, suggesting that their charges were both false and opportunistic. They were also a trial run for the attacks on Kavanaugh.

“He enthusiastically campaigned for a Senate candidate who was accused of molesting multiple teenage girls.”

Are you noticing a pattern here of Democrat women smearing Republican politicians with charges of sexual wrongdoing? This charge too appeared when Moore, who had been in politics for years, was threatening Democrat power and disappeared the instant he lost the election. There is no serious proof at all that Moore behaved criminally or inappropriately.

What happened in Alabama with Roy Moore was that Progressives (and some NeverTrumpers) used sleazy, unsubstantiated accusations to tar a political opponent. There were no videos, no confessions, no blue dresses. Instead, there were just old, stale charges from arguably quite unreliable sources. Rather than convincing me that Moore did something truly bad, my takeaway was that Moore was making the wrong people very nervous.

I think it’s also relevant that when the #MeToo movement finally went wild in Hollywood, it was stalwart Democrat men, not conservatives, who proved to have been bad actors.

“He waved around his arms, while giving a speech, to ridicule a physically disabled person.”

No, no, and no again. I won’t debunk this myself, but will instead direct you to another solid debunking.

Incidentally, it was Obama who made an explicitly derogatory remark about people with handicaps, for he once said his bowling was so bad he looked like someone in the Special Olympics. Ouch!

“He has encouraged his supporters to commit violence against his political opponents.”

Agreed. It was appalling when the president said “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun. Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl.”

Oh, wait. That wasn’t Trump; that was Obama.

But it really was bad when Trump said of his political opponents, “They can come for a ride, but they gotta sit in the back.”

Oh, my! Wrong again. That was also Obama.

Still, Trump was really out of line when he talked about kicking people’s asses.

Boy, is my face red. That was Obama too.

Here’s what Trump has done and still does: Trump the counter-puncher counsels his supporters to counter-punch. If they hit you, don’t cower, he says. Hit back. He’s not big on turning the other cheek. Insult deserves insult and punch deserves punch.

I raised my kids the same way. I told them that they should never ever throw the first punch but, if someone punched them, they had the right to finish the fight. When the hyenas circle, the only way to survive is to show you’re alive and have fight in you.

“He has called for his opponents and critics to be investigated and jailed.”

Yeah, Trump has called for some of his opponents and critics to be investigated and, if found guilty, to be jailed, and was right to have done so. As report after report has come down in the last few months, it’s apparent that the Obama government operatives behaved badly during his administration (Hillary’s national security violations, Lois Lerner’s illegal use of the IRS as a partisan tool, Eric Holder’s illegal Fast and Furious operation, Biden’s potential use of financial extortion against Ukraine, to name just a few). Moreover, once Trump became the Republican candidate and after he was elected, first the Obama administration and then administration holdovers violated one law after another in a coup attempt against a duly elected president of the United States.

Trump is not engaging in a Lavrentiy “show me the man and I’ll find you the crime” Beria style witch hunt. Rather, he is saying that, to the extent there are laws on the books, and Democrats from Hillary on down blatantly and repeatedly violated those laws, they need to be brought to justice.

As I said, Trump is right to do this. If there’s one law for the Democrats and another law for everyone else in America (i.e., Democrats don’t even get indicted, while every Tom, Jane, and Joe Shmo ends up in jail), the rule of law in America is over. Instead, we are headed into true banana republic territory.

“He uses a phrase popular with dictators — “the enemy of the people” — to describe journalists.”

If we had real journalists, this might be offensive. But since we have a mainstream media that functions as a branch of the Democrat party. Rather than reporting facts, the media routinely works to destroy Republicans in ways that include revealing wartime secrets, trying to overthrow elections, and, lately, reporting every bit of gossip and garbage as if it’s real news — all in stark contrast to the groveling obeisance shown Obama.

Under these circumstances, Trump’s not far off the mark. The people elected Donald Trump and the media, by trying through unethical means to undo that election, are an enemy of the people.

“He attempts to undermine any independent source of information that he does not like, including judges, scientists, journalists, election officials, the F.B.I., the C.I.A., the Congressional Budget Office and the National Weather Service.”

The media and other Democrats can give it but they can’t take it. Trump has never used his presidential powers unethically to attack his political opponents and, yes, enemies. However, he does something that horrifies Democrats: He routinely, and loudly, calls out the bad actors. He calls out the partisan hacks. He calls out the dishonest brokers. He calls out the corrupt Deep Staters. He calls out those who falsify scientific records to achieve political ends.

Again, Americans have watched, appalled, as the administrative state has become a permanent self-serving entity, the members of which have nothing but disdain for Americans. Instead, these members of the perpetual bureaucratic class imagine some vast international brotherhood of bureaucrats and politicians, all controlling the little people for the little people’s own good and for the brotherhood’s enrichment. For me and people like me, it’s refreshing to see Trump calling them out and speaking the truth about their behavior.

Again, not a single one of these people Leonhardt names has been denied due process when/if their wrongdoing finally caught up with them. None have been tortured. Their families have not been “disappeared.” They haven’t languished in jail or been executed. Instead, Trump merely pointed to the things they did and said and then explained to the American people why these things were problems.

To which I say Bravo!

“He has tried to harass the chairman of the Federal Reserve into lowering interest rates.”

Don’t you love this language? Trump didn’t actually harass the chairmen of the Federal Reserve. Instead, “he tried to harass.” In other words, once again, Trump spoke. Ye, gads! The gall of the man.

“He said that a judge could not be objective because of his Mexican heritage.”

Yeah, I’m not going to go too far here to defend Trump, other than to say that what he did is a typical litigation tactic.

My bias is that I loathe judges, especially Democrat ones — and I’ve loathed them since I was a Democrat. With few exceptions, I learned when I worked as a litigator in San Francisco that Democrat judges tend to rule based upon their belly buttons, rather than the law. Back then, I didn’t realize it was a Democrat thing. I just knew I hated certain judges.

When I crossed the Rubicon and became a conservative, I went back and checked the bios on the rotten judges, at which time I learned that every last one was a Democrat. As for the few good judges, I am not exaggerating when I say that every last one was a Republican.

“He obstructed justice by trying to influence an investigation into his presidential campaign.”

When Mueller and his team, despite spending tens of millions of dollars and destroying several people both professionally and financially, could not find any evidence whatsoever that Trump worked with the Russians to win the White House, they threw a little poison pill in the report to give Democrats something to hold onto: Trump, they said, was kind of obnoxious during the investigation. They said this even though he gave them full access to everyone involved other than himself and handed over millions of pages of documents.

Mueller couldn’t deny how forthcoming Trump and his people were. Nevertheless, complained Mueller, Trump said mean things; discussed with his attorney whether he could end the investigation, after which he did nothing; and generally was not enthusiastic about being investigated by the same group of people whom he knew had created and published the false stories that led to the investigation in the first place. Other than rabid anti-Trumpers, of whom Leonhardt is one, people were not impressed.

“He violated federal law by directing his lawyer to pay $280,000 in hush money to cover up two apparent extramarital affairs.”

No, he did not violate federal law by directing his lawyer to pay $280,000 in hush money. It would have been a violation of federal law had Cohen used campaign funds to silence the women. However, he did not. Cohen used Trump’s own money, so there was no violation. Also, Trump consistently denies knowing about the payment at the time it was made, although he said he has since reimbursed Cohen for the money paid to Stormy Daniels.

Sordid? Yes. But the American people didn’t elect a saint. They elected a shaker, a mover, and a fighter.

“He made his fortune partly through wide-scale financial fraud.”

The headline of the linked story tells it all (emphasis mine): “Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father” In other words, we have no proof; we’re just guessing.

“He has refused to release his tax returns.”

So what? Last I looked, there was nothing in the Constitution or the federal statutes requiring someone to release his tax returns to prove his fitness for the presidency. Admittedly, there was no such thing as a tax return in 1783, but Congress could have amended the Constitution at any time after taxes became the bane of American life.

Producing tax returns has become a “thing” amongst presidential candidates in large part, I suspect, because they’re career politicians who’ve earned straight government salaries for decades. Producing tax returns is a reasonable way to prove that they weren’t augmenting their salaries with graft. Then, Hillary hit upon the idea of setting up a separate foundation for the graft, so her returns looked clean, thereby making ridiculous the whole exercise.

I applaud Trump for keeping a zone of privacy about himself. The last thing he needs is financially illiterate journalists and politicians leafing through his private financial information and drawing risible conclusions.

“He falsely accused his predecessor of wiretapping him.”

You can truthfully claim that Obama did not “wiretap” Trump if you’re a simplistic literalist and, by using the term wiretapping, you mean this:

However, if you understand that Trump meant that the Obama administration spied on him, Leonardt is the one who is lying. It’s all coming out now that, through fallacious applications to the FISA court, Obama’s security apparatus was able to obtain FISA warrants that were void from the get-go. Armed with those ill-gotten FISA warrants, Obama’s Deep Staters listened in on Trump and everyone connected to him.

If that doesn’t outrage you, you may have lost contact entirely with notions about free and fair elections, about the rule of law, about ethical law enforcement agencies, and about the clean and honest transfer of power in a republican democracy.

“He claimed that federal law-enforcement agents and prosecutors regularly fabricated evidence, thereby damaging the credibility of criminal investigations across the country.”

See the above. When it comes to actually supporting true law enforcement, nobody does it better than Trump. It was the Obama administration who, using Trayvon Martin and Ferguson as springboards, denigrated police across America and sparked a hot war between police and the people they try to keep safe. Trump calls out the bad actors with specificity, and throws his wholehearted support behind the myriad reputable, hard-working law-enforcement agents and prosecutors across America.

“He has ordered children to be physically separated from their parents.”

How heartless.  If only this wasn’t an Obama administration policy as well; if only illegal aliens crashing the border were not kidnapping children to claim as their own in order to get into the country; and if only men and children could be housed safely in a single detention facility.

This is one of those situations where there are tough choices that have to be made with the safety of the child in mind.  Crying about how heartless it is to separate the children is nothing but pure demagoguery that makes wonderful NYT press, but that actually endangers illegal alien children.

“He has suggested that America is no different from or better than Vladimir Putin’s Russia.”

This falls into the category of “How dare Trump repeat our talking points.” If you follow Leonhardt’s link, you’ll see that, when O’Reilly said Putin is a killer, Trump responded that America has killed. By making this statement, he perfectly parroted Progressive talking points about America being a warmongering destablizer around the world, a killer of black men within America, and an exploiter of brown people from its inception.

I also suspect that Trump was trolling Obama, the king of drone attacks that frequently targeted resulted in collateral civilian deaths.

“He has called America a ‘hellhole.’”

If you follow all the links to the LA Times to CBS, what you will find is a 2015 article where Trump did indeed refer to the America being created by Obama a “hell hole” and that Trump said he was thinking of running for the Presidency to “make America great again.”  A significant majority of the electoral college firmly agreed over a year later.

I also think Trump was again trolling the Democrats. If you’ve paid any attention to the Democrat presidential candidates this time around, you’ll see that they describe America in dystopian terms as an impoverished, violent, racist . . . hellhole. Trump long ago accepted the Democrats’ characterization of our once great nation and promised to reverse that damage.

If you like this post, please share it with others. That’s the only way this blog can grow.

The post On Trump, Progressives confused by irony and facts appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

Stephen Colbert echoes my claim that socialized medicine is like public school

As I did, Stephen Colbert analogizes socialized medicine to public school, but he misses that this analogy reveals how bad socialized medicine will be.

A little background: On Friday, Scott Adams did a podcast in which he inquired whether there had been any critiques of the hybrid healthcare plan some Dem candidates are putting forward, which would see Medicare for All with an opt-out provision. (And I don’t know about you, but I think it’s profoundly un-American when the government graciously gives you permission to buy a product that has always been sold freely on the open market. It’s just as bad as Obamacare’s mandate that one has to buy a product, whether or not one wants it.)

I decided Adams was correct and took it upon myself to address this hybrid idea. You can read my post here, but I’ll summarize briefly. I started by challenging socialized medicine by making the following points:

  • Healthcare is not a right.
  • Socialized medicine is a bad idea because we can’t afford it — and Europe afforded it as long as it did only because we paid for it.
  • Socialized medicine will inevitably bring about rationing, serious, “euthanasia is a good thing” rationing.

