Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Victor Davis Hanson - "Regime Change by Any Other Name?"

I rarely reprint someone else's piece in full, but this one's worth it.  (Follow the link to read it in it's original splendor.)    
Regime Change by Any Other Name?
Truth or consequences? Obama skated for far worse misdeeds.
By Victor Davis Hanson — May 22, 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Who Killed Seth Rich? (Revisited)

The news today is that according to an unconfirmed report, DNC staffer and murder victim Seth Rich may have contacted WikiLeaks shortly before his murder.  Immediately after his murder, Julian Assange suggested Rich was his source and offered a reward for information leading to his killer.

Additionally, the source of the new unconfirmed report said the DC police had been instructed to "stand down" in their investigation of Rich's murder.   Remember,  Rich was murdered two weeks before the DNC emails were released by WikiLeaks.

Here's my post from 8/22/16 regarding those events:



An intruder was spotted today, August 22nd, trying to scale the walls of the Ecuadorian embassy in London where Julian Assange has lived for the last four years.  The intruder successfully escaped capture.

This is significant because four people with access to information potentially damaging to Hillary Clinton have assumed room temperature in the last four months.  All under mysterious circumstances.

John Jones (upper left), lawyer for WikiLeak's Julian Assange, was mysteriously struck and killed by a train on April 21st in London.

John Ashe (upper right), an ex- UN official, was about to testify in a case that involved the DNC and certain Arkansas connections of the Clintons when he was found dead in his home gym on June 22nd.  His throat was reportedly crushed by a barbell.

Seth Rich (lower left),  a DNC staffer with Clinton ties, was mysteriously beaten and gunned down in Washington, DC. on July 10th.  Mr. Rich's death occurred about two weeks before WikiLeaks released their first batch of DNC email.   WikiLeak's Julian Assange recently suggested Mr. Rich was his source.  

Shawn Lucas (lower right) was found dead on August 2nd.  Mr. Lucas made a video that went viral showing him serving a lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. There are no reports yet of how he died.

Some have suggested I am engaging in "conspiracy theories" by listing these four mysterious deaths and noting their Clinton connections.  I am doing no such thing.  I am proposing no theories. Everything stated above is fact.  If you see a conspiracy here, that's on you.

If I was engaged in conspiracy theories, at a minimum I'd have mentioned the mysterious 1993 death of Clinton lawyer Vince Foster.  I purposely did not.  Nevertheless, there are conspiracy theorists out there who suggest the Clinton body-count numbers about fifty.  Here is a short list.

Here's the bottom line:  To this date there are no credible murder allegations against the Clintons, after almost four decades of public life.  There are, however, several credible rape allegations.   Oh, and also: abuse of power, perjury, witness tampering, felony mishandling of classified information, felony government records destruction, intimidation... (I'm sure I"m forgetting some).  Other than that, the Clintons are squeaky clean.



Friday, May 12, 2017

Is Voter Fraud Worth Investigating?

On Thursday, May 11th, Donald Trump fulfilled a campaign promise by establishing a commission to investigate the elusive issue of voter fraud.  

The reason voter fraud is so elusive is because Democrats have vigorously fought any attempt to prevent it, track it, measure it, or prosecute it. 

The statistics are overwhelming:  States that encourage voter fraud vote Democrat, and states that aim for integrity vote Republican.    

Voter ID laws are strict in only 9 states, of which Hillary Clinton won only one.  Of the states that allow illegals to obtain driver's licenses, Hillary Clinton won ever one of the 13 except one.  The only exception was Utah, which issues illegals a distinct license and requests ID to vote.


2106 Election Results Map




          States that Issue Driver's Licenses to Unauthorized
                                          Immigrants 


























 States and Voter ID 



2106 Election Map Showing Democrat Concentrations Near Border Crossings and Routes

(Hat Tip: @Military4Trump on Twitter)




























The above map is not a coincidence. Democrats have been on a decades long mission to encourage unauthorized immigrants to come here, and once here, be given loopholes to vote. The reason is simple; they overwhelmingly vote Democrat. 

