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Monday, December 30, 2019

Impeachment Forever

For John, BLUFHas the President been Impeached, given that the paperwork has not yet been completed?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

It’s highly improbable, but everyone from law scholars to political junkies are speculating about it.

From Politico Europe, by Mr Darren Samuelsohn, 17 April 2016.

NB:  The Date is 17 April 2016

Here is the lede plus three

Donald Trump isn’t even the Republican nominee yet.  But his incendiary rhetoric, most notably about killing the families of terrorists and bringing back torture, has critics on the right and the left discussing the most extreme of countermeasures at an unusually early point in the race.

“Impeachment” is already on the lips of pundits, newspaper editorials, constitutional scholars, and even a few members of Congress. From the right, Washington attorney Bruce Fein puts the odds at 50/50 that a President Trump commits impeachable offenses as president.  Liberal Florida Rep. Alan Grayson says Trump’s insistence on building a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, if concrete was poured despite Congress’s opposition, could lead down a path toward impeachment.  Even the mainstream Republican head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently tossed out the I-word when discussing the civilian backlash if Trump’s trade war with China led to higher prices on everyday items sold at WalMart and Target.  On his radio show last month, Rush Limbaugh even put a very brisk timeline on it:  “They’ll be talking impeachment on day two, after the first Trump executive order,” he said.

It’s not unusual for controversial presidents to be shadowed by talk of impeachment, once they’ve been in office long enough to make people mad.  But before he’s elected? Before he’s a nominee?

Constitutional experts of all political stripes say it’s surprising for impeachment talk to bubble up this early—but then Trump has been throwing around some surprising ideas for a leading candidate, calling the Geneva Conventions a “problem” and pitching policies that many see as violating international law.  “What he’s stated in my judgment would be clearly impeachable offenses,” said Fein, a former Reagan-era Justice Department official who worked on the Bill Clinton impeachment effort.  Likewise, Yale Law School lecturer and military justice expert Eugene Fidell offered a similar prediction for Trump from the left.  “He’s certainly said things, which if followed through on, would constitute high crimes and misdemeanors,” Fidell said.  And doubtless many of Trump’s foes would like to see him impeached just on principle—the quickest way to broom out a leader who horrifies the inclusive sensibilities of Democrats, and has blown apart the Republican Party he’s nominally part of.

Of course, if you're a follower of Meet the Press Host Chuck Todd you are now asking yourself if this is a real Politico article or if a "European" edition actually exists.  I got this from Mr Tyler Durden, at Zero Hedge, which was part of the chain of fake news on Mr Todd's show this last Sunday.  On the other hand, if you think Mr Todd is an identical twin of MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, you might wish to pay attention.

It seems to me that Impeachment wasn't about if, but when.  It wasn't likely when the Republicans controlled the House of Representatives.  And Speaker Nancy Pelosi held off for almost a year, but the Democratic Party Impeachment imperative was strong and finally forced Ms Pelosi's hand.  It is a problem, in my mind, that the hHouse earings were so superficial.

I would not be surprised by another Impeachment effort in 2020.  If the Democratic Party apparatchiks think they might lose the House in 2020 they are going to feel impelled to try again.  Will the House hearings be any more substantial than they were for this effort?

Meanwhile, over at The New Yorker, Writer Adam Gopnik published, on 27 November 2019, Stop Saying That Impeachment Is Political.  His view is TDS.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Media Adrift

For John, BLUFI used to watch CNN all the time, and then it seemed to drift away from me.  I trusted the three major news networks, until they became less credible in my mind, like pushing the fake letter on Candidate George Bush's National Guard Service.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From News Busters, by reporter Tim Graham, 29 December 2019.

I just watched today's edition of Meet the Press, "Alternative Facts Inside the Weaponization of Disinformation," with Host Chuck Todd.

By and large Mr Todd and his guests were totally lacking in introspection, except perhaps for the Mohawk coiffured Mr Joshua Johnson. Mr Todd made it all about the Russians and the Republicans.  Even when he talked about the DNC Server and Crowd Strike he never approached the question of what happened to the Server and why it was not turned over to the FBI.  With Russia supposedly hacking our 2016 Presidential Election, why would that analysis be subcontracted out to a Ukrainian Company?  There may be a very good explanation, but it was skipped over with a "Trust Me" assertion.

The show did not take any of the issues that Republicans felt bubbled up during and following the 2016 Presidential Election, and were dismissed by the Main Stream Media.  For example, the Steele Dossier, the conflicting memos between Representatives Nunes and Schiff (which the DOJ IG found to be in favor of Rep Nunes).  There was the violations of Mr Carter Page's Civil Rights by the Department of Justice.  Then there was the boasting of the Mueller Investigation and the continued support of it as proving President Trump as corrupt and a traitor.  And then the support for Ms Rachel Maddow and her pumping of the Steele Dossier.  There is no reflection on the possibility the Main Stream Media has been wrong here.  Look at their dealing with BREXIT and with the recent British Election.  It felt like dealing with the Proud and Clueless.

I don't expect things to get better any time soon.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Right to Free Speech

For John, BLUFA lot of folks just aren't comfortable with free speech.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Blog Stopping in Flyover Country, by Mr Patrick Richardson, 26 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus five:

A few years ago a Supreme Court Decision came down that said the whackjobs from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan. actually did have the right to protest at the funerals of fallen soldiers holding signs saying “God Hates Fags.”

Darkside Dave told me that for once his liberal family seemed to make sense, saying Westboro had the right to do that, even if it was ugly speech.  It might, of course, be the one and only time a liberal ever agreed with anything the odious (late, and highly unlamented) Rev. Fred Phelps and his so-called church had to say.

Of course, they tend to label any speech they disagree with “hate speech,” and try to shut it down a’la Citizens United and “Hillary:  The Movie.”

People and politicians on both sides of the political divide tend to be a bit on the selective side about what they consider “protected speech,” under the First Amendment.  Generally, if they agree with it, then it’s protected, if they disagree then it’s not.

Granted the left tends to be a bit worse about this one, but not much.  The left tends to scream racism and hate speech (I’m frankly still a bit confused as to exactly what hate speech IS, but that’s just me) and the right has a tendency to try to ban books with which they don’t agree.

Both positions are monumentally stupid.

We need free speech if we are to grow as humanity.  Even with divinely revealed truth, it is wrong to impose it by force on others.  Free speech allows it to be transmitted.  And even so, within that truth there is much to learn.  To be learned through free and open discussion.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Ms Lisa Page Feels Hurt

For John, BLUFI wonder if Ms Page now has some sympathy for Mr Carter Page (apparently no relation), and for others who suffered from leaks by Federal Officials?.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

From Fox News, by Gregg Re, 10 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page is suing the FBI and Department of Justice, alleging that the government's publication of her salacious text messages with anti-Trump ex-FBI agent Peter Strzok constituted a breach of the Federal Privacy Act.

In the complaint filed Tuesday, the 39-year-old Page said she suffered numerous damages because of the disclosure, including a "permanent loss of earning capacity due to reputational damage" and "the cost of therapy to cope with unwanted national media exposure and harassment" at the hands of President Trump.

Page's complaint also sought reimbursement for "the cost of childcare during and transportation to multiple investigative reviews and appearances before Congress," the "cost of paying a data-privacy service to protect her personal information," and attorney's fees.

On Dec. 12, 2017, Page said in the complaint, "DOJ and/or FBI officials disclosed" her sensitive text messages "directly to a select group of reporters to ensure they would become public."  Page alleged that after discovery, she would be able to prove that senior officials knew they were violating the law, and that their conduct was "willful and intentional."

I wonder if this move by Ms Page will serve to refute the view of the FBI and DOJ as squeaky clean?

I would have hoped that Ms Lisa Page would have adopted a John Profumo like posture, accepting that she needed to clean up her public act a little bit, and thus reaping benefits later on in life.  Alas, that seems not to be happening.  Sadly.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Golden State Tarnished

For John, BLUFI was a California Resident from 1956 until 1994.  In the beginning, under Governors Goodie Knight (Republican) and Pat Brown (Democrat), things went well.  Then we stopped investing in infrastructure.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The Golden State is on a path to high-tech feudalism, but there’s still time to change course.

From City Journal, by Mr Joel Kotkin, 20 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

“We are the modern equivalent of the ancient city-states of Athens and Sparta.  California has the ideas of Athens and the power of Sparta,” declared then-governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2007.  “Not only can we lead California into the future . . . we can show the nation and the world how to get there.”  When a movie star who once played Hercules says so who’s to disagree?  The idea of California as a model, of course, precedes the former governor’s tenure.  Now the state’s anti-Trump resistance—in its zeal on matters concerning climate, technology, gender, or race—believes that it knows how to create a just, affluent, and enlightened society.  “The future depends on us,” Governor Gavin Newsom said at his inauguration.  “And we will seize this moment.”

In truth, the Golden State is becoming a semi-feudal kingdom, with the nation’s widest gap between middle and upper incomes—72 percent, compared with the U.S. average of 57 percent—and its highest poverty rate.  Roughly half of America’s homeless live in Los Angeles or San Francisco, which now has the highest property crime rate among major cities.  California hasn’t yet become a full-scale dystopia, of course, but it’s heading in a troubling direction.

This didn’t have to happen.  No place on earth has more going for it than the Golden State.  Unlike the East Coast and Midwest, California benefited from comparatively late industrialization, with an economy based less on auto manufacturing and steel than on science-based fields like aerospace, software, and semiconductors.  In the mid-twentieth century, the state also gained from the best aspects of progressive rule, culminating in an elite public university system, a massive water system reminiscent of the Roman Empire, and a vast infrastructure network of highways, ports, and bridges.  The state was fortunate, too, in drawing people from around the U.S. and the world.  The eighteenth-century French traveler J. Hector St. John de Crèvecœur described the American as “this new man,” and California—innovative, independent, and less bound by tradition or old prejudice—reflected that insight.  Though remnants of this California still exist, its population is aging, less mobile, and more pessimistic, and its roads, schools, and universities are in decline.

And here is the concluding paragraph:
Californians need less bombast and progressive pretense from their leaders and more attention to policies that could counteract the economic and demographic tides threatening the state.  On its current course, California increasingly resembles a model of what the late Taichi Sakaiya called “high-tech feudalism,” with a small population of wealthy residents and a growing mass of modern-day serfs.  Delusion and preening ultimately have limits, as more Californians are beginning to recognize.  As the 2020s beckon, the time for the state to change course is now.
This is a long story of not providing opportunities to all citizens and the consequences thereof.  There is no guarantee of continued economic progress.  This should be a warning to all, but we shouldn't count on it.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFSome of us, outside the world of education, worry that civics is not being taught in our schools, or not being taught well.  Sadly.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New Neo, 20 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus four:

My goodness:

It might be difficult to believe after weeks of talk about impeachment that there are people who still don’t understand the process, but on Twitter last night, “#ByeTrump” was trending because many believed that the House vote on impeachment meant that President Donald Trump was now removed.

Some had to be schooled then today when they found out to their surprise that lo and behold, Trump was still president and that no, being impeached is not the same thing as removal

Although shocking, it’s not surprising.  We’ve known for quite some time that the teaching of civics is nothing like what it used to be, and that many people schooled in the US grow up ignorant of even the basics of the way our government works.  So, many people who seem to be politically active and involved – involved enough to tweet about politics on Twitter, anyway – appear to have thought that impeachment itself would remove Trump from office.

This isn’t just about Trump.  Apparently, these people are so ignorant of the entire picture of how our government is designed that they think the Founders set things up so that one body of our legislature can remove a president by a simple majority vote. Poof, you’re gone!

Funny, but sad.  Democrats.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, December 23, 2019

Marginalizing the Electoral College

For John, BLUFThe Republic has used the Electoral College for over two hundred years and the result has been satisfactory.  What we don't know is that will happen if it goes away.  The result could destroy support for the Constitutional arrangement in some parts of the nation.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

At the NYT, hard Leftist Michelle Goldberg explains that impeachment offsets the tyranny of the Electoral College, giving losers their rightful victory.

Of course it does.  This is all about sore losers, a pitiful subset of society, Bless their little hearts.

From The Bookworm Room, by the Bookworm, 20 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

You’ve probably had your fill about impeachment.  You’ve read the articles about its being a kabuki farce, about Pelosi’s unconstitutional quid pro quo demands on the Senate, about the plan to leave the impeachment hanging in the House without ever offering Trump the chance to defend himself, about the hypocrisy of the rushed vote (“this is constitutionally an emergency”) followed by the Emily Litella “never mind,” about the Democrats’ plan to smear Trump’s name in the history books, about the effort to disable Trump (“the impeached President”) from appointing a Supreme Court justice in the event RBG passes on his watch, and about all the other silly stuff that Schiffty, Pelosi, Nadler, and their ravening pack of political wild animals have imposed on America.

Still, I have one more thing to add to the mix for today I read an honest opinion piece from the New York Times.  In it, you get a window straight into the Leftist rejection of our system of governance.  And no, I don’t usually read the New York Times, because I have better things to do with my life, but I couldn’t let this one go by.

This is about the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (“NPVIC”).  This agreement between a number of states would thwart the Constitutionality mandated method of electing the President by finding a new way of binding Electors.  That said, I can see problems with "faithless Electors.

All that said, the problem with 2016 is that Candidate Hillary Clinton didn't receive the majority of the vote, as the table below shows:

Trump / Pence Republican 62,984,82846.09%
Clinton / Kaine Democratic 65,853,51448.18%
Johnson / Weld Libertarian 4,489,3413.28%
Stein / Baraka Green 1,457,2181.07%
McMullin / Finn Independent 731,9910.54%
Castle / Bradley Constitution 203,0900.15%
Source is Wikipedia

There are two kinds of voting majorities.  In the United States we say "plurality" and "majority" (with British English the terms are "relative majority" and "absolute majority").  With regard to the popular vote, Ms Clinton won a plurality, but not a majority.  If she had won sufficient electoral votes, Mrs Clinton would still be a minority President.

If, and to me it is a big if, we want to go with the popular vote we will need to either have a runoff, to get someone to a majority of the votes, or we can go with "Rank Choice Voting".

What we know for sure is that Mrs Clinton and her running mate, Mr Kaine, absolutely failed to win a majority of the votes cast.  To whine about the Electoral College is to quibble over how any given candidate failed to win straight out.

For the Democrats there is a so far hidden problem with NPVIC.  Candidate Trump could lose California and New York by small margins and win big elsewhere and thus get a plurality of the popular vote, thus beating whoever the Democrats throw up in 2020.

Sadly, our legislators, down on Beacon Hill, in the Great and Glorious General Court, voted to joint the NPVIC.nbsp; People we elected.  Sad.  Very sad.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, December 22, 2019

The World Is Improving

For John, BLUFMost of human existence has been a history of poverty and degregation.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

Free markets and free inquiry have changed the historic 'norms' of poverty and violence.

From USA Today, by Law Professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds, 21 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Amid stories of terrorism, government incompetence and corruption, mass migration and economic stagnation, there’s actually some good news:  Global poverty has fallen below 10% for the first time ever.

That’s right:  A new study by the World Bank estimates that less than 10% of the world’s population is living in what it calls poverty — an income of less than $1.90 per day.  Twenty-five years ago, over a third of the global population was living on less.  The biggest changes have come in East Asia and around the Pacific, but even sub-Saharan Africa, the worst place in the world for incomes, has improved significantly, with poverty dropping from 56% to an estimated 35.2% since 1990.

For most of human history, of course, extreme poverty was the norm.  People worked hard to get — if they were lucky — three meals a day and clothes on their backs.  Money was scarce, possessions were few, leisure existed only when all the work was done, which was seldom, and capital for investment was scarce — as were things to invest in.

And yet, this progress is not locked in.  The trust in a society is very important to its success.  We should want to be a "high trust" society.  It doesn't help when we call each other names.

At this Christmas Season it would be good for all of us to be men (and women) of good will.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Are We Different?

For John, BLUFIn our culture there has been a recent movement to deny that the genders have noticeable differences.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Marginal Revolution, by Mr Alex Tabarrok, 14 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Men and women are different. A seemingly obvious fact to most of humanity but a long-time subject of controversy within psychology. New large-scale results using better empirical methods are resolving the debate, however, in favor of the person in the street. The basic story is that at the broadest level (OCEAN) differences are relatively small but that is because there are large offsetting differences between men and women at lower levels of aggregation. Scott Barry Kaufman, writing at Scientific American, has a very good review of the evidence:
At the broad level, we have traits such as extraversion, neuroticism, and agreeableness. But when you look at the specific facets of each of these broad factors, you realize that there are some traits that males score higher on (on average), and some traits that females score higher on (on average), so the differences cancel each other out. This canceling out gives the appearance that sex differences in personality don’t exist when in reality they very much do exist.

For instance, males and females on average don’t differ much on extraversion. However, at the narrow level, you can see that males on average are more assertive (an aspect of extraversion) whereas females on average are more sociable and friendly (another aspect of extraversion). So what does the overall picture look like for males and females on average when going deeper than the broad level of personality?

On average, males tend to be more dominant, assertive, risk-prone, thrill-seeking, tough-minded, emotionally stable, utilitarian, and open to abstract ideas. Males also tend to score higher on self-estimates of intelligence, even though sex differences in general intelligence measured as an ability are negligible. Men also tend to form larger, competitive groups in which hierarchies tend to be stable and in which individual relationships tend to require little emotional investment. In terms of communication style, males tend to use more assertive speech and are more likely to interrupt people (both men and women) more often– especially intrusive interruptions– which can be interpreted as a form of dominant behavior.

…In contrast, females, on average, tend to be more sociable, sensitive, warm, compassionate, polite, anxious, self-doubting, and more open to aesthetics. On average, women are more interested in intimate, cooperative dyadic relationships that are more emotion-focused and characterized by unstable hierarchies and strong egalitarian norms. Where aggression does arise, it tends to be more indirect and less openly confrontational. Females also tend to display better communication skills, displaying higher verbal ability and the ability to decode other people’s nonverbal behavior. Women also tend to use more affiliative and tentative speech in their language, and tend to be more expressive in both their facial expressions and bodily language (although men tend to adopt a more expansive, open posture). On average, women also tend to smile and cry more frequently than men, although these effects are very contextual and the differences are substantially larger when males and females believe they are being observed than when they believe they are alone.

This will not sit well with our betters, who know that these differences either don't exist or, if they exist, are all cultural.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Alternative View

For John, BLUFMy wife thinks the only plausible explanation for Speaker Pelosi's actions is that she [secretly] wants President Trump reëlected.  This is a plausible alternative answer.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From DaTechGuy, by baldilocks (AKA Juliette Akinyi Ochieng), 21 December 2019.

Here is the gist of the article:

Trump doesn’t care about the stigma of impeachment.  He knew they were planning it before the election and, once he got elected, it was on.

Some of them even said so in public on Inauguration Day.

So, after the Mueller investigation came up empty, President Trump goaded them into doing it; he was the one who made sure that the second Ukraine call got into the hands of the “whistle-blower.”  I theorized about this weeks ago.

He did it so that there would be a trial and, of course, during the trial, all eyes will be watching.  That’s when all the things that our government has been doing to us will come out and those things will come out of the mouth of the President of the United States.

That’s when we’ll find out the height, weight, breadth and time length of all the graft and money-laundering that has been going on in the US government at least for the last 50 years, perpetrated by all three branches of government and by both parties.

Pelosi knows this and it’s why she’s holding up progress.  The House voted in favor of impeachment and then promptly departed for Christmas break without sending the articles of impeachment to the senate, as is necessary for a true impeachment to occur.

She didn’t want the impeachment at all for this very reason.  But her caucus is much dumber and more vocal than she is, so she had no choice.  So, now she’ll play the role of Grand Impeacher of Trump and avoid sending the articles of impeachment to the senate for as long as she can.  She knows it won’t last, but she’ll play Trump-slayer — figuratively speaking — while she can.

How long can she manipulate this Impeachment drama.  Not very long, I would think.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, December 20, 2019

Not Impeached Yet

For John, BLUFAs with much of the Democratic Party reaction to President Trump, the Impeachment effort seems confused and incomplete.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Mr Matt Margolis, 19 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Noah Feldman, one of the impeachment experts brought in by House Democrats as a witness during the impeachment hearings says that Trump actually hasn't been impeached yet.  "According to the Constitution, impeachment is a process, not a vote," Feldman explains in an op-ed in Bloomberg.  According to Feldman, Pelosi holding up the articles of impeachment indefinitely "would pose a serious problem."

"Impeachment as contemplated by the Constitution does not consist merely of the vote by the House, but of the process of sending the articles to the Senate for trial," Feldman explains.  "Both parts are necessary to make an impeachment under the Constitution:  The House must actually send the articles and send managers to the Senate to prosecute the impeachment.  And the Senate must actually hold a trial."

Seems straight forward to me.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Ultimate Cure

For John, BLUFIn November of next year the People will make a decision on Impeachment, signaling approval, disapproval or indifference.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

If Trump somehow escapes removal by impeachment the jury will cast their votes in the 2020 elections and they will, without question, find him guilty as charged.

By Michael Payne - December 13, 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

I’d venture to say that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is thinking very deeply about the next steps that will be taken in this impeachment process.  It’s time to think out of the box, not just follow the same standard process of, after the articles of impeachment have been approved by the House members, to send them to the Senate, hoping for a fair and nonpartisan trial; especially when she knows that the chances of such a fair trial are little to none.

In normal times in a normal Congress, that might be the proper way to proceed but these are anything but normal times and this Senate could never be called normal.  If the House just sends the articles to the Senate then the Democrats will fall into the deadly trap set by Majority Leader McConnell and his Republican puppets.

Those articles will be turned into no more than pieces of paper and they will become meaningless as soon as McConnell gets his hands on them.  That trap is there just waiting for Democrats to fall into it, and Republicans can’t wait for it to happen.

So, what’s next, what should Pelosi and the Democrats do? Here is the way I see events unfolding in the next several weeks and, very likely before Congress goes on the Christmas recess…

Mr Payne may be correct in thinking that the ultimate answer to President Trump is the 2020 election, but I think he has been drinking his own bathwater.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, December 18, 2019


For John, BLUFThe House has agreed two articles of impeachment, so what now?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I believe most observers expect the US Senate to acquit the President of the two charges brought by the House of Representatives .

There is the question of witnesses (how many, if any, and who), but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seems pretty set on no witnesses.

The more interesting question is when the House will start on its next formal set of Articles of Impeachment.

Regards  —  Cliff

Democrats and Clean Electiions

For John, BLUFThe Election in 2016 had lots of hints of foreign entanglements.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Listening to NPR out of Boston today I heard Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz say that President Trump's evil included working with Foreign Governments to influence US Elections.

I would think that this would be an area where DWS is an expert.  Should Republican Senators call her to testify as an expert witness?

The House is constipated and I am hoping that this Impeachment vote will act as some sort of a purge, freeing up the system to do some real work.  We are already late on the FY2020 Budget and USMCA and could sure use a path to citizenship for aliens, legal (rule players) and illegal (rule ignores).

I am also looking forward to the future Presidential Elections—cleaner and more focused on issues important across the Fruited Plain.  I bet Candidate Bernie Sanders is also.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Confusion in the News

For John, BLUFChina is trying, through its market power, to shut down dissenting speech.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Democracy Now and News Reader Amy Goodman, 17 December 2019.

Quoting Ms Amy Goodman, from this morning's edition of Democracy Now talking about [British] Arsenal Footballer Mesut Özil:

Turkish, German and Muslim
Which one of these is out of place?

Yes, the first two are nations and the third is a religion.  It is fair to note that the printed article got it right, "Özil, who is Turkish-German and Muslim".

Kudos to Mr Özil for speaking out for the Uyghurs, and shame on China for trying to silence him.

Regards  —  Cliff

Healing Past Wrongs

For John, BLUFWe need to have a better knowledge of our past, of the wrongs inflicted, if we are going to move forward.  No flinching from the truth.  And, no placing blame on the people of today for what wrong was done in the past, if it has been renounced.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Mr Rick Moran, 17 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus four:

It was the worst spasm of racial violence in the history of the United States. And it has been largely ignored in history.

The Greenwood district in Tulsa was the richest black neighborhood in the country, known at the time as "The Black Wall Street."  In 1921, a riot began over the Memorial Day weekend when a young black man was accused of assaulting a 17-year-old white girl.  Angry whites gathered at the jail while some black men, hearing rumors of a lynching, also headed to the jail.  At that point, history and myth merge and what happened to set off the crowd is unknown.

At one point, planes were employed to strafe the crowds of black women and children fleeing for their lives.  Property damage was immense.  More than 10,000 blacks were left homeless and an unknown number had been killed.  Official statistics put the number of dead at 36 with about 800 seriously injured.  Some believe the actual number of dead is in the hundreds.

The state established a commission in 1996 to investigate exactly what happened.  At that time, the commission found evidence of three possible mass grave sites, but the evidence had been inconclusive.

A more recent survey using far more sophisticated technology may have given state authorities enough evidence to begin an archaeological dig at some of the sites.

A blot on our history, and worthy of further investigation.

We need, as Americans, to make right what was wrong.  We need to acknowledge that the Tulsa Riot of 1921 was people, Caucasian American people, behaving badly.  Apologies are in order.  And good historic research to reveal all that really happened.  And, if we want to ever heal and unite, it includes acceptance of apologies.

If we are going to move forward as a nation, rather than breaking down into squabbling states, like we are the new Balkans, we have to unite going forward.  Please.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, December 16, 2019

Sun Setting Laws

For John, BLUFWe have a lot of old and out of date laws on the books, and they need to be replaced, lawfully.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From MSN, by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Reporters Bruce Vielmetti and Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 15 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus four:

An Wisconsin judge on Friday ordered the state to remove hundreds of thousands of people from Wisconsin's voter rolls because they may have moved.

The case is being closely watched because of the state's critical role in next year's presidential race.  Ozaukee County Judge Paul Malloy also denied the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin's petition to intervene.

Lawyers for the League and for the Wisconsin Elections Commission indicated they will appeal and asked Malloy to stay his ruling pending those appeals, but he declined.

At issue is a letter the state Elections Commission sent in October to about 234,000 voters who it believes may have moved.  The letter asked the voters to update their voter registrations if they had moved or alert election officials if they were still at their same address.

The commission planned to remove the letter's recipients from the voter rolls in 2021 if it hadn't heard from them.  But Malloy's decision would kick them off the rolls much sooner, and well before the 2020 presidential election.

First off, "hundreds of thousands seems like lazy journalism.  The mailing went to 234,000 voters, per the article. 
Of the 234,000 letters that were sent, about 60,000 were returned as undeliverable as of Dec. 5, according to the Elections Commission. As of then, about 2,300 recipients of the letters said they continued to live at their address and about 16,500 had registered to vote at new addresses.
That is nit-picking.  The real issue is that unelected officials were not following our democratic procedures and allowing appointed officials to override our laws and procedures.
But [Judge] Malloy went further than issuing an injunction.  In granting a writ of mandamus – essentially a court order that a government official or agency do its job – he said he was convinced the commission had a clear, positive, plain legal duty to purge the voter rolls within 30 days.

"I don't want to see someone deactivated, but I don't write the law," said Malloy, who was appointed to the bench in 2002 by Republican Gov. Scott McCallum and has been re-elected by voters.

He said the commission didn't like the policy so it set a new one without following a formal rule-making procedure that would have included notice to the public and a chance for input.

To be filed under "It's All About Me":
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers on Twitter railed against the ruling.

"I won the race for governor by less than 30,000 votes," he wrote.  "This move pushed by Republicans to remove 200,000 Wisconsinites from the voter rolls is just another attempt at overriding the will of the people and stifling the democratic process."

This is rubbish.  the invocation of 200,000 is sloppy math.  Further, the Governor doesn't talk about how some of those voters might be Republicans.  When someone in my District casts an illegal vote, that is the suppression of my vote.  In my own City, Lowell, a group has sued, and the City folded, so next local election my vote will, in some Districts be reduced in value by a factor of ten.  And Gerrymandering is alive and well.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Impeachment Now and Forever

For John, BLUFNow and forever means the Dems must hope and pray they never lose the House with a Democrat in the White House.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Daily Wire, by Reporter Ryan Saavedra, 16 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Attorneys representing House Democrats have told a federal court that House Democrats intend to continue impeachment investigations against President Donald Trump after they vote on impeachment this week, regardless of the eventual outcome of the Senate’s impeachment trial.

“In a filing to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, House General Counsel Douglas Letter argued that the House’s demands for grand jury materials connected to former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation were still urgent because such evidence might become relevant to the Senate’s expected impeachment trial next month,” Politico reported. “But Letter went further to note that even apart from the Senate trial, the House Judiciary Committee intends to continue its impeachment investigation arising from the Mueller probe on its own merit.”

In the court filing, Democrats accused the Department of Justice (DOJ) of essentially engaging in a cover-up to protect Trump, claiming that the DOJ took an “extraordinary position in” the Democrats’ impeachment investigations by not “disclosing grand-jury material needed for the House’s impeachment of President Trump and the Senate’s trial to remove him from office.”

Democrats’ insistence at continuing to investigate the findings of the Mueller probe comes after Attorney General William Barr said last week in an NBC News interview that “there was and never has been any evidence of collusion.”

House Democrats have said in recent days that there is no limit to the number of times that they can impeach the president.

I was hoping for the US Senate to quickly dispose of the Impeachment.  I am thinking repeat Impeachment’s might evoke a real trial, one where there are not just House Managers, but House Members and Staff as witnesses.

Some Democrat told us "Elections have consequences".  Apparently all that was forgotten in 2016.  Apparently the Democrats in the House, and the Media, are willing to throw away our Republic in a fit of pique, a fit of anger.

I have been trying to figure out Speaker Pelosi's plan, assuming she has one, and am not sure I am there yet.  At this point I am leaning toward my Wife's view—Nancy Pelosi wants President Trump to win a second term.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Withholding Aid For Political Reasons

For John, BLUFTell me if you have heard this one before—withholding foreign Aid for political reasons.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Real Clear Politics, by Staff Reporter Susan Crabtree, 11 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

In the summer of 2014, the vicious Islamic State campaign against Yazidis and Christians in Iraq convinced President Obama to order airstrikes to try to save them from extermination.  The Obama administration would officially declare the ISIS slaughter of those same religious minorities a “genocide,” a State Department designation that conveyed the urgency of protecting these groups and maintaining religious freedom and pluralism in Iraq and Northern Syria.

Five years after those ISIS massacres, however, bureaucratic factions within the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development are acting as though the genocide declaration never occurred – even though it made the survival of these religious minorities in the homeland they’ve occupied for more than a thousand years a clear U.S. foreign policy priority.

During the Obama administration career and political appointees shared an aversion to awarding government assistance to local faith-based groups.  They largely channeled U.S. funds for rebuilding efforts in Iraq and Syria through the United Nations Development Program, or UNDP, which maintains a “religious-blind” policy that bars funds going to faith-based organizations.

These U.S. officials also aggressively opposed efforts to direct some U.S. funding to help local Catholic Church groups and other religious organizations that were providing almost all of the subsistence assistance to the Christian, as well as Yazidi, communities.  The resistance has continued three years into the Trump administration – despite a presidential directive to fund faith-based groups and a year after the unanimous passage in both the House and the Senate of bipartisan legislation requiring the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, to channel some existing funds directly to these religious minority communities.

That legislation, HR 390 – The Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act, co-authored by Reps. Chris Smith, a Republican, and Anna Eshoo, a Democrat -- had 47 co-sponsors in the House, including seven Democrats, attracting such political opposites as conservative GOP Reps.  Jeff Fortenberry and Mark Meadows, as well as liberal Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who is leading the House impeachment charge, and fellow California Democrat Brad Sherman.

The bill cited the Archdiocese of Erbil, in Northern Iraq, which it said has provided assistance to “internally displaced Christians, Yazidis and Muslims throughout the greater Erbil region,” as especially in need of U.S. aid.

It also underscored the dramatic extent of the crisis when it comes to the fate of Christians’ fleeing their ancestral homeland:  The number of Christians living in Iraq was decimated during and after the Iraq War and ISIS’ takeover of the country, from an estimated 800,000-to-1.4 million in 2002 to fewer than 250,000 in 2017.

Drain the Swamp.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff


For John, BLUFIt is funny how bureaucracies, of any sort, once locked in, are unable to admit they made a mistake.  Even the Louisiana State Police are unable, all these years later, are unable to admit they are the ones who shot Senator Huey P Long.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The New Neo, 11 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Remember back in the early days of 2018 when there was the clash of the dueling memos on Russiagate and the role of the FBI and the FISA court applications?  The Nunes memo was criticized by Democrats even before it was released, and afterwards Adam Schiff released his own memo that contested what Nunes had asserted.

And of course the MSM trashed Nunes (for example:  the memo is “a joke and a sham”) and lauded Schiff.  Now we have the Horowitz Report that represents an examination of some of the same facts that Nunes and Schiff were duking it out over, and Nunes is completely vindicated and Schiff should slink away in shame along with most of the MSM.

When I think of Russiagate it reminds me of l'affaire Dreyfus, with perhaps Rep David Nunes in the role of Journalist Émile Zola.

So what roles do Rep Adam Schiff and former FBI Director James Comey play?

Regards  —  Cliff

Victory in Britian

For John, BLUFI am not sure how Boris Johnson and Donald Trump are linked, but, in my mind, they are.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

As Guido said:

From Brookings Institution, by Brookings Fellow Amanda Sloat, 13 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

After years of parliamentary gridlock, British voters spoke decisively in the December 12 general election.  The Conservative Party led by Prime Minister Boris Johnson returned to power with a sizable majority, enabling it to move forward with Brexit by the January 31 deadline and set the domestic policy agenda for the next five years and likely beyond.  The Labour Party suffered its worst defeat in modern history, with many blaming the unpopularity of leader Jeremy Corbyn.  The outcome also raises questions about the constitutional future of the United Kingdom, particularly in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
I am happy for BoJo's win.  it makes me think of the song There'll Always Be An England.

I think this is a win for the Rights of Englishmen.  This may be strange to the bien-pensant.  This is about the right to chose, even if our "betters" think we are choosing poorly.

Is this an indicator for 2020?  It is possible.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, December 13, 2019

For John, BLUF.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

DEFINITION:  yeshiva
an Orthodox Jewish school for the religious and secular education of children of elementary school age.
From NJ dot Com, by Reporters Jeff Goldman and Rebecca Panico, 13 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said Friday it’s his opinion that the shooters who killed a police officer and three civilians on Tuesday afternoon had an even more sinister objective - killing students at a religious school next door.

“My opinion is that as more info comes out it’ll become increasingly clear that the target was the 50 children at the Yeshiva attached to that store,” the mayor wrote on Twitter just after 8 a.m. “We will never know 100% but the doorway to the yeshiva was 3 feet away (and) it seems he goes in that direction 1st.”

SO, it could have been much worse.

The Mayor is correct when he praises the police from making sure it wasn't much worse.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Off to the Races

For John, BLUFI fear there will be long term trouble ahead.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Regards  —  Cliff

Fluid Crimes

For John, BLUFThe reporting on Impeachment is an indication of the problems Democrats are having.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

By Nicholas Fandos New York Times,Updated December 12, 2019

Here is the lede plus one:

The House Judiciary Committee on Thursday abruptly put off a historic impeachment vote, turning back Republican attempts to derail the process and setting up final action on Friday to approve charges that President Trump abused his power and obstructed Congress.

Amid Republicans’ cries of outrage, Democrats were poised to approve along party lines an article of impeachment that accused Trump of abusing the powers of his office by pressuring Ukraine to announce investigations of his political rivals, using official acts as leverage as he sought advantage for his 2020 reelection campaign.  They were also on track to adopt a second article of impeachment against Trump for obstructing Congress, based on an across-the-board defiance of their subpoenas that Democrats branded an attempt to conceal the Ukraine scheme.

"…investigations of his political rivals…"?  I thought this was about former VEEP Joe Biden, and him alone (or, rather, his son).  What other Democrat contenders were meddling in Ukraine?  Bernie?  Elizabeth?  Corrie?  Michael Bloomberg?  Maybe we should have a trial, to bring this all out.  Or The Boston Globe, and The NYT should publish a retraction.

Regards  —  Cliff

First Reports

For John, BLUFIt is the Human way to start forming a theory as the first data point comes in.  As Napoleon Bonaparte tells us, "First reports are always wrong."  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Free Beacon, by Reporter David Rutz, 12 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) blamed "white supremacy" Thursday for a mass killing in New Jersey carried out by two black assailants, one of whom had ties to a nationalist hate group.

Tlaib linked to a tweet from IfNotNow naming three of the victims of Wednesday's rampage in Jersey City, two of whom were Orthodox Jews.&Nbsp; She wrote, "This is heartbreaking.  White supremacy kills."

Tlaib, who represents a majority African-American district in Detroit, deleted her tweet after respondents pointed out the race of the suspects.  She didn't send any follow-up tweet acknowledging her error, condemning the perpetrators, or expressing condolences for the victims.

From the headline I had expected some convoluted theory about how Caucasians had created a situation that led to this shootout.  Alas, it was an ignorance of the actual situation, informed by prejudices.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Primary Canceled

For John, BLUFYou are against Taxpayer funded Party Primaries, and now we have some Primaries being cancelled, but with no replacement mechanism.  Alternatives?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Associated Press, by Reporter Meg Kinnard, 11 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

A judge on Wednesday upheld the South Carolina Republican Party’s decision not to hold a 2020 presidential primary, a move taken by several states in erecting hurdles for the long-shot candidates challenging President Donald Trump.

In her order, Circuit Judge Jocelyn Newman wrote the law “does not give Plaintiffs a legal right to a presidential preference primary, and the Court will not substitute its own judgment for that of the General Assembly or the SCGOP.”

Earlier this year, former South Carolina congressman Bob Inglis sued state Republicans, saying the party’s decision to skip a primary deprives him and others “of the ability to vote for the candidate of their choice in South Carolina’s famous (and particularly influential) ‘First in the South’ primary.”

South Carolina is among several states that have canceled Republican primaries and caucuses next year, an effort that helps Trump consolidate his support as Democrats work to winnow their large candidate field.  The move, taken September in South Carolina by the state party’s executive committee, is not unusual for the party of the White House incumbent seeking reelection.

Is it an advantage to the Citizens, the Voters, to have primaries and should the Government facilitate such events?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

President's Popularity Up

For John, BLUFI am not sure the Democrats in the House of Representatives know what they are doing.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Babylon Bee, 11 December 2019.

This is, indeed, a very interesting campaign season, and that is no malarkey.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Ignoring Human Rights

For John, BLUFIt used to be we, as a nation, worried about the downtrodden of the world.  It now appears the bureaucrats are against such thinking.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Real Clear Politics, by Ms Susan Crabtree, 11 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus four:

In the summer of 2014, the vicious Islamic State campaign against Yazidis and Christians in Iraq convinced President Obama to order airstrikes to try to save them from extermination.  The Obama administration would officially declare the ISIS slaughter of those same religious minorities a “genocide,” a State Department designation that conveyed the urgency of protecting these groups and maintaining religious freedom and pluralism in Iraq and Northern Syria.

Five years after those ISIS massacres, however, bureaucratic factions within the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development are acting as though the genocide declaration never occurred – even though it made the survival of these religious minorities in the homeland they’ve occupied for more than a thousand years a clear U.S. foreign policy priority.

During the Obama administration career and political appointees shared an aversion to awarding government assistance to local faith-based groups. They largely channeled U.S. funds for rebuilding efforts in Iraq and Syria through the United Nations Development Program, or UNDP, which maintains a “religious-blind” policy that bars funds going to faith-based organizations.

These U.S. officials also aggressively opposed efforts to direct some U.S. funding to help local Catholic Church groups and other religious organizations that were providing almost all of the subsistence assistance to the Christian, as well as Yazidi, communities.  The resistance has continued three years into the Trump administration – despite a presidential directive to fund faith-based groups and a year after the unanimous passage in both the House and the Senate of bipartisan legislation requiring the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID, to channel some existing funds directly to these religious minority communities.

That legislation, HR 390 – The Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act, co-authored by Reps. Chris Smith, a Republican, and Anna Eshoo, a Democrat -- had 47 co-sponsors in the House, including seven Democrats, attracting such political opposites as conservative GOP Reps. Jeff Fortenberry and Mark Meadows, as well as liberal Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, who is leading the House impeachment charge, and fellow California Democrat Brad Sherman.

The story goes down hill from there.

This is the Deep State saying my way or no way, and being in your face about it.

A longish article, because the Reporter did her homework.  Are we becoming a Bureaucracy with an unruly Citizenry, a disobedient Legislature?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Some Democrats Misunderstand the Horowitz Report

For John, BLUFThree years of misinformation.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the Tweet:
Adam Schiff
The IG is independent, and shielded from political influence. His investigation found no evidence that bias affected the opening of the case.

Bill Barr has shown himself to be Trump's Roy Cohn — only interested in promoting Trump’s personal interests.

You choose who to believe.
Quote Tweet

The Washington Post
· Dec 2
Attorney general disputes inspector general's finding that FBI was justified in opening probe of Trump's 2016 campaign
4:30 PM · Dec 10, 2019
I, on the other hand, caught portions of today's Senate Hearing on the Horowitz Report.

Imagine being Mr Carter Page through all this.

Imagine being Representative Adam Schiff and trying to keep your story straight.

Regards  —  Cliff

Bad Interviewers

For John, BLUFI am so old I remember when it was the job of the Interviewer to extract useful or interesting facts.  Now it seems to be the job of the interviewee to provide a suitable backdrop for the Interviewer as he or she sparkles and pushes his or her pet theories.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Blog of Law Professor Ann Althouse, 9 December 2019.

I am with the Professor and it isn't just Mr Chuck Todd.  From Fox News we have Mr Sean Hannity, who often speaks over his guests, and not to the advantage of the audience.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Freedom For Democracy to Flourish

For John, BLUFWe have had some awful press in the past, and if we stick to the Bill of Rights will in the future.  And will survive.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

From The Althouse Blog, 3 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

I'm only blogging this because I see it's controversial. He's getting a lot of pushback, but he stood his ground, even as the interviewer challenged him with the same 2 ideas that I always see: 1. When people pay to get their message out, it should be different, and 2. If messages are false, it should be different.
This is a terrible trend.  Who do they propose will check the checkers?  in a Democracy we have to be our own checkers.  No thank you to the Government.  No thank you to self appointed fact-checkers.  If you want more Trump this is how you get it, monitoring the news.

Let us trust the Voters.

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

Men and Their Duty

For John, BLUFAs we used to say:  "A man's got to do what a man's gotta do."  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Blog of Mr Mark Steyn, 5 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Friday December 6th marks the thirtieth anniversary of the "Montreal Massacre" - a grim day in 1989 when fourteen female students at the École Polytechnique were murdered by a man known to posterity as "Marc Lépine".  Much followed from that terrible slaughter, including various useless "gun control" measures - and the formal annual commemorations that, three decades on, are attended by as many eminences as Remembrance Day or Dominion Day.  The men present in that classroom are now in their mid-fifties; the women are not.  I was far from home that December and was not back in Quebec until Christmas.  And so I accepted the official narrative of events - until, that is, a few years later, when I looked into it myself.

Awhich point I marveled at how the Canadian state had succeeded in so thoroughly imposing a meaning on the slaughter that is more or less the precise opposite of what actually happened.  I've written about it over the years, although my comrades in the Canadian media complain every time I do so, as if any questioning of the official fairy tale cannot be permitted.

There is no doubt that wrong lessons were drawn, and as a result we have drawn wrong conclusions regarding male and female relations and responsibilities.  This, in turn, has added to the gender confusion with which we now live, as a society.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Pearl Harbor 2019

For John, BLUFIt happened four months before I was born and it still lives on in our lives.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

On the one hand, we should not forget the sacrifices of those who died, or survived, at Pearl Harbor.

On the other hand, we must be ever vigilant that we not experience another Pearl Harbor.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

The Loser

For John, BLUFHallmark Channel is a sign of the cultural differences in America.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Federalist, by Mr David Marcus, 2 December 2019.>

Here is the lede plus one:

I recently got out of a relationship.  That’s never an easy thing.  In addition, Hallmark decided to make a feel-good holiday movie about it.  Some of you may have seen it — “The Christmas Farmer,” it was called, referring to the guy my ex, Debbie, is apparently engaged to now.

It is what it is, but I don’t feel like I was fairly represented in the movie.  I get it:  I’m a New York City corporate attorney courting the small-town girl, but I thought she wanted to be a part of this world.

Confirming that I am not a Progressive, I was pulling for the Farmer.  Hallmark is my refuge from the Politics of the big cities, and especially our nation's Capitol.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Kamala Departs

For John, BLUFEven though I am a registered Republican, and a Trump supporter, I thought Senator Kamala Harris might be an interesting contender.  But, she went left and ugly and did not gain traction.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Globe, by New York Times Reporters Astead W. Herndon, Shane Goldmacher and Jonathan Martin, 3 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

Senator Kamala Harris of California dropped out of the Democratic presidential race on Tuesday after months of low poll numbers and a series of missteps that crippled her campaign, a deflating comedown for a barrier-breaking candidate who was seeking to become the first black woman to win the presidency.

The decision came after weeks of upheaval among Harris’ staff, including layoffs in New Hampshire and at her headquarters in Baltimore, and disarray among her allies.  She told supporters in an email on Tuesday that she lacked the money needed to fully finance a competitive campaign.

“My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue,” Harris wrote.

From The Washington Times we have this 3 December headline:  "Tulsi Gabbard knifed Kamala Harris in July; four months later, she has died from the wounds", by Reporter David Freddoso.

I thought that with her background Senator Harris had the possibility of walking a line that appealed in several directions, but she passed up the opportunity.  For example, she ran as a Black candidate, but her Father is an immigrant from Jamaica and her Mother is an immigrant from India.  Why didn't she play the "immigrant" card, casting herself as the child of immigrants who fell in love with America?  She could have gone with the late Senator Carl Schurz:

In one sense I say so too. My country; and my country is the great American Republic.  My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.
Room for traditional American values and for Progressive values.  But, alas, she did not go the middle way and thus didn't break through.  Maybe in 2024.

Rega; —  Cliff

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Candidate Struggles

For John, BLUFCandidates have a theme, and it is to their advantage if they control that theme.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Washington Free Beacon, by the Free Beacon Staff, 1 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus two:

Washington Free Beacon editor in chief Eliana Johnson said Sunday that presidential hopefuls Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) and Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D., Ind.) have issues with the narratives about their campaigns.

Johnson argued during an appearance on Fox News's MediaBuzz that voters perceive Warren as not "straightforward."

"There was first her fiasco with claiming Indian heritage, then there was Medicare for All which she was widely criticized for. And she wouldn't just tell people, ‘yes, your taxes are going to go up,'" Johnson told host Howard Kurtz. "She was perceived as not being straightforward on that. And now she's saying, ‘Oh, you can opt in in the initial two years.'"

And then this about Mayor Pete:
Kurtz also discussed The Root writer Michael Harriot's attack on Buttigieg as a "lying mf," and then Harriot's follow-up essay in which he spoke with Buttigieg on the phone.

Johnson pointed out that it was good for Buttigieg to take the criticism head on because it adds to the narrative that he is accessible to voters and the media. However, the call most likely will not address Buttigieg's continuing struggles with African-American voters, a major flaw in his candidacy.

If these candidates are in trouble who will win the Democratic Primary?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, December 2, 2019

Blog Page Views By Nation

For John, BLUFWho is doing what out there on the Internet?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

My Page Views for the period indicated

Nov 25, 2019 9:00 PM – Dec 2, 2019 8:00 PM

Here are my Blog Statistics for the period indicated.

United States
Unknown Region  
South Korea

It is interesting that the number of page views from Ukraine is over three times as many as from Russia.  Ukraine vs Russia?  I find this interesting.

Regards  —  Cliff

Be Safe, But Not Rigid

For John, BLUFThe right to not use the handrail affirmed in Canada.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Fox News, by Miss Nicole Darrah, 1 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

A Canadian woman who was arrested for not holding on to an escalator handrail has been awarded $20,000 in damages by the nation's Supreme Court.

Bela Kosoian was riding an escalator at the Montmorency Montreal Metro station in Laval, Quebec, in 2009 when an officer stopped her because she wasn't holding on to a handrail, as she was looking through her purse.  A sign that stated "caution" and "hold handrail" was located near the escalator.

And here is the Supreme Court of Canada:
This case was about civil liability for doing something wrong.  In a free and democratic society, police officers can’t interfere with people’s freedoms except where the law says so.  They have to know the law and act within it.
Earlier we talked about Canada's abhorrence of Free Speech.  Here we see that the Canadians have not totally forgotten about the Rights of Englishmen, and kudos to them for that.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Ms Lisa Page Declares Her Innocence

For John, BLUFI sure wished that Ms Lisa Page would have quietly gone away after the election and the exposure of corruption in the upper reaches of the FBI.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Mr Tyler O'Neill, 2 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus four:

As America awaits the inspector general report into whether or not the FBI abused its power by investigating potential collusion between Donald Trump's campaign and Russia in the 2016 election, a key figure in that drama has stepped forward.  In an interview with the Daily Beast published Sunday evening, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page insisted that she committed no crimes and she predicted that the report should exonerate her.  Yet the Obama administration's pursuit of the Trump-Russia investigation stinks to high heaven, regardless of her denials.

Page became notorious for text messages she sent to FBI agent Peter Strzok, with whom she was having an affair.  Both were involved in the investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails and in the Trump-Russia investigation.  In the text messages, Strzok promised, "we'll stop" Trump from getting elected.  They also discussed an "insurance policy" should Trump get elected, anyway.

President Trump has repeatedly mocked Page and Strzok, and he has suggested that the former FBI lawyer committed treason.  The Daily Beast interview cast Page as a victim of Trump's misogyny and harassment, agreeing with her suggestion that she did nothing wrong — besides the illicit affair (Page is still married to her husband and has small children).

In the interview, she claimed she decided to speak out because Trump seemed to act out an orgasm in mentioning her and Strzok in an October rally.  It seems more likely she spoke out in advance of the IG report, which will be released on December 9.

"Honestly, his demeaning fake orgasm was really the straw that broke the camel’s back," Page said.  "But it’s also very intimidating because he’s still the president of the United States.  And when the president accuses you of treason by name, despite the fact that I know there’s no fathomable way that I have committed any crime at all, let alone treason, he’s still somebody in a position to actually do something about that.  To try to further destroy my life.  It never goes away or stops, even when he’s not publicly attacking me."

Yes, I agree that the President should not be talking about adultery on the campaign trail.  Young ears are listening.  I would like to think that Ms Page had a momentary slip and has since regretted it and has reformed her life.  That part of her life should be left alone.

On the other hand, her prejudice, in 2016, against Mr Trump, is obvious.  That prejudice should be appropriately forgiven, but not forgotten.  The FBI has been here before, with a much earlier Director of the FBI.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

What Really Happened in 2016?

For John, BLUFAs much as some may wish for (parts of) the 2016 Election to go away, it isn't.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Opening a can of "Whoop-ass" is a colloquial term for saying one is asking for a beating.

From Doug Ross @ Journal, 1 December 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

After his firing, disgraced former FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok filed a complaint with the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) asserting that his proposed termination was unwarranted.

In a recently released response dated August 8, 2018, OPR assistant director Candice M. Will outlined all of the facts underpinning Strzok's termination.

I would like for this to all go away quietly, but it isn't going to happen.  Which is a good thing, since the lessons of FBI Director J Edgar Hoover's excesses seem to have not yet been learned.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Fragile Society

For John, BLUFThe evolution of our political culture, our culture as a whole, has depended on free speech and free debate.  I guess the bien-pennant think we have arrived at our destination and now is the time to shut up those who dissent.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media! By Mr Matt Margolis, 30 November 2019.

Here is the lede:

Canadian comedian Mike Ward has lost his appeal and has been ordered by a Quebec judge to pay $35,000 because of a joke he told about a disabled boy.
It would appear Mr Ward is a jerk.  On the other hand, if it was the US, one would hope the First Amendment protected Mr Ward's right to be a jerk.

Does he owe the boy and his Mother an apology?  Of course he does, but it is not the job of the Government to make sure it happens.  It is our job, as friends and neighbors, and consumers of humor, to nudge Mr Ward.  Not Force him.  Boycott him.  Ignore him.  Pray for him.  Pray with him.

But, alas, Mr Ward lives in Canada, which has no First Amendment, nor a semblance of one.  Is this the result of Canada's attempts to accommodate Quebec?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Holiday Value

For John, BLUFIn my youth holidays were import family and community celebrations.  Now, instead of bringing us together and inspiring us to do better, they are points of contention and opportunities to argue politics.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

The NYT gives us Thanksgiving as seen through a neo-Marxist lens.  It is not only political foolish, but historically inaccurate.  This is a response.

From The Book Worm Room, by Blogger Wolf Howling, 28 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus three:

The NYT gives Space to a lily-white George Washington University History Professor, David J. Silverman, who, surprise, thinks that Thanksgiving is a tragedy of colonialism.  He states that the “Native American past and present tend to make white people uncomfortable because they turn patriotic histories and heroes inside out and loosen claims on morality, authority and justice.”  According to this donkey’s ass, white people were evil, while red people were pristine, good, and with a culture that was “every bit as ancient and rich as in Europe.”

Thanks for the Howard Zinn version of history, professor.

The reality is that all of the Eastern woodland Indian tribes were a stone age people without iron metallurgy or even the wheel. They were in constant warfare with other tribes each trying to take the other’s land or defend their own.  When the professor condemns Europeans uniquely for conducting coastal raids on Indians in the 16th century and taking slaves, the proper response is not “how evil the Europeans were,” it’s “are you kidding, you putz?”

One, the Pilgrims didn’t do any of that.  Two, the fact that others than the Pilgrims did, well, welcome to the brutality of life in the 1500’s, whether Indian, European, Middle Eastern, etc.  True, those raids represented a tiny sliver of European society at its worst.  But what does it say that such raids were simply the equal to the traditional Indian society of the day?  Will you tell us the tale of Hannah Duston next, Professor?

Let us stipulate, slavery is wrong.  It was wrong in 1619It is wrong today.  However, we are better informed today than we were before.  Just ask any Millennial or GenZ members.

And scalping people is déclassé.  Even if other people do it.

Yes, we are smarter than those who went before us, but they were trying to do something new, to provide new opportunities for freedom.  They were far from perfect.  It wasn't just Native Americans they tangled with.  There were also Catholics and Baptists.

But, they provided inspiration and a basis to go forward.  I am empowered by the Thanksgiving turkey and fixings to try and be a better person, a better American.  Let us all move forward.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

The FBI Stumbles

For John, BLUFWe all forget that when J Edger Hoover was Director of the FBI, not all the actions were Kosher.  On the other hand, I have always had faith in the FBI as portrayed by Inspector Lewis Erskine.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

An inspector general’s report underscores how the FBI departed from its tradition of professionalism and honesty in pursuit of domestic political influence.

From American Greatness, by Prof Angelo Codevilla, 28 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

The Justice Department’s inspector general this month reprimanded the FBI for the manner in which it recruits and supervises its “confidential human sources.”  To the layman, this seems about technicalities.  In fact, it shows that one of the CIA’s deadliest dysfunctions now infects the FBI as well.

This disease consists of choosing and rejecting sources for the purpose of indulging the agencies’ and their leaders’ private agendas rather than to further intelligence work on the public’s behalf.

Necessarily, the language of the inspector general’s November 19 report is vague:  “Ineffective management and oversight of confidential sources.”  This means the FBI has failed to use “adequate controls” in its validation of human sources, which has resulted in “jeopardizing FBI operations, and placing FBI agents, sources, subjects of investigation, and the public in harm’s way.”

The inspector general’s concern with the FBI’s source management stems from the investigation into the FBI’s involvement in the 2016 presidential campaign, including by taking seriously the infamous Steele dossier that it knew was a fabrication as well as, likely, some Russian communication intercepts that also should have been rejected on strictly professional grounds.  In short, the FBI departed from its tradition of professionalism and honesty in pursuit of domestic political influence.

Angelo M. Codevilla is a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute, professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University and the author of To Make And Keep Peace (Hoover Institution Press, 2014).  Mr Codeville's experience includes Service on the Senate Intelligence Committee staff.

Here is the Report.  Footnote 10, or what it is footnoting, is quite interesting.

At least it isn't as bad as China.  Mr Zak Doffman, in Forbes writes "China Has Weaponized The Smartphone:  Here’s Why You Should Be Concerned".  Yes, Bureaaucrats can believe their mission justifies the abrogation of human rights, because the Bureaucrats are doing what is right, what is best for the People.

Once upon a time the Democrats were sensitive to these kinds of shenanigans, but apparently no more.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Friday, November 29, 2019

Christmas Television Watching

For John, BLUFWhat are the limits to what one wishes to watch for entertainment?  Must it represent the cultural tastes of the avant guard, the bien-pensant?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From PJ Media, by Ms Megan Fox, 29 November 2019.

Here is the lede plus one:

Every Christmas season, it appears we have to endure listening to the race hustlers and the gay patrol complain about the one channel left in America that does not partake in envelope-pushing.  The Hallmark channel really is the last known entertainment that does not engage in the culture wars by pushing "diversity" for the sake of pleasing the agitators and instead focuses on its demographics; white moms and grandmas.  But these days, being white and enjoying things white people like is a cause for concern and mockery.  I'm white, and a mom, and Hallmark doesn't particularly appeal to me except in the sense that I know I can turn it on and not be concerned that my children will be exposed to clown world morality that is on every other channel. It's safe.

The Hollywood Reporter penned an article called "Hallmark Channel Struggles to Give Diversity a Home For the Holidays."  In it, author Lesley Goldberg takes aim at white people liking to other watch white people as if it's some kind of mortal sin.  "While other networks are viewing the holidays  with an eye toward inclusion, Hallmark is delivering the dream of a white Christmas, just like the one's audiences used to know."  I doubt Goldberg would ever complain about the lack of diversity on Black Entertainment Television (which, by the way, I happen to think is a great idea and caters to a specific audience that likes what they do. What a concept!)

As bad as the acting gene rally is on the Hallmark channel, the stories are blissfully devoid of any toxic cultural stew pushing politics with every line. There was a time in America where television censors would never allow any sex scenes as graphic as what you would see on Cinemax after dark but today it's old hat to have to watch people groaning and panting (and swearing) at 7 pm on NBC.  It's gross.  As a result, I've given up cable and only subscribe to online services with access to movies and shows the cultural elites now call "unwatchable."  I've completely lost the desire to watch any new programming.

In an article from 2017 in the Walrus entitled "The Unwatchable Whiteness of Holiday Movies," Hallmark fans give reasonable explanations for why they like the channel.

“It’s clean and I just don’t enjoy cussing,” a Georgia grandma told E! News in October.  The sentiment was echoed by a North Carolina senior who said, “There is no profanity nor any offensive sex acts in any movie I have ever seen.”  A middle-aged Minnesotan added, “There are no politics, there is no crime, no hate, no war.”

But in a culture that values offensive sex acts, profanity, and violence overall, the Hallmark channel is doomed.  The diversity activists will never be satisfied until everything white people like is canceled, including white people themselves.  And they will eventually get their wish because white people in America will become a minority in the not-too-distant future.  Meanwhile, however, whites are still the majority population.  Even so, if that majority wants to watch entertainment that represents them or doesn't include a constant assault on morality and decency, they're relegated to one cheesy channel that plays nothing but sappy Christmas movies most of the year.  But when the social justice soldiers get done with Hallmark, they won't even have that.

I am a Hallmark aficionado.

The Hallmark channel's CEO, Mr William J Abbot, has signaled that the network is open to gay stories.

Since we still don't force feed television programming, it will be a case of Go Woke, Go Broke.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff