Saturday, November 18, 2017

op ed review 11/19



President Trump returned from one of the longest and most successful overseas trips by a president since President Reagan returned from Reykjavik without giving Gorbachev a treaty in 1986. So what dominated the Sunday morning talk shows on "national news" outlets? Judge Roy Moore.
The mainstream media freaked out over a fake story about President Trump overfeeding fish in Japan and criticized him for not taking questions during a press conference in China, but several of Trump’s achievements from his Asia trip were underreported. In other words, the anti-Trump media are, as usual, picking and choosing what to focus on based on their usual narrative.
Trump approval jumps to 46%.
All leading economic forecasters said it would be impossible for President Trump’s MAGAnomic plans to generate 3% GDP growth in the first year. President Obama said it was impossible and Trump would need a “magic wand, or something“. Well, three months after taking office (April-June), it was Quarter 2, and the U.S. GDP began growing over three percent. Again in Quarter 3 (July-Sept), the same benchmark was exceeded. And now Q4 (Oct-Dec) the New York Fed says, yes, GDP growth is 3.2%.

A new poll shows Democrat Doug Jones leading by 8 points in the Alabama Senate race in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against his opponent, GOP candidate Roy Moore.
Washington Post Offered $1000 cash to Roy Moore accusers while getting “Tips” From Mitch McConnell
It is hard not to look upon the Roy Moore imbroglio as another well-timed hit-job from a familiar and well-practiced source — the same people who thought they had destroyed the Trump campaign by releasing the Billy Bush tape from eleven years before, and, when that didn’t finish Mr. Trump off, tried the nuclear option late in the campaign by shopping to the press the Steele dossier, which the Clinton campaign had commissioned, with its salacious and seditious elements.

The stepson of one accuser claims that his stepmother’s accusations are “one hundred percent a lie.”
Washington Post failed to mention:    One of Moore’s accusers worked as a sign language interpreter for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.
??Roy Moore Signature Inside Accuser’s Yearbook Is Written in Two Different Color Inks
6 scenarios for GOP disaster in Roy Moore Senate race

Senator Al Franken’s past jokes about rape and other forms of inappropriate sexual conduct resurfaced Thursday after a radio anchor accused him of forcefully kissing her during a rehearsal and of groping her breasts while she slept on a flight from Afghanistan following a USO tour in December 2006.  This is a sitting Democrat Senator.
Do Democrat Senators get one free grope, or will Senate move to expel Franken as is talked about with Roy Moore?
A Democratic state senator who accused President Donald Trump of sexual harassment is now facing calls to resign after facing multiple sexual harassment allegations of his own.

Broadway Stars Honor Hillary Clinton At Planned Parenthood Fundraiser
Colin Kaepernick Is GQ´s  2017 Citizen of the Year

More than 100,000 convicted felons or other “prohibited persons” tried to buy guns each year during President Barack Obama’s administration by lying on their applications, but the Justice Department only considered prosecuting about 30 to 40 people each year.
Good news:  The Army´s top officer said Wednesday that the service had "rescinded" a controversial memo permitting people with a history of severe mental illness to seek waivers allowing them to join up.
Bad news:  The Pentagon has paid for an infantry soldier to undergo gender transition surgery after a federal judge blocked President Trump´s ban on transgender service members last month.

CNN continued its pattern of reporting ridiculous factoids about President Donald Trump on Thursday when the liberal news network gave over two minutes of airtime to a segment about the inside of a dog’s ear that looks like Trump’s face.

Thanks to Republican dysfunction in Congress, Cook Political Report predicts Democratic ´wave´ in 2018

Most California sheriffs fiercely opposed the ´sanctuary state´ law. Soon they´ll have to implement it

Former Assistant FBI Director James Kallstrom unloaded on James Comey, Robert Mueller, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama Thursday, charging that major crimes "20 times bigger than Watergate" are being swept under the rug while Attorney General Jeff Sessions "is in a coma."

Alibaba has set another single day record after the e-commerce giant sold over $25 billion of products on the Chinese biggest online shopping site.
___________________________________________________________________

COLUMN OF THE WEEK
IBD 11/15
As Zimbabwe locked down following a military coup this week, Venezuela defaulted on its debt. On the surface, these events in these two countries — one African, the other South American — seem to have little in common. But, in fact, they share two very big things: Both are socialist, and both are failed states.

Indeed, both nations are near collapse, suffering from hyperinflation, economic contraction and widespread hunger. What's most alarming about this is that both countries have been, in the recent past, highly successful as capitalist economies. Today they are basket cases, Marxist-inspired dictatorships that were systematically run into the ground by their socialist leaders.

In Zimbabwe's case, just 40 years ago it was the richest and most productive country in Africa. Today, it is an utter disaster. This week, after 93-year-old Marxist dictator Robert Mugabe who has led the country since its independence in 1980 tried to position his wife to be his eventual successor, the military stepped in, removing Mugabe from power and putting him under house arrest. Mugabe's wife has fled the country. "What is clear is that Zimbabwe's economy has collapsed under Robert Mugabe," noted the Sky News website.

Yes, the case against Mugabe's special brand of African socialism is convincing. Food output fell by half during the 1990s as Mugabe drove European farmers from their lands and gave the farms to his supporters who largely lacked any farming experience. Alarmed by the collapse of the economy and soaring inflation, Mugabe simply declared inflation illegal. And he cracked down on anyone who spoke up in opposition to his insane Marxist policies.

Meanwhile, a needless war in the Congo led to massive indebtedness and soaring interest rates and hyperinflation. Inflation rose from roughly 59% in 2000 to a peak of 80 billion percent at the end of 2008. No that's not a misprint: 80,000,000,000%. In addition to freezing prices, the government froze wages. To enforce its edict, it arrested business owners who were caught charging more than the law allowed. The result: GDP fell from $6.78 billion in 2001 to $4.4 billion in 2008, World Bank data show. Following the global financial crisis, Mugabe was forced to back off some of his worst policies, leading to a rebound in the economy in recent years. But Zimbabwe remains one of the poorest and worst run nations on the planet.

Venezuela's socialist path has been slightly different, but the results have been the same. Just like Zimbabwe, Venezuela once thrived with a large middle class and a strong, oil-based economy. But starting in 1999 under socialist military dictator Hugo Chavez, major swathes of the economy were seized and put under government control and ownership. Venezuela's massive oil reserves were likewise taken over by the government. Today, its state-run oil monopoly barely pumps any crude at all. The economy is in a free fall.

"It's defaulted on its sovereign debt, run out of money ... has widespread hunger, mass poverty, and the wreck of its medical system," wrote Monica Showalter, a former IBD writer, in the American Thinker. "The electrical company is bankrupt, the water isn't running, the bridges are falling apart, and now even the Caracas subway seems to be shutting down."

Under first Chavez and, since 2013, his hand-picked successor Nicolas Maduro, the economy's once hardy private sector has been strangled into submission. By piling up massive amounts of debt, the government hid its incompetence and the inevitable economic decline. But now, faced with nearly $200 billion in outstanding loans that it can't pay, Venezuela will soon be cut off from private-sector lending — and its economy will get even worse, if that's possible. "The government, meanwhile, has failed for years to ship in enough food and medicine for its citizens," noted a CNN report. "As a result, Venezuelans are waiting hours in line to buy food and dying in hospitals that lack basic resources."

What's both surprising and disappointing is that there are many prominent Americans, some of them elected officials, who have lauded these governments and the socialism they represent. Even after the recent 100 year anniversary of the Bolshevik takeover of Russia, which began the world's failed experiment in Marxist-socialism, there are those who maintain socialism could work, given the right conditions.