To further this along, Democrat President Bill Clinton signed a law in 1993 known as the Motor Voter Bill, which basically automated voter registration for anyone applying for a driver's license or other government benefit.  That makes it extremely possible for illegals to wind-up as registered voters, despite assertions to the contrary, in the 13 states that issue licenses to illegals.  

Here's a picture of Bill Clinton signing the Motor Voter bill.  Notice the two people standing directly behind him?  They are Francis Fox Piven and  Richard Cloward, in the green and grey respectively, two radical Columbia University professors who advocated collapsing the U.S. by overloading it with dependents and immigrants.


And here is Barack Obama, who studied at Columbia University while Cloward and Piven held court there, answering  a question with only one correct answer.  The question is essentially, "should illegals be afraid to vote?" His answer should have been, "they shouldn't vote because it's illegal". That's not what he says though.



So, how many illegals and non-citizens voted? There is absolutely no way to easily know because by Democrat design, voting is done almost entirely on the honor system.  No citizenship records are kept, and no electronic records are kept relating to who actually voted.  That leaves only maps and circumstantial evidence, like above.

Donald Trump has a point, he should investigate, and he should work to ensure integrity in the voting system.   It is essential for sustaining a Democracy.   

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Why Did Trump Fire Comey?



The Left is apoplectic now that Donald Trump has fired FBI Director Jim Comey, despite calling for this very thing themselves for most of a year.  Many reasons have surfaced as to why Trump may have taken this action at this time.  Among them:


  • Comey's bizarre press conference last summer where he laid out the case against Hillary Clinton's handling of classified information, and then excused her on the basis of "intent", which, of course, is not part of the statute.
  • Comey's bizarre intervening in the Loretta Lynch / Bill Clinton tarmac meeting.
  • Comey's bizarre letter re-opening the Clinton matter days before the election.  (Which actually hurt her, and helped Trump.)
  • Comey's bizarre recent testimony in front of Congress.
  • The Left believes Comey was onto Trump's supposed Russia collusion, and therefore had to be eliminated. (Yet, Trump would have to fire the entire FBI to keep that from being made public, since an investigation of that scope would likely involve hundreds.)   
That said, there is another strong case for why Donald Trump fired Jim Comey.  He is a partisan.

Remember Trump's famous tweet about being bugged by Barack Obama?  Right before that tweet, Reince Priebus, WH Chief of Staff, had asked Jim Comey to publicly state what he had already been saying privately, that there was zero evidence of any Russia collusion.  Comey turned him down flatly saying, A) the FBI doesn't get involved in political squabbles, and B) they don't comment about investigations.  Then, right after that, Trump tweeted about his phones being tapped, and what did Comey do?  He immediately, and publicly, came out and said there was no evidence Obama bugged Trump.

Bam! Trump knew instantly he had a partisan FBI director who was applying a double standard.


(UPDATE)
Here's a timeline of the events from 2/24 to 5/8:

2/24 -  Reince Priebus asks James Comey to publicly admit there is no evidence of Russia collusion. Comey turns him down citing it as a political squabble and part of an investigation he cannot comment on.

3/4 - Trump tweets about Barack Obama wiretapping him. 

3/5 - James Comey immediately and publicly denies Obama had Trump wiretapped.  How could he possibly know this within a day, and be so certain that he could state it publicly given that the resources available to a POTUS for surveillance go well beyond the FBI?  And how could he possibly comment on this political squabble while the Russia collusion squabble was off limits?

3/20 - Comey public testimony undercuts Trump's claim of wiretapping.  Apparently, Comey had been calling Trump "crazy" among colleagues for his tweet.

4/4 - It turns out members of the Trump transition were surveilled and improperly unmasked - the equivalent of being wiretapped.

5/8 - Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's memo makes case against Comey, which Trump uses as his opportunity to fire James Comey.  

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Steal This Meme!



Are you tired of vituperative sophistry on social media and elsewhere?  Then steal this meme.  This is what Democrats said the last time a GOP President tried to undermine their immoral world.  Not to compare Trump and Lincoln, mind you, but to compare Democrats then and now.
#Perspective  #History


Sources:



Thursday, April 6, 2017

Why Did Trump Attack Syria?