I then turned my attention to Adams’ specific question about the hybrid proposal of Medicare for All, which carves out an exception for those who wish to and are able to pay twice, once out of their taxes for a service they don’t use and once out of their pocket for private insurance. I explained that this will not work economically because, over the long run, those who are privately insured will be forced to underwrite drug and medical supply costs. That’s so because the companies that manufacture these medical necessities will be bullied into giving the government below-cost prices and will have to look elsewhere for profit. As private insurance costs rise, increasing numbers of privately insured people will be forced into the socialized system, the insurance companies will go under for lack of customers, and we’ll have only socialized medicine.

However, I said, before the insurance companies collapse, there’ll be a long, slow slide that will look remarkably like public schools. Quoting myself:

It takes time, of course, for the collapse I described to happen. What will happen first will play out like a medical version of public versus private schools — because when you think about it, what the so-called moderate candidates are calling for is the equivalent of public school, with a right (if you have the money) to opt out for private school.

America’s public schools are not healthy. They are modeled on Henry Ford’s assembly line because Progressives in days of yore admired that efficiency. Except the assembly line is broken and our schools do not turn out new, shiny, educated students. Instead, they turn out kids who are remarkably ill-informed and incapable. Moreover, while public schools were meant to be places free from political indoctrination, the militant, unionized, college-educated teachers in way too many schools look on those sweet young faces before them and think, “They’re so easy to indoctrinate when they’re young and malleable.”

In theory, people can opt out of public school. In fact, that’s not so easy. We’ve all paid for public schools through our taxes (property taxes for local schools, state taxes for school boards, and federal taxes to the Department of Education). If you’re not rich, having spent once for your child’s education, you’re not about to spend twice — so you end up sending your children to public schools, no matter that they’re gang ridden, that the teachers are incompetent, or that the facilities are broken down. As a product of San Francisco public schools, I know whereof I speak.

Even my kids’ affluent Marin County schools left a lot to be desired. I would have preferred sending them to Montessori, but having already paid many thousands in property taxes . . . well, my kids got factory educated. I’ve written reams about the fundamental problems with traditional public school education, so I won’t repeat it here. I’ll simply say that uneducated teachers (and that’s what so many are, even at the best public schools) and lousy teaching methods produce uneducated students.

What happens is inevitable: those with enough money put their kids in private school. In essence, they can afford to pay twice for their kids’ education — once through taxes, once through tuition. Pulling these kids out makes public education worse because the kids being pulled out are the ones whose parents are most committed to education, which means these are the students most likely to work hard and contribute to a classroom. It’s a brain drain. The inequality continues into college, as the private school children do better on tests on and essays, making them more attractive to colleges.

I wrote the above on September 16. On September 17, this colloquy occurred between Stephen Colbert and Elizabeth Warren (emphasis mine):

Colbert: You keep being asked in the debates: “How are you going to pay for it? Are you going to raise the middle-class taxes?” How are you going to pay for it? Are you going to raise the middle-class taxes?

Warren: So, here’s how we’re going to do this: Costs are going to go up for the wealthiest Americans, for big corporations.

Colbert: Taxes is what you mean by costs?

Warren: Yeah, and hard-working middle-class families are going to see their costs go down.

Colbert: But will their taxes go up?

Warren: But, here’s the thing—

Colbert: But, here’s the thing. I’ve listened to these answers a few times before and I just want to make a parallel suggestion for you about how you might defend the taxes that perhaps you’re not mentioning in your sentence… Isn’t Medicare-for-all like public school? There might be taxes for it, but you certainly save a lot of money on sending your kids to school and do you want to live in a world where kids aren’t educated? Do you want to live in a world where your fellow citizens are dying, even if it costs a little bit of money?

Warren: So, I accept your point and I believe in your point. Health care is a basic human right. We fight for basic human rights, and that’s Medicare-for-all. Everyone gets covered.

Of course, Colbert is totally wrong with his public school analogy, while I am not wrong about mine. For one thing, what Warren is demanding isn’t the two-tiered private system that allows people to opt out, even if it means paying twice, something that works with my public school analogy. If Warren were proposing schools instead of healthcare, she’s demanding a world in which public school is mandatory. I don’t think Colbert would like that because I suspect, although I could not find proof, that his children probably attend[ed] private schools. It’s the rare famous person who’s willing to risk his precious children’s educations in the public school district, even if the district offers good schools.

Colbert’s claim about socialized medicine being a public benefit like paying for public school is also wrong. To understand this, it helps to view public benefits as a a hierarchy. At the top of the hierarchy are things such as the military. First, the military is in the Constitution, which makes it a federal obligation on all citizens. Second, a country’s defense cannot reasonably depend on a multitude of private contractors, making the public option the only option. Third, a nation needs national defense. It is a necessity for a country and therefore reasonable for everyone to pay into it.

Next on the hierarchy might be public schools, but they’re not like the military. First, as I forgot to mention in my prior post, they’re not a federal responsibility because they’re not mentioned in the constitution. Despite the federal Department of Education, public schooling in America has always been a local matter, for which states and smaller government entities are responsible.

Second, American school systems have always functioned alongside private school systems. Moreover, parents never needed permission from the government to opt-out of public school, an obscenity that the hybrid Medicare for All proponents seem to be suggesting. Warren and Bernie are even worse: if they were messing about with education, they’d demand the instant closure of all public schools.

Third, private schools are not forced to subsidize public schools when it comes to supplies. As I noted about drugs and other medical supplies, private insurance companies and their insureds will be forced to subsidize the third parties who must take a loss in order to work with the government.

Fourth, when America was a nation of legal immigrants who all agreed ought to be melted into the cultural pot, public school homogenized immigrant children by ensuring that young people absorbed the same pro-American values. Nowadays, public schools teach kids to hate our history, hate our institutions, hate our country, and hate each other. I don’t see a public benefit to that.

Fifth, too many American public schools stink, especially in poor and minority communities, and that’s true no matter how much funding they get. Is that really an analogy you want to make if you’re advocating for Medicare for All?

At the bottom of the hierarchy of public goods you’ll find socialized medicine. I’m not going to repeat all my arguments about socialized medicine. You can read my other post for them. I just want to talk about the “public benefit” issue.

The military provides a clear public benefit. Public schools, provided they are able to fulfill their mission, arguably provide a public benefit by ensuring minimal literacy in a post-industrial nation. But what public benefit does socialized medicine provide?

I’ll let Dan Bongino explain (and the “he” to whom Bongino refers is Bernie who, like Warren, wants full socialized medicine):

I guess my point is that, while I found amusing and blogworthy the fact that Colbert echoed my public school analogy, he did it in a way with which I totally disagree. Public education in America — locally managed and funded, and arguably created at least a marginally educated populace — is not the same as paying for the illness your neighbor suffers from long years of abusing his body with unhealthy food and dangerous behaviors. It’s just not. That’s true whether you make the analogy in the context of fully socialized medicine, as Warren and Bernie want, or some weird hybrid, as the other candidates purport to want (knowing that it will inevitably destroy private insurance).

One more random point I’ve been meaning to make about Warren: I know she’s rising in the polls, but will black and hispanic voters really warm up to a scolding, old white woman who made her millions by lying about her ethnicity in order to steal an academic position from another minority candidate? I mean, we always speak in terms of her offending Native Americans, but the reality is that, if Harvard and the University of Pennsylvania were trolling for minorities to increase diversity, they might also have chosen a black or Hispanic woman if Warren hadn’t lied.

The post Stephen Colbert echoes my claim that socialized medicine is like public school appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

Democrats’ Perfectly Clear Formulaic Non-Answer

When you hear a Democrat presidential candidate say “Let me make this perfectly clear” . . . you are about to hear a lie at worst, a non-answer at best.

Elizabeth Warren in particular, but several of the proggies on stage last night, all exhibited the same verbal tic.  When they were about to lie by omission or refuse to answer a question, they began their response with some variant of “Let me make this perfectly clear . . .”  What followed was clearly NOT an answer to whatever question was asked.  The formula was to follow “Let me make this perfectly clear” with some sort of re-direction — often several meaningless personal anecdotes — then the big, flourishing, holier-than-evil-conservatives and bad-orange-man finish.

Exhibit one:  Sitting Bull, when asked whether she will admit her health care plan will drive up middle class taxes:

WARREN: So, let’s be clear about health care. And let’s actually start where [the] vice president did. We all owe a huge debt to President Obama, who fundamentally transformed health care in America and committed this country to health care for every human being.

(APPLAUSE)

And now the question is, how best can we improve on it? And I believe the best way we can do that is we make sure that everybody gets covered by health care at the lowest possible cost. How do we pay for it? We pay for it, those at the very top, the richest individuals and the biggest corporations, are going to pay more. And middle-class families are going to pay less. That’s how this is going to work.

So are taxes going up for the middle class under a Lieawatha plan?  It’s not hard to read the smoke signals on this one.  An honest answer would, of course, have been a simple “yes.”  Or if she actually believed that cost savings on health care would be greater than any tax increase, she could simply say that.  Clearly, Fauxcohauntus says neither.  Stephanopoulos, to his credit, pointed that out and gave her a second bite at the apple, but the only thing she made “clear” in her second opportunity to answer the question was that she was using unique mathematical equations to imply middle class savings:

WARREN: Look, what families have to deal with is cost, total cost. That’s what they have to deal with. And understand, families are paying for their health care today. Families pay every time an insurance company says, “Sorry, you can’t see that specialist.” Every time an insurance company says, “Sorry, that doctor is out of network. Sorry, we are not covering that prescription.

Families are paying every time they don’t get a prescription filled because they can’t pay for it. They don’t have a lump checked out because they can’t afford the co-pay. What we’re talking about here is what’s going to happen in families’ pockets, what’s going to happen in their budgets.

And the answer is on Medicare-for-all, costs are going to go up for wealthier individuals and costs are going to go up for giant corporations. But for hard-working families across this country, costs are going to go down and that’s how it should work under Medicare-for-all in our health care system.

Exhibit 2:  Still on the same issue.  Biden points out the reality of Warren’s plan yet again, and again Stephanopoulos asks her about the numbers.

BIDEN:  . . . The senator said before, it’s going to cost you in your pay — there will be a deductible, in your paycheck. You’re going to — the middle class person, someone making 60 grand with three kids, they’re going to end up paying $5,000 more. They’re going to end up paying 4 percent more on their income tax. That’s a reality. Now, it’s not a bad idea if you like it. I don’t like it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay, now I want everybody to keep to the time, but you did invoke both senators. I have to get responses from them . . . and then we will broaden it out.  Senator Warren, you go first.

WARREN: So, let’s be clear, I’ve actually never met anybody who likes their health insurance company. . . .  I’ve met people who like their doctors. I’ve met people who like their nurses. I’ve met people who like their pharmacists. I’ve met people who like their physical therapists. What they want is access to health care. And we just need to be clear about what Medicare-for-all is all about.

Instead of paying premiums into insurance companies and then having insurance companies build their profits by saying no to coverage, we’re going to do this by saying, everyone is covered by Medicare-for-all, every health care provider is covered. And the only question here in terms of difference is where to send the bill? . . .

Exhibit 3:  Paleface Who Speaks With Forked Tongue was clearly the worst of the bunch.  But Bernie the Red’s “clear” answers weren’t that far behind, as he demonstrates when given the chance to admit to those numbers Biden had just raised:

SANDERS: Let us be clear, Joe, in the United States of America, we are spending twice as much per capita on health care as the Canadians or any other major country on earth.

BIDEN: This is America.

SANDERS: Yes, but Americans don’t want to pay twice as much as other countries. And they guarantee health care to all people. Under my Medicare-for-all proposal, when you don’t pay out-of-pocket and you don’t pay premiums, maybe you’ve run into people who love their premiums, I haven’t.

What people want is cost-effective health care, Medicare-for-all will save the average American substantial sums of money on his or her health care bill.

Exhibit 4 is Bernie again, this time trying clearly not to admit that Venezuela is socialist, and that any government with enough power to impose socialism is one with enough power to become dictatorial and tyrannical.

RAMOS [addressing Bernie the Red]:  You haven’t been asked about Latin America in the previous debates, so let’s begin. Senator Sanders, one country where many immigrants are arriving from is Venezuela. A recent U.N. fact-finding mission found that thousands have been disappeared, tortured and killed by government forces in Venezuela.  You admit that Venezuela does not have free elections, but still you refuse to call Nicolas Maduro a dictator — a dictator. Can you explain why?  . . .

SANDERS: Well, first of all, let me be very clear. Anybody who does what Maduro does is a vicious tyrant. What we need now is international and regional cooperation for free elections in Venezuela so that the people of that country can make — can create their own future. . . .

Then it was the turn of the only true brown-noser on stage, Kamala Harris, to be clear:

DAVIS: Also a concern for people of color is criminal justice reform.  Senator Harris, you released your plan for that just this week. And it does contradict some of your prior positions. Among them, you used to oppose the legalization of marijuana; now you don’t. You used to oppose outside investigations of police shootings; now you don’t. You’ve said that you changed on these and other things because you were, quote, “swimming against the current, and thankfully the currents have changed.”  But when you had the power, why didn’t you try to effect change then?

HARRIS: So, there have been — there have been — I’m glad you asked me this question, and there have been many distortions of my record.

Let me be very clear. I made a decision to become a prosecutor for two reasons. One, I’ve always wanted to protect people and keep them safe. And second, I was born knowing about how this criminal justice system in America has worked in a way that has been informed by racial bias. And I could tell you extensively about the experiences I and my family members have personally had. But I made a decision that, if I was going to have the ability to reform the system, I would try to do it from the inside. . . .

I won’t bother with the rest of her response.  Suffice it to say her record “from the inside” was one of prosecutorial zealotry and misconduct for which she deserved to be disbarred.

At any rate, this is far from the only progressive verbal jiujitsu you will see from our modern left.  The other you will inevitably see is when you hear a progressive claim that someone is “weaponizing” something against them.  What that means is that a conservative has raised a completely valid issue and the proggie can only defend by saying the conservative is evil for even raising the issue, thus making of the proggie the morally superior victim.  It is clearly as intellectually a dishonest argument as you will ever hear raised.

The post Democrats’ Perfectly Clear Formulaic Non-Answer appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

No. 16 Bookworm Podcast: With Trump, stop listening and start paying attention

If listening to Trump irks you, stop listening and start focusing on his accomplishments. Then do the same for the Dem candidates. Then vote for Trump.

(If you prefer listening over reading, the companion podcast to this post is embedded below, or you can listen to it at Libsyn or at Apple podcasts. I’m trying to make a go of my podcasting so, if you like the podcasts, please share them with your friends and on social media. Giving my podcast good ratings helps too.)

When I’m bored, I watch video compilations showing how to do things better. Each video has 20-30 clips showing clever tricks for doing anything better (cleaning, packing, cooking, etc.). The videos are “show and tell,” without narration, but with a music soundtrack. These soundtracks are always horrible.

This video, viewed over 270,000,000 times, shows both the useful information and the horrible music:

The bad music doesn’t make me avoid the content. Instead, I mute the music.

There’s a point to his seemingly irrelevant anecdote: When NeverTrumpers start wittering on about about Trump’s latest bombastic tweet or speech, or another act of boastful puffery, I want to tell them to do as I do with my life-hacking videos: Turn off the sound and just focus on the content — the content, in this case, being his achievements in office.

It occurred to me that this would be an interesting test to apply as well to the top Democrat candidates, each of whom functions at three different levels: (1) Promises to the base; (2) personal style; and (3) actual accomplishments.

When it comes to promises to the base, the Dems are almost indistinguishable:

  • Free health care for everyone, including illegal aliens who will be let into the country without barrier and allowed to stay without limits;
  • Seizing all privately held guns;
  • Creating policies that ignore that human biology, absent statistically insignificant aberrations, divides humans into two sexes, male and female;
  • Ceding control over foreign policy, national security, and trade to international organizations (i.e., NATO and the UN);
  • Allowing China to continue using unfair, illegal trade practices to drain the world’s wealth into its coffers;
  • Bowing before the Iranian mullahs;
  • Treating totalitarian, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, blood-thirsty Palestinians as equal negotiating partners with the Israelis who have a full and free democracy; and
  • Using energy policy to roll us back to a pre-modern time without planes, trains, and automobiles, as well as without lights, heat, air-conditioning, computers, stable food supplies, clean water, and anything else that relies on a stable, abundant supply of energy.

(Andrew Yang’s proposed universal income and Tulsi’s slight differences on the border and abortion do not detract from the core Leftism of their policies. Also, on Israel, the candidates have been all over the board, but they seem to have coalesced around the realization that the base is hostile to Israel.)

On style points, what can I say? It’s always personal.

I personally find unappealing Kamala’s nasal, bored affect; Warren’s scolding schoolmarm; Bernie’s spit-flecked New York-accented hectoring; Booker’s Spartawuss self-righteousness; Tulsi’s flat, loud drone; Buttigieg’s precocious little boy; Klobuchar’s “Mother knows best ” vibe; Robert Francis O’Rourke’s shrill adolescent hipster act; Yang’s tech-savvy, hip Asian dude cutesiness; Williamson’s New Age, crystal-clutching love bombing; and, of course, Biden’s “confused old man yelling at the clouds” dementia.

Here’s the thing, though, about both personality and campaign promises: What we hear is unrelated to what is. As with those life hack videos, the auditory input is noise that disrupts our brain, obscuring our ability to see what’s going on. With this post, I’m asking you to try to look at the Democrat candidates and Donald Trump with the noise turned off. Look, instead, at the high (and low) points of who they are and what they’ve actually done or tried to do.

At the end of this post, you can see the full bullet-point lists I made giving bios for each candidate, followed by their significant accomplishments and failures. I made the lists the lazy way, relying almost entirely on information culled from Wikipedia, which tends to be Democrat friendly. For purposes of the body of this post, here’s a super-brief summary of the candidates’ highs and lows, again without the background noise of promises and personas:

Joe Biden was a marginal student, haunted by a plagiarism charge in law school; he had minimal private sector legal experience; he spent 44 years in D.C. (36 in the Senate and 8 as Veep); he ran twice for president, with plagiarism again a problem. While in D.C., he opposed federal busing; helped pass a crime law that stripped men from black communities; borked Robert Bork and hi-tech lynched Clarence Thomas; banned “assault weapons”; flipped and flopped on war; and opposed the Surge but supported the total withdrawal from Iraq that led to ISIS. He’s also way too handsy and sniffy with little girls and grown women.

Elizabeth Warren was a decent student who ended up as a career legal academic, first in Houston, then in Austin, then Pennsylvania, and finally at Harvard. It’s believed she achieved her last two gigs because she claimed, falsely, to be Native American. I had her for banking law during her Austin years and hated her, finding her confusing and dishonest.

Warren gained fame for two studies, the first pointing out the obvious, which is that good schools raise housing prices, causing people to incur high debt loads, and the second, using shoddy research methods, making inflated claims about medical bankruptcies.

In addition to a high Harvard lecturer salary (combined with a low workload), she made many millions flipping foreclosed houses and advising corporations on legal matters that might not be too popular with her base, such as working for Dow Chemical on breast implant cases to limit its liability to women. Overnight, though, she turned into a fiery Leftists SJW. In addition to becoming famous for her pronouncements, her single concrete accomplishment in politics was to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency given the task of overseeing the American financial sector without itself being overseen or answerable to any of the three constitutional branches of government.

Bernie Sanders is now and always has been a professional communist. He lives and breathes communism. Unlike today’s millennials, who don’t remember the Cold War and who learn nothing in college, he has no excuse for celebrating communism, for he saw played out in real time how communism killed approximately 100 million people around the world, and brought hunger and terror to countless others. He’s held political office since 1981. During that time, he putzed around in a small Vermont town and then made speeches in the House and Senate. He was once pro-gun but is no longer. He is technically Jewish, but is hostile to Israel and recently accepted an endorsement from Linda Sarsour, an open anti-Semite. He dreams of bringing every aspect of American lives under the government’s — that is, Bernie’s — total control.

Kamala Harris was raised in an extremely affluent household (and, like Obama, raised for many years outside of the U.S.). A lawyer, she got her political start in the bed of California House Speaker Willie Brown, effectively sleeping her way to the middle. She was elected as San Francisco’s District Attorney and then as California’s Attorney General. She was often hard on crime, which ought to be an honorable thing but, in today’s world, is a record that she’s trying to bury. She also was involved in several ethics scandals and Tulsi rightly accused her of violating prisoners’ rights and condoning unconstitutional prosecutorial misconduct. As Senator, she’s done nothing but oppose Trump.

Cory Booker has born the burden of being a light-skinned black(ish) man, from an affluent background, when all he’s always wanted was to be is a dark-skinned black man from the mean streets. He’s hyper-educated, having attended Stanford (a B.A. and an M.A.), Oxford (on a Rhodes scholarship), and Yale (J.D.). He got off to a good start as mayor of Newark, slightly lowering crime in his first two years, but that didn’t last. Corruption dogged his administration, especially with the $100 million Mark Zuckerberg gave the city for education reform. The money benefited everyone but Newark kids. Once in the Senate, Booker worked on gay rights initiatives, was pro-Israel, wanted tougher sanctions against Iran, and, during the Kavanaugh hearings, called himself Spartacus for publishing documents that the Republicans had already produced. He also thinks we should all be vegans.

Pete Buttigieg is gay, married, hyper-educated, and portrays himself as an expert on “woke” Christianity (not to be confused with textual Christianity). He attended Harvard and Oxford. He joined the Naval Reserves (good for him) and spent 7 months in Afghanistan, mostly working as a driver in a dangerous region. (Since he’s multilingual and was in naval intelligence, I assume the driving gig utilized his language skills.) He’s in his second term as mayor of South Bend, one of America’s most crime-ridden mid-sized cities. In that role, he incurred $800,000 in settlement costs connected with firing the city’s first black police chief; repaired or demolished 1,000 blighted properties; and started a nightly laser light display.

Julian Castro comes from a radical household, for his mother co-founded La Raza. He attended Stanford, admitting that he was an affirmative action admission. He then got a degree from Harvard law. He spent the next few years alternating between local San Antonio politics and running a small private law practice. He eventually became San Antonio’s mayor, which was a springboard to becoming Obama’s HUD secretary. In San Antonio, he created “a community wide visioning effort” and used increased sales taxes to expand pre-K education. As HUD secretary, he claims to have stabilized the housing market, helped after community disasters, and worked on lead safety in government housing.

Amy Klobuchar got a B.A. from Yale and a J.D. from the University of Chicago, after which she worked as a corporate lawyer before going into local politics. She’s been in the U.S. Senate since 2006. She has her name on lots of successful bills, primarily (it seems) because she attaches herself like a leech to anodyne causes that offend no one. She was recently outed as an exceptionally abusive boss. Her public vibe is “Mother knows best.” Her private behavior is “Mommie Dearest.”

Robert Francis O’Rourke is a rich, college-educated slacker who bummed around for years, married a billionaire’s daughter, and used a stint on the El Paso City Council to get elected to the House of Representatives. He made his name nationally by running unsuccessfully for Ted Cruz’s Senate seat. While in the House, he focused on making the southern border more efficient (better trained officers, lower waiting times). When Israel was under attack by Hamas, he refused to support funding for the Iron Dome defense system, saying that American had been cruel to Israel by being kind, so he was going to be kind by being cruel . . . or something.

Andrew Yang is the child of a wealthy Taiwanese immigrant household who went to a very chi-chi boarding school and then got a B.A. from Brown and a J.D. from Columbia. He worked as a lawyer and test prep instructor being founding a start up aimed at funding entrepreneurs whom his company located by trolling colleges for top graduates. He claims to be good at math.

Tulsi Gabbard has a B.S. in Business. She got elected to Hawaii’s legislature and, while there, joined the Army National Guard. She was called up and spent a year in Iraq as a specialist for a medical company. Apparently it agreed with her, because she attended Officer Candidate School, graduating with honors. As a second lieutenant, she became a military police officer. She served in Kuwait, training the Kuwait National Guard, and currently holds the rank of major. On the home front, after rising through Hawaii politics, she was elected to the U.S. House. She has worked on successful bills to improve airport screenings for handicapped vets and to give Congressional medals of honor to Filipino and Filipino-American WWII vets. She’s tried to return elections to paper ballots. She shows occasional strong common sense (paper ballots, no third trimester elections, better border security), but is mostly a toe-the-line Leftist.

