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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Roseann the Insensitive

For John, BLUFMs Roseanne Barr leaped too far out and no one can bring her back without her doing a lot of penance.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Commentator Rob Eno, originally from Lowell, 30 May 2018.

Here is the item:

You can’t say this … I can’t believe I need to type this in 2018.  At no time is it acceptable to compare a black person to an ape, gorilla, or any other primate.  It’s disgusting, its racist, and it’s horrendous.  Roseanne Barr should have known that, and her tweet likening Valerie Jarrett, who is black, to a character from “Planet of the Apes” was disgusting.  I’m not faulting ABC for firing her.  I’d have done the same thing.

That doesn’t mean that ABC and Hollywood don’t have double standards.  Of course they do.  But defending Roseanne is not the hill any of us should want to die on, because what she did is indefensible.

Hyperbole … You can always count on the media to take an event and spin it out of control.  That’s what MSNBC’s Chris Hayes did last night.  Hayes tweeted:

Roseanne’s problem turned out to be that she far too authentically represented the actual worldview of a significant chunk of the Trump base.
What Hayes and his ilk don’t get is hot takes like that are exactly why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.  People felt emboldened to vote for Trump because no matter what they did, the elites like Hayes were going to call them racist backwoods yokels.
Ms Valerie Jarrett was on President Obama's White House Staff, as Senior Advisor to the President, and lasted eight years in that job.

But Rob is correct.  If you want more Trump the way to get more Trump is to denigrate those who support Mr Trump.  Remember, as the analysis of the 2016 Election, The Great Revolution, tells us, Mr Trump flipped the Electoral College in several states by attracting some 80,000 people who had voted for Senator Barack Obama in 2008 and President Obama in 20212.  They were looking for hope and change and in 2016 they didn't see it coming from Senator Clinton, so switched to Mr Trump.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Valerie Jarrett

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Appearing Jewish in Europe on Friday Night

For John, BLUFWhat a sad commentary on what used to be Europe.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajama Media, by Mr David P Goldman, 28 May 2018.

Here is the lede:

Last Friday evening I put on a kippah and walked half an hour across Budapest to the Keren Or synagogue maintained by the Budapest Chabad.  After violent attacks on Jews in German streets, the leaders of Germany’s Jewish community warned Jews last month not to wear a kippah or any other visible sign of Jewish identification in public.  The French community issued such warnings years ago.  Belgian TV could not find a single Jew in Brussels willing to wear a kippah in public.  I walked across Budapest four times (for Friday evening and Saturday daytime services), and no-one looked at my kippah twice.  At services I met Hasidim who had walked to synagogue with kaftan and shtreimel, the traditional round fur hat.  Whatever residual anti-Semitism remains among Hungarians, it doesn’t interfere with the open embrace of Jewish life.  There are no risks to Jews because there are very few Muslim migrants.
If only German Chancellor Angela Merkel had been half as tough on Muslim migration as President Donald Trump.  When it was, in the 1960s and 70s, Gastarbeiter from Turkey, things seemed to work well.  While the Germans did little to assimilate the Gastarbeiter, the Guest Workers played by German rules.  Now that there are millions of foreigners living in Germany, many refugees from the Middle East, the refugees are setting the rules.

One more chance for Germany to be a European problem; a fourth time in 150 years.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, May 28, 2018

Loss of Rights

For John, BLUFI don't care what this person did, this process is wrong.  What we have is an In Camera judicial activity that is reminiscent of the work of the Star Chamber.  Doing bad while thinking they are doing good.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Rebel, by Canadian Ezra Levant, this long weekend.

Basically, Mr Levant is raising money to help someone in England who was whisked off the streets, given an unfamiliar lawyer, tried and sentenced, all in a day.  And, the court issued a gag order to stop the British Press from reporting on this.

I thought BREXIT was important for the protection of the Rights of Englishmen, but apparently the British Government is intent on destroying those rights.  The scary thought is that it might be because of a coverup of sexual misconduct, or what I assume you and I would consider sexual misconduct.

I keep hoping that there is a rational explanation for all of this, but I fear there is not.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Chaos in California

For John, BLUFThis article is about where I used to vote, back before I moved to Lowell.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Globe, by Reporter Jonathan Martin (of The New York Times), 26 May 2018.

Here is the start of the article:

National Democrats, confronting political chaos across Southern California, are pouring millions of dollars into congressional races to avert a self-inflicted disaster that could undermine their chances at taking control of the House.

After months of optimism that the state’s June 5 primary would position them to pick off seven Republican-held districts in November — a substantial down payment on reclaiming the House — Democrats are now trying to ensure that they do not hurt themselves because of their unusually crowded slates of candidates.

With so many Democrats running, the party’s fear is that the vote will be splintered, allowing Republicans — who have fewer candidates — to dominate some primaries.

If you are scratching your head it is because the reporter hasn't told you about the new California Primary Rule, wherein it isn't about the Parties, but it is about picking the two highest vote getters in the Primary for a runoff in November.  The Democrats, who dominate California politics, thought it would mean two Democrats, thus squeezing out the weak sister Republicans.  Now, with too many Democrats running in some races it is possible they will split the Democratic Party vote and thus allow a couple of Republicans to emerge as the top two vote getters in the Primary.

Still confused?  If Sam and George, Republicans, are in the Republican Primary and each get about 6,000 votes, but Sally, Ted, Louise and Ed, plus Rodney and Bill, are in the Democratic Primary and they fairly evenly split some 18,000 Democrat votes (3,000 each), those Democrats don't advance to November, just the two Republicans, Sam and George.  By design, the RepublicansDemocrats are squeezed out.

Here is how I would have started the Article:

California Democrats, using their power in the Legislature, tried to reduce Republican Candidates through a change to Primary Election Laws.  Instead, they shot themselves in the foot.  Blame Trump.

This year the California Primaries don't advance Party winners to the General Election in November, but rather advance the top two Primary Election vote getters, regardless of Party.

Remember the old rule of thumb:
Every solution has the seeds of a new problem.
Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  And, in this kind of voting arrangement, it isn't really a "Party Primary", but an elimination round  Thus, John, the Government should pay for it.

Situational Awareness, or SA

For John, BLUFDriving south on Nesmith Sunday, I saw an ambulance coming my way, lights flashing.  Lots of lights.  I pulled over and a white Honda flashed by me on my left, then apparently seeing the ambulance, slowed and moved right.  This is an example of lacking Situational Awareness, of not having SA.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Victory Girls Blog, by Lisa Carr, 27 May 2018.

I think Sarah Hoyt was a little tough on Miss Chelsea:

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Blindness in Academia

For John, BLUFWe are becoming more divided, not less.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

In the well-educated Northern imagination, the rural South is a vast, forbidding wasteland of poverty, prejudice, and despair.

From The Chronicle of Higher Education, by PhD Candidate Adam Kirk Edgerton, 25 May 2018.

Here is the beginning:

When I arrived at the University of North Carolina as an undergraduate in 2004, I had a meeting with a professor who soon asked where in the state I had grown up.  I remember the moment distinctly because she was surprised that someone like me — gay, dressed entirely in pastels and white linen — came from such a place.  My county had a particularly terrible reputation thanks to a billboard on U.S. 70 welcoming drivers to the home of the Ku Klux Klan.  The billboard was unavoidable for families driving east to the beach, and it remained in place into the late 1970s.