Like all coverage of Donald Trump, the coverage of his Syria military action is a complete non-sequitur.  The typical analysis goes something like this:
  • Trump does one-eighty on Syria
  • After saying Assad can stay, Trump now changes his mind
  • Trump campaigned on not getting involved in Syria, now does complete pirouette

All of that is true, and yet Donald Trump has also said:
  • I never take anything off the table  
  • Everything is subject to change based on the facts on the ground and what the Generals say
  • I will not lead from behind
  • I won't tell you what I'm going to do militarily because surprise is an effective weapon
  • Obama was wrong to declare a red line and then let Assad cross it without consequences

In the context of the second group, Trump's Syria action is not inconsistent.  Obama told us he got the chemical weapons out.  He didn't.  Now Assad has used them again on civilians and children.  The facts changed. The POTUS changed. Trump acted.

New Presidents are always being tested.  Even though this was a limited strike, it was swift and decisive.  Assad, Putin, and Khamenei, now know they are dealing with a new President unafraid to act.

Unfortunately, the results of military action are always unpredictable and risky.   This response constitutes a new red line.   We can only pray the response is de-escalation and not the opposite. Amen.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Did Obama Go Full Nixon On Trump?




To paraphrase the Robert Downey Jr. character in "Tropic Thunder", "Never go full Nixon!"

Apparently, it was Susan Rice, Barack Obama's National Security Advisor, who illegally unmasked members of the Trump team, most likely in an attempt to do them political harm.  According to the Chairman of the House Intel Committee, this intel had noting to do with Russia.  Therefore, it probably had nothing to do with national security or Susan Rice's job.  Ergo, it was Obama.

The real story is that it wasn't the Russians, but Barack Obama who tried to hack the election, the transition, and the new administration.  This is looking more and more like an attempted coup d'etat.

If this stands up to scrutiny, it makes Nixon look like a piker.

Reminder:  After Donald Trump tweeted that Barack Obama had his ""wires tapped"", Barack Obama's response DID NOT DENY that Trump's wires had been tapped, only that he hadn't ordered it!
A cardinal rule of the Obama administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice. As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.
                                                       Barack Obama's response to Trump's accusation of "wire tapping"

Translation:  It wasn't me who wiretapped you; it was Loretta Lynch.  You know, the grandmother who met on the tarmac with grandpa Bill Clinton to discuss their grandchildren in the midst of a DOJ/FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton?

Of course, there is no need to ever perform a wiretap in the modern world, because all communications are recorded by the NSA.  Unmasking and leaking the names of U.S. citizens, then, becomes the issue and the crime.  

Curiously, a short time after Trump's tweet in early March, Barack Obama decamped to a private island in French Polynesia without his family.  He's still there.  I doubt the U.S. has an extradition treaty with this private island.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

7 Reasons Donald Trump Is In Imminent Danger



1.  Almost all presidents have at least one attempt on their lives.  It's just a part of the job.  Some nut or political zealot is going to go hunting, and presidents are just the biggest "wabbits" for these deranged Elmer Fudds.  That said, Donald Trump is in demonstrably more danger than any other president in recent history.  
  • There was an assassination attempt on Donald Trump even before the election 
  • Several people have jumped the White House fence, some with backpacks
  • Members of the administration have been accosted in public
  • The Secretary of Education is, or was, under the protection of Federal Marshals 
  • There are weekly bomb threats against Trump Tower in NY
  • Leftists have violently attacked Trump supporters before, and since, the election
  • Prominent Democrats have actually called for violence* 
  • Dozens of states and cities have openly seceded from federal immigration laws
  • Democrats have been claiming Trump is illegitimate since election day
  • The level of hatred and obstruction is unprecedented in modern times 

2.   Consider the rhetoric:
  • He is: a tyrant, a despot, a racist, a bigot, a dictator, a liar, a demagogue, grossly unqualified, lacking in character, ugly, an idiot, a braggart, a buffoon, a monster, foul tongued, indecent, disrespectful to women, vulgar, intellectually lazy, a white supremacist, deranged from syphilis, disrespectful of freedom of the press.
  • If he is elected we will: leave the country, secede, refuse to follow federal laws.
  • He should: be assassinated, be impeached, be removed, go to hell.
  • His way of speaking and writing is: silly, slip-shod, loose-jointed, lacking in the simplest rules of syntax, coarse, devoid of grace, filled with glittering generalities.
  • He and his entire cabinet are not equal to the occasion and are full of incapacity and rottenness. 
Except those were not said about Donald Trump.  Those were all things said about Abraham Lincoln!** The rhetoric is identical.  What it all amounts to is, like Lincoln, Democrats don't just disagree with Donald Trump, they hate him.  

There is a big difference between hate and dissent.  Dissenters claim that the other side is wrong. Haters claim that the other side is evil.  And when it comes to evil, no tactic is off-the-table.   Murder, violence, lawlessness, civil disobedience, are all justified in the face of evil.


3.   In many frightening ways Trump and Lincoln are walking the same path.

Lincoln was considered evil and hated by Democrats because he was a threat to slavery.  Slavery had become an entrenched entitlement for southern Democrats.  It was legal, it went back generations, and it was very lucrative.  Lincoln was trying to kill the golden goose.

Trump is similarly seen as a threat to entrenched Democrat entitlements.  Among them: Obamacare, open borders, control of the vast bureaucracies, union power, illegals voting, etc. These are all Democrat golden geese.

Unless I'm missing something, no entitlement has ever been completely ended without a civil war.            

4.  Four Presidents have been killed in office, three Republicans and one Democrat.  The odds of being killed in office are 3 times greater for a Republican, and the odds of taking a bullet are 1.6 times greater.  Of the 8 shot, 5 were Republicans and 3 were Democrats.   All presidents who were killed in office were done so from the Left. (And that's not a reference to the direction of the bullets!) 
  • Lincoln, a Republican, was killed by a Democrat actor
  • Garfield, a Republican, was killed by a lawyer who spent time on a "free sex" commune (though he was nominally a Republican) 
  • McKinley, a Republican, was killed by an anarchist
  • Kennedy, a Democrat, was killed by a communist
Of course, all were seriously deranged,  but it is noteworthy that no president has ever been killed by a conservative, or even by someone to the right of them.
    

5.  Ronald Reagan was the last Republican president to be shot.  In many ways Trump and Reagan, (along with others, most notably Lincoln) share at least one interesting trait: they were Republican ideologues.  By that I mean they had specific Republican issues they were committed to and were willing to unapologetically fight for.  In Reagan's case it was broadly getting government off the people's back, lowering taxes, deregulation, standing up to foes.  Trump, though a Democrat for most of his life, seems particularly ideological when it comes to similar things:  reducing the "administrative state", restoring the rule of law, fighting jihad, etc.

(Reagan was also hated, painted as evil, dumb, dangerous, crazy, etc. and was shot in March of his first term.)    


6.  The Russian collusion meme is part of the whole attempt to label Trump evil.  It was Ronald Reagan who labeled Russia (USSR at the time) the "evil empire".  Democrats always scoffed at that characterization.  Remember the famous debate exchange between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, where Romney singled out Russia as our "top geopolitical foe"?  Obama snarked, "The 1980s called and they want their foreign policy back".  Now the tune has changed only because Democrats figured out they could augment their characterization of Trump as evil by tying him to the evil empire, and by doing so, peel off some of his weaker, hawkish, GOP support. (see McCain, Graham, Et al...)        


7.  The government is a largely Democrat institution.  That includes the Secret Service, FBI, career DOJ, etc.  These unionized Democrats are responsible for the President's safety.  Though they are usually considered to be above politics, will they perform as they should if they are convinced the man they are protecting is evil?  Would you take a bullet for Hitler?
  

**  The anti-Lincoln Tradition


      "Lincoln is an Idiot"

Monday, March 27, 2017

Cliff's Notes for Today's Headlines


Some shortcuts to understanding today’s headlines:
  • Obamacare was passed on lies ("Premiums will go down by $2500", "If you like your ____, you can keep your ____", "It's not a tax", etc.) 
  • The AHCA failed on truths ("It's not a repeal", "It keeps the Feds in-charge", "It's not what the people wanted", etc.) 
  • Bill Clinton also failed to bring healthcare to a vote, and his presidency moved on (his impeachment was unrelated)
  • Bill Clinton cut taxes AFTER losing on healthcare
  • Barack Obama had much bigger majorities to pass Obamacare
  • Obamacare took 15 months to get to a vote
  • Barack Obama’s first priority was closing Guantanamo Bay, and it is still open
  • No entitlement has ever been repealed without a Civil War
  • Legislation begins in the House, then goes to the Senate, and ends on the President’s desk
  • The AHCA was conceived and largely written by House leadership before Donald Trump’s election
  • The GOP is NOT a monolith, unlike the DEMs, so when they run things it's a coalition type government (in other words, "This is what Democracy looks like!")

  • The entire federal government and opposition media has been investigating Russia/Trump collusion for almost a year and yielded nothing
  • The Clinton team had far more involvement with Russia than Trump
  • No agency has publicly announced they are investigating whether or not Trump was improperly surveilled by the Obama administration
  • We already know the Obama administration improperly used several federal agencies to prosecute, harass, and impede his opponents (IRS, DOJ, FBI, NHTSA, FDA, NLRB, and Fish and Wildlife, to name a few) 
  • How can anyone doubt Obama could improperly handle surveillance on Team Trump?




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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

The Thelma and Louise Healthcare Bill





A 1966 Ford Thunderbird convertible is an awesome ride (…or so I’m told), but if you drive one off a cliff you’ll quickly find it makes a horrible airplane.  Similarly, our government was designed to do a few things well, but when we ask it to do other things, it’s like asking a car to fly.

That’s what happened with Obamacare.  Democrats duct-taped some wings on a car, and then drove it off a cliff with all of us onboard.  Republicans will ultimately fail if their fix is merely an improvement on that flying-car model.  That seems to be where they're headed.  

Instead, Republicans and Democrats should scrap the flying-car model entirely and perform a complete separation of car stuff from airplane stuff.  Then they should allow the people who design and build the best cars to do their job, and allow their counterparts in the airplane business to do theirs. 

Of course, I’m not suggesting Boeing or GM be involved in replacing Obamacare.  The point is, there are some things the public sector must do, and everything else should be left to the private sector. Any healthcare bill that continues blending those two dissimilar functions will be as successful as Thelma and Louise.  

Healthcare, being a dynamic, complex, service-oriented market is precisely the kind of thing governments are ill equipped to micro-manage.  Like an airplane, healthcare markets are moving at breakneck speed, must be able to change course instantaneously, and are operating in turbulent three-dimensional space.

On the other hand, providing a safety net, which is essential in healthcare, is precisely the kind of thing the public sector must do.  But like a car designed by bureaucratic committees, the public sector is perennially underpowered, overweight, low on fuel, and operates on a one-way dirt road that only allows direction changes every four years.  Public sectors work best if they keep things simple, realistic, and have a clearly defined mission.

Obamacare was nowhere near our first foray into the flying-car model.   We've been moving in that direction since WWII when Democrats under Franklin Roosevelt allowed the tax code to subsidize employer paid insurance while allowing no such subsidy for individuals.  Democrats under Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s made the next big misstep by creating socialized healthcare for seniors and the poor known as Medicare and Medicaid.  The only thing Obamacare did was to take those not covered by the existing socialized healthcare system, and put them under a new poorly designed government micro-managed system.     

The reason these socialized healthcare systems are unsustainable, especially in the U.S., is the same reason Thelma and Louise couldn't fly: our form of federal government was designed for other things. 

For any airplane to fly safely, there must be an instantaneous response from the controls to the flight surfaces.  Similarly, for markets to function there must be an instantaneous response from buyers to sellers.  Nothing like that can happen within our federal system of checks and balances and constitutional limitations.  

Since Obamacare, every single American covered by health insurance has at least two thick layers of bureaucracy between them, the buyers (patients), and the sellers (doctors, hospitals, providers).  All told, about 95% of Americans get their health insurance from either the government (federal, state, and local) or their employer.   That leaves only about 5% of the population that actually buys their own health insurance.  Thanks to Obamacare, even those in the individual market are now smothered in thick bureaucratic layers.    

Unless and until health care and health insurance become primarily consumer markets, something the vast majority of Americans pay for on their own, there will never be a true functioning market.  As long as there are a minimum of two levels of bureaucracy between buyers and sellers, price, quality, speed, access, and satisfaction will all suffer.

But that doesn't mean government cannot provide a proper safety net while allowing a functioning individual free market.  In fact, it points to the solution.   

You see, the idea of direct linkage applies to cars as well.  Like airplanes, cars must have instantaneous response to steering, brakes, and power, or they too will crash.   

When the federal government provides a safety net there is a critical break in the linkage between buyers and sellers.  The reason is, the federal government has access to what appears to be free money.  Having access to the world’s reserve currency makes borrowing and printing dollars deceptively easy.  Politicians can over-promise and under-fund without negative short-term consequences. This is an illusion that eventually backfires on every society that's ever tried it long term.

To avoid this problem states must be the safety net providers.  States are forced to be more realistic, more practical, and more skilled when providing safety nets.  They are closer to the facts on the ground and cannot access money without repercussions. If states want to provide a high-cost safety net, they must be willing to tax their citizens accordingly.  That forces a discipline that the feds can too easily cheat their way around.

In its current form, the AHCA slated to be voted on tomorrow, is a capitulation to the flying-car model. GOP leadership claims this is necessary because Senate rules place certain provisions of Obamacare out of reach due to the threat of Democrat filibuster.  Ted Cruz has put that excuse to rest by pointing out that VP Mike Pence, who is the President of the Senate, can overrule the parliamentarian.  Repeal and replace can be done through reconciliation in one fell swoop based on existing law.  

The real reason the GOP won't do this is that they do not have enough members who believe in the efficacy of free markets!  The GOP is NOT a majority free market party.  Despite that sad reality, here is the way to once-and-for-all end the Thelma and Louise approach to healthcare.  

As Ronald Reagan used to say, “There are simple solutions - just not easy ones.”  The following specific proposals are not meant to be what’s easy, just what’s simple: 


  • Repeal Obamacare entirely.     
  • Repeal Medicaid entirely.   
  • Repeal Medicare entirely.  
  • Give states a year to come up with their own solutions to provide coverage to those unable or unwilling to obtain care in the private market.  Until then, provide fully funded closed-end block grants. Give insurers a year to establish new plans.
These changes will place the safety net at the state level where it belongs, while at the same time allowing for the transition.  Federal taxes will go down and state taxes will necessarily go up, but overall, costs will go down because there will be less waste, fraud, and abuse when states are in- charge.  
  • Make the playing field between employer paid and individual paid insurance tilt towards the individual.  
This can be done by providing refundable federal tax credits to individuals as the AHCA does, and/or, change the tax law so that employees must declare the value of their health insurance as income for tax purposes, and/or, disallow companies from deducting healthcare costs and lower payroll taxes by a commensurate amount.  These changes will establish a competitive, individual, free market for health insurance and health care.  Costs will go down, people will be able to buy what they want, providers will be free to practice as they wish,  innovation will flourish, drug prices will go down, medical care will improve.  
  • Repeal The McCarran Ferguson Act.  
This will allow insurance to be sold across state lines.

  • Provide private insurance to replace the VA system.
  • Convert the vast VA system into a "caregiver of last resort" during the transition for anyone who falls through the cracks of the state safety nets.  After the transition, the states can use and fund their VA facilities in any way they wish.        
This will establish a "safety net for the safety net" during the transition and give the states valuable real estate and medical facilities. 


Those are the simple things we can do.  The problem is that we have two parties and two incompatible visions for the future of healthcare. 

Democrats have been dreaming of a federal government healthcare takeover for over a century.  Republicans tend to prefer a free market with a safety net, but they have capitulated to the idea that healthcare is a "right".  That impasse is how we’ve ended-up with the worst of both worlds - the flying-car healthcare system.

It’s time to be honest and separate the two functions.  Let the free market function in healthcare, and let state governments transparently tax and spend to provide a proper safety net.  Let planes be planes, and let cars be cars.

I never said it would be easy, but it really is quite simple.