Marianne Williamson is a college drop-out who made her name as a New Age guru, writing books, lecturing, and ministering. She created an organization, with which she is no longer associated, that brought food to HIV/AIDS patients in L.A. She also created the Global Renaissance Alliance, an initiative to organize worldwide “citizen salons” to pray for peace and Leftist causes. She recently made news for her insight that conservatives are nice people compared to Leftists.

Donald Trump . . . where to begin? He was a phenomenally popular businessman who took the golden spoon he was born with and turned it into a diamond-encrusted platinum spoon. He made himself and his persona one of his best and most popular products; built high-end properties all over the world; created a reputation for getting projects done on time and under budget; was famous in the New York construction world for giving women and minorities prominent positions on projects; has always fought to win; used bankruptcy strategically, in a way that harmed creditors, but greatly increased his wealth; and created the most popular reality show in TV history – to name just a few things.

Without any political experience, he left every politically experienced Republican competitor in the dust and mowed over the woman that America’s powerful Leftist institutions had anointed as president. Once in office, he set about keeping his promises, from super-charging the economy, to trying to control illegal immigration, to wiping out ISIS on the battlefield, to criminal justice reform, to supporting Israel, to reining in China, supporting the Second Amendment, and more. You really need to check out the Trump laundry lists at the bottom of this post.

Seen this way, have turned off the noise, and promises, and personality quirks, none of the Democrats can hold a candle to Trump. Except for Andrew Yang and Marianne Williamson, neither of whom has ever held office, all that most of the Democrats have done is to run for and hold office. Their job histories are pathetic, their military service limited (although still respectable), and their records of accomplishments as politicians are scanty.

The only two who actually did accomplish some things over the years are Biden and Harris, and they’re either running from those records (e.g., Biden for supporting the Iraq War; Harris for being tough on crime) or they would be running from the records if they had any decency (e.g., Biden who invented “borking” and the politicization of the Supreme Court; Harris presiding over grossly unconstitutional prosecutorial misconduct).

Trump, for all his boasting and bombast, his wheeling and dealing as a developer, his bankruptcies and phoenix-like recoveries, is a man of tremendous accomplishments. Before he was president, he did things: he managed budgets, met deadlines, negotiated deals, entertained people, and created vast amounts of wealth for himself and others. Since he’s been president, as I noted in brief above and spelled out at greater length below, he’s supercharged the economy; worked to secure our borders; bolstered our allies; worked to undercut China’s economic, national security, and technological attacks on America; supported the Second Amendment, and generally been the most successful conservative president in American history.

If you’re an ostensibly conservative but allow his personality to blind you to his accomplishments, please admit that you’re not really a conservative. And if your hatred of Trump leads you to throw your weight to that bunch of nonentities cluttering Democrat primary ballots, just own up to the fact that you’re a Leftist.

As for those people who are not very politically engaged, I suggest you go with a proven winner. Looked at objectively, without the noise and the personality parade, the Dem candidates are, as I said nonentities, as well as being hypocrites and largely ineffectual politicians. Moreover, I would argue that, in Bernie’s case, he is a genuinely evil man who managed to live through the Cold War without ever acknowledging the 100 million or so deaths communism caused in his lifetime. That’s evil. The others are just various shades of Red with the front-runners – Biden, Harris, and Warren – invariably behaving in ways inconsistent with the policies they wish to foist on the rest of us.



ADDENDUM: CANDIDATE INFORMATION

Joe Biden’s quickie bio:

  • Graduated from college with a BA in history and poly sci.
  • Was accused of plagiarism at Syracuse University Law School.
  • Practiced law briefly as a public defender and then went into private practice.
  • Won his first local political office, for county councilor, one year after graduating from law school, while continuing his private practice.
  • Four years after graduating from law school, through a series of flukes, he become a U.S. Senator for Delaware. He spent the next 36 years in the Senate, leaving only when Obama needed a Veep who wouldn’t threaten him.
  • Ran unsuccessfully for president in 1988 and 2008. His 1988 campaign was damaged when he plagiarized a British politician’s speech.

What Joe Biden has accomplished or failed to accomplish:

  • Opposed federal busing legislation.
  • Helped pass the Comprehensive Crime Control Act, which saw large numbers of black men imprisoned.
  • Sought arms control during the Cold War.
  • Took the lead in borking Robert Bork and hi-tech lynching Clarence Thomas.
  • Spearheaded the 1994 “Assault Weapons Ban”.
  • While on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee took the lead in ceding American power to international organizations such as NATO and the UN.
  • Supporter bombing the Balkans.
  • Opposed the first Gulf War.
  • Supported initiating both the Second Gulf War and the war in Afghanistan before turning against the former, to the point at which he opposed the successful Surge, after which he supported the devastating total withdrawal that paved the way for ISIS.
  • Took the lead on the Violence Against Women Act, giving federal civil remedies to women on the receiving end of gender-motivated crime. Biden considers it “the single most significant legislation that I’ve crafted during my 35-year tenure in the Senate.” Fortunately for Biden, the act did not cover pawing or nuzzling women and little girls.

Elizabeth Warren’s quickie bio:

  • Grew up as a financially insecure middle-class white girl in Oklahoma.
  • Got a B.S. degree from the University of Houston in speech pathology and audiology.
  • Attended Rutgers Law School, and did it while raising one child and pregnant with another, something that deserves kudos.
  • Lecturer at Rutgers Law School.
  • Associate Dean at the University of Houston Law Center.
  • Professor at the University of Texas School of Law, which is where I admit to my bias against her: I took Warren for banking law. While I’d admit that I was a slightly clueless student, she was a horrible teacher. She never finished one thought before going on to the next one. She also did something I’ve always found unforgivable, which was lying about what would be on the test. I earned a decent grade in the class, so this is not sour grapes on my part. I just genuinely dislike her.
  • Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
  • Professor at Harvard Law School, which was under the mistaken impression that it was hiring a Native American woman — something it did because she formally identified as a native American woman.

What Warren has accomplished or failed to accomplish:

  • Irked Native Americans by stealing their identity for professional advancement.
  • Made her fame with the insight that middle-class people bought expensive houses to be in good school districts, overextending their finances and driving up housing prices. This was the same type of brilliant scholarship that, back in the 1970s, saw impressive academic articles saying mother’s milk is good for children or the sun rises in the east.
  • Due to shoddy research methods, drastically overstated the connection between personal bankruptcies and medical costs.
  • Despite her anti-rich rhetoric is a mult-millionaire, having made much of her money teaching minimal classes, flipping foreclosed houses, and giving expensive advice to corporations.
  • Took the lead on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency intended to govern the entire American financial sector without any oversight from any of the constitutional branches of government.
  • Became both famous and infamous for assuring Americans that anyone who made it did so only because of socialist government programs and had a duty to yield to government demands that it return a chunk of that money to the system.
  • Introduced an unsuccessful bill that would have forced banks to give students the same lending rate that the banks paid to the federal government for use of those funds.
  • On a lot of committees, makes a lot of speeches, raised a lot of money, but other than the CFPB, has not accomplished anything while in government.

Bernie Sanders’s quickie bio:

  • Graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in poly sci.
  • Went straight to communism while in college and never left it.
  • Had short stints in the late 1960s as a Head Start teacher, psychiatric aide, and carpenter.
  • Entered politics in the early 1970s, trying to become a Vermont governor or U.S. Senator on behalf of the “Liberty Union” anti-war party.
  • Honeymooned in Moscow at the height of the Cold War.
  • Became mayor of Burlington, Vermont, from 1981 to 1989.
  • Served in the House of Representatives from 1991 to 2007.
  • Served in the Senate from 2007 through to the present.
  • Is a millionaire, thanks to book sales, and he and his wife own three houses.

What Bernie has accomplished or failed to accomplish:

  • Used his platform as the mayor of a small town in Vermont to opine on U.S. foreign policy in Latin America.
  • Hosted a Noam Chomskey speech in Burlington.
  • Reduced cable TV rates.
  • Improved Burlington’s Lake Champlain waterfront.
  • Collaborated with 30 Vermont musicians to record a folk album.
  • In 1987, U.S. News and World Report ranked him as one of America’s best mayors. The potted Wikipedia bio makes it unclear if Burlington did well because of or in spite of Bernie.
  • Opposed the Brady Bill and, indeed, was generally against gun control until he recently became for gun control.
  • Voted for the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act that removed so many men from America’s black communities.
  • Opposed the Patriot Act.
  • Voted against both the first and second Iraq Wars.
  • The he sponsored two successful bills while in the House: one to designate a postal building and other for a veterans’ compensation cost adjustment.
  • He is hostile to Israel, although many of his relatives died in the Holocaust, and just accepted the endorsement of Linda Sarsour, an open anti-Semite.

Kamala Harris’s quickie bio:

  • Born into an upper-middle-class family. Like Barack Obama, while she is partially black, hers is not the American black experience.
  • Lived and was educated in Quebec during her middle and high school years.
  • Attended Howard University, receiving a BA in poly sci and econ.
  • Got her J.D. from UC Hastings in San Francisco.
  • Worked as a deputy DA in Alameda County, specializing in child abuse cases.
  • Started in politics when her boyfriend Willie Brown, then the California Assembly Speaker, threw two political sinecures her way, netting her large salaries for little work. I like to say that she’s the politician who slept her way to the middle.
  • Became an Assistant DA in San Francisco, quitting eight months later because of personnel problems in the office.
  • Returned to City Hall, this time running the Family and Children’s Services Division in the City Attorney’s Office.
  • Successfully ran for City Attorney, although she was found guilty of violating an agreed-upon campaign spending limit of $211,000 by nearly $100,000. Kamala eventually spent almost $625,000 to win the election.
  • Re-elected when she ran unopposed.
  • Elected as California State Attorney General.
  • Elected as a US Senator.

What Kamala has accomplished or failed to accomplish:

  • Refused to seek the death penalty when a police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty, infuriating the entire police department and (of all people) Dianne Feinstein.
  • During her tenure as San Francisco’s District Attorney, the felony conviction rate rose significantly. She’s trying now to run from this record, especially because, as Tulsi Gabbard pointed out, her office engaged in criminally unconstitutional prosecutorial conduct.
  • Worked to prevent hate crimes against LGBT children in San Francisco and supported same-sex marriage.
  • Successfully introduced a Homeowners’ Bill of Rights in the California legislature.
  • At Loretta Lynch’s urging, brought criminal charges against pro-Life activists who used secret recordings exposing the fact that Planned Parenthood outlets were illegally selling fetal body parts.
  • Argued against changes to address overcrowding in the California prison system, overcrowding so severe that the US Supreme Court called it cruel and unusual punishment. Was accused of using prisoners as slave labor, especially for fighting wildfires.
  • Opposed sex reassignment surgery for a mentally ill man in prison, a sensible stand but one that has offended many in the LGBT community.
  • Since entering the Senate, she’s opposed Trump and run for president.

Cory Booker’s quickie bio:

  • Born into an upper-middle-class Newark family.
  • Attended Stanford, receiving a BA in poly sci and an MA in sociology.
  • Awarded a Rhodes Scholar and studied U.S. history at Oxford, earning an honors degree.
  • Obtained a J.D. from Yale Law.
  • After graduating from law school, worked for less than a year in two left-leaning pro bona legal organizations.
  • Within a year of graduating from law school, won a seat on the Municipal Council of Newark.
  • After four years on the Municipal Council ran for mayor of Newark.
  • Four years later, in 2010, ran for reelection as mayor of Newark and won again.
  • Cut short his mayoral career to enter the U.S. Senate, via a victory he won in a special election in 2013, after incumbent Frank Lautenberg died unexpectedly.
  • In 2014, won the senatorial seat in the regular election.
  • Is now running for president.

What Booker has accomplished or failed to accomplish:

  • Crime dropped during his first two years as mayor, but rose significantly thereafter.
  • Trimmed the city budget a little.
  • Talked Mark Zuckerberg into giving $100 million to the Newark public school system. A Leftist authoried book, The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools?, revealed that graft and waste ate through the money with minimal benefits for students.
  • During his second term, Booker helped get a woman out of a burning house.
  • During his mayoralty, the Newark Watershed, which supplies water to municipalities in northern New Jersey was found to be corrupt.
  • In Congress, co-sponsored the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would primarily have benefited the LGBT community.
  • Co-sponsored Bob Menendez’s failed Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013, calling for tougher sanctions against Iran.
  • Co-sponsored the Respect for Marriage Act, a failed initiative to recognize same-sex marriage.
  • Pledged to oppose all of Donald Trump’s nominees for administrative jobs, without regard to their qualifications, just because…
  • Co-sponsored an unsuccessful act making it a federal crime to boycott Israel if protesting actions by the Israeli government.
  • Sought to legalize marijuana at the federal level.
  • Called himself Spartacus for publishing documents that had already been produced to the public.

Pete Buttigieg’s quickie bio:

  • Gay and married.
  • Considers himself a scholar of woke Christianity.
  • Attended Harvard and received a BA in history and literature.
  • Got a Rhodes scholarship, which led him to a First Class BA degree from Oxford in philosophy, politics, and economics.
  • Worked as an intern at a local TV news station.
  • Before heading to Oxford, worked as a “conference director” for former Defense Secretary William Cohen.
  • Became an ensign in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Spent 7 months in Afghanistan as a naval intelligence officer, although a lot of his work was driving people around (albeit in neighborhoods as dangerous as inner city South Bend or Chicago).
  • Became mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and is now in his second term.

What Buttigieg has accomplished or failed to accomplish:

  • Demoted South Bend’s first black police chief and then reappointed him. These and other personnel decision cost the already cash-strapped city $800,000 in out-of-court settlements.
  • Successfully repaired or demolished 1,000 blighted properties in South Bend.
  • Led the initiative to fix traffic in South Bend.
  • Led the initiative to have a nightly laser light display in South Bend.
  • South Bend, incidentally, is one of America’s most dangerous cities, a situation that has not improved on Mayor Pete’s beat.

Julián Castro’s quickie bio:

  • Son of one of the founders of La Raza.
  • Attended Stanford, receiving a BA in poly sci and communications. Admitted that he got in due to affirmative action.
  • Attended Harvard Law.
  • Worked for a major Democrat donor law firm after graduation.
  • Within one year of graduation from law school, elected to the San Antonio City Council.
  • Ran for mayor four years later and, when he lost, set up his own law practice.
  • Ran for mayor again four years later and won the election.
  • During the Obama administration, became Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

What Castro has accomplished or failed to accomplish:

  • Created SA 2020, “a community-wide visioning effort.”.
  • Expanded San Antonio pre-K education through a sales tax increase.
  • Delivered a keynote address at the DNC convention in 2012.
  • In a memo he wrote when he left HUD, he identified his own accomplishments as stabilizing the housing market, rebuilding communities hurt by national disasters (helped with $1 billion in taxpayer funds), and helping to further lead safety protections in government housing.

Amy Klobuchar’s quickie bio:

  • Received a BA in poly sci from Yale.
  • Attended the University of Chicago Law School, and was on the Law Review.
  • Worked as a corporate lawyer in Minnesota for thirteen years before getting elected as Hennepin County attorney, a position to which she was reelected.
  • Elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006 and reelected in 2012 and 2018.

What Klobuchar has accomplished or failed to accomplish:

  • According to a 2016 “Medill on the Hill” article, in the previous two years, Klobuchar passed the most bills that became laws. None of them seem to have been important laws. Without reading more, I get the feeling that she attached herself to easy issues.
  • Fully supported Russiagate.
  • Was exposed as the boss from Hell who abused and humiliated her employees, resulting in the highest staff turnover in Congress.

Robert Francis O’Rourke’s quickie bio:

  • Comes from a rich, connected El Paso, Texas, family.
  • As a teenager, belonged to a computer hacker group called Cult of the Dead Cow, which resulted in his engaging in felonious conduct. He also wrote creepy things for the group about sex and violence.
  • Attended Columbia University, earning a BA in English lit.
  • Was arrested when he was 23 for trespassing at a University of Texas El Paso physical plant.
  • Was arrested when he was 26 for drunk driving. The arrest occurred after he hit another car and then tried to flee the scene.
  • Tried to be a rock musician.
  • Worked as a live-in caretaker and art mover, before his uncle hired him to work as the uncle’s internet service provider.
  • Worked as a proofreader.
  • Worked at his mom’s furniture store while living in an apartment building his father owned.
  • Opened an internet services and software company using a loan his father took out for him. His mom was his first client.
  • In 2005, married a billionaire’s daughter.
  • Served on the El Paso City Council.
  • In 2012, was elected to the House of Representatives, and was re-elected in 2014 and 2016.
  • Resigned from the House to run unsuccessfully for the Texas Senate in 2018.

What O’Rourke has accomplished or failed to accomplish:

  • Supported redevelopment of a depressed area in El Paso, which never came to fruition.
  • Opposed the War on Drugs while on the El Paso Council.
  • Co-sponsored a bill to improve training for customs officers and agents and require special reports on use of force.
  • Helped pass a bill that, in relevant part, created public-private partnerships to lower wait times at ports of entry on America’s southern border.
  • Refused to support funding for Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, saying in part that the U.S. has just been too good to Israel, which was actually bad for Israel.

Andrew Yang’s quickie bio:

  • Born to highly educated, well-paid immigrants from Taiwan.
  • Got bullied at public schools (who hasn’t?).
  • Attended Phillips Exeter Academy, one of the most elite boarding schools in America.
  • Attended Brown University, graduating with a BA in economics.
  • Attended Columbia Law School.
  • Worked as a lawyer and a test prep instructor.

What Yang has accomplished or failed to accomplish:

  • Created a start-up aimed at funding entrepreneurs by trolling college graduates for future stars.

Tulsi Gabbard’s quickie bio:

  • Born in American Samoa and raised in Hawaii.
  • Home schooled through high school, except for two years at a Christian Missionary Academy.
  • Graduated from Hawaii Pacific University with a BS in Business Administration.
  • In 2003, while already a member of Hawaii’s legislature, joined the Hawaii Army National Guard.
  • Spent one year serving in Iraq as a specialist for a medical company.
  • Attended Officer Candidate School, graduating as her classes “distinguished honors graduate,” becoming a second lieutenant and assigned to be a military police officer.
  • Served in Kuwait for a year helping to train the Kuwait National Guard, receiving an honor for her outstanding work. Currently holds that rank of major.
  • Elected to the Hawaii House of Representatives.
  • Elected to the Honolulu City Council.
  • Elected to the House of Representatives, in which she still serves.

What Gabbard has accomplished or failed to accomplish:

  • As noted above, served in the military.
  • While on the Honolulu city council, worked to help loosen parking restrictions for food truck vendors and authored and passed a bill allowing city workers to seize personal belongings stored on city property (after 24 hours’ notice).
  • While in the House, introduced and got passed a law improving airport security screenings for severely wounded veterans.
  • Introduced and got passed a law to give the Congressional Medal of Honor to Filipino and Filipino-American veterans of WWII.
  • Introduced and got passed a law to help prevent child abuse and neglect on military bases.
  • Introduced a bill to return American elections to paper ballots to prevent fraud and foreign election interference.

Marianne Williamson’s quickie bio:

  • Upper middle class Jewish girl from Houston.
  • Studied theater and philosophy at Pomona College for two years before dropping out of college, burned out by anti-war protests during the Vietnam era and by general existential despair.
  • Read Helen Schucman’s A Course in Miracles, a book all about spiritual transformation. Schucman claimed that Jesus’s voice dictated the book to her.
  • Inspired by Schucman’s book, Williamson became a professional New Age guru, teaching classes, writing books, and ministering to New Age congregations.

What Williamson has accomplished or failed to accomplish:

  • Oprah likes her.
  • Net worth of is estimated at being between $957,000 and $4.5 million.
  • Created Project Angel Food to support people with HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles.
  • Co-founded the non-profit Global Renaissance Alliance, set up to create a network of “citizen salons” around the world that would pray for national growth, peace, and Leftist causes.

Pre-White House Trump bio (gleaned from a very hostile Wikipedia article):

  • Born into an affluent family to a real-estate developer father.
  • Graduated from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in economics.
  • Avoided serving in the Vietnam War, whether by legitimate or illegitimate means.
  • Avoids all alcohol and recreational drugs, loves fast food, and need only 3-4 hours of sleep per night.
  • After working for his family business, Trump launched his Manhattan real estate business with a $70,000,000 loan that his father and the Hyatt hotel chain jointly guaranteed.
  • Was the first major developer to hire a woman to manage a large commercial development project.
  • Developed vast, high-end commercial properties across Manhattan which, along with his flamboyant personality, made him one of the world’s most famous people.
  • Began developing properties all over the Eastern Seaboard and around the world.
  • Famous for being aggressive about land grabs, pushing regulations, and bullying people.
  • Famous for dumping bad projects, while usually managing to retain some profit as well as his name on the project.
  • Strategically used bankruptcy to regroup and recoup his wealth.
  • Respected for bringing projects in on time and, often, under budget.
  • Wrote (or co-wrote or didn’t write) a best-selling book called Trump : The Art of the Deal.
  • Furthered his brand working with World Wrestling Entertainment.
  • With The Apprentice, created and worked on the most popular reality show in television history.
  • Without ever having run for office before, won the presidency on his first try, against a crowded, experienced field, against the woman whom the establishment had anointed as the next president, and despite an attempted Obama / Deep State coup to destroy his candidacy or wipe out his presidency.

A partial list of his accomplishments in office, drawn from White House’s own web page:

• Almost 4 million jobs created since election.
• More Americans are now employed than ever recorded before in our history.
• We have created more than 400,000 manufacturing jobs since my election.
• Manufacturing jobs growing at the fastest rate in more than THREE DECADES.
• Economic growth last quarter hit 4.2 percent.
• New unemployment claims recently hit a 49-year low.
• Median household income has hit highest level ever recorded.
• African-American unemployment has recently achieved the lowest rate ever recorded.
• Hispanic-American unemployment is at the lowest rate ever recorded.
• Asian-American unemployment recently achieved the lowest rate ever recorded.
• Women’s unemployment recently reached the lowest rate in 65 years.
• Youth unemployment has recently hit the lowest rate in nearly half a century.
• Lowest unemployment rate ever recorded for Americans without a high school diploma.
• Under my Administration, veterans’ unemployment recently reached its lowest rate in nearly 20 years.
• Almost 3.9 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps since the election.

[snip]

• Signed the biggest package of tax cuts and reforms in history. After tax cuts, over $300 billion poured back in to the U.S. in the first quarter alone.

[snip]

• Opened ANWR and approved Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines.
• Record number of regulations eliminated.
• Enacted regulatory relief for community banks and credit unions.
• Obamacare individual mandate penalty GONE.

[snip]

• Last month, the FDA approved more affordable generic drugs than ever before in history. And thanks to our efforts, many drug companies are freezing or reversing planned price increases.
• We reformed the Medicare program to stop hospitals from overcharging low-income seniors on their drugs—saving seniors hundreds of millions of dollars this year alone.
• Signed Right-To-Try legislation.
• Secured $6 billion in NEW funding to fight the opioid epidemic.

[snip]

• Increased our coal exports by 60 percent; U.S. oil production recently reached all-time high.
• United States is a net natural gas exporter for the first time since 1957.
• Withdrew the United States from the job-killing Paris Climate Accord.
• Cancelled the illegal, anti-coal, so-called Clean Power Plan.
• Secured record $700 billion in military funding; $716 billion next year.
• NATO allies are spending $69 billion more on defense since 2016.

[snip]

• Confirmed more circuit court judges than any other new administration.
• Confirmed Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and nominated Judge Brett Kavanaugh.
• Withdrew from the horrible, one-sided Iran Deal.
• Moved U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem.
• Protecting Americans from terrorists with the Travel Ban, upheld by Supreme Court.

[snip]

• Concluded a historic U.S.-Mexico Trade Deal to replace NAFTA. And negotiations with Canada are underway as we speak.
• Reached a breakthrough agreement with the E.U. to increase U.S. exports.
• Imposed tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum to protect our national security.
• Imposed tariffs on China in response to China’s forced technology transfer, intellectual property theft, and their chronically abusive trade practices.
• Net exports are on track to increase by $59 billion this year.
• Improved vetting and screening for refugees, and switched focus to overseas resettlement.
• We have begun BUILDING THE WALL. Republicans want STRONG BORDERS and NO CRIME. Democrats want OPEN BORDERS which equals MASSIVE CRIME.