Considering this reputation, my professor’s first question was, "How did you escape?"

The word "escape" has stuck with me.  She meant no harm, of course (and was one of my favorite professors), but it was my first of now countless experiences with the stereotypes applied to my place of birth.  At Chapel Hill, and to an even greater extent later at Harvard, I heard that I must be one of the "good ones" who had escaped a place known for racism, ignorance, homophobia, bigotry, sexism, and any other social ill that comes to mind.

That kind of crass regionalism creates well-earned suspicion of ivory-tower elites.  The stereotyping works in both directions.  Each sustains the other, leading to electoral results that help neither the professors up north nor the pig farmers where I grew up.  Regionalism creates openings for populists to exploit and worsen these divides.  These attitudes pit rural against urban, college-educated against non-college-educated.  If those of us in academe are truly so smart, we ought to be the ones taking the first step toward bridging this divide.

The author must feel strongly to write and have published this short piece.

Of course, this means that we have to provide some space for the Academics, as they should provide some space for us Deplorables.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Inquisition is Back

For John, BLUFMr Robinson, in the story, is guilty of wrong thinking  For which he will be punished.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Daily Caller, by Deputy Editor Scott Greer, 26 May 2018.

Here is how it starts:

Anti-Islam activist Tommy Robinson was arrested Friday outside of a British court hearing on a gang accused of forcing women into sex, prompting protests Saturday.

Robinson was livestreaming on Facebook outside of a Leeds court when police arrested him for allegedly breaching the peace, according to The Independent.  The Independent attempted to downplay Robinson’s claim of reporting on the grooming gang trial by putting “reporting” in quotes.

Video shows Robinson being whisked off by police as he demands to know the reason for his arrest.  “This is ridiculous, I haven’t said a word…I’ve done nothing,” he said.

Robinson was sentenced to 13 months in jail for the crime, while the judge prohibited reporting of the verdict within the United Kingdom.  No major British outlet reported on the sentence, and Breitbart redacted Robinson’s name from its report on the case.  (RELATED: U.K. Embraces ISIS Returnees, Cracks Down On Right-Wing Journalists)

According to The Independent, a contempt of court offense can be used to silence reporting on criminal procedures. Robinson was arrested while on a suspended sentence for a similar offense.  In 2017, he was arrested and convicted of filming accused rapists as they headed into court.

The judge in that case claimed it was not about “freedom of the press, nor about legitimate journalism, and not about political correctness,” but “about preserving the integrity of the jury to continue without people being intimidated or being affected by irresponsible and inaccurate ‘reporting.'”

So, the judge is the one to determine what is inaccurate reporting?  That won't help maintain a free press.  It is one thing to have D-Notices, but another to use censorship to hide domestic political corruption or incompetence or both.

I do wonder if this is due to a larger, and more hidden, problem of immigrants exploiting young women, both immigrant and those born in the UK?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

VEEP Gore on the President

For John, BLUFEnd Global Warming, end Donald Trump.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The College Fix, by Assistant Editor Dave Huber, 24 May 2018.

Here are the key paragraphs:

Speaking to University of Maryland graduates, The Baltimore Sun reports Gore used eliminationist terminology when discussing President Trump (emphasis mine):
[Gore] urged the graduates to vote in large numbers in the coming years, suggesting that America’s “experiment” with the Trump administration should, like some scientific ventures, “be terminated early for ethical reasons.”

“Your generation has a mission ahead of it,” Gore said.  “I hope that you will find the will to succeed.  In America, the will to succeed is, in fact, a renewable resource.”

I am hoping he means via the vote in 2020.  He was just a little less than clear on that point.

And "Ethics"?  That seems an interesting approach, given the current activities by Democrats and their camp followers.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Selective Feminism

For John, BLUFIncluding in our own partisan General Court.  Shame!  Shame!  Shame!  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New York Post, by Ms Ayaan Hirsi Ali, 24 May 2018.

She knows of what she speaks.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

President Moves to Reform Civil Service

For John, BLUFThe change you have been looking for.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Old Gray Lady, by Mr Noam Scheiber, 25 May 2018.

Here is the lede plus two:

Seizing on a longtime ambition of many Republicans, President Trump on Friday overhauled rules affecting at least two million federal workers, making it easier to fire them and rolling back the workplace role of their unions.

Mr. Trump, furthering a goal cited in his State of the Union address this year, signed a series of executive orders affecting disciplinary procedures and contract negotiations and limiting the conduct of union business on government time.

Andrew Bremberg, the head of the White House Domestic Policy Council, said the president was “fulfilling his promise to promote more efficient government by reforming our Civil Service rules.”

Back when I was in High School the space race was just breaking out and the Soviets were ahead.  President Eisenhower insisted the US shouldn't militarize the space race and thus the US tried to use the Vanguard research rocket to put satellites into orbit.  It had a number of failures, leading to a 1950s joke that it should be renamed Civil Service—it didn't work; it couldn't be fired.  Yes, a bit of a stretch, but it was the 1950s.

Then Maryland's Senator Chris Van Hollen speaks up:

But Senator Chris Van Hollen, Democrat of Maryland, said in a statement that if the administration were truly interested in restoring public trust in the federal government, it should rein in the excesses of some of its senior appointees, not politicize the Civil Service.
"Politicize the Civil Service"?  Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says that 97 percent of Justice Department donations went to Hillary Clinton, and 99 percent of State Department donations went to the same place.  How is Mr Trump politicizing the Civil Service?

The big problem here is that Mr Trump is raising the expectations bar.  He is doing what he promised when he was out on the hustings.  How can other politicians compete?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, May 25, 2018

Former DNI Clapper Says Russians Swung the Vote

For John, BLUFAnd did it on his watch.  Shame!  Shame!  Shame!  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajama Media, by Mr Tyler O'Neil, 24 May 2018.

Here are the first two paragraphs:

On Wednesday night, former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper argued that Russian meddling in the 2016 election was responsible for Donald Trump's victory over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In his book "Facts and Fears: Hard Truths from a Life in Intelligence," Clapper wrote that he had "no doubt" of this.

"Of course, the Russian effort affected the outcome. Surprising even themselves, they swung the election to a Trump win," Clapper wrote in his book. "To conclude otherwise stretches logic, common sense, and credulity to the breaking point."

Why should we doubt the former top Intel guy in the Obama Administration?  Aside from decades of Democrats telling us these kinds of things just don't happen.

On the other hand, why didn't DNI Clapper and others in the Intel Community know this was going on?  Isn't this worse than the 9/11 Intel failure?

And why wasn't something done?  That is where investigations should focus.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Time To Reset

For John, BLUFBefore a strong majority goes round the bend we should stop.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The early righteousness of the anti-Trump lynch-mob has been deflated.

From National Review, by Mr Conrad Black, 23 May 2018.

Here is how the article begins:

It is now clear that Russian attempts at interference in the 2016 election, though somewhat outrageous, were ineffectual, unconnected with any particular party, a small effort given what a country of Russia’s resources and taste for political skullduggery and chicanery is capable of, and minor compared with the influence many countries, including the United States, have sometimes exercised in the elections of other countries. No serious person could find anything in the conduct of the president that could be construed as obstruction of justice, the all-purpose catch-all of American prosecutors, who can conjure that charge from the most mundane acts.

The Trump-impeachers, shuffling grimly forward into the desert like Old Testament slaves to the chant of the ineffable millionaire congresswoman Maxine Waters: “Impeach 45!” will perish in the sand. The vultures will pick their bones in an Ozymandian setting. No president has ever been impeached and removed successfully (though Andrew Johnson, who was not guilty of anything, escaped removal by only one vote in 1868). The required “high crimes and misdemeanors” the Constitution stipulates, have never been clearly defined, but apparently did not include President Clinton’s likely untruthfulness to a grand jury. After two years of exhaustive legal investigation accompanied by intense media innuendos about everything President Trump and his family have done more ambitious than putting on their shoes in the morning (unlike the Clinton case and much closer to the relentless media badgering and defaming of Richard Nixon in the Watergate affair), there is nothing to impeach with, or about.

The statute under which Robert Mueller’s investigation is operating does not give him an open and unaccountable mandate like the old special prosecutors had, and he has wildly exceeded his remit. The reasons for the assurance of even very intelligent and fair-minded legal experts, such as Alan Dershowitz, that the president could be summoned before a grand jury by Mueller, are not clear. President Clinton complied voluntarily and President Nixon eventually responded to a Supreme Court order on a document subpoena. But Mueller has less authority, is outside his mandate, some of his staff have committed significant improprieties, and his operation was set up in the absence of a crime, in response to an illegal leak of an improperly removed document of contested accuracy by ex-FBI director James Comey in retaliation against the president for having been fired on the recommendation of the deputy attorney general (Rod Rosenstein), who then obliged Comey by engaging Mueller as special counsel (having first offered him the FBI position he held before Comey). It is not clear that the Supreme Court would order Trump’s attendance at a grand jury, given the farcical charade that has got us where we are. (Nor is it clear that if Trump declined to follow such an order, the Congress would consider that an offense justifying removal from office.)

The early righteousness of the anti-Trump lynch-mob was deflated when the Steele dossier was revealed as defamatory lies assembled and paid for by the Clinton campaign. The feeble effort at claiming a boozy conversation between a very junior member of the Trump campaign team and a former Australian politician (who had secured $25 million of Australian government money for the Clinton Foundation) as the source of the investigation has crumbled.  The origins were earlier, and Christopher Steele and prominent members of the FBI and CIA shopped his inane and scatological dossier around the media to incite the misplaced belief that there were multiple disinterested sources for its contents.

Is there any senior statesman who can say it is time to accept Mr Trump as President and time to move on?

The alternative could be, rather than Impeachment, indictments.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Don't Block Me, Bro

For John, BLUFI think this is petty harassment.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Ms Bridget Johnson, 23 May 2018.

Here is the lede:

A federal judge ruled today that President Trump cannot block his critics on Twitter because his feed is a "public forum" protected by the First Amendment.
OK then, does this mean the White House (and by extension, Congress Critters) must open and read every EMail and Snail Mail communication?  I would think so.

But, the supplemental question is, if one receives a form letter, especially one not germaine to the issue raised, is that prima facia evidence that the original recipient didn't open and read the communication, in essence blocking the communication?


Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Congress, Behaving Badly, in History

For John, BLUFThings have been tough before.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the InstaPundit and Law Professor Gail Heriot, today, 22 May 2018.

Here is the blog post:

ON THIS DAY IN 1856, CONGRESSMAN PRESTON BROOKS (D-SC) BEAT SENATOR CHARLES SUMNER (R-Mass) WITHIN AN INCH OF HIS LIFE ON THE FLOOR OF U.S. SENATE:  Two days earlier, at the height of the “Bleeding Kansas” crisis, Sumner had given an impassioned speech against the Kansas-Nebraska Act and against slavery itself.  Brooks, whose cousin Senator Andrew Butler had been instrumental in the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, viewed the beating with a cane as an acting of retaliation for defamation.  Sumner was lucky to survive.  It was years before he was able to continue his work at the Senate full time.

If you think we’re polarized now, try 1856:  William Cullen Bryant in the New York Evening Post wrote:  “Has it come to this, that we must speak with bated breath in the presence of our Southern masters?…  Are we to be chastised as they chastise their slaves?  Are we too, slaves, slaves for life, a target for their brutal blows, when we do not comport ourselves to please them?”  On the other hand, the Richmond Enquirer editorialized that “vulgar abolitionists in the Senate” should be “lashed into submission.”

Humility is helpful in times like this.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, May 21, 2018

Things Getting Better

For John, BLUFThe world is a better place than it was when we were born..  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

It projects 702 million people or 9.6% of the world’s population will be living in extreme poverty in 2015, down from 902 million people or 12.8% in 2012

From The Guardian, via Reuters, 4 Oct 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

The number of people living in extreme poverty is likely to fall for the first time below 10% of the world’s population in 2015, the World Bank said on Sunday as it revised its benchmark for measuring the problem.

“This is the best story in the world today,” said World Bank president Jim Yong Kim.  “These projections show us that we are the first generation in human history that can end extreme poverty.”

Extreme poverty has long been defined as living on or below $1.25 a day, but the World Bank’s adjustment now sets the poverty line at $1.90 a day.

The Bank said the change reflects new data on differences in the cost of living across countries, while preserving the real purchasing power of the previous yardstick.

So, is this due to the spread of Socialism, including Bolivarian Socialism and juche or due to various forms of capitalism, or due to the secret spread of some third approach?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Illegal Immigration Goes North

For John, BLUFIllegal Immigrants squeezing out the homeless?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Mr Michael Walsh, 19 May 2018.

Here is the opening:

And you thought The Camp of the Saints was fiction:
With only 20 rooms vacant, Toronto is within seven days of evoking an emergency plan to house the growing number of refugees settling in the city after crossing the U.S.-Canada border, Mayor John Tory says.

“We could not, cannot and should not be doing this alone. If these daily arrivals continue, as we expect them to, to some degree or another, we will be in a position within the next seven days, where we will need to open an emergency reception centre,” Tory told a news conference Friday.

As of Thursday, there were 2,683 refugee claimants in the Toronto shelter system, accounting for 41 per cent of the shelter population.  At the current rate of arrivals, the city expects refugees will make up 54 per cent of the spaces by November.

If you are looking for the Kindle edition of the book, Camp of the Saints, it is here.

Further on the article reads:

Behold the Cloward-Pivening of the West: operating under the false flags of "diversity" and "tolerance," and demanding that post-Christian West "live up to its own book of rules" (Alinsky Rule #4), the cultural Marxists seek to destroy the political integrity of the European and the North American nation-states by flooding them with "migrants" (to where?) and "refugees" (from what?).

Blame Trump!