But the record is very clear: Each year, the Heritage Foundation issues its Index of Economic Freedom — essentially, a sliding-scale that measures the degree of economic freedom vs. socialism across all major countries. Heritage's index correlates very nicely with economic success, wealth and citizens' well-being. So you probably won't be surprised to know that out of 180 ranked nations, Zimbabwe is No. 175 and Venezuela is No. 179. And, like those two, all the other bottom-performing countries are socialist, one-party states.

Based on this, here's a little thought experiment: Suppose there was a company that made airplanes, and every one of the airplanes it ever made, all of them, crashed and burned. Would you fly in one of that company's planes?

Of course not. And that's precisely the case with socialism. Everywhere it's been tried — everywhere— it has brought economic failure, human misery, want, hunger, strife, even mass death. There are no socialist "success stories." None.

So Zimbabwe and Venezuela aren't so different after all. Just two more socialist success stories. And those that have for years lauded Mugabe, Chavez, Maduro and others of their ilk, should hang their heads in shame.

____________________________________________________________________

OTHER COLUMNS
"If a senator drove a car into a river and left a woman there to drown and didn’t notify the police, would that be considered resignation-worthy now? Or are we still not to that point?”
                      -Frank Fleming
___________________________________________________________________

LEFTIST WATCH
The Trump administration marked this week’s 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution by declaring a National Day for the Victims of Communism. The New York Times marked the same anniversary in a different way: by running a series of articles extolling the virtues of communism.

Do Trump's liberal critics seem increasingly unhinged? New York Times columnist Michelle Goldberg, in a column last week headlined “Anniversary of the Apocalypse,” lamented the “terror-struck and vertiginous days” after Trump’s win and the ongoing “metaphysical whiplash” and “hideous interregnum,” which leaves her “poleaxed by grief at the destruction of our civic inheritance.” Professor Henry Giroux of McMaster University frothed that Trump’s “ascendancy in American politics has made visible a culture of cruelty, a contempt for civic literacy, a corrupt mode of governance and a disdain for informed judgment that has been decades in the making.”

Is the Star Spangled Banner Racist?

More social engineering:  GLAAD is pleased that the number of lesbian, gay and transgender characters on U.S. television shows have reached record highs: 329 regular and recurring LGBTQ characters across all broadcast, cable and streaming TV platforms, including the first asexual and non-binary characters.”

Yes, there have been stories about young people turning to socialism. One of the latest polls shows that a majority of millenials would prefer to live under a socialist, fascist or communist system rather than a capitalist one. But things are getting a bit more disturbing now that elections have been happening. Turns out one of the Virginia Democrats elected in last week´s special election. Lee Carter, is a young unreconstructed socialist, and a member of the far-left Democratic Socialists of America. That organization has seen a fivefold increase in its membership, from about 6,000 to now 30,000.
_______________________________________________________________

GLOBALONEY
Good news is hard to find at this year’s United Nations climate conference in Bonn, Germany. Diplomats from nearly 200 countries have gathered to review progress made on the “historic” Paris climate accords, signed two years ago. But as the champagne-fueled self-congratulation of Paris recedes into memory, the agreement’s underlying fraud is becoming obvious

This week, thousands of scientists issued a bleak and terrifying "second notice" to mankind about how we will destroy the planet unless we take "urgent" action. If this warning is as reliable as the first notice these scientists issued in 1992, we have nothing to worry about.
___________________________________________________________________

ARTICLES
Ann Coulter:  “Hey, Republicans! Did you enjoy Election Night last week? Get ready for a lot more nights like that as immigration turns every last corner of the country blue. What happened was: Democrats brought in new voters. In 1970, only one out of every 100 Virginians was foreign-born. By 2012, one in nine Virginians was foreign-born…..The foreign-born vote overwhelmingly, by about 80 percent, for Democrats. They always have and they always will -- especially now that our immigration policies aggressively discriminate in favor of the poorest, least-educated, most unskilled people on Earth. They arrive in need of a LOT of government services…..”

No shortage of opinions on Judge Roy Moore.   West Point graduate, Vietnam vet, here’s his family: Moore is the married father of four. He is also a grandfather. His wife, Kayla, has been outspoken on public issues.
“In Defense of Judge Roy Moore”
“The GOP Prepares to Die, as the Alabama Republicans Stick by Judge Roy Moore”
?? “The Roy Moore Mess…….the GOP will be better off if Mr. Moore loses, despite the blow to its Senate majority. Democrats and the media will make Mr. Moore the running mate of every Republican in 2018.”
So far, there has not been much holding of Bill Clinton to account by progressives, despite the change in zeitgeist for sexual predation by the powerful. But the inevitable is happening.

 “Jeff Sessions continues to prove he’s Trump’s biggest mistake…….Jeff Sessions is a man in search of a banana peel. When he can’t find one to step on, he supplies his own. Sessions is not a bad man, but he is a bad attorney general, as he demonstrated again Tuesday….”
______________________________________________________________________

VIDEOS
Video: Vietnam War Veteran Cries on President Trump’s Shoulder During Vietnam Speech.  Moment wasn’t deemed newsworthy by media.
_____________________________________________________________________

WISE WORDS
“What is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government; but experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.”
               -James Madison

 “Every major horror of history was committed in the name of an altruistic motive.”
              -Ayn Rand

Friday, November 10, 2017

op ed review 11/12



Tuesday was not a good night for Republicans, or conservatism broadly. Democrats elected governors in Virginia and New Jersey, but these were states that Trump lost. The more worrying result from Virginia though had to be what happened in the Virginia House of Delegates, a body that has been controlled by a substantial Republican majority since 2000. There, Republicans fell left and right. Trump Republicans, establishment Republicans and everyone in between. The former bulletproof majority was erased in a single election, leaving the body deadlocked between 50 members of each party.
Lessons learned from Virginia,  New Jersey governor´s races

In Washington State, Democrats won a key state Senate race that puts them back in charge of both legislative chambers for the first time in five years. More than $8.7 million had been spent on the campaigns as of this week, with more than half coming from third-party groups.  This happened despite Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund winning the endorsement of the Seattle Times.

Despite the chaos, Trump has managed to push the most conservative agenda in a generation
Trump to deport 300,000 "temporary" refugees
Reporters are doing their best to ruin a so-far successful twelve day trip through Asia by President Donald Trump. The media has repeatedly lied about him and trying to bait him at press conferences.
The Chinese government played the U.S. national anthem while broadcasting -for the first time ever- to their own country: the welcoming ceremony of a state visit by a U.S. President and First Lady at the Grand Hall of the People’s Republic of China. You would think this would be a historic moment that should garner U.S. media attention. You might think that, but you would be wrong.
Trump 6 year old granddaughter charms the Chinese by singing in Mandarin.
82% of Trump voters would vote for him again.

Atheist immigrant sues government for having ´So Help Me God´ in citizenship oath
Hundreds of illegal immigrants descended upon the Hart Senate building to protest the Trump administration’s decision to rescind DACA.

???? Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. On Nov. 3, a military judge ruled Bergdahl would not serve any jail time but be dishonorably discharged.  Now he may be entitled to hundreds of thousands of dollars in pay that accumulated over five years while he was in Taliban captivity.

Democratic pollster and former Clinton ally Doug Schoen believes the scandals surrounding Hillary Clinton warrant a special prosecutor.

Republican Senator Rand Paul assaulted by his socialist neighbor.  Paul’s injuries were initially described as “minor,” but it turned out to be five broken ribs with lung contusions and facial injuries as well. The neighbor blind-sided the senator while he was mowing his lawn. (how many senators mow their own lawn?)
Imagine if lefty Senator Elizabeth Warren had been violently assaulted by an arch-conservative. Think journalists would mention that point? Well, they didn’t when the situation was reversed and Rand Paul was attacked over the weekend by a “liberal” “socialist.”

Favorable views of the Democratic Party hit the lowest point in 25 years.  Republicans numbers are even lower.
___________________________________________________________________

COLUMN OF THE WEEK
Investor’s Business Daily  11/9

No question about it, the GOP took a real shellacking in Tuesday's off-year vote, losing key elections in Virginia, New York and New Jersey. Republicans have been put on notice for 2018: Do your job, or go home.

Democrats ran what was for them a smart but unprincipled, bare-knuckled campaign. They smeared moderate Republicans as racists and white-power advocates, while largely avoiding making their campaigns about issues. It worked: They won 16 seats in the Virginia legislature and the state's governorship, re-elected a failed socialist mayor in New York, and took back New Jersey's gubernatorial mansion from departing Republican Chris Christie.

It was such a victory that even Hillary Clinton (!) claimed partial credit for it, with her tweeting that her PAC funded many of the winners. Joe Biden also got in on the action, claiming "nearly every candidate I endorsed won." So yes, even though it was an off-year election with mostly state and local control at stake, it was a big day for the Democrats.

Even so, don't think this was so much a Democratic victory as a Republican defeat.  Republicans, quite frankly, have failed to deliver on signal promises they made in 2016 — promises that were taken seriously by voters and even many moderate Democrats — that led to Donald Trump's stunning win over Hillary Clinton and Republicans maintaining control of both houses of Congress.

To nearly everyone's surprise, they have reprised their act from 2003 to 2007, the last time they controlled the presidency and both houses of Congress. They had a chance then to do a lot of good, moving on entitlement reform, cutting spending, doing free-market reforms for health care, and even undoing the Clinton-era regulations that led to the housing meltdown and financial crisis. Apart from passing tax cuts in 2003, they did none of the other things that voters hoped they would do.

President Obama was personally popular, but after he made ObamaCare and the Dodd-Frank financial reforms his priorities during his first two years, Democrats lost big across the country. First they lost the House. Then they lost election after election in state after state. By one count, Democrats under Obama lost 1,042 state and federal elected posts, including congressional and state legislative seats, gubernatorial posts, and even the presidency.

That was a big wake-up call for the Democrats. Assessing the Democrats' electoral damage last November, Rep. Tim Ryan, the moderate Ohio Democrat who failed in his bid to win the House minority leader post, summed it up pretty well: "We're not even a national party at this point. We have some support on the coasts, but we've lost the support of middle America, and we've got to make some changes. So I'm pulling the fire alarm here, because the house is on fire."

On Tuesday, Democrats squelched the fire, at least a bit.

Republicans would do well not to discount their losses and to get serious about being a party of power. They made big promises, as we said, on ObamaCare and taxes. As of yet, they've delivered on neither. A number of Republicans in recent weeks have announced they will be retiring next year. Just Wednesday, two more— twelve-term Rep. Frank LoBiondo of New Jersey and conservative seven-term Rep. Ted Poe of Texas — announced they'll join the GOP exodus.

Unfortunately, disgruntled Republican voters may be taking the wrong lessons from their drubbing. A poll by Rasmussen taken on Tuesday found "Republicans (43%) are more likely than Democrats (36%) and voters not affiliated with either major political party (31%) to regard today's elections as a referendum on Trump."

We see it the other way. Unlike Congress, Trump has delivered as much as possible on his biggest promises. He put a solid conservative on the Supreme Court, performed a record regulatory rollback at the federal level, pulled the U.S. out of the costly Paris Climate Agreement, pushed Congress to reform our absurd tax code, and used his executive power to curb some of ObamaCare's worst excesses.

Oh, yes, and after eight years of excuses by the previous White House tenant, Trump has ISIS on the ropes, nearly completely defeated and no longer holding significant amounts of territory. He's also facing down the North Korean and Iranian nuclear threats, two big cans that both Republican and Democratic presidents have kicked down the road for decades. And Trump has done this all in a year.

Meanwhile, congressional Republicans have been a disappointment. They've promised to get rid of ObamaCare and to reform taxes. While those should be slam dunks, they've so far failed to do either, although tax reform of some sort now seems highly likely.

The implied argument of the Republicans has been, "Wait until the 2018 election is over; then we'll really be freed up to do great things." Well, guess what. If Tuesday's any guide, 2018 might not keep Republicans in power. The Democrats look like they're getting their electoral mojo back. For Republicans, it's time to be bold or go home.


____________________________________________________________________

OTHER COLUMNS
“The Virginia electorate has been changing year after year, and moving further to the left. Approximately 40% of Northern Virginia residents are foreign-born. The current governor and the governor-elect restored voting rights to convicted felons. That added at least 156,000 potential new voters to the rolls who overwhelmingly vote Democrat.”
           -Gary Bauer

“The Democrats paid a law firm (Perkins Coie), which paid a private investigations firm (Fusion GPS), which in turn paid a spy (Christopher Steele), and Steele paid Russian government officials for dirt on Trump. … The attorney-client privilege is intended to ensure that people are completely truthful with their attorneys. It is not supposed to be a shelter for any sordid, and possibly illegal, behavior by liberals.”
     -Ann Coulter
___________________________________________________________________

LEFTIST WATCH
Leftist groups set November 4th as the date of a national uprising to overthrow the Trump administration and liberate the entire country from capitalist-patriarchal-white supremacist domination. It was supposed to develop into open civil war between the progressive forces and the forces of reaction, with the outcome undoubtedly that guaranteed by Marx, Engels, Lenin, Castro, and company…And then the 4th rolled around and… nothing. Three hundred marchers in Times Square. A few dozen in the Bay Area. A scattering of others here and there… But apart from that… bupkus…..the People’s Revolution was a complete washout. A bust.
Venezuela is getting ridiculous. How much lower can socialism drag that once-prosperous place? Venezuelans have eaten their pets and raided zoos for dinner; now, Telemundo reports (via Breitbart) that thousands of Venezuelan girls are turning to prostitution out of desperation:

Confederate statues are being removed, but Washington DC Council takes step towards placing a statue of disgraced mayor Marion Barry, who was caught in a crack bust in 1990.

The California chapter of the NAACP calls for getting rid of the national anthem because it’s “racist.”

How Leftism Makes Us Stupid

Marxism: One hundred years is a long time, certainly long enough to know whether something works. In the case of communism, now passing its 100th year as a political system, it´s safe to say it has had its chance and now ranks as one of the greatest disasters of all humankind.
_______________________________________________________________

GLOBALONEY
If truth-in-advertising laws were properly enforced, any company that labeled a battery-powered car as "zero emissions" would be guilty of breaking the law.
___________________________________________________________________

ARTICLES
It’s no surprise that Ralph Northam defeated Ed Gillespie. I was surprised, though, that the race wasn’t close, and I think most analysts were surprised that Northam won so comfortably (by at least 8 points, it looks like). With hindsight we can say that this was a race between two uninspiring candidates who needed, somehow, to inspire support. Northam inspired support because of raw hatred for President Trump. Gillespie tried to inspire it by taking a hard line on immigration (sanctuary cities) and crime. Apparently, to no avail.

The Church of Trump Derangement Syndrome. It took Christianity centuries to take over the Roman Empire. In a mere 365 days, the Church of TDS has become the official state religion for half the country — the media, academia, the Deep State and the Democrat party, but I repeat myself.

“It's hard to exaggerate the media praise heaped on Air Force Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria after his impassioned speech against racism went viral at the end of September. Silveria, superintendent of the Air Force Academy, spoke after five black cadet candidates at the academy's prep school found racial slurs written on message boards outside their rooms.  It was also a media opportunity to denounce Trump.  Whoops! The cadet candidate who reported the racial slurs has admitted that he was behind the whole thing. It was all a hoax. The young man, who is black, has left the academy. Crickets from the media.

Must read. “Thoughts and Prayers for Anti-Gun Freaks Grieving Over Death of The Narrative”

Donna Brazile pulls the pin on the Seth Rich grenade.

WISE WORDS
“To model our political system upon speculations of lasting tranquility, is to calculate on the weaker springs of the human character.”
            -Alexander Hamilton