The post No. 16 Bookworm Podcast: With Trump, stop listening and start paying attention appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

The 1619 Project: Reframing History & Redefining Racism

“White Supremacy” is a progressive canard to keep the race card viable in the absence of actual racism. It paints all whites as inherently racist and promotes the worst of tribalism as a progressive political tool.

The New York Times’ 1619 Project seeks to “reframe” American history to mark the year 1619 as the “true founding.”  The first purpose of the 1619 Project is to cement slavery as America’s original sin.  The “reframing” comes about, first, in the telling of a narrative so distorted as to be false, then, second, in redefining “racism” to attach the slander to a whole host of things that either are not caused by racism or are not racist by definition.  Mirable dictu, America is suddenly a nation full of virulent racists / white supremacists.

It is helpful before continuing deeper into this morass to take a balanced look at the actual history of slavery in this country, not as an original sin that still stains us today and that can only be explicated by destroying the country, but rather as an extremely difficult issue that was set on the road to being righted by our Founders and their progeny. In a recent AEI article, author Mark Perry quotes extensively from black economist (and one-time card carrying communist) Thomas Sowell:

Of all the tragic facts about the history of slavery, the most astonishing to an American today is that, although slavery was a worldwide institution for thousands of years, nowhere in the world was slavery a controversial issue prior to the 18th century. People of every race and color were enslaved – and enslaved others. White people were still being bought and sold as slaves in the Ottoman Empire, decades after American blacks were freed.

[snip]

Everyone hated the idea of being a slave but few had any qualms about enslaving others. Slavery was just not an issue, not even among intellectuals, much less among political leaders, until the 18th century – and then it was an issue only in Western civilization. Among those who turned against slavery in the 18th century were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and other American leaders. You could research all of the 18th century Africa or Asia or the Middle East without finding any comparable rejection of slavery there. But who is singled out for scathing criticism today? American leaders of the 18th century.

Deciding that slavery was wrong was much easier than deciding what to do with millions of people from another continent, of another race, and without any historical preparation for living as free citizens in a society like that of the United States, where they were 20 percent of the population.

It is clear from the private correspondence of Washington, Jefferson, and many others that their moral rejection of slavery was unambiguous, but the practical question of what to do now had them baffled. That would remain so for more than half a century.

In 1862, a ship carrying slaves from Africa to Cuba, in violation of a ban on the international slave trade, was captured on the high seas by the U.S. Navy. The crew was imprisoned and the captain was hanged in the United States – despite the fact that slavery itself was still legal at the time in Africa, Cuba, and in the United States. What does this tell us? That enslaving people was considered an abomination. But what to do with millions of people who were already enslaved was not equally clear.

That question was finally answered by a war in which one life was lost [620,000 Civil War casualties] for every six people freed [3.9 million]. Maybe that was the only answer. But don’t pretend today that it was an easy answer – or that those who grappled with the dilemma in the 18th century were some special villains when most leaders and most people around the world saw nothing wrong with slavery.

While Sowell notes the reality, the NYT actually does posit an “easy answer” to the slavery issue. The Times “reframes history” in the 1619 Project to tell it in Howard Zinn fashion, erasing or minimizing the First Great Awakening and the abolition movement, the Civil War, and the Civil Rights movement.  And with that, the Times then claims that America is still a country full of virulent racism — at least if you support Trump or are not a progressive.  Of course, the lack of racism in mainstream America is a problem, so progressives have redefined “racism” into “white supremacy,” something that implies virulent, evil racism but means, in actuality, nothing.

To put it another way, a strict, classic definition of “racism” means “a belief that race is the primary detriment of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.” The decline of actual racist acts in America’s mainstream, though, has become a real problem for progressives who have bet their entire political future on keeping minorities believing that they are under siege and that their only protection is to voting proggie.  There is a reason, not that many years ago, that then Vice President Biden told an audience of black Americans at an NAACP meeting that Republicans want to “put y’all back in chains.”  And there is a reason President Obama, author of all that racial healing in his administration, told Latinos that Republicans were their “enemies.”

So what is “white supremacy?”  Well, at least when the Left talks about it, it’s not the old KKK crap anymore. Instead, we can use the “Pyramid of White Supremacy” (pictured at the top of this post) as our guide to see just how outrageous it is and just how disconnected it is from people actually engaging in racist acts predicated on the belief in the inferiority of minorities — i.e., actual racism.

A college professor put together and uses the “Pyramid of White Supremacy” for a mandatory course she teaches for elementary education majors at Salisbury University in Maryland.  I was reminded of it the other day when I saw it at the Ace of Spades blog. The pyramid names nothing as “racist” that has not already made it into the mainstream media over the past several years.  The list goes from ludicrous, to insane, to evil, literally making of everyone not a proggie a white supremacist.


Racism Pyramid of White Supremacy

Tier One — Genocide 

At the top of the “white supremacy” pyramid are those who call for genocide of blacks or other minorities. No one in the mainstream for the entire history of this nation has ever called for that — but one would not know that today.  According to the NYT, the President is a “white supremacist” who, according to MSNBC, wants to exterminate Latinos. Moreover, according to CNN, Trump is already responsible for more deaths than Mao (40,000,000-75,000,000), Stalin (20,000,000) and Hitler (11,000,000) put together.  And by extension, if you are a Trump supporter. . . .

Tier II –  Violence

a)  Unjust Police Shootings & Police Brutality — This is the BLM obscenity that blacks have more to worry about in the inner cities from police than they do from black on black violence.  Until, of course, one actually looks at the numbers, then at the facts of just about every case — yet you still have virtually all progressives, including Kamala Harris and Fauxcohauntus, pushing this canard, at whatever expense to police such race hustling might bring.

b)  Lynching — The extra-judicial killing of a person as an act of mob justice and with any substantial basis in racism declined precipitously as the Civil Rights movement took hold in the 1950’s.  The last — but perhaps most horrendous — race-based lynching was that of fourteen year old Emmett Till in 1955 Mississippi.  So here we are almost seventy years removed from that event.  The vile racism that gave rise to that event is dead in this country.  But proggies are still trying to paint a link between the racists who murdered Till and all not-progressives today.

For instance, two years ago, Vann Newkirk, writing in The Atlantic in an article entitled How the Blood of Emmett Till Still Stains America Today, proclaimed the lynching of Till an act of “white supremacy.”  So, while the racism that motivated Till’s lynching may be, in all relevant respects, banished from the mainstream of society, it still lives on under the newly minted charge of “white supremacy.”  Non-progressive whites, virtually all of whom are neither committing or tolerating racism, still not only own all the guilt for slavery, but for the lynching of Emmett Till as well.

[Bookworm here: I’d like to suggest that race-based lynching still has a bit of a hold in America, at least as recently as the early 1990s. In 1992, for example, was beaten almost to death because he was a white man in the wrong place. And a year before that, Al Sharpton instigated the Crown Heights riots that saw black men kill random Jewish men after a Jewish motorcade accidentally killed one black child and injured another.]

c)  Hate Crimes — The whole concept of “hate crimes” is one that needs to be banished from American jurisprudence.  That said, it is the perfect metaphor for what is happening in this nation today.  The majority of “hate crimes” — i.e., crimes with a racial component — occurring in this country are progressive hoaxes to drive a racial narrative, with Jussie Smollett being simply the most notable and recent.

Tier III — Calls For Violence:

a)  Neo-Nazi’s, KKK, Burning Crosses — These are the people in this nation who in fact can be called racist and are associated with movements having a history of violence.  These groups are not conservative groups nor are they tolerated in mainstream society.  Today, the total number of people in these organizations nationwide, in a nation of over three hundred million people, is probably at or under 100,000.  I would not be surprised to find about the same number or higher if you add up ANTIFA, anarchists, and black nationalist groups.

b)  The N-Word — The professor lists using the “N” word as a call to violence.  I agree.  I only point out that I look forward to the day when the right understands that being falsely labeled racist is also a call to violence.

c)  Confederate Flag — I am not going to argue this one.  I think Bookworm’s take on the flag and Confederate statutes (see item 11 in the linked post) is the right one, and this is one case where the subjective feelings the flag and paeans to Confederate generals might engender is sufficient justification to move them into museums.

Tier IV — Actual Discrimination

 a)  [Systemic] Mass Incarceration — This has long been a stalking horse for progressives.  For progressives, enforcing the law against blacks is ipso facto proof of racism. The statistics do not show disparate treatment against blacks for sentencing, only that blacks’ rate of criminal conduct is out of proportion to their numbers in society.  Regardless, Trump has in fact been the only President to push through prison reform with an eye towards giving blacks caught up in the prison system a second chance.  That must be “sneaky” white supremacy.

b)  [Systemic] School to Prison Pipeline — Again, another stalking horse, calling this discrimination.  The fact that there might be fundamental problems in the dysfunctional culture of lower socio-economic blacks is never the cause — and by calling the pipeline discrimination, that makes it racist to even discuss and solve the problem of young black men leaving school and heading straight into the prison system.

c)  [Systemic] Racial Profiling and Stop and Frisk — Stopping a person to question or search simply because of that person’s race is a 4th Amendment violation and would be racist.  No one argues that.  But stopping and searching someone is neither a 4th Amendment violent nor racist if, because of surrounding circumstances, the police have a reasonable suspicion that the person might be involved in a crime.  This goes back to NYC’s policy of “stop and frisk” that the NYPD used successfully to bring down crime by and against minorities circa 2000.

d)  [Systemic] Redlining —  Redlining has been illegal since the 1970’s.  It was a practice by financial institutions to refuse loans to people regardless of qualification if they lived in particular areas, most often in inner city areas.  Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act to end it, but then Bill Clinton, Barney Frank, and Chris Dodd used the CRA to destroy all color-blind lending standards as racist.  This social engineering under the guise of correcting for racism led to the Sub-Prime Crisis and the Great Recession of 2008.

e)  Housing Discrimination and Employment Discrimination — These have been unlawful since the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  Rare cases of actual racism still occur on the fringes of society and are dealt with through the courts.  That said, the majority of Housing and Employment discrimination cases of today rely on the “disparate impact” theory, which holds that one does not even need to show an intent to discriminate if a policy is shown to affect minorities disproportionately for whatever reason, including, as mentioned above, colorblind reasons.  As Thomas Sowell has opined, much of what the left falsely claims today is racism in society is based on their manipulations using the “disparate impact racket.”

f)  Anti-Immigration Policies — This is pure post-modernism, where the subjective feelings of the progressive author are embraced as objective fact.  There are countless reasons to enforce the border and require that our federal government control immigration.  Indeed, that is an express right and duty of the federal government in Article I Sec. 8 of the Constitution.  And yet, for the progressive left, any attempt to stop illegal immigration, and any attempt to deport illegal immigrants is deemed “racist” and is part and parcel of “white supremacy.”

g)  Funding Schools Locally — We’ve been funding schools locally in this country for as long as there have been schools.  It is a state and local function.  It is not an Art. 1, Sec. 8 enumerated power of the federal government, the Department of Education notwithstanding.  As Thomas Sowell points out, the problem with minority educational achievement or lack thereof is not school funding.  But apparently, you are a white supremacist if you do not support a federal takeover of funding for schools.

Tier V — Veiled Racism

a)  Victim Blaming — If you believe that people should address the problems of their community and that they are responsible for their own actions, you are a white supremacist.

b)  Paternalism — If you offer suggestions for minorities to solve the problems of their community, you are a white supremacist.

c)  English Only Initiatives — The ability of a nation’s people to communicate using a common language is near a foundational element of societal success and a keystone for individuals to succeed in society.  That seems like a valid, non-racist basis to require that everyone learn the English language in this country.

d)  Euro-centric Curriculum —  This is nothing more than reverse racism.  Unless one can articulate how substituting X for Y acts as an improvement to our society, then this is nothing more than intentionally destroying the common culture of a nation founded in Western civilization because of identity politics.

e)  Claiming reverse racism — To point out that the progressives are attacking whites on the basis of their skin color alone — which is all the white supremacy movement is — is itself an act of white supremacy.  Apparently, though, while the professor does not make this point, it appears that the progressive left defends itself against charges of racism by claiming minority status.  Somehow, being a minority in proggie land means that obscene racism is not truly racist.  This is all part of the redefinition of “racism” into a purely white, original sin.

f)  Tone Policing —  So telling a minority to tone down if that person is emoting so that you can have an exchange of ideas is racist because . . . minorities can’t control their emotions?

g)  Cultural Appropriation — To borrow from another culture because one appreciates something is about as far from racism as one could act.  How that becomes an act of “white supremacy” is beyond my ken.

h)  Tokenism — So having minority friends is now “white supremacy?”

Tier VI — Minimization

a)  Denying you are a white supremacist — This may seem completely insane, but to be white and deny your white supremacy is proof that you are a white supremacist.  No less than the NYT has proclaimed that in “The Heartbeat of Racism Is Denial.”

b)  Colorblindness — Treating a minority the same as everyone else — the very antithesis of racism — is proof that you are a white supremacist.

c)  Not believing the experiences of people of color —  If you question a person’s narrative or point out that the person’s subjective feelings are not the same as objective facts . . . you are a white supremacist.

d)  Post-Racial Society — I’m not quite sure what the professor means by that, but I am assuming that she means that to posit a post-racial society as the goal for America, as Martin Luther King did, is “white supremacy.”  The goal of progressives is an identity centric society where a critical mass of the identities vote proggie.

Tier VII — Indifference

a)  Remaining Apolitical — This is binary.  You either join the progressives and buy into their obscene canards or you are a white supremacist, even if you could care less about race.


“White Supremacy” is an obscene dark fantasy.  But Project 1619 and the MSM at large are all engaged in pushing this canard.  There is not a single major outlet outside of Fox not running with it.  It is an effort to balkanize and turn our nation from a melting pot into a state based on tribalism permanantly ruled by progressives.  With this latest foray into “white supremacy,” progressives will either keep this obscene dark fantasy of racism in America alive, or progressives will lose any hope of regaining political power.  It will be the ruin of our nation if they succeed.

The post The 1619 Project: Reframing History & Redefining Racism appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

No. 9 Bookworm Podcast — Elizabeth Warren and Socialism are a bad deal

Not only is she a squirrely character, Elizabeth Warren’s plans are openly socialist — and socialism’s history proves how dangerous this is for Americans.

(If you prefer listening to reading, the companion podcast is embedded below, or you can listen to it at Libsyn or at Apple podcasts. I’m trying to make a go of my podcast so, if you like it, please share it with your friends and on social media. Giving it good ratings helps too..)

It seems that Elizabeth Warren has had a sudden polling surge in Iowa:

A new Iowa Starting Line-Change Research poll shows the senator opening up a commanding lead in the Iowa Caucus. Warren was the top pick of 28% of likely Iowa Caucus-goers in the poll, an 11-point lead over the nearest competitor. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders were both tied for second with 17% each. Pete Buttigieg came in fourth at 13% and Kamala Harris has the backing of 8%.

Given the undistinguished field in which she finds herself, Warren could conceivably ride this bump to a nomination, so I figured I’d say a few words about her. First, as always when I talk about Warren, let me explain that I’m completely biased. I had her as a banking law professor before she realized that she could use her family mythology about her high cheekbones as proof of a distant Native American heritage as leverage for a professorship at Harvard.

Back in the day, Warren was just another professor. In class, I found her confusing, because she had a habit of starting on thought B before finishing thought A. (Confession: I was often confused at law school, but I found her more confusing than most of my professors.) I therefore often found myself in Warren’s office. There, she was friendly, soft spoken . . . and still confusing.

My animus towards her comes from the fact that she assured me certain things wouldn’t be on the final exam . . . yet they were. If memory serves me, I managed to pull a middle to high “B” in the class, which certainly didn’t scar my subsequent legal career, so my dislike for her isn’t rooted in some sort of “she ruined my life” emotion. I just really dislike soft-spoken liars who are boring and confusing teachers.

The next time I heard about Warren was when I discovered she was gaining national celebrity by pointing out the obvious: Affluent people will flock to regions that have reputations for offering good public K-12 schooling, thereby driving up real estate prices. I think a lot of people without Harvard credentials could have figured that one out. If I had been Warren’s teacher, I would have given her an “A” for self promotion and an “F” for original thought. As it was, I was actually kind of impressed that she’d managed to take an unoriginal mind and marginal teaching skills, and go so far.

But now Warren is socialist political candidate and I don’t just dislike her, I worry that the media, helped along with the Leftists in Silicon Valley, could actually propel her to the White House. The fact that Warren has attacked the social media giants is irrelevant. When push comes to shove, if she’s the candidate, they’ll do everything they can to get her into the White House. Once there — God forbid! — Warren might prove herself a more competent and effective administrator than Obama when it comes to imposing socialism on America.

So I guess it’s time to revisit the attacks I made on socialism back in 2016, when it looked like Bernie had a chance, before Hillary’s Super Delegates and other fixers told him to stand down and be quiet. Back then, I created a little Blogger site I named “I Don’t Like Bernie, Because….” I put up four posts there before it became apparent that Bernie would be marginalized, at which point I stopped posting there and returned to my regularly scheduled attacks on Hillary here at the Bookworm Room.

To the extent that Elizabeth Warren is open about her socialism (does she even bother to call it “Democratic Socialism”?), I’m going to import here almost wholesale my post about the history and horrors of socialism. I know you can find better posts on the internet and better books in the library, but this one is mine, it’s what I’ve got, and I’m going with it:
So what is a “socialist” system?  Think of the realm of available politics as a line moving from left to right.  On the far left side is totalitarianism, which means government has all the control and the people have none.  At the far right side is anarchy, which means there is no government at all, although the resulting chaos usually means that people have no control either and therefore seek a strong man to create a totalitarian regime. (As an aside, the terms “Left” and “Right” came into use during the French Revolution when revolutionaries sat to the Speaker’s left in the Parlement and the monarchists sat to his right. Both groups were totalitarian, in that they each envisioned complete government control over the French people. The same is still true for various “Left” and “Right” political groups in Europe.)

All political systems fall somewhere along that line.  The further to the Left they are, the more likely it is that power is centralized, and the further to the Right they are, the more likely it is that there is minimal centralized power, leaving more power with individuals.

Socialism, by definition, is a system that vests power in the government.  The government owns all of the means of production, as well as all of the things produced. All people work under government control, and all goods and services are handed out pursuant to government mandate.

Theoretically, in a socialist country, the people and the government are one and the same. The reality, though, is that you can’t have millions, tens of millions, or hundreds of millions of people in management.

What actually happens, therefore, is that all power resides in a tightly-controlled government group that makes all decisions about everything.  It decides what the country as a whole will build, produce, sell, etc.  As part of this, the government has to to control every aspect of citizens’ lives, in order to make sure that its social and economic goals are met.

Over the last 100 years, socialism has taken on many guises, from hard to soft.  In today’s world, North Korea, which vests all power in one member of one ruling family, is socialism’s most extreme face.  (Venezuela is running a close second.) We know that hundreds of thousands of people who have displeased the North Korean regime live in concentration camps where those who survive work as slaves.

A small percentage of those North Korean citizens who are connected to the ruling party live good lives, with food, shelter, and other creature comforts.  The military is heavily supported, because socialist dictatorships are paranoid.  But for everyone else — well, famine is a common occurrence in North Korea because, as you’ll see repeatedly in socialist countries, government apparatchiks are horrible economic managers.

Socialist governments, because they manage matters so badly, invariably end up fearing their citizens, which leads to a police spying state and increasingly draconian punishments. When you concentrate all power in one entity — that is, all police and military power — that entity can do a great deal of harm, both at home and abroad.

The former Soviet Union wasn’t much better back in the day than North Korea is now.  In its heyday, the Soviet politburo controlled every aspect of people’s lives.  During the 1930s, when Stalin headed the nation, he decided that the Kulaks in Ukraine, who were small farmers with privately owned farms, had to be destroyed to make way for large collective farms run under government control. Thus, when the Kulaks refused to cooperate with Stalin’s grand plan, he used his vast government power to steal their grain and starved them to death.  Millions died.

From the 1950s through the 1980s, China had the same repressive government as North Korea and the Soviet Union.  During the 1960s, when Chairman Mao announced his Great Leap Forward, which was intended to take China from a medieval economy to a modern one in around five years, tens of millions of people died because of starvation, torture, slave labor, and execution.  Low estimates say that 40-50 million died.  High estimates say that as many as 75-100 million died.

The Nazis, whom Democrats and Progressives today say were on “right,” were also socialists — that is, people of the Left.  Their full name was the “National Socialist German Workers’ Party.”  Where Nazi Germany differed from a hardcore communist country like the Soviet Union, China, or North Korea, was that the government didn’t take over all the businesses.  Instead, it allowed businesses to stay in private hands — as long as the government made all economic decisions.

The government in Nazi Germany was still running things and the people had no choice but to go along with the program.  Add in the toxic ingredients of genocidal racism and a desire for world domination, and you have a government engine primed to break from its borders in an orgy of death and destruction. (Here’s a side note that’s become important since Trump became president and the Democrat is convinced he’s a new Hitler: Genocidal racism and a desire for world domination are quite different from Trump’s “America First” policy. His is a traditional idea that holds that a country’s leader should view as his first responsibility the social and economic well-being of his own citizens.)

Modern Europe has been the softest side of socialism.  It lets people have their own businesses and own property, but it keeps services such as health care, railways, and heavy industry (coal mining, steel production) under its control.  It also buries its citizens under regulations.  Every single aspect of life in a modern European socialist country is regulated.

For a long time, Europeans thought they’d found the perfect solution in this “loving” socialism.  Their citizens could run their own businesses and make money, so they had some economic growth.  In addition, in exchange for extremely high taxes, the citizens got “free” medical care (which they’d prepaid with their taxes), low-cost train and bus fares, and good elder care.  It all looked so beautiful in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

What the Europeans conveniently forgot was that, after WWII, it was American money that rebuilt their infrastructure.  This meant that Europeans didn’t have to repay capital investments. Europeans also liked to ignore that, during the entirety of the Cold War with the Soviet Union, America paid Europe’s defense costs.  That made money available for all the free medical care and cheap train fare that Europeans liked to boast about as a sign of their superiority.  Put another way, Europeans didn’t have “free” medical care — they had American-funded medical care.

Maggie Thatcher, who was the conservative Prime Minister in England during the 1980s, famously said “Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money.”  In Europe, American money started vanishing when the Cold War ended.

In addition to losing American money, beginning in the 1990s, Europe has had a few other problems maintaining its “friendly” socialism:

(1) Its population began to age — people in socialist countries tend not to have lots of children — so more people were taking medical care and elder care than were working and paying into the system.

(2) The 2008 recession affected the entire world’s money supply, decreasing drastically the wealth in Europe.

(3) Europe invited in millions of immigrants who were not on board with the social compact that controlled European socialism.

In the years after WWII, Europeans collectively understood that, if everyone worked when young, then everyone would be cared for when sick or old (at least as long as the Americans took care of the defense bill).  The problem was/is that the new immigrants, primarily from Africa and the Middle East, didn’t sign onto this compact.  They came, got welfare, and stayed on welfare, letting the Europeans work for them. Their refusal to join the social compact was made worse by the fact that Muslims have a doctrinal belief that non-Muslims should support them. Europe’s welfare system fed right into this belief.

European socialism is in big trouble now that money is tight, the population is old, and too many free-loading immigrants are continuing to pour in. Moreover, as European citizens try to protest this state of affairs, their formerly “soft” governments are imposing harsh restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly.

By the way, the semi-socialist programs we have, such as Medicare or Social Security, are also running on empty.  The younger generation is just barely paying enough in taxes to keep those programs funding old people.  However, when the generation that’s paying for Medicare and Social Security now ages up to those programs, the best estimate is that there won’t be anything left for them.  As Thatcher knew, government always is a remarkably poor money manager.

The minimum wage isn’t anything to boast about either.  Even the New York Times, before it slipped its moorings, understood that the minimum wage is a way to keep unskilled labor out of the job market entirely.  Rather than paying people a living wage, it means that more people are paid no wage at all, putting further strain on social welfare systems that are barely in funds now.

That’s what socialism is. It puts power in the hands of poor managers who too often abuse that power.  It’s a lousy system and has failed everywhere it’s been tried, whether we’re talking about the Soviet Union, China (which is now trying a weird controlled “market” economy), Cuba, North Korea, Europe, and every failed socialist experiment in Africa.

And what about that “Democratic” part?  Here’s the truth — that word is meaningless.

“Democratic” means that citizens get to vote for their leadership, but it doesn’t say anything about the political system itself.  China styles itself the “People’s Democratic Republic of China,” but no one looks at it and thinks “Wow, that’s a free country because it’s got the word ‘Democratic’ in its name.”

North Korea, the most repressive country in the world, has as its official name “Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” Again, as in China, people in North Korea don’t have a right to vote, meaning that it’s a voluntary activity; instead, they are required to vote, or else, and they’d better vote for the people their government has already handpicked as the winners.

During the Soviet Union’s heyday, that nation always liked to boast that it was more “democratic” than America because it had a higher voter turnout on election day.  Somehow it never mentioned that a person who failed to vote could end up in prison or that, when voters showed up, they had about the same number of candidate choices as they had food choices as the grocery store . . . which is to say, none.

And what about the other side of that line . . . the Right side.  On the right side, as long as you don’t stray too far into anarchy, you have small government and individual liberty.  People get to decide what they want to do with their lives.  They get to try to invent, build, serve, sell, buy, work, play, and anything else they please as long as they don’t harm others.  They get to buy what they like when they want to.  Because they are allowed to own their own homes and cars and businesses, they have a stake in the success of each of those endeavors, and they work hard to achieve that success.

A free marketplace isn’t controlled by a government that calls all the shots.  It’s controlled by every person, with their organically combined skills, knowledge, desires, energy, and ambition coming together to create the most prosperous economic engine in the world.  And if you think that’s a bad thing, think again.  Thanks to market-driven First World capitalist energy, people live longer, healthier lives than ever before.  Even poor people in America are rich and successful compared to poor people anywhere else in the world.

Oh!  One other thing:  Totalitarian societies have no social mobility.  Whether the society is a monarchy, aristocracy, military junta, or a socialist “paradise,” you’re either in the ruling party/class or you’re not.  Those with power and wealth hold on to it tightly and scatter just enough food, money, and medical care to the masses to prevent a bloody uprising.

In a market economy, though, not only does a rising tide lift all boats, wealth constantly moves around.  Yesterday’s immigrant may be today’s innovator.  And that rich grandfather might have seen his son waste all the money and his grandchildren become quite poor.

If you figure out how to use the internet well, you may get rich.  On the other hand, if you decide to spend your time smoking pot and playing computer games, you’ll probably be poor (and burn through whatever money Mom and Dad left you in their wills).

I’ll close with a good summation of America’s virtues, for rich and poor alike, back from the 1960s, when the hippies thought they knew it all:

People who make smart choices can rise up; those who don’t . . . well, life can be hard.  But I’d rather live in a world that offers the possibility of success as opposed to a world that keeps everyone firmly down in the mud.

Image Credit: Elizabeth Warren — Caricature by DonkeyHotey. Creative Commons; some rights reserved.

The post No. 9 Bookworm Podcast — Elizabeth Warren and Socialism are a bad deal appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

No. 7 Bookworm Room Podcast: America has become a fantasy land

America is a divided country in part because half of Americans live in a fantasy land, predicated on fear and gossip, and entirely unrelated to reality.

(This is a companion post to the No. 7 Bookworm Room Podcast, which is embedded at the bottom of this post, or which you can find at Libsyn or at “>Apple Podcasts. If you like the podcast, please spread the word.)

I finally realized why I’ve been having such a hard time blogging (and podcasting) for the past few days. It’s because there’s nothing going on. Despite the 24-hour news cycle, the non-stop screaming from the Left, and the insanity of social media, nothing of note has happened in the world. Nothing at all. Instead, we’re getting made up headlines intended to convince credulous people — by which I mean most of the people amongst whom I’ve lived for the past several decades — that the world is coming to an end.

And that’s not an exaggeration. These people really do believe that Trump is a colorful amalgam of Satan, Hitler, the KKK Grand Wizard, and some hysterical television evangelist who wants to kill gays. That there is no evidence to support any of those claims is entirely irrelevant. Let me walk you through some of the madness.

Exhibit A is a little video that comes up every time I open Twitter. It doesn’t matter that I don’t follow Kirsten Gillibrand. It doesn’t matter that this was posted over 22 hours ago. And it doesn’t matter that this is not news. It’s the top of my Twitter feed no matter what:

It also doesn’t matter that it was President Obama who separated families and put kids in cages.

The stunning thing about this bathetic crying child video is that the Left is advocating an entirely new standard here: If you commit a crime and have children, it’s wrong for you to be arrested or punished for your crime.

The unspoken caveat, of course, is that this applies only if you’re in this country illegally. If you’re a born and raised American, whether white, black, or Hispanic, and you commit a crime, the fact that you have children is irrelevant. You should have thought of that before you ran afoul of the law. But not if you’re in this country illegally, taking jobs from Americans, getting free education for your kids, and getting free healthcare, if only by showing up in the ER when you can’t pay. Then, children are your “get out of jail free” card.

Exhibit B is the outrage over a photograph of Donald and Melania Trump with a baby that survived the shooting in El Paso:

When I see the photo, I see an affirmation of life. Out of the carnage, a baby survived. To me, this is a good thing. To Slate’s reliably over-the-top Dahlia Lithwick, this is proof that Trump is a man bereft of a soul:

That’s the president, grinning and giving a thumbs-up, as the orphaned child is held out like a trophy. If words weren’t inclined to fail, ghoulish and surreal might serve. This child has no parents because a shooter spouting Trumpist talking points about foreign “invaders” went to El Paso to kill them. And while the president refused to speak to reporters, who were scolded by the White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, in a statement saying that the visits were all “about the victims” and not a “photo op,” hours later, Trump released a campaign-style video of his triumphal comforting tour.

It is clearly a horrifying spectacle of degradation when even consummate soulless showman Anthony Scaramucci is forced to say that the trip proved to be a “catastrophe” for the president, who was incapable of demonstrating the requisite quantum of “compassion” and “empathy” to win the reality show seal of approval. But for all its failures as a television event, Trump’s failure served to remind us how truly small he really is. And maybe that is enough.

(Of course, Slate also insists that all the Fast and Furious movies are gay. No, that’s not the Babylon Bee. It’s really Slate.)

The trip through a Leftist fantasy land continues with Exhibit C, which is Elizabeth Warren’s blatant lie that a white police officer murdered Michael Brown in Ferguson five years ago. Again, I’m not exaggerating. That’s what she tweeted out:

Now, I’ve always known that Warren is a liar, something I’ve been telling people going back to my unpleasant experience having her as my banking law professor. Nevertheless, the little lies she told about exams and assignments pale in comparison to her advancing her presidential ambitions by telling a lie intended to increase racial divisions in this country.

And yes, it is a lie. Obama’s own DOJ concluded that Brown was attempting to wrestle Officer Darren Wilson’s gun out of the officer’s hand when Wilson shot Brown in self defense. And the “hands up, don’t shoot” line is predicated upon that lie.

Moreover, Warren should not get any credit for using Biden’s formulation that Leftists believe in “truth over facts” and arguing that, even if Brown wasn’t the victim of a race based police murder, America is nevertheless awash in such murders. Statistics show with relentless regularity that officers are less likely to shoot black suspects, not more likely. Just the other day, Heather MacDonald again debunked the lie, relying on yet another study about officer shootings:

new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences demolishes the Democratic narrative regarding race and police shootings, which holds that white officers are engaged in an epidemic of racially biased shootings of black men. It turns out that white officers are no more likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot black civilians. It is a racial group’s rate of violent crime that determines police shootings, not the race of the officer. The more frequently officers encounter violent suspects from any given racial group, the greater the chance that members of that racial group will be shot by a police officer. In fact, if there is a bias in police shootings after crime rates are taken into account, it is against white civilians, the study found.

Of course, Warren’s lie pales before Exhibit D, which is the fact that Joe Biden’s entire campaign is predicated upon the “very fine people” hoax. Here’s Biden’s announcement that he was throwing his hat into the ring:

If you didn’t have the patience to listen to him slur his way through his “I’m throwing my hat in the ring” announcement, Biden explicitly accuses Trump of calling neo-Nazis “very fine people.” But of course, that’s not what Trump said at all. As any person who hasn’t been brainwashed knows, Trump was referring to those who were distressed at the Orwellian impulse to destroy history. Moreover, Trump noted, quite presciently, that no figure in American history would be free from purges. He then explicitly stated that the neo-Nazis and white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville were bad people who should be completely condemned:

Regarding Trump’s prescience, just this past June, Charlottesville announced it’s planning to erase Thomas Jefferson:

Nearly 200 years after his death, Jefferson’s birthday is set to be removed as a city holiday in Charlottesville, VA. Instead, the city’s mayor proposed replacing it with “Liberation and Freedom Day” in March to celebrate the emancipation of slaves in the area. The day is already celebrated, but Mayor Nikuyah Walker appears to want that day recognized as a paid holiday instead of Jefferson’s birthday.

Again, if you haven’t yet seen the PragerU video about this vile hoax, you must — and then please share it widely:

I have one more item to add to the Exhibit list when it comes to the fact that there is no news today, there’s only a fantasy world. Exhibit E is the fact that everyone — left, right, center, outer space, pro-Trump, anti-Trump, pro-Clinton, anti-Clinton — does not believe that Jeffrey Epstein killed himself. On my Facebook and Twitter feeds, I’ve seen people say the Clintons did it (to protect Bill), Queen Elizabeth did it (to protect Prince Andrew), the Russians did it (to protect Trump), Trump did it (to protect himself), the FBI faked it and he’s in a room somewhere being debriefed, or that every single high profile person in Epstein’s famous little black book paid off the prison guards. The one thing that nobody says is that Epstein offed himself.

In other words, in the fantasy land that is the American political scene in 2019, the only thing that binds Americans together is their shared disbelief that a high profile prisoner who was supposed to be on suicide watch successfully offed himself. If we could vote on that one thing and that one thing alone, our nation would finally have harmony….

The post No. 7 Bookworm Room Podcast: America has become a fantasy land appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

Elizabeth Warren as imagined by Monty Python

Watching Elizabeth Warren boast about her “plan” for Mitch McConnell shows she has a doppelgänger in the Monty Python universe — John Cleese’s Anne Elk.

Do you remember how, during last week’s debate, Elizabeth Warren stated that she had a plan for dealing with Mitch McConnell and then promptly followed that statement with meaningless blather? Even TIME Magazine figured out that, her statement about a plan notwithstanding, Warren had nothing of value to say:

The same was true when it came to Warren’s plans about gun violence. Instead of having a plan, she wants to conduct a study. She can conduct studies until the cows come home, but that’s not a plan; that’s a process.

Watching Warren debate tickled a memory and today I finally realized what memory it tickled. A famous Monty Python sketch had John Cleese playing Anne Elk, a woman who had a new theory about dinosaurs. Like Warren who, no matter the question, repeatedly falls back on her statement that she has a plan, Elk, no matter the question, insists that she has a theory.

Sadly, the original sketch is no longer available for computer viewing, but this recent John Cleese updates works reasonably well, especially because, now that he’s older, Anne Elk looks surprisingly like Warren herself:

I know who and what Warren is, not just because she was a teacher I disliked and disrespected a long time ago, before she became a Native American and moved to Harvard. I also know what she is because I know America history: She’s Woodrow Wilson — an arrogant academic with lots of theories and prejudices, all of which function horribly in the real world. Wilson was an awful president and Warren would be an awful president were she to get the nomination.

(By the way, speaking of theories, this is my theory: Kamala Harris will get the Democrat Party nomination. In that case, she may well choose Warren to be her Veep. Should that happen, expect instant stories how about how the two women bonded immediately and are besties who will go on to become the most dynamic POTUS/VEEP team in history.

I base this theory on the news reports that instantly emerged when Clinton chose Gore as his Veep. The media was saturated with loving encomiums about the friendship between the two men and the happy date night foursomes with Bill and Hillary on one side of the table at the soda fountain and Al and Tipper on the other side of the table.)

The post Elizabeth Warren as imagined by Monty Python appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.

Bookworm Beat 6/30/19 — the Democrat debates illustrated edition

The Democrat debates are the gift that just keeps giving — for Trump and his supporters. Plus a lot of other pointed and funny posters and cartoons.



























































And lastly, Trump shows that he understands war: You avoid it if you can, but if you can’t, you fight to win — and you let your enemy know your goal:


The post Bookworm Beat 6/30/19 — the Democrat debates illustrated edition appeared first on Watcher of Weasels.