Yes, if the West doesn't stand for anything, if it believes it is the West only because of good luck and not because of a set of values that brings freedom and prosperity, then it deserves to go the way of the Wooly Mammoth.  If, on the other hand, Anglo=Saxon Privilege means inheriting a set of values that provides for limited government and property right and the right to vote your government out of existence, then there needs to be a system of acculturation of assimilation, so that the ideas and ideals are not drowned by immigration but are allowed to spread and enrich all, at the pace they can accept.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Government Spying on Campaigns

For John, BLUFThis may be as old as the Republic itself, but we never forced it into the public fora, until we began this Russiagate investigation.  Sad.  Very sad.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This post relates to this earlier post. From The Washington Examiner, by Reporter Steven Nelson, 20 May 2018.

Here are the first three paragraphs of the story:

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein asked the Justice Department's inspector general Sunday to review whether there was improper politically motivated surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016.

Rosenstein made the request shortly after a tween from President Trump saying that he would "officially" ask "that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes."

In a statement, Rosenstein said:  "if anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign of inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action."  The attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has recused himself from Russia related matters.

That seems like a timely response.  And action in the proper direction.

The accusations, if true, may not be as offensive as the Wisconsin John Doe issue, but still pretty serious.

On the other hand, I see no reason to suggest the other campaign was either involved or a benefactor.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Out of His Lane?

For John, BLUF I think Mr Brennon protests too much.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Former CIA Director-turned-Twitter troll, John Brennan lashed out at Trump on Sunday evening after the President ordered the DOJ to investigate the FBI’s infiltration of his campaign.

From The Gateway Pundit, by Ms Cristina Laila, 20 May 2018.

Here is the Tweet from Mr Brennan:

Senator McConnell & Speaker Ryan: If Mr. Trump continues along this disastrous path, you will bear major responsibility for the harm done to our democracy. You do a great disservice to our Nation & the Republican Party if you continue to enable Mr. Trump’s self-serving actions. a href="">

— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) May 20, 2018

The link in the Text Message goes here:
I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes - and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!

1:37 PM · May 20, 2018

What is M Brennan asking for?  Impeachment and Conviction?

One of the leaders of the Intel Community trying to muscle the Legislative Leadership seems askew.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, May 19, 2018

What's the Dif?

For John, BLUFSo is The Old Gray Lady now the publicist for the FBI.  Wouldn't that be a violation of Contract Law, services rendered without payment, a violation of the Antideficiency Act?.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Old Gray Lady, by Reporters Adam Goldman, Mark Mazzetti and Matthew Rosenberg, 18 May 2018.

Here is the lede plus one:

President Trump accused the F.B.I. on Friday, without evidence, of sending a spy to secretly infiltrate his 2016 campaign “for political purposes” even before the bureau had any inkling of the “phony Russia hoax.”

In fact, F.B.I. agents sent an informant to talk to two campaign advisers only after they received evidence that the pair had suspicious contacts linked to Russia during the campaign.  The informant, an American academic who teaches in Britain, made contact late that summer with one campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, according to people familiar with the matter.  He also met repeatedly in the ensuing months with the other aide, Carter Page, who was also under F.B.I. scrutiny for his ties to Russia.

"In fact"?  How do we know this is a "fact"?

Because the FBI says so?  Officially?  Or to Congress?  Or in a leak to the newspaper?

Is this the same newspaper that Former FBI Director James Comey unethically leaked information about his conversations with the President while both were officials?

Then there is the whole issue of why this particular "spy" (Investigator) would be in jeopardy if the name were to ooze out?  If just an FBI Investigator hired on the spot market, it makes no sense.  If a CIA assets working traplines in other countries, then there should well be a concern, but that is someone a little more "high priced" that your average pickup investigator.  And who is funding all the travel and the money for a 1,500 word paper?

Hat tip to The Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Bonus Question.  If Mr Comey lied to the President, is that a Martha Stewart kind of crime, for which he should face jail time?
  Need a 1,500 word paper written for $3,000, contact me.

Current Hot Meme

For John, BLUFI think Mr Donald Trump needs a more challenging job.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

A meme making the rounds today:

Veep Mike Pence, talking with President Donald Trump:

I bet you can’t make the Democrats defend MS-13 and Hamas in the same week.

Hold my Diet Coke.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Coming Clean in the IC

For John, BLUFWhat does she know and when did she know it.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Posted on Real Clear Politics, by Mr Ian Schwartz, 15 May 2018.

Here is Senator Rand Paul, quoted in the article:

This is a big deal.  Now, some are saying, oh, it was just incidentally collected.  It`s still a big deal.  And there is a question.  There are some accusations it was actually ordered by President Obama`s administration, either through John Brennan or others.  Gina Haspel is the acting director of the CIA.  She is high enough up in the CIA.  I think we should know what she knows about whether the Trump campaign was surveilled upon.  We do know that John Brennan, since he has left government, has become an outspoken partisan against the president in very defamatory terms.  So, yes, I`m concerned about Gina Haspel being a close acolyte of John Brennan.  I also would like to know from her before she is appointed, if she is indeed appointed, I would like to know, what does she know about the surveillance of the Trump campaign and why was the CIA involved?
Seems a fair question, and more germaine than about water boarding.

UPDATE:  To late.  Already Confirmed by the US Senate.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Horses for Courses

For John, BLUFRunning against President Trump, at this point, seems like a losing strategy.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

A Tweet from the Democratic Party Message System, Twitter.  It emerged today, from Professor Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) Professor of law - University of MN, former White House chief ethics counsel, candidate for U.S. Senate.

Here is the Tweet:

What was the point of the Revolution if subjects of the British Crown get single payer health care and university education at a fraction of what it costs us and we are stuck with a President guilty of treason, bribery and other crimes, and a Congress unwilling to get rid of him?
I wonder how current is Professor Painter's knowledge of Great Britain.  I wonder where he comes down on the Allie Evans imbroglio?  And, there is the ongoing withdrawal of Great Britain from the European Union.  How does that fit in with Professor Painter's view?

I am not predicting a large measure of success for Prof Painter.

I guess the Professor could just move to Old Blighty.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, May 13, 2018

A Spy in the Other Guy's Camp

For John, BLUFI expect a lot of institutional protecting tocome out of this.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Wall Street Journal, by Reporter Kimberley A. Strassel (, 10 May 2018.

Here is the lede plus three:

The Department of Justice lost its latest battle with Congress Thursday when it agreed to brief House Intelligence Committee members about a top-secret intelligence source that was part of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign.  Even without official confirmation of that source’s name, the news so far holds some stunning implications.

Among them is that the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation outright hid critical information from a congressional investigation.  In a Thursday press conference, Speaker Paul Ryan bluntly noted that Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes’s request for details on this secret source was “wholly appropriate,” “completely within the scope” of the committee’s long-running FBI investigation, and “something that probably should have been answered a while ago.”  Translation:  The department knew full well it should have turned this material over to congressional investigators last year, but instead deliberately concealed it.

House investigators nonetheless sniffed out a name, and Mr. Nunes in recent weeks issued a letter and a subpoena demanding more details.  Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s response was to double down—accusing the House of “extortion” and delivering a speech in which he claimed that “declining to open the FBI’s files to review” is a constitutional “duty.”  Justice asked the White House to back its stonewall.  And it even began spinning that daddy of all superspook arguments—that revealing any detail about this particular asset could result in “loss of human lives.”

This is desperation, and it strongly suggests that whatever is in these files is going to prove very uncomfortable to the FBI.

If true, thus won't end well.

As to "extortion", I think it would be if Congress exercised its Constitutional prerogative and cut the FBI (and Main Justice) budgets by 15%.  That might get someone's attention and create a window for more open Federal Government.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Obstacles in the Road

For John, BLUFMr Trump dominates conversations even when they aren't about politics.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Neo-Neocon, 11 May 2018.

As in "Speed Bump".

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

CNN, Keeper of Secrets

For John, BLUFStandards?  I don't think they have any standards.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajama Media, by Mr Chris Queen, 8 May 2018.

Here are the first three paragraphs:

Our modern news media thrives on transparency.  The freedom and openness of information helps the media do their job. That's a fact that I can vouch for as a writer.

It stands to reason that media outlets would have the same transparency standards as the entities they cover, wouldn't it? Print and web outlets generally make their editorial guidelines public.  When it comes to broadcast media, that's another story.

CNN is at the center of a lawsuit involving their ethics and standards.  In 2015, the network aired a report investigating the mortality rate of babies at St. Mary's Medical Center in Florida.  The piece eviscerated the pediatric cardiac surgery program at the hospital, which terminated the program shortly afterward.

With all the leaking we see in the Sieve one would think the news agencies themselves would follow suit.  Apparently not.

Regards  —  Cliff

Proposed CIA Director to be Grilled Today

For John, BLUFThis is a very important issue, because it is about accountability in our secret services, which in turn reflects on accountability in the Deep State.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is about the nomination of Ms Gina Haspel to be the next Director of the CIA.  She is an Intel Progressional, who has worked her way up to be the Deputy Director (and Acting Director).

From Just Security, by Professor Steve Vladeck, 9 May 2018.  Mr Vladeck is Co-Editor-in-Chief of Just Security and Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law.

Here is the lede:

At Lawfare, Ben Wittes has a long post up titled “Why I Support Gina Haspel—Despite a Big Reservation.”  It’s worth reading in full, because it makes about as strong a case as can be made for Haspel’s confirmation for folks who are, to put it precisely, less than enthusiastic about the wisdom, morality, or legality of the CIA’s Rendition, Detention, and Interrogation (RDI) program—in which Haspel played a major role.  (For those, like President Trump, who see her role in CIA torture as a feature, not a bug, well, that’s another matter.)
Yes, this is about the fact that in the wake of the 9/11 Attacks we went with torture to obtain the information we wanted on our enemies.  We have since come to the conclusion that it was illegal and immoral to torture people for information.  There are those who would argue that it was also ineffective.

The Senate hearing on Ms Haspel begins today.

Part of what this is about is sweeping history under the rug.  Another part is if having sinned once, one is forever denied absolution.  That is, is atonement possible?  The way we are pulling down Civil War statues in this country, one wonders.

Regards  —  Cliff

Meanwhile, in Maryland

For John, BLUFShe is a Progressive from Oklahoma, if that tells you anything.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Convicted intelligence leaker Chelsea Manning wants to eliminate U.S. borders, close prisons, and get rid of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if elected to be Maryland’s next senator.

From Breitbart, by Ms Katherine Rodriguez, 7 May 2018.

Here is a paragraph from the UK's Daily Mail on the same issue:

'Manning is running as a protest candidate, which has a long lineage in American history, to shine light on American empire,' said Daniel Schlozman, a political science professor at Johns Hopkins University.  'That's a very different goal, with a very different campaign, than if she wanted to beat [Incumbent] Ben Cardin.'
American Empire?

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Brennan on Trump and Putin

For John, BLUFIt would help if Mr Mueller could speed up his investigation and get his report out to DOJ, Congress and the Public.  Focus on the main issue and not on peripheral issues.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It isn't like I didn't blog about this before (yesterday), based on a month old article from The Cipher Brief.

Here is the sub-headline:

Daniel Hoffman says the former intel chief is aiding a Russian plot to deepen America’s partisan divide

From The Washington Times, by Reporter Guy Taylor, 7 May 2018.

The first four paragraphs:

A behind-the-scenes U.S. intelligence community fight over the merits of publicly scorning President Trump has burst into the open recently, with the CIA’s former Moscow station chief accusing Obama-era spymaster John O. Brennan of crossing a red line through incessant Twitter and cable news excoriations of the current commander in chief.

In addition to claiming that Mr. Brennan is aiding a Kremlin plot to deepen America’s partisan divide, former CIA Clandestine Service Officer Daniel Hoffman says the former CIA director has actually jeopardized national security by publicly insinuating that Russian President Vladimir Putin may be blackmailing Mr. Trump.

Mr. Brennan made the insinuation in late-March when he asserted during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Mr. Trump is “afraid of the president of Russia” and that “one can speculate as to why.”

“The Russians may have something on [Mr. Trump] personally, that they could always roll out and make his life more difficult,” Mr. Brennan said.  “That [Mr. Trump] has had this fawning attitude toward Mr. Putin…say[s] to me that he does have something to fear and something very serious to fear.”

The thing is, if Mr John Brennan is convinced that Mr Putin has the goods on President Trump, and Ms Nancy Pelosi believes Mr Brennan, then it will cause the House Minority Leader to operate in ways different from what she might have done if she felt she was dealing with a President free of Kremlin pressure and acting solely in the interest of these United States (and his political party).  That means that every proposed piece of legislation, every announcement, every tweet, must be viewed through the lens of what is Russia trying to accomplish here, and resisted based on that assumption.

So why would President Trump trust the Intelligence Community?

Hat tip to The Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Or just has a visceral reaction to President Trump and acts on that feeling by seeing him as a Kremlin Stooge, whether it is so or not.
  It also serves to destroy trust and create an infinity of mirrors.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Helping the Enemy

For John, BLUFThe thing is, as long as Congress is tied up worrying about President Trump they aren't legislating, and that is a good thing.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Cipher Brief, by Mr Daniel Hoffman, Former CIA Chief of Station, dated 5 April 2018.

Yes, this is a month old, but The Cipher Brief tends to have stories that hold up over time and this discussion is still timely.

Here are the first five paragraphs from Mr Hoffman:

Russian President Vladimir Putin has directed most of Russia’s military and intelligence resources against Russia’s “Main Enemy,” the United States, since he became prime minister in 1999.  As a former KGB officer and director of its successor, the FSB, Putin’s weapons of choice for this covert campaign are espionage, and influence operations that target our political differences to weaken and divide us.

That’s why I was particularly upset when former CIA Director John Brennan delivered cringe worthy tweets excoriating President Donald Trump’s character and then “speculating” on MSNBC that Trump has not said anything negative about Putin because Trump “has something to serious to fear.”  He insinuated Putin was in a position to blackmail the president.  Brennan later explained to The New York Times that he was speculating, but damage was done. He played right into the hands of an adversary trying to widen the partisan divide.

As a trained intelligence officer who knows what makes our society tick, Putin understands the best way to soil our democratic process is to link it with a touch of conspiracy, i.e. to the Kremlin.  He is acutely aware of the value to Russia of exacerbating the political tension that grips our country.  Putin’s goal is to weaken our democratic institutions, including intelligence community agencies, which are responsible for countering Russia’s espionage onslaught on our country.

Putin purposely left a trail of breadcrumbs to the Kremlin in a series of discoverable influence operations: the three high-profile Russians with links to the Kremlin who attended the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting; and the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency that directed the election-related hacking carried a Kremlin return address.

From the Kremlin’s optic, these discoverable influence operations were more successful because they had the side benefit of transforming our intelligence community into partisan fodder.  Putin can certainly take some credit for helping spark both the firings of the FBI director and deputy director, as well as increasingly intense partisan bickering in Congress.  Having released dueling memos about the FBI’s surveillance of a Trump campaign official, the House Committee on Intelligence is deeply divided and risking collateral damage to its oversight mission and public trust.

Does the Kremlin have "the photos", as they say, that would compromise the US President?  I am doubtful.  That said, after the 2016 Election, and subsequent inauguration, those who were devastated by Mrs Clinton's loss eventually joined with the remaining Never Trumpers to form a movement to remove the President.

The result is that those opposed to President Trump, at a visceral level, rather than just a political level, are actually helping (the recently sworn in for another six year term) President Vladimir Putin of Russia.  Mr Putin is conducting political warfare, or "Active Measures".  There is a long tradition of this sort of thing.  Anything he (Mr Putin) can do to impede US President Trump is seen in Moscow as providing an edge in the game of world chess.

So, the Democrats and the Never Trumpers worry about Kompromat.  Based on this they seem intent upon removing President Trump at almost any price.  Such commitment to removal seems over the top, and is alienating a number of voters.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  My judgement is that there is very little, especially in the way of sexual antics, that would be embarrassing to Mr Trump.
  It isn't like Mr Trump is like former EU President and Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, speculated to be a KGB Agent.

Democrats Threatened by Special Counsel?

For John, BLUFIs it possible that Mr Trump is playing Mr Mueller, for his own political success?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Not from indictments, but from popular rejection of the whole process.

From Pajama Media, by Writer Roger L Simon, 6 May 2018.

Here are the first five paragraphs:

It would probably give Robert Mueller a nervous breakdown, not to mention James Comey, Andrew McCabe and the rest of the FBI cabal, past and present, but at this point the special counsel seems to be actually causing the reelection of Donald Trump.  Most of the country, other than the greed heads in the media and extreme Democratic Party operatives, no longer gives a hoot in Hades about the "Russia Probe."  They're frustrated and sick of it.

There's a dawning national consensus of "enough already" reflected by Judge Ellis when he demanded to know exactly what Paul Manafort's possible money laundering schemes of years ago had to do with Trump colluding with Russia in the 2016 election.  The same might be said of Stormy Daniels, whose Russia connection is even more remote.

But let's skip past the subplots of the moment to the greatest of all unintended consequences of this endless investigation -- the decline and fall of the Democratic Party.

Yes, you read that correctly.  Like a crackhead addicted to the next puff, Democrats and their media allies have spent most of the last sixteen months fixated on whether Trump somehow, some way, colluded with Putin.  Meanwhile, a zillion issues slipped by, some important, others less so, but the Democrats barely weighed in on anything, other than to whine about Trump.

What a dumb mistake.  And it was compounded by the assumption that the public agreed with them, which was true for a while, to some extent, but has now worn surpassingly thin.  It didn't help that the tedious late-night talk show hosts and SNL comics fixated on Trump as well, creating a perfect (but utterly useless) storm.

Rush Limbaugh thinks internal Democratic Party polling is showing that talk of impeachment is a loser.  See this OpEd from Sunday.

I am hoping that the new Salena Zito book, to be released tomorrow, will help explain this.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

13 Angry Democrats

For John, BLUFI wonder if "13 angry Democrats" will become a meme?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Associated Press, today, 7 May 2018, with no one on the blame line.

Here is the lede plus two:

President Donald Trump said Monday he was “Fighting Back” against the Russia probe and warned the “13 Angry Democrats” on the special counsel’s team to “just wait ’till the Courts get to see your unrevealed Conflicts of Interest!”

Trump also suggested special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia was politically motivated.

“Is this Phony Witch Hunt going to go on even longer so it wrongfully impacts the Mid-Term Elections, which is what the Democrats always intended?” Trump tweeted.  “Republicans better get tough and smart before it is too late.”

Special Counsel Mueller will need to bring in a doozy of an indictment, or a clear exoneration if he is to retain the view that he is for "Truth, Justice and the American Way".

(I am assuming he is still the straight shooter we have been told he is.)

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

National Health Service Fail

For John, BLUFIt isn't quite the T-4 Program, but once the medical bureaucrats decide nothing can be done, then nothing will be done.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Red State, by Brandon Morse, 2 May 2018.

Here is the start of the article:

The evils of socialized medicine were on full display during the few days the world watched Alfie Evans suffer to death at the hands of the British government’s National Healthcare System (NHS).

After his death, the Daily Signal decided to get the comments of the 15 Democratic senators currently co-sponsoring the “Medicare for All Act of 2017,” spearheaded by Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

According to the Daily Signal, what they got in return was an eerie silence from the Democrats who apparently decided to go dark after the world watched their beloved system of choice fail so spectacularly:

I am not saying we don't need reform.  I am saying that the idea of Single Payer means that we will have more medical tourism, but overall choice will be reduced for the broad expanse of the population.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Palestine Instransigence

For John, BLUFMaybe it is a last effort to built support before he folds to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS).  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is from 1 May, and thus is a week old, but the mindset has a long history.

Here is the sub-headline:

In rambling speech, PA president gives a 'history lesson' in which he tries to negate Jewish connection to Israel, accuses Zionists of cooperating with Hitler

From The Times of Israel, by TOI staff, on 1 May 2018.

Here are the first two paragraphs:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday said that the Holocaust was not caused by anti-Semitism, but by the “social behavior” of the Jews, including money-lending.

In a long and rambling at speech in Ramallah in front of hundreds at a rare session of the Palestinian National Council, Abbas touched on a number of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories during what he called a “history lesson,” as he sought to prove the 3,000 year-old Jewish connection to the Land of Israel is false.

I must say, President Mahmoud Abbas doesn't sound much like he is interested in cutting a deal.

I am hoping that things are in play behind the scenes, and that actions such as Swamp People messing with Mr Jared Kushner don't derail things.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

KSA (MBS) Pushes For Holy Land Peace

For John, BLUFI wonder where we would be if Mrs Clinton has been elected?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

So, it is from Axios, but by Mr Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 10 news.  The date was 29 April 2018.

Here is how Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds covered it:

DIPLOMACY:  Saudi Crown Prince:  Palestinians should take what the U.S. offers.  “In a closed-door meeting with heads of Jewish organizations in New York on March 27th, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) gave harsh criticism of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen), according to an Israeli foreign ministry cable sent by a diplomat from the Israeli consulate in New York, as well three sources — Israeli and American — who were briefed about the meeting.  The bottom line of the crown prince’s criticism:  Palestinian leadership needs to finally take the proposals it gets from the U.S. or stop complaining.”

Plus: “He made clear the Palestinian issue was not a top priority for the Saudi government or Saudi public opinion. MBS said Saudi Arabia ‘has much more urgent and important issues to deal with’ like confronting Iran’s influence in the region. . . .  A source who was briefed on the meeting told me the attendees were stunned when they heard the Saudi Crown Prince comments on the Palestinian issue.  ‘People literally fell off their chairs,’ the source said.”

Amazing that this took a month to leak, but it says volumes about how America’s mideast diplomacy has changed things.  And reportedly it was Jared Kushner who got the Crown Prince on board.

I realize that President Trump just doesn't understand how the Diplomatic Game is played, but one wonders if the Diplomatic Game is all about keeping things frozen in place.  With President Trump we get movement.  As my Oldest Son suggested, maybe Mr Trump won because God saw that he was the only candidate prepared to actually move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.  Not saying that happened, but it could be an explanation.  I wonder where Special Counsel Robert Mueller would come down on Mr Trump colluding with God.  In days past we actively colluded with God, asking for his Blessing.  Today?  Who knows where the courts would come down.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Menue Crime

For John, BLUFThe Federal Government trying to make up for deficiencies in what your Mother (or your schooling) taught you about nutrition.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Foundation for Economic Education, by Ms Michelle Minton, 5 May 2018.

Here is the lede plus five:

Within days, chain restaurants and grocery stores nationwide will have to comply with a high-cost, low-value Obamacare menu-labeling mandate.  Failure to comply with the law could land shop owners in prison for a year with a fine of up to $100,000.

The controversial provision within the Affordable Care Act goes into effect on May 7 and requires food service businesses with 20 or more locations to list nutritional information for food items on all signs and printed menus.  Congress had many chances to amend the rule, to make it more flexible, and reduce the 14.5 million hours the Office of Management and Budget estimated it would take to comply with the mandate.  But, despite bipartisan support, lawmakers failed.

So, I looked at 14.5 million hours and divided by 2200 (hours in a work year) and got some 6590 person-years of work.

Then I applied the Democratic Party Consensus minimum wage ($15 per hours) and got a cost of $217,500,000 dollars total.

The odds I will actually consume the information—<0.1%.

As for the punishment, I wonder if that is a real judge or an Administrative Law Judge?  Given what Drunk Drivers get in our Commonwealth, I wonder if the punishment in this case is proportional to the crime.

Regards  —  Cliff

Missing the Trees For The Forest

For John, BLUFDrinking their own bathwater.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From My San Antonio, by Mssrs Mike DeBonis and Michael Scherer, from The Washington Post, 5 May 2018.

OK, so this is how folks miss what is happening out on the hustings.  Those folks behind Mr Trump all believe that Washington is the Swamp and that the unelected Democrats in the Bureaucracy are the ones really running the asylum.

Hat tip to The Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

Orange Going Blue

For John, BLUFI am thinking the Democrats could mess this up by overly focusing on President Trump and on his possible Impeachment.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Sacramento Bee, by AP Political Writer Michael R Blood, 5 May 2018.  The By Line location is Irvine, where my sister-in-law just sold her house, to consolidate her location outside of Seattle, Washington.

Here is the lede plus two:

Once considered conservative holy ground, Orange County is starting to look like a last stand for California Republicans.

Chased out of much of California by Democrats who hold every statewide office and a 39-14 advantage in U.S. House seats, the party is trying to hold its ground in a place whose nickname, the Orange Curtain, recalls its famous Republican bona fides and where white, suburban homeowners once delivered winning margins for its candidates year after year.

But that's changed.  And Democrats emboldened by an unpopular president and a diversifying population that favors their party hope to capture all four of the Republican-held U.S. House seats in the county.

First off, I am sure Mr Blood meant Caucasians and not "Whites".  Maybe it was the fault of the editors.

Secondly, Mr Blood writes like it is the 1950s, when Orange County really was Conservative.  In the 1960s and 70s, as folks moved in from LA County, the political profile of the population changed.

One thing to keep in mind is that the California elections laws are not like those in the other 49 States:

In California, what matters is finishing first or second in the primary.  That's because under election rules the top two vote-getters advance to November, regardless of party affiliation.
It is the case that the California voting law could squeeze out the Republicans, but we won't know until November.

In the mean time, The Boston Globe's belief in a Blue Tsunami this fall notwithstanding, I don't think it is a given that the Democrats will take over both Houses, let alone gain a two-thirds hold on the Senate.

And why is the color for Democrats Blue and the Republicans Red?  Elsewhere in the world Red is the color of Revolution and Communism.

Hat tip to The Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

May Day Games

For John, BLUFCommunism, in the name of equality, is evil.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Pajama Media, by Ms Debra Heine, 3 May 2018.

The first paragraph:

An antifa group in Los Angeles celebrated May Day by holding a small march, hanging a Trump effigy, and advocating for "revolutionary violence" against the "capitalist state" in order to "create real political power."
So, the Antifa, the Anti-Fascists, in the name of Marxist-Leninist Revolution, want to make things worse for the world than the Fascists did.  Remember, Fascism comes from a guy, Benito Mussolini, who rejected Communism and then moved on to found his own Party, which, when it spread to Germany and Spain, killed proportionally far fewer people that Communism.  Now there is an indictment.

Don't be fooled.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Happy Birthday Karl Marx

For John, BLUFKarl Marx unleashed a lot of death and destruction on the world in the 20th Century.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From CAPX, by Kristian Niemietz, 3 May 2018.

Here is the lede paragraph:

This week will mark the 200th birthday of Karl Marx.  It will be an occasion for a deluge of articles repeating the well-worn cliché that even though Marx’s predictions ultimately did not materialise, his analysis of capitalism was nonetheless spot on, and remains hugely relevant today.  (In fact, it’s already started.)
If you guessed The Old Gray Lady for the source of the URL for "It's already started" you are correct.

Then there is this from Mr Michael Moore:

Happy 200th Birthday Karl Marx!  You believed that everyone should have a seat at the table & that the greed of the rich would eventually bring us all down.  You believed that everyone deserves a slice of the pie.  You knew that the super wealthy were out to grab whatever they could.
And I am sure it will, at some point.  In the mean time "the greed of the rich" has only served to elevate the living standards of the rest of us, since the time of Karl Marx, and before.  Think South Korea vs North Korea.  Or West Germany vs East Germany.  Think Venezuela.

As a side note, South Korea has a higher GDP than Russia.

Regards  —  Cliff

Waiting For the Facts

For John, BLUFImpeachment of President Trump could be a quagmire for the Democrats, done wrong.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the OpEd pages of The Old Gray Lady, by US Repressentative Adam B. Schiff, 4 May 2018.

Representative Adam B. Schiff, a former federal prosecutor, is the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

In the first part of his essay Rep Schiff makes the point that Impeachment can include actions from before assuming office, if they reflect on possible subsequent conduct while in office.  He cites the Impeachment (and subsequent Senate conviction) of federal judge Thomas Porteous Jr., of New Orleans.

Then he goes on to talk to the political side of the coin:

Yet, one of the most important lessons I learned during the Porteous case was that the legal standard for what constitutes a high crime or misdemeanor is less important than the practical and political standard that must be met in any impeachment case.  And while that political standard cannot be easily or uniformly defined, I think in the present context it means the following:  Was the president’s conduct so incompatible with the office he holds that Democratic and Republican members of Congress can make the case to their constituents that they were obligated to remove him?

If they cannot, if impeachment is seen by a substantial part of the country as merely an effort to nullify an election by other means, there will be no impeachment, no matter how high the crime or serious the misdemeanor.

This is a very high bar, and it should be.  Impeachment is an extraordinary remedy, not to be entertained lightly, and in the case of a president, would mean putting the country through a deeply wrenching process.  It is instead a remedy that must be considered soberly, mindful of the fact that removing a president from office should be the recourse for only the most serious transgressions.

Should the facts warrant impeachment, that case will be made more difficult politically if part of the country feels that removing Mr. Trump is the result that some of their fellow Americans were wishing for all along.

I believe Rep Schiff is spot on in his analysis of the political side of the coin.  And he is right to warn off Democrats from running in November's General Election on an Impeachment plank.  It may work in the Primary, but come November it may well repel those not enrolled in a party.

In the larger scheme of things, Impeachments are rare and convictions by the Senate are not sure.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Two Spaces

For John, BLUFThis seems so obvious, but some are slow learners.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Wash Post, by Reporter Avi Selk, 4 May 2018.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever.

Hat tip to my friend Dave Maxwell.

Regards  —  Cliff

Our Experts

For John, BLUFWe should always have that little voice in our head asking "really?"  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

On-air ‘experts’ are more disconnected from their demographics than ever – and their lack of expertise has become glaring in the age of Trump

From The Guardian, by Mr Michael Massing, 21 April 2018.

I give some credence to the headline and sub-headline.

As someone said, if you want more Trump, this is how you get more Trump.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, May 4, 2018

Who Gets Protection?

For John, BLUFYes, the bureaucrats in the Federal government could be creating resistance to immigration, by slowing assimilation.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The San Diego Union Tribune, by Ms Morgan Cook, Contact Reporter, 3 May 2018.

Here are the first four paragraphs:

Albertsons grocery stores violated the rights of Hispanic employees in San Diego with a policy forbidding workers to speak Spanish around non-Spanish speakers — even when conversing with each other during breaks or helping Spanish-speaking customers, according to a new lawsuit.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Albertsons Companies, Inc., on Thursday in federal court.  The lawsuit accuses the Idaho-based chain of discriminating against Hispanic employees at San Diego-area stores, harassing them and subjecting them to a hostile workplace because of their race or country of origin.

“Employers have to be aware of the consequences of certain language policies,” Anna Park, an attorney for the commission’s district office covering San Diego County, said in a statement on Thursday.  “Targeting a particular language for censorship is often synonymous with targeting a particular national origin, which is both illegal and highly destructive to workplace morale and productivity.”

According to the lawsuit, the national grocery retailer is one of the country’s largest, employing some 280,000 employees across 35 states.  The company’s stores serve about 2,300 communities and operate under 19 well-known banners, including Albertsons, Vons and Safeway.

Yes, Albertsons and Vons are real supermarkets.

From Law Professor Gail Heriot, teaching in San Diego:

I can’t help but wonder if Americans would have a more favorable attitude toward immigration if the federal government hadn’t been zealously pursuing anti-assimilationist policies for so many decades.  Attempts to impose bilingual education and affirmative action are two of the biggest ones.  (Why identify with the majority if your one of your grandparents will get you diversity points?) But in a small way these “Speak English, please” rules are another example.  (By the way, the EEOC seems to be going out of its way to “interpret” the Albertsons rule to be more demanding than it really is.  It is not the intent of the rule to prevent Spanish-speaking employees from assisting Spanish-speaking customers in Spanish if they happen to be within earshot of an English-speaking customer.)

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Stormy One and The Donald

For John, BLUFWho knows what Mr Trump is thinking, but his thought process seems to be working for him, at least so far.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Globe, by Ms Annie Linskey, 4 May 2018.

I am stopping right here.  The answer to such a question is YES.

If you get such an absolute question ("is it ever"), the odds are with yes.  Somewhere out there is the answer yes.  You just have to search for it.  Then there is the involvement of Mr Donald Trump and that just increases your odds.

It is pretty clear to most people that:

  • Mr Trump, before the nomination, had carnal knowledge of Ms Stormy Daniels.
  • Because she is "Stormy" Daniels, Mr Trump, to protect himself, used a contract.
  • At some point it becomes known to Mrs Trump.
  • At some point it becomes known to the Fourth Estate.
  • At some point Ms Daniels goes rogue.
  • At some point lawyers for Ms Daniels see a way to make a buck, or
  • Democratic Party Operatives see a way to make mischief.
So, given all that, Mr Trump sees a way to get his name out there just a little more and also sees a way to drive the media and the Democrats (do I repeat myself?) crazy.

Yes, absolutely, this is a violation of the Commandment, Thou shalt not commit adultery.  On the other hand, "for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God."  And, there is the woman taken in adultery, where Jesus said "let him who is without sin cast the first stone."  Leading to the famous line, "No, not you Mother."

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFI wonder if the US Congress should just cut the FBI budget for next year (FY 2019) by ten percent.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Time Magazine, by Eric Lichtblau, 3 MY 2018.

Normally I would add a couple of paragraphs from the article (this time a rather longish article), but this time the headline speaks for itself.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  For comparison, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Fiscal Year 2018 budget request proposes a total of $8,774,477,000 (As in Billion) in direct budget authority, of which $8,722,582,000 is for Salaries and Expenses and $51,895,000 is for Construction.  The S&E request includes a total of 33,533 direct positions and 31,999 direct full time equivalents (FTE); the positions include:  12,484 Special Agents, 2,950 Intelligence Analysts and 18,099 Professional Staff.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Running A Different Campaign

For John, BLUFWhatever Mr Trump says, there is someone available to pick it apart.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The San Jose Mercury News, by Columnist George Will, 3 May 2018.

Here is the lede plus five:

Among the recent garbled effusions from President Donald Trump was one that concerned something about which he might not have thought as deeply as the subject merits.  During an episode of “Fox & Friends,” he said he won the 2016 election “easily” but wishes the electoral vote system were replaced by direct election of presidents by popular vote.  He favors this “because to me, it’s much easier to win the popular vote.”

He added that running for president without the Electoral College would involve “a totally different campaign.”  Which, he does not realize, is one reason for retaining the Electoral College.

At least the President is smart enough to realize it would be "a totally different campaign.  I am not sure his opponent realized this.

Here is another excerpt:

His thinking is murky, but evidently he supposes that under a pure popular-vote system he would have campaigned in, say, indigo California, thereby reducing his opponent’s huge margin of victory there (30 points).
Well, there is no such pace as indigo California.  I wonder if Mr Will meant Indio, California, in the Coachella Valley, down the road from Palm Springs?  Part of the Inland Empire.  Former California Senator Barbara boxer lives just up California Highway 111, in Rancho Mirage.  I have been to Rancho Mirage.  A number of Notable People live or have lived in Rancho Mirage, including my Mother.

By the way, I favor the Electoral College, even when it gives results different from the popular vote.

Hat tip to my Brother Lance.

Regards  —  Cliff