Monday, January 29, 2018

Hollywood Gets the Story Wrong - Again

You would think people who tell stories for a living would be able to tell truth from fiction.  You would be wrong. A good case in point is the Sundance Film Festival which just wrapped-up in Park City, Utah. 

As is now expected in the age of Trump, there was an anti-Trump rally down Main Street protesting against sexual abuse, Trump, fascism, fascist Trump, and Trumpist fascism.  Speakers included Jane Fonda, Lena Waithe, Tessa Thompson, & Gloria Allred, who led the crowd in a chant of "Resist, insist, persist, insist, and elect".

Hollywood, and the arts community in general, support the Democrat party with near exclusivity, and they hate Donald Trump with white hot passion and call him "fascist". Yet, it is under Democrats that the heavy hand of government interferes most with the work of people exercising their right of free speech. Richard Nixon may have contemplated using the IRS to go after his enemies, but he never did it, and could not have gotten away with it.  Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama not only did it, but they got away with it. To this day no one holds them accountable - not the media, not the public, not academia, and certainly not Hollywood.   

To keep the flame of truth at least on pilot, below is a partial list of filmmakers, the very people celebrated at Sundance, who were jailed, persecuted, audited, and harassed under Barack Obama for political purposes:    

Dinesh D'Souza:  There is mounting evidence that Dinesh D'Souza was specifically targeted by Barack Obama.  He was basically imprisoned for a minor campaign finance violation, giving $20,000 to an old college friend while the legal limit was $5,400. More importantly though, he made a couple of anti-Obama films in 2012 and 2013.  As a result of the ostensible campaign finance violation, he was confined for eight months, put on five months probation, and forced to undergo psychological counseling.

Mr. D'Souza was the first person in the history of campaign finance law ever to be confined for an offense such as this.   

Here's what liberal Harvard legal scholar Alan Dershowitz said about his conviction and sentence:  
“The idea of charging him with a felony for this doesn’t sound like a proper exercise of prosecutorial discretion.... I can’t help but think that [D'Souza's] politics have something to do with it.... It smacks of selective prosecution.” He went on to say such alleged campaign violations are common in politics.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula was put in prison for a year as punishment for making the YouTube video famously blamed by Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya.  There's only one problem: the video had nothing to do with the attack in Benghazi.

Hillary Clinton promised the grieving families of those killed that she would imprison Mr. Nakoula despite that pesky thing known as our first amendment right to free speech.  And Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both knew the video was not responsible. Secretary Clinton emailed her daughter, Chelsea, right after the attack saying that the attack was an al Qaeda-like terrorist operation.  Another email, to the Libyan President,  confirmed that this was her official understanding of the events in Benghazi.  Yet publicly, and even to the families of those who died, she and Obama blamed Nakoula. 

The sad and tragic reality is that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama jailed a filmmaker for a year to cover for their failure to provide the necessary security in Benghazi, to add legitimacy to their lie about the attack being about a video, to maintain the fiction that they had defeated terrorism, and to deceive the American people before an election.
David Daleiden and Sandra Merritt:  These people were behind the Planned Parenthood undercover videos made by The Center for Medical Progress.  Barack Obama himself made a point to single them out.  As part of their cover they used fake IDs that somehow became a pretense for felony charges, a raid on Daleiden's home, and seizures of his property.
“To storm into a private citizen’s home with a search warrant is outrageously out of proportion for the type of crime alleged,” said Matt Heffron a former federal prosecutor who is now Daleiden’s legal adviser. “It’s a discredit to law enforcement, an oppressive abuse of government power.”
Recently, all charges in Texas were dropped against Daleiden.  But the damage was done, his funding was depleted, and CMP was sidelined.  Ultimately, the harassment was a success from the Democrat standpoint.

Joel Gilbert:  Mr. Gilbert made an anti-Obama film called "Dreams From My Real Father".  It drew the ire of Democrats on the Federal Election Commission (FEC) who voted unanimously to punish Mr. Gilbert.  When Republicans stood firm and pointed out that liberal filmmakers such as Michael Moore were not similarly harassed, the punishment was eventually blocked.  Were it not for the split FEC, Mr. Gilbert would have been sanctioned simply for making a movie critical of Barack Obama.

James O'Keefe, Joseph Basel, Robert Flanagan, and Stan Dai: These people were part of James O'Keefe's undercover video organization, Project Veritas, the organization that single-handedly took down one of Obama's favorite community organizer activist groups, ACORN. They went on to investigate Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu and ran afoul of the FBI while trying to make a film about her. They eventually settled for misdemeanor charges and accepted probation, fines, and community service.

O'keefe has also been harassed by Obama's DHS for making films about the open Mexican border, and was just blocked by Twitter for releasing videos critical of Democrats and Hillary Clinton.

Logan Clements: Mr. Clements made a movie called "Sick and Sicker...", an unflattering portrayal of Obamacare.  For his disloyalty he was handed his first ever IRS audit.   

Breitbart News:  Breitbart News also earned their first IRS audit.   Breitbart is a multi-media internet megaphone that is foursquare opposed to Clinton and Obama's policies.  In this election cycle they are all-in with Donald Trump.  (Also, see David Bossie below who contributes occasionally to Breitbart.) 

Glenn Beck, Pat Grey, and Scott Baker:  Glenn Beck and his Blaze Network don't just make videos, they have an entire broadcast network, publish books, run a website, and do talk radio,  all of which oppose Clinton and Obama policies.  So yeah, these guys all got their first IRS audits .  But that's not all.  Glenn Beck's top sponsor, GoldLine, was targeted by Democrats, specifically congressman Anthony Weiner, husband of Hillary's right hand person Huma Abedin, and a known political hit-man for Democrats and Obama.  Weiner resigned his House seat in scandal, but his (ex?) wife will play a major role in a possible Clinton administration.

David Bossie and James Bopp:  These men were behind the Citizens United SCOTUS case. David Bossie runs CU and James Bopp was the lawyer who defended the first amendment. The case centered around CU's right to make and show a film, in this case an unflattering portrait of Hillary Clinton. They won the case at the SCUTUS, but ran afoul of Obama and the entire Left who believe the first amendment only applies to Michael Moore and The New York Times. Hence, in front of the entire world, during a state of the union address, Barack Obama publicly berated the justices who upheld the first amendment rights of filmmakers, thus sending a message to justices, filmmakers, and supporters of people who make films: oppose me and I will use the Bully Pulpit to bully you.

Fox News:  No list like this would be complete without mentioning Obama's number one target in the media and film world.  Fox has been singled-out and harassed personally by Barack Obama on numerous occasions.  These attacks send a clear and chilling message to sponsors: Advertise on Fox and you will be the target of restrictive regulations, IRS audits, and federal harassment.  Some were targeted, like Gold Line mentioned above. 

Donald Trump talks about "fake news", mentions specific outlets like CNN and the NYT, but takes no action against them.  That's how free speech is supposed to work.   

Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton took concrete actions and weaponized the federal government against their critics.  That is the very essence of fascism.  Perhaps someone in Hollywood could make a movie about that, but I won't hold my breath.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Obama & Farrakhan - Perfect Together

"The job of the media when covering Democrats is to hide the truth.  The job of the media when covering Republicans is to spread lies." - 

Today's example of this is the above photo of Barack Obama grinning from ear-to-ear with anti-semite, racist, radical Muslim, Louis Farrakhan. The photo was kept secret throughout Obama's two campaigns and terms as President:  (from: TPM)     

The photographer, Askia Muhammad, told the Trice Edney News Wire that he “gave the picture up at the time and basically swore secrecy.” 
“But after the nomination was secured and all the way up until the inauguration; then for eight years after he was President, it was kept under cover,” Muhammad said. 
Asked whether he thought the photo’s release would have affected Obama’s presidential campaign, Muhammad said, “I insist. It absolutely would have made a difference.”

This allows me to repost this thought from the time President Barack Obama came out in favor of building a mega-Mosque at the site of the 9/11 Islamic terror attack in NY:

Now that President Obama has come out in favor of the mega-mosque at ground zero , it opens up an opportunity to combine some of the Prez's most important priorities into one neat solution! 
Recall that the head of NASA, Charles Bolden,  revealed to Al Jazeera that Prez Obama has directed NASA to make it's "Primary Mission"... outreach to Muslims!  Not exploring space, not doing science, not helping our military.  No, the primary mission of NASA is helping Muslims!  
Recall also that Louis Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam (Obama is a supporter and ally) believe that there is a spaceship called the  "Mother Wheel" which orbits the planet and...well, nevermind.  
So let's see, we need a giant place for Muslims to worship, check, we have the full resources of NASA, check, and there is already a Mother Wheel circling the planet, check mate.  Hmmm, I love it when a plan comes together!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Of Tax Cuts and Swimming Pools

Wow, Democrats really don't like the tax cuts! They've referred to them as apocalyptic, tragic, deadly, and the end of the world. Only the rich will benefit, they say.  The poor and middle class will get "crumbs", opined Nancy Pelosi. A "deception", wined Chuck Schumer.  Of particular concern to Democrats is the drop in business income taxes which they say will only help "corporations".  Not a single Democrat voted for the bill.

And yet since the bill passed, 81 prominent corporations have already announced significant wage increases and bonuses for their employees, the latest being the nation's largest retailer, Wal-Mart.  Add to that  all the small and medium sized employers who are doing the same, and this looks like a windfall for the American worker.   Moreover, overseas profits are flooding back, companies are abandoning "inversions" opting to remain here, foreign companies are planning to increase their U.S. footprints, capital expenditures are predicted to skyrocket, and the stock market is soaring.   

So why are Democrats still criticizing something that has been so effective in such a short time?  Aside from the usual political posturing, Democrats, along with a few Republicans,  have a fundamental misunderstanding of basic economics.  Contrary to popular belief, BUSINESSES DON'T PAY TAXES.  Period.  

I know it's confusing because businesses do COLLECT taxes, and REMIT taxes, but the business is only a pass-through entity in this transaction.  The money comes from the PEOPLE.  In fact, all taxes are paid by people.  In the case of business taxes, those people are the employees, customers, owners, and vendors of the business. 

Here's a helpful analogy:  Picture the economy as a giant swimming pool filled with people trying to escape the oppressive heat of a hot summer's day. 

Feeding cool water into the pool are businesses, and draining water out of the pool are taxes.  New water does not pile up  - it flows throughout the pool and always helps those at the shallow end most profoundly.  Conversely, the opposite occurs when the level drops.     

This is a precise, though simplified, version of an actual economy, and it illuminates a few important concepts and misunderstandings: 

A tax on business is a direct drain on the flow of water into the pool.  That water never enters the pool.  Some tax money is recirculated back to the pool, but due to inefficiencies it is always a net drain. When a tax is reduced, there is an immediate increase in the level of water in the pool which is, again, felt most profoundly at the shallow end.

If you haven't figured it out yet, water = VALUE.  The shallow end is where the economically vulnerable are and the deep end is where the economically secure are.  Most people are somewhere in the middle.

Democrats always scream, "tax cuts for the rich!", but the swimming pool analogy disproves that assertion - you cannot add or remove water from only one end of a pool.  Everyone is swimming around in the same vat of value and the only thing that distinguishes one person from another is the amount of value they are floating in, or in some cases wading in.

In the real world when a business pays taxes they take a number of offsetting actions - prices go up for their customers, wages go down for their employees, and vendors are squeezed.  Globally, their competition gets an advantage.  All this does is lower the level in the pool.

When a rich person has their taxes increased they take similar actions.  They spend less, they invest less, they work less, and they produce less.  All this does is lower the level in the pool.

Tax cuts do the opposite.  And tax cuts on business are the most direct because it is essentially new value flowing into the pool.

Democrats weren't always clueless about this.  JFK understood this and spoke of a rising tide lifting all boats.  He cut taxes.  Some Democrats voted for both Reagan's tax cuts and George W Bush's.  But today's Democrats are completely oblivious.  Sad!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

What Exactly Is a "Shithole Country"?

Today's episode of exploding heads has to do with Donald Trump labeling certain countries, "shithole countries".   So, what does that mean?

Donald Trump is a famously guileless person - he speaks his mind.  And the mind he speaks relies on the colorful patois of the common man.  Don Jr. accurately calls his dad a "blue collar billionaire".   

With that background, we can safely assume that the President was referring to countries where people routinely defecate in holes.  The only question remaining is, does that apply to Haiti and some African Countries?  

According to the World Bank, under 30% of Haitians have improved sanitation facilities.  It's worse in many African countries with some around 10% and only the highest hitting 30%.  Over 70% of these people actually shit in a hole!  

Meanwhile, 100% of the population in the U.S. has access to improved sanitation according to the same study.  Donald Trump's own sanitation is so improved it's apocryphally gold plated.  Is anyone surprised that a man imagined to sit on a golden toilet is concerned about an invasion of folks who poop in pits?  

So, what Donald Trump said is factually accurate.  It's provable.  It may be blunt, crude, and offensive to those who want to see racism everywhere, but it's undeniable.  It's science.   

If your head is still exploding, then you, my friend, are a science denier.    

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Why Trump is, like, Really Smart...and You're Not.

Donald Trump did it once again - he made heads explode yesterday with an amazing trio of tweets wherein he defended his own mental stability and intelligence.  It was vintage Trump, right up there with his "big nuclear button" tweet about North Korea.

Since so many of you seem to be outraged by these tweets and Trump's other habits, I'd like to walk you through yesterday's outburst and explain the underlying strategy using Trump's own words.  You see, there is a method to his madness, and the longer you remain clueless about it, the higher your blood pressure is likely to get.  I'm just here to do a public service and save lives.  You're welcome. 

Here are the tweets in question:   

This tweetstorm raises several questions:

Why does he constantly attack the "fake news mainstream media" and the Russia investigation?
Why even dignify the Michael Wolff charges of mental instability and low intelligence?
Why does he constantly brag about his brilliance and achievements?
Why did he put the word "like" in there?
Why does he continue calling Hillary "Crooked Hillary"?
Why does he brag that he's "a very stable genius"?
And...Why does he not seem to care how being so boorish makes him look?

The thing is, Donald Trump explained all this in a series of books and interviews beginning about 30 years ago.  His tactics are far from secret.  Now, I'll grant that you are probably too busy or uninterested to be bothered reading stuff by someone you consider to be mentally inferior and crazy. That's why I'm here to help.  Here are the specific quotes relating to each of the tweets:

Tweet #1 is all about Trump fighting back:

"In most cases I'm very easy to get along with. I'm very good to people who are good to me. But when people treat me badly or unfairly or try to take advantage of me, my general attitude, all my lifehas been to fight back very hard."  (Trump, “Art of the Deal”, 1987)
“When someone crosses you, my advice is ‘Get even!’ That is not typical advice, but it is real-life advice. If you do not get even, you are just a schmuck! When people wrong you, go after those people, because it is a good feeling and because other people will see you doing it. I love getting even. I get screwed all the time. I go after people, and you know what? People do not play around with me as much as they do with others. They know that if they do, they are in for a big fight. Always get even. Go after people that go after you. Don’t let people push you around. Always fight back and always get even. It’s a jungle out there, filled with bullies of all kinds who will try to push you around. If you’re afraid to fight back people will think of you as a loser, a ‘schmuck!’ They will know they can get away with insulting you, disrespecting you, and taking advantage of you. Don’t let it happen! Always fight back and get even.(Trump: Think Big, 2007)
“If someone attacks you, do not hesitate. Go for the jugular.” (Trump: Think Big, 2007)
It makes me feel so good to hit 'sleazebags' back — much better than seeing a psychiatrist (which I never have!)" (Twitter, November 19, 2012)
This “attitude” of his to “fight back very hard”  and "get even" is why he has been so aggressive against the book by Michael Wolff that triggered the above tweets.  It's also why he continues pounding away at the "fake news media", Democrats, and the Russia investigation.  Attack his intelligence and mental stability and he will fight back.  He's been doing this his whole life and it has made him a billionaire, a TV star, and now the President of the United States.  You can criticize him all you want, but he has an undeniable record of success not allowing himself to be made a schmuck.  

Tweet #2 is just Trump playing y'all, and having fun doing it:  
"One thing I've learned about the press is that they're always hungry for a good story, and the more sensational the better...The point is that if you are a little different, a little outrageous, or if you do things that are bold or controversial, the press is going to write about you." - Donald Trump, “The Art of the Deal”, 1987
And if it can’t be fun, what’s the point? - Donald Trump, "The Art of the Deal", 1987
The big tell in this tweet is the addition of the word, "like", thrown right smack in the middle of a tweet attesting to his brilliance:
" two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart."  
Nothing screams brilliance like using the word "like" like a valley girl!

The  above tweet is a vintage example of Trump playing the media.  He knows he's going to get coverage when he throws that word in that tweet.  He knows his haters are going to go ape-shit, and he knows those in on the joke are going to laugh and enjoy their popcorn while the clueless heads explode.

Donald Trump is a veteran media maestro. His very business model – branding his name – was achieved in large measure by being controversial and getting free media. For years, his tabloid antics kept his name in the spotlight, and the Trump name was emblazoned on every one of his projects.

His presidential bid used the same game plan. By being “sensational”, “different”, “outrageous”, “bold”, and “controversial” he managed to run a successful presidential race on a shoestring budget with almost no staff or ground-game. He played the media like a Stradivarius to get his name, face, and candidacy in the conversation every day. That’s why he started his bid with the ridiculous Obama birth certificate quest. It made news. Trump was being sensational and outrageous by design. Does he really think Mexico will pay for the wall? Does he really think we should have seized Iraq’s oil? All we know for sure is what he reveals in his own words, and that tells us he's playing the media for all it's worth.

By trolling the media in such a way, Trump has been able to provoke them into gross over-reactions that almost always backfire to his benefit.  Meanwhile he marches on with his agenda, leaving everyone else mired in a thick fog of #covfefe.  Granted, Trump has tweaked the media so often that nearly 100% of his coverage is negative at this point.  But that doesn’t seem to concern him (see below).  Remember, he won the election under the exact same circumstances.  His voters are in on the joke and don't care that he plays the media, as long as the results continue to roll in.  

Tweet #3 is Trump doing what he does best: promote, promote, promote, shamelessly and constantly.  That, and espouse his own positive self-image:   

My father taught me everything I know. And he would understand what I’m about to say,” Mr. Trump announced to the room. “I’m developing a great building on Riverside Boulevard called Trump Place. It’s a wonderful project.” - Donald Trump at his father's wake
 "You can't con people, at least not for long. You can create excitement, you can do wonderful promotion and get all kinds of press, and you can throw in a little hyperbole. But if you don't deliver the goods, people will eventually catch on."Donald Trump, “Art of the Deal”, 1987
Donald Trump is constantly promoting, and likes to "throw in a little hyperbole”. We are not used to politicians doing this in such a brazen way. Our parents raised us to be humble and discreet. Not Donald Trump. He is shameless and deliberate. He knows what he's doing. Why else would he tout his own genius and mental stability? Can he really singlehandedly Make America Great Again? Will he really be the best jobs President "God ever created"? Does he really think America’s going to win so much we are going to be "tired of winning"? All we know is that he knows he has to eventually “deliver the goods”.

And he has. He won the nomination, the Presidency, and just broke all kinds of records for a President's first year.  And he did that in the face of overwhelming opposition from the political establishment, the deep state, the media, academia, and the entertainment world.  He has over-achieved by every single measure of a rank amateur in presidential politics. 

“You always, when the service was over, you said, ‘I’d have sat there for another hour,’” Mr. Trump recalled. “There aren’t too many people like that. It wasn’t the speaking ability, it was the thought process.”- Donald Trump on Dr. Norman Vincent Peale, Minister at Marble Collegiate Church
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale is an often overlooked piece of the Donald Trump puzzle. Beginning as a teenager, and continuing for decades, the Trumps attended The Marble Collegiate Church, which was led by Dr. Peale, author of the bestselling book, "The Power of Positive Thinking".

The power of positive thinking, according to Peale, was that if you you could train your thought process to focus on positive visions of yourself, your abilities, your prospects, your achievements, etc., you could go as far as you wanted to go in life. Nothing could stop you as long as you held firm to this positive picture.

Typical Peale quotes are: "Change your thoughts and you change your world." "There is a real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment." "If you have zest and enthusiasm you attract zest and enthusiasm. Life does give back in kind."

You can hear echoes of Peale in every aspect of Trump's oversized positive image of himself, his abilities, and his accomplishments. It's hard to deny Peale's power, though, when so many of those accomplishments are real.

Tweets 1, 2, and 3 together are explained by Trumps belief that any publicity is good publicity:  
“Good publicity is preferable to bad, but from a bottom-line perspective, bad publicity is sometimes better than no publicity at all. Controversy, in short, sells.” - Donald Trump, "The Art of the Deal", 1987
How many times have you heard critics get exasperated by Trump's ability to step on his own good headlines?  Finally he'll have some positive news about the economy, or ISIS, or some such thing, and what does he do?  He tweets something petty and obnoxious about some celebrity like Rosie O'Donnell.  Bam!  Gone are the positive reports about job growth, and instead there's a story about his stupid tweet about something meaningless.  Why does he always do that?

He knows he's never going to be covered fairly by the media - no Republican ever has.  So instead, he's decided to take control of the narrative, and the only thing he knows for sure is that "controversy sells".


So you see, Donald Trump is not an idiot, and he's not crazy.  He's following a strategy he developed over a lifetime of living and winning in a high stakes world. The fact that you don't understand what he's up to is more a reflection of your ignorance than of his.   

Friday, January 5, 2018

Trump is a Fascist!*

fascist is a follower of a political philosophy characterized by authoritarian views and a strong central government — and no tolerance for opposing opinions.
*The big news in marijuana legalization is that the Trump administration is rolling back the Obama rules that paved the way for states to legalize pot within their own borders.  This has been met with screams of "Fascist!", "Dictator!", "Tyrant!", etc.

There's only one problem with this criticism, it's about as intelligent as Jeff Spicoli.

You see, according to existing federal law, marijuana is illegal.  Since federal law supersedes state law when they overlap, and in this case they do, it is up to congress to make marijuana legal or stay mute on the subject.  And they should.  But instead of leading congress to do that the constitutional way, Barack Obama acted as an authoritarian and single-handedly re-wrote the federal statute to allow states to supersede federal law.

This was not bowing to states rights.  It was the authoritarian intervention of a strong central government run by a single man - in other words, a fascist.

So no, Donald Trump is not the fascist here.  Barack Obama was.  Now congress will have to act to undo marijuana illelegality from a federal standpoint.  That will then leave it up to the states to decide for themselves what they want to do within their own borders, thus properly restoring state's rights on this issue.     

Trump is an Idiot!*

*According to Michael Wolff, the author of the upcoming Trump expose "Fire and Fury", detractors within Trump's own White House referred to him as an "idiot"...and worse.  

Funny, I seem to remember every single Republican in my lifetime being portrayed the exact same way.  Even Mitt Romney was an idiot who abused puppies, had binders full of women, and was compared to Hitler.  

In fact, this precedes modern times and goes all the way back to the original Republican, the first "idiot" who ever tried to pry an entitlement from the fist of a Democrat:


Here's something I didn't know about Steve Bannon, the key source in Michael Wolff's book - he was anti-growth!  Apparently he was the one who wanted to RAISE the top marginal income tax rate, he supported a WEAK dollar, and he wanted to RAISE tariffs.   I say, vaya con dios, Steve Bannon.

Bannon’s peculiar notions of populism were essentially anti-growth. He believed higher taxes, ultra-protectionism, and a cheap dollar would help the middle class. Supply-siders like me know these policies only damage the economy, with the middle and lower classes suffering the most.   

From Larry Kudlow, one of the architects behind the tax reforms just passed, who connects the stock market jump this week to Bannon's